— 14 —
Why is there so much dishonesty & immorality
among preachers and church leaders?

This view is grossly exaggerated. Due to the highly publicized sins of well known preachers in recent times, cynicism and skepticism of all Christian leaders has risen sharply. The flood of media attention over the sins of a few created a false impression that the majority of preachers, especially those who minister on TV or who openly request financial support, must be sinister or deceptive. This is not true.

Over the years, I have known hundreds of well-known evangelical ministers, including TV preachers, and I know most to be godly, honest, and moral people. It is a great injustice to many wonderful, Christ-like spiritual leaders to stereotype them along with those of lesser integrity.

We do sadly recognize that a small percentage of preachers have been guilty of shameful practices. In such cases, it appears that most started out with sincere intentions, but somehow later fell prey to the temptations that came their way. I personally knew a world-famous evangelist who fell into sin and scandal. When he first started in the ministry, I knew him to be humble, sincere and Godly. However, fame and affluence brought temptations which corrupted his integrity. How sad it was — how devastating for the body of Christ when his sins were aired before the public.

We cannot make excuse for their sins, but at the same token, we must realize that Satan does work harder to tempt spiritual leaders to fall, knowing that if they do there will be a chain-reaction of casualties to the body of Christ.

Backsliding, sin, and hypocrisy are nothing new to the ranks of the church. Paul wrote about false brethren (2 Cor. 11:26), false apostles (2 Cor. 11:13), and specifically mentioned one of his co-workers who had backslidden. "...for Demas has forsaken me, having loved this present world..." (2 Tim. 4:10). There have always been, and will always be, believers, including preachers, who falter. But we can't discount all preachers because of the sins of a few.

I can remember a time or two as a kid, unwittingly biting into a wormy apple, only to quickly spit out the pieces in disgust. Those experiences left a bad taste in my mouth, but it didn't cause me to give up eating apples. I simply learned to look more closely before sticking things in my mouth.

So don't let the bad taste of a few bad apples spoil your appreciation for all ministers. Before you "bite" into anyone's ministry, you have the right to inspect their fruit (Gal. 5:22-24). This is how the Bible teaches us to spot false prophets. "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit" (Matt. 7:15-17).

God has chosen for godly men to be His messengers and to help point lives to our Savior (Eph. 4:11-12), but we must always remember that the basis of our faith is the Lord Jesus Christ, not preachers or anyone else. Men are still only human and are subject to failure. So keep your focus upon Jesus. He will never fail you. "...looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith..." (Heb. 12:2).

This article is from the book, What People Ask About the Church, authored and copyrighted © by Dr. Dale A. Robbins, 1990-2015, and is a publication of Victorious Publications, Grass Valley, CA - Nashville, TN. Unless otherwise stated, all scripture references were taken from The New King James Bible, © Thomas Nelson Inc., 1982. You may download this article for personal use as long as you retain credit to the author. Obtain permission before reproducing copies for any reason, by filling out our simple use permission form. Many of our writings are also available as free pdf tri-fold pamphlets, which can be downloaded for reproduction from our Online Catalog. For media reproduction rights, or to obtain quantities of this title in other formats, email us. A newer revised version of this book is available from Amazon. If you have appreciated these online materials, help us reach the world with the Gospel by considering a monthly or one-time tax-deductable donation.