There was a time where I had come under attack for a long period of time by another pastor. He lied about me, hurt my family deeply and damaged relationships I had with people with his lies and innuendoes targeting me. This was a long and deep valley for my wife and I and I was baffled at why the Lord had not done something or allowed it to continue. It was a deep and bitter wound as this man was once my close friend. There was a day when I had prayed and for the umpteenth time asked God why He allowed Him to get away with it and I heard that voice inside of my head and heart say; “I didn’t, I’ve heard and seen everything He did.” I share this with you for this reason. This is what we are after when someone who should be a trusted Christian leader hurts us, or anyone hurts us for that matter, recognition. Acknowledgement that a wrong has been committed against us and for that to be recognized by others. God is saying to you who have experienced Fractured Fellowship caused by a church leader, I saw it all and I recognize it hurt you. I have to say that those words truly set me free from the wounds I received from this man and allowed them to become scars. No more prayers for justice, no more longing for someone to come to me and say; I knew what was said was not true. To remember that God hears and sees all and I matter and He cares about me is what I really needed. The damage this man has done has impacted relationships I once enjoyed to this day and these are the scars that I now live with. I do not know if there will ever be reconciliation or ownership on his part, but that’s between Him and the Lord. I’m free!
This is going to be true for most of you who are wounded by church leaders, you’re going to have to reengage in the church accepting the fact that no one ever gets away with anything when your God’s child and we cannot get hung up on the fact that the person who sinned against us is still in the ministry or has not yet been disciplined by the Lord. If the sin was criminal that is a different story. But if a leader lied about you, committed sexual sin or any of the other biblically identified sins you need to follow the guidelines set by Jesus in Matthew 18 and if the church leadership does nothing, know that God saw it all and He will act in His time. When this man was attacking me he was also hurting others and many of them knew what he had done to me and asked me, innocence, to lead a campaign against him and his actions became what consumed them. I was not going to become a Christian vigilante, even though my flesh wanted to join the strike team, and I told the group who had come to me that the Lord would take care of the matter, and He did.
Consider the words of Jesus to the church at Thyatira in Revelation 2:
Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. Revelation 2:20-22
I am glad God has not treated me the way I have wished He treated others at times (and fortunately for others God does what is right and not what I ask). I am glad that He gives time to repent, even of sexual immorality, before He acts. It may be that the one who hurt you is in just such a season and again let me be clear, when peoples safety or moral purity is at stake then decisive action must be taken. We have had to take such action at our church and report people to the authorities for their actions away from the church. I say this because it has become en vogue to accuse the church of orchestrating cover-ups and in some cases, it is true. But God sees and knows all and all things are naked and open before His sight.
Excerpt from “Dancing With the Scars” now available on Amazon.