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Thursday, July 31, 2014

Don't Shoot the Messenger

Those of us who have been involved in writing blogs or openly speaking against Calvary Temple are sometimes asked why we do so; what is our motive? Why do we point out false teachings? Why do we reveal the sins of leadership?

1 Timothy 5:20  Those who sin, before all rebuke that the rest of the people may fear. 

1John 4:1  Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

2 Peter 2:1 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies.

2 Timothy 4:3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions.

Galatians 1:8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.

I expect that the majority of people reading this blog are familiar with Mr. Scott's admission of a moral failing many years ago. Their first response may be: "that happened over 40 years ago and he was forgiven. Why can't you forgive him? Why are you holding it against him when God Himself has forgiven him?" I do not for a moment propose that we should not forgive a pastor (or anyone else) for his past sin. Scripture is very clear on the subject. If he repents and is forgiven by God, then I too must forgive him. The subject of forgiving him is not really the issue. The false teaching of "It Never Happened" and the consequences of sin are the issues.

1. Star Scott is teaching that his sin "NEVER HAPPENED". Please read the recent entries on the blog This series of articles does an excellent job of dealing with the false teaching of "it never happened". For those still attending Calvary Temple, your pastor is teaching a false doctrine. And it would appear that this false doctrine is self serving. If his sin never happened, then he does not have to face the second problem.....

2. Should Star Scott be a pastor at all? Again, the blog deals with this subject well. Please consider the following from theologian, pastor and teacher, John MacArthur:  

We must recognize that leadership in the church cannot be regarded lightly. The foremost requirement of a church leader is that he be above reproach (1 Timothy 3:210Titus 1:7). That is a difficult prerequisite, and not everyone can meet it.
There are some sins that irreparably shatter a man's reputation and disqualify him from a ministry of leadership forever. Even Paul, man of God that he was, said he feared such a possibility. In 1 Corinthians 9:27 he says, "I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified."
When referring to his body, Paul obviously had sexual immorality in view. In 1 Corinthians 6:18 he describes it as a sin against one's own body--sexual sin is in its own category. Certainly it disqualifies a man from church leadership since he permanently forfeits a blameless reputation as a one-woman man (Proverbs 6:331 Timothy 3:2).
What about forgiveness? Shouldn't we be eager to restore our fallen brethren? To fellowship, yes. But not to leadership. It is not an act of love to return a disqualified man to public ministry; it is an act of disobedience.
By all means we should be forgiving. But we cannot erase the consequences of sin. I am not advocating that we "shoot our wounded." I'm simply saying that we shouldn't rush them back to the front lines, and we should not put them in charge of other soldiers. The church should do everything possible to minister to those who have sinned and repented. But that does not include restoring the mantle of leadership to a man who has disqualified himself and forfeited the right to lead. Doing so is unbiblical and lowers the standard God has set.

You will find other theologians who have an opposing viewpoint. Some believe that after a season it is possible for a fallen pastor to be returned to leadership.They recommend extensive counseling after a time of proving.  

This now begs the question: Who's perspective should I believe? Pastor Scott himself said there are two viewpoints on this subject. Should I believe the perspective of my pastor (who is the one that sinned)? Should I believe those who say the fallen pastor cannot be restored? Or should I believe what I find in my own study of the word of God? 
Whatever you decide, it is your responsibility and your right to decide for yourself.
Many people have chosen to follow their own conscience and study of scripture concerning this issue and have left Calvary Temple. (This is just one reason some have left, there are others but those reasons are not the subject of this entry). It is their right to choose to do so but the leadership of Calvary Temple does not believe they have that right. The leadership believes they can now destroy families, divide marriages, cut off friends, malign reputations, and reveal the "defector's" sin, all because they have made a choice that the pastor does not agree with. These are not people leaving Calvary Temple for frivolous reasons. They are leaving for very grievous sins and false teachings from the leadership of Calvary Temple. They alone will answer to God if they are wrong. As Peter and the other apostles said: "We must obey God rather than any human authority."

Isaiah 30:21  I shall hear a word behind me, saying, "This is the way, walk in it," whenever I turn to the right or the left. 

John 10:3-5  I hear Jesus' voice and He calls me by name and leads me out.  Jesus goes before me and I follow him, for I know His voice.  I will by no means follow a stranger. 

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