Erasing The Consequences of Sin?

erasing mistakes

Like many of you, I have often heard pastors say “I wouldn’t want to follow anybody who hasn’t been through something!”

The statement is intended to be a prerequisite to (and for some, a badge of honor in) ministry because of the presumption that the leader will appear to be more “human” to their followers if they exhibit culpability. Certainly God uses imperfect people (Moses, Noah, David, Paul, you, me…) to exercise His will in the earth, but one cannot expect to wallow in sin and expect to “pick up where they left off” when they have been restored. 

I recently read an interesting article by John MacArthur:

Should Fallen Pastors Be Restored

Gross sin among Christian leaders is a signal that something is seriously wrong with the church. But an even greater problem is the lowering of standards to accommodate a leader’s sin. That the church is so eager to bring these men back into leadership is a symptom of rottenness at the core.

Some have claimed that a leader’s failure makes him more effective in shepherding fallen people. That is ludicrous. Should we drag the bottom of sin’s cesspool for the most heinous sinners to lead the church? Are they better able to understand the sinner? Certainly not! Our pattern for ministry is the sinless Son of God. The church is to be like Him and her leaders are to be our models of Christlikeness.

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 3:2, 10; Titus 1:7). That is a difficult prerequisite, and not everyone can meet it.

Neither John MacArthur nor the bible is suggesting that you can’t be restored from sin – that premise is the very core of the Gospel message. There should be a realism, however, in placing people back in areas of responsibility after they have shown ill-judgement in leadership.

This is one of the (many) reasons that I am continually irked by Jamal “The Prince Pimp of Baltimore” Bryant. Bryant is a notorious false teacher who has lied about his education credentials, marital fidelity, and his seemingly insatiable sexual appetite (click this link for an overview of his antics). When forced last year to admit an adulterous affair with a young woman in his congregation (suspected to be in her late teens) resulting in the birth of a child, Bryant tried to excuse his behavior by comparing himself to David and Bathsheba. He received little-to-no “counseling” and never relinquished the reigns of his church club.  

Should Bryant be forgiven? Certainly if he repents before the Lord (and his family) and seeks to right the wrongs he’s made. Should he have remained in leadership at his club? Certainly not – especially since he probably would’ve removed a Deacon or Minister guilty of similar transgressions if pressed to do so.

MacArthur sums up his article by saying:

What should you do in the current crisis? Pray for your church’s leaders. Keep them accountable. Encourage them. Let them know you are following their godly example. Understand that they are not perfect, but continue nonetheless to call them to the highest level of godliness and purity. The church must have leaders who are genuinely above reproach. Anything less is an abomination.

We must continue to hold our Pastors and leaders to a standard parallel to the charge they have in preaching and teaching the glorious Gospel. Anything less brings reproach upon the Name of the Lord. Are they perfect? No Should we just put them back behind the bookboard no matter what they’ve done? I don’t think so.

20 Responses to “Erasing The Consequences of Sin?”

  1. 1 Patricia October 6, 2009 at 5:46 am

    Whosoever is born of God does not commit sin (Rom.6:14); for God’s seed REMAINS in him and he CANNOT sin, because he is BORN OF God (1 Jn.3:9).

    Whosoever is born of God SINS NOT; but he that is BEGOTTON OF God keeps himself, and the wicked one (Satan) touches him not (1 Jn.5:18).

    The believer on Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior is born of God (1 Jn.5:1).

    © Bible Prophecy on the Web

    • 2 speaking truth October 6, 2009 at 8:22 pm

      Thanks for the reply, Patricia, but I believe you should be more clear regarding sin in the life of a believer. Romans 6:14 states:

      For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.

      Paul is not stating that believers will never experience sin once they enter the Christological covenant – he is saying that we should not allow sin to rule our lives. Even further, Paul himself lamented how he continued to fall into sin, even as an Apostle of the Lord (read Romans 14-25 for full context). Paul clearly laments the war between his spirit and his flesh, concurring that only Jesus can deliver him.

      That said, we as believers have a higher understanding of our relationship as representatives of Christ on the earth. We are encased in flesh, and as such we will continue to fall prey to the sins of this flesh until we no longer have it. Our response to sin is what seperates us from non-believers. Christian leaders, therefore, must accept the visible punishment for their sins if they bring reproach to the name of the Lord in the process.

  2. 3 harmonicpraise October 6, 2009 at 1:38 pm

    So sad and yet so true! I get sick of hearing preachers and church folk excusing immorality among pastors and church leaders under the idiotic notion that willful sin somehow makes them more qualified to “minister” to the people. I want a pastor who can draw me closer to the Lord through the example of his life, not just through the words that he speaks.

    As a matter of fact, I would question a preacher who continues to wallow in sinful behavior while still trying to pastor a church. To me, it seems to suggest that the pastor does not really believe the power of the God that he is supposed to be representing and communicating to me. How can you tell me about the power of God over sin if that same power is not doing anything for you?

    I pray that God will raise up many more voices like yours and Pastor John MacArthur’s to remind us as pastors, preachers, and church leaders to be serious about our walk with God and the example that we set for the people God has blessed us to serve!

    • 4 speaking truth October 6, 2009 at 8:24 pm

      I agree, harmonicpraise. I admire all who labor tirelessly for the Gospel (without expecting their earthly rewards), and I pray that God continue compelling you to chase after Him.

  3. 5 rascoe1 October 6, 2009 at 3:42 pm


  4. 6 yaya October 6, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    I guess a sobering point to remember is “To whom much is given, much is required”….. David thought he had a “get out of jail free” card, because he was the King. God’s anointed king at that. But no, when he dared try to sidestep the moral guidelines laid down by God through his word, he paid a terrible price. He lost his baby and then the “sword” as the prophet said, would never leave his house, and warfare and immorality has never left the house of David.” So pastor’s, shepherds, pimps, pimpettes, kings and the like take notice, when you do your dirt it will be uncovered and the higher the people lift you up the harder and longer your fall will be. That is the danger of “Pastor worship” which I believe is the engine behind the restoration of some of these fallen leaders. Folks lifting up their pastor instead of Jesus. No wonder they think they are ok, they got fans! What a shame. Help Lord!!

  5. 7 Vaughn October 7, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    Every time I hear of such foolishness amongst the leadership, that goes unchecked I still think of the scripture that says;
    Gal 6:7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

    So if we are not dealing with these transgression here then where?

    All I’m saying is that I’d rather be spanked and dealt with here, than be a bastard or castaway that never learns to pluck the ole eye out, if you get my drift.

  6. 8 Michael Pharr October 7, 2009 at 5:54 pm

    IST, since you mentioned JH Bryant I went to his website out of curiosity and he has a new book: World War Me. He’s advising buyers to win the war he lost. I assume he’s talking about some of his maritial mishaps. Rather than sit down and be restored he’d rather write a tell-all book to get paid. Hey it worked for Karrine Steffans.

    • 9 Pat October 12, 2009 at 5:44 pm

      leave Karrine out of this one she aint saved-I don’t think-different measure

      • 10 Michael Pharr October 15, 2009 at 11:39 am

        Pat, my tongue in cheek reference between Jamal Bryant and Karrine had nothing to do about who is saved but rather a preacher who is capitalizing on his bad decisions, which falls in line with this posting.

  7. 11 Ocean Breeze October 7, 2009 at 6:42 pm


    I would take it a step further. Maybe we should not give these pastors so much power. Maybe we should not make them the complete focal point of our churches. When everything in a particular church revolves around the pastor the people don’t want him to go even if he gets caught red handed.

    I think the underlying issue here is many churches have become pastor-centered instead of people-centered. Many churches have members on the pews who don’t think they can receive a good word unless it’s coming from Rev. So and So. Think about it like this. TD Jakes IS the Potters House. If he got caught up and had to step down the whole thing falls apart.

    The more I have thought about this the more I think it is unhealthy for pastors to be the only face of any given church. The people of the community should be. The unhealthy reliance on one or two charismatic people is a set up for church failure.

    • 12 speaking truth October 7, 2009 at 8:22 pm

      You make an excellent point, Ocean Breeze. A biblical church exercises a polity with a plurality of elders – specifically so that no one person has complete “control” over the church. Many churches have multiple “elders” today, but they are simply castrated leaders. Let’s use TD Jakes as an example: when TD invited “Soulforce” (the openly homosexual “Christian” group”) to his church, his elders should have confronted him about the error (biblically) and sat him down. I would bet that Jakes doesn’t even talk with his “elders” without his security present, let alone take counsel from them.

      And Jakes leadership is more the rule, not the exception. Many of these churches are personality driven – not Christ centered.

      Here’s a great article on plural elder polity by

  8. 13 Lady D October 7, 2009 at 8:07 pm

    And we wonder why the world is going to hell in a handbasket-look at the church~

  9. 14 r keith rytaran October 8, 2009 at 7:40 am

    speaking the truth can be a dangerous but very necessary thing. i have certainly found this to be the case in the last few months. for a controversial and volatile read, please consider the newly released true novel by christian author r.k. rytaran. the book is entitled Euclid Avenue, Our scars mean something. [ST Note – I removed the promotional information from your comment since your URL is already linked. Interested parties can use your URL to purchase your book if they’re interested]

  10. 15 Broken Pastor October 8, 2009 at 11:07 am

    These issues are severe and important. It’s like we need a bit of a modern reformation? Lady D makes a good point about the sickness of the church affecting the world. Um um um.

    Biblical church government (plurality of elders), spiritual discipline, humility, sacrificial living, contentment (not coveting commandment 10) are unpopular terms in the pews and in the pulpits. High profile large churches get noticed for it, but it’s also in small churches too.

    So much abuse of the Bride of Jesus Christ!

    Wow. I’m hoping to be found faithful and raise up a thousand more faithful church leaders! O that God would send out honest, gospel-centered, Christ-honoring, Spirit-filled, Biblically faithful workers into His harvest field!

    Come on LORD! You are worth it!

  11. 16 Fedup October 14, 2009 at 4:43 pm

    Hey Truth, I did leave you a message just a bit ago, but I went through an alternative path to do so. Just to be sure you received it I am sending it again. I want to encourage you to continue sharing the truth with all of your readers. I does make a difference. Take a look at the attached link from the March 2009 volume of Essence Magazine. The featured post comes from Donnie McClurkin. You may have already read it and maybe not. I found it very refreshing, I hope you did or do to. Hope never dies!

    Take Care, Fedup

    • 17 speaking truth October 14, 2009 at 4:54 pm


      I did get the email you sent through my “contact me” page – rest assured that method does get to me quickly.

      This may be a bit off topic, but I did see this article. I was going to write about it earlier this year but I figured “what’s the point”? McClurkin all of sudden has amnesia regarding these false teachers and their love of mammon? Does he perform for free? Was he thinking this way when he appeared at many of their churches to perform? Does he think that way when he STILL performs for them?

      In my cynical opinion, Donnie is taking advantage of the minor backlash these hirelings are getting from blogs and others who have escaped their plantations. I’m sure Donny still supports the tithe and other offering shakedowns that help perpetuate his “rich pastor” friends.

      But hey, I’m just a cynic 😉

  12. 18 Ya Ya November 27, 2009 at 5:27 pm

    Huuuuuuh Pastor, Doctor, Reverend, Apostle, Bishop, Jedi Knight, and whatever other title you can think of…..Jamal Harrison Bryant has the audacity to compare himself to David? King David??? Ha hahaha! Apparently he must have missed that class at Oxford. You see, David was given a royal whippen by God almighty and lost the baby he had with Bathsheba only after languishing and fasting and crying for days on end. Then he had to endure the terrible torment of knowing that the sword would never leave his family, after that you see David pretty much walking the straight and narrow, the only ones acting up are his sons and that is well documented. Not so in Jamal Bryants case. He continues to act up, chasing after young women in his congregation, skipping out on child support, Running his poor wife crazy to the point where she had to be briefly hospitalized after the birth of their twins (that’s what I was told, don’t go running to the bank with that!). He has had to take out several restraining orders against women that he has used as snotty tissue and balled up and thrown in the trash. To his chagrin they did not see themselves as such, so instead of crawling back in the hole he found them in, they came back to see what he could do for them since he seemed like a man of means, and he got scared, so they began stalking him. His latest babies momma did this and she was barely a baby herself. Now this information I verified by looking up court documents. Like I have stated before my parents pastor an urban ministry in Baltimore MD so not much goes on that I don’t get wind of sooner or later. This is not to put his dirty laundry out, but if he is big and bad enough to get on tv and preach a sermon called, “I’m still the man” than I am more than happy to give you all the reasons to counter his lousy ones. You know I have heard of skeletons in peoples closets but this dude has got bodies in his. Why people blindly continue to follow him is the 8th mystery of the world. I can only call it as I see it. This is a clear cut case of pastor worship, they just love the man. Or as the bible says they love the creature more than the creator. I tell you what, Mr. Bryant and all his titles and letters better get it together before it’s too late. Time is not winding up, but winding down and God is soon to come. Oh yah by the way. He does have his PhD it’s a Docterin (yah i meant to spell it like that), in hard knocks.I guess he’s working on his second one apparently. The first one didn’t knock enough since into him.

  13. 19 Scott February 16, 2010 at 2:08 am

    John MacArthur & Pretrib Rapture

    Who knows, maybe John (Reformedispy) MacArthur is right and the greatest Greek scholars (Google “Famous Rapture Watchers”), who uniformly said that Rev. 3:10 means PRESERVATION THROUGH, were wrong. But John has a conflict. On the one hand, since he knows that all Christian theology and organized churches before 1830 believed the church would be on earth during the tribulation, he would like to be seen as one who stands with the great Reformers. On the other hand, if John has a warehouse of unsold pretrib rapture material, and if he wants to have “security” for his retirement years and hopes that the big California quake won’t louse up his plans, he has a decided conflict of interest. Maybe the Lord will have to help strip off the layers of his seared conscience which have grown for years in order to please his parents and his supporters – who knows? One thing is for sure: pretrib is truly a house of cards and is so fragile that if a person removes just one card from the TOP of the pile, the whole thing can collapse. Which is why pretrib teachers don’t dare to even suggest they could be wrong on even one little subpoint! Don’t you feel sorry for the straitjacket they are in? While you’re mulling all this over, Google “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty” for a rare behind-the-scenes look at the same 180-year-old fantasy.

  14. 20 ready4change February 16, 2010 at 6:05 pm


    I don’t exactly know where you’re going with this, since your comment just came out of the blue. I will say that Mcarthur has always stated that he is a “leaky dispensationalist”. The fact that he has had some hiccups and disagreements with other solid teachers and has caught criticism from some individuals does not take away from the pure version of the gospel he preaches. I am not in agreement with him on some issues, but I stand with him and enjoy the unadulterated word of God that is spoken through him and by his ministry on the essential elements of the faith. Instead of attacking his character, it would probably be best to challenge him on his words and sermons, which I think you will find to be in line scripturally and for the most part very solid. Please let me know if you disagree.

    Solus Christus,


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