Frank Page, President of the SBC, steps down because of an inappropriate relationship. Southern Baptists were surprised, the rest of the world was not. For too long, we have read headlines about our religious leaders falling into sexual sin. It turns our stomachs to hear someone so prominent in the “faith” living a double life. But, It isn’t as uncommon as you might think. In fact, in today's day of laptops & smartphones, most everyone is living a second life that no one knows about. That is the truth, whether we want to admit it or not.
But it’s time we come to grips with this unfortunate fact OR this will continue to happen again and again. Will we take action or:
Will we continue defaming the name of the Pure One who was without sin?
Will we continue portraying ourselves as servants when we allow some to be predators? There is only one solution.
“For everyone who practices wicked things hates the light and avoids it, so that his deeds may not be exposed. But anyone who lives by the truth comes to the light, so that his works may be shown to be accomplished by God.” John 3:20-21
It’s time We get our heads out of the sand and admit that this is a problem.
Pastors are looking at porn!
Deacons are committing adultery!
Missionaries are sexting with nationals!
Youth ministers are lusting over their students!
Some have not crucified their flesh! Instead, they are led by the passions and desires OF the FLESH! This should not be!
It should piss us off! This is how we represent Jesus Christ in the world?! Really?! As His chosen people, it's time we do something about it.
Up till now, we have treated it as a rare exception. Unfortunately, It is not! The truth is only a few are getting caught. So, let's be proactive. Let us start assuming that people are living a double life. Assume that in the privacy of their computers and phones they are giving into the passions and desires of their flesh.
BUT let us also assume that they don’t want to live like that. Trapped by shame and addiction, they fear the effects of being found out. But the consequences of not being found out are even more destructive!
Most of our double lives are stored online. (You know where to find it.) When you ask someone to look at their phone they get all rigid. They don’t want you scrolling around in there. Why is that? Because they are hiding something in there. Maybe it is an illicit relationship, or a gambling problem, a porn addiction, or perhaps some other hidden lifestyle. Am I right?!
But, If we are truly in Christ and we are living this double-life, then we have voluntarily enslaved ourselves to sin. But the good news is that we can be set free. Jesus is the light, and he exposes all darkness inside of us, but he doesn’t leave us there in our sin and darkness as if hopeless. He says "If you come to me and leave that crap behind I will rescue you."
So, let’s open up our lives, be willing to allow others take a look and see if there is something in it that doesn’t honor God. Something that is holding us back from experiencing Christ and being set free. Remember these chains are self-imposed. Jesus can release us, but we must give him a chance.
Few have the courage of Frank Page to admit his sin and seek forgiveness and redemption. It was a drastic action. So let us also take drastic action. Here is what I propose:
The One Life challenge
Take the One Life Challenge. Here is how it works:
Ask your brother/sister in Christ without any prior notice to give you access to their phone, tablet or laptop for 30 minutes.
Then in a private place, you will look through their texts, their facebook messages, WhatsApp, Tumblr, Snapchat, browser history, search history, etc. and discuss anything that might be questionable.
Then you hand over your devices for the same inspection.
If they refuse to show you or give some excuse, take some time for a serious conversation. Let Iron sharpen Iron. Ask what they are involved in and provide them with an opportunity to confess and repent. Begin having regular accountability in regards to how you are both living.
If you find something on their device, stop looking immediately and begin a conversation like what I explained above.
Why have we not already done something like this? I think we are afraid of the shake-up that it might cause.
Why do our churches and mission organizations not require Covenant eyes or some filter on their employee's devices?
Because we don't want to invade their privacy or do we fear what we may find?
How many pastors would be forced from their churches, how many missionaries sent home?
Well, maybe that would be the best thing. Perhaps that is precisely what we need to right a church that is no longer set apart, who has begun openly dabbling in the sins of the world. We need revival in the church, and we need to repent of the idolatry of our flesh.
If you have things you are hiding, for Christ's sake get rid of them.
To modernize and paraphrase Jesus “If your devices cause you to sin, cut them off. Better to be inconvenienced than to pay eternal consequences."
Take care then, that the light in you is not darkness. Luke 11:35
Here are a couple more posts that speak to these issues within the church: