In the Christian Church, the greatest sin that can be committed is not murder… rape, incest, or even the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. It is the sin of Adultery.
Yet even among Christian adulterers, the worst kind of adulterer is the adulterating Pastor.
The reason why people get so offended if a Pastor falls into an adulterous affair, is because the Christian community consider Pastors to be the living role-models of the greater Church. The embodiment of the highest ideals of the community… or something like that.
But the reality is that Pastors are human beings, just like the rest of us. The nature of a Pastor’s vocation is very complex and demanding. Those of us who are more seasoned, know that we are under the obligation to respect the projections of perfection that the uninitiated impose upon us.
Most Pastors have problems like every human being…but unlike most people, Pastors do not have many friends to talk and pray with. Once a person becomes an ordained minister, he or she will never again worship God with other believers, without exercising some sort of authority or leadership role in the assembly. This means, that while the worship service is of delight and comfort to most Christians, to the Pastor it can become arduous work without satisfaction.
Like the rest of us, Pastors also carry all the hurts and pains that have etched our hearts and molded (or dented) our souls. We too carry crosses. We too have disappointments. We too have pain… but unlike most laypeople, we rarely have someone we can trust and be transparent without fear of judgement.
Pastor Tullian Tchividjian, grandson of Evangelist Billy Graham, and mega-church pastor of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Florida, stated that after his wife committed adultery, that he entered into an extra-marital friendship, that eventually led to an inappropriate relationship.
After the church leaders pressured him, Pastor Tchividjian resigned in order to assuage the people’s projections. He had to resign because there was no grace available for him. There was no interest in trying to understand the intricacies that led a man of God to have an extra-marital relationship. No compassion for the turmoil in his heart and mind… Just the palpable disappointment that he had not lived up to the standards of perfection that were imposed upon him.
Pastors are people too who are in need of grace, mercy and compassion, just like the rest of us. Let us pray for Pastor Tullian Tchividjian, his family, and those who were involved in the affairs, so that they all might find healing and restoration, through the Cross of Christ, and the love and compassion of other Christians.
Compassion, mercy, tolerance, love and forgiveness are for everyone… including Pastors.