I want to warn you that some of what I have to say here - and how I choose to say it - may very well offend you. You probably won't want to print this out and read it to your kids. On the other hand, maybe you will. All that to say, "You've been warned".
Well, here we are again. I'm not sure why I keep convincing myself, "Surely this will be the last time I have to rant and rave about this". But this morning, as I'm enjoying my bowl of Mini Wheats, here comes the breaking news that ONE MORE well-known pastor has come forward to confess infidelity. And WHY did he decide to make this news public? Because someone was trying to extort him. And to make matters worse (in my opinion), he sat there on TV (on their religious network program) and allowed his wife to be the one to share this news with the world. I have to be incredibly honest at this moment and tell you that I wanted to reach through my TV, grab this man by the scruff of his neck, and knock the pious smirk right off his face! I know - "Brian, how could you?" Right? Well, I don't claim this is prophecy, but I'm here to tell you: I think God is sick and tired and fed up with the very men who are supposed to be shepherding His people transforming into the very wolves that Christ warned us to watch out for.
Watch the story HERE
In Matthew 5:27-30, Jesus speaks out about ADULTERY. Interestingly enough, He only spends a breath talking about infidelity and quickly narrows His directive to those who even allow their eyes and heart to wander into lust. And then He goes straight to the point: "...if your eye - even your good eye - causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. And if your hand - even your stronger hand - causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell." At this moment, standing on a hillside speaking to multitudes, there was probably no reason for Jesus to get any more explicit and detailed than this. I mean, He makes things pretty clear. But what seems apparent to me is that for some - for many men who have taken on the responsibility and calling of preaching and teaching this very truth - it just doesn't seem to be clear enough. So at the risk (or possibly the HOPE) of making this even more explicitly clear, indulge me for a moment.
For many men there doesn't seem to be the discipline or desire to train or purify their eyes - there's a lack of awareness or unwillingness to acknowledge that the "lust of the eyes" is leading their heart and mind down a path of destruction. Jesus said "gouge it out". No one actually, literally seems willing to gouge anything out, do they? And the debate has raged for centuries: Do you actually think Jesus literally meant to take an icepick, gouge your eye out, and toss it down the garbage disposal? Honestly, I really have no idea. But I believe the real reason we want to say, "No, no, Jesus wouldn't tell anyone to do something crazy like that", is because we're scared to death of the ramifications and consequences - of what it would actually mean for us - if He was being DEAD serious! And along those lines, believing that the Son of God was (and still is) just that serious about our sin and our holiness and our purity, I think for some it might be time to even take this a step further.
It doesn't seem to be the eye or the hand - not even the "stronger hand" - that's ultimately landing men (and more specifically, pastors) on TV and spread across the headlines confessing, "I've cheated on my wife". At the end of the day, it's that male organ inside their pants. The thing the "hand" seems to be doing is unzipping the pants. So, here goes. PASTOR: If you can't seem to find the self-discipline and hunger for God and the accountability from other men to sharpen you to the point that you KNOW under no circumstance will you EVER take your pants off for any woman other than the one you made a covenant before the Lord to be faithful to, maybe it's time you get to the root of the problem and CUT IT OFF! And yes, as ridiculous as that sounds to 99.9% of the modern-day world, I'm just to the point where I have to say that I'm dead serious. Go back to the literal vs. figurative debate all you want to. But what I hear Jesus saying is plain and simple: "It's better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell!" Does that sound "figurative"?
What do we need to do? Do I need to cuss or yell and scream to make the point any stronger? Do we have to watch ten or twenty more "shepherds" be exposed for being a "wolf in sheep's clothing"? Do you think the Word of God is being figurative when it says that pastors "are accountable to God"? (Heb.13:17) What Gospel are you preaching, anyways?
Many of you may read this and think, "Brian, where is your grace and mercy and forgiveness? What about restoration?" Let me be blunt. I'm sick & tired of having to see God's people being spent to forgive and restore the very men who should be the example of forgiveness and restoration. We're supposed to be modeling forgiveness and restoration, NOT the ones in constant need of it. Not for this! WAKE UP! Stop dragging the Gospel and the rest of those trying to live it and preach it into this hellhole with you. There are lives and souls and Eternity at stake! Do not allow 5 minutes of artificial passionate pleasure to be the death of you. Please! For the sake of the Kingdom of God and the glory of the Name of Jesus Christ, do whatever you have to do to ensure that you are NOT going to be the next statistic. And if that means you have to "CUT IT OFF", for your own sake, do it.
One of the men in my Life Group constantly challenges me and encourages us with the power of his prayer. One thing he prays often is this: "Jesus, we thank You for dying on the Cross for us, but we're so sorry that You had to." Pastor: Are you genuinely broken and devastated over the weight of what your sin cost our Savior? If so, I say this with all the love in my heart: Love your wife and keep your pants on.