Picture from flicker.com
Great article by Rick Warren of Saddleback Church on “How To Have A Fresh Start After Committing Sexual Sin”…..except…..as always, the majority of these articles never bring up the reason for watching pornography.
Masturbation is the Most Unholy Place.
It is The Taboo of Taboo.
Like you have in the temple in the OT patterned after the temple in heaven.
The holy place and then the Most Holy Place
Porn is the unholy place and masturbation is the Most Unholy Place.
Very few address masturbation for a number of reasons. And it is usually because the author and other authors, based on preponderance, MIGHT have been involved.
It is PROBABLE that they are still involved with masturbation.
I could be wrong because I don’t know everything as God does.
It is embarrassing but when you really want to come clean, transparency in this area prevents God from exposing this secret.
Hebrews 4:13 “And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.”
So, when I talk about my involvement with porn and masturbation, humbly, I remove the exposing power of God from His hands. I take away His opportunity to tell everyone what I did in secret. God has no story to tell.
When it comes to sexual immorality, this is Psalm 90:8.
Masturbation is the high place that most men and women refuse to destroy.
And they can’t destroy it on their own. It takes the redemptive power of God and the help of others that have either maintained their walk before God, who never fell, or were once involved in masturbation that broke free and maintained their freedom for more than 3 years, and for the rest of their lives.
If you read the books of 1 and 2 Kings, and Chronicles, whenever reform was made, very few would destroy the high place. The reason behind it was that it would be reserved for the exclusive worship of God. Then after the reform ended, they resumed to business as usual.
While Rick Warren’s article has very meaningful steps to address the issue of SECRET SEXUAL SINS, the very thing that keeps a person returning to the high place of masturbation is “no fear of God before their eyes” (see Romans 3:18).
Thank God that the grace of God is there for us when we repent, but what is missing is that when we resume a habit, cycle, or pattern that is not condoned in Scripture, there is no question that what is absent is the “fear of the Lord.”
Ecclesiastes 8:11-13 “Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. Though a sinner does evil a hundred times, and his days are prolonged, yet I surely know that it will be well with those who fear God, who fear before Him. But it will not be well with the wicked; nor will he prolong his days, which are as a shadow, because he does not fear before God.”
We are afraid when we see flashing lights behind us when we are caught speeding or caught with a traffic violation. We are afraid when we lie in court because of perjury and its penalty. We are afraid when we do some crime and the police officer arrests us.
But why is it that we are not afraid when we sin against the Lord?
God gives us space to repent based on His graciousness to reconsider what we are doing and make things right with God.
If we fail to conclude that sex was designed by God between one male and one female in holy matrimony, and that sex outside of this sacred institution is a violation, then it is very easy to take what we’ve declared as God being silent and give ourselves permission.
The Bible is silent on permission and prohibition of masturbation, but because sex is designed by God to be shared between one man and one woman in marriage to become one flesh, the clear conclusion is that masturbation is a sin.
You cannot become one flesh with solo sex.
Your conscience testifies that it is a sin because every person senses in their heart that what they’ve done in secret pierced the heart.
Romans 2:14-16 says “…for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.”
Did you get this?
“God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ…”
Tie that with Psalm 90:8 and you have no where to hide, and no reasoning to justify the continuation of masturbation.
So even if you do not have anything written on paper, you show the works of the law written in your hearts, your conscience also bearing witness, and between yourselves your thoughts accusing or else excusing you.
Further proof is when you are looking for a way to continue in masturbation. Just like atheists proves the existence of God, the fact that you’ve asked that this is a sin or not is proof that it is a sin. You are looking for a way to sin just like Adam and Eve. Abiding by God’s established order of sex in marriage between one male and one female ends the reasoning to sin and the argument.
I’ll keep saying it.
NO ONE WATCHES PORN AND DOESN’T ACT OUT SEXUALLY IN ADULTERY, FORNICATION, BISEXUALITY, HOMOSEXUALITY, AND MASTURBATION.
So if we want to please the Lord as Jesus did according to what He said in John 8:29, like Enoch in Hebrews 11:5-6, and like what Paul said in Romans 8:8, that they that are in the flesh cannot please God. So how can we please God? By walking in the Spirit, living by the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.
Therefore masturbation is a work of the flesh that disqualifies us from pleasing God in the Spirit.
So to stop the revolving door of masturbation, Rick Warren’s article outlines critical steps, BUT to permanently stop masturbation, the fear of the Lord must be evident.
An accountability partner brings that fear especially when they ask you if you’ve watched porn and masturbated. This is also another thing that is missing in his article.
You cannot watch yourself.
YOU call the shots and make the rules when you declare self accountability.
Many preachers that end up committing adultery hate having the heat on them in personal accountability. It’s right at the point, which is a few weeks after the excitement dies down, that they want to be released from accountability. Their masturbation habits, patterns, and cycles according to Romans 13:11-14 is still “fresh in their flesh.”
The inner discipline was never established to begin with and they are back to touching themselves sexually. They haven’t learned, over time, the disciplines required to forever abstain from masturbation, so it is easy to resume very early after adultery.
That’s why it’s a secret.
Masturbation is the MOST UNHOLY PLACE that men and women do not want to destroy.
As David Wilkerson once said, you have to break covenant with sin.
This stronghold must be dismantled and then removed for good. Then the inner discipline must be established to forever forsake it according to Proverbs 28:13.
So, once again, great article by Rick Warren, however, it is time to be for real about pulling the covers off on what men and women do secretly and expose it according Ephesians 5:8-14.
Otherwise, SECRET SEXUAL SINS will continue.
The Rick Warren article could be read here.
I was finishing up a project that was in the making for the last two years and I came across something that I’ve been dealing with for a long time.
During the summer, I deliberately broke off being held accountable to one person.
Dr. Mark Laaser has always advocated being accountable. However, being accountable to one person isn’t always ideal. What if you cannot reach that person when you are about to fall, or you have fallen? Or, what if, for whatever reason, you refuse to “check in?” What if things happen when you cannot keep in close contact as before?
These questions arise from time to time when dealing with the realm of sexual accountability.
The dynamics of life offer little refuge for excuses, but life does happen. Job situations change. The time that you were able to make yourself available costs much.
On a different note, I do not think that many people understand the world of pastors that work secular jobs because the church isn’t growing to hold a salary and health insurance for a pastor and his family. Many people think that pastors are to just get by and that’s it. The secular world places more of a demand on pastors that work. When it comes to travel to and from work, this adds to the time factor for measurable accountability. Major sacrifices are made to pay for things that a small work cannot pay for. We do say that the Lord provides, and He does, but when you have a family, a man has to do right and support his family.
Depending upon the way the Lord works and the way pastors lead people to “make disciples,” it will determine whether the church will be able to legally, and reasonably sustain a pastor and his family financially. Why mention this? Making time for rest and measurable accountability is a concern that must be considered.
Sometimes, a break is needed to catch your breath. Resumption at the pace where accountability wasn’t a problem may or may not happen.
Things can get blown out of proportion.
Regardless, when an irregularity does occur, it is cause for serious alarm. Did a relapse occur? Is he hiding something? Is there something that was said or done that made accountability unbearable? Fault could be found on both sides, although, sometimes, there may be no fault at all.
When it comes to coming out of sexual immorality, this is the dark world with many closets. What is hidden and where it is hidden is the game most men play. Sexual immorality is the DADT (Don’t Ask Don’t Tell) of accountability. With the accountability partner, the right to ask demands the right for the one held in account to tell. There is a serious line of transparency and openness that is required in accountability where confidentiality must be adhered to. Nonetheless, these are the serious issues in the realm of sexual accountability.
The “random team concept” of accountability seems like the real solution.
Anyone can say that the Lord holds me accountable. That’s the easy way out, but the difficult way out is having mature men of integrity and holiness randomly ask you pointed questions. I’ll explain this concept in this blog.
With accountability, sometimes the person that you have as an accountability partner gains a place of speaking into your life. It has the potential of turning into a wild chase that takes things from compassionate confrontation, to agitated interrogation tactics to get to the bottom of a person’s disappearance or lack of checking in. Neither of these are valid reasons for breaking off accountability. However, sometimes, for the sake of peace and sanity, “time to tear and a time to sow” might be necessary.
You begin to “police” everyone’s sex life and assume the throne of God.
We know everything there is to know about sexual immorality, but if we were really honest with ourselves, we don’t. Knowing it all is a place of pride. As Paul said, “Knowledge puffs up.” That’s why I welcome the thorn in the flesh. The messenger of satan to buffet me, lest I become exalted beyond measure. Sometimes, things happen so that you will not become prideful about the assignment the Lord gave you.
The one thing that I am aware of in the area of sexual immorality is that when you come clean, some of us want to tell the whole world. Then it gets into another level. You want to tell people off without compassion. Then it escalates into a gestapo interrogation situation where you believe that because of your deliverance, you become the “authority” on sexual issues.
We fail to heed the words of Paul.
“Take heed, lest you fall.”
It goes from helping brothers to overcome, to gestapo interrogation.
“I know what you did.”
The looks. The prosecutor temperament and body language postures an accountability partner takes in smoking out a liar.
A person could be telling the truth but they do not feel that it’s friendly and safe.
Especially when nothing went on, you felt trapped, cornered to either confess, or defend the fact that nothing happened. Or, something did happen but you refuse to come clean and accuse your accountability partner of “overreaching.” You become defensive and avoid the issue altogether by walking out abruptly. Or, because nothing went on, you know that the next line of questioning is coming, and to avoid making a scene, you abruptly walk away.
Ah…two sides to the story does help these days.
There is somethings good and somethings bad about accountability because I do not think that we have all the answers to sexual accountability. I believe that we need to put together something that is concrete, doable, and actionable. That we can take sexual accountability to a level where it pleases the Lord for the times we are in today.
There is an example of accountability in the Word of God that comes to mind. In the book of Beginnings, Cain and Abel comes to mind. When Cain killed his brother, the Lord asked Cain a question. “Where is Abel your brother?”
And Cain answered, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?”
When you answer a question that the Lord asks you, God already knows the answer. The answer is never for God’s benefit. It is for your benefit so that you can locate where you are.
The word “keeper” means “guard or to protect. Caretaker”
Accountability. Did you put these two things together?
Accountability is for the purpose of guarding, protecting, and caring. The spirit of accountability is a brother that loves you openly is better than secret love. In other words, they will do everything to compassionately confront you to help you walk in the Word of God. It is the place where the truth is ministered in love.
Truth hurts but truth in love heals. There is no easy way to deal with the truth about the discovery of sin, with repentance over remorse as the goal. The Lord wanted Cain to own up to what he should have been doing. Instead of watching out for his brother, he killed him because Cain’s offering was rejected. The Lord also revealed before he murdered Abel, his brother that you are not well.
“Why are you angry? And why has your countenance fallen? If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sins lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”
The Lord said these words to protect Cain from taking sin to the next level as well as showing him how to deal with his anger and fallen countenance. The hidden thing that was in Cain’s heart was sin. The offering that Cain gave did nothing to appease the righteous God. If you look at the word “well,” it reveals that Cain was not “sound.” That’s what the word “well” means.
The remedy would have been for Cain to find a firstborn from the flock. Buy it or borrow it from Abel, repent to the Lord for bringing something that God didn’t require, but rejected, and offered the right sacrifice. God would have been pleased. He would have forgiven Cain, and everything would have been right. Abel would still have been alive.
It would have been a great way to end that story. However, Cain never got over his anger. He was jealous and envious of his brother that he was in good with God and Cain wasn’t. This resulted in Abel’s death and judgment placed upon Cain. Accountability is never pleasant but if we are to be “well or sound,” we must bring what God requires.
Remember when Naaman, the Syrian came to get heal of his leprosy through Elisha, the prophet? Elisha’s servant, Gehazi had covetousness in his heart. After Naaman was healed, he offered Elisha expensive clothing and money. Elisha refused and Naaman went his way but after a while, Gehazi went after Naaman and lied. Gehazi indicated to Naaman that Elisha changed his mind. Gehazi took the items and placed them in his tent. Elisha asked Gehazi a question and he lied to the prophet.
The combination of covetousness and lying cost Gehazi his health. Judgment fell.
Gehazi wanted to have those items. Would it have been too much for Gehazi to ask the prophet if he could go after Naaman and keep those items for himself? Perhaps, if it was forbidden by Elisha to take those items, the prohibition carried over to his servant. So the answer probably would have been no. Knowing this, Gehazi went beyond his master’s stand and covetousness clouded his vision. The results are always devastating. When Gehazi was questioned, he became defensive and lied. The prophet revealed that the Lord knows everything and the rest is history.
In this moment of accountability, what if Gehazi would have come clean and answered the question correctly? There is no question that the outcome would have been different.
The greatest fear of men is being held accountable to other men about his personal sexual life.
For most men, it is “none of your business.” However, with sexual immorality running rampant in the lives of pastors, elders, bishops, when you are dealing with holiness, righteousness, and ministering to God’s people, it is His business.
At the plains of Moab, the children of Israel lost 23,000 lives by way of the plague and God instructed Moses to hang all the leaders that joined themselves to Baal. The seriousness in approaching Secret Sexual Sins must be taken to a level where men are held accountable. However, I believe that a willingness on man’s part, brings accountability to the level where the people should know that their pastor is clean.
The downside to this is that there are many people that pry, needlessly, into a pastor’s life to uncover dirt to slander them. That’s been the issue. Women with a sinful agenda have been known to lie on a man of God. Sadly, some of these women, when they do not get what they want (sex from a preacher) they will take it to another level. They will use slander to discredit him. It becomes a “she said, he said” thing. The courts frown upon these things. Lying or perjury is still a crime.
That’s why we must be clean in everything that we do. Also, those that slander a man of God may expect the judgment of God to fall. It is not my job to tell you what kind of judgment may fall, but you do not want to be on the receiving end of any consequences from the hand of God.
In my book, Secret Sexual Sins, the Lord gave me a word that revealed the complete rule of porn and masturbation operating in men. “Secrecy is the breeding ground of sexual sins.” As long as it is kept a secret, no one really knows what’s going on. At least that’s what we falsely assume.
To keep Secret Sexual Sins out of our lives, it demands exposure and accountability. Men that were once in the sins of porn and masturbation, falsely enjoyed the “behind close doors” part of fulfilling sexual fantasy. Secrecy heightens the adrenaline rush but it also disconnects us from people. Sin always disconnects a person from the Lord. This is exactly what the devil thought when he tried to bum rush God. In order for you to be successful to go up against God (like you REALLY think you can), you have to deceive yourself into thinking that somehow, God turned off His Omniscience.
However, you do not need to watch porn to masturbate. Over the course of my walk through to deliverance, there are ways to release sexual tension without resorting to porn. Porn is just another brand of high test fuel in the world of fantasy that aids in heightening the adrenaline to falsely fulfill sexual needs. Masturbation is pretend sex. There is a need to bring accountability to another level.
All across the United States, pastors are living secret lives. These Secret Sexual Sins is what’s burning within his mind. When there is a lack of intimacy with the Lord in prayer and the Word, it is clear that he is intimate with something else.
For the last few months, the Lord impressed upon my heart to come up with some form of Sexual Accountability that would change the way we do business as pastors. Many will opt out as an unnecessary thing. From our prominent leaders to those of us that pastor smaller works, the need for measurable accountability in the area of sexual purity before God and man is even more greater. You cannot vouch for you. Your witness may be false. The witness stand must not be tainted. Your witness may not be true.
Also, lying is a part of secrecy. By measurable accountability, it is a running track record that stands before the Father that you would have to give an account of in the day of judgment. For you to say that you have not sinned, as John the apostle, said, “You lie and do not the truth.”
In the railroad industry, the riding public deserves the truth about the employees that perform critical safety sensitive jobs. Engineers, Conductors, Rail Traffic Controllers or Train Dispatchers, and Yardmasters that control switches and signal in their assigned territory must be sober, and free of any drugs while on duty. The lives of people are at stake. If the railroad hires people that have DUI problems, it spills over into these safety sensitive positions. The company is legally liable and the monetary costs of lawsuits because of negligence is in the billions of dollars. The FRA or Federal Railroad Administration requires random drug testing to ensure that the people employed in safety sensitive positions are drug free.
Random examination by an independent auditor ensures the integrity of the railroad.
If it is required in the secular job, I think that the same principle could be, and should be applied in the pulpit.
People have a right to have a sexually sober pastor in the pulpit.
By the way. When a pulpit committee or a pastoral search committee attempt to hire a pastor, just because they are married, it doesn’t mean they are clean. Under the radar are many pastors that live dark lives. From adultery to bisexuality. If you could afford it, you would do well to hire an investigator and get to understand some things before you commit to hire a pastor. Yes, it is necessary because churches have pedophiles as pastors. Criminals in the pulpit. Pastors with dark lives are a liability to the work of the ministry, and they are a clear and present danger to the church.
The problem with implementing this is the fact that pastors can lie their way out until they cross lines and the Lord exposes their sin. When judgment doesn’t come speedily, their hearts are set to do evil, as the book of the Preacher tells us.
In the coming days, restoring sexual accountability will go far in restoring integrity to the ministry.
As the late President Kennedy said, “We do not go to the moon because it is easy, but because it is hard.” With the same mindset, we do not demand sexual accountability and integrity in ministry by means of measurable accountability because it is easy, but because it is hard.
Let’s do the unthinkable, in terms of walking in the known will of God. Let’s dare to be transparent. Let’s be bold in our actions to be pleasing to the Lord. Let our righteousness exceed our predecessors until the righteousness of God completely reflects the life of Jesus as He walked the earth. Let’s walk in holiness, righteousness, and integrity, on purpose, with a God inspired purpose.
You’ve been there, time and time again. Wondering if you will ever get to the place where you will make a stand against answering the call to fulfill the lusts of your mind and flesh.
You find yourself watching women, watching men, or touching yourself. Or you hook up with that sister. You hook up with that brother.
You said that you would cut ties, or that you would never cross lines.
All for naught.
Each fall weighs heavily on your mind and you have reached the place of hopelessness.
I’ve been there. Millions of men have been there. Millions of women too.
Masturbation, sight and mental adultery, and porn was a very difficult habit to break in my life. It took a Word from the Lord at the time the Lord blessed me with a tremendous deliverance to get me to quit.
I learned that just because something is difficult it doesn’t mean that it can’t be broken.
The power of sin was broken on the cross, on the body of Jesus. But the human will to accept that fact and apply that fact to my mind and body proved more difficult to incorporate. A “what’s the use” mentality, and other notions, fueled my perverted passion to satisfy myself.
Put aside for a moment “trigger mechanisms, medicinal properties, pharmaceutical and endocrine chemical dependency adventures, love and esteem needs.”
All these things are great identifying points where sexual immorality is permitted, but the root cause of all sin is pleasure.
If sin weren’t pleasurable, you wouldn’t even consider doing it. But when we look at how the Lord is affected by what we do, we will either suppress how the Lord feels in pursuit of pleasure apart from God or we defy the Lord on the level of Zimri and Cozbi.
Too often, we look at the breach in the barrier and stand there, doubting if anything could be done to consider challenging what is in front of us. Christ made that breach so we could escape but we linger because to walk away after experiencing false pleasure after false pleasure is enough to look back……..like Lot’s wife.
When habits of the mind and body are established repetitively, to undo the training, one must find “grace to help in time of need.”
Your only chance is to completely surrender in total obedience to the grace of God.
There is a song called “Total Praise” by Richard Smallwood. I wish someone would create a song called Total Obedience.
These days, praise and worship songs of our times that exalts the name of the Lord are very popular, as they should be.
But equally important is the heart condition, before, during, and after the song is sung.
The grace of God is not pleasant. Grace demands complete severance from the utensils of sin. Jesus called it…“cut it off…”
In Setting Captives Free, the course “Way To Purity” by Mike Cleveland, he called it, “radical amputation.”
That stuck with me. There are varying degrees of where men are with the grace of deliverance necessary to stay free.
What makes deliverance sticks for some is knowing that you are accountable to other men. This is very scary and prohibitive of men because men do not like it when other men stick their noses in their sexual business. We have no problem talking about male sexual conquest but to talk repentantly about sex……..no way.
That’s part of the secrecy of Secret Sexual Sins.
Secrecy is the breeding ground of sexual sins.
Reminds me of a man that was in a fatal car accident on the FDR in Manhattan. He was wealthy and married. With children. They found out that he was seeing a mistress for a few years because that’s where he was either headed or going to.
Secrecy is the breeding ground of sexual sins.
It’s the same with a very popular football player. Steve “Air” McNair. Father of three and married. His mistress shot him five times and committed suicide after Steve dumped her. Steve found another mistress and that was the tipping point for her. She had nothing to lose, was in financial troubles, and decided to end it all.
Secrecy is the breeding ground of sexual sins.
Reminds me of Jim Bakker, sleeping with a church secretary before being convicted of fraud. Jimmy Swaggart going to a hotel room to masturbate to a stripper. Both married with children. Reminds me of Pastor Henry Lyons who used National Baptist Convention money to pay his mistress to keep quiet and live a lavish lifestyle. The wife of Henry Lyons burned the house down, literally. The mistress died in prison and Henry Lyons spent time in jail.
Secrecy is the breeding ground of sexual sins.
Chances are, each one of these men have deep secret lives of porn and masturbation. Look at the late Dr. Tims. Where did you think he got the idea of hooking up with an exotic dancer. Look no further than the Internet and porn sites.
Some of you may be thinking that bring up these sins is unjustified.
Quite the contrary.
Put my name there and I am justified.
My secret life mirrors every man that has ever watched porn and masturbated in secrecy.
Very few articles or interviews will reveal the real hidden secret life of men and identify the root cause of scandals.
Masturbation and porn in the life of powerful men.
That’s why men run from the Lord. They never come to church because they do not want to be accountable. If they do show up in church, forget about talking about what is deeply hidden in the hearts and minds of men.
It’s not that accountability would have saved these men because the person being held accountable must submit. You can’t check what is in the heart if the heart refuses to show up. That’s where the problem is.
When a man refuses to submit to measurable, confrontational, compassionate accountability, he can never be trusted.
But on the other hand, such accountability, depending upon who is doing the accounting, must be firm but fair. Not manipulative or coercive. Confrontation is like two pugilists and when one doesn’t want to be pushed, it is important to recognize that and know when to back off.
Accountability is never man assuming a God position.
Paul said this in Galatians 6:1……
“Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in the spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.”
It’s learning how to help a person through a difficult moment of trials and temptation to help him get to a place of sustained victory. Then you have to let the Lord help him with grace to stand on their own. You can’t hold your son’s hand all your life because sooner or later, your time on earth will end. But what you instill within them must suffice and then you have to commit their life into the hands of a Faithful Creator.
It’s like being a dentist in a shark tank.
For some men, they cannot touch the Internet. The trap is set. It’s a “one thing leads to another” system.
When a woman is pictured with cleavage and legs, men click the image to see more. And then it leads to other places on the Internet all the way to free porn.
Yes, I’ve been there.
In my audio blog on Secret Sexual Sins on BlogTalkRadio.com, (here is the link blogtalkradio.com/prevailingword1) I shared a testimony that I downloaded so much Internet porn that when you click on one site, a cascade of images would rain on the computer.
So much so that my laptop couldn’t handle the downloads and froze the computer. I had to shut the laptop down and restart it all over again because the images were coming too fast for the memory to handle.
There are other men that cannot turn their eyes away from women. In the store, the mall, the street, driving the car, church, work, subway, and on the bus. As soon as you see them, the mind goes into “check him or her out mode.”
It’s a search and be destroyed mission.
While at a conference with preachers, here comes this young looking girl and in fitted jeans too. So my eyes went in another direction to avoid lusting and I observed where their eyes went.
Why do I keep falling for the same thing, you are asking? It’s because we fail to realize that every part of us belongs to the Lord. God created all of our faculties and through the Word, we have an obligation to obey the Word. To stop the fall, we must obey the Word of God, without thought or question.
We must refuse to accept hopelessness and use it as an excuse to continue to fail.
We must identify what leads us from one place to anther and then make a Job 31:1 commitment with our eyes. A Matthew 5:28-30 commitment to not commit sight adultery. A 1 Corinthians 9:27 commitment to discipline and subdue the body, to literally beat our bodies into submission. A 1 Peter 5:9 and James 4:7-8 commitment to submit to God, resist the devil, drawn near to God and God drawing near to us, and cleansing our hands.
Ladies, you can reapply this or transpose this as you see fit for your sexual accountability group.
The first rule of accountability is to man up and own up.
The second rule of accountability is to obey the Word.
The third rule of accountability is never be proud of your accomplishments because you can fall at any moment.
The fourth rule of accountability is to please only one Person, the Lord.
The fifth rule of accountability is to maintain constant contact with a group of men you feel safe to trust with the secrets of your life.
Like Peter said….“if you do these things and abound, you will never fall…”
Finally, Sister Selena Mosley of Equipped For Change Ministries was challenged by an individual. This person stated that Sister Selena wasn’t delivered because she talked about homosexuality so much.
Well, the man in the tombs, who was possessed with an unclean spirit, was delivered by the Lord, the man spent time with Jesus and wanted to stay with Jesus. But the Lord told him to go and tell what great things the Lord has done for him and has had compassion on him.
Telling others about how great a deliverance the Lord gave us is what we are supposed to do. In fact, rarely do people fall when they chronicle and regularly speak of their deliverance.
Sometimes, when people do not talk about their deliverance, it’s part of their Secret Sexual Sins kind of living. I do not believe that people should be proud about “their” deliverance in terms of wearing it like a combat badge of honor. We don’t need fake heroes.
But on the other hand, others are looking for a testimony that is real and authentic. A genuine deliverance that give a person that is struggling, some hope that the grace of God does, in fact, work.
Sisters Selena Mosley, Janet Boynes, Kiana Kiwi-Dennis, Denise Jones,
Charlene E Hios, Costina Sheppard, Charlene Cothran, and all the other wonderful ladies in the Lord whom God has genuinely set free, keep telling your story.
Someone is listening.
It’s code for a pastor that had illicit sex with someone.
So let’s not trip out about the language of moral failure. Whether it’s a church secretary, a Jezebel, or he took advantage of an emotionally unstable woman, it is the most egregious act of a person of professional trust.
The sad thing is that in some churches, these things are covered up, and swept under the unholy carpet of church. To save a minister, his marriage, and his ministry is more important than discovering hidden secrets.
Psalm 90:9 says,
“You have set our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your countenance.”
Discovery of a pastor’s sins doesn’t occur after moral failure is declared. You have to go into the secret lives of men to find that moral failure occurred a long time before the incident.
It is there that we find his unbridled lusts, evil desires, and expedient life.
Few of us realize that the anointing covers a person’s flaws and failures so well. Preachers that sin sexually count on the fact that they are undetected. This is a work of deception that causes a pastor to be more daring and take further risks to satisfy sexual desires.
On the other side of this are vulnerable women that are not disciplined enough to refuse the sexual advances of her pastor. Some sexually immoral women are opportunists too. Others get caught up in the moment of unbridled lusts themselves. Holy pastors have to be very careful. Now whether sexually immoral women come on assignment or they are emotionally unstable, it is important to point out that men do take advantage.
In the book, Betrayal Of Trust, the sexually motivated male pastor is either a wanderer or a predator.
Today, there are more predators than wanderers. Even so, there are female predators that hunt passively. Pastors use their professional position to lure women to the bedroom. Power is sometimes irresistible and it’s important to separate the power from the person of power. All pastoral power is delegated. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. When a pastor exercises too much power over a person’s life, there is no question that sex is to be, and will eventually be demanded.
When you give a pastor too much control, or when a pastor is “headstrong,” they will make sexual demands. It’s a matter of time. But thank God for the wisdom of God and the exposing power of God.
Conversations that turn a different way other than the Word of God is bound to be consumed in the mind, entertained in the heart, and acted upon.
Bathsheba was a classic example.
We do not know what would have happened if she would have resisted David’s advances. In all actuality, she could have refused to come to the door. David sent men to fetch her. What if she would have ignored the knock on the door? Or what if she would have somehow sent a message to her husband on the battlefield? She obviously kept her pregnancy hidden. Urriah may have slept on his porch. But what held back Bathsheba from opening the door to explain to her husband what happened? There is not enough evidence to assume that she sexually led David on as she was bathing and we do not know how many times David observed her lustfully in his heart.
Nonetheless, the act of adultery was one worthy of the death of both Bathsheba and David.
Leviticus 20:10 says…..
“The man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, he who commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress, shall surely be put to death.”
Yes. We didn’t think about that, did we?
Remember, David had five wives. There was no need for him to pursue another woman.
Moral failure/adultery/fornication has its origin in the private, hidden lives of men.
When a man fails to renew his mind, he will fill his mind with his lusts. In addition to his lusts, he will act out these lusts in self gratification, commonly called masturbation, or he will find a warm body.
The power of his thoughts compels him to lose judgment and seek a way to fulfill his fantasy. For the most part, most women know when pastors watch a woman, it’s a fault of the undisciplined pastor’s heart and mind.
Proverbs 6:23-25 says,
“For the commandment is a lamp, and the law a light; reproofs of instruction are the way of life, to keep you from the evil woman, from the flattering tongue of a seductress. Do not lust after her beauty in your heart, nor let her allure you with her eyelids.”
Prevention of moral failure begins with what is a pastor doing in his private moments.
If he is watching women, watching porn, and gratifying himself, or having self sex issues, this is where it all begins. The culmination of a moral failure is the act of adultery. When discovery of cheating on his wife or acting out sexually is now a known fact, it’s the tip of the iceberg. It’s the shallow ground. It’s the surface of something much bigger and deeper.
Solomon loved many women. According to 1 Kings 11:3, he had 700 wives and 300 concubines. 1000 women. Talk about sexual obsession. This was Solomon’s own version of porn.
Until you get to the heart of the problem, we will always seek to keep what really goes on, hidden and the problem will resurface many times over.
How to prevent moral failure?
Pastors that lead isolated lives are the most vulnerable. If he doesn’t have friends, he will live in sin. This is called accountability. Measurable accountability.
What is measurable accountability?
Effective accountability allows for the discovery of certain activities that are evident in the life of a person coming out of sexual addiction. Both, the person rendering an account and the person helping a person to be accountable allows a time to bring out of his heart what may be things that start a person down a path of sexual sins.
I believe that accountability must be without coercion, manipulation, and control. I also believe that accountability must be safe for a pastor. Too often, accountability brings fear but under the right conditions, healthy accountability with seasoned wisdom, should quell all fears.
When a pastor or any man is afraid to talk about the hidden parts of his life, he doesn’t want accountability to turn into a witch hunt. Sometimes this witch hunt chases a person away from accountability. Sometimes it’s not an indication that something is going on but chances are, it may very well be.
Pastors with Secret Sexual Sins are very good at concealing their hearts and mind though spiritual talk. Such spiritual talk is surface talk that never permits deeper questioning. Anger, bitterness, resentment, and other negative emotions are also used to prevent further questioning. Disappearing and running from places of accountability is another tactic of avoidance.
On the other hand, when a person is looking for someone, and it is constant, it’s best to leave the situation and not resume until they come out. And when they do, it is not the time to attack them and eat them alive. It is the time to let the person that is being held accountable to confess on his own. Otherwise, you will chase him away. One of the things that has to be done is that we must never let an accountability session turn into an “I got you, sucker” moment.
Moments have to be carefully picked so as not to chase them away. There may be times where nothing has to be said because they know it and you know it. Eventually, it will come out, if any thing. If nothing happened, just keep it moving. Even if the Spirit of God showed you. If they are in denial, it’s just a matter of time before conviction sets in. And even if they do not confess, we are not God. God uses every moment and opportunity to get a person to be right before Him and not before us.
Men that feel that you are fishing for dirt will run from places of accountability. However, there have to be tough questions asked. Especially when there is a avoidance issues. Or when there is questionable issues that are left unresolved.
When it comes to accountability, it should be a place where God and His Word is ministered in love. And the truth is always to be ministered in love. We must love a person enough to tell them the truth whether they want to hear it or not.
The purpose of discovery is to expose hidden trip wires and mechanisms that lead down a path where sin is easily engaged.
Self accountability never works. An isolated person cannot make up the rules of accountability. Therefore, pastors must seek independent verifiable people to help him through the process of accountability in a truthful, honest, manner.
Under the right conditions, moral failure can be prevented. Provided that the right rule and measure is in place.
“Confess your faults one to another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed.”
The thing that must also happen is that after a season of watching them grow, unless they are a basket case, there comes a time where they have to put everything they’ve learned together. In other words, they need to be trusted. If you see that they are still wet behind the ears, they will need your accountability calls. But when they have put it all together, then they have to walk out their salvation.
Like James says, “We all stumble in many things…” but the key is to watch them enough to encourage them, coach them, help them along, and guide them enough. They have to get to the point where they have to walk on their own with little to no supervision. Until then, if they are not ready for the next step, they must willingly yield to accountability.
Most institutions and circles agree to two years of walking free of sexual addictions, same and opposite sex attractions from lust and all before ministering to others.
In looking at the man of the tombs, we do not know how long he stayed with Jesus but eventually Jesus had to cut him loose. And this is the part that we must be prepared to do. Cut them loose and let them go. Eventually, they have to walk. Sometimes holding them in a place may be detrimental to their ability to trust the Scriptures for themselves, but sooner or later, it must happen.
Moral failure is preventable. And we must do everything we can to make sure that we keep the devil out of our lives, marriages, and ministries.
HOW CAN WE PREVENT SEXUAL SCANDALS?
There is two ways that scandals could be prevented. Willful disclosure of hidden sexually immoral behavior according to Ephesians 5:8-14 or prophetic exposure according to Luke 12:2.
In both cases, God is looking to help man out of sin by any means necessary.
It is difficult to stop men of God that are bent on circumventing any principles of morals to fulfill the lusts of their flesh but God will do everything in His power to get your attention.
Sadly, every scandal from here on is only another indication that we are deep in the age of apostasy. The sins of preachers is only getting worse and it will lead many to hell on earth and a much more terrible hell under the earth.
Sadly, the people in the church will sit there and drink with these preachers. Becoming co-conspirators and cheerleading followers of their vile affections (see Romans chapter 1).
They will drink deeply of the sinful waters of sexual perversion.
Any sins committed by pastors and church folk will make the world blush in pride.
There is a problem with pastors living up to the standards of the Word of God.
Pastors that work independently and pastors that work under a ecclesiastical jurisdiction set up rarely have a place to go to to air out what is harboring in their hearts. Many pastors frown upon “inquisitions,” “personal accountability inquiries,” or other forms of measurable accountability because of what it can turn into.
When you are in sin or you have a problem with sexual addiction, you will not be quick to run to sit with somebody to ask you questions about your personal life. It is a very fearful thing to put your life out before people because your image is at stake. What people think of you determines your total outlook on yourself and ministry.
To put out your life before an accountability group requires that you be comfortable and safe. Otherwise, nothing deeply embedded in the soul will be shared. The fallen pastor must have people that either maintained the standard of holiness in the fear of the Lord or was once in the life of sin but gained victory.
Many will say that a couple of years out of sin is pretty much the standard. The more years the better because then the fallen pastor will be exposed to hear about certain tendencies and what to look out for.
At this point, never mind the self image you may have had or lost. What’s more important is what the Lord thinks about you. Can He use you or not is dependent upon how clean you become.
Coming clean about your sex life is the only way that you can be mightily used by God in the future, should you choose to accept long term measurable accountability that works.
Secret Sexual Sins is about how much sin you can commit while keeping it a secret.
If nobody knows, nobody gets hurt.
But God knows and He is already hurt if you continue to keep it a secret.
It is very easy for a pastor to hide and not be found. When it comes to men, apart from ministry, men believe that they can fix things by themselves.
In other words, male pastors go it alone.
This always leave the potential to sin and try to fix the sin by personal repentance alone. Personal repentance is fine if you are sincere about leaving sin alone, once and for all, but it is not true repentance if you return to commit the same sin over again. That’s why it is important for you to have someone to talk to or someone that can call you and see where you are.
If you go it alone, you are only opening the door for dealing with Secret Sexual Sins through remorse, not repentance. Remorse is about feeling sorry for yourself that you were caught in sin. It’s also called revolving door repentance.
To stop revolving door repentance is the ability to stop treating sin like a kid’s game.
WHAT WILL IT TAKE?
Let’s talk about..
Preventative And Measurable Accountability
It starts with an Accountability Group.
Someone that you willing submit to that will lovingly and uncompromisingly hold you accountable for your sexual integrity. Someone that can vouch for your life. Someone that can speak truth into your life whether you like it or not. Someone that can help you along the way, see ahead of you, and warn you of the dangers ahead.
Not many pastors are interested because of the price of transparency. However, if we are going to defeat sexual immorality and preserve our marriages, family, and ministries, we must leave no stone unturned.
Prevention is not a great subject these days. Too often nothing is done to prevent an accident but when an accident occurs, heaven and earth is moved to prevent another one.
Silly, isn’t it.
Sex scandals have continuously rocked the church for centuries. Yet, there has been no insistence of “measurable accountability.”
Partly for two reasons.
1. There is no contingency or template in place (bylaws-elder boards) when a scandal takes place.
2. Pastors refuse measurable preventative accountability and they refuse or circumvent remedial help or counseling after the scandal.
Sometimes, these fallen pastors impose upon themselves their own “accountability” rules.
They impose upon themselves that the ministry cannot continue without them and return too fast to the pulpit. If a child is born out of the adulterous relationship, and they do not have a job outside of pastoral duties, they will fight to stay on salary so they can be prepared to pay child support.
This is in addition to any divorce proceedings, if it goes in that direction.
They fail to spend time getting before the presence of the Lord and allow seasoned men of God to take them through the process of healing.
They fail to take the time to see to his wife’s healing, leaving her in a daze of confusion, betrayal, and embarrassment. They fail to help or get help for their suffering children and families. The church enters into an array of emotions but they hang between opinions governed by their denial and what is factual.
There is usually one reason why pastors return too soon to the pulpit.
They have their eyes on themselves and they want to save their “empire.”
The pastor takes the church and turns it into his own personal empire.
Two concepts of restoration comes to mind.
Not many fallen pastors will do what it takes to restore personal integrity. However, if you are going to come back to the pulpit, you must be willing to do the following.
1. SPIRITUAL RESTORATION
Too many pastors do not return to the Lord. They return to their ministries first, and second, they walk away from God and their wives. The first level of restoration begins with getting back in the face of God to seek His love, compassion, and grace. Too often, we run pass the Lord, and look to get back to doing what we do best.
Preaching and ministering to people.
This should be the furthest thing from your mind. God loves you. Not what you do (as far as preaching is concerned).
Yes, He called you to preach, but He called you to relate with Him.
When was the last time you were touched by God? The Lord said this to me during my season of Secret Sexual Sins. “Never forget how to be touched by God.” This didn’t ring true until there were times that the Holy Spirit brought me through seasons of repentance. The godly sorrow for sin finally hit me because I hurt God bad.
He was grieved.
False intimacy is devotion to devils at the altar of sexual immorality. There must be a serious reconnection to the Lord. A fallen pastor falls out of love with the Lord and must reconnect to the Lover of his soul. Yes, it is time to fall in love with the Lord all over again.
Otherwise, restoration in the other two areas will never happen.
2. FAMILY RESTORATION
After restoring your relationship with the Lord, your family is the next important priority, not your ministry.
You must do everything in your power to do what is right for your wife and kids. The church will go on without you, one way or another. You must get help for you and your wife, otherwise, no restorative process is worth the trouble. You are just wasting time, energy, and people’s lives.
This is a lengthy, time consuming process and it should never be rushed.
After this process of family restoration, your restorative group will recommend the next step.
3. MINISTERIAL RESTORATION
1. Submit yourself to some form of restoration process that takes control away from you of your ministry.
You cannot survive without God. Your ministry can survive without you.
2. Submit to some form of counseling. Be it anger management, sexual addiction (or any other addiction in connection), and family counseling.
3. Be prepared to share as much about your past as bearably possible. The links to your past is a track record that may reveal why you did what you did.
4. Submit to ongoing random spot checks by men of integrity. These are men that you trust your life with. Men that you confide with. Men that will hold your feet to the fire. It is painful but if you are serious about returning to the pulpit, your life needs to have measurable transparency.
These men will endorse or denounce your ministry effectiveness.
YOU ARE POWERLESS TO SELF IMPOSE A RETURN TO THE PULPIT.
Only the men that you are accountable to may recommend a return to the pulpit. Otherwise, it’s a farce.
It is very easy for a fallen pastor, after a brief absence from the pulpit, to resume ministry. He really feels he could continue to minister to others. It is a pompous display of pride and arrogance that got him into trouble in the first place.
It’s like driving a car full of explosives. It’s just a matter of time before they will blow themselves up. And inevitably, he will.
STARTING ANOTHER CHURCH OR ASSUMING THE PASTORATE ELSEWHERE
While there is no template or something etched in stone when it is feasible for a fallen pastor to return to any pulpit, there should be a reasonable time established. However, to start another church or to consider moving to another town to assume the pastorate elsewhere is not a good idea within the early stages of the restoration process.
Such a return timetable must be approved by those who hold him accountable. They must ensure that he and his family are well on their way to recovery. They must ascertain that the will of God require his restoration.
How is this done?
Gauging the health of their relationship with the Lord and his family.
Signs to look for.
1. Broken and contrite heart.
3. Willing to put off a return to any form of ministry until those involved in the redemptive restorative process see a clear display of humility or humbleness of mind.
4. Whole hearted agreement from the wife that he is ready to resume the minstry. If you do not have your wife’s unconditional support, it’s not worth the risk. That’s why family restoration will take longer than the other two areas of restoration because a breach of vows, confidence, and fidelity is not that easy to get by.
If there is anyone that should be able to vouch or question your return to the pulpit, it’s going to be your wife. She has to have confidence that you are not going to go down the path again. You owe her that much to see through the process of family restoration for as long as it takes.
God resists the proud but He also gives grace to the humble.
It is very easy to fool some of the people some of the time but God is never fooled, and God will bring certain people in your life to let you know that you can’t fool them either.
When a fallen pastor continues to speak his spiritual cliche or “anointing,” it’s a clear signal that they are not healed. When a fallen pastor speak “Biblelise” and refuse to entertain though provoking questions designed to determine where you are in the Lord, it is very plain that they are avoiding the issue.
In order to deceive, one must be deceived themselves.
Ministry is all that some pastors know. But they need to be certain that they are ready to properly balance family and ministry. Otherwise, another scandal is in the making. Most fallen pastors insist that they are ready. It never should be up to the fallen pastor to say that they are ready. It must be up to those who hold him accountable and his wife.
Anything less is failure on everyone’s part.
It is very easy to preach but it is difficult to be a child of God. Like me and every other preacher, we can preach at the drop of a hat. But can we live clean and holy before God and His people after the preaching is done?
When a fallen pastor says that they are ready, they are not.
How do I know?
If you are honest about your self assessment, you will never self rubber stamp your redemption. It is better to have others give you a truthful assessment. Self certification is a clear dis-qualifier.
Lasting redemption and restoration is an ongoing work that must have tough safeguards in place to prevent relapse. Sexual relapse is serious as a cancerous relapse.
Relapse happens in the smallest ways. During the restoration process, everyone must be on guard to address these mental and spiritual relapses. All it takes is one thought. One self sexual act to get the ball rolling. What Jesus did on a regular basis is “watch and pray.”
However, you need to have people watch and pray with you.
Everyone remembers the story of Cain and Abel. When Abel brought the sacrifice that God required, Cain brought fruit. Cain was upset that God, not Abel, rejected his offering.
God asked Cain a serious question.
“Where is your brother?”
Can answered, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
Cain threw the question right back at God.
The answer to accountability is Cain’s question.
We are our brother’s keeper or guard.
We are expected to help one another steer clear of sexual immorality by employing tough, measurable accountability.
Sadly, many pastors will live in the arena of regret.
Especially during the judgment.
But we all have a chance to deal with this issue through meaningful, loving, non condemning accountability.