Pastors and ministers that operate covertly do so for one reason, continuation of their Secret.
Galatians 6:1 says “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.”
To get to the gist of this, the debate is more about how soon should a pastor or praise and worship leader, or any minister be restored to minister?
While there is no Biblical example of a timeframe in which a person could minister again, we know that the current examples set the bar very low as to how soon one could be restored.
First things first.
Each person’s temperament is different, but the Lord and His Word is the same.
When it comes to Secret Sexual Sins, this is where it all must begin.
It was once said that a person shouldn’t be “too transparent.”
We all know that if we are going to kill something, full disclosure is required. To leave out any details, sensible details lacking salacious statements, is the kind of concealment that most men and women depend on.
A balance has to be struck as to what is reasonably transparent and sharing declaratively forbidden salacious details.
It’s in the secrecy of a thing that a person could easily return to commit sexual sins. Therefore, it must be noted that for any one to recognize contriteness of heart, the degree of a person’s divulging of his or her heart, fully opens up the heart to receive the healing touch of the merciful love of God.
Psalm 40:11 “Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O Lord;
Let Your lovingkindness and Your truth continually preserve me.”
We ask the Lord to do this for us but what are we willing to do to receive all of it?
James 5:16 says, “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed.”
Notice that “trespasses” is plural. Now the argument that will be stated that James didn’t say “confess ALL your trespasses…..”
The price of receiving His lovingkindness and tender mercies may require that you confess your trespasses to one another.
The power of the disease is not just the sexual immorality committed in the life of a pastor and his adulteress partner.
It’s in the secrecy.
John 3:19-21 says “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.”
This is true for believers as well. Believers that desire to commit sin will work secrecy in the same manner. But to work the works of darkness, a believer must come out of the light and leave holiness at the door of the house of sin.
Secrecy is the mode of operation because if few to none know about what went on, you can continue to minister like nothing happened. But few of us read the story of David. Or we totally ignore it.
Especially when the prophet, by the Holy Spirit, revealed David’s sins, hidden in secrecy.
While I was in the Secret Sexual Sins of porn and masturbation, I rarely, if not at all, mentioned holiness, sexual sins, unless it was just homosexuality, and deliberately avoided my own personal life.
The purpose was that if I didn’t own up to these sins, I can continue in the sinful pleasures of the world. I would quickly ask God for forgiveness, in vain, preach, and then go back to the vomit. I suppressed the convicting power of God for that two hours of being in church.
One of the things that you are aware of is that you know you lied to God. I wasn’t serious about repentance. It was all a hypocritical joke. My life busted the sides of the devils as they were laughing at me about how I was running my life.
Today, the Lord showed me what these devils were saying about me. No one likes being laughed at like a fool.
“If only he knew how he could be free.”
To be free, I must give up ALL MY SECRETS.
I must expose what I’ve done in darkness.
Paul said in Ephesians 5:11-13 “And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light.”
I had to painfully expose these areas in my life in order to be free.
Psalm 90:8 “You have set our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your countenance.”
It’s not that the secret sins were freshly discovered. God knew about this before I was born. He was just waiting to see if I would decide to keep myself by His grace, or fall into sin. He was prepared to go in either direction. Because He knows all things.
It’s only until a man or a woman Come Clean and put it all on the table that restoration may be fully extended.
Of course there are many variables and accountability patterns that must be initiated and set up for the rest of his or her life, but until the secrets are revealed in confidence and safety, to even consider restoration to the pulpit is folly.
The path to the restoration of ministry is blocked until there is a restoration of the relationship a man had with God.
God has to to trust you all over again but from the secret place in prayer, fasting, repentance that sticks, to establish righteousness and true holiness. With no exits to sin against God again.
For they will fall again if pastors are not serious.
The power of the enemy is deprived when the secret is out. And the secret will come out, one way or another.
Restoration to the ministry should be a zero factor until things are properly set in order.
Just like when president Obama announced a date for troop withdrawals from Iraq and Afghanistan, the enemy just waited for that date to come.
Hence, the emergence of ISIS.
It’s the same with sinful ministers that love their sin more than they love God. Devils wait for the day you return to the ministry, and they bring their best sexual sins tools to tempt you to sin again.
Because the devils know that you haven’t killed Goliath in your flesh, but it’s not so much the devils. It’s you. Your thirst to fulfill lust in your mind and flesh.
The whole purpose of keeping the secret alive is to continue in sin.
If we look forward to the day of getting back into the pulpit, then we are missing the point.
A pulpit without God is no different than hell without God.
God will not partner with a preacher that is intent on keeping his sins.
This is what secrecy is all about.
The ability to continue in sin while pretending that everything is all right.
Finally, accountability teams are great and very helpful to ministers caught in Secret Sexual Sins, but if it is to get to the root of the problem, tough love accountability must be instituted from start to finish.
The sinning minister must not have control over establishing any date of return to the pulpit. Should a sinning minister refuse to endure the entire process and submit to Biblical accountability, there is nothing that anyone, including God could do.
Besides, what more important is not the pulpit but his heart.
If his heart is not right, then he is abusing the grace of God and there is no mercy available until there is a “confession and a forsaking.” (see Proverbs 28:13).
Make no mistake about it.
One moment of sin is not worth an eternity in hell.
A fallen minister must be broken before God. The fear of God must be restored. The contrite heart must be the lifestyle for the rest of his or her life.
And secrecy must be destroyed.
There can be no exceptions.
An article regarding Billy Graham’s grandson and his sexual immorality apparently spurned by his wife could be read here.
What is a secret?
“Something that should remain hidden from others (especially information that is not to be passed on).”
But it also means….“designed to elude detection.”
Men love to keep hidden their sexual preferences until they are with a male or female prostitute, a sexually immoral woman, or by themselves with self sex.
Many of us have things done to us in the past during our youth. Things that will go with people into eternity. The body may be placed in the box, but what was done lives on.
But while we are in this life, we either choose to keep it a secret, or we find someone in the flesh that we can trust to “unload” the burden.
That’s one reason…the burden.
It gets heavier because the pain of holding the weight increases. It pushes a person into a seemingly hopeless state.
The other reason is….to keep the sin going, no one must know. It’s devastating when news is released that reveals what you have been doing. You’ve reached the depths of sin, but when it comes to sin, the staircase continues downward.
Darker and darker into the abyss.
And that’s the dark world of sexual immorality. Watching and participating in the world of porn, self gratification, and other activities. No one should know what I’ve been up to. But God already knew what you did last night.
The power of secrecy keeps your sexual sins and activities, and your real dark personality anonymous. The darker, the better. Especially when you are ready to cross certain lines that you say you never would cross.
The successful concealment of past activities emboldens us all.
If no one knows about what I did, they must never know what I am about to do.
For some, secrecy adds to the adrenaline rush. That excitement of getting off adds to the sexual satisfaction. Anticipation, is making me wait.
And you intend to keep it that way. If no one knows, no one gets hurt. But there comes a point where you will make a mistake. Where you have already left a trail. Every man gets to the intersection of discovery.
The place where what you’ve successfully covered, inevitably, will be exposed.
Luke 12:2 says (NIV and NLT)….“There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.”
“The time is coming when everything will be revealed; all that is secret will be made public.”
There was a Dateline Predator show by Chris Hansen done a few years ago. This show was about predators talking online with a decoy, pretending to be underage, and available for sex. The online predators would talk with them on the Internet, using undeniable explicit language and pictures, and then they would meet at a specified house for sex.
Homosexuals and straight men.
Some of them were married, with children, with great paying jobs. Others were out right criminals. Sexual predators and registered sex offenders. One case involved a person who is about to do time for being a sexual predator and was on his way to jail. But needed to make one more move before heading to prison.
Well, he was caught and arrested….again.
As soon and Chris Hansen introduced himself, he would tell these predators that they were free to go. Then, as soon as they made for the exit, thinking that they would evade and escape, the police would pounce on them.
Some of them cried like babies.
Some of them cried out loud, wondering how they are going to explain this to their wives.
In many of our churches, underneath the robe of pastors, are sexual deviants. One married with five children pastor allegedly did sexting to a 13 year old child. Technology is now the means of sexual predators and that, nasty pastors.
Behind the shout, hand lifting, “anointing,” and power of God, are preachers living secret lives.
The lust in the hearts of preacher is stronger than most could think. For the preacher, it is an advantage because……
“The anointing can dress up a bum.”
He doesn’t have to have Brylecreem or jehri curls to look good because the oratorical skills, his savvy way with words, and personality is enough to sway even the elect to engage in Secret Sexual Sins.
But the power to exercise some form of persuasive and seductive influence, the use of one’s professional position is enough to exploit the vulnerable. The innocent. The gullible.
What is behind all this sin in the pulpit?
The power of the secret.
As with all scandals that pastors experience, it goes much deeper than what took place, as far as the affair is concerned. The affair, excuse me… adultery, is just the revelation of a long list of Secret Sexual Sins committed by a person for months, maybe even years.
The lust that is in the hearts of men. The roaming of the eyes. The touching of one’s self sexually.
The desire to have sex is placed in us by the Lord but what happens is that because of the lie of dissatisfaction, engaging in dark places to let emerge hidden dark desires, compels a man to explore extramarital sex.
Proverbs 27:20 says, “Hell and destruction are never full, so the eyes of a man are never satisfied.”
God designed sex to be enjoyed and experienced by one man and one woman that is married (see Genesis 2:24). Sex outside of marriage only invites judgment and death (see Hebrews 13:4 and James 1:15).
So extramarital sex is just a person that is out of control. For the born again believer, the fruit of the Spirit is self control. When we receive Jesus as Lord, we are now capable of self control. Whether we act on, or employ self control is completely a decision that must be made, before the next move is made.
Behind the secrets of men reveals a person that is not in control. To be in control means that you know how to subdue yourself and discipline yourself (see 1 Corinthians 9:27).
But it also means that exposure and discovery must take place (see John 3:20-21 and Ephesians 5:8-16).
We men are seldom honest about ourselves. We know that sexual sins stuff is going on in our minds and hearts, and flesh, but to tell someone about the reality of what our minds and flesh encounters, to keep that a secret, allows the world of fantasy to reign supreme.
Unchecked and unchallenged, we can look like we are thinking about God and harbor the sexual objectification shape of a woman or man in our minds. We can easily, and simultaneously suppress the conscience and the Holy Spirit’s convicting power to conveniently file that, and many other sexual images (see Galatians 5:16-21).
Now what if you are practicing these things?
Look closely at verse 21.
When you struggle and fail, you are not struggling, you practiced.
You see, there is a vast difference between the struggle and the practice.
When you are struggling, you are fighting not to let it overcome you, and you intend to win before crossing the line. Struggle and fail is not the goal. Struggle and win over the flesh and mind’s urge and impulses is the achievable, actionable goal.
For married men, it is about controlling sexual urges and impulses until it is time, within marriage, to have sex.
As far as masturbation, it is about shutting it down and declaring it as sin.
Masturbation is a selfish act that defies the purpose of sex as designed by God called the “one flesh” principle of Genesis 2:24.
Self sex is unnecessary if you are married.
For single men, it is called “abstinence.”
So to move from abstinence to self control or managing sex, you need to get married to a woman.
On the other hand. There is no “struggle.”
There is just a willful desire to quickly subdue any attempt to resist false, or fantasy sex.
In other words, you’ve consciously made up your mind to sin.
Speaking for me, for 33 years, there was no struggle.
There was an intentional, deliberate act to sin. The mind was made up. Provision to sin was already a done deal (see Romans 13:11-14).
When you are not willing to discuss with another trusted person or persons what is really going on in your heart, mind, and flesh, such refusal only opens the door for sexual trouble.
As always, one thing always leads to another.
The lines we say we would never cross, eventually get crossed. And we inherit the whirlwind.
So what are we to do?
Many men will keep their secrets. Many will refuse to tell a soul.
But some are ready to toss the secret for freedom in Christ.
“If therefore the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.”
Wives will wonder why they are no longer sexually attractive to their husbands. Many will go for months without sex. Many will live with the knowledge of a man’s secret, and not say a word. Some (very,very few) will even go and do likewise behind their husband’s back- so few because most women want to maintain their marriages.
So how does a man break his secrets?
He must get the courage before he crosses another line. When a man knows that something is about to go down, it is his inner intuition, conscience, voice of his spirit and human reasoning, that when you are contemplating going to the next level that you begin to get warning signs that something is about to be set off.
Most men mistakenly bypass the stop sign and either hit something or they get hit. Failure to heed the warning brings the consequences to bear on a man where the cost is beyond what’s left in the account of grace.
Then again, the last measure of grace may be hidden in the backseat of a police car.
Or you, perhaps, ran out of grace and ran right into mercy. The prison house.
And for others, neither is available.
“You have set our iniquities before You, our SECRET SINS in the light of Your countenance.” Psalm 90:8-9
In the last two blogs, a lot of doctrine came out. Now the ball is in your court.
What are you willing to do to stop the battle of constant perverted sexual thoughts in your mind?
It is very easy to point to Romans 12:1-2 and Ephesians 4:23.
We often say that we have to renew our minds but do we make the quality effort to completely allow the Holy Spirit to purge our mind? And after the purging, do we really listen to the Holy Spirit when He directs us to change what we are currently thinking? The soul is very powerful but the soul is second in the tri-part makeup of man.
Therefore, it is the born again spirit of man, by the aid of the Holy Spirit, that must reign in the thoughts of the soul, and subjugate the soul to think about the Word of God.
Subjugate is a very strong word but it is a necessary word because that’s what we have to do if we are going to be serious about battling sexual thoughts (see 1 Corinthians 9:27).
At first, it’s not easy but the more you develop submission to God and resist the devil (see James 4:7 and 1 Peter 5:8-9), over time, you will be able to quickly identify 1.) demonic attempts to generate certain sexual perverted thoughts and 2.) self generated perverted sexual thoughts.
When you are generating perverted sexual thoughts on your own, it’s because you’ve given yourself over to thinking those thoughts.
Act 6:4 is a very powerful Scripture. The apostles were challenged to serve tables and said that they wouldn’t do that. They told them to pick seven men to serve. They also said, “But we will give ourselves continually to prayer and the ministry of the Word.”
In 1 Corinthians 6:12, Paul said,
“All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.”
You see, it is a matter of the will and what you want to have dominate your life. Anything that tells you what to do is exercising dominion over you. Just because “urges and impulses” for sex comes, it doesn’t mean that you have to yield to its control to be brought under its power.
You can give yourself to anything you want. You are in control. That’s why if you do not “Keep your heart with all diligence…” you will succumb or yield your soul (mind, emotions, intellect, personality, human will) to think perverted thoughts.
The Word of God serves to cleanse (Ephesians 4:26) and expose (Ephesians 5:11). The more you meditate on the Word of God, day and night (Joshua 1:8), the more you “prosper” and have “good success”…. over the forces of darkness.
Psalm 119:130 says,
“The entrance of Your words give light; it gives understanding to the simple (gullible).”
So when you read the Word of God. Purposefully read the Word of God, the light of His Word comes into the soul and heart of man. Then we make the quality effort to “do the Word.” (see James 1:22).
The proof that the entrance of the Word came into your heart is in the immediacy of obedience during moments that darkness is strongly using its influence to get you to make a decision to shut the light off.
Darkness cannot win until you shut the light off.
The only place where success is measured is in your willingness to quickly and promptly obey the Word at the point and moments when you are being influenced by the forces of darkness. You have to choose to walk in the light of the Word instead of intentionally choosing to ignore the Word.
Psalm 119:105 says,
“Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”
Lamp to my feet implies that you are closely watching every step that you take and make.
Light to your path implies that you can see what is ahead so you could plan where you intend to put your feet or to avoid pits, and other obstacles.
It also implies that you are walking in darkness and the only thing that can illuminate your path is the Word of God (see Romans 13:11-14).
Let the Word of God be the flashlight so you can see where you put your feet and also to look ahead so you can see where you are going.
Have you ever driven a car without your headlights on?
While it was safe, I wanted to see how dark it would be. Just for a split second at night, I shut off the lights and I couldn’t see a thing. It was pitch black.
Folks, it’s the same when we do not have the Word.
It is pitch black out there when we intentionally turn the light of His Word off.
“What are you doing with your moments, son?
You see, this question answered why I was so corrupt in my thinking.
Every moment, I thought about the sexual explicit forms of women. I meditated on it day and night. I woke up every morning, looking to get off. I went to bed almost every night, getting off. The saying is true. You are what you eat. You are what you meditate on. Whatever you sow, that is what you will reap. If you sow to the flesh, of the flesh you shall reap corruption.
When you sow corruption, you reap corruption.
On the other hand, I choked the Word of God out of my life. I didn’t give the Word any entrance into my own soul. I was dark, cold, and without life.
I was born again, but living a carnal life. There was no real connection to the Lord. I was living a life of hypocrisy until God was about to expose me. I don’t know what He would have done but I knew that time was running out for me.
The promise of exposure, because God never threatens, was enough for me to come clean.
You must learn to identify innocent moments that serve as subliminal attempts of the forces of darkness to get you to accept the seeds of darkness that, when watered, bloom into sexual immorality.
The newsstand, the grocery store magazine rack. The Internet, commercialized with sexually laced articles and images. Youtube. Sex laced jokes among carnal and sinful friends. Movies with bombshell seductresses every where. Soft porn at PG rated movies. Commercials with sex themes to sell their products. Store catalogues, and the women’s section of underwear in the stores.
These are all substitute porn.
In Romans 7:24, Paul said this….
“O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?”
Verse 25 gives the answer….
“I thank God- through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
These area are all blatant and seemingly innocent attempts of the forces of darkness to get your soul to thinking these substitute porn thoughts to lure you back into sexual bondage.
All seeds need cultivation. Meditation is the mulling over of things. That’s how the Word of God is cultivated and that’s how the seeds of darkness are cultivated too.
When I came clean about my Secret Sexual Sins, I needed to confront the deep dark secrets of lust in my own heart. I took a course called Way To Purity by Mike Cleveland of Setting Captives Free.
By the way, please go to my Sexual Addiction Recovery page and that will take you to the links to help you recover from sexual addiction.
By a few courses, I figured I would give them answers in their questionnaires that showed my Scriptural knowledge to “impress” them.
All of a sudden, they shared that many of those caught in the sins of porn and masturbation have a lot of Bible knowledge and no humility to be taught.
It was a revelation of the fact that pride and arrogance resided very strongly in me.
It was a revelation of the fact that deflection was a part of my ability to keep the truth from shining inside my dark heart. It’s one thing to be responsible for the sins committed but it is another thing to relinquish the male phycological gamesmanship in the perverted soul.
Just like alcoholics that think that they could handle their liquor. Sex addicts believe that they can handle sex.
I had to relinquish my ability to impress people because that was part of my cover for Secret Sexual Sins. If I could “wow” them, they would never know what was going on in my dark heart. I needed to humble myself and disarm this thing because it would be a matter of time before these same mechanisms that held me captive would be used again to enter into relapse.
Paul said this,
“Knowledge puffs up…”
The thing about battling warfare is that when we exalt ourselves above measure in the mind, a superiority complex enters and we believe that we got sexual addiction licked. And that’s exactly what the enemy waits for. He waits to see if you are going to be very prideful about God’s deliverance in your life. And it’s just a matter of time before the temptation comes to directly challenge your freedom and liberty in the Lord.
This is a work of grace and if you forget this, that God is the one that delivered you and that it is His Word, and not yours, that did the work, you will fall every time.
So what did you learn from all of this?
Can you take what was shared and be diligent to employ the Word?
Anyone can pray, cast out devils by shouting at them, and fall when you do not take heed.
But the real warfare is when you can employ the Word when there is no one in the flesh to impress. In other words, there is no one watching you so that they could applaud your “works.”
It’s the battle of sexual thoughts and what you choose to do with them that determines the true measure of your victory or defeat in the realm of Secret Sexual Sins.