Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Day 30 of Lent, Tuesday, April 8, 2014

“Whoever hasn’t sinned should throw the first stone.”

                 Jesus of Nazareth, John 8:7 (Common English Bible)

Pastor Bob Coy
Pastor Bob Coy of megachurch Calvary Chapel of Fort Lauderdale, Florida resigned as the senior pastor on Thursday, April 3, 2014. He did so after confessing to cheating on his wife. 

The church is rather large with 20,000 attendees on 10 different campuses each weekend.

Calvary Chapel identifies itself as a balance between fundamentalism and Pentecostalism.  

This news will impact a lot of people who are faithful and have worshiped with Coy at the helm since 1985 when he founded the congregation.  

Unfortunately, this story is not that unique.  We seem to hear this story of pastors falling to sexual temptation rather often.  The difficulty of the pastor-parishioner relationship is unique.  There is a lot of trust involved and a lot of vulnerability shared.  There is power within this relationship.  When a pastor makes advances to a church member or even if the pastor simply succumbs to advances of a parishioner, the power in the relationship is such that the pastor abuses the person involved.

It is easy to pile on to a pastor who tends to be judgmental of others.  I remember thinking that this was justice indeed when Jimmy Swaggart was found guilty of the same infidelity as Jim Bakker.  Especially after Swaggart was one of Bakker's harshest critics when the news first broke.

Hopefully, I've grown since then and don't relish when another person is found out to be more sinful than realized.

I'll keep Pastor Coy and his congregation in my prayers.  And it will serve as a reminder to be watchful of temptation.  Good practices between pastor and congregation such as keeping office visits at a time when others are in the building are helpful.  As you consider your own fidelity - whether in marriage or singleness - not putting yourself in situations that could lead to things you normally wouldn't consider is key.

 As we think about it, I'm sure Bob Coy never set out to have an affair.

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