PERILS OF THE PROFESSIONALLY HOLY

Her face was convulsed with emotion as tears ran down her cheeks, her hands twisting a forgotten handkerchief into a tight knot. She finally choked out the reason she wouldn't go near church: "I was baptized almost seven years ago. The preacher called and convinced me that's what I needed to do. We went right to the church, just the two of us, and he baptized me. Then he came into my dressing room and made a pass at me!"

As she told me her story, I was shocked. An extreme event? Yes. Appalling? Atypical? Yes, but sadly not a unique or isolated occurrence. Even some of the churches I've been associated with have had to ask for a preacher's resignation because of sexual misconduct.

So why the sexual failings, especially among ministers? A lack of Christian devotion or sincerity is rarely to blame. I suspect something more insidious is behind the problem. I've noticed three subtle but powerful dangers that cause extra temptation for the "professionally religious":

Overfamiliarity with God. ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe to Christianity Today magazine. Subscribers have full digital access to CT Pastors articles.

June
Subscribe to CT and get one year free.
Homepage Subscription Panel
Read These Next
close