If there were a binding contract to sign before entering ministry, the fine print would include: "The undersigned acknowledges that the pastoral ministry may be hazardous and subject the undersigned to expressions of animosity, including but not limited to calumny, slander, misrepresentation, and betrayal."

Being betrayed is so profoundly painful few pastors can talk about it—yet if they do open up, they can't stop talking about what happened to them.

Let's admit what most seminary classes and church-leadership seminars skip over: being betrayed is fairly common for godly leaders. I just made a mental list of 12 pastors and Christian leaders I know who have experienced serious and significant betrayal.

David had his Absalom. Paul had his Demas, who deserted him, and Alexander the coppersmith, who "has done me much harm." Jesus had Iscariot.

We now know all about Judas, so the story may hold little drama for us. We forget that Jesus chose Judas after praying all night. They spent every ...

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