The Prodigal Daughter

What I said when a pastor friend asked me to preach after his daughter strayed.
The Prodigal Daughter

I often met with a minister friend to share everything from our family life, to personal struggles, to our ministry victories and challenges. One item that often came up was how to handle issues of discipline in the church. One day my friend shared with me how strict he was when dealing with matters of sexual immorality in the church.

"I preach righteousness," he said, "and I stand for it. If someone is caught in sin, I don't care who they are, they have to confess their sin before the whole church, and then I put them under discipline for six months. During this time they cannot do anything in the church except attend. This is necessary for the purity of the church, and I will never bend from that." I tried to offer a different, more nuanced, perspective, but he was convinced his way was the only way, so I let it be.

A few months after that conversation, my pastor friend's only daughter, who was unmarried, broke the news to her parents that she was two ...

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