Jump directly to the Content

When Categories Aren't Clear

It is only by risking our persons from one hour to another that we live at all. And often enough our faith beforehand in an uncertified result is the only thing that makes the result come true.
William James1

As you probably have suspected, there isn't always a clear-cut distinction between theological, institutional, interpersonal, and personal decisions. Many risks combine elements from several categories. One pastor remembered a particularly difficult example.

"We had a highly gifted young man in our church. He was well-loved, a graduate student, our youth group sponsor. He seemed to everyone a devoted, responsible person. He and his wife were especially close to another couple in the church with several children. John became close to one of them, an elementary school boy — so close that during a period of severe academic and marital stress, John became involved in some sexual games with this youngster.

"I'd had a particularly exhausting week. The church had been through several tragedies ...

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.

Tags:
Posted:
September
Support Our Work

Subscribe to CT for less than $4.25/month

Homepage Subscription Panel

Read These Next

From the Magazine
Revelation Is Good News for Today, not a Game Plan for the Future
Revelation Is Good News for Today, not a Game Plan for the Future
For a clearer picture of this mysterious book, try trading a prediction lens for a missional lens.
Editor's Pick
Rebuilding Church Community: What’s Actually Working?
Rebuilding Church Community: What’s Actually Working?
Pastors respond.
close