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Taking the Unpopular Stand

How our stand is received is determined more by how we treat people than how we marshal our argument.

— Jack Hayford

At a convention attended by several thousand ministers and church leaders, I was scheduled to bring the second plenary message. The first speaker was a close friend, and as I sat on the platform listening to his message, I was deeply troubled.

He was speaking about a prominent leader who had recently failed morally. Yet in his effort to show forgiveness and acceptance, I felt he was glossing over the biblical requirements for being restored to leadership. I was more troubled when the majority of the congregation responded with applause and amens. They were affirming the principle of forgiveness, which I, of course, fully endorsed. But they were not being led to discern the other side of the issue: this leader must, by biblical standards, enter a time of accountable restoration.

I was about to follow my friend in the pulpit, and my spirit was pressed to bring balance into the ...

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