Tuesday, May 29, 2012

This is a needed reminder for those of us in full-time pastoral ministry. God's Word demands that we be above-reproach & integrity-filled when it comes to our sexual purity. 

Here are Armstrong’s eight suggested ways that pastors should plan to prevent sexual sin (pp. 174–81):
  1. “Understand the nature of sexual temptation.” “In two areas, traveling and counseling, a pastor must take precautions.” [Cf. Josh Harris on how guys and girls are “wired” differently sexually.]
  2. “Understand the power of the seductive woman.” “The pastor must be especially careful to guard himself when he detects the first mannerisms that indicate a woman may have feelings that are beyond those of a healthy and pure relationship.”
  3. “Guard your mind.” “The pastor must guard his mind by staying away from explicitly erotic material, as well as television programs and images that fuel the fires of lust. . . . Pornography surrounds us, acting as a poison that corrupts healthy sexuality.” [Cf. Joe Tyrpak, "Help for Fighting Lust: A Meditation Plan"; Mike Salvati, "The God of Truth and the Lies of Porn."]
  4. “Cultivate and protect your own marriage.” “This seems to be the plainest meaning of the wisdom given in Proverbs 5:15–23: You must enjoy your wife physically and her alone.”
  5. “Take precautions as you minister.” “The wise pastor cannot be overly careful.” [Cf. Mark Minnick, "Maintaining Moral Purity in the Ministry."]
  6. “Maintain relationships where accountability is real.” “Every pastor needs several relationships where he is mutually accountable for his actions and relationships with others.” [Cf. Phil Gons, Matthew Hoskinson, and Andy Naselli, "Accountability."]
  7. “Cultivate your spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being.” “You must know yourself and take care of your body and soul to remain strong.”
  8. “Consider regularly the consequences of sexual sin.” “What will this sin mean to your wife? Your children? Your congregation? Your closest friends? Your future ministry? We need to do this because the outcome of this particular sin is so deceiving.” [Cf. Randy Alcorn's "purity principle": purity is always smart; impurity is always stupid.]
From: John H. Armstrong. The Stain That Stays: The Church’s Response to the Sexual Misconduct of Its Leaders. Fearn, Scotland: Christian Focus Publications; Reformation and Revival Ministries, 2000.

HT: Andy Naselli

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