Ed Stetzer writes in Christianity Today about pastors who are finding themselves on the Ashley Madison list.
Based on my conversations with leaders from several denominations in the U.S. and Canada, I estimate that at least 400 church leaders (pastors, elders, staff, deacons, etc.) will be resigning Sunday. (Due to being on the Ashley Madison List)
I’m not surprised.
This isn’t a dig. Oh, sure, I’ve been making digs at the Duggar family for Josh’s (many!) indiscretions. But mostly that is because they have made a name for themselves as a literal “Holier than Thou” family. They are suffering from a poverty of humility.
From Steve Farrar’s book, “Finishing Strong“ (published in 2000):
A number of years ago a national conference for church youth directors was held at a major hotel in a city in the mid-west. Youth pastors by the hundreds flooded into that hotel and took nearly every room. At the conclusion of the conference, the hotel manager told the conference administrator that the number of guests who tuned into the adult movie channel broke the previous record, far and away outdoing any other convention in the history of the hotel.
The consumption of “porn on demand” in hotels during Christian conferences has been noted since the ’90’s. Pastors, Churches, and major religious bodies have been publicly warning their flocks that they are being watched. But the warnings never worked because “Plausible deniability” made it all too easy.
Non-Christians fail too. But even very public non-Christians generate little more than a “meh” in the media when they are caught cheating.
This deficit of humility, this hypocrisy, this facade of pretending that biological urges don’t exist, and the refusal to have frank and rational discussions about human sexuality is chipping away at religion like an ice pick.
The Church is portraying itself as rigid, unyielding, and impassive toward those who are vulnerable. It is seen as being unable to live up to its own ideas.
No wonder church attendance is dropping among young people. The youth of this generation is having this conversation. And they are noticing who is telling them to “shut up” about it.