Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Preacher's Wife Says She Doesn't Remember

At the first glance at this headline "Preacher's Wife Says She Doesn't Remember Pulling Trigger but Remembers Shotgun Firing" My first thought was of Hillary Clinton's Whitewater scandal defense. I wasn't sure it would work for common folk however, and especially for murder. But my second thought before I read the article was why was it important that the husband's profession be made known in the headline? Could we expect to see: "Mechanic's Wife Says..." In fact, if a mechanic kills his wife would the nation even learn of it? I'm pretty sure the answer is no.

One might conclude, with perhaps an element of truth, that the media doesn't want to miss a chance to paint "preachers" in a negative light; in this case as a hypocrite. But I think it goes deeper than that. I think the world still seeks and desires truth and righteousness; an anchor onto which they can moor their lives. Mechanics are not in the business of pointing to these things no more than are doctors or bus drivers. So never mind the media's intent if in fact their intent was to malign because as a Christian I am glad that her husband being a preacher is still worthy of a headline.

But what about this preacher? What could the wife, or the Body, have done to prevent this from happening, providing that her claims are true. I can't believe that the whole body was involved in pornography, nor that they believed that this kind of behavior was acceptable for a husband, much less a preacher. This brings to mind two points:
  1. Accountability-I'm also assuming that this preacher was under authority. If he wasn't then it brings to mind the proverb that says "there is a way that seems right to a man but in the end leads to death; in this case literally. But if he was under authority, that authority should have intervened, to the extent of bringing in law enforcement, or at the least to have provided restoration for the preacher if he were truly repentant. There is also an asumption that here that there were indications; which brings me to my second point.
  2. A place of refuge-This is a little more difficult, and points even more to the failures of the modern church. The preacher that stands in the pulpit on Sunday morning and feeds the sheep is the "Man of God". As the Body I think there is a reluctance to think that this man could be struggling with the sin of pornography and spousal abuse, or any egregious sin for that matter. Perhaps that's why this deteriorated to this point. But as believers, we must grasp and hold the understanding of the complete depravity of man, including the "man of God" if we are to be a refuge for the suffering in our midst. We have to understand that not one of us-man of God or no-has been spared from sin, and so is above confrontation, especially within our own midst. We can't build our world on "preachers", and I believe that a good preacher now would be saying amen, because the preacher was not built to handle such a load. We have to be open to possibility that our preacher is in need of loving restoration, and provide a place for him to confess and repent, as well as a place for his spouse to seek refuge from him if he doesn't.

So now the preacher's dead, the wife could go to prison, and the three children are orphaned, a tragedy in our own ranks that should cause us to rip our clothes and heap ashes on our heads. May God have mercy on us, and the nation we are here to preserve.

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