3 | Melanoma
This excerpt is from our chapter on personal holiness:
"I have seen, first-hand, the devastation that comes on Jesus’ people and the disgrace that it brings to the gospel when pastors allow for this kind of a sinful disconnect to grow between their public and personal lives. The church that I grew up in is no longer there because the pastor hid more sin in his closet that E.L. James puts in her books. The Christian undergraduate school I attended deposed their president because he was using school funds to throw sweet sixteen bashes for his daughters in the Bahamas and ordering school employees to escort red Lexuses from Atlanta to Tulsa for his wife. The city I grew up in is now Hollywood-famous for decades of secret sins committed by rapist priests. The church building that Seven Mile Road now worships in was home to a congregation that closed overnight after its young pastor committed adultery with a daughter of the church. This was a sin so devastating that after their final service they locked the doors and never came back. When we toured the space with a real estate agent, it appeared the congregation had been raptured. Coffee was still in the pot, sheet music still on the music stands, the pall of his betrayal still thick in the air. I am not throwing rocks at these men or slandering the dead. I am saying that I could easily get to the place where my name is added to that list. And it wouldn’t start with having an affair, or stealing money, or freaking out on someone in the parking lot. It would begin with my letting seemingly innocuous sin go unaddressed, with allowing for a little disalignment between my public and private lives, with treating personal holiness as optional as long as my public ministry was intact, with buying the lie that the success of my ministry hinges on how I present and not how I live."