Saturday, January 24, 2009

Secrecy in Churches

What's with secrecy and churches? Are they not to do things in the light, not in darkness, with a clear conscience before God (if they even have that)?

Act 24:16 So I always take pains to have a clear conscience toward both God and man.

2Co 1:12 For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you.

2Co 4:2 But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice cunning or to tamper with God's word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone's conscience in the sight of God.

Heb 13:18 Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things.

Scripture is clear on how we are to deal with all people in God's sight. So why do churches deal in darkness and secrecy? The latest news on Ted Haggard, the homosexual/bisexual (he says he can't be pinned down on his catagory) is that he was involved in homosexual sodomy with a young man at his church during the time he also paid a male sodomite for sex. The Associated Press article says:

Brady Boyd, who succeeded Haggard as senior pastor of the 10,000-member New Life Church in Colorado Springs, told The Associated Press that the man came forward to church officials in late 2006 shortly after a Denver male prostitute claimed to have had a three-year cash-for-sex relationship with Haggard.

Boyd said an "overwhelming pool of evidence" pointed to an "inappropriate, consensual sexual relationship" that "went on for a long period of time ... it wasn't a one-time act." Boyd said the man was in his early 20s at the time. He said he was certain the man was of legal age when it began.

Boyd said the church reached a legal settlement to pay the man for counseling and college tuition, with one condition being that none of the parties involved discuss the matter publicly.
Boyd said a Colorado Springs TV station reached him Thursday to say the young man was planning to provide a detailed report of his relationship with Haggard to the station. Boyd said the church preferred to keep the matter private, but it was the man's decision to go public....

Anticipating criticism of the settlement with the former church volunteer, Boyd said Friday that it was in the best interests of all involved. He would not name the volunteer or the settlement amount.

"It wasn't at all a settlement to make him be quiet or not tell his story," Boyd said. "Our desire was to help him. Here was a young man who wanted to get on with his life. We considered it more compassionate assistance - certainly not hush money. I know what's what everyone will want to say because that's the most salacious thing to say, but that's not at all what it was."
He said that "secondarily, it's not great for our church either" that the story be told. Boyd said Haggard knew about the settlement two years ago.

End quote.

Money cannot make something better. That's what the world says and that "church" who uses Jesus' name and has a few Bible laying around, should KNOW THAT. It was hush money, by any other name. It was to make the problem go away. There should've been church discipline as well. They kept this from the congregation and the public, and all parties were silent on this issue when Haggard came out last year. Silence on gross sin such as this is also sin.

Another example is here and here.

These echo my own experience at our old church where secrecy was the key to "dealing" with dissenters like myself and my husband, or questions of accountability regarding a building fund and mass production of a dvd to manipulate people into giving.

This is NOT how we see leadership in Scripture. Shame on elders who can't do things with a clear conscience before God AND man. Clearly they know they are in the wrong, otherwise they would do things out in the open and trust the Master for the outcome.

1 comment:

Phil Perkins said...

At my site, I've started getting more pointed with sin in Modern Evangelicalism. You ought to here what some folks are saying in private emails. I get called all kinds of names. Tempers are just insane. All because it's in private and no one will find out. And, yes, I've seen the same as you in churches. Everything is hush, hush. Lots of covered sin.