…Satan can target his spouse to eliminate another shepherd.
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour… – I Peter 5:8, KJV
But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another. – Galatians 5:15, NLT
Because “The Shared Responsibility Lie” is so prevalent in Christian circles, a pastor need not fail morally in order to be forced out of the pulpit or ministry. His wife could commit adultery and abandon him, then some church leaders–believing said lie–will take over forcing him to resign or take “a break” from ministry.
In other words, the sheep devour their wounded shepherd.
I have seen or heard this happen more than once under such deplorable circumstances.
It sickens me.
And I am sure Satan rejoices with each pastor he eliminates through the morally failings of that pastor’s spouse.
It continues to baffle me how awfully faithful spouses are treated in the church after adultery has been established beyond doubt. This poor treatment goes for both laity and clergy. One’s office does not preclude shameful condemnation.
However, it is especially hurtful and damaging if one is a pastor and a faithful spouse.
Your job and future employment is on the line. This includes professionals who have spent their whole adult lives training and working as pastors only to have that job taken away from them unjustly.
Why do faithful spouses find themselves in such tenuous circumstances?
Because their spouse chose adulterous sin and others–church or denominational leaders–are deciding to believe a lie–i.e. unbiblical prejudice–about your character refusing to take a Biblical stance against the evil known as adultery!
It is unjust.
It is treacherous.
It is just plain wrong!
Another thing that sickens me is how some leaders think forcing a sabbatical or even firing a faithful spouse pastor is “loving.” This is a nasty charade!
What a lie!
In the secular world, someone is forced into a sabbatical usually because an investigation regarding wrongdoing is occurring. In the secular world, someone is fired over wrongdoing all the time. So, which one is it when it is clear that the adultery took place against the faithful pastor?
How dumb do church leaders think we, faithful spouses, are?!
We know what really is going down. The actions of the leadership tells us we are being blamed and held responsible for sin that is not our own–even if they are saying otherwise. Trust actions over words.
I suspect some church leaders want the pretense that they are “loving”–that’s a nice lie to tell themselves to insulate their conscience from guilt–while what they are doing is blaming the faithful spouse and refusing to do the right thing in standing by him during this crisis.
Think if church leaders treated a beloved widower pastor in this same way!
His wife dies from cancer. The church forces the pastor into a sabbatical and then fires him at the end of the sabbatical, because he is no longer married. Or worse yet, they just fire him on the spot and tell him to get another, secular job, because they can’t handle having a grieving pastor working at the church. The fact of his wife’s death makes him unfit to serve. He needs a “break” from doing ministry, which certainly will not be paid for by the church firing him.
I think not!
But this sort of thing happens all the time for evangelical pastors whose spouse committed adultery and abandoned them via divorce.
I know. I get “mail.”
Plus, I was told–more than once–by an influential leader in my former denomination that his normal course of action is to force any divorced pastor from the pulpit and hold his credentials in suspension regardless of the divorce circumstances!
This needs to change.
It is not right! The charade is downright disgraceful.
Do not call it love if you decide to fire a faithful spouse over his Biblical divorce. That is a lie. Repeating it is to speak in Satan’s language–i.e the language of the Father of Lies–and help him further assault Christ’s Bride. Thankfully–for the faithful spouse–we all know how that ends!