If you pay attention to the American Evangelical world online, you probably heard the recent news about Matt Chandler, the lead pastor of The Village Church in the DFW area. (If you haven’t, the TL;DR is that he had an ongoing online interaction with a married woman that, while not crossing certain big red lines, was overly familiar and unhealthy enough that he was confronted by a third party, submitted himself to church discipline by his fellow elders, and stepped away from ministry for the near term.)
There’s a lot of speculation swirling, and there are a lot of details we don’t know. Some things I’ve seen about this story are encouraging, while other things don’t quite ring true in my head. It doesn’t matter what I think, ultimately, because I’m not the one adjudicating any of this. I’m just a lay pastor with a neglected blog.
Here’s the big takeaway for us all, I think: I Corinthians 10:12 says, “Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall.” That word “anyone” is important there, because it means…anyone. You. Me. Pastors. Spouses. Friends. We need to watch ourselves.
In Paul’s first letter to Timothy, he writes, “Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.” (I Tim. 4:16)
John warns in I John 1:8, “If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” This doesn’t mean that we’re all guilty of all things all the time. But it is a reminder that we need to be honest with ourselves about our sinful flesh and the temptations we face.
It’s easy to join the Twitter pile-on. What’s more–it’s kinda fun. But I need to make sure I’m not ignoring my own ocular log as I snark online about someone else’s splinter.