But what we also fail to realize and consistently communicate is that anytime a clergy member has sex with a parishioner who is not their spouse, it is abuse. The emotional, spiritual, and even societal power granted to a pastor is intertwined and inseparable from all their relations within the church. We cannot, therefore, pretend that infidelity between pastors and their parishioners is anything less than an abuse of that power, and therefore, an abuse of the parishioner.
To whom shall we go? Ask yourself what’s the alternative BEFORE you leave and see all the options for the empty promises they are. And then fasten yourself to the eternal WHO towering over all the pretending WHATS.
God is in the midst of the normal – not just the fantastic, chocolate and sprinkled covered parts of life. God’s presence is made real when we take simple elements, like bread, and share it. This is why we should stick to what He invites us to do – offer the bread.
We ought to sing it more! Sing it, indeed, until we re-discover the power of this Name. Sing it until, as Charles Wesley urged, “Happy, if with my latest breath/ I may but gasp his name, / preach him to all and cry in death, / ‘Behold, behold the Lamb!’”
We have a hope, and it is not rooted in our circumstances; it is rooted in the plan —in the very identity—of God. For those of us who struggle, who live under gathering clouds, it is not a promise that God will answer all our questions. It is promise that He will not change on us. God’s character is eternal, his promises are safe, his nature is to love and his plans for us are good. “What is of God will last. It belongs to the eternal life. Choose it, and it will be yours.”
Are you ready to go, to do more than say the words, but to become that prayer that focuses on the heart of God, that ushers in forgiveness, that brings about a new relationship, that stands against evil and temptation, that becomes the very power and presence of God?