How to handle a Christian scandal…

Yet another scandal in the body of Christ, where a prominent and respected Christian mega-church pastor in the United States has multiple serious allegations against him. Amongst other reasons prompting this blog to come about was this post from stuffchristianslike.com (a blog I regularly read, that is usually humourous, but not in this case) of which I will refer to a fair bit here, and the reason that is most obvious: this isn’t the first, and this most definitely is not the last. I’ve labelled these “The 10 scandal-handles” (five are similar to the ones from the blog referred to above):

  1. Pray for those involved – talk about it to the only One who can help resolve all things. Restoration, healing for everyone involved.
  2. Resist the temptation to gossip, even in the name of prayer… just go straight to step 1 first.
  3. Realize you aren’t perfect yourself and walk in humility – avoid finger pointing unless it’s towards a mirror like Michael did (well at least in the song right?).
  4. Love your neighbour as you love yourself – as said in number 3), no-one is perfect, so put yourself in imperfect shoes at the time of scandal. Our righteousness is like filthy rags.
  5. Although it’s cliche, ask yourself “What Would Jesus Do?” – he surely wouldn’t cast the first stone
  6. Place all negative emotional reactions toward the issue not the people involved. Go at it with aggression, but towards the issue, because it’s these issues that tear the body of Christ apart.
  7. Get your facts right – refuse hearsay and make sure that all you’ve heard is from a trusted source. Once facts are correct, pray and respond accordingly.
  8. Learn from actual cases of scandal “autopsies” – do whatever it takes to avoid scandal in your own life, remaining above reproach and leaning totally in the grace of God. Realize that sin emerges with a subtlety – and no-one awoke one morning out of the blue to say “I think I’ll totally ruin my life today”.
  9. Realize we worship Christ and not man – scandals make for juicy gossip mostly because people idolize other people. Learn that all men make fallible and terrible gods – that is except for one.
  10. Pray for your own leaders – pastors, political leaders, business leaders, missionaries – name them by name and pray that God would protect them from all evil, including that which may have been exposed in scandal.

Are there any more that you would add to this list of Christian responses to scandal?

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