I am writing to you, men and young men, with great sadness, and with great concern. This morning, after I did my review of various Facebook statuses for the folks I follow, I noted a pastor’s status that portrayed an immoral scene and included a suggestive link “for more details.” Now, I recognized that this was a Facebook virus that had impacted that particular pastor’s account. But here is the issue, such viruses cannot propagate unless the link is clicked. Obviously, either this pastor, or someone who had access to his system, clicked the link. I am reminded of Numbers 32:23: “You have sinned against the Lord; and be sure your sin will find you out.”
This is not the first time I have seen such posts on the statuses of Christian men I know. I have seen many over the years, from laymen, from pastors, from conference speakers. And each time I see one of these posts, my heart sinks. My heart breaks for the man, for his wife and children, for those who look up to him—for his testimony.
And these events are always warnings, at least they are to me. Men, I hope they are to you as well. I encourage you to remember the admonition of the Apostle Paul, who gave us in 1 Corinthians 10:12–13, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.”
Brothers, let us all be aware – we cannot stand apart from Jesus. He is our strength, He is our hope. We are the ones with sin-sickened hearts. We are the ones who are tempted and enticed by our own desires. And when we fall to temptation, we sin, and we experience death, oftentimes in our relationships.
And so, brothers, when temptation comes (notice, I said when, not if) let us flee to our faithful God. He is there at the door of escape, a door which often leads us to a deeper realization of our own depravity, a door that gives us a greater appreciation of Jesus’ mercy and grace, and a desire and thankfulness for relationships that are deep, real, and truly fulfilling.
I remain your servant in Jesus,
Clarification [added 2/8/12]: Yesterday, I put up a status and an article related to the dangers of Facebook ads, specifically related to immorality. After discussions with IT folk, I want to acknowledge that it is possible for an account to be hacked. And it is possible for a person to be lured with a different ad. However, the folks I talked to told me this is not the norm. According to those who make IT their career, the typical, the usual, the most likely cause for distasteful junk to propagate on Facebook is when someone clicks the same ad.
I am not passing judgment here, and I am more than willing to say it was simply an accident. But, again, 54% of pastors have admitted to having an issue with pornography – the problem is more rampant in the lay crowd.
My original post was not to cast judgement on this guy. I haven’t even shared his name, church, or country of origin. But, folks, can we not stand up and shout out a warning?
Bottom line, be careful out there. And even more, be godly out there.
Also, for those interested in further study, consider reading my article Infidelity: Surviving Sexual Temptation
And to make it legal, the opinions expressed herein are not necessarily those of the other elders or members of Providence Church.