CJ Mahaney is the President of Sovereign Grace Ministries and well-renowned leader in Christian circles. On July this year, CJ Mahaney announced his leave. He’s stepping back from ministry to address issues in his heart and offenses caused to other fellow leaders within Sovereign Grace Ministries. You can read the letter CJ wrote for the SGM web page here.
The topic has caused controversy, to say the least. I was shocked too. And I can imagine that many people are now even more skeptical of Christianity because such a solid Christian ministry is now experiencing problems that could question its integrity. One might even feel tempted to judge and feel morally superior. There are so many ways to approach situations like these.
But, it’s important to remember that:
1. Everybody sins.
We have all fall short of the glory of God [Romans 3:23]. Even as Christians, we are still bound and struggling with a body of flesh that desires to sin.
2. It takes courage to admit sin.
Especially if you are a person others look up to. Especially if you are the President of a big, famous Christian organization people look up to. It requires laying down your pride to admit that you haven’t been doing things right.
3. Pastors sin too.
I think we forget this far too often. Even though we “know” that pastors are sinful humans too, sometimes we see them as being some kind of superior moral breed that is somehow more tolerant to the temptations and effects of sin. But pastors have the same struggles as you and I. The only difference is that they probably work harder to avoid them and spend more time with God than we do. Maybe we should do this too, and even this won’t guarantee that we won’t sin at some point or the other.
In the end, it’s Jesus we need to look up to. God uses great men to edify His church, to spread His word–great men that preach sound doctrine and live lives above reproach. But these men are sinners too. And they will [probably] let us down someday. This is no reason to give up hope on the Church or to cross off an entire ministry.
Let us pray for him whenever we are reminded, so that the Lord might truly restore his heart. And let us pray for ourselves too, so that the Lord might set our eyes on Him alone and take away any temptation to turn a pastor–a sinful pastor–or anyone else into an idol or a god.
In the end, it’s Jesus we need to look up to.
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” -2 Corinthians 4:7