Apparently, 400 or so pastors recently resigned from the pastorate because of morale failure. Bill Bright’s Global Pastors Network estimates 1500 pastors are removed from their ministries monthly! They leave for various reasons ranging from burnout to moral failure. Regrettably, some did not receive love and support while they are in the ministry and when especially when they were escorted out of the fold.
There is no doubt that participating in this infidelity site is a bad lack of judgment. It is counter to the Christian belief. Their moral failure provided ammunition to naysayers to use against Christianity. Jim Denison noted, “400 pastors constitute 0.00125 percent of the Ashley Madison database. They make up 0.067 percent of the estimated 600,000 vocational ministers in the U.S. Critics who draw lines from Ashley Madison to Josh Duggar and recent exposes of materialistic televangelists slander hundreds of thousands of faithful ministers.” Some will focus their anger and disappointment on the less than 1% while forgetting about the 99%. Unfortunately, some have used this incident as an opportunity to say, “You say Gays are destroying marriages?” This is an unsubstantiated and ridiculous claim they use to bolster their position. These people will use a little truth to make an invalid point valid.
Some will justify their disapproval of Christianity because 1% did wrong. Interestingly, they will disapprove of Christianity because 1% fell into sin but not disapprove of “unbelief” because 99% committed the same offense. In other words, some will find any reason to discredit our Lord and our faith. In using their logic, they should believe in Christianity since they are less apt to indulge in infidelity. Regardless, we simply should not give them any reasons to help their cause. It is unacceptable for Christian leaders to engage in this behavior. I imagine we will soon find out how many Christians participated in this site.
What do we do now that Christendom has lost 400 more pastors? I suggest we love them instead of kicking them out of the fold. I devoted a chapter to this in There Is No Gray In Moral Failure. It is interesting to see how love operates on both the Christian and secular level. The church welcomes everyone who wants forgiveness. Yet, we seem less apt to extend a hand of fellowship and love to fallen Christian leaders. I have studied, written, spoken and preached on this phenomenon since 2010. I am firmly convinced the church must show love to those of the cloth who have committed this sin. If not, we really are not showing love. We are only compartmentalizing it to a certain sector of people. Former pastor Ted Haggard provides great insight on this subject. He remarked, Haggard complained to some of his old friends … that if he had been a CEO instead of the senior pastor of a church, he would have been back at work in one month.
In sum, this Ashley Madison event has provided us with a few things. First, we see there are too many people engaging in adultery. As Christians, we need to show the world how marriages should look like. We must be faithful spouses and show godly love. If not, some will mimic what they see on TV or simply act on their lusts. Second, we see the world still needs prayer. I encourage you to, if you aren’t already doing so, to start praying for marriages. It is clear this biblical institution is under attack. President Obama pushed for same sex marriage and thus open door for the change in the biblical definition of marriage. Some Christians now feel the same way. In other words, we must pray that we maintain our biblical stance, not the contemporary belief. Last, we need to act like Christians. We must show love to everyone. However, we must not compromise our standard to appease everyone. These fallen leaders need our love and forgiveness…just like everyone else.
In His grip,
 Johnson, Yves (2012) There Is No Gray In Moral Failure: A Practical Guide for Preventing Sexual and Financial Misconduct. pp. 53.
 Johnson, Yves (2012) There Is No Gray In Moral Failure: A Practical Guide for Preventing Sexual and Financial Misconduct. pp. 58.