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Why Are Pastors Having Affairs

What is going on with all the cases of men of the cloth of different religious persuasions and their "improprieties"? It happened in my church, and had a bad effect on me.

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 ---Kristine on 5/11/05
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I posted a few months ago about my husband (a minister who had an affair with his female associate minister). I wanted to thank "rod4him" for responding to my idea that ministers need to be revered.
I guess I am just so saddened by the break-up of my family. I thought I married a good and honest man. I wish I understood.
How is the former wife of a pastor who cheated ever able to go to another church again and see the minister there as honest?
Tomorrow is Easter. Each time I try to go back to a church, I look at the ministers and think: fruadulent. I know that is not fair. I really do. I love God and have grown so much closer to God through this. I just don't know how I will ever be able to attend church again....
---Janice on 4/3/10


Pastors are people who have hurts and wounds and weaknesses like every human being. The enemy marks them with a target and tries to get them to fall, because of the devastation to the kingdom. People get judgemental and unforging towards pastors and create even more of a problem. When a pastor falls into an affair, unlike a non-minister he loses his job becomes a public spectacle and his family goes though untold shame and rejection. We need to be honest with ourselves and our own sin. There's a reason the woman caught in adultery and so mny examples of Jesus criticizing judging are in the Scripture.
---Robert on 1/20/10


I live in a small town. One pastor left his family and moved in with another woman. One is having an affair and filed for a divorce. One was caught having an affair with his secretary. I've met others that you couldn't hardly get them into the Word. I am friends with some of those who attend their churches and you never hear any of them mention anything about God or Jesus let alone the scriptures. A prominent pastor at a Baptist pastors convention taught that only those individuals called by God and annointed with the Holy Spirit can preach Spirit filled sermons. They walk in the Spirit not in the flesh. Maybe those pastors who fall into sexual sin are just ordinary men in the flesh.
---Bob on 11/17/09


Lust. Men or women are led by their own lust,therefore,are tempted not by Satan but by their own lusts,and in turn sin. Its not a case of "Satan made me do it" but of a persons own spiritual weakness. They are lukewarm for God and their commitment to God or they wouldn't put their desire over Gods will.
---Darlene_1 on 11/17/09


mima, however, when one reads that passage, do they read into that passage the picture of the modern "pastor?"

There are overseers, not the "one senior pastor."

Interesting how that one verse gets translated into the modern justification for the one person who is answerable to God for all the laity. That one verse seems to justify the "pastor" as an intermediary between God and man. Just read many of the comments how this "pastor" is held to some place of high esteem. It's not in that verse.

This modern "pastor" contradicts scripture by calling themselves "pastor" and teaching others to call them "pastor."
---Rod4Him on 11/17/09




Whether there be the office of pastor or not would seem to be settled in the following verse. Ephesians 4:11-12,
" 11-And he gave some, apostles, and some, prophets, and some, evangelists, and some, pastors and teachers,

12-For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:"
---mima on 11/17/09


jody, this phrase caught my attention, "Pastors are great prey as they pose a greater threat to the devil."

I know this may be misunderstood, but I don't see "pastors" being a threat to the devil.

I see "pastors" as hindering the ministry. They encourage pew-sittering with no participation. They generally do not allow "one another" to happen because they have all the answers. Question a "pastor's" teaching some time and see what happens. They will hinder growth if they percieve it may threaten them.

No doubt, some "pastors" mean well and are sincerely doing what they think is right. However, there is no Biblical position of "pastor."
---Rod4Him on 11/16/09


I think its all about spiritual warfare. The charisma required of a successful pastor attracts seducing spirits and places these people in a very vulnerable position. They need to remain very grounded in the Lord as they are possibly presented with more opportunity for temptation then non-leaders. I have noticed these problems arising with music ministries as well. Satan does move about as a roaring lion seeking who he may devour. Pastors are great prey as they pose a greater threat to the devil. We also need to exercise caution in viewing this as not all pastors fall into adultery. One bad apple makes the bunch look bad. God will judge them and His word says that they will have a harsher judgement. To whom much is given, much is required.
---jody on 11/16/09


Strongaxe, I agree with your all main idean that all men, "pastors" included are subject to sin.

Paul would have been killed anyway in Jersalem by the religious folks, that's why he used his citizenship to escape that. I know this is beside the point.

Because of the need of brevity here, I can't always explain my thoughts.

I am trying to reveal that "pastors" are a misnomer, there is no Biblical such thing.

The Calvary Chapel folks express the belief that the pastor is like a "Moses," and many other churches do the same. This thinking causes great confusion when they fail.

The failing focuses on a "pastor," how about the poor women who was taken advantage of?
---Rod4Him on 11/16/09


Rod4Him:

You missed my point. Cluny and Ignatus (and I as well) pointed out that pastors, like everyone else including even the Apostles, are human and subject to sin. None of us suggested that this implies that any of the above are therefore necessarily guilty of adultery. At best one could conclude that pastors, like everyone else, have feet of clay, and are just as succeptible to any sin, incidentally icnluding adultery, as anyone else (hopefully not much).

Paul could have humbly remained silent about his rights (just as Jesus did before Herod). While he had every right to assert them, perhaps there was some pride there? In any case, this decision ended up ultimately getting him killed, so at best it wasn't the wisest choice.
---StrongAxe on 11/16/09




StongAxe, you bring up some interesting examples.

First off, my initial reaction and statements were because there seems to be a tone of justification for "pastors" committing adultery, using Judas as an example. Remember, Jesus said it would have been better for Judas to never have been born.

I would argue that Peter denying Jesus is in a complete different category than adultery, and it was before the Holy Spirit was given and before Christ arose. The disciples still didn't know what was happening.

I don't see sin in Paul using his citizenship.

Paul and Mark had a disagreement. They didn't commit adultery.
---Rod4Him on 11/15/09


Rod4Him:

While you can't infer that every sinner will commit every sin, the New Testament is rife with the Apostles themselves commiting one sin after another. For example, Peter denied Jesus three times. Peter and Paul had disagreements over circumsition so that Paul had to publicly rebuke Peter. Paul and Mark had so much friction between them that they had to go their separate ways. Paul proudly relied on his rights as a Roman citizen, which got him imprisoned in Rome and eventually killed (while if he hadn't, he would eventually have been let go).
---StrongAxe on 11/15/09


Yes, pastors are human. So are we all. But we do have the help of God and the Holy Spirit to overcome our sins.

If a pastor sins in this way, he can find forgiveness with God, but it will greatly harm his influence and witness with all people.

We had such a pastor. He left the church divided and split. He was eventually found out and asked to leave.

This sin is so harmful to God's church that it is one which all leaders in God's church must avoid at all costs.
---Sandra on 11/15/09


Cluny, Ignatius,

So, we can assume that Saint John, Saint James, and Saint Paul and apostles were committing adultry, and we can expect overseers to do the same. Interesting application of Christianity.

Where do the qualifications fit? Apparently, they don't. They must be good ideas as overseers are just human after all.

I thought Christ gave believers a new life in Christ. Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind. We are new creatures in Christ.

I know I may come across harsh, but you have got to be kidding me.

If overseers fall, they should repent, but they are disqualified.
---Rod4Him on 11/15/09


I agree with Cluny. The Clergy members are humans, and thus still have the inciniation to sin. What did our Holy Apostle, Saint John the Theologian said?

"If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word has no place in our lives." (1 John 1:8-10).

Why are we surprise? Don't we sin too? Yes, the Clergy (Bishops, Priests, Deacons, etc) should know better. In fact, Saint James tell us that the teachers will receive stricter punishment (James 3:1-2).

PRAY FOR THEM!

In IC.XC.,
---Ignatius on 11/14/09


It's by overcoming your fear through Christ that you will glorify Jesus and become a stronger Christian than ever. Don't forget what Jesus suffered before he was crucified. He prayed several times for the crucifixion to pass from him. Why, because just like you He was afraid. But He overcame that fear through prayer. May I suuggest that you take some time, and that's whatever amount needed to get alone with Jesus, fast and pray for His strength to walk in the victory that He has already paid for . He says, "cast all your care upon Me and I will care for you." All of us have to grow and learn of His faithfulness. All growth is not instantious and if anyone says differently, they are ingnorant of God's Word.
---james on 11/13/09


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Clergy are human beings.

Human being are sinners.

Why are we surprised when sinners sin?

Even if the rate is 1 in 12, is that any higher than what the Lord had?
---Cluny on 11/13/09


I'll probably be accused of being old fashioned but I think some women throw theirselves at men of the cloth and it is sometimes lonely at the top in a leadership position.At least that's my opinion.
---shirley on 11/13/09


Janice, thanks for sharing a picture from behing the scenes.

"But, part of the reason why I think ministers get entangled in adultery is related to the reason they were enticed by this sort of career to begin with. They need to be revered."

Interesting...

I've notice that people love to "care for the pastor and his family." And the "pastor" seems to eat it up.
---Rod4Him on 11/13/09


Because most Pastors are NOT men of God! They consider it just a job and they only teach that church's traditions over the Truth of God.

Note that you never see any pastor saying. We were wrong on this doctrine. (i.e..Infant Baptism/Pre Trib).

They are in it for power and money only! So they consider themselves above God and do these things arrogantly.

And although they know the Truth, they continue to preach whatever the church wants them to. Against God soveriegn will. So scripture says: They will dwell in the darkest part of Hell!
---PASTOR_JIM on 11/13/09


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My husband is a minister. He had an affair with a female minister. Shortly after I found out he left the home and, while he still sees the children regularly, we are in the middle of a divorce. I think parishioners are quick to forgive their ministers because they recognize they are only human. That's true. But, part of the reason why I think ministers get entangled in adultery is related to the reason they were enticed by this sort of career to begin with. They need to be revered. When things get tough at home and they are no longer "god-like" to their spouse, they start responding to people who make them feel "placed on a pedestal".
---Janice on 11/13/09


Ego,pride,haughtiness and every other evil attitude we can think of. Quite possibly they feel they can do what they want, when and how they want to do it. They have no one to be accountable to. But they are sadly mistaken. They will have a long score to settle with God one day for the evil they have done.
I would hate to fall into the hands of an angry God. They know this or should, but does not have any fear of God,undoubtedly.
---Robyn on 10/15/09


Tradition has developed the position of a pastor. The "pastor" has become a focal point of the established religious institution, taking the place of Christ.

The position with all its power, respect,and prestige, makes it conducive for one to take advantage of that position. "The pastor" is not a Biblical position.

When a person in this traditional position fails, it magnifies the hypocrisy of some religious people.

I liked kathr's comment on 5/25/08.
---Rod4Him on 10/15/09


I was persued by my Pastor subtly over the past 2+ years, then this year it became a competition 4 him 2 win my heart. It was like he just needed 2 have a bit of fun. It's always a no win situation. As Gods children we cant play games in Gods Kingdom. Fortunitly we never got physically involved. There was a lot of talk & correspondence between us & both got hurt. Generally the woman gets hurt more & 2 look the worse of the 2. He made it seem like I was 2 blame in front of the whole church.
---MARLENE on 10/15/09


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Mega church pastors have fallen, some are incredibly embarrassing to watch prior to their exposure for the entire world to see.
When they show old clips of Ted H., I have to hang my head, cover my eyes.
The self-righteous statements he made against alternative lifestyles while he was having one of his own is beyond words.
---Emily on 5/26/08


These false preachers in time is going to have a very negative effect on church-goers. Besides that, what little faith some have will be destroyed. Makes me ill. Don't come to close I may throw up all over you.
---catherine on 5/26/08


Well, if all we need is faith, love and grace, and since Jesus' blood covers up our sins, then why not have as many affairs as you want?
---james on 5/26/08


I believe many have fallen because they were never called to begin with....OR, they just jumped into the pulpet without any roots.

It took God:
40 Years to groom Moses

MANY years before David took the Throne (he was called as a child...he didn't take the throne as a child)...and yes power went to his head, and he fell hard...but he was still chosen. Paid the consequences dearly.

14 + years of Paul sitting on the back side of a mountain learning...(Galatians)
---kathr4453 on 5/25/08


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I'm sick and tired of people telling me pastors are human after they do this sort of thing. I didn't think my own pastor was made out of pure gold. I just expected him to be sincere.
---Kit on 5/24/08


Yeah, I know of a church just a few miles away from me who's pastor was leaving his wife and child at home to persue an affair with a woman young enough to be his daughter. It make me sick, I stopped going to church completely, who do you trust?
---smith on 12/15/07


It's hard pastoring a church. They wear many hats. People put pastors on a pedastle. Pastors are human too. They make mistakes like everybody else. It's so much pressure for them, woman throwing themselves at them. Pressures from home, church etc. They succumb to weakness, the flesh. We all have our weaknesses. Lust for some. Drinking, lying or gambling for another. Let's not forget Romans 4:23 - For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. Read what Matt 7: 1-5 says about condemning others.
---Tee on 11/7/07


I think this is happening more frequently now with the ease of communication on the computer. The pastor should repent and step down from leadership until his life is firmly back in order. The whole church isn't bad just because a leader has sinned. Let us all remember, don't put confidence in man, and make no man your example but Jesus.
---john on 11/6/07


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Pastors having affairs is truly tragic. Most of us are not having affairs, we are serving God many, many, hours a week and loving our families, it is those few that we here about that make people think that most of us are doing it, and we are not. Please pray for and encourage your Pastor and his family
---Jim on 11/6/07


I know. It is sad, but they are not the one that determines your destiny it is Jehovah. Just remember Satan is out there and he want us all to stop believing in our father. but as long as we hang strong to faith he will find the right paster with integrity 4u.
---Shelly on 11/6/07


As has already been said, these men are human and need extra prayer for their protection. As believers, we should not even bring this up in church without corroborating witnesses, let alone discussing it on a public forum such as this.
---tommy3007 on 11/6/07


Another view: Women have been bullied in the churches for many years. The male pastors may feel they can take liberties with them and the women refuse to talk and tell someone what is going on. Especially in the Pentecostal and RC churches. I do know among the Pentecostals(COGIC etc...)These people need to be confronted and removed from their positions when they are found to be piranhas among the flock.This is hurtful and disruptive to the members. So many wounded people in the church.
---Robyn on 11/6/07


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Preachers are humans first and foremost. They do make mistakes and use bad judgement.But it is not an excuse for them to continue in these sins and not try to make amends. We can be saved and not delivered from certain sins. We will always be,including preachers, vulnerable and capable of falling into all type sins. We are still sinners saved by God's merciful "Grace".When Christians feel they are above sin and never make mistakes are in for very rude awakenings.
---Robyn on 11/6/07


Another view: Some preachers and leaders feel they can do anything and get by with it. No one challenges them on anything. All power and authority in the church is given to them. This is a dangerous place for any man or woman to be in.They become gods unto themselves and little dictators who will become belligerent and vindictive towards anyone that dare approach them about anything.They control everything.This is a growing trend among the denominations. So sad.
---Robyn on 11/6/07


This happened with pastor I know as well and his church has gone on as if he never did anything. He still refuses to tell them the whole truth but continues to lie. How do I know? Because he had the affair with me.
---Felicity on 11/6/07


Those who seek to serve the Lord and do it in such an important way with an effect on so many others, the more the Devil wants them and seeks to snair them. This is not an excuse, religious clergy will pay more deeply for their sins in hell if they do not repent. But, it is all that much more important for them to not only avoid sin, but to avoid the occasions of sin. Billy Graham once said that the best way to not be caught in a compromising position is to never be in one.
---lorra8574 on 3/11/07


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Pastors have affairs because thy are human beings. If your pastor had one he should not be your pastor anymore. this does not mean your church is bad. Don't take it personally.
---scott on 3/10/07


Inexcusable for affairs in the church, by pastor, members or anyone. But the 'Fishbowl existence' of a pastor, preacher can bring stress to the marriage, and if the marriage is not stable and grounded in God, unfortunately it will happen. Someone told me one time, to have sex with someone in the church, brother or sister in Christ is in a sense incest. 'A FAMILY THAT PRAYS TOGETHER, STAYS TOGETHER!'
---rev on 3/10/07


Pastors are human, just like the rest of us, but they need to be especially careful as they are setting examples. Sometimes they may be even be more tempted than we lay people. What a prize for the devil!
---jayne on 6/9/05


Obviously there is no excuse for a pastor or anyone else having an affair. See 1 Cor. 7:1-5 and there's a hint as to why this sometimes happens. Hold back love from your spouse and you invite the devil to tempt him/her to seek wrong satisfaction for the need you refuse to meet. In too many marriages sex (or the withholding of it) is used as a weapon. This is just another trap for us to watch for in this fallen world. This is true for pastors as well as the rest of us.
---Bruce on 5/16/05


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I understand the effect of 'improprieties' would have on a congregation and the populace as a whole. Child molestation is something that gained public recognition through the Catholic church and spread throughout the population. When things are allowed in a church, the kingdom is effected.
---gregg4933 on 5/15/05


A book called faithful & True written by Mark Lasser is an excellent resource for understanding things that can cause "improprities" among pastor (and also others). Mark Lasser is an ex-pastor who struggled with these types of issues and this can also be a significant resource for preventing such happenings - since understanding the root of these types of issues can help all make choices to prevent them from happening.
---Linda on 5/14/05


Thank you for all your sensible answers. My former pastor's actions didn't make me stray from God, however, I haven't been back to church since then, and the anger and hurt I feel, since a pass was made at me, keep me from seeking another church. I know it's being unrealistic, but it had a very, very bad effect on me. He was like a father to me, agewise.
---Kristine on 5/14/05


Hello, Deborah: Your suspicion is true. But I am retracing my path. I hope am already mature (and experienced)this time to handle events like this happening in my immediate surroundings. Thank you for the verse. I noted it down.
---linda6546 on 5/14/05


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Pastors and any Church leader is an enemy to Satan and Satan is going to try to corrupt them in any way he can to try to get people to focus on their leaders wrong actions and take their eyes off Christ.
---June on 5/13/05


Pastors(men and women) are human and make choices. Some make bad choices, then we have the choice to follow or support them. Our church participation should be enriching in our faith of God and His Son. When the church organization thru its pastor/priest/leader act in an ungodly way, we should not let it seperate us from God. Our faith is in God and not the church of the world.
---chuck on 5/13/05


Eve ate & then tempted Adam.that senario has not stopped satan waits for opportunity.Man is a weak vessel.
---Emcee on 5/12/05


The problem lies also in expecting someone to be "better" because they wear a LABLE by man. We are all ministers of the gosple and held to the same standard. God's standard is the same for all of us. I would be no more or less shocked or affected negetively by a pastor sinning in any area than I would any other brother in Christ. I am not shaken by another mans sins.
---racel on 5/12/05


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Kristen, I'm so sorry you had to go through that. I have been right where you are, unfortunately 3 times, in 3 dif. ministries. What I've learned over the years is that man fails, but God does not. Look to Him, He will get you through. Don't let bitterness and resentment take hold in your heart.
---daphne9987 on 5/12/05


I just wanted to ask 'Linda 6546' if she meant she had stopped attending church. I struggled with a similar issue and this helped me; "Do not give up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another--and all the more as we see the Day approaching." Hebrews 10:25 Linda, I hope my suspicions are wrong. I will pray that the Lord restores you, and you'll again 'walk by faith, not by sight.'
---Deborah on 5/12/05


Again I say: IF A FAMILY PRAYS TOGETHER, THEY STAY TOGETHER...
Am 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed?

Mr 3:25 And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand.

Lu 11:17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth.
---rev on 5/12/05


Kristine, do not allow yourself to be affected by scandals, no matter where they come from.

Pastors or no pastors, they are not God and one can expect them to make mistakes like anyone else.
---Albert on 5/12/05


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Why does anybody?

James 1:13-14, "Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed."
---Bruce5656 on 5/12/05


Rev, the platitude of THE FAMILY THAT PRAYS TOGETHER STAYS TOGETHER. unfortunately does not hold true. Statistics, even ones from conservative sources, show the divorce rate among fundamental, evangelical Christians is as high as the general population. Kristine, my only advice to you is that Pastors are just men and women, who fail. Anyone who thinks they are immune are just deluding himself. Bless you on your journey.
---randy on 5/12/05


Judge thou not..they are born of flesh too justlike us,WE NEED TO PRAY FOR THEM TOO AS THEY BLESS US WITH THE LIVING WORD.
---peter on 5/12/05


The church, the one I used to belong, was led by an elder and council of church leaders because no pastor was assigned to us. Still, the church leaders, be it male or female, have a way of getting around what is supposed to be morally right. Those actions sent me packing for good. I became observant and learned not to TRUST even the men of the cloth.
---linda6546 on 5/11/05


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Kristine: Our church leaders are not immune to sin. How did the congregation deal with it? Like Scriptures direct? THAT is the real challenge. Even so, we should expect better behavior from our leaders. It's a terrible testimony to us, our children and to the world!! I pray God heals you and your congregation from this wound in your spirits.
---Elsie on 5/11/05


I have to agree with Carol. Too often we think our Pastors are Spiritual Giants who need no prayer. They are in a position to be a target for horrendeous onslaughts by satan and we are responsible to pray for them.
---abby on 5/11/05


That is why we need to pray for our Pastors, they are not exempt from the sins that we can fall into. We need to hold our Pastors up.
---carol on 5/11/05


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