I was alerted to a story today regarding the adulterous acts of Marcus Lamb of Daystar network. I happen to like the Daystar network and have the utmost respect for Marcus and Joni Lamb. To say that I was disappointed in the news is an understatement but this does not change my opinion of the couple or their ministry. The following link should lead you to the story:
The media loves to spotlight men and women, mostly men, who are religious leaders that fall. Society enjoys hearing stories of Christian leaders who commit sins. This may not be such a big news event because: it happened a few years ago, Marcus Lamb admitted it publicly, Joni forgave her husband after taking the appropriate steps as a wife and Marcus took the appropriate steps to make sure it does not happen again. This story is a non-story yet there is a lesson that I continue to teach others and will share now:
Leaders are human and make mistakes.
For some odd reason people hold religious leaders to a standard that is inhuman to say the least. Many denominations glorify their Pastors, Elders, Ministers, Pope, Bishop, or whatever title you give to the leader of the church. This is wrong. The amount of trust that is placed on a religious leader does not make sense to me.
People trust the Pastor more than they trust God; I do not exaggerate. They tell their pastors all of their problems but will not cas their cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7) People expect more from their Bishop than they do from their Lord. This is why they are shocked, upset, appalled and sometimes angry to learn that the Elder of the church has committed a sin.
Jesus is the only One who is perfect. A leader is not perfect but if he is called of God he is credible.
Here is the story of two leaders: Saul and David.
Saul was the first king appointed at the peoples request by God yet he was removed from office. Why did God remove Saul from office? Because he did something that he knew he was not suppose to do and he knew that God was sending someone to do it.
1 Samuel 13:8-14 The Message
8 He waited seven days, the time set by Samuel. Samuel failed to show up at Gilgal, and the soldiers were slipping away, right and left.
9-10 So Saul took charge: “Bring me the burnt offering and the peace offerings!” He went ahead and sacrificed the burnt offering. No sooner had he done it than Samuel showed up! Saul greeted him.
11-12 Samuel said, “What on earth are you doing?”
Saul answered, “When I saw I was losing my army from under me, and that you hadn’t come when you said you would, and that the Philistines were poised at Micmash, I said, ‘The Philistines are about to come down on me in Gilgal, and I haven’t yet come before God asking for his help.’ So I took things into my own hands, and sacrificed the burnt offering.”
13-14 “That was a fool thing to do,” Samuel said to Saul. “If you had kept the appointment that your God commanded, by now God would have set a firm and lasting foundation under your kingly rule over Israel. As it is, your kingly rule is already falling to pieces. God is out looking for your replacement right now. This time he’ll do the choosing. When he finds him, he’ll appoint him leader of his people. And all because you didn’t keep your appointment with God!”
Saul was not authorized by God to offer a sacrifice. The consequences of his actions: God removed him from office.
David was considered a man after God’s heart yet he: committed adultery (2 Samuel 11:2-4), arranged a murder ( 2 Samuel 11:14-21), disobeyed God by taking a census:
10 But when it was all done, David was overwhelmed with guilt because he had counted the people, replacing trust with statistics. And David prayed to God, “I have sinned badly in what I have just done. But now God forgive my guilt—I’ve been really stupid.” 2 Samuel 24:10
David committed adultery AND had the woman’s husband killed yet God did not remove him from office. Furthermore David took a census this represented a lack of trust in God realizing what he had done he admitted his mistake and asked God for forgiveness.
I believe the difference between David and Saul lies in their purpose which was to serve the people according to the will of Father God. Saul chose to serve the people according to their wishes. David did terrible things according to his flesh but after doing it realized his wrong. David had a desire to please Father God.
After removing Saul, he made David their king. God testified concerning him: ‘I have found David son of Jesse, a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’ Acts 13:22 NIV
There are men and women who are called to lead; they may be Pastors, or they may be husbands, or CEO’s of companies; these leaders may be mothers or teachers or a next door neighbor; they are not perfect. I will say there is a difference between an act of discretion and a lifestyle of bad behavior. AND if it is a onetime incident or a series of deceptive behaviors there are consequences. The gift is the gift and the an act such as adultery is the sin, one does not negate the other.
I believe we put too much confidence in titles and not enough in a person’s gift. There are people who lack degrees that are far more knowledgeble in the word of God than those with doctorates. Add to the persons’ gift character and we have a formula of being disapointed less often.
My point is: Marcus Lamb committed adultery he has repented before God and his wife! As a leader, God will deal with him as He dealt with David. Marcus is still called, still chosen and as long as he speaks what “thus sayeth the Lord” it is alright to listen to him.