Two recent mega Church Pastors have been released for inappropriate behavior, sexual abuse, outspending their needs, and the misappropriation of funds. What is most surprising is that they were left un-audited and simply trusted because they were in the top role as men of God. I won’t go into any lengthy description of the history among priests in a religion that will not be named here…but WOW!
Why would we not realize that power in itself is an aphrodisiac that can often skew one’s point of view. Just imagine how many people in a Church come there to practice and or are looking for faith. And even though there are others there that help, the person in front of the pulpit is often viewed as the highest authority. I would imagine that level of trust will eventually turns someone’s thinking…after all they’re only human.
During these last two episodes these Church leaders had been in their roles for more than 30 years. And even though I’m sure they started out on the right path, they somehow got off on an off-ramp that was filled with deception, harassment, affairs, and who could guess what else. But my curiosity lies in what system of auditing was in place to ensure that something like this would not happen. Doesn’t the Church have some sort of executive board that oversees the flow of donations, their lifestyles, their interactions with the congregation, and if so – how could something like this be missed? I’d would also like to know like an annual physical, are they taken through some type of physiological testing annually, and are they audited?
I am the first to believe that a CEO of any organization should be well compensated, but when I think about a church leader, I cannot see them living in a 1.2 million dollar home. Nor do I see them having private holdings that are worth much more. Now if they come to the pulpit with money that’s another thing all together. But when that money has been taken from the very people in the congregation that are donating their hard earned money to support the cause…I find it appalling!
I’m not sure how many more of these situations I we will see in my lifetime, but I want to make sure we all know that, men of God or just men. Just because they answered the calling to be in front of the pulpit, it does not make them superheros, or keep them from succumbing to temptation. If any thing their temptation is greater simply because so many come to them with some sort of need. Therefore, without a system of checks an balances in place that go beyond trust, I am not surprised that these men have fallen from grace.