A Rug-Free Church

I know many of you have heard the term “swept under the rug” in relation to things that should have been exposed but were covered up because people did not have enough backbone to deal with the consequences of their actions. This happens all the time, but it should not. Especially in the work of God!

For years, we have heard stories of sexual misconduct by church leaders. I remember when news broke about a very high profile pastor who had molested children decades before who was sent overseas to be a missionary while the incoming leadership knew what had happened. When news broke over a decade later, the current pastor who knew tried to sweep more under the rug and develop a strategy with his staff on how to address the media. A recent story has come to light about a pastor who was engaged in such behavior over twenty years ago. The victim was advised by other church leaders at that time to remain silent.

Because of hypercritical people who used people’s actions against them, many get offended when I or someone else mentions the idea of addressing a person’s sin. This is, however, biblical. You deal with the person individually, address anyone else who has been affected by it, and seek to restore the one in the wrong and gear them toward repentance. On the flip side, there are consequences for such actions that often lead to time in jail, etc. We cannot “sweep it under the rug” but address it. Ephesians 5:11-12 says, “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.” Notice it says expose! I’m not saying publicize it, but it should be biblically addressed (and criminally punished as outlined by law when applicable).

For those afraid of conflict, it’s time to go shopping for a backbone and throw away the broom and rug. Although we are prone to sin, there is never an excuse to do it. Grace may cover sin, but it does not give people a license to sin. God is looking for holiness. How hard will He have to look to find people who pursue holiness and godliness?

10 thoughts on “A Rug-Free Church

  1. I agree with you. Sins like sexual abuse should lead to that person being fired and if the victim wants to, repot it tp the police. The church I used to go to used to just move teachers who were caught molesting. I don’t know how they could have done such a terrible thing.

  2. Interesting as yesterday on another blog, I saw a pastor who was going down hard on another guy, the idea being that we should hate sin and too: about false conversions. My take is that no matter: Savage is the same as ALL people as we all sin. King David sinned, etc., and to call out so-called false conversions is rather…..well, strange. I say this because no matter how much we love, forgive and are Christians we continue to sin. I know some preach that we do not, but I attest that we do. I don’t know if we hate sin or not, but know we have a propensity to do it. This means that when it crops up we shouldn’t be surprised. At the same time, our sins shouldn’t be hidden either. If we’re going to preach it then we’re subject to it. Simply don’ t give the appearance of being perfect.

  3. Great post Matthew! This is so needed in our churches. Sin must be rooted out. John the baptist said that the ax is laid to the roots, But many of us still have the roots intact and don’t get rid of the sin that could destroy us. Our pride says God will overlook this one little thing. How wrong we are!

    We all sin, and we all need to repent. Paul said He died daily, and w must to. Die to the flesh so the spirit can be more alive in us. Let us walk in repentence.

    Be blessed!

  4. I love the term meaningful conflict – I know it is usually used in reference to the way we engage with others (our behaviour) but I think any time we call out sin it is meaningful conflict as long as our behaviour is representative of our desire for restoration not revenge, protection of others not posturing of ourselves

    Great post and the title is one that will stick with me reminding me to always ensure that church leaders I work with seek to have a rug-free church

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