Recently there have been multiple high profile scandals involving evangelical leaders. Accompanying the scandals, entire leadership/elder boards have resigned due to their slow response to the scandals.
Why did it take so long for leadership/elder boards to respond to the scandals?
I don’t pretend to understand nor know the details. However, I suspect it has something to do with the nature of the church.
You see, of all institutions on planet earth, the church is the one organization where she ought to lead in the area of grace.
And, that’s the problem. Grace is messy.
Leading by principles is easy. Here are the principles we live by. You’ve broken trust and violated these principles. You’re out of here!
But, what about grace? What about restoration? What about giving people, even leaders, the opportunity to repent?
God is all about restoration. Yes, that may mean being removed from leadership for a time, but ultimately what God desires is restoration and forgiveness. Yes, there are consequences to all actions. And, yes, grace needs to be applied.
Grace is messy. Practicing grace is hard, confusing, and messy.
I am no expert in practicing grace. But I do try my best to practice grace. I have no other choice, for without grace, I have no place to stand. I am a sinner. Worse yet, I am a repeat sinner. Without God’s grace on my life, I stand guilty of sin.
God is an expert of applying grace and truth.
Every leader is a sinner graced by God. Graced sinners have great difficulty in knowing how best to apply grace and truth.
Grace is messy. Practicing grace is hard. It is downright confusing.
Yet, we are called to practice grace. We have no other choice for we are all sinners who have been graced by God’s love and truth.
Grace is messy. Practicing grace is hard.
Church, keep at it. We can get better at practicing grace and truth. We must. We hold both grace and truth in tension.
The one thing we must not do is to gloat at the failure of others. And, unfortunately, we have witnessed some of that too.
Practice grace. Uphold truth. This is the church