The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports this morning that the pastor of a new church start in the Southern suburbs of the Twin Cities was arrested in a prostitution ring.
Looking at the church website, one can see that this church tends to be on the more evangelical side, which I can imagine will cause some schadenfreude among my fellow mainline Protestants. In fact I have already heard about how "these churches" are the ones that condemn gay folks and then turn around and are involved in sex scandals.
Others might make fun of this pastor, but I won't.
Maybe it's because I came from an evangelical background, I dunno, but I don't think this is an occasion to gloat. Nothing on the church website seems to say anything anti-gay, and even if it did, I am thinking more about the hurt this has caused than about laughing about the downfall of a conservative Christian.
I think about the family of the pastor that has to deal with all of this. I think about this new church community, including those who might be new to the Christian faith, who have had their faith damaged because of this. Sexual scandals involving pastors tend to have a damaging effect on faith communities, and these people need our prayers, NOT our laughter.
I also have to add that in the years since I've been a pastor, I have been aware of people who got into situations where they slipped up sexually. It affects everyone, be they liberal or conservative. There is a reason that middle judicatories have boundary training- to make people aware of situations where pastors might be compromised. Being in such a position of power makes us susceptible to breaking boundaries.
To make fun of this is to not love others and is plainly un-Christian.