Around the world sexual misconduct is knocking ministers from their ministry. As the numbers grow it is crucial to know what should happen to them for their good and for the good of the Church. Should they return, repentant, to their pulpits within weeks or months—or should they return at all?
John Armstrong has seen a lot in a pastoral ministry that has spanned over twenty years. When it comes to the issues of sexual impropriety John’s anecdotal experiences coupled with scriptural exegesis, examples in Church history and careful reasoning helps to shed light on an issue that is responded to with such varied and strong opinions.
“Without a clear conscience no man can meaningfully preach with discernible power to the conscience of others. Only with clean hands and a pure heart can the minister receive and give a blessing from the Lord.” (Page 19)
“ ‘I looked for the church and found it in the world, and when I looked for the world I found it in the church.’” (Page 28)
“The uniqueness of sexual sin, to put it another way, is not in its degree of evil but rather in the direct way sexual sin strikes at the body and, through the body, at the whole human personality.” (Page 59)
“Adultery is one of several sins that defrauds and brutally violates others directly. Adultery is not simply a ‘slip-up’ but a massive, often planned rebellion.” (Page 47)
“Fourth, adultery destroys trust like few other sins.” (Page 50)
As the epidemic of moral failure among church leaders shows signs of worsening, the church must carefully re-examine some hard questions in the clear light of scripture. John Armstrong has done this, and here he offers a thoughtful, biblical response—surely the finest book to date on this difficult subject.
John H. Armstrong president of Reformation & Revival Ministries since 1991, serves the Church in a variety of ways— among them speaking at conferences, pastoral care, and writing teaching resources and books. He was a pastor for twenty-one years, the last sixteen at Trinity Baptist Church, Wheaton, Illinois. John and his wife, Anita, have two adult children and one grandchild. He lives in Carol Stream, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.