Should I tell the leadership in my old church that I committed fornication with one of their leading men?


I have a question. I know it may seem silly or absurd. I recently became involved with a man who is an ordained minister at a mega church. He serves as armor bearer to his pastor and plans on starting a church himself. For two years we talked and eventually went out. This man and I became sexually involved with one another. Not long ago I moved, and we have not spoken to or seen each other in a while. Since moving I have been coping with and trying to understand what we did. I know we committed fornication and I feel extremely guilty. However, he acted as if nothing was wrong. I feel like I was hopeful in the "relationship" and a bit naive but allowed him to lead the way. Should I tell his pastor or another member of the cloth, or am I just being bitter? I usually was celibate but wanted a relationship. What should I do?


Since you said you are usually celibate, I take from that you have committed fornication before when you justified it to yourself. Yes, you ought to feel guilty about your sins, but more so, you need to change your behavior. "For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death. For observe this very thing, that you sorrowed in a godly manner: What diligence it produced in you, what clearing of yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what vehement desire, what zeal, what vindication! In all things you proved yourselves to be clear in this matter" (II Corinthians 7:10-11).

Since you mention being bitter about your breakup, I wonder what your purpose in telling others about this man's sins. Are you seeking his salvation? Are you wanting to get him in trouble? Or, are you trying to save other people from being his next victim? Whatever your motive, you first need to straighten out your own life first. "And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye" (Matthew 7:3-5). This is not to say that action isn't necessary in regards to his behavior, but you won't be in a position to help and to help with the proper motives until you first fix yourself.

Since you and this man sinned privately, the first step is to tell him that he had sinned and needs to repent. He may not listen to you, but you need to give him a chance to fix his private sin privately. "Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother" (Matthew 18:15). The goal of correction is to win a lost soul to Christ. "Brethren, if anyone among you wanders from the truth, and someone turns him back, let him know that he who turns a sinner from the error of his way will save a soul from death and cover a multitude of sins" (James 5:19-20).

If he refuses to acknowledge that what you two did was sinful or gives indication that he has no plans of changing his behavior, you need to then get the help of two or three others. "But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that 'by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established'" (Matthew 18:16). Sin is serious business and it can't be just your word against his. I would suggest people whom you both respect to serve as both witnesses and as people who can rebuke the man when it becomes clear to them that this man really had sinned. Again, by limiting who knows about the matter, the hope is that it can be straighten out without causing lasting harm.

If he still won't listen, then you have the witnesses necessary to bring the matter before the church so that public censure can take place. "And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector" (Matthew 18:17).

Sadly, it is common to hear that leaders in denominational groups straying into sin and justifying it. In part it is because they already do not follow God strictly, so it is a small matter to compromise in other areas. "These are wells without water, clouds carried by a tempest, for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever. For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped from those who live in error. While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage" (II Peter 2:17-19). Rather than continue to follow these false teachers, would it not make better sense to join Christians who are interested in following God in all aspects of their life?

I took your advice. I told him that it would be best if he just left me alone, (I've tried previously to break it off and talk to him), so he knew that I was serious. He responded by saying bye, loudly, which led to me calling him a fake and the worse man I know. He laughed and that was that. I think I really need to work on myself but don't know exactly what to do first. I thank you for your advice.

I would suggest finding a congregation that is serious about following God. You aren't likely to find such among the mega churches. They are usually big because their goal is to attract people, and that usually means telling people what they want to hear instead of what they need to hear. If you want help locating a group of serious Christians in your area, let me know.