Toby Sumpter offers some sage gospel-coloured counsel. Here are a few tasters:
First, as a Bible believing Christian, I happen to believe that in a more Christian society, the death penalty would be promptly administered for the worst of these predators.
Jesus commands us to forgive anyone, anytime (Mt. 18:21-22). But forgiveness doesn’t invite the repentant drunkard out to the pub for a celebratory drink. Forgiveness doesn’t allow the pilfering pastor to continue mounting the pulpit, no matter how misty his eyes or trembling his voice. Forgiveness doesn’t smile and nod when the repentant porn addict says he’ll be searching Google till three am, but don’t worry he’s forgiven.
Forgiveness releases the debt for the sake of Jesus’ blood, but depending on the offense, forgiveness is also often a certain level of commitment to love the repentant brother/sister back to faithfulness. Forgiveness doesn’t hold sin against the sinner, but forgiveness doesn’t pretend there is nothing to watch out for, nothing to guard against.
The Church, because we are committed to repentance, should be a place where there is free forgiveness and lots of barbed wire cheerfully and lovingly strung up around the pits and ditches for those repenting of entrenched sin. And it is the wise combination of this forgiveness and accountability that is the means to rebuilding true trust.
Read the full thing here.