Pastors Say Adultery Shouldn’t Permanently Disqualify Clergy from Ministry: Survey
I’ve said this before on this blog, and here it is again: Christians (and even secular conservatives) gave up defending, living out, or advocating sexual purity (whether marital fidelity or abstaining from pre-marital sex) years ago.
Christians do not “worship virginity” or “purity culture.” Something has shifted in the last decade or two where Christian attitudes and behavior regarding sexuality is indistinguishable from what the secular culture is saying or doing.
If Christian marriage is supposed to be this never-ending font of hot, steamy, regular, satisfying sex – as so many of the Christian books and lectures I heard from Christians claim – why then are so many married Christian preachers committing adultery? I guess that married sex ain’t all Christian propaganda makes it out to be.
by Leah MarieAnn Klett
Most pastors believe church leaders who commit adultery should withdraw from the pulpit for some time, but only a small percentage believe extramarital affairs permanently disqualify pastors from the ministry.
“Pastors’ Views on Moral Failure,” a new survey of U.S. Protestant pastors by Nashville-based LifeWay Research, finds that most pastors believe a fellow pastor who has committed adultery needs to take time away from the ministry.
However, opinions vary when it comes to the duration of the sabbatical.
…LifeWay found that the ethnicity, education, and denomination of a pastor influenced the likelihood of their response.
The survey found that African American pastors are the least likely to say one who commits adultery should withdraw from the ministry permanently (8%), while Pentecostal pastors are the least likely to advocate for a permanent withdrawal (6%) and most likely to support staying away for at least a year (35%).
…Pastors with a bachelor’s degree (34%) are more likely to select “Withdraw permanently” than those with a master’s degree (27%) or a doctoral degree (22%).
“Pastors’ opinions on the subject are a good barometer for opinions across churches,” said McConnell. “There is widespread disagreement from pastors across denominations, church size, age, race and education levels to quickly restoring pastors who commit adultery to public ministry positions.”
And there you have it. Many Christians do not take sexual sins seriously. They stopped defending sexual abstinence until marriage, and now, they don’t seem too upset about married men who have affairs.