I have watched with sadness the travails of a large church and famous pastor over the past year or so. It has been my desire that they would get their act together for the sake of the church as a whole. One of the interesting facets of the saga has been the charge that the media has been used to create undo attention to the charges against the senior pastor and that dirty laundry should not be aired in the secular media. Even I was chastised for suggesting on Facebook that I wished the parties involved would get their act together as indicated above.
We live in a connected world. This is not necessarily a bad thing. Perhaps what it does is increase our responsibility to handle issues within the church and in Christian organizations in ways that actually honor Jesus and don't need to be hidden from the world. If we have to hide our issues from the world there is either something wrong with our conduct or the way we handle conflict or differences together.
Further, why should ministries be exempt from the same transparency that we ask of other institutions in society whether government or other entities? If we have something to hide, if we engage in questionable practices, if we mistreat staff or muzzle opinions, is it wrong that we not be held accountable? We love the media when it helps us and use it for our purposes when we can. Is it a surprise that the media not pay attention when we allow our issues to become public as they have in the church above?
Paul suggested that our conduct be such that even the pagan world would look at us and not have cause to accuse us of any wrongdoing. If that were our standard we would not be afraid of scrutiny from the outside or the inside. My take.
Finally, when we allow our leaders to become public figures and treat them like rock stars - or draw attention to our ministries why would we expect anything other than media attention?
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