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Why We're All Pharisees, Part One: Introduction

I already hate this post. Not because of what it is, but because of what it could become. There are a lot of angry bloggers out there. I’ve done some angry blogging. In the past, I’ve done some angry preaching. Any pastor worth his salt knows what I’m talking about. It’s easy...

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Sermon: What I Wish I Had Known Three Years Ago About Forgiveness

Posted by fallenpastor | Posted in apology, church, fallenness, forgiveness, God, grace, hypocrisy, jesus, ministry, preaching, repentance, youtube | Posted on 26-07-2011

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I got to preach last Sunday. It was pretty sweet. When I preached before, I’ll be honest. I took it for granted. I go months between chances to preach now. Before, it was all about me. Now? It’s a very humbling thing.

It covers things like, “When are we supposed to forgive? Who are we supposed to forgive? Am I supposed to leave a door open for someone who isn’t repentant?”

Sorry about the low quality audio. But if you close your eyes, you can pretend like you’re in a rural West Kentucky church. That’s where I was, thanks to my good friend Bro. Jimmy Stewart and Salem Baptist Church. Hope you enjoy.

(It’s only 32 minutes long…)

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4:

 

The Fallen Pastor’s Wife

Posted by fallenpastor | Posted in adultery, affair, book, divorce, hurt, marriage, pastors, reconciliation, repentance, wife | Posted on 16-07-2011

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I have been absolutely humbled today. Without revealing too much, I was contacted by the wife of a fallen minister. She asked me for some advice about how to handle the emotional maelstrom that accompanies the pastor’s fall.

Never, ever in a billion years did I think a former pastor’s wife would ever ask me for advice. Mostly because I don’t think I’m worthy of handing out advice to the representative population that I sinned against. But after a few minutes, I realized I might have a little insight. Not much, but a little. Like the man used to say, “What I don’t know could fill a warehouse.”

I hope people don’t think that just because I write primarily about the fallen pastor that I don’t care about everyone else involved. I’ve tackled the issues of those around the fallen minister before and know the damage that occurs. All of it matters.

The wife of the fallen pastor, first and foremost, doesn’t deserve what she suddenly has handed to her. In all the interviews I’ve done for my book – and in my own situation – all of us say the same thing – we are responsible for our sin. We did it. It was our choice. Were there circumstances that led up to it? Yeah. Sure, but we’re the ones who decided to sin. That’s first and foremost.

The wife of the fallen minister didn’t ask to have the scrutiny of the community suddenly fall into her lap. She didn’t ask for her family life to suddenly be shattered. Her life is devastated in a moment and what follows is confusion, hurt, sadness, pain and anger.

Without getting too complex, with a bit of experience behind me, knowing I can’t address all of the issues, here’s what I would say to the wife of the freshly fallen pastor, in most cases:

“I’m sorry this has happened to you. I don’t know where this is going to go from here. But I would give you three very serious pieces of advice. The first is this. Find wise counsel. I’m not talking about people you know who are hurt and angry. I’m talking about people who are distant from this situation who love God, love you, love your husband and are willing to walk through this with you. People who are willing to not choose sides but just love on you.

Secondly, love your children like you always have and do what you can to protect them. Your mothering instinct is natural. Your hurt and anger is about to explode soon. Don’t be afraid to let someone keep them for a few hours here and there so you can get away to get your mind clear. You’re a mom, but also be yourself.

Finally, you will know what to do by knowing what your husband does. This piece of advice isn’t mine, but from an expert I talked to. Don’t listen to his words, but watch his actions to see if he is going to be repentant. Make sure people are approaching him to give him a chance, don’t take that duty on yourself. But you’ll know soon whether he is or not. Give caring, Christian people time to find out his heart and his actions.”

There are a lot of hurt, fallen pastors out there friends. But there are an equal number of hurt wives of fallen pastors and their children. Don’t forget to pray for all of them.

______________________

Ray Carroll is the author of “Fallen Pastor: Finding Restoration in a Broken World,” which answers many of the questions I get asked on a weekly basis.

If you are a fallen pastor who needs to talk or you are someone who has been affected by a fallen pastor and would like to contact me privately, please click here. You are the main reason this ministry exists. I’m here to help you.

If you are a church, men’s group, association, conference, or news outlet and would like more information about this ministry, please click here.

The Fallen Pastor's Wife

Posted by fallenpastor | Posted in adultery, affair, book, divorce, hurt, marriage, pastors, reconciliation, repentance, wife | Posted on 16-07-2011

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I have been absolutely humbled today. Without revealing too much, I was contacted by the wife of a fallen minister. She asked me for some advice about how to handle the emotional maelstrom that accompanies the pastor’s fall.

Never, ever in a billion years did I think a former pastor’s wife would ever ask me for advice. Mostly because I don’t think I’m worthy of handing out advice to the representative population that I sinned against. But after a few minutes, I realized I might have a little insight. Not much, but a little. Like the man used to say, “What I don’t know could fill a warehouse.”

I hope people don’t think that just because I write primarily about the fallen pastor that I don’t care about everyone else involved. I’ve tackled the issues of those around the fallen minister before and know the damage that occurs. All of it matters.

The wife of the fallen pastor, first and foremost, doesn’t deserve what she suddenly has handed to her. In all the interviews I’ve done for my book – and in my own situation – all of us say the same thing – we are responsible for our sin. We did it. It was our choice. Were there circumstances that led up to it? Yeah. Sure, but we’re the ones who decided to sin. That’s first and foremost.

The wife of the fallen minister didn’t ask to have the scrutiny of the community suddenly fall into her lap. She didn’t ask for her family life to suddenly be shattered. Her life is devastated in a moment and what follows is confusion, hurt, sadness, pain and anger.

Without getting too complex, with a bit of experience behind me, knowing I can’t address all of the issues, here’s what I would say to the wife of the freshly fallen pastor, in most cases:

“I’m sorry this has happened to you. I don’t know where this is going to go from here. But I would give you three very serious pieces of advice. The first is this. Find wise counsel. I’m not talking about people you know who are hurt and angry. I’m talking about people who are distant from this situation who love God, love you, love your husband and are willing to walk through this with you. People who are willing to not choose sides but just love on you.

Secondly, love your children like you always have and do what you can to protect them. Your mothering instinct is natural. Your hurt and anger is about to explode soon. Don’t be afraid to let someone keep them for a few hours here and there so you can get away to get your mind clear. You’re a mom, but also be yourself.

Finally, you will know what to do by knowing what your husband does. This piece of advice isn’t mine, but from an expert I talked to. Don’t listen to his words, but watch his actions to see if he is going to be repentant. Make sure people are approaching him to give him a chance, don’t take that duty on yourself. But you’ll know soon whether he is or not. Give caring, Christian people time to find out his heart and his actions.”

There are a lot of hurt, fallen pastors out there friends. But there are an equal number of hurt wives of fallen pastors and their children. Don’t forget to pray for all of them.

Getting Saved And Calling The Police

Posted by fallenpastor | Posted in book, Christ, Christianity, mom, parents, salvation | Posted on 10-07-2011

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Last time I blogged about a passage I found in one of my mom’s old books, Temptation: How Christians Can Deal With It.

Allison was reading it and began laughing out loud. She found some of my mom’s humor. Mom was a card. She could make anyone laugh. It’s where I get my sick, twisted, and somewhat Southern refined sense of humor.

In this book, she tells people how to get saved. How to reach out to Christ and ask Him into their hearts. (Allison found this little nugget.) Then she tells them what to do once they’ve made that huge, life changing decision, because a second cannot be delayed:

“Great! Now things are going to get better, maybe not all at once, but a little at a time. The next thing you have to do is tell someone what you’ve done. If you know some Christian people, call them and tell them you have made a decision and accepted Christ into your life. Don’t wait! Do it now! If you don’t know any people who are Christians, get the telephone book. Turn to the Yellow Pages and locate a church telephone number. Call it. If it is after hours, look for a minister’s home telephone number and call it.

If nothing else, call the local police station and tell them you need to talk to a minister or chaplain. Satan will tell you to wait until tomorrow, but don’t do it. Your decision is important to you and to God.”

Mom, that is impassioned and awesome. I love you.

Thank You Mom, And Fellow Author

Posted by fallenpastor | Posted in anxiety, mom, struggles, writing | Posted on 04-07-2011

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For the past week, I’ve been struggling as I write my book with questions every first time author must ask.

“Am I doing a good job? Am I writing enough? Will anyone care?”

My mom, Frances Carroll, wrote several Christian books to help people. I’ve thought of her along the way many times since she died in an accident several years ago.

I called my sister a few days ago and asked her, “Did Mom ever talk about her frustration with writing? About deadlines or writing enough?” Mary Ann said, “I think when she wrote ‘Temptation’ she had some blood pressure problems.”

I suffer from the same horrible depression Mom suffered from, but like to pretend I don’t. My beautiful wife Allison has been here with me and I have been pouring my heart out to her as I write about broken ministers who have fallen and are looking for redemption. The entire time, I’ve been faced with nasty anonymous emails, terrible blog comments,and various other people who question my reasons for what I do.

For the last two days, I’ve been productive, but my heart has been weary. I knew writing was hard, but I didn’t know how soul breaking it was.

Tonight, on a whim, (a providential one) I went to the garage and got a copy of Mom’s book, Temptation: How Christians Can Deal With It. Allison and I read through it turn by turn for a bit. Then I got to page 106 and broke down and wept. It was published way back in 1984 and was the Moody Publisher’s Book of the Month. I was only 11 at the time, but I swear, the next few paragraphs were written for my brittle soul in 2011, July 4.

Here’s what my beautiful mother, a brilliant author who I can’t hold a candle to said:

“I’m just an average housewife and a child of God. I want to tell you what [Satan] is doing to me just for sharing these words in order to keep me from exposing him by the light of truth through Christ. He wants to render every Christian useless. In the past few weeks, there has been a most ungodly attack upon me and my family. My husband has had problems with his work; the children have been under attack at school; my health has been under constant attack. Satan wants us to think we can do little or nothing as individual Christian witnesses. However, nothing is further from the truth! I am not more gifted or talented than you, but I must share the message of Christ as God has laid it on my heart.

Satan has showered me with a series of physical problems. My blood pressure is sky high. The doctor has given me medication and is carefully watching my pressure. Six months ago I had no physical problems. Why now? What has changed is that Satan desires to cause enough discomfort so that I will turn away from my walk with Christ and give up writing this book. Even though I never desired to be a writer – in fact nothing was further from my mind – God convinced me that I must write. He knows I made a sincere commitment to serve Christ.

God gave me the talent and the gift to share my words in writing. He told me that I must share the Word of God in a manner that would be understandable to every reader. You see, I have no special training or education in the area of writing. But God has given me a gift to share His truth with those who will accept it in the same loving, giving, and honest manner in which He has put it in my heart. God impressed upon me that there are not enough Christians who are willing to give of themselves honestly and openly. In prayer time, He told me I must be genuine and believable to those who will read my words. God wants us to understand that we have not yet reached our fullest potential as Christians. he wants us to understand that there is some special task for us to do in His name. We must be about His work, now! We have delayed too long in seeking God’s will for our lives.

Frankly, Satan doesn’t like this message. He doesn’t want to let it out. He is fighting me with all the fury of hell. In fact it is hell thrown open in an effort to quench the Spirit of truth in the Christian. I feel anguish in my heart as I write. Satan cannot defeat you or me when we are in Christ. He is only bluffing! But God wants you, dear reader, to know this! Satan may cause some harm to my body, but he won’t defeat my spirit. I have many Christian friends who are praying for me as I write this study. The victory is claimed for Christ, and we shall press on.”

Thanks, Mom. I love you.

A lot of people ask what my mom would think of me now. I guess she’d tell me, “press on, my son.”