lessons from a bible student falling into sexual immorality

it is sad — devastating — when you hear of a bible school student falling in fornication (sex) with a young teenage girl committed to his trust.

he was the leader of the young people’s group in our local church where the teenage girl was a part of.  he was also active in leadership in the community outreach of the church, the community (the house) where the teenage girl lived.

i loved the young brother.  i saw myself (when i was much younger) in him — full of zeal for the work of the Lord.  volunteering to help when there was a need.  where i was judged (for being too forward in volunteering, in my former church), i did not judge him, because i understood where he was coming from — with the desire to help out and be of service, having gifts of teaching from the Holy Spirit.

he once offered to help me out.  i had preached in the morning service of the church.  after the worship service, i was going to teach the ‘tagalog’ worship group as a substitute.  then in the afternoon i was also assigned to lead the bible study.  he (then) offered himself to me, personally — to help me out in teaching the tagalog service.  i gave the assignment to him without hesitation and second thoughts.  that was how much i loved this young brother, and sought to encourage him along the way of his seeking the Lord’s will.

it is so sad — devastating — that he fell into sin.  it is so sad — devastating — that he fell into sexual immorality of the kind.

two things call to my attention: one, my problem with the practice in the church, that when a young man expresses his desire to serve the Lord in the ministry, the church leadership immediately sends him to bible school or the ministerial Academy, for doctrinal instruction.  this (to my mind) is a very fatal error!  i think i agree with DM lloyd jones (i can’t quote him… yet.  as i am hammering off the cuff).  i won’t send a young man desiring to serve the Lord in the ministry immediately to the ministerial Academy — i will send him to L I F E!  live a life.  find gainful employment, find a wife, start a family and, above all — live a life!  then, after all’s been said and done, after so many years, and (probably) grey or falling hair — that’s the only time to consider serving the Lord in the ministry… again.

two.  secondly, a thousand thoughts spawn one overt action.  be very wary about what goes on in your head — in your thoughts.  in your thoughts, there is a world of evil!  in your thoughts, you sin against God.  but, you ask forgiveness directly and immediately from God.  but when those thousand and one thoughts are translated into action, then, you sin against your fellow man — and sometimes the law of the land!  and for violating the law of the land, you will be held accountable, because justice demands it.

i cannot offer any remedy for the second issue except sanctifying your thought life, and exercising double restraint on your actions through self-control.  but the first, ie, sending a young, inexperienced man to the ministerial Academy — that, to me, is a big No-No!  send him to life — first.  this is what i firmly believe in.  i don’t think the church will suffer any bit for this young man not to be in the ministry ‘serving the Lord’.  on the contrary, i think he will do the church a great deal of service by being out of the ministry, and proving himself a faithful servant outside the ministry (and qualifying himself) — first — before he even cherishes the thought that he is “in” and (thus) being of service to the Lord his Saviour.  let him show — first — by a good testimony (outside the ministry) that he is indeed worthy of the calling.  let him endure and overcome temptations pertaining to his personal relationships, to his personal faith, to life etc. OUTSIDE the ministry, before even thinking about letting his foot in the door.

this is my 2¢ worth.

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an 8 year old girl and preachers.

an 8 year old girl and a boy who was either older or just taller, was having an animated discussion in the small coffee shop i was at.  they were a couple of tables (less than 10 feet) away from me, and i could see and hear them clearly.  i had the urge to take a video of them with my smartphone, but decided not to, for certain reasons — caution, being one of them; (although i knew both the girl’s parents and grandparents, who were also there with her.)

but there were lessons i gleaned from the way the girl argued with the boy, that (i thought) may be applied to preachers and preaching.

first, extemporaneous preaching is very effective; and by extemporaneous preaching i only mean that when you preach, it is not the paper on the pulpit you look at, to know what you should be saying; but the people you are speaking to, to persuade them about what is burning in your heart.

a quick second is: maintain eye contact with the people you are preaching to.  i have seen preachers keep constant or longer eye contact with their notes — one preacher had his eyes almost glued to his full manuscript the whole time he preached!  some preachers keep looking on the ceiling above; others, to whatever might be lurking out the windows!

a quick third: mastery of your subject is absolutely necessary.  sermon notes (but especially, full manuscripts) often act as crutches for listless preachers who have no mastery of their sermons — it disables them from speaking to people eyeball to eyeball and from the heart.

all these three i gleaned just because the whole time the girl was talking, she never took her eyes away from the boy!

fourthly, let your body talk.  how emphatic was the girl talking to the boy?  she swung her elbows, waved her hands, leaned forward — and glared at the boy with her eyeballs!  preachers should talk with their bodies as well as preach with their voices!  and the girl’s gesticulations were not studied theatrics — they flowed naturally (beautifully) along with her argument.

finally, appeal to Scriptures.  yes, quote renowned authors.  but make your final appeal always be to Scriptures.  for the girl, of course, her Scriptures was, ‘but my mom said…’ or, ‘no, no, no, my mom said…’ and the boy just haplessly resigns.  only the Scriptures have the power (by the Spirit) to silence your hearers’ contrary voices.  always appeal to Scriptures to establish your argument.

this girl (to me) is big deal!