the BLOG of stuart mcdonald

Stunned – Thoughts on Trinity Chapel
December 18, 2008, 2:03 am
Filed under: Ministry | Tags: , , , ,

I sit here stunned.

I just finished reading that Bishop Jim Bolin, who pastors Trinity Chapel Church of God in Powder Springs “has been sanctioned by the Church of God for inappropriate behavior and will step down from the leadership of the 7,000-member west Cobb congregation he founded.” I think particular story affects me so much because I personally know several families, including my father and his wife, that attend their church. I can only imagine what they’re having to deal with in their hearts. And while we should never put our faith in a man (or woman), it always hurts when someone you’ve trusted for so long does something that you’d never have expected.

When I hear news like this, 2 things happen to me. First, my heart absolutely breaks for the man (or woman) because I know that they’re better than whatever they’ve done. I know that is not who they are, but in a moment of weakness, they succumb to their flesh and everything changed.

I don’t think that Bishop Bolin, or others who have had this same fate, are bad people at all. I think that they are great men and women of God that made a bad choice. I do think that there were indicators (however small they might have been) somewhere along the way that could have given clues to those who chose to see them. I don’t think anyone has a moral failure overnight. I think that there are small choices, little compromises along the way that end up snowballing into something larger than was originally intended.

I will say that I appreciate them for not “putting him on blast” as it relates to the specific issue that occurred. I know that leaves some people to wonder and assume things that more likely that not, are not true. However, I think, personally, I’m glad that I don’t know what he did. It doesn’t benefit me in any way shape or form to know any more details. The church has obviously taken the appropriate measures and that’s all I need to know.

Let’s all make sure we learn from this example.

It is so important that we understand our weaknesses so we can avoid them at all costs. We have to realize that we’re more prone to fall into sin we we’re put into particular circumstances. The enemy knows this very well and will do anything in his power to put us in those situations.

The second thing that happens is that I begin to reflect on what God has called me to do. I don’t second guess it by any means, but I really begin to more greatly understand the level in which I must rely on God for everything I am and will become. If I try to do what He has called me to do on my own, I will utterly fail. Not only that, but I will bring disgrace on myself, my family and my friends. I recognize that for what He has called me to do, I cannot and will not do one thing without His leadership, guidance, provision, and wisdom in my life.

I realize that, really, we can’t live strictly “above reproach” any more. We must live so far beyond above reproach that it would be seemingly impossible for anyone to call into question something that we were doing, or possibly not doing. We must have safeguards in place to protect us from ourselves. Christ is coming back for a Church without spot, wrinkle, or blemish. I know I do not want to be one of those stains that marks His beautiful bride!


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