When I first ran across this story, of the pastor forced to make a naked getaway from the home of one of his parishioners after being caught in bed with the man’s wife, I was like most people. I was distracted by the scandal and theater of it all. It is hard not to be so distracted since the details sound like something from a movie more than anything real.
Last Tuesday, she said, [Pastor] Simmons came over to the home she shares with her husband and their children so they could “talk over starting a business, patents and trademarks, and providing less fortunate kids with clothes and shoes.”
During the meeting, she said they started having sex. While they were engaged, her 6-year-old son’s school was trying to get in touch with her to pick him up. Since she did not answer, the school reached out to the boy’s father.
Benjamin picked up their son and headed home only to discover his wife engaged with Simmons in their oldest daughter’s bedroom.
Benjamin reportedly screamed “I’m gonna kill him,” and went to the couple’s bedroom to retrieve a small handgun.
On hearing the threat, the frightened pastor fled the couple’s home naked without waiting to see what would happen. The enraged husband attempted to chase after the pastor but his wife stepped in front of him and begged him not to kill her lover in front of their son.
Like I said, it sounds like something from a movie, but as I thought about it more, there is a valuable lesson here about the ministries we choose to sit under. I did a mental run through of the teaching I heard from pastors over the years found embroiled in immorality and scandal. There are no guarantees of course, but an overwhelming majority of those preachers (besides being filthy rich) teach from a very temporal perspective.
Namely, the bulk of what you hear from them focuses on how to succeed and obtain “everything God has for you” in this life. Suffering in the flesh is not given its proper due, unless of course the “suffering” is short term “sacrifice” for the sake of obtaining material and or personal gain.
They spend inordinate amounts of words encouraging us to go after our “best life now”, very little encouraging us to defer to others, and even less preparing believers for the realities of what it really means to take up our cross. It stands to reason that any man who teaches his parishioners that life is all about having the things they desire would live his life the same way.
Am I insinuating that every preacher who teaches in this vein is sleeping with his parishioners? Absolutely not. I am still naive enough to believe that most of them are not. I do know this, however. Any church which subordinates the gospel to a focus on personal achievement and material wealth is not where you want a be, and you should definitely look a little askance at any pastor who preaches that message.
Our girls are still at our church for now, but when they are married and or in a position to choose their own place to worship, this is something they need to consider. It doesn’t really matter how great a church’s programs are if they are not preparing their members to meet their Creator and hear Him say, “Well done”.