Do Spiritual Leaders Need To Publicly Address Their Infidelity?

February 22, 2016  |  

Out of all of the marital advice that I have received thus far, one of the golden nuggets that stuck was from my Pastor who basically told us that we need to keep our business in our home. He essentially told us that things will happen, but  as long as we keep God first, we would find a way to overcome. And that the easiest way to do that is to keep folks out of our business as much as possible.

Earlier today, Grammy Award-winning gospel artist Israel Houghton announced that he is officially divorced from his wife of twenty years, Meleasa Houghton. The announcement was posted to the singer’s Facebook page and it revealed that he and his now ex-wife had been separated for some time now. From the sounds of it, there was infidelity on Israel’s behalf, though he didn’t explicitly say so. His statement reads:

It is with a collective heavy heart that we announce that after over 20 years of marriage and a long separation, Meleasa and I are officially divorced. Several years ago I failed and sinned in my marriage. Though this is new to many, it is not new to us as we have been working through this for over 5 years. Although we tried, the challenges in our relationship have proven too much to overcome. We have always handled our family and ministry with grace and generosity toward others, discretion, and privacy. So, for the sake of our amazing kids, we are also handling this privately with pastoral oversight and assistance. We choose to remain friendly and kind to each other going forward. I am in the process of restoration and I have repented for my actions. Although I am sincerely sorry, and forgiven, I soberly realize that I will live with the consequences of my failings for the rest of my life. As this has become a public matter I want to apologize to the many who have supported my ministry through the years. I’m sorry for the many who will be hurt to learn of my personal failure. I regret any pain or disappointment that this news may cause you. We thank you for your prayers and for allowing us to handle this privately with those who are set over us in this process.

Prayerfully

Israel Houghton

It’s actually quite beautiful how many brothers and sisters in the faith flooded the singer’s comments with supportive and encouraging messages. Many commended him for being transparent and owning up to his mistakes. And others—well, y’all know how some Christian folk can be. But one comment in particular really stood out to me.

“You have only sinned against God. You owe us nothing. We will continue to pray and support you, both of you. I am in NO position to judge anyone. I believe in the restoring power of God. I love you,” a commenter by the name of PJ Morgan wrote.

And in some ways, I kind of agree with PJ.  It’s admirable that Israel was open about his shortcomings. At the same time, I wonder if it’s fair that some people actually demand this level of transparency from spiritual leaders—mainly when it pertains to marital issues. Yes, they preach the gospel and lead us as we all follow Christ together, but should they be left to deal with some of their issues privately?

Noirettes, we’d love to hear from you. Should we expect spiritual leaders to publicly address infidelity and other marital issues?

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  • Mary Martha

    Again: the battle of the “grace/let-he-without-sin-cast-the-first-stone” camp and the “accountability/qualifications-of-a-pastor” camp. Both sides make strong biblical arguments. Personally, I just literally just ended a 5+ year affair. Actually, it was discovered by his wife. I’m a pastor’s wife. He is a pastor himself. Pray for all of us. I’m unpacking my healing process on my blog at:

    https://miraculoussky.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/the-backstory/

  • Faith

    Wow. This is so sad. He should not have done what he has done to ruin the marriage. I give him credit for admitting that he has sinned. Hopefully he will learn from this.

  • esh

    no they don;t have to display it publically because GOD already knew they were going to do it and will hand out the punishment according to His will. if they have gone against GOD then they need to step down. JESUS is serious business, especially if you call your self having the “main line” to the LORD. but yet and still we are flesh.

  • African Queen

    Its called accountability.. To whom much is given much is required…. We do forgive him as God has forgiven him but him hiding it and shoving it under the rug will not help matters either and undermines his credibility and that of Christianity as a whole…. The fact that he is able to admit his shortcomings and ask for forgiveness tells me a lot about his character. However, we need to remember it is not our place to judge him….. Unless he is a repeat serial cheater I will still be purchasing and listening to his music. Nobody is perfect

  • Alicia

    People seem to forget this….THEY’RE HUMAN!!!! We are so quick to call every pastor a hypocrite, liar, adulterer, etc. These people are flesh and blood just like the rest of us. If a leader can humble himself/herself and genuinely admit their shortcomings, why are we so quick to put their heads in a noose? A true Christian who can publicly admit their sins is someone who I can respect. You have those that sit on the pews with this look like they have never done anything wrong, will be the ones to bust hell wide open. ALL OF US have done things that we are not proud of, but do not be so quick to stone that individual especially when you have sinned yourself. The old folks has this saying, ” be careful how you point your finger at somebody, because there are two or three pointing back at you”.

  • Lora J. Ray

    Sad to see that in the Kingdom of the most high God, where we have all power in heaven and earth living in and thru us, the tragedy of divorce runs rampant….even among the “leaders”. I just don’t get it. So sad and disheartening.

  • oriamah

    About what particularly? So many points were made. Lol

  • Old School Me

    1.Tim 5:20- Reprove before all onlookers those who practice sin, as a warning to the rest.

    1 Cor 5: 11-13: …..stop keeping company with anyone called a brother who is sexually immoral or a greedy person or an idolater or a reviler or a drunkard or an extortioner, not even eating with such a man…… Remove the wicked person from among yourselves.

    1 Cor 5: 1-5: Actually sexual immorality is reported among you, and such immorality as is not even found among the nations….and are you proud of it? Should you not rather mourn, so that the man who committed this deed should be taken away from your midst? ……you must hand such a man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord.

    James 3:1- Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, knowing that we will receive heavier judgment.

  • Old School Me

    How those who engage in major sins are to be handled is covered by scripture – including those in leadership positions. As a matter of fact, those taking the lead face a heavier judgment. (James 3:1). Most organizations don’t follow scripture though, claiming that they’re too harsh. But that’s one way of ascertaining whether or not you’re in the right place. Is the congregation kept clean? Or are the sins spelled out in scripture treated with a wink, wink and ignored? Are unrepentant sinners addressed, per 1 Timothy 5:20 and 1 Corinthians 5? If a sin is widely known or will undoubtedly become known, then the consequences should be known too after all, there is nothing done in the dark that won’t be revealed in the light.

  • Kim

    I wonder if it comes out he cheated with a MAN if he will continue getting supportive messages.I remember when the gospel community blacklisted Tonex,a few years ago.Donnie McClurkin,a pastor and gospel singer, can have a child out of wedlock,nobody says a word but Tonex confirms he is attracted to men and all his shows were cancelled.So all is good as long as you cheat or fornicate with a woman.You can screw a hundred women as long as you apologize everytime you get caught.

    • anonymouse

      You would have a point in DM hadn’t admitted to being with men before. That tonex dude just came off as an arrogant a$$hole, imo.

      • Kim

        According to Donnie’s book he was having sex with men BEFORE he became a gospel singer and minister.So I have a point.While working as a minister he engaged in fornication with a woman, had a son out of wedlock.If he engaged in fornication with a man while he was a minister and gospel singer would he have the same career?

        • anonymouse

          No, you don’t really have a point but ask him that.

  • Taneesha Culture Clash Thomas

    i think as a spiritual leader you have to hold yourselves to a higher level of accountability ie GOD…& also to those people under ur leadership…so yes you can’t have outside affairs & or children from your marriage & expect privacy…if you want privacy step down from those positions.

    • Masterpieced

      Any leader needs to hold themselves higher than those he/she is over.

      • Taneesha Culture Clash Thomas

        we’re specifically talking about leaders in ministry…

        • Masterpieced

          Yes, I agree that they may be the number one culprits. I recall my boss would constantly use her cell phone in meetings. One day the devil had me. I accepted a call just like she always did. lol

  • Nina Divine

    I will say yes, because he inspires people on a daily basis and his marriage was an example for lots of people.
    Secondly, it’s okay to come clean and be real if you feel like doing so…if you don’t , keep it private.

  • MiChelle MiBelle

    He owes no explanation but to God and his wife. Confessing his sins to them and his spiritual leaders would have been enough. I agree with the comment of PJ Morgan and think that it was admirable for him to be transparent to his supporters. It just proves that no one is perfect but God. Christians (albeit leaders or congregants) are serving a perfect God and trying to follow His ways. Unfortunately, people equate Christianity to perfection. Lastly, God’s Word never changes regardless how people sin against it. I’m just thankful that I’m freely given grace, mercy, and forgiveness when asked of my Father even though man will not.

  • kim jackson

    Everyone makes mistakes and they owe the public nothing.

  • Achebe Chinua

    This is none of OUR business. However, Israel’s statement addresses what The Word calls for, for example review Matthew 18. Additionally, there has been repentance. One reason for the world’s ills is that we DO judge, another is that we get involved in situations that do not concern us, and pass on misinformation (bearing false witness). Prays to the Houghton family, and ALL of US!

  • hollyw

    Why does it matter, when we all know that all their gullible followers will do is cite a Bible version to explain away whatever sin said gospel celeb has committed *this time* so that they can keep enjoying some good vocal cords and ignoring the fact that said celeb’s whole platform was built on piety??

    “I wonder if it’s fair that some people actually demand this level of transparency from spiritual leaders—mainly when it pertains to marital issues.”

    You mean like every other celebrity making millions of dollars off of their talents, with the added onus of guiding perks to the Lord that they aggressively took on? No, you’re totally right, just the small stuff like errm shoplifting.

    “Yes, they preach the gospel and lead us as we all follow Christ together, but should they be left to deal with some of their issues privately?”

    No. Absolutely not. The exact opposite to that. Literally, worst idea, ever.

    Of course, we’d hardly even be having this convo if it were all the female gospel leaders running amuck, sleeping with anything w/a p3nis (or vag), having kids by other men, and molesting children lol smh… This entire article is a farce, and one of the main reasons why black people are joining the mass movement away from organized religion. No standards. After I saw that pic of Kirk Franklin *posing* in the studio with Kanye, I was too thru. “Even Jesus hung with prostitutes…” Boy, BYE! Of course, even he denounced religion a while ago and basically took his money and ran, so nobody should be surprised, then or now.

  • ImDisqusted2

    I find it completely appalling that someone would even suggest that nothing is owed to someone to whom people have given their trust. The people who trusted that his songs were true of God and that he was true to God are owed that at least. When a person touts himself or herself as a gospel minister, they are saying that they can be trusted to do what is right. They are saying to follow them because they are following Christ and will not lead them wrong or astray.

    People are quick to say ‘don’t judge’ yet don’t realize that they have already judged that person to be above correction. It doesn’t require a lot of judgment here to determine that what happened is wrong.

    My heart goes out to his wife because from all of the flowery comments in his defense, he will come out of this virtually unscathed. People are pitying him as if he was raped and his wife has rejected him as a result. People will follow him, attend his concerts and purchase his music, no matter what it sounds like and no matter what he does. He will go on with his life as if nothing happened: the show must go on & it is. He could remarry tomorrow and people would congratulate him and celebrate as if it’s all good. His wife will be left in the dust (his dirt) to pick up the pieces of what was and what now is, as she is also left to wonder if any of it was ever real or at what point did it turn into a lie. What a waste: 20 years of a good, faithful and beautiful woman! I pray for her and their children who are caught between a hard place and an even harder place.

    • MiChelle MiBelle

      Wow…I’m not sure if we read the same response. He clearly states that he has to live with the consequences of his actions. Just because we’re not with him day in and day out doesn’t mean that he is not hurting for losing his family and that he’s torturing himself because he can’t forgive himself. I pray for him, his wife, and his children because they all feel the ripple effect of his failures. But let’s not get it twisted…all Christians are summoned to spread the gospel. Some may have a larger platform than others, but we have to remember that God’s Word doesn’t change regardless of the messenger’s shortcomings. We are to trust God’s Word and not Man. Now, I’m not into excusing bad behaviors, but I am called to forgive. Also, if we’re expecting every person following Jesus or spreading the Gospel to be perfect like Jesus, than we need to go back re-read the Word. #notgonnahappen

    • Guest

      Agree, 20yrs and for what, praying that God will heal her. Thats lots of time wasted. It seems like being faithful to the end is a joke.

  • David

    I don’t care one way or another. But I do think, regardless of religious beliefs, people need to remember that people are faliable. If you place your faith in a person, rather than God, you will always be disappointed.

  • So’o Iesu

    1 Tim 5 20 – 21 NIV

    “20

    But those elders who are sinning you
    are to reprove before everyone, so that the others may take warning.

    21

    I charge you, in the sight of God
    and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to keep these instructions
    without partiality, and to do nothing out of favoritism.”

    According to the above, there is a higher standard and therefore a more severe consequence for church leaders.

    • hollyw

      AMEN!

  • Consider this “damage control”, when you’re in an industry (Gospel Music) that holds integrity in high regard and any indiscretions can severely affect your career. If you don’t “confess”, you’re regarded as a fraud and your sales will plummet. It is better to confess than to be exposed. Professionally, this is a wise move. Spiritually, their sin is primarily against the offended spouse, in this case, and against God. The divorce is enough of a price to pay, but to lose the paycheck too… How can he pay for the divorce? Mr. Houghton is DEFINITELY keeping it real, fo’ real!

  • Truth + Fire

    I don’t think spiritual leaders in general are required to address private matters publicly. If anything should be addressed, it’s their PUBLIC sins before their own church (1 Timothy 5). If the sin is private, they are to first be dealt with discreetly to grant them the opportunity to repent and correct their behavior/actions. Continued sin then goes before their home church.

    From a Biblical standpoint, Israel IS NOT required to address his private sin in public. However, as a spiritual leader who happens to be a public figure with a ministry that reaches the masses, I think it was good form (and great PR) that he addressed the public for the sake of his fan ban base’s faith, understanding and healing. While Israel isn’t our pastor and his sin wasn’t public, there are literally thousands of people who are blessed and encouraged by his ministry. What a blow to their faith it could have been if the likes of TMZ or the National Inquirer found a way to “expose” his business before he had a chance to explain himself… especially since divorce filings are public record. So, while it isn’t a requirement, it is good form if public spiritual leaders (and any other generally trusted public figures) are transparent about their own failings. This keeps them from looking hypocritical, unrepentant or prideful if their sin ever comes to light. And, in Israel’s case, it reminds us that even if the righteous slip and fall, we can always get back up, repent and receive God’s forgiveness. (His exposing this was a bit of ministry in itself.) I think most of the encouragement he has received is because he considered us (his fans) enough to be transparent with us when he didn’t have to. That’s pretty darn honorable and, again, great PR.

  • Guest

    Sorry to hear that Israel was cheating on his wife of 20yrs, may God comfort her.

  • Jane

    Would we want the same grace & support extended to us if we were in Israel’s position? If God (the Creator of the universe) is so quick to forgive……why do humans (who can’t even breathe on their own) not forgive? Especially if this infidelity does not affect you personally.

    • ImDisqusted2

      If you go to his page, there is nothing but support and ‘grace’ for him. He will go on. He really doesn’t need anyone to plead his case.

      People still have a right to determine what’s right for them. If they don’t want to buy his music anymore, that’s their right…it has nothing to do with them not forgiving him. & I doubt very seriously if anything said here or anywhere else will bother him.

      And this infidelity does indeed affect every Christian personally because the world looks on and calls all Christians frauds, hypocrites and fools for listening to people like him in the first place. Christians are the ones who have to listen to people throw it up in their face, as if they were the ones who committed the act. Christians are the ones who have to look like they are turning a blind eye when they try to explain that God has forgiven failed leaders and that all leaders aren’t living a lie…time after time…

      • MiChelle MiBelle

        So…in other words, you’re confirming that we feel/receive some of the same ridicules that Jesus received. Even if every Christian was perfect like Jesus, those who refuse to believe will find fault, flaws, and reasons to do away with one’s beliefs.

  • WHOISBSQUARED?

    IN THE END….ISSUES LIKE THESE DO NOT NEED 2 BE ON SOCIAL MEDIA. THIS ISSUE NEEDS 2 BE ADRESSED TO GOD. THATS WHO HE NEEDS INPUT FROM….REAL TALK….

    • ImDisqusted2

      Who said that social media should be excluded? What difference is it whether a person is expressing themselves in a comment section or a text message or a phone conversation. Social media is merely another form of communication. People are appalled; disturbed and upset, and rightfully so.The bible says that people who do wrong in the name of the Lord make themselves a byword. That means that people are going to talk, if you make yourself a topic.

      He said himself that he needs (& is receiving) input from others. All this talk about going to God only is nothing more than supporting the lack of accountability.

  • Raze

    You know pretty well that these preachers will be running their mouths if it was someone of their congregation. Why shouldn’t they get a turn to open up when they’re in the hot seat? This man may be human, but he preaches morality onto others. You can’t preach morality while acting immoral yourself.

    • MiChelle MiBelle

      Actually he’s sharing what God’s love is like. He’s worshiping and praising the Lord. I respect and honor my parents to highest degree, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t disappointed or failed their teaches. Yet, the love me enough to forgive just as the Lord will forgive him.

  • oriamah

    Of course he needs to adress that publicly; confession and restoration are big deals in one’s faith.
    As for me, what’s more interesting is what led him to sin cause that could help others on their own journey.

  • fanstastic

    This pastor is a man and he is human..unless he was claiming to be God. I see no reason to judge him as harshly as one judges any other man or woman. I hate when folks use these examples as a reason for “not going to no pimping church” when I see yall standing on line to buy $300 sneakers, then kill your damn selves over something that is easy to walk away from or apologize for. Then you GIVE your money to the men in black hats (who own the roof over your head) while you will live in roach/rat infested apartment w/o saying a thing. Prisons are filled to capacity, police killing you over nothing. Won’t date a woman without fake hair and eyelashes,…..Yet your worst enemy is a “pimping preacher”….lol…gtfoh.

    • Raze

      Oh honey, the damn pimping preacher falls in the same category as those “men in black hats”.
      Do you think that they care about you living in roach infested houses? Of course not!
      I don’t spend a ton of money on cheap sneakers like Nike, but if I did, at least *I* would be the one enjoying my purchase. In the case of that pimping preacher, *HE* or she will enjoy of all that money while I have to eat beans for the rest of the month.

    • hollyw

      They are all the enemy; there is no “lesser evil”. All needs to be purged from the community, and if you are a supporter of one but not the other, you’re just as misinformed.

  • JAI

    I’m not with Preacher worship going on in black churches these days.
    A lot of these pastors are robbing our people blind and are smoother than pimps. The pastor should not be living in a mansion, driving the latest Mercedes while most of his congregation can’t even afford a car. The community around the church is deteriorating while the church is taking up three different offerings.
    Yes, they should be held accountable for everything.

    • Kory Green

      Exactly… they put these churches in these run down neighborhoods… they say so that they can reach the souls who desperately need saving, as if physical poverty always equal moral poverty, when many well-off and uppity blacks are as morally bankrupt as Satan himself… nah, they do it, because it’s cheaper, but I digress…

    • justice4all04

      Yes people need to know that ministers struggle with the same flesh and life issues just like us but on the other hand don’t be no repeat or serial sinner ex, multiple adulterous affairs etc. Yeah bruh, or lady sit down until you have over come then you help guide others into how you over came If you are still struggling like the rest of us sit down and put that robe down until you have overcome that struggle like a drug addict or an alcoholic. Jesus was a man who led by example not by words put Jesus all the way on then preach and minister.Preach and help God’s people get delivered without taking up an offering. Jesus never asked for no money he had a job just like the rest of us he was a carpenter aka builder yes he had a job get you an honest job so you will not have to depend on offerings.The word says a man/woman who does not work does not eat.

      • MiChelle MiBelle

        But, when He left carpentry and went to spread the gospel, He relied on the giving of others (offering Him and his disciples food and shelter). That’s what funding the kingdom is all about to begin with…to reach others.

    • Guest

      Truth!

    • “A lot of these pastors are robbing our people blind…”
      It’s only considered robbery when it is taken by force.
      If these fools are CHOOSING not to read the Word of God for themselves then they are CHOOSING to stay ignorant and CHOOSING to be financially and spiritually abused.

      • hollyw

        It’s not robbery; is fraud, which is also tech. illegal, ijs. Most folks don’t sue the pastor, though…

        • How can it be illegal?
          People are CHOOSING to believe a lie???!!!
          Don’t we have bibles?
          Does not our bibles tell us who is real and who is fake?
          Its not the pastor’s fault that these people choose to be fools.
          Read your bible.

          • hollyw

            Oh right, “those Christians”. The ones you’re better than.

            Pastors get arrested for fraud pretty frequently now, so luckily, the courts and everybody else understand accountability better than you. Godspeed!

      • Guest

        So true!

    • Ms_Sunshine9898

      My dad’s a preacher. While he doesn’t live in a mansion he and his wife drive nice cars and wear nice clothes because they earned them working their own full time jobs. Not every preacher is robbing money from the congregation to feed a greed lifestyle . . .

    • Masterpieced

      These days? Preachers, Rabbis, Priests have always been on a pedestal in all religions communities.

  • Pianoman

    Yes spiritual leaders need to publicly address their infidelity because they’re in a position of leadership,influence and have many people that aspire to be like them. So keeping quiet about it and act like nothing happened is a betrayal to the followers etc etc. Now we don’t need to know the specifics and details but the statement put out today by Israel is highly respectable and lets us know the situation and allows us to pray for him or give him advice for that matter.

  • ♎Lauren♎

    When you have a public ministry and are responsible to ministering to others, YES! Lack of accountablity is the reason why people do no trust the church now

    • Kory Green

      I don’t go to church anymore now because of too many philandering preachers and hypocrites.

      • ♎Lauren♎

        If you let philandering preachers and hypocrites prevent you from church and claim to believer I’m curious about the depth of your relationship with God. All pastors aren’t bad and if we want to be honest everybody is a hypocrite. You look down on the wolves but do all your actions align with the Word??? And if you ever find the perfect church don’t join it because you’ll mess it up. And no matter how much church hurt you experienced you still need community.

        • Kory Green

          Pray for me, sister. Don’t condemn me. I had a pastor rape and molest a fiance of mine before. So I’m scarred. The “preacher worship”, the hypocrisy and philandering are the biggest reasons why so many men are absent from the church now. We don’t want to feel like we’re married to both our wives and the preacher.

          • Moi

            You hit the nail right on the head. Those words ‘preacher worship’ say it all because that’s what’s going on today, especially in the charismatic churches we see popping up everywhere. there are now these larger than life prosperity preachers who seem to dazzle their mainly female congregants. At times it seems like some people are idolising their preachers and not actually focusing on God. I know of preachers who get their congregants to buy them clothes and to clean their homes, and the preachers don’t even live by the Word either.

            • Kory Green

              You just said it… idolization. That’s exactly what it is. I think since women are more emotional, it’s easier for them to become attached to a man who stimulates their emotions (spirit) so well and so much. Yo, I once had a woman tell me that it turns her on sexually to see a man caught up in the spirit… word is bond. So it’s not just the pastors preying on weak women, it’s also sexually aggressive women chasing men of God.

          • oriamah

            I recall a show where the pastors were asked why there was fewer and fewer men attending the churches. In most of their answers, they talked about the women more spiritual than men and more enclined to the divine. As for me I thought maybe for once men could see through the smoke and mirrors?

            • Kory Green

              However, that’s not the order that is discussed in the Bible. Those preachers weren’t being honest.

              It’s not just philandering preachers, though… I think it’s also because men have an issue with being vulnerable… we don’t want to feel like we have to depend on another man (Jesus) in order to function in life… at least, that’s how I feel… I think men who grew up without fathers feel this way more because we’re not used to depending on a man for anything.

              • PeoplePlease7

                Agreed. Jawanaza Kunjufu touches on how the presentation of “Jesus” has been neutered, white washed and effeminized. He cited the NOI as an example of a religious organization whose members are primarily male, many of which come from broken homes, and how they see strength and strong leadership.

              • ♎Lauren♎

                In this case you need to break that mode that society as taught you(as far as vulnerability). Society has taught men to not express their emotions because it’s a sign of weakness. Reject that trash cause its destructive.

                • Free_Is_Me

                  You are speaking truth!

              • Truth + Fire

                This is good brother. I appreciate your transparency. I am certainly praying God will lead you to the right place of worship. One thing we have to remember is that as Christians we are to follow CHRIST (what He says and represents), not other “Christians”. If you see a so called Christian not living right, YOU be the example. Stop letting other crazy folk block you from getting close to God. And if you read your Word, you’ll know Jesus was FAR from being a punk. Get to know God for yourself… Not what you assume or have been told. Seek Him out for yourself and I’m 100% sure He’ll give you the understanding you need. Be blessed homie! 🙂

            • PeoplePlease7

              You had it right, they see through the smoke and mirrors. The rebuttal to that would be mosques, NOI and Hebrew Israelite services where there are often times over 90% men in the audiences.

          • ♎Lauren♎

            Please do not take my words as condemnation at all. I’m the LAST person to do that. Thank you for providing more context. I stated what I stated before because toooo many people like to throw out blanket statements but don’t want to be accountable for their own actions. I pray you find honest and true healing because not being a part of a good church community is hindering to your walk. As much as America preaches individualism, you can’t do this thing on your own. It’s not how God intended.

            Here are some quick suggestions 1) Ask God for healing and the strength to forgive. You can’t carry that hurt and expect to fully progress. 2) Read the Bible and study for yourself. Being diligent about your study helps you to determine the real from the fake which leads to my next point 3) Pray for discernment. Strong discernment will drive you to look at the actual fruits of their labor and not just the surface. 4) Ask God to point you to the right community. From your statements you may fit better in a more non-traditional setting like a Hillsong NYC, Epiphany in Philly, or Blueprint in Atlanta. 5) Recognize humanity is imperfect and broken and to use God as your standard not man. Man will always fail you. Keep your focus on God.

            I also appreciate your acknowledgement why men do not like the church. It’s too many churches specifically Black churches filled with single women. Any practical suggestions you have on this I would love to hear.

          • ” The “preacher worship”, the hypocrisy and philandering are the biggest reasons why so many men are absent from the church now.”
            I understand your point but these are NOT the reasons or good reasons to stay away from the church.
            The MAIN reason is people are CHOOSING not to read the Word of God for themselves. They are so caught up in their “feelings” instead of truth that they CHOOSE not to read God’s Word to know the truth so they can be free.
            Blaming others won’t matter when you stand before God- not when you have a bible that you can FREELY read and study for yourself.
            The Bible says you will know them by he fruit they bear- good or bad.
            Get a bible and study it- line by line, chapter by chapter, book by book.

        • Ram2015

          No is perfect, but most people do hold those in positions of power, authority (even spiritual authority) to a different standard. There is definitely no perfect church, but I am sure there are some good churches and pastors out there. People need to educate themselves and not rely on a pastor alone. Church hurt is real, a lot of people believed in that sense of community you speak of but something/someone at that church ruined it for them. It takes a while to heal from that, especially if you experience over and over again (even if you are trying new places).

          • Kory Green

            It does say in the Bible that a pastor should be “blameless.” So even God holds them to a different standard. They are held accountable for bringing Him souls and when they corrupt that role and lead others astray, they get it even worse.

      • Truth + Fire

        Don’t stop going out to eat because you had a bad experience with the servers at one restaurant… Pick another spot. Don’t quit making a living because your co-workers/clients are “crazy”… Get another job.

        One thing about not going to church because you assume most Christians and pastors are horrible people is that mindset is judgmental. You’re doing the very thing to us you don’t want done to you. If you are Christian, I pray God will reveal a church home to you that suits your needs and nourishes you. I also pray you are encircled in right relationships that are healthy and minister to you as you grow stronger in your faith. Don’t be immature in your faith and forsake the assembly. Please don’t let flawed people separate you from Christ. And, no, you can’t have a full relationship with Christ outside of the church. I’m sure many people believe they can, but nah bruh. Not possible.
        God—>Christ—>Church (Gathering of believers).

        • MissyBTalking

          Hit the nail on the head!!

          • anonymouse

            The church is not just a building; there are some who can’t attend for various reasons and to say they don’t have a ‘full relationship with Christ’ is a bit arrogant.

            • Masterpieced

              BUT the reason given by the original poster gave her reasons for not going to church anymore.

              • anonymouse

                My point was the other person said that it was impossible to have a real relationship with Christ if a person didn’t go to church. That’s a opinion. not a fact.

      • Masterpieced

        That’s your excuse to feel better about sleeping in on Sundays.

        • Kory Green

          Ha! No, it isn’t. However, I’ve always struggled to make it in during football season, though… and this past year, the Panthers were must-see TV.

  • Live_in_LDN

    When you’re in the business of morality then yes. They preach it so…

  • Kory Green

    If the sin was committed publicly or there is public talk about it within the flock, then it needs to be addressed publicly.

  • PeoplePlease7

    Simple, If they preach against it publicly, then they need to address it publicly. It’s a crying shame that so many of us support this culture of no accountability by giving these self-proclaimed pimpified “spiritual” leaders dozens of chances to disrespect the members.

    Ministers do wrong and you hear a million excuses from the congregation, especially the women, “No one’s perfect”, “God forgives all”,”He said he was sorry”, etc.. Good book by Jawanza Kunjufu called Adam Where Are You: Why most Black men don’t go to church and it touches on this very issue of how hypocrisy and scandals are dealt with in Christian oriented churches and why men especially don’t respect that type of culture.

    Mess still happens in other religions, but the Nation of Islam and Hebrew Israelite services, which are overwhelmingly attended by men, are more military and less tolerant of foolishness (at least publicly). Be your own spiritual leader and stop following these circus clowns and wolves in pimpish clothing.

    • Kory Green

      True… men don’t go because often times, the preachers try to get at our girlfriends and wives. You can’t have a relationship or marriage and be in the black church, because that pastor will be in your bedroom and in your marriage. Instead of talking to her husband, the wife will talk to her pastor, because that’s the man she respects and values the most. Many men aren’t trying to compete with that.

      • Ram2015

        Sad but true. I’ve seen women who are pastors do the same to the men in their congregations as well. Right here in my city there is a church in one of the poorest neighborhoods but the pastor has a private plane and a multi-million dollar home, purchased with the money he takes from the people in the neighborhood with sermons like, “If you give $500 right now, God will triple that money by Friday and tremendously bless you for blessing the pastor”. Friday comes and these people can’t pay rent, buy groceries, or pay for day care. They go to the church and get turned away for not being “a good steward over their finances”. You can believe in God, but people need to create a relationship with God and read the Bible for themselves. There may be some great churches out there, I just haven’t found one yet. We put pastors, ministers of music, etc. on a pedestal, claiming they are the man/woman of God. What really sets them apart from us?

      • PeoplePlease7

        At least those preachers like women, the other crooked ones are trying to get at the men !! LOL… Folks are slowly waking up to the foolishness…

      • 1Val

        What a crock of bull. lol. Many males fail to attend church because they didn’t grow up attending children, hail from broken homes and lack interest in spirituality. Many males are reckless and live like they aren’t going to die without respect for God, the law or themselves. Many males lack educations, employment and church attendance.

      • LNF

        So you’ve been to every single church in your country then? If not, don’t throw them all in one basket

      • hi-liter

        I wonder if he sired a baby from the indiscretion he had with the other woman. He and his wife tried to work it out but couldn’t seems like there is a constant reminder about the affair, and that would probably be a kid in the mix.

        • Dana

          Great question! I don’t know many women that would stay in a marriage when the husband fathered an outside child. Every-time you saw the child; it would be like a slap in the face!

      • Rocking

        Speaking as a non-church going woman(I find it hard to take”orders” from a joker who probably sins more than I do).Maybe the problem isn’t solely with the pastors….Maybe it’s the simple minded women that certain men are attracted to. If your wife or gf respects and admires your pastor more than you, you haven’t been on your job and taking care of business(spiritual and/or physical). Period.

        • Kory Green

          Wait a minute… so you’re blaming everyone, even the innocent husband whose wife cheated on him with the pastor? Wow. Do you tell women who’ve been cheated on to stop crying and take responsibility for their inability to keep their man happy?

          • Rocking

            How am I blaming anyone? All I’m saying is take responsibility for your shortcomings. That’s no different then a man cheating because a woman doesn’t cook for him. You are looking at my comment from an emotional standpoint. It doesn’t matter if the other person is a pastor or not. If you are with a weak minded person they will be easily lead to stray. Make better choices. Period.

            • Kory Green

              This is where you’re blaming:

              “If your wife or gf respects and admires your pastor more than you, you
              haven’t been on your job and taking care of business(spiritual and/or
              physical). Period.”

              So basically, you’re saying it’s the husband’s fault his wife cheated with the pastor. How else am I to read that?

              I’m not looking at your comment from an emotional standpoint. I’m looking at it from a literary one. I can read.

    • Ram2015

      Dr. Kunjufu has so many good books, I just gifted Raising Black Boys to a friend. Thank you for bringing up this title. I haven’t read this book but will order it tomorrow. He speaks the tough truth that needs to be told. People forget that churches are a business and the majority of these pastors, prophets, bishops, ministers of music, etc. are in it for profit and profit alone. I think it is best for people to create their own relationship with God and read the Bible for themselves.

      • 1Val

        How much are Dr. Kunjufu speaking fee and accommodations to book him for a youth event?
        He is a hustler like many of the preachers you speak of.

        • hollyw

          ^lol^

        • PeoplePlease7

          Are you incapable of looking that information up yourself or just too lazy and/or ignorant?

          For those interested, Dr Kunjufu has provided dozens of free workshops, lectures, courses and events over the years in Chicago for educators,counslers and students.That much is verifiable.

          Hopefully this commenter didn’t make an emotional outburst and can provide a valid reason for labeling him a “hustler”.

          • 1Val

            Kunjufu charges for his skill set similar to ministers of the gospel. In that vein he is a hustler like many preachers.

        • Ram2015

          I have no idea what he charges for those events. I have read a few of books and find them to be pretty good reads. Do I agree with everything in them, no. Might he be a hustler just like the preachers, probably. I read a book and take from it what makes sense, what I agree with, and what I think I can positively apply to my life…which is the same thing I do when I listen to a pastor’s sermon.

    • oriamah

      Hipocrisy the biggest disease of christians. Isn’t that what christ was fighting against during his ministry. And yet here they are: pharisees all over again. I haven’t been to a church for a long time; too painful to wach the theatrics and the gimmicks. I call those churches: support group meetings for a good reason.

      • justice4all04

        Hypocrisy is in all religions it’s a people flaw not a religious thing

        • oriamah

          Of course hypocrisy is in all organised religions but unlike others, christians are christ followers, therefore supposed to live by christ principles.
          “It’s a people flaw not a religious thing”? Just out of curiosity, Who are the people? What are the religions? Are they two separate entities or are they interrelated?
          It would be really interesting to see how you differentiate them TBH.

          • justice4all04

            Well for example the Islamic faith teachings are supposed to a religion of peace but not all Muslims practice that principle. Religion should improve one’s inner character but not every one who practices a religious faith adapts that mentality. I don’t think it’s fair to put that bulls eye just on Christians heck politicians are hypocrites they say one thing but do another.As I posted above Jesus was a man who led by example but not every Christian is true to his teachings.To often people refer to themselves without understanding what that represents the disciples were “students of his teachings then they latter were referred to as men of God because their lives spoke of the works of Jesus

            • oriamah

              That’s not the point. The point is: religion is based on people. Without people there is no religions cause it can’t stand on his own; so if there is hypocrisy in people there would be in religions and vice versa.
              Every religion involves love and violence, because as soon as you use the word “retribution” then they would be some violence either physical or psychological. Some religions just chose to emphasize the love aspect while others emphasize the “violence” part.
              But ultimately if we apply the law word by word, we would all be called “extremists”; that’s where the hypocrisis comes from. We only apply the law till some extend, because it’s too hard to follow every rule of the book and yet we are quick to point fingers when others are not living a “christian” life.

              • justice4all04

                Yes it is you asked me to give an example and I did you just want to see things from your point of view and you want to argue and I will no longer engage in this conversation.We can respectfully disagree

                • oriamah

                  Of course I asked you a question I already had answer for. It’s called debate. You had to see that you can’t dissociate religions from people. It’s impossible.
                  So now that’s done: farewell.

                  • justice4all04

                    I don’t have to see anything.I still believe everything I said before you called yourself correcting me .Go find yourself some children to call educate because I am not the one Dueces.

                    • oriamah

                      Of course you saw exactly what I meant and yes you are free to your own opininon. Since you were the one adressing me, I answered to you. I didn’t care about anything you said frankly; no substance. By the way I found a child already. Anyone ending his comments by “Deuces” is definitely on the -16 list.
                      Does your mama know you are playing online with grow ups? Bad bad girl.

                    • justice4all04

                      You are a condescending disrespectful narcissistic fool I would appreciate it if you would leave me alone Thank you good bye!

                    • oriamah

                      You know what the internet is right? You can leave anytime you see fit. You just have to “disconnect” yourself, “unlog” or just “stop” answering. Everytime you come back here and say someting back I have the liberty to answer.

          • hollyw

            Since you led with Christianity, it actually stands to reason that you would explain what makes Christianity especially hypocritical. I don’t understand how having “christ principles” in Christianity distinguishes it any more than, say, the teachings (and followers) of Muhammad in Islam, of John Smith for Mormons, Buddah for Buddhists, etc. etc.??

      • Old School Me

        Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water. There is a big difference between Christendom and true Christianity. There is even a scripture where Jesus says something like “Many will come to me on the day of judgment and say ‘lord, didn’t we do works in your name’ and I will say to them ‘get away from me you workers of lawlessness'” Yes, there are posers but God knows who they are. Don’t let what other people do affect your relationship with God. Besides, you find hypocrites in every organization, people eating pork when their religion says not to, people drinking alcohol or coffee when their religion says not to etc.

        • oriamah

          I’ve got to agree with you 100%; although I thought by removing myself from that environment for me is a way of saving my own soul. Because ultimately that’s all this is about: saving ourself.
          I could see those married men asking single young girls out after bible studies. I even had one stalking me till the point of harrasment. I was too scared to say anything since everybody was prasing him for being the best donator in church. I couldn’t bear the burden of being the one to denounce him, I just left the church entirely. That was just to give you an insight into one of the bad experiences I encountered there.
          Your thoughts?

          • Old School Me

            I too have experienced negative things and sometimes they were resolved and sometimes they weren’t. Sometimes you just have to “Let go and let God”. If the vast majority of the time, those living double lives are censured and at times actually removed from the organization, then that’s all it’s humanly possible to do.

            There is no perfect congregation – there can’t be. But we can’t use imperfection as an excuse to disregard scripture. Congregations must be kept clean. Anyone in a congregation that engages in fornication, adultery, drunkeness, homosexuality, etc. and won’t stop, must be removed form the congregation. Is that being done or isn’t it? But one person’s word against another won’t do it either. There – per scripture – must be corroborating witnesses or other proof.

            But the main thing is the doctrine. Do I believe the bible is the word of God? If I do, because of my own reasoning (not tradition, not what everyone else believes, not what I was taught), but according to starting with a blank slate and comparing verse to verse, topic to topic, which organization teaches what the bible actually teaches? That’s the one to commit yourself to.

            • oriamah

              Exactly my thoughts; By the way there were withnesses but do you think they were going to corroborate anything since they didn’t mind participating in that bs in the first place. Anyway after taking all things into account I thought my best place of worship would be my own house.
              Now if I was looking for a place to meet and mingle with people, I would go to church, but since all what I’m looking for is a “personal” relationship with the divine, I think I’m going to be alright.

              • Old School Me

                It’s good when we recognize our need for a personal relationship with God – especially now a days. God teaches us how to keep our faith strong and support others in their faith. One of the ways to do that is to associate ourselves with like minded people (to consider scripture). We just have to keep looking until we find the right people.

                Hebrews 10:24-25, “And let us consider one another so as to incite to love and fine works, not forsaking our meeting together, as some have the custom, but encouraging one another, and all the more so as you see the day drawing near.” Be blessed. Don’t give up.

                • oriamah

                  Oh thank you. I truly appreciate those words of encouragement.

    • I agree completely.

    • ImDisqusted2

      With people ready to greet these jack-legged impostors with welcoming arms and millions of excuses, it’s going to keep happening. They don’t have to apologize, answer, explain, repent, step down…nothing! In fact, it seems like they become more popular when embroiled in wrong doing. People rally to their aid without them even asking.

      Christians are to live right in private and in public. And ministers agree to the calling of an even higher standard. If they choose not to do so, they should answer and make it known.

    • hollyw

      Well and good, but how does Kunjufu speak on women? Is he another Umar Johnson fraud, promoting polygamy amongst the men lol?

      • PeoplePlease7

        He has authored books addressing the roots of misogyny, lack of self esteem in Black girls and Black men’s role in the broken family structure, but don’t take my word for it, feel free to verify independently.

        Are you labeling Dr Johnson a fraud because he suggests polygamy as an option to address our gender/marriage ratio imbalances? I’m not for it myself, so please don’t attack me I was just asking since you brought his name up.

        • hollyw

          Why would I attack you..? Sounds interesting, regarding Kunjufu, and I likely will then. Regarding Umar, yes that’s the one, and one of a few issues I have with his theories. Polygamy for any reason is, I believe, detrimental and as someone who’s also studied countless other cultures, I found his reasoning for such a thing (which has proven detrimental & subsequently outlawed in both African & African countries) to be an elementary solution for such an educated man (I can only assume his credentials, didn’t fact check). So there’s that. I find most false prophets are good at uplifting one broken piece of the community, but usually at the expense of another, and everyone’s so starved for necessities that they’re easily swayed one way or the other. Anyhoo, thanks

    • soulfullyspeaking

      Your views are flawed. Men are not in church because the house has been broken. Most almost all men and women went to church as the result of a praying grandmother or mother. NOT A MAN. Women actually are the ones that would have a reason to be fearful of church.
      Do you realize in church women are bashed the most. Women are constantly told how to be virtuous, submit to your husband, how to dress, the qualities of a good wife, the appropriate way to treat your husbad etc. Women are darn near given a full manual on how to be women. But are men in church put under that much pressure. Are men rebuked in church for mistreatment of women? Are men told to respect yourself by treating all women with respect REGARDLESS of the whore clothing? Men are not even given half of the rules or told the appropriate way to be a man. The type of man that is meant to be for the virtuous or submissive women.