How is it that when a prominent Christian leader falls, the whole affair is so often shrouded in darkness? The secrecy seems to persist until the police, the media, an offended party, or the victim of the leadership abuse brings it into the light. How often are those illuminations met with skillfully-articulated denials or a minimizing reinterpretation of the offense? Is it just me, or do you see it, too?

We Christians are often fond of reciting John 8:32 “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” particularly when the topic is evangelism. The trouble is, our behavior – at very important times and in very important ways – oftencovers up the truth. 

The Greek word translated “truth” is alethia, meaning “reality,” or “what is.” Yet, in times of crisis – like when a minister falls in sin – we seem to invest ourselves in elaborate cover-ups. One reason we do, I think, is because the Church has forgotten what business it’s in. Remember, ministry is the “people-development business.”

Is it any wonder those outside our faith community scratch their heads about us? What are they to think when we froth at the mouth about the “truth” of our Gospel and then behave in ways that endeavor to keep truth hidden? Were the roles reversed, what would you think? How likely would you be to consider their faith claims?

-Kirk Kirlin, Leadership Courage