I grieve when ministers of the gospel fall . . . and I recognize that all of us are susceptible to that possibility. I think, though, that it might be even easier to fall today because of the internet. The internet provides incredible opportunities for ministry, but it’s also risky territory. Here’s why:
- Temptation now comes to us. We don’t need to think long before coming up with someone who someone who has fallen via internet-based sin. It seems that temptation shows up in our inbox and can even sometimes get around our filters.
- We can develop wrong relationships quietly. Several men I know who have fallen first got into trouble through emails, Facebook connections, or some other Internet-based means. And, nobody thought the first steps would lead to trouble. . . .
- Very little is private any more. Google searches reveal a lot, including tweets and comments that come back to haunt us years later. Just pay attention to the news if you think that’s not the case.
- False rumors become perceived truth. The information might even be completely wrong, but people have a way of accepting anything on the internet as truth. That unfortunately has led to wrongly-placed trouble for some leaders.
- The Internet can create distraction that contributes to spiritual letdown. My point is this: we can spend so much time doing stuff on the Internet – even okay stuff sometimes – that we spend far too little time with God. The result is that we let down our guard to spiritual attack.
- It provides access to stories of quick restoration of fallen ministers. We can all debate issues of restoration and timing, but that’s not the focus here. My point is that if we think consequences of sin are few and restoration is quick, it’s easier to cross the line into sin.
Let’s pray for each other today.