In this five-minute roundtable, Tim Keller, John Piper, and Don Carson answer a hard and sobering question: What would you say to a congregation that has lost its pastor due to moral failure?
For Keller (TGC vice president and pastor of Redeemer Presbyterian Church in Manhattan), a good starting point is encouraging congregations not to become disillusioned about leadership or institutions. Instead, they should first look to the fallen nature we all share as human beings. Carson (TGC president and research professor of New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) reminds us that while sin should always horrify us, it should never surprise us—even when it’s Christian leaders falling into it. As Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn famously wrote, “The line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.” To that end, Carson also reminds congregations of their calling to confront sin and seek restoration through the practice of church discipline. Piper (teacher at Desiring God and chancellor at Bethlehem College and Seminary) speaks about his own experience with this issue and pushes churches to patiently endure God’s hand in purifying his people.
God’s faithfulness to his church never fails or falters, even when those he’s entrusted to lead it to do.