A Pastoral Promise of Purity…
In the last six months, a few additional events have occurred in my life, coupled with some great leadership talks with mentors and friends of mine and the fact that Pastors, leaders, athletes, and politicians are “biting the dust” sexually, God has not whispered but shouted that I MUST establish some paths, boundaries, and guidelines with regards to sexual purity. With sexual sin left and right, high and low, in the secular and church world, this is an area in which I can’t sit by and just assume I am not at risk. The truth is, every living breathing person is at risk and for those of us in ministry, there is so much more at stake. People will call me crazy, paranoid, and unrealistic but I have to be proactive and preemptive in my journey with Christ as His pastor and my husbandry and fatherly relations with Amy Lynn, Anna Grace, Benjamin Cole, Wesley Jacob, Caleb Timothy, and Joshua Hunter Kelley.
Knowing that any sex outside of marriage is a sin against my heavenly Father, I establish and commit to the following boundaries/pathways/guidelines that I hope and pray will help me maintain a pastoral promise of purity before Almighty God and faithful to Amy Lynn and my children. This is my pastoral promise to purity…
1. I will keep my relationship with Christ front and center, remembering that any sex outside of marriage is a sin before Almighty God.
2. I will keep my relationships with Amy Lynn and my children the highest priority of my life.
3. I will remain keenly aware of the fact that any form of sexual sin and adultery can ruin my marriage, bring shame and hurt to my children, devastate my calling as a minister of the Gospel, destroy this church, and bring harm and shame to the larger body of Christ.
4. From this day forward, I will not offer counseling to women. There are other women on our team who can counsel and if they are not qualified for the particular situation at hand, we will pay for the newhoper to get professional counseling outside the walls of newhope church.
5. I will not talk with another woman about my marriage, unless it is to praise Amy Lynn and/or discuss how blessed I am to be married.
6. I will not participate in or even occasionally flirt with pornography because it is sin (Matthew 5:28), cheapens women, and causes unrealistic expectations.
7. When at all possible, I will not ride alone in a car with a woman.
8. I will strive to make sure my wife and/or assistant ALWAYS knows where I am.
9. I will not eat in a restaurant alone with another woman after 5 pm. (A working/ministry related lunch/coffee during “business hours” is the only option available)
10. When at all possible, I will not travel alone in ministry, preferably taking my wife or one of my children with me as I represent Christ and newhope church.
In short, this is my humble and earnest attempt to “Flee from sexual immorality.” (I Cor. 6:18)