Dads & Handling Wolves in the Pulpit

A married church leader is tempting one of my family members to have sex. My family member is innocent, doesn’t want to get involved, and is evading the situation. How can we confront this sinning member, how can we solve this effectively in a Christian way? Please guide us.
Thank you,

Dear Myrah,

Your remedies and solutions will depend on the exact position of this person in the church and your organizational structure. For instance, if it’s the senior pastor, report him to the denominational authorizes or the church board, or whoever is responsible for disciplining/firing him. If there is no such structure, no higher authority you can appeal to, and no one this person is accountable to besides God, don’t walk, RUN from the church. Out of concern for others, you should warn the other members of the church and let it be known why you are leaving.

Otherwise, handle this according to the scriptures (see Mt 18:15-17). Assuming this is a young female her father (throughout this, insert husband if she’s married) should first confront the man in private and give him a holy telling off. Yes, Dad has every right to get in the face of someone threatening his family like this. You can be both loving and firm. Stand on the scripture and politely but firmly confront him.

The next step will be take one or two others with you. At this point (or sooner if the holy spirit leads) bring in the the church leadership, those in place above him, such as a senior pastor, elder, or board member. They may stick to the biblical structure and go with you to confront him again, or go right into whatever disciplinary structure they have in place.

Biblically, in the last step, it’s taken before the entire church and they’re ex-communicated if they still don’t repent (stripped of membership and office and treated as an unbeliever). But you’ll have to follow whatever procedures are in place at your church. If the remedy doesn’t lead to his dismissal or repentance, again, don’t walk, run from this church and warn your brethren, as I detailed earlier.

First and foremost is protecting the victim of this harassment. If Dad isn’t in the picture or isn’t able to fulfill his biblical role, Mom can step up, but it’s preferable to ask another male friend or relative who can be trusted to fulfill the father’s natural protector role. Do not go light on this guy. He’s most likely a wolf, not a sheep. If you have reason to believe you’re dealing with a sociopath, do not confront him, but go directly to church authority. A sociopath will not respond favorably and will take measures to ensure the leadership believes him rather than you if you tip him off that you’re on to him.

That said, your average wolf is a coward at heart and will back off when Dad gets in their face. Once they discover their target for dinner has someone keeping watch over them, they will typically prefer to move on to easier prey who don’t have fathers protecting them. Sorry, Mom, but predators usually don’t find you particularly scary. Dads with a backbone, however, they usually don’t want to mess with. All I’m saying is be firm and assertive, standing your ground on the word of God. With the Holy Spirit’s guidance, Dad can politely and lovingly tell this guy off without getting violent, screaming, etc. This is not a time for meek and mild. This calls for strength. The Lamb of God we emulate is also the Lion of Judah. So long as Dad goes in under prayer covering, having sought God’s guidance and leading, Dad should be fine.

Again, if Dad’s not available, Grandpa, big brother, Uncle, Pastor, close family friend/spiritual father can be effective as well, especially if he’s committed to being involved in her life as a paternal substitute. As a last resort, Mom, go yourself in the power of the Holy Ghost and let Father God do the telling-to through you. This also goes for older sisters, aunts, and grandmothers if you happen to be the only person keeping watch over the lamb.

Note to Husbands: as I said in the parenthetical earlier, this all applies to you if the victim in question happens to be your wife. Your father-in-law handed the responsibility over to you when you said I do.

In Christ’s Love,
Andrea Graham

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