On Saturday April 3rd, Bob Coy, the head pastor of one the largest churches in the US, resigned his position a midst scandal. According to multiple news sources, he had cheated on his wife Diane.
No details regarding the affair have been released. Church leaders at Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale are wisely remaining silent. A statement taken from the church’s website surprisingly down plays the spiritual seriousness of his adulterous affair by calling it a moral failing.
It is entirely reasonable for the the church to remain silent on the details. No one desires to see Bob or his family suffer more then they already have. However, there is a tendency in all of us to minimize our sin. Lets face it, in a world that struggles with moral absolutes, it easy to do. Part of repentance is coming to grips with the seriousness of our sin. Understanding how it effects us, those around us, and most importantly how it effects our relationship with God. If the leaders of Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale minimize Bob's sin, will they not be empowering others do the same?
Adultery is not something one simply falls into. For someone in Bob Coy’s position, it is a cataclysmic undertaking requiring forethought and purpose. It does not happen by accident, nor does it force you into submission. The person who cheats on their spouse doesn't accidentally find themselves in the arms of another. Adultery is warmed up to and then purposefully embraced. Sexual affairs require deception at the highest levels. Forgive me for being obstinate, but this was a bit more then a moral failing. It was a deliberate act of rebellion against the Spirit of God and His Word.
Over the last several days church leaders rightly caution against casting stones at Bob. I am touched by their compassion and their mercy. There is no doubt that he has done a great deal for the kingdom of God. He was a strong leader and a voice of reason. Bob Coy is not a kook like so many other pastors who have gained national attention for their “moral failings”. I agree with his doctrines and I found his teachings sound and inspiring. He was not given to extremes and he did not appear to be after people’s money. Those who know him speak well of him. Yet despite his many virtues, he broke his sacred covenant with his wife and sinned against God in a deliberate and destructive way.
We all understand the need to show mercy and forgiveness. However, let us not diminish the seriousness of his sin. Referring to adultery as a moral failure is like blowing off your arm and calling it a flesh wound. Indeed, Bob is only human; indeed we should look to Christ as our example and not him. Yet lets not be naive, people did look to him. He was in an influential position of leadership, 20,000 people looked to him for instruction in Godly behavior and Christian principles. As a result, Bob Coy’s sin reflects poorly on all Christianity. It dishonors God’s reputation and calls into question every verse in the bible that speaks of our power over sin via the Grace of God. Surely this was more than a moral failure.
A Look Inward
I can't look at Bob without pausing to look inward. This is a wake up call to all of us who serve God openly and publicly. To whom much is given, much is expected. Beware pastor and teacher of God’s Word. Fear God and be doers of His Word and not hearers only. Bob did not fear God, as a result, his sin was made known.
It is heart warming to see that Bob has not been cast off or shunned by the folks at Calvary Chapel Ft. Lauderdale. They have made it clear that all their resources are available to aid him through this time of repentance. Pray that he is able to reconcile with his wife and family. May he see his sin as more then a moral failing, and may he begin to walk in the fear of God.
Your Brother in Christ