I know many of you have heard the term “swept under the rug” in relation to things that should have been exposed but were covered up because people did not have enough backbone to deal with the consequences of their actions. This happens all the time, but it should not. Especially in the work of God!
For years, we have heard stories of sexual misconduct by church leaders. I remember when news broke about a very high profile pastor who had molested children decades before who was sent overseas to be a missionary while the incoming leadership knew what had happened. When news broke over a decade later, the current pastor who knew tried to sweep more under the rug and develop a strategy with his staff on how to address the media. A recent story has come to light about a pastor who was engaged in such behavior over twenty years ago. The victim was advised by other church leaders at that time to remain silent.
Because of hypercritical people who used people’s actions against them, many get offended when I or someone else mentions the idea of addressing a person’s sin. This is, however, biblical. You deal with the person individually, address anyone else who has been affected by it, and seek to restore the one in the wrong and gear them toward repentance. On the flip side, there are consequences for such actions that often lead to time in jail, etc. We cannot “sweep it under the rug” but address it. Ephesians 5:11-12 says, “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.” Notice it says expose! I’m not saying publicize it, but it should be biblically addressed (and criminally punished as outlined by law when applicable).
For those afraid of conflict, it’s time to go shopping for a backbone and throw away the broom and rug. Although we are prone to sin, there is never an excuse to do it. Grace may cover sin, but it does not give people a license to sin. God is looking for holiness. How hard will He have to look to find people who pursue holiness and godliness?