Forgiveness is not selective. It is all encompassing.
Local news and Social Media are keeping the events at the local mega church, NewSpring Church, before our eyes all week. Pastor Perry Noble was removed from his role as pastor last Sunday July 10, 2016.
While you might like for me to get into a dialogue of the particulars of the incident, I’m going to disappoint you. I’m not interested in character assassination or dissecting a local congregation of believers. I confess I’ve not been a fan or follower of Mr. Noble nor of certain practices of the fellowship. However, I’ll tell you what I am a fan of.
First I’m a fan of holding a person, any person, accountable for their actions. Particularly if they are in a leadership position. I commend the staff for dealing with the situation in what appears to be a loving Christian manner.
I’m also a fan of congregational forgiveness. Regardless of the sin or what ‘level’ of sin some might consider the offense, for the congregation to stand alongside their leader in his decision to get back to where God wants him is biblical.
Forgiveness is not automatic. It should be genuine and biblically practiced. It is to be widespread. Let me demonstrate with a true story. In the early 1990’s I listened to the Ref. Charles Stanley from Atlanta First Baptist tell of a personal experience he had in a Atlanta bus station or airport. I forget which venue it happened at. I listened with much interest because of my regard for Rev. C. Stanley.
The very next Sunday I sat in my local church and listened to the guest speaker for that Sunday morning. He was a young high school student going into the ministry. As he delivered the morning message, he began to tell of a personal experience he recently had. It was virtually word for word with what Rev. C. Stanley had shared just a few days earlier on his radio program.
I’ve never forgotten it. I think of the guys youth and place a level of trust in the hope he has grown to be more Carrefour in the illustrations he employs. That young man has grown up and just recently been placed as an interim leader of a large mega church. Forgiveness doesn’t need to be selective but available to all and in all cases where it is needed. Forgiveness is warranted here. It was an error in judgment. I forgive him. Even if it is remembered, I can forgive. In fact I use it as a call to action in my use of illustrations etc…
I’m also a fan of a person owning up to their sin. I commend Mr. Noble for seeking treatment and acknowledging his failure. I wish him a deliberate, ongoing, recovery showered in the grace and love of Almighty God.
I wish forgiveness was as quickly broadcasted for others as it has been here.
Until Next Time,