When Pastors Go Bad
After the Harold Camping debacle in 2011 where “pastor” Harold Camping predicted the end of the world — which obviously failed to come true — people should be asking what should they do when pastors go bad.
Or how about a local pastor who may have started out on the straight and narrow but at some point either embraces some radical individualistic view or begins supporting some blatant heresy.
Further, what if an entire ministry goes bad? What should the “lowly” Christian do? Often, we’re told we just should move on. Vote with our feet per se.
In the Bible, there are very few examples of elders/pastors who go bad and eventually return to the Faith. Most examples are of elders/pastors going bad and never again returning to the Faith. The Bible has an of example of warnings of how to avoid installing a bad pastor. (1 Tim 3:1-7)
It is disillusioning when people we trust or want to trust not only let us down but even betray us. As I said, typically we just move on; look for new heroes. Maybe the problem is that not only do we often make heroes out of these people, but they sometimes present themselves as heroes. As “authorities”. As “experts”. As “presidents”. Who are we to question them? But when the corruption becomes so obvious that they can no longer deny it, the illusion is shattered.
It becomes worse when people rally around these bad pastors. It becomes worse when the followers of these bad pastors viciously attack anyone who would dare speak out against these bad pastors.
The purpose of the attacks against the critics of bad pastors is not only to shut them up, but to destroy them; to make their name “mud”. Most of the time it works, because who would want to endure all of that?
So, typically an episode of a bad pastor ends with his critics smeared and his followers with their chests puffed up in “vindication” that they have protected their leader from what they call “slander”. However, eventually if we believe God gets justice for those wronged bad pastors and their followers will finally expose themselves once and for all.