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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Pastor (11/30/06)

TITLE: Valley of Decision
By
12/01/06


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A pastor, shunned by his congregation, paced through his apartment. His King James Bible sat on the night stand, opened to the books of Timothy.

I Timothy 2:16 “But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.”

“What does Paul know?” In torment and agony, he grabbed his head, unmindful of the raw spots. Clumps of hair lay strewn on the floor. He sat down on the edge of his bed and writhed in agony. A woman's hand timidly caressed his arm, but he flung it away.

“The voices! Make them stop,” he screamed. He staggered to his feet, cursing his mistress. With one hand, he jerked her from the bed and sent her stumbling for the door. Snatching a lamp, he threw it after her. The light flickered and died; broken glass joined the rest of the debris on the floor. Darkness consumed him, within, without.

I Timothy 3:2 “A Bishop must be blameless, the husband of one wife...”

He ripped the covers from the bed and threw them across the room. “I don't love my wife anymore; she doesn't please me. I don't want her.”

I Timothy 3:2, 3 “...of good behavior...not violent...but gentle...”

“Stop it!” He spun around, grinding his teeth. Grabbing the night stand, he drew it over his head, crashing it against the wall. The wood shattered, covering him in splinters. He slipped and fell, jabbing one of the jagged pieces into his hand.

The voices continued. I Timothy 3:2,3 “...sober minded...not given to wine...temperate...”

Crazed, he clutched a bottle of wine to his naked body like a greedy child. “I need this. I Need This,”
he yelled at the unseen hecklers. He lifted the alcohol to trembling lips. Blood ran down his arm and mingled with the ruby liquid.

I Timothy3:2,3 “...not greedy for money...not covetous...”

He guzzled the last of the wine, and panicked. “Where is it? Where is...?” Crawling through the mess, now dampened with blood, he found the pouch he'd taken from the weekly collection. He stumbled to his feet, shaking the bank bag toward the ceiling. “I deserve this! It's, it's mine. Mine...no one else's...”

Smeared with blood, and covered with hair and bits of glass and wood, he sank to the floor again. Drawing up his knees, he huddled against the wall, mindlessly plucking splinters from his body. His head dropped and he covered his ears against the taunting voices.

I Timothy3:3,4 “...not quarrelsome...one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence...”

Over come with grief, he sobbed. He didn't even know where his sons were. They walked away when he argued the meaning of the Scriptures he used to justify leaving their mother.

I Timothy 1:5-7 “...the purpose of the commandment is love from a pure heart, from a good conscience and from sincere faith from which some have strayed, have turned away to idle talk, desiring to be teachers of the Law, understanding neither what they say, nor the things they affirm...”

“You don't know what you're talking about.” The effects of the wine altered his mood back to a sneer. “How dare you? I know more than my sons. I know more than anyone.”

I Timothy 3:2,6,7 “...hospitable, able to teach...not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride, he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover, he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.”

“Who do you think you are? You don't have any authority to deliver me to Satan.”

The voices swarmed around him, until they merged into one hissing whisper. “Oh, but you are mine now.”

A sudden knock at the door silenced the antagonist for a moment. Free from the delusion, the naked man crawled over to one of the blankets he'd thrown on the floor. Recognition set in when the assistant pastor spoke. “Pastor, have you had time to think and repent? Pastor? Can we come in and pray with you?”

The voice hovered about him, waiting for his decision.
______________________________________________________________________________

From the KJV
I Corinthians 5
Verse 1 “It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you...”
Verse 4 “In the name of our Lord Christ Jesus, when you are gathered together, along with my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.”
Verse 11 “But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.”
Verse 13 “...Therefore 'put away from yourselves the evil person.'”

II Corinthians 2
Verses 6-8 “This punishment, which was inflicted by the majority, is sufficient for such a man, so that, on the contrary, you ought rather to forgive and comfort him, lest perhaps such a one be swallowed up with too much sorrow. Therefore I urge you to reaffirm your love to him.”
Verse 11 “Lest Satan should take advantage of us; for we are not ignorant of his devices.”

If you are struggling with the fact that I wrote this about a pastor, please consider the following:
Our family dealt with this situation on three different levels, at three consecutive churches, with three different pastors. Pastors, and their families, we were personally connected to each time, and suffered personally from their sins. Forgiveness was a hard thing to deal with in light of the circumstances, but it is only through forgiveness that I am able to write about this today. I believe the admonitions shown here are for all of us, but especially for those who shepherd a flock in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And yes, we have met some wonderful pastors since!


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This article has been read 775 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 12/08/06
Yowsers, this is good writing!
Shanti Singh12/08/06
This is excellent. Thank you for writing it. I'm glad you weren't afraid to deal with a touchy subject. Pastors are people, too, and do fall into sin. I'm glad to see that in your story, the church was practicing biblical discipline. Well done!
Louise Fountain12/09/06
Powerful message! The word was rightly divided and properly displayed for correction. Wonderful work.
william price12/09/06
Very good job of story telling and ministering. It could almost be called the valley in the valley of decision. This story packed a punch of truth. God bless.
Cheri Hardaway 12/12/06
Darkness consumed him, within, without -- I LOVE this line. When we fall into temptation and get blinded by our pride, darkness does indeed consume us. Pastors are not exempt, for they are just human beings. And, yes, they are leading other human beings, so are even more apt to be tempted, for if Satan can make a pastor fall, he can make so many of his sheep fall away with him. Excellent work. Blessings, Cheri
Catrina Bradley 12/12/06
Thank you for this reminder. We can hold pastors to such a high standard and expect them to be without sin or even temptation, but pastors are just people too. Powerful writing - thank you for this article.
Marie Fieldman12/12/06
Shish! Daring topic. Vivid detail....

I'm not scared...really!;)
Betty Castleberry12/12/06
You painted a perfect picture of a soul in torment. I could literally see this man crawling around on the ground amid the blood, hair, etc. Well done.
Donna Emery12/12/06
Chilling, vivid and very real. It's sad to think that someone held in so high regard could betray his congregation's trust in this way but unfortunately we know it's true. You wrote this well. Your skill in writing made this sordid man look human. Thanks for sharing it
Joanne Sher 12/13/06
Oh WOW. Absolutely stunning and dark and atmospheric. Amazing stuff, friend!