Recently some in our congregation have found out that our married minister is committing adultery. This information was shared with certain brothers. They approached the minister, who vehemently denied it, but there is valid proof of this affair. The minister continues to preach and will be preaching at a church lectureship in a few weeks time. What should be done? The brothers have given him the benefit of the doubt, but the evidence is overwhelming, and those who know fear that we will be held accountable for these brothers not rectifying this situation immediately.
Thank you for a quick response.
Since I do not know the people involved or the situation, I cannot help you determine if the evidence is true or not. But it sounds like the congregation is fairly confident that the accusation is true. What I urge is that the brethren use the rule of having two or more independent witnesses to determine what is true.
Assuming it is true, the steps the congregation must take are clear. "It is actually reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of such a kind as does not exist even among the Gentiles, that someone has his father's wife. You have become arrogant and have not mourned instead, so that the one who had done this deed would be removed from your midst. For I, on my part, though absent in body but present in spirit, have already judged him who has so committed this, as though I were present. In the name of our Lord Jesus, when you are assembled, and I with you in spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, I have decided to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus" (I Corinthians 5:1-5). A preacher is not exempt from God's laws. He must be withdrawn from and his support discontinued. Failure to take action will destroy the church. "Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough?" (I Corinthians 5:6).
If the preacher repents, then he is to be forgiven and allowed to worship with the brethren again, but they must decide if they want him to continue to preach for them or not.
See: Withdraw Yourselves