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I can remember trembling when I read Charles Spurgeon’s advice, “Prepare for when your dearest brother betrays you.”.​ In over 16 years of pastoral ministry, I can still remember the most hateful and painful letter I have ever received.​ A personal attack by a beloved church member.
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Betrayal in the Church, Angela Greenig

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How a Pastor Deals with Staff Betrayal

Subscribe Subscriber Benefits Give a Gift. Subscribers receive full access to the archives. All Articles. Browse All. Home Pastor's Library. Full Library. The elderly being more religious, are more willing to both give wholeheartedly to the church, which makes them easy targets to be swindled for their money. Even if they give more money than they can afford on their own accord, the church allows it to happen. People will spill some of their deepest issues and situations to the pastors and preachers in their church so they can find spiritual guidance.

The church has several pastors with different specialties, one dealing in money. Since they are aware of the income, morally, they should not let their members give more than they can in tithes and then pressure them to give more for offering. Even though those individuals were caught, it taints not only the reputation of that church but the faith and symbolic nature of the church as whole.

Pastors and administrative members of the church — especially the Black church — have their blackness and spirituality on their side. Those are some of the strongest identifiers through which people can easily foster trust. And a Black church can house anywhere from a few hundred to several thousand people with the same identity. This makes people overlook issues, shortcomings and plain flaws in a person. Also, who would suspect a seemingly God fearing person to deliberately prey on the weak and continuously break one of the commandments in the house of God? These isolated incidents are a product of an individual and not the church as a whole.

But, if the reputation of the Black church is going to stay strong as it has for this long, these growing trends must be acknowledged and stopped. Tags: Baptist , Black church , church , congregation , faith , politics , tithe. View Results. What should she tell her family, people in the church, those outside the church? She may have felt powerless to prevent the sin, the shame, and the consequences. She suffers in secret, with nowhere to turn. Hopeless, she may give up in despair, feeling abandoned even by God. Once the word is out, she feels helpless to stop the damage to her family and church.


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Challenges to her faith. She may find herself conflicted when her character and involvement are questioned. Besides her confusion about the character of God, she may find herself tempted to abandon her faith altogether, because of insensitive and ungodly responses or lack of responses from the Christian community.


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  6. Even if the Christian community is kind and helpful, she may resent having to look happy and well-adjusted when her world is falling apart. Confusion about her role. How can she remain in the church? How should she help her husband and family when she is struggling as a victim?

    How Are You at Handling Betrayal?

    To whom should she turn for help? Dragging up the past. If she has had childhood family problems such as parental divorce, sexual abuse, or problems with her father , she may find past memories disturbing her and affecting her reasoning abilities, faith, or wisdom. He may be angry with his wife for failing to tell him what happened, or for waiting too long to tell him. If the husband does not believe that his wife is a victim, the integrity of the marriage will be seriously jeopardized.

    He may feel that his masculinity has been attacked, and that he is a failure because he did not protect his wife.

    The Pain of Betrayal

    They will probably have doubts about God, and may become angry at Him. They may despise their mother as weak and ineffective, and may despise their father for failing to protect their mother. They may secretly or outwardly rebel or practice vengeance on their family and their church. They may turn to friends. Depending upon the character of their friends, this turn could be devastating.

    The parent of a child victim typically feels shock and outrage in multidirectional ways—toward the offending pastor and his staff, the church, and other families who failed to protect their child. A Christian parent may redirect blame inwardly, perhaps believing that all anger is sinful and should never be outwardly expressed.

    Such anger often comes out in the private setting of the home, causing further devastation among family members and smothering their faith in God. However, they may fail to see the importance of explaining the process of justice, answering doubts, and teaching the child how to think Biblically about the experience and their role in it. Biblical counseling for parent and child is often advisable.

    Depending upon the extent of the offense and her own spiritual maturity, the wife of a perpetrator may feel the following. How can this be happening to faithful people like us? Our reputation is ruined; how will we ever hold up our heads in public again?


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    What about those to whom we have been ministering? And what about finances? My husband has no other job skills, and neither do I. How will we manage? What will happen to the children? What a hypocrite my husband is!

    How could he do this? Life seems unfair. She probably runs his faults through her mind and chastises he self for not standing up for herself and her family.

    Overcoming Betrayal

    If the church reacts insensitively, they are hurt yet again. The idea of continuing to have sex with him may be repulsive to her. Maybe I have been a fool to trust God all these years, just as I have been foolish to trust my husband. If he angrily accuses her of driving him to another woman or to porn , her confusion and shame may keep her silent, reluctant to confront his sin, which only exacerbates the problem. She may question her own identity: now that she knows he is not the person she thought he was, she wonders who she is.