- J. Oswald Sanders, Spiritual Leadership
I attend a Lutheran congregation in north Minneapolis, one that belongs to the church body I work for. It's large but not huge. The senior pastor has made himself visible in the media for a number of years as a critic of the liberal church, and of modern trends such as universalism, women's ordination, higher criticism of the Bible, and the normalization of homosexuality. He is a single man.
Last night, while watching local news on television, I discovered that he'd been “outed” as a homosexual.
He was not discovered in a “gay” bar. He was not discovered having sex with another man in a public rest room.
According to the news accounts I've seen (emanating from liberal sources) he was discovered attending a support and accountability group in a Roman Catholic church. He was speaking honestly, to men he trusted, about his struggles, slips, and temptations.
In other words, he was doing precisely what people on our side of the argument say a man in his situation ought to do. He is the very opposite of a hypocrite.
On the basis of the accounts I've read, the “journalist” who produced the story infiltrated this accountability group, lied about his purposes, and then broke the promise of confidentiality he made to get in.
The television story pretended to be a high-minded think piece about whether it's ever appropriate to “out” someone against their wishes.
I don't believe that was the real purpose of the story. I believe it was to splash my pastor's picture all over TV screens in our state, with a metaphorical scarlet letter on his chest.
My pastor has my full support, and my prayers. God bless him, and all godly men in his situation.