Another Mega-Pastor Scandal...

You check the news and see another mega pastor scandal.

You sigh, but think to yourself that it's always been this way.

Churches that get that big always have scandals like that. Just like businesses. That's why churches should stay small. Book deals, fame, power, it gets to these guys every time.

And that's where you'd be wrong.

It's true. In the past 20-30 years it feels like the scandals have been never-ending. Mark Driscoll had Mars Hill. Matt Chandler had the "inappropriate texting" and now it's Tony Evans and that is a fraction of what's really going on.

But this is NOT how it's always been.

And you might be tempted to think. "Oh, so this is because they didn't used to have churches this big? Or famous pastors like we do today, right?"

We have had those for a while, too. Take Charles Spurgeon. He had thousands of people in his audience. His sermons were read in Newspapers all around the world. He was a world's best book-seller. He was lauded as an amazing speaker.

And this all started at an extremely young age. I am sure he was tempted in powerful ways. Yet we do not see the scandal hit him.

Okay, yeah, of course. That's Charles Spurgeon. But who else is there?

Well, there's down the street from him Joseph Parker, who also ran a megachurch without scandal. And Henry Liddon. And William Landels. And...

Well maybe that's just London in the 1800s?

Well in Brighton we have Octavius Winslow, who also ran a large ministry and did fine. In Bristol is George Mueller. And nearby was JC Ryle running a large ministry and doing fine in Suffolk. And Alexander Maclaren in Manchester.

And we had Christmas Evans, Andrew Fuller, F. B. Meyer, and...

Well maybe that's just the UK?

Except in America we had DL Moody, Theodore Cuyler, James A. Stewart, Arthur T. Piersen, Henry Ironside, Rolfe Barnard, Leonard Ravenhill, and on and on we go.

Now to some degree, I think it's a matter of perception, sure. We remember the big names of the past and the ones that went down in scandal or "never made it" we probably forget some of those. However, we do remember scandalous people. John Wesley's infamous marriage scandal and Jonathan Edwards' support of slavery are remembered.

And to say we only remember the good is a bit of a misnomer, since most people hardly remember any of these names on this list.

The reality is in the late 1800s to have a mega-church like Spurgeon did or Moody or many of the names on this list required something it does not today.

It required character. It required a heart to see lost souls saved. It required unbelievable amounts of integrity.

The reason we see a constant stream of mega-pastors going down is because we keep making men mega-pastors who have no business being there in the first place.

We need to change who we are letting into the pulpit in the first place.