I was recently sent a blog post written by Al Mohler entitled “For Christian Men: The Lessons of Herman Cain.” I am sure most of you have heard by now that the accusations of sexual misconduct brought the Cain Train to an end.Â Â These types of epic moral blowouts always leave me asking the difficult questions of my own life, ensuring that I have done everything I can to keep my life above reproach. Â I praise God that at an early stage in my walk with Christ wise counsel insisted that I set boundaries in my own life to ensure my witness is never marred by these types of allegations or, worse, that I fall into these types of sins.
Whether it is a pastor or a political figure, a friend or someone I have never met, a moral meltdown always leaves me asking myself the question, “Could this ever happen to me?” Thankfully, by God’s grace, I have set up necessary boundaries/safeguards for my life and ministry to stay above reproach, and I have set in place necessary accountability through my local church (i.e., small group and fellow pastors) that continually press me on these commitments.
I really do encourage each of you to consider these “lessons,” prayerfully ask yourself how to implement Mohler’s wise counsel and, above all, abide in Christ each and every day of your life. I am confident He is able to keep usÂ ChristianÂ men (and ladies for that matter) from stumbling (or, in this case, falling headlong into a moral disaster)….
1. The Christian man must realize that credible accusations of sexual misconduct or immorality are fatal to credibility and ruinous to Christian witness.
The Church does not consist of those who have never sinned, but of those who have come out of any number of sinful patterns into obedience to Christ. When a credible accusation of sexual immorality is made against a Christian man, nothing less than his faithfulness to Christ is called into question. Nothing is then more important than to refute the charge with honor and credibility, or to make a clean confession and accept the consequences.
2. The Christian man cannot dismiss any charge of sexual immorality as being a private matter of no public concern.
We know better. One hard lesson from the experience of Herman Cain is this: A Christian man accused of sexual immorality cannot make the argument that moral concerns â€œend outside of oneâ€™s bedroom door.â€
3. The Christian man must plan his life in order to assure moral accountability and protections.
The Christian man must plan his life, including his business life and his professional career, in such a way that he does not allow himself to be in a situation in which he can be credibly accused of such misconduct. A Christian man does not socialize alone with a woman who is not his wife â€” period. Though this can sometimes add complication and cost, a Christian man should not travel or conduct business in a way that exposes himself to sexual temptation or opportunity.
4. The Christian man must depend upon his church, the congregation that is so essential to his Christian vitality and faithfulness, as a bulwark against sin.
Christianity is not to be lived in isolation. We are called together into congregations of fellow believers, living together in submission to Christ and growing together by the ministry of the Word. Christian men desperately need the strength and accountability that comes through faithful membership in a Gospel church.
The congregation must provide moral protections as well as moral instruction. The men of the congregation, old and young together, must be a band of brothers ready to pray for one another, to encourage one another, to confront one another, to admonish one another, to protect one another, and to stand together in faithfulness to Christ.
Do your Christian brothers know of your practices, patterns of life, and principles of conduct? Are they ready to defend you should an accusation come? Do you regularly seek the counsel of your brothers in deciding how to conduct your marriage, your business life, and your professional practices? If not, you are in trouble already.
5. A Christian man knows that his wife is his best defense against sexual immorality and sexual vulnerability – and his most important witness to character.
Herman Cainâ€™s situation would have been radically different had he responded by denying the charges, documenting his moral protections, demonstrating the untruthfulness of the charges, allowing his wife to attest to those protections, and then challenging anyone with evidence to the contrary to come forward and present such evidence in public.
Please stop and read this, especially you Christian young men. This is a lesson you and your family will want you to learn before a moral meltdown.
It is too late for Herman Cain to restart his presidential campaign and start again. But it is not too late for many Christian men to act in order to prevent the day when they are caught in their own moment of trial in the face of such accusations. For Christians, the lessons of Herman Cain are too important to leave in the history books of the 2012 presidential campaign.
Let’s pray for Herman Cain, as well as our own lives. Sin is too deceptive, our flesh is too weak, and Christ is too glorious for us not to learn these valuableÂ lessons.