We should be able to turn to our church leadership for help in these dangerous times. But what happens when our church leadership can’t be trusted?? Then what do we do?? Because a whole lot of these extreme sins … are being committed by church leadership. Priests and pastors and preachers and what have you. When we can’t trust our church leadership, when we can’t trust our own pastor, where do we turn to??
Hello Readers, hope all’s well. Today I present another End Times post.
I thought long and hard about whether I should write about today’s subject in a post. I was concerned about if I focus on the negative too much, if I read too many stories of wrongdoing in the church. Because although there are certainly Christians we could call “good” or “bad” Christians (although in reality there are no ‘good’ or ‘bad’ Christians, it’s all a matter of how much Sanctification a person has in their life, how much Spiritual growth they have), for the most part the average Christian tries to do good. Although we all sin and get into trouble, most Christians aren’t messing with other people. Most Christians are “good people,” or at least that’s how I see them.
And yet, there are now and always have been Christians who do wrong. We all sin, we all fall short of God’s Glory (Romans 3:23). But also, there are now and always have been Christians who cross the line in shocking ways with sins so extreme we have to wonder if they really believed in God even one day in their lives. Besides the primary victims, every time Christians commit extreme sins it also harms the entire Body of Christ and the integrity of our Message.
The sheer amount of this kind of sin we’re seeing testifies to the fact that these are indeed the End Times. This world is drowning in sin; it’s overwhelming and threatens to bury us all. We should be able to turn to our church leadership for help in these dangerous times. But what happens when our church leadership can’t be trusted?? Then what do we do?? Because a whole lot of these extreme sins … are being committed by church leadership. Priests and pastors and preachers and what have you. When we can’t trust our church leadership, when we can’t trust our own pastor, where do we turn to??
I know the answer to that question is “God.” It was a rhetorical question. I only want to highlight the harm caused when Christian leaders forsake Jesus and turn to sin. When our leaders fall, it makes our congregations weaker and more vulnerable to the devil. When our leaders fall, it harms the entire Body of Christ. When our leaders fall, it hurts the Faith of every Believer. It also drags the Almighty Name of Jesus through the mud, as the secular media lines up around the block eager to report on any story that (rightfully) exposes prominent Christians or Christian leaders as sinful hypocrites living secret lives.
But by far the worst consequence is that when our leaders fall, they create victims who have to live with the trauma they suffer due to someone else’s selfish and self-serving sins. No part of that is OK; none of that can be tolerated. And the LORD despises such things. Christian leaders must be held accountable for their actions like any other Christian. And every possible effort must be made to contain Christian leaders who are having problems and to prevent them from harming others and creating victims.
I’ve also said this before a few times, but I’ll say it again because I can never say it enough. Every Christian leader who struggles with lust and they can’t control it: You need to step down. You need to step down and sit on the sidelines for a few years with the LORD while you battle that sin. You need to step down, before there are victims, before there’s a scandal. You need to step down before any of that happens and you need to go deal with that. That is what would please the LORD.
So anyway, let me get to the topic for the day. You can already guess what kind of story I’m going to share today. Like I said, I thought long and hard about whether I should share this story in a post or not. I wondered, “am I being too negative, am I too focused on the negative??” But I couldn’t stop thinking about this story for a few days after I read it. Because it bothered me that much. So I took that as a sign that yes, I should write about it.
So let’s hear a sad story of a poor Christian who was betrayed by the people he loved and trusted the most. A Christian who was betrayed and stabbed in the back by his own pastor and his ex-wife.
A Predator Pastor
In this case, a retired pro baseball player in the U.S. named Ben Zobrist is suing his former pastor for having an affair with his (now ex) wife and stealing money from a charity that Zobrist founded.
You can find the story in a few places, many news outlets reported on it. The story I’m using as the source for my facts in today’s post is Former Cubs star Ben Zobrist accuses pastor of affair with his wife, defrauding his charity by David K. Li for NBC News. It was published on June 22, 2021.
The story so far seems simple, but depressing. Ben Zobrist attended the Community Bible Church in Nashville, Tennessee in the United States for many years. More than a decade. And he knew the pastor there, Byron Yawn, for all that time as well. But in 2019, pastor Yawn began having an affair with Zobrist’s wife behind his back.
But the story gets so much worse when we read about how deceitful and underhanded the pastor is. He’s a snake, a dishonest, manipulative, and deceitful snake. This pastor was counseling this couple through their marital difficulties; Zobrist trusted him!! And the pastor abused that trust to have sex with the poor man’s wife (and of course the wife is guilty too, it takes two to commit the sin of adultery).
All the while, Yawn was acting as a counselor to the couple, allegedly helping them through their marital difficulties, Zobrist said. At one point in 2019, Yawn even counseled Zobrist to “give his wife some space” in disingenuous advice aimed at “self-seeking advantage,” the lawsuit said.https://www.nbcnews.com/news/sports/former-cubs-star-ben-zobrist-accuses-pastor-affair-his-wife-n1271885
“The defendant secretly maintained a sexually intimate relationship with the plaintiff’s wife for the remainder of 2019 and into the spring of 2020, all the while concealing it from the plaintiff, his counselee,” according to the circuit court lawsuit filed in the 20th Judicial District of Tennessee.
The suit also said Yawn became active in Zobrist’s Patriot Forward charity and used his role in that organization “as an excuse to meet with the Plaintiff’s wife” starting in fall 2018.
It’s like every action this pastor took was calculated to get close to this man’s wife so he could have sex with her. That shows premeditation and planning, a great deal of planning. He made so many calculated moves to get what he wanted, completely ignoring what the Word of God says. Because the entire time he was planning how to have sex with another man’s wife, he was coveting that man’s wife. He planned out how to get what he wanted no matter what God’s Word had to say about it. Because God’s Word makes it very clear: Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife. This was filthy sin from the moment the pastor conceived of it, and he knew it.
(17) Do not desire and try to take your neighbor’s house. Do not desire and try to take your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox, donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.Exodus 20:17 (CEB)
But his actions show he didn’t care one bit what God had to say. Is this man, pastor Byron Yawn, is he even Saved?? Is he even a Christian?? Does He even believe in God?? How could you claim to believe in God, how could you lead a church and be so casual about sinning against God and betraying one of your own churchgoers?? Especially one he was counseling, a Christian in his congregation who trusted him.
Where was this man’s fear of the LORD?? He must not fear the LORD at all … his actions reveal that. He doesn’t care what God says, he only cares about what he wants. Same as any other non-Christian in this world.
And that’s not all. The story also reveals Yawn stole money from the charity Zobrist had the initiative to set up. Of course he was dishonest about how he did that too. What a deceptive snake!! How did a snake like this ever get to be a pastor in the first place??
It’s disgusting what this man did. It’s disgusting how he manipulated poor Ben Zobrist, counseling Ben and his wife while at the same time going behind Ben’s back to have sex with his wife. It’s pure evil. And Ben’s wife is of course guilty too for betraying him. She’s the prostitute from John chapter 8. She’d better turn to Jesus with all her heart for Forgiveness, because her crime of adultery has made her a whore deserving the death penalty under the old law. Fortunately for her, the forgiveness of Christ is available to her. But she needs to REPENT!! of her sin in this matter.
But it’s the pastor, Byron Yawn, who I have more anger toward. It infuriates me that a man manipulated and abused the trust of someone in his own congregation (who he was counseling!!!) to pursue his own selfish pleasure. In the process he also showed he doesn’t care one bit about the LORD or what the LORD says. And he also spit on the good blessings the Lord already gave him.
With Leaders like this, We Lose
Marriage is more than a human tradition; it’s a Holy institution created by God. And it must be respected as such—Hebrews 13:4 makes that clear. Marriage must be honored at all times, with no cheating, because God judges adulterers. The very next verse, verse five, tells us to be content with what we have in the Lord, since He will never leave or abandon us.
On top of his deceitful manipulation and violation of his church member’s trust, Byron Yawn violated both these verses. What he had wasn’t enough for him, he wanted more and he would stoop to any low to get it.
(4) Marriage must be honored in every respect, with no cheating on the relationship, because God will judge the sexually immoral person and the person who commits adultery. (5) Your way of life should be free from the love of money, and you should be content with what you have. After all, he has said, “I will never leave you or abandon you”.Hebrews 13:4-5 (CEB)
I would love to have a Christian marriage one day; what a glorious blessing that would be. Byron Yawn had that blessing from the LORD, but he thought nothing of it. He didn’t love and cherish it (in another news story on this case we learn Yawn’s wife is the one who discovered the affair).
I would love to have a ministry one day, I would love to be a pastor. What a glorious blessing that would be. But Yawn had that blessing from the LORD, and he thought nothing of it. Because the whole time he led his church, he was living a secret life of sin violating God’s Word and being a deceitful snake to get what he wanted despite the cost to others. Instead of thinking of the Spiritual needs of his congregation like a pastor should, he only thought about the short-term pleasures he desired.
With pastors like this leading the Body of Christ, how will Christians stay Holy during the End Times and grow Spiritually in the Lord?? With pastors like this, how can Christians be successful in staying on the Narrow Path in these deadly times?? Because a pastor compromised by sin is incapable of leading his people the right way. Sin corrupts every part of his life and destroys the integrity of his message. A compromised pastor leads his whole congregation to hell.
And let’s think about Ben Zobrist too. He trusted God, his pastor, and his wife. And both his pastor and wife betrayed him and his trust. And if I were Ben Zobrist, I would feel betrayed by God too. I would be shocked and dismayed to suffer these horrible betrayals after trusting in God. I’d be curious to know how Ben feels toward God. If he feels betrayed by God I would completely understand. And that’s not his fault, it’s his former pastor and ex-wife’s fault.
And that gets to a point I’ve made before when writing about these stories of sexual misconduct perpetrated by Christian leaders. When Christian leaders are exposed as having a secret life of sin, it damages the Faith of all the Believers. We want to believe our Christian leaders practice what they preach and they’re not hypocrites living a secret double life. In the same way Zobrist may have had his Faith damaged by this, we all take a hit to our Faith when people who preach the Word are revealed as not caring one bit about the Word.
This, of course, is a main reason Satan targets Christian leaders with demons to tempt them into sin. Satan knows if he can make the leader fall, a compromised leader can mislead a whole congregation. And even those who aren’t misled will still have their Faith shaken when the leader’s secret sins are exposed. And our Savior assures us in Luke 12 that all our secret sins will be exposed—no secret stays a secret.
(2) Nothing is hidden that won’t be revealed, and nothing is secret that won’t be brought out into the open. (3) Therefore, whatever you have said in the darkness will be heard in the light, and whatever you have whispered in the rooms deep inside the house will be announced from the rooftops.Luke 12:2-3 (CEB)
This story bothered me on a deep level. I feel so bad for the poor baseball player, betrayed by those he loved and trusted the most. Manipulated by a deceitful snake he thought was a man of God. The Body of Christ needs good, strong Christian leaders with integrity!! We need and deserve leaders who Love the Scriptures and follow the LORD in a healthy way. I’m not saying our leaders must be free of all sin—none of us are, not even them (Romans 3:23).
But there’s a clear line between sin and living a hypocritical double life of secret sin. And deceitful snakes like Byron Yawn brazenly cross that line as if they have no fear of the LORD. And someone with no fear of the LORD very likely doesn’t even believe in the LORD or his Holy Scriptures!! In this sad case, we see one more example of the Spiritual damage caused by corrupt Christian leaders. If we don’t have Christian leaders we can trust, we’re being deprived of a blessing the LORD Intended for us to have.
The Bible told us these End Times would be dangerous, painful, and treacherous. Today we are reminded once again that this is really it, this is The End. When we can’t even trust our own pastors, the only person we have left is God. It’s time to turn to God now, focus on God. He’s coming soon, and that has never been more clear.
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Until next time, be strong and do good!
Your new best friend in Christ,
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