Repentance and restoration

In the last few years there has been much talk about the issue or repentance and restoration, with regard to prophetic ministries that have fallen in sin.

It is a difficult and emotive subject. Some say that the issue is not so much repentance and restoration but the element of trust.

Once trust has been broken, can the person be trusted again?

If someone has committed adultery, divorced and remarried, what is to say that they won’t do it again? I guess the answer to that is whether or not the person has truly repented and remains faithful to accountability in their life.

But things never seem quite the same again. Such full and free forgiveness, with trust as well, is the evidence of a grace lead church. When Jesus told Peter to forgive 490 times, meaning forgive, forgive, forgive, it opened also the option that for that to happen the person who sinned against you would need to be trusted? Trusted enough to be in the place where they might once again need forgiveness for sinning against you?

The Church is not very good at forgiving, restoring and trusting the fallen in their ranks.

Who can be forgiven and restored, and who can’t?

Martin Luther, in his 95 Theses whilst making it clear that the Pope has no power to forgive sins contrary to the belief of millions today, expresses his conviction that,

When our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ, said “Repent”, He called for the entire life of believers to be one of repentance. ~ Martin Luther

Repentance is a life long issue. There will always be something not necessarily moral issues, that we need to repent of. Pride is an issue that I see in many leaders who are unwilling, unable or reluctant to realise that what they do, is God’s enabling. In my humble opinion, the sin of pride is something of an epidemic in the church and it’s leadership right now few are untainted by it.

All can be forgiven of their sin, but can they continue in their ministry? David Andrade, Rick Joyner and other think so, but others are far more cautious.

I have a feeling that the more Scripture focused, rather than Charismatic focused the church is the less likely it is that it will happen.

A “what if” situation to provoke you!
Here’s a question. Lets say that we have a prophetic ministry called Albert. Albert (aged 32 in 1965) sins. Let’s say that he falls in sexual sin. He repents. He packs up his ministry, joins the local church and attends there faithfully, and never has another incident that warrants church discipline. Let’s say for argument’s sake that he actually (it won’t happen)never sins, ever again! Albert is now aged 76 and wants to be released to get involved with itinerant prophetic ministry. Would you let him?

  • If you say ‘yes’ then is the issue is about the years? That would make it a punishment of time a jail sentence. (And yet God has freely forgiven!)
  • If you say ‘yes’ then is the issue is time to restore trust. Why did you not choose to trust the person earlier? Is it now you that are at fault? I hope you understand my logic.
  • If you say ‘no’, what else are you going to do with this person? The rejection this person will feel of being ‘yesterday’s man or woman’ with failure written over their life, may be more than they can bear?

In either case we can’t be taken hostage to the options, but each has to weigh somewhat on our considerations.

I’m not going to convince you either way, and I shouldn’t. My argument above is a poor one. You have to hear from God yourself and deal as graciously and wisely as you can. The starting point for all of the considerations is the Scripture. What has God already said?

This is not an issue that can be resolved in a moment. There are many variables. It is something that we need to give careful consideration to, making the emphasis a scriptural approach rather than one built on emotion.

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