Another tragic collapse for another well-known Christian minister has just managed to get worse than it already was. After being fired in 2016 from the church he founded, NewSpring Church in South Carolina, Perry Noble disappeared into some kind of rehab program for seven months before reemerging with the approval of another mega-church minister friend, Steven Furtick who leads Elevation Church a state to the north.
Obviously God can work wonders in a person’s life when He wants to, but most anyone would have suggested that seven months likely could not have offered sufficient time for a man to heal and be restored from some of the fairly egregious sins Noble had committed while pastoring NewSpring.
But in the era of Harvey Weinstein’s “7-Days to a Less Rapey You” self-help clinics, Noble scoffed at those who suggested he wasn’t ready to pick up right where he left off. And now? Now this:
Popular founder of NewSpring Church in South Carolina, Perry Noble, who was fired in July 2016 for alcohol abuse and other “unfortunate choices and decisions,” announced Wednesday that after 17 years of marriage he is getting a divorce from his wife, Lucretia. In a statement shared with The Christian Post through his representative, Perry said he “never imagined” himself in this position.
Perry and Lucretia have one child together, so besides the public disgrace that Noble has subjected the name of Jesus to, his selfishness has also permanently scarred a child that will never be the same.
No one can fault Perry Noble for being human. And anyone who has ever been involved in ministry knows that those who preach the name of Jesus are not only held under stricter scrutiny by both man and God, but they also come under more withering assault from Satan in his desperate attempts to undermine the cause of Christ at every turn.
That’s why the emerging trend of ministers being reinstated so quickly after a moral failing is beyond dangerous. Consider the recent story out of Florida that would be comical if it weren’t so catastrophic to the seriousness of the Gospel:
The leader of a popular congregation in Florida is refusing to resign after being caught in bed with a member’s wife—fleeing naked—as he states that he has “already received” God’s forgiveness…“What I am asking of our members is something I may or may not get, and that is your prayers. And I’m asking for your forgiveness,” [Pastor O. Jermaine Simmons] continued, receiving an “amen” from those gathered, as well as a standing ovation.
Just to put the icing on the cake, Simmons was on the verge of release of his new book, “I Need a Man.” The book “offers a fresh perspective on the issues of godly manhood and mentoring.” Beyond parody.
Ministers of the Gospel of Christ have chosen a profession that confers upon them great trust and therefore great responsibility. They cannot be effective in their role if they prove themselves unworthy of trust. Now more than ever, they have a duty to guard and protect their marriages; and we have a duty to help them remember that.