Stop Applauding Pastors Who Publicly Confess Their Sins

“In the accounts of Chandler’s actions, I looked for one thing and, sure enough, saw that after he confessed to his congregation, the church gave him an ovation.” - CToday


When a church leader stands to confess sin, it’s a time for lament and a time for tears. Repentance requires honesty, humility, and sorrow, not managing appearances, controlling the narrative, or hiding the facts.

100% Agree!

If an elder/paster is being disciplined / removed from office because of his sin, the elders should not allow him to stand before the congregation and make his “farewell address.”

Instead, he should write a brief, concise statement acknowledging his sin(s), accepting responsibility and the consequences for it, and placing himself under the discipline of the church. Instead of him reading it before the congregation, the chairman of the elders should read it before the congregation along with a statement from the elder board.

I completely agree Tom. Repentance is not a platform to explain one’s actions, show one’s piety to the congregation or anything else. It is a humbling of oneself before God.

Technically, the ovation is for the apology, not the sin, but along those lines, I’m trying to figure out whether, apart from being mentioned in Scripture, leaders gave public apologies at all. David apologized with mostly Nathan present (maybe a few other members of his court), and I can think of a number of kings whose repentance is recorded by the prophets after that sort of Matthew 18 confrontation. You’ve got Peter’s repentance from his sin of rejecting Gentiles, and that appears to have been at least semi-private, too.

On the flip side, you’ve got some very public rebukes by Paul and others of unrepentant men. And then you’ve got the question of “two whom does a pastor apologize when his actions wrong the whole congregation?” I’d have to suggest it ought to be public as well.

I’m thinking the real problem is the lack of apology, combined with cheap grace that assumes it’s real and applauds that public act. Or am I misreading something here?

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.