When 12 years ago a well-known revival evangelist in the Netherlands was exposed for having visited prostitutes for most of his ministry career, something interesting happened: the Evangelical establishment (leaders of churches and ministries, including the Christian media) decided to 'outphase' the guy, but keep it silent and not communicate about it at all to the wider Body. I never understood this approach. I'm still waiting for the first open interview with this evangelist and those responsible for this 'strategy of silence'.
This year a well-known charismatic pastor was exposed for setting up an illegal investment scheme, that ultimately took down his whole denomination. This time several stories appeared in the Christian media (although the charismatic magazines were remarkably silent, afraid to touch this sensitive issue in their own circles). In such a situation the people directly involved have two choices: they either deny or acknowledge their mistakes. Sometimes it takes a few years to be able to look back and say "I was wrong, please forgive me." But I believe that for the Body to be healed and function well, it's highly critical to honestly face the issues at hand, ask real questions, and expect real answers. This takes courage. Staying silent and taking a one-sided accusing role are two sides of the same dysfunctional coin.
For this week's edition of Joel News Netherlands I talked to Gerard de Groot, former team leader of the Beréa movement. What are the lessons he learnt? Only in Dutch, but comments are welcome.