Thoughts on the Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale News
And so the news stations broke the story last night. The transcript I’m reading right now reveals how far “outside” this viewpoint is. Pastor Bob Coy is called the Senior Pastor of “the Calvary Church” in Fort Lauderdale. It’s a common mistake among reporters. I’ve seen us confused with Calvary Baptist, too. They refer to members of the congregation as “parishioners”. Is that term generic? It means someone who lives in particular parish, especially one who belongs to the church of that parish. Does it travel beyond the Catholic church?
Why do these things bother me? Everything bothers me. Everything bothers many people dealing with this news. This was evident in one or more responses to my initial report of the news, yesterday. People in their anger, don’t know where to direct that anger, especially when they love pastor Bob and long to see him restored.
Yesterday, I noted that the Internet was full of rumor over what the pastor’s confession was exactly. I am staying clear of that. The news story reports what most had assumed was the issue, however. He has confessed to cheating on his wife.
I woke up thinking about this, this morning, and I kept coming back to the reality of how easy this can happen. Safeguards have to be in place to keep us from even the threat of temptation. I also think that if Bob Coy can go through this, so can we all.
One source I won’t mention talked about how this was proof that pastors aren’t “anointed” or “special”. When we say that Pastor Bob Coy was anointed by God, we don’t mean that he is special. People are people. The Bible even tells us that Elijah was a man like us, subject to the same passions. Being anointed doesn’t make you incapable of sin. It doesn’t make you special. God didn’t NEED Bob Coy but He chose to use him mightily for His work. He was chosen for this work, set apart for it, or, as we like to call it, anointed. God chose Bob Coy even though He knew this day would come.
God also knows what is to come. You may be tempted to read something into the fact that I said “was anointed”. Don’t. I don’t know anything about what is going on between God and Pastor Bob. I don’t know what the future is. I pray for restoration. I pray that God will set him apart for His purpose once more.
Other responses to the news have run the gamut. For some, Pastor Bob is no longer qualified. Period. For most, though, there is hope for restoration.
There is another chain of thought that is probably best summed up by a Facebook response. I used the phrase “we fail to count the cost”. This was the point of my second post on the matter, yesterday. One Facebook response was, “No, Bob Coy counted the cost and gave it his best shot.” This exemplified for me the response that was a shrugging of the shoulders. It feels as if we’ve gone numb from all our failures in this world. We don’t expect much else.
Many others warn again placing a pastor up on a pedestal. There can be much truth in that. As one commenter wisely noted, this event will beg the question of each person at the church: did you come to hear the pastor or did you come to hear God’s Word? This speaks toward a tendency to worship the man in place of God.
But, I think it can also be that same numbness.
Yes, the expectations are high. Yes, we are all sinners. Yes, I expect more of those in leadership. Yes, I know my own failings.
I think this is a time to mourn. This is a time to repent. All of us.
It is not a time to grow numb.
Image Credit: Face on Building