Something me and my wife had to learn the hard way early on in our ministry was when to cut people loose. That is, to cut them out of our social circle. We have found in the ministry that people will take advantage of your friendship and try to use it to their advantage. Some will take your shared secrets and spread them around some will use their infuence to gain control some will even try to upstage you and some will just flat out lie about you. I remember a time when a friend took ideas from us and passed them off as their own all while putting us in a bad light.
As painful and as cruel as it may seem there comes a time when you have to cut people off. Ministry is a delicate thing and we have to be careful to guard ourselves against our integrity being marred and if you have people in your inner circle who are not adhering to the standards of integrity then it is time to cut them loose. I would even venture to say that you should be proactive. We were in a situation that was heresay at best but it was not the first instance and though we never knew exactly what had happened or what had been said we knew that it was happening far to often. So we cut ’em loose.
It hurt. It really did and it still does looking back now years later , but it was necesary.
It seems to me religion is used a great deal for personal gain. Most people are willing to trust a fellow “christian” when that is the only “virtue” they claim. I use the term christian and virtue here very loosely since both are given to great bouts of personal and professional hypocrisy. I also believe church (insert denomination) leadership is mostly to blame for such behavior since most of the leadership was pleased to attract a growing crowd and their new found demagoguery. Faith is something you have or you don’t and people have been paying that with nothing but lip service for too long.
It is time for christians to start cleaning up their own house and publicly. When you catch one of your own consciously going against what ever doctrine your specific church/denomination believes in, it needs to be made public be they layman or clergy; ordinary joe or celebrity. When they beg forgiveness with words you know are crap, it is up to you to tell them you think they are full of it. If you take away the prestige, political power and economic influence so called personal faith has associated with it, you will find those that remain are the ones who truly have faith in the words you preach, rather than just seeing a new “in” for their own motives.