Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Adulterous Teachers: Can Someone be Permanently Disqualified from Teaching?

Recently there was a teacher, well-known in the blogosphere, who posted a confession online that (1) confessed to the sin of adultery and (2) stated that the individual was in a new period of life that did not involve leading others.

But then the post mysteriously disappeared.  You couldn't even find a cached version of it.  The internet had been scrubbed clean (although I did manage to find a copy).

And now this person has, for all intents and purposes, resumed teaching online and is, within a few months of the confession, one of the most popular bloggers in the blogosphere, once again in a position to lead many people.

And so I have a few questions:

Can someone be disqualified from teaching--even on online?  Can someone be restored to a teaching position if they have confessed and repented?  How should that work exactly?


  1. What is the position & response of UMJC & MJRC regarding to such matters?

    1. They haven't issued any formal opinion to my knowledge.

    2. Because they are corrupt organizations.

    3. "Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.

      Make me to hear joy and gladness; that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.

      Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.

      Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.

      Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me.

      Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit.

      THEN WILL I TEAH transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

  2. Here is a pretty public blog entry about what took place:


  3. I believe the scripture shows that this would only disqualify from leadership, such as an elder or pastor. But does not disqualify from ministry. If his spiritual gift is teaching then he should continue to use his gift for the edification of the body.

    1. Isn't being a teacher a position of leadership? I'm trying to understand the distinction you're drawing between teaching and leadership. It seems like a teacher is a leader, yes?

    2. I guess one need to first define leadership. All leaders (pastors, elders, overseers etc) need to be able to teach but all teachers are not necessarily leaders. The qualifications of leadership are outline in a few places like Titus 1:6-9 etc. This is why I specifically mentioned the spiritual gift of teaching. One can teach the scripture and not be in a leadership position within the body.

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    4. Titus 1:6-9
      If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

      "One can teach the scripture and not be in a leadership position within the body." According to Unknown

      ??Quention?? Doesn't the reputation of a person who teaches scripture matter?

  4. Scripture reference is Yochanan 21:15-17 (CJB). For some reason that didn't post in the above comment.

  5. After breakfast, Yeshua said to Shim‘on Kefa, “Shim‘on Bar-Yochanan, do you love me more than these?” He replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I’m your friend.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” A second time he said to him, “Shim‘on Bar-Yochanan, do you love me?” He replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I’m your friend.” He said to him, “Shepherd my sheep.” The third time he said to him, “Shim‘on Bar-Yochanan, are you my friend?” Shim‘on was hurt that he questioned him a third time: “Are you my friend?” So he replied, “Lord, you know everything! You know I’m your friend!” Yeshua said to him, “Feed my sheep!

  6. Hi Ginger, sorry I just figured out how to add my name so I am not unknown. Clearly one cannot function in leadership, I think we all agree to that. As we see Titus 1:6-9 is specifically dealing with elders and overseers not teachers.

    So to answer your question, yes if the the person is unrepentant of their sin, however if the teacher has repented of their sin, is there any scriptural support not to restore them position of teacher ?

    1. David,

      Again, isn't a teacher a leader? You keep saying they can't be in a position of leadership but that they can continue in a position of teaching.... that's the same thing.

    2. "But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart." Yeshua

      "He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone..."

    3. Adulterer King David was fully repentant and fully resotred as a leader and a teacher.

    4. Hi David,

      I respectfully disagree!

      1 Cor. 5:11-13 "But now I have written unto you not keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat. For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within? But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away among yourselves that wicked person.

    5. Ginger, so you would not keep company with King David?

    6. Merciful,
      Do you think Apostle Paul was hypocritical?

    7. Do I think Paul was hypocritical? Well, when it suited him he was a blasphemer and murderer ..."chief among sinners" and when it suited him "... touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless."

      "And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest"

      "Then Ananias answered, Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to thy saints at Jerusalem"

      "And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple."

      The early church was dubious about accepting him into the church with good reason. But, they followed the guidance of the Holy Spirit and he was accepted.

      This same Paul taught those who are spiritual to restore a man when he has fallen. We are all sinners, I know of no leaders who would claim they are without sin. Men lust after women are adulterers. I wonder if Peter can say he never lusted after a woman and is no adulterer.

      So what are we left with? The mercy of G-d. Remeber the parable:
      "And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.

      I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted."

      Justified means "not guilty" and I do not want to condemn someone G-d has justified.

      Now, I never imagined that Derek was qualified to teach. Now, maybe he has learned something he can teach on.


    8. Peter, I appreciate you pushing the same question it helps me understand that I need to better communicate what I am trying to say. So I will give it another go :)

      Teaching is a position of leadership, however I am not aware of any scripture that would not allow a teacher to return to teaching the scripture if they have repented of their sin (1 John 1:9) however if one is in the position (office?) of leadership described as an Elder, Presbyter, Overseer, Bishop, Shepherd or Pastor then the individual cannot be restored to that position as a consequence of their sin, even though they been forgiven (Titus 1:7).

      .... and a quick response to Ginger... 1 Cor. 5:11-13 would be for those who continue in their sin and not believers who have repented.

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    10. What I meant to post...until Derek has full reconciliation particularly with the Mrs. I think Derek should abstain from teaching and blogging.

    11. I agree with you Ginger! Full repentance and reconciliation is needed before moving forward with any teaching or blogging. And it would not be a bad thing if he took some time out to reflect and rebuild relationships before going straight back to what he was doing before.


  7. Merciful,
    Your statement "Now, I never imagined that Derek was qualified to teach. Now, maybe he has learned something he can teach on."

    This seems a bit hypocritical of you.

    Regardless, I wish you and your family Joyous Shabbat Shalom!!!

    1. Gifted, Shabbat Shalom to you and yours as well! :)

    2. I personally think King David became a better teacher by learning from his mistakes. Much of his excellent teaching was rooted in what he learned about G-d's loving kindness and mercy, things he would not know directly without experiencing them for himself.

      So, my hope is that through humility and repentance, along with the love and kindness of a merciful savior, Derek has learned what King David learned. All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of G-d. But in Messiah Yeshua there is help and forgiveness of sin.

      Even the high priest had to offer for his own sins before he offered for all Israel. Only such a one "... can have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way; for that he himself also is compassed with infirmity."

      "Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need."

      What did righteous Job say? "I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye seeth thee.Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes."

      May the peace of G-d that passes all understanding rest upon Derek and his family, and may they know they are not alone. Sin kills and destroys, but the spirit gives life and renewal and restoration.

      "There was a certain creditor which had two debtors: the one owed five hundred pence, and the other fifty. And when they had nothing to pay, he frankly forgave them both. Tell me therefore, which of them will love him most? Simon answered and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgave most.

      And he said unto him, Thou hast rightly judged."

  8. I hope none of you "law-keepers" became law enforcers and brought the strong arm of the law (or is it a pile of stones?) to bear on this man that committed adultery.

    If you are "Torah Observant," that is what the law of Moses calls for.