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Friend's behavior


Friendship Having issues with a friend? Get it off your chest!

Old 27th March 2002, 3:34 PM   #1
Sue
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Friend's behavior

I realize that this is going to sound like a long, sick, cheap soap opera, but I need to bounce this off someone.

My husband and I have a friend of the family (male) whom I have known all my life. He always had the reputation of being a "good guy", having become a Minister after High School. We go to the same Church, and we sit together there. This man teaches Sunday School, and holds a Deacon's seat in the Church.

Last summer, our friend's wife left him, and they are now legally separated, awaiting divorce, which will take place late this year. I suspect that he has contributed his share to the marriage failure, and I believe, among other things, he literally ignored his wife and marriage to death. I am also learning that his character leaves a lot to be desired. He has shared with me the fact that he resigned from the Ministry because of an indescretion with a female (his second incident while there.)

My husband and I have both tried to help him get through the shock of his wife leaving. During the transition, our friend has "hit" upon me, emotionally, (not physically), but he finally stopped out of guilt and respect for my marriage. I have taken this into consideration, and have, for the most part, chalked it up to the emotional instability that divorcing people go through.

In the recent months, we have seen him become intimately involved with other women. His pattern is very smooth - contacting a lady, and becoming very personal, seducing her during the initial conversation, with the mutual sharing of every detail of each other's lives, past history, etc. At that time, or no later than the second conversation or date, there is talk of sex, what they would like with each other, etc., possible marriage, moving in scenarios, and "I love you" is always said. He still maintains contact with the others, sending them e-mails, telling them he loves them, etc. You get the picture - bad news...

I am positive that he is sleeping with and spending nights with his current lady, whom he says he "loves", though he denies an impropriety in his accounts to me about the relationship. He only wears his wedding ring at Church so as to "look proper to those there".

My quandary is that I am becoming increasingly uncomfortable sitting with this man, a hypocrite, at Church, listening to his stories and preachings of the importance of a "clean life" "walking with God", "avoiding adultery", and knowing that he is living a lie. I have considered reporting this to the Church Elders, but don't want to betray a friend. I am not familiar with Baptist policies, but can't imagine the Church would condone the behavior of this man - one chosen for a position of exemplary behavior to the others. My husband says to mind my own business and "let God take care of it", but I don't know...
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Old 27th March 2002, 4:21 PM   #2
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Re: Friend's behavior

First you say he has resigned from the ministry, then later you say you are listening to his stories and preachings. Is he still a minister or is he preaching from his seat? Which is it?

If he is just a former minister and just a member of the congregation at this time, I would have a direct talk with him and tell him how important it is for him to seek counselling and help for his addiction to sex and ill-meaning seduction of large quantities of females. I would also tell him that if he doesn't stop shooting his mouth off about Godliness and things of his faith and of the church, I would report him to the Elders.

If he is, in fact, your minister I would have a very private chat with him. Tell him that many people in his congregation see him as a hypocrite and that he is destroying the faith a lot of people have in the church and its clergy. Tell him if he doesn't get help for his addiction to sex and stop his mass seduction of women, you will immediately a forthwith report him not only to the elders but to the national head of your church.

Let him also know that you have informed five people that you were going to talk to him about this. That way, he will not try any preemptive retaliation against you for whatever action you may take.

So, first give him a private talking to in whatever capacity he is in and let him know what damage he's doing to himself, his reputation and to other people who are struggling with living clean and moral lives according to the example he should be setting.

Then, if he fails to get help and mend his evil ways, contact those I mentioned above and, to the list, add: The Associated Press; United Press International; NBC News; CBS News; ABC News; CNN; MSNBC; Fox News Channel; Sixty Minutes; Dateline NBC; ABC 20/20; The Today Show; CBS Morning Show; ABC Good Morning America; The Jerry Springer Show; all your local broadcast stations; EXTRA!; Larry King Live; Time Magazine, Newsweek Magazine; USA Today, The National Enquirer; The Globe; The Christian Science Monitor; The Drudge Report; etc., etc.,...you get the idea.

Normally I would side with your husband and advise you to stay out of this. But I think this guy has the potential for destroying a lot of lives, marriages, spiritual faith, etc. and he needs to be stopped!!!
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Old 27th March 2002, 6:34 PM   #3
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Re: Friend's behavior

Quote:
I realize that this is going to sound like a long, sick, cheap soap opera, but I need to bounce this off someone. My husband and I have a friend of the family (male) whom I have known all my life. He always had the reputation of being a "good guy", having become a Minister after High School. We go to the same Church, and we sit together there. This man teaches Sunday School, and holds a Deacon's seat in the Church. Last summer, our friend's wife left him, and they are now legally separated, awaiting divorce, which will take place late this year. I suspect that he has contributed his share to the marriage failure, and I believe, among other things, he literally ignored his wife and marriage to death. I am also learning that his character leaves a lot to be desired. He has shared with me the fact that he resigned from the Ministry because of an indescretion with a female (his second incident while there.) My husband and I have both tried to help him get through the shock of his wife leaving. During the transition, our friend has "hit" upon me, emotionally, (not physically), but he finally stopped out of guilt and respect for my marriage. I have taken this into consideration, and have, for the most part, chalked it up to the emotional instability that divorcing people go through. In the recent months, we have seen him become intimately involved with other women. His pattern is very smooth - contacting a lady, and becoming very personal, seducing her during the initial conversation, with the mutual sharing of every detail of each other's lives, past history, etc. At that time, or no later than the second conversation or date, there is talk of sex, what they would like with each other, etc., possible marriage, moving in scenarios, and "I love you" is always said. He still maintains contact with the others, sending them e-mails, telling them he loves them, etc. You get the picture - bad news... I am positive that he is sleeping with and spending nights with his current lady, whom he says he "loves", though he denies an impropriety in his accounts to me about the relationship. He only wears his wedding ring at Church so as to "look proper to those there". My quandary is that I am becoming increasingly uncomfortable sitting with this man, a hypocrite, at Church, listening to his stories and preachings of the importance of a "clean life" "walking with God", "avoiding adultery", and knowing that he is living a lie. I have considered reporting this to the Church Elders, but don't want to betray a friend. I am not familiar with Baptist policies, but can't imagine the Church would condone the behavior of this man - one chosen for a position of exemplary behavior to the others. My husband says to mind my own business and "let God take care of it", but I don't know...
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Old 27th March 2002, 6:47 PM   #4
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Re: Friend's behavior


Hello,I couldn't help but feel i must responde to this post ,For I had been raised in a religoius atmosphere as a child ,my Grandfather being a reverend (he has passed away).but i have had to stand up for the way my grandfather ran his church,acusations that these people(reverends,ministers ,priest..etc..)do this for money,and that they all are closet cases of some sort....my grandfather ran a church on an island that was kept up by donations,my own boy friends has said that the money was probly for himself...well if it was surprise surprise,there was food served(dinners lunches) wide spreads for holiday funtions and plays put up by the church,and never mined the maintenence and the heat and light bills,and the crafts that the children and adults made ,craft supplys are very costly...the reason i am saying this...is you really should talk to your friend or someone of higher stature about this situation..it is people like him that give religion and churches a bad name...if your faith is in god ..tell him you will pray for him and confront him,and let him do the rest...if he can accept his behavior is wrong and ask for forgiveness..then let it be ,that is if he changes his ways for god and the people he is sermoning to ,his church,if he continues or denies ,i would talk to some one about it at that church or whomever has the athority....
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Old 27th March 2002, 9:59 PM   #5
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Re: Friend's behavior

I would leave him alone, you go stir up trouble, than he gets himself banished from the church than what?

Im sure he enjoys the church, and feels alot of comfort and support there. Just tell him to get better!

None of Gods creatures are perfect. I dont believe the Pope himself is completely pure.

This man is seeing hard times, rough days, he needs to heal and pick himself back up again, and you could only cause more agony on him. He loves his church!

You never know who elese is a sinner among the church. Heck, my grandfather who has never missed a Sunday or Wednesday of church, alot of times brought his mistress with him to sit in, while his wife played the organ!

A friend of mine was left by her husband and the church they attended rejected them from the point of their divorce.

You said yourself, that he has been a long time friend. So be there for him as his friend. But dont hurt him. Just because you think you know everyone in the church, doesnt mean you know whats in their closet. My grandfathers story speaks that truth. And because of my friends divorce, they were rejected by the people who attended the church. That is not the house of the Lord. The Lord accepts all, unconditionally! So forgive him, as the Lord has.
Quote:
Hello,I couldn't help but feel i must responde to this post ,For I had been raised in a religoius atmosphere as a child ,my Grandfather being a reverend (he has passed away).but i have had to stand up for the way my grandfather ran his church,acusations that these people(reverends,ministers ,priest..etc..)do this for money,and that they all are closet cases of some sort....my grandfather ran a church on an island that was kept up by donations,my own boy friends has said that the money was probly for himself...well if it was surprise surprise,there was food served(dinners lunches) wide spreads for holiday funtions and plays put up by the church,and never mined the maintenence and the heat and light bills,and the crafts that the children and adults made ,craft supplys are very costly...the reason i am saying this...is you really should talk to your friend or someone of higher stature about this situation..it is people like him that give religion and churches a bad name...if your faith is in god ..tell him you will pray for him and confront him,and let him do the rest...if he can accept his behavior is wrong and ask for forgiveness..then let it be ,that is if he changes his ways for god and the people he is sermoning to ,his church,if he continues or denies ,i would talk to some one about it at that church or whomever has the athority....
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Old 27th March 2002, 10:57 PM   #6
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Friend's behavior - more data

Thank you, Tony, Blazey and Velvet for your responses. In answer to your questions - my friend is *not* now a Minister, because he resigned due to the previous indiscretion. He does, however, love his God and his Church, and now holds a Deacon's seat and is also a Sunday school teacher. But, I think that he is living by two sets of rules - God's and his own. Since I learned that he lied to me about the circumstances of his current involvement, I have become very angry with him, but have not confronted him with my feelings.

I am not sure that he is sex addict as much as he is a "romance addict", because his actual physical conquests (up to this point), have been very few. I believe that it is the emotional seduction and the romantic high that is the motivation. I also believe that he is very much out of touch with his emotions and intentions, and is acting very unconsciously, and that this is all done behind the mask of piety. He is a "Player", and won't admit to it.

And even though these impulses have been present for most of his adult life, I believe that the acting out of them has really only occurred within the last few years or so, and that he was monogamous in his marriage for at least 25 of those years. It is as though he has become a closet pervert, lurking around, waiting for vulnerable females to "rescue" (or to rescue him). I know God knows what is in our hearts, and forgives us all as sinners, but I believe there are some moral rules that are not bendable.

Anyway, my friend is taking great pains to hide his curent lifestyle, and I am sure the Church might not be willing to overlook this, and chalk his sins (with women) up to to a single past incident.

I realize that confronting my friend, under no uncertain terms and conditions, would be the right thing to do. But how do you get someone, who is in denial, to admit that they are doing anything wrong, let alone get them to see that they need to change?? (Unfortunately, I am not a psychologist, only a "friend"). In my experience, people like this sometimes only stop the behavior for a while to pacify others, or just add more lies to the situation and continue on, or both. He has convinced himself that he is "in love" with this current girl, and thinks he is going to marry her.

I thank you for your input and for taking the time to answer my questions.
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Old 28th March 2002, 1:57 AM   #7
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Re: Friend's behavior - more data

If he's in denial, perhaps some appropriate scriptures would wake him up a little? Surely he knows the Bible inside and out. Can you search through it yourself and find some passages that speak about fornication, lust, lying, infidelity, etc? Then find a few pertaining to (can't think of any off hand) hypocrites. Do you have a Bible with a "Concordance"? My New International Version does..at the back. It lists all kinds of different 'topics' and then tons of corresponding verses (eg...Hypocrisy: Matthew 23:28 (good one!)....Here's one that applies to you....you can tell him that you can't sit by and be his friend because of his lies...and here's a verse that applies: Psalm 26:4

Here's a couple on "Lust": Proverbs 6:25 ..... Colossians 3:5......1 Thessalonians 4:5

Find a bunch of ones that apply..write them out, then sit down with him and read them. Then ask him what he's doing with his life...and why he's knowingly going against all he stands for and portrays himself to be. Ask him if Deacons are somehow exempt from following God's word/law.....how he can "deny" this, I'm not sure.

I was once told by a very devout and kindhearted Christian lady that as Christians, it's our duty to confront one another when we see the other is straying off the right path......I know there's a verse about that, but I can't remember where. I agree, you should definitely pray for him and let him know you're praying for him....but I think it would be good to confront him, and tell him that if he chooses to continue living his life this way, as a total hypocrite, that he should resign as Deacon, too.......

True, we are all sinners and nobody is perfect....even ministers and deacons and religious leaders.....but these people are put into a very serious position of leadership and example.....they are religious role models and mentors. If they can't live up to their responsibilities, they have no business being there. And as Blazey said, it's people like him who give Christians and religion a bad name...cuz people here stuff like this and say "huh, Christians are no better than anyone else..who needs church or religion or God!?"

I also feel sorry for this poor guy's wife......sounds like his catting around was the at the heart of her leaving. Good for her, shame on him. That's a lot of years of marriage to toss away. This guy needs a wake-up call.

L
Quote:
Thank you, Tony, Blazey and Velvet for your responses. In answer to your questions - my friend is *not* now a Minister, because he resigned due to the previous indiscretion. He does, however, love his God and his Church, and now holds a Deacon's seat and is also a Sunday school teacher. But, I think that he is living by two sets of rules - God's and his own. Since I learned that he lied to me about the circumstances of his current involvement, I have become very angry with him, but have not confronted him with my feelings. I am not sure that he is sex addict as much as he is a "romance addict", because his actual physical conquests (up to this point), have been very few. I believe that it is the emotional seduction and the romantic high that is the motivation. I also believe that he is very much out of touch with his emotions and intentions, and is acting very unconsciously, and that this is all done behind the mask of piety. He is a "Player", and won't admit to it. And even though these impulses have been present for most of his adult life, I believe that the acting out of them has really only occurred within the last few years or so, and that he was monogamous in his marriage for at least 25 of those years. It is as though he has become a closet pervert, lurking around, waiting for vulnerable females to "rescue" (or to rescue him). I know God knows what is in our hearts, and forgives us all as sinners, but I believe there are some moral rules that are not bendable. Anyway, my friend is taking great pains to hide his curent lifestyle, and I am sure the Church might not be willing to overlook this, and chalk his sins (with women) up to to a single past incident.

I realize that confronting my friend, under no uncertain terms and conditions, would be the right thing to do. But how do you get someone, who is in denial, to admit that they are doing anything wrong, let alone get them to see that they need to change?? (Unfortunately, I am not a psychologist, only a "friend"). In my experience, people like this sometimes only stop the behavior for a while to pacify others, or just add more lies to the situation and continue on, or both. He has convinced himself that he is "in love" with this current girl, and thinks he is going to marry her. I thank you for your input and for taking the time to answer my questions.
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Old 28th March 2002, 11:53 AM   #8
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Re: Friend's behavior - Thank you, Laurynn!

Thank you SO much, Laurynn!! I have slept and prayed on this, and I know,in my heart, what you say is true, and that I must approach him about this. What you speak of in the Christian religion about looking after one another, morally, is called "accountability". Since I was born and raised Catholic, I am rather new to the non-Catholic practices of confronting someone for their transgressions.

Yes, my Bible (the same one as yours, The International Version, and given to me by MY FRIEND!), does have a Concordance. I am going to spend time researching this, and take these passages to him, quoting your points, and to pose some tough questions to him. I think that I should have a contingency plan, such as promising to take this to the Pastor and the Elders if things don't change.

Thank you, Laurynn, you are a very good and very wise person, and you your words and goodness have helped me immeasurably!!!
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Old 29th March 2002, 1:35 AM   #9
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Re: Friend's behavior

I think that your concerns are extremely important ones and I would urge you not to simply brush them aside. In a church, it's not just the appearances that matter; the truth is what counts. There is much more at stake here then one individual's reputation; the spiritual lives of an entire congregation are at stake. As you think and pray about how to handle the situation, I have a couple questions/suggestions for you to consider:

1. To what extent are your concerns based on suspicions and to what extent are they solidly substantiated? You wouldn't want to end up spreading untrue gossip. If it is mostly based on a hunch (even if it is 100% true) it might be trickier to present it without you looking like you're just bad-mouthing him.

2. Would you feel comfortable talking about this with some of the other women who he's been hitting on or seducing? Do you know any of them? One woman could be easily ignored, but if you approach the elders as a unified group, that would be better.

3. Assuming that he is seriously messing around, this could blow up into a huge scandal. However, the sad thing is that it might not... at least not for many months or even years... or maybe not for a couple more generations. Often times, a congregation is very reluctant to face the facts and there's a lot of denial. The person who is first to bring the problem to the attention of the church is likely to be severely scorned, disrespected or ostracized for doing so. Do you have a VERY thick skin? Do you feel that you have a strong support group outside the church? If things would really backfire on you and you would end up having to leave this church (and attend another one) over this issue, would you be able to handle that socially/emotionally/spiritually or would it be absolutely devastating? In the old testament times and today, prophets are generally not well-received.

4. Another possible approach: How about approaching the pastor first, and confronting him about what's going on? If he does not listen and does not repent, then at that point take it to the elders... We all are sinners in need of the mercy of God. And we should try to encourage our leaders to be holy, rather than creating strife. However, if he refuses to listen to the elders (or the elders refuse to listen to your SUBSTANTIATED concerns) then that's a different story. If it becomes clear that a leader is blatantly and knowingly rebelling against God, then at that point, I believe that it is not biblical to follow a leader who refuses to follow God.

May God grant you wisdom.
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