Isaiah 45:7. “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.”
I don’t think any of us have trouble with the first three things God says He does in this verse: He creates light and darkness, and makes peace. But then He says He creates evil, and that one stopped me cold. A little research was necessary, and here’s what I learned. My Dake’s Study Bible says:
The Hebrew word for create is bara and here it means to bring about; bring into existence. The Hebrew word for evil is ra. It is never rendered sin, but evil. (v.7); calamity (Ps. 141:5); adversity (I Sam. 10:19); grief (Nehemiah 2:10); and in other passages, it is rendered as sorrow, trouble, misery,distress, bad, affliction, hurt, or wretchedness. The idea is that God has made the law of reaping as well as the law of sowing, and evil and bad results will come when men sin. God has decreed that misery, wretchedness, sorrow, trouble, and distress will come as a result of sin (Gal. 6:7-8). Ra is translated evil 430 times and never with the idea that sin is created by God. If men sin and reap for it, the responsibility for both is theirs. God simply made the law and penalties for breaking the law which will always be in force.
I was talking with someone the other day about a pastor who had an affair. The church is one which is part of a system in which there is an overseeing body for the denomination. That overseeing body left it up to the church to decide whether to allow the pastor to continue, or to ask him to resign.
They chose to ask him to resign. The people I was talking with felt that decision to be harsh, because he had confessed and repented of his sin, and agreed to abide by whatever the church decided. He has since been replaced in that church, but as I understand it he is pastoring another church in a different location.
The appeal was made to me that since he had repented, he should have been forgiven.
I believe he was forgiven, but being forgiven is only part of the process of restoration. Wherever there is a law, there is a consequence for breaking that law. Boundaries without consequences are useless. This pastor understood the principle of sowing and reaping, and was willing to accept the consequences of his choice. When you choose sin, you also choose the consequence. I believe the church chose the wise and correct path.
This is a difficult topic, for sure. A pastor is to be an example of righteousness (I Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:6) and especially in areas of moral purity. I found what I believe to be a balanced and biblical article on this topic here. If you read it and find it wanting, please feel free to say so in a comment. Just please be respectful and civil. I do not believe that just because something is on the internet, it is truth. I may have missed something in the article that would make me edit this part of my post. I am willing to do that.