Richard Exley Ministries


How Does a Pastor Become an Embezzler?
Posted on October 08, 2009

Corruption is as old as the human race and none of us is immune. If we do not guard our hearts at all times and practice absolute integrity in all things, even the smallest matters, we risk falling prey. One of the most heartbreaking examples of a good man who fell into corruption involves a former staff member of a Bible Church in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. He went to jail for embezzling almost $42,000 from the church over a six-year period. When I first learned of his crime I remember thinking, How could a minister do such a thing?

I was tempted to conclude that he was an aberration, an impostor, an evil man masquerading as a minister. Such a conclusion made his sinful dishonest easier to explain and it made it less likely that I might be capable of the same thing or something similar. Unfortunately it doesn’t fit the facts.

More likely he was a sincere man. No better and no worse than the rest of us. Somewhere along the way he took a wrong turn. Probably it seemed insignificant at the time. Perhaps he padded his expense account or hedged on his income tax return. Or maybe he was short of cash and “borrowed” from church funds until payday. He intended to pay it back, but somehow he never got around to doing it. After a while it was easier just to pretend it had never happened.

Category: Perils of Power

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