Speak to the current moral dilemma facing the country (or dividing your community) without making matters worse.
That has to be one of the most difficult minefields a pastor ever has to tread.
One misstep and he’s a goner.
Twenty years ago, it was President Clinton’s infidelity that was dividing the country. In the same decade it was the O. J. Simpson trial. These days, the issue is sexual harassment (or any of its various manifestations: sexual molestation, intimidation, assault, etc.) by men in positions of power.
A man–always a man–runs for prominent public office and someone stands up and says, “He attacked me.” Or, molested me. Touched me inappropriately. Took advantage of me. Raped me.
The media flocks to the accuser and stories are written. Sleuths check out her story and some corroborate it while others trot out family members who say she is a chronic liar or family members of the accused to say they’ve never known him to do anything like that.
Then, next step. Other women step up and say, “He treated me the same way.”
Quickly, the matter becomes page one across the country. Leading the nightly news. Fueling talk shows. Dividing everyone on Facebook. Splitting families.
Defenders are enraged. Supporters of the accusers are offended by the way their friends have accommodated themselves to the culture and forgotten Jesus’ call to defend the helpless and bless the children.
So, the poor pastor decides this matter must be addressed in next Sunday’s sermon. What is he to do?