If one columnist for a Christian publication is correct, there will be a lot of job openings for pastors this week.
Writing in the wake of the Ashley Madison scandal that brought further shame to Duggar clan, Ed Stetzer of Christianity Today predicted last week that there would be mass resignation of church officials who could be allegedly involved in the famed cheater's website.
"Based on my conversations with leaders from several denominations in the U.S. and Canada, I estimate that at least 400 church leaders (pastors, elders, staff, deacons, etc.) will be resigning Sunday," Stetzer prognosticated last week. "This is a significant moment of embarrassment for the church-and it should be."
Stetzer's prediction came in an opinion piece titled "My Pastor Is on the Ashley Madison List," which was part three of a series on the adult website leak. His previous posts in the series were titled "Life is Eternal. Don't Have an Affair" and "I'm on the Ashley Madison List. Now What?."
In Stetzer's latest post, he advises churchgoers to forego the whole forgiveness thing and throw the baby out with the bathwater. "When the shepherd has violated a sacred trust, it harms the whole flock. This is not the time to act as if everything is fine, rush together a pastor search team, while ignoring the hurt and bleeding flock," he advises.
Comments to Stetzer's post on Christianity Today were generally supportive of his position to "throw the bums out," with one reader bringing up the church's well-worn double standard.
"The hypocrisy includes preaching against gay marriage and claiming that it will be the downfall of straight marriage, while committing adultery and going on Ashley Madison and rentboys.com themselves," Christianity Today reader Jill Evans wrote. "We have a new story about a Southern Baptist preacher in South Carolina who was busted on film by his own son, who surprised his father and the church worker with whom he was having an affair! This came out today. So, I don't know. The old 'do as I say, not do as I do' seems to remain alive in the Christian church, while serial "repentance" is the order of the day."