I learned this morning that Bob Coy, pastor of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, resigned due to moral failure. It hit me hard; I was shocked, floored. (You can read the statement from the church here.)
I came to know the Lord through the ministry of Calvary Chapel in Las Vegas, Nevada when Pastor Bob was on staff there as an assistant.
The last service I went to at the church in Las Vegas was the service they announced that he was leaving to start a church in Ft. Lauderdale. I was astounded – I was leaving to move to Miami to go to university. I ran home to see how far Miami was from Fort Lauderdale. As a young man and a new Christian, I felt that God was going before me.
When I got to Florida I called Pastor Bob from a pay phone in Ft. Lauderdale and talked to him about coming to the church the following Sunday. Every Sunday after that, or at least the ones when my car was working, I would drive the 45 minutes from Miami to Ft. Lauderdale to go to the little Calvary Chapel that was meeting in a funeral home on Oakland Park Boulevard. Bob Coy was the pastor under whose ministry I really began to learn the Bible for the first time. Rarely did I hear a message of his over the years where I haven’t been encouraged and challenged. I love Pastor Bob and his family.
I can’t imagine the heartbreak and confusion that is happening in the lives of those who are close to him. We are certainly praying for him and his family and the church. I am confident that there are good and godly leaders who are ministering to him and leading the church through this difficulty. While it will be tough and painful for all parties involved, the church and the Coys will get through it, God will reign, people will grow, lives will continue to be transformed.
Times like this are good times not to scour the Internet and look for all the details about Bob Coy, but to scour our own lives and “consider ourselves lest we also be tempted.” (Galatians 6:1)
Let me suggest some ways that we can do this.
1. It’s a good time to examine how you do accountability.
Who is there in your life who asks you the tough questions? Who knows your secrets? If the answer is no one, that is a big red flag. Take measures now to change that. Proverbs 28:13 says, “He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.” Numbers 32:23 says, “…your sin will find you out.” That Scripture has been proven true in painful ways for many.
2. It’s a good time to examine your conversations and desire for information.
We don’t need to know details; we don’t need to spread what we know. If you do, are you gossiping? Consider this verse: “He who covers a transgression seeks love, But he who repeats a matter separates friends.” (Proverbs 17:9, NKJV)
3. It’s a good time to examine your perspective about Christian leaders.
When it comes to popular pastors and teachers, many of us put them on pedestals on which they ought not to be. While leaders are held to a high standard (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:7-9), they are not to be looked upon as idols or “stars”. We all have our favourite teachers, (Pastor Bob is one of mine), yet we must look beyond any pastor and keep our eyes on the Lord Jesus Christ, the leader of the church. No man died on the cross for you save the God-man Jesus Christ.
4. It’s a good time to remember God’s grace, love, and forgiveness.
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.” (1 John 1:8-2:2, NKJV)