I don’t want every post I do this week to be somehow linked to Perry, but the dude was on a roll Sunday and several writing points hit me while he was speaking. One of the things he said was about peoples’ general misconception about Pastor “confidentiality”.
People think they can come and have confession with the pastor and just spill the beans about anything to get it off their chest and seek forgiveness from God. They think the pastor is bound to confidentiality like a lawyers’ client confidentiality. The TRUTH is they are not bound to keep anything confidential – especially when crime is involved. In fact they are legally bound to alert authorities anytime they gain knowledge of illegal activity. This doesn’t make it any easier on people who are sinning and breaking the law and want to confess, but just because someone wants to confess doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have to pay the consequences.
If abuse of any kind is involved they should be glad they don’t get their butt kicked before the police are called. If the person is suicidal, doing drugs, etc – they really need help. Think about a minister’s perspective – can you imagine how awful it would be to find out that somebody died the day after one of these “confidential” conversations?
I think the myth of pastor confidentiality should apply to freindships too. If someone is having an affair that crap can’t be kept confidential. People are going to be hurt no matter what in a situation like that – might as well be sooner than later. It needs to be told. I’ve seen friendships of many years ripped to shreds because of people who knew about affairs and kept it a secret. People who weren’t even directly involved torn to pieces because they lost trust in the person who should have held their friend accountable.
I could go on and on about this all day and tell a lot of stories, but I’m going to save a more specific accountability post for later this week…