Tim McCalmont, pastor at Presbyterian Church of the Covenantin Costa
Mesa, said the seductiveness of power, mixed with the deeply emotional
nature of preaching God's word, is a breeding ground for "dangerous"
"Keith is my friend and he is a gifted leader, but he has fallen and
it's very serious," McCalmont said about the pastor he called "a brother
People hold pastors in a different light and fail to realize church
leaders can stray from God's path just as easily as others, McCalmont
said. In fact, McCalmont guards against the ever-present temptation of
current culture by surrounding himself with people who hold him
accountable for his actions, he said.
McCalmont participates in a support group with other pastors where
they talk about their weaknesses and their temptations. The group of four
pray for each other and address potentially damaging positions, he said.
"Thankfully, I've never fallen in that way, but if they see me in a
dangerous situation, they call me on it and make sure I get out of it,"
Today's culture is so loaded with alluring sexual images it is
flat-out dangerous not to be involved in a support group to counter those
urges, McCalmont said. Especially for those in positions of leadership
and power, he said.
McCalmont admits it is very lifting to know his words as a pastor are
reaching hundreds of people and that those same people trust and respect
him. But he said he has to be careful with it.
A pastor is only a messenger. Although the words he may speak and the
emotions he may evoke are life-changing, he must remember it is not his
power that is being projected, McCalmontsaid.
"I go to God all the time to ask him to keep me powerful but only
through him. I have to leave myself out of it," McCalmontsaid. "If you
don't, you are asking for trouble."
And trouble is what a handful of local church leaders have found
recently following admissions and allegations of sexual impropriety.
Last month, a popular Catholic priest was forced to resign from his
Dana Point parish after admitting to past affairs with women. Father John