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ACCOUNTABLE TO NO ONE: Church boards gone bad


Have you witnessed or seen misconduct or criminal activity in your church leadership, denomination, or church network?

Church corruption is a grave issue that can shake the faith of believers and tarnish the reputation of religious institutions. For those who find themselves witnessing illegal activities within their church, the dilemma of whether to speak up or remain silent can be incredibly challenging. However, addressing corruption is not only a moral duty but also a biblical imperative.

What Can You Do?

1. Document Everything: Keep detailed records of the illegal activities you witness. This includes dates, times, individuals involved, and specific incidents. Documentation can provide crucial evidence if and when you decide to report the misconduct.

2. Seek Legal Counsel: Before taking any action, consult with a lawyer.

They can offer advice on how to proceed without putting yourself at unnecessary risk.

3. Confide in Trusted Allies: Identify trustworthy individuals within the church or your community who can offer support and advice. Sharing your concerns with others can provide emotional and practical support.

4. Report criminal activity to law enforcement: Report any and all criminal behavior to the authorities. In the situation discussed in this article, where the church board is corrupt, be very careful about who you go to in leadership. If the behavior involves a crime, it is imperative to go to the authorities immediately. Attempting to resolve crimes "brother to brother" or containing them within the church can enable further misconduct and hinder justice. It is essential to recognize that crimes are distinct from sins, and while the church may address sins, the state is responsible for handling crimes. By seeking the appropriate authorities, individuals can uphold accountability, promote justice, and adhere to both religious and legal principles as authorized by God (Matthew 18, Romans 13).

5. Use Anonymous Channels: If you fear retaliation, consider using anonymous reporting mechanisms. You can report anonymously to or call 904-383-9831. Many organizations, including some religious institutions, have hotlines or online forms for anonymous whistleblowing. Remember a private call or email to the authorities or help hotline about possible criminal activity is not a public accusation against anyone. It is the proper channel to help justice move forward.

How Can You Respond?

1. Stay Grounded in Your Faith: Your faith can be a source of strength. Pray for courage, wisdom, and guidance as you navigate this difficult situation.

2. Educate Yourself on Church Policies: Understanding the official stance of your denomination on issues of corruption and misconduct can provide clarity on the appropriate steps to take.

3. Join or Form Support Groups: Connecting with others who have faced similar situations can offer valuable insights and emotional support. Online forums and local groups can be resources.

4. Maintain Professionalism: If you are employed by the church, continue to perform your duties diligently. Avoid letting the corrupt actions of others affect your work ethic and integrity.

What Does the Bible Say About Speaking Up?

The Bible offers clear guidance on the responsibility of believers to speak out against wrongdoing. Here are some key scriptures:

• Ephesians 5:11: “Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.”

• Proverbs 31:8-9: “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”

• Luke 17:3: “If your brother or sister sins against you, rebuke them; and if they repent, forgive them.”

These verses emphasize the importance of exposing evil and advocating for justice, even when it is difficult.

What Does the Bible Say About Being with People Who Do Evil?

Scripture also warns against associating with those who practice evil:

• 2 Corinthians 6:14-15: “Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness? What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? Or what does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?”

• 1 Corinthians 15:33: “Do not be misled: ‘Bad company corrupts good character.’”

• Psalm 1:1: “Blessed is the one who does not walk in step with the wicked or stand in the way that sinners take or sit in the company of mockers.”

These passages advise believers to distance themselves from those who engage in corrupt practices, underscoring the importance of maintaining integrity and purity.

Don’t Be Afraid to Be a Whistleblower

Being a whistleblower is a brave and honorable act. It aligns with biblical principles of justice and truth. By speaking out against corruption, you not only protect others from harm but also uphold the integrity of the church.

Remember, you are not alone. Many have faced similar challenges and found solace and strength in their faith. By taking a stand, you contribute to a more just and righteous community, reflecting the true values of Christianity.

If higher church authorities are not an option, trust in local law enforcement to intervene and address the misconduct. You can also report anonymously to or call 904-383-9831. In the words of Isaiah 1:17, “Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.” Embrace your role as a defender of righteousness and let your actions inspire others to pursue truth and justice.


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