Get Rid of the Rot

Get Rid of the Rot

Don’t judge the whole group by a few bad apples.

Good police officers do not want to be grouped with officers who act carelessly, lawlessly, and with bias.

Good protesters do not want to be grouped with rioters who kill, steal, and destroy.

Those are the two “bad apple” discussions that are the loudest right now.

It’s true of any group, though.

I’ve been in ministry all my life.  Many of those years I was church leader. There were times that some true, horrible story about a leader’s sin would be making the rounds and some people would begin to look with suspicion toward all church leaders. 

The whole group of used car dealers, educators, social workers, fathers, mothers and ethnicities has been accused of corruption and all the “good people” in all of those groups scream, “Don’t judge me because of them.”

The solution is not all on the “judgers.”  Telling people to not judge has little effect on those whose current experience, blended with similar stories from the past, tells them that the whole group is bad!  The people in those groups must do something.  But what?  Here is a start.

1.  We have to police ourselves.  It is both interesting and appropriate that we use the word “police” to describe stopping the bad behavior of the people in your group.  If you see someone in your group behaving badly, you must approach them and stop them. Blue backs blue, pastor backs pastor, teacher backs teacher, CPS backs CPS, etc. cannot be the rule when something illegal, immoral, unethical, or abusive is going on.

I know now of a speaker for churches who for years traveled to various events and churches and had affairs with women in many of those locations.  Somebody besides him knew, but nobody stopped him, and the damage continued to spread.

It’s easy to give the people in your profession or group the benefit of the doubt but ignoring signs or averting your eyes is not “giving the benefit of the doubt.” It is allowing behavior to continue that must not continue.

And now, it’s on you as much as it is on them, even if nobody else ever knows that you know.

2.  We must stop the spread.  It is so easy in many professions to resign before getting fired and move to the next job across town, across the state, or across the nation.  When you know a “bad apple” is about to rot somewhere else, you must stop it.  You must tell somebody.  Relocation is not a solution. It is perpetuation of the problem.

I don’t know what stopping the spread would look like in professions other than mine.  You know what it would be in your profession or you must figure it out.

Otherwise, when they lump everybody from a profession together, you have no right to protest.  You’re letting the problem continue and even grow.

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