FORT WORTH, Texas (SWBTS) – The School of Church Music hosted a forum on sexual ethics and music ministry, Sept. 3. Titled “Sex, Lies and Music,” the forum opened a series of panel discussions on ethics and music that the school intends to host each semester.
The first panel discussion featured President Paige Patterson alongside Stephen Johnson, dean of the School of Church Music, and David Thye, professor of church music. According to Johnson, 1,200 ministers were terminated from their church positions in 2009, and sexual misconduct was among the top 10 reasons for these terminations.
“So what that boils down to is that, in 2009, every other day, there was a minister … who was fired for the reason of sexual misconduct,” Johnson said. “It has become quite an issue.”
Patterson reminded students that this issue is important because God created sex to be an outward sign of a deeper intimacy and oneness between husband and wife. He also urged them to remember that God will not bless a ministry that is defiled by sexual sin.
“Even if nobody knows yet, your own spiritual life is decimated by it,” Patterson said. “You will never have the power of the Spirit of God (if this sin exists in your life).” He also told students that a single misdeed “reverberates through the whole community.”
Thye agreed: “I fear sin. I want to be an effective tool in the ministry,” he said, recounting times that he has seen sexual sin damage the lives of ministers, their families and the members of their churches.
“It is a trust factor for all of us involved,” Thye said. “These things are not just about you. It is about our relationship with Jesus Christ. It is about our relationship as leaders in the community, and leaders in the church of God.”