Pastor Perry Noble, former head pastor of megachurch NewSpring Church in South Carolina, was recently fired for alcoholism and other unnamed bad behavior. The church board told its members that it had tried to help the pastor correct his behavior for several months, but he was unwilling, reports the Christian Post.
"Over the course of several months our executive pastors met with and discussed at length with Perry these concerns regarding his personal behavior and his spiritual walk, Perry's posture towards marriage, increased reliance on alcohol and other behaviors were of continual concern. Due to this the executive pastors confronted Perry and went through the steps of dealing with sin in the church as outlined in Matthew 18," said the church.
But despite their pastor's behavior, members of NewSpring still want Noble back. In fact, hundreds have signed a petition to reinstate Noble once he is "recovered," and others are incensed at the church's decision to fire him.
"Addiction is a disease. Get him treatment and give him his job back. If it were cancer, he wouldn't be fired, he would get the best treatment and keep his job. Addiction is similar to diabetes and hypertension in that they are chronic illnesses. Poor choices could have contributed to the development of these illnesses, but they are diseases nonetheless. Addiction is a brain disease that robs the sufferer of the power of choice," argued one member, Stacy Knox of Anderson, South Carolina.
Noble is not encouraging the petition or people who are choosing to leave the church over the firing. In fact, Noble is pleading with church members to remain at NewSpring, if they want to show their loyalty to him. In response to the petition, Noble said,"I've seen a couple comments on Twitter and I just wanted to address this. I've seen some comments that said, 'hey, I'm never going back to NewSpring again because they fired Perry Noble. Here's what I'm gonna ask you, if you love me, be at NewSpring this Sunday, and the next Sunday and the next Sunday. I love my church. … I fully endorse NewSpring's decision to bring Clayton King on as interim pastor. He is a great man of God."
Noble gave a full admission to his alcoholism and shared his purpose to find healing. "I wanna say to everyone at NewSpring Church that I am sorry that I allowed a dependency on alcohol. I ran to it other than Jesus for my comfort and that was wrong and I'm sorry, and I'm going to do whatever it takes to make it right. I am checking into a treatment facility and gonna work with some excellent people who are gonna really help me take my next steps. I'm serious about fighting for my wife and my daughter. And I'm serious about following Jesus," he said.
What do you think of the church's decision to fire Noble? Do you think they were following the Bible's instructions on leadership? Let us hear your thoughts and prayers in the Comments! Thank you!