Chris Cole comments on Rory Alec's extramarital affair
It is always very sad when family, friends and colleagues fall into great difficulty through taking wrong decisions. This sadness is felt even more acutely when the person is somebody you know very well and who holds a prominent position in the Christian community. Recently the news emerged that my good friend Rory Alec, Co-Founder of GOD TV, has admitted to a moral failure involving an extramarital affair. This is a desperate situation for the Alec family, especially his wife Wendy and two children Samantha and Christian. So, first response is one of prayer for all concerned from hearts of grace and humility.
On October the 8th, live from their studios in Jerusalem, Wendy Alec with great courage, transparency and grace explained this painful circumstance to the worldwide viewers of how this traumatic event had impacted both the family and the ministry. Obviously the shock to everybody was very high, similar to the Todd Bentley 'moral failure' that happened in 2008.
I have known Rory and Wendy before they started GOD TV in the 1990's when Wendy phoned me and encouraged me with the work we were doing with Cross Rhythms. She was amazingly generous of spirit, which was also evidenced by both Rory and Wendy when I met them in their first studios in Gateshead. For many years I presented a TV programme called the 'Dream on TV' on GOD TV and then I joined them as their Regional Director for the UK in 2005 until 2011. During this time I was part of a deepening process of relationship with them both.
When Wendy shared on October the 8th she mentioned the main problem that Rory wrestled with throughout his life was his struggle with the whole issue of fathering. Rory had some very bad 'authoritative fathering issues' whilst growing up. At Cross Rhythms this is one of our major themes as a ministry because the relationship with God as a Father is essential for all of us to understand genuine faith, purpose of life and real love. It is the major subject that Wendy and I have discussed for many years, but can only really be understood through individuals gaining a personal revelation from God the Father themselves. I hope to unpack this theme in later articles, but for the sake of this communication it is important to understand the following.
The difference between a religious understanding of God through Jesus Christ, which often has a form of godliness, but denies the power of the gospel and authentic spirituality is this. Authentic spirituality understands that Jesus Christ achieved ultimate freedom for his children through the cross in order to lead them to an intimate relationship with God the Father for a life of genuine faith, hope and love and spiritual power in absolute submission to God. This lifestyle and understanding of God leads to a 'book of Acts' experience and results in a person increasingly receiving the revelation of how much they are loved by God regardless of the circumstances. Religious thinking on the other hand, is like the brother in the story of the prodigal son, who although living with the father, had no understanding of the father's heart towards his prodigal brother and himself for that matter. It is performance based. If I'm good enough before God, he will love me more. The truth is God has no favourites, but true alignment to Him, through submission to Jesus, attracts His favour. This is why some Christians can maintain an attitude of joy and genuine faith, regardless of the outward circumstances. It is a faith based on intimate love of the Father. This was the source and power of Jesus' life whilst on earth. His understanding and relationship with His father
There are two sides of the coin when it comes to legitimate currency of the Kingdom. First of all it is this. God is our Father, in Christ Jesus, but he is also Almighty God in whom everybody will give an account for the life they have lived whilst on earth. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. It is important to understand that what God does in us on the journey of faith is more important than what he does through us. What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul? Equally you can have great faith that moves mountains and have not love and it is valueless. The other side of the coin is His incredible grace, motivated by His incomparable love to help us in our failures. He is the God of the second chance.
King David had a heart after God and sinned grossly with Bathsheba. He was forgiven for his sexual immorality, but the consequences of his personal choices played out during his entire life on earth. Forgiveness is real, but so are the consequences of our choices. This should always encourage us to be extremely humble and reverential. This spiritual life is based on being faithful, through real love, for those God has connected you to in your sphere of influence.
My prayer for Rory is that he will gain, through the brokenness he will find himself in, a deep revelation in his heart and soul of the incredible love that God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have for him and restore him in this life, especially with his family, but primarily to his Father in heaven.The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.
Chris and Kerry speak at a number of national conferences on Christian lifestyle, marriage and culture.
View all articles by Chris Cole FRSA