How (Not) to Respond to the Fall of Matt Lauer

This Nov. 17, 2017, file photo shows then-host Matt Lauer at work in the studio while Tim McGraw and Faith Hill perform on NBC's Today show at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City.

By Michael Brown Published on November 29, 2017

NBC’s Matt Lauer. CBS’s Charlie Rose. NPR’s Michael Oreskes. Amazon’s Roy Price. The New York Times’s Glenn Thrush. Hollywood’s Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K. Congress’s Al Franken and John Conyers. Who’s next? And how should we respond?

I understand that the list of those fallen is largely, if not almost exclusively, liberal. And quite a few of the fallen have been staunch opponents of the right. But, with all respect to President Trump, I do not agree with him tweeting:

Wow, Matt Lauer was just fired from NBC for “inappropriate sexual behavior in the workplace.” But when will the top executives at NBC & Comcast be fired for putting out so much Fake News. Check out Andy Lack’s past.

And then:

So now that Matt Lauer is gone when will the Fake News practitioners at NBC be terminating the contract of Phil Griffin? And will they terminate low ratings Joe Scarborough based on the “unsolved mystery” that took place in Florida years ago? Investigate!

God is the Judge

Is this really time to throw stones? And if you have your own glass houses from the past, do you want to urge the investigation of the alleged glass houses of others from the past? Perhaps it would be better to say, “Wow. Matt Lauer of NBC is down. Before that Charlie Rose of CBS. The liberal media is really taking a hit. A sobering time!”

It’s true that these men allegedly (or admittedly) crossed lines that most of us have not crossed. But if God wanted to find each of us guilty, He could easily do so. If He wanted to expose sinful thoughts or attitudes or words or glances or desires, He could damn every human being on the planet in a matter of seconds.

That’s why King Solomon could say to the Lord in a prayer for mercy that “there is no man who does not sin” and that “each of [of us] knows his own affliction” (1 Kings 8:46, 38).

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And that’s why I tweeted this after hearing of Lauer’s fall: “I don’t recommend gloating when someone you don’t like falls or is exposed. Better to grieve over their loss and take stock of the cost of sin. Better to stay low and search your own heart than to mock someone else’s disgrace.”

And that’s why author and professor Jay Richards tweeted in response: “And never, ever, take pleasure in the destruction of anyone’s marriage. Pray for them. If you really don’t like them, pray even more for them.”

Another responded by quoting Proverbs 24:17-18 — verses that came to my mind as well: “Do not rejoice when your enemy falls, and let not your heart be glad when he stumbles, lest the Lord see it and be displeased, and turn away his anger from him.”

Principles That are Honoring to Women

Many on the right have correctly observed that some of the most prominent alleged abusers were previously viewed as women’s right’s champions, like Conyers and Franken. And the argument has been made that it is the left, not the right, that degrades and mistreats women. After all, are you really for women when you encourage abortion? When you celebrate lewdness and exalt women as sex symbols? When you deny the importance of gender distinctions?

And I agree with these observations. I agree that it is conservative moral principles that are more honoring to women. And I agree that much of the liberal, Christian-bashing, hypocrisy is being exposed before our eyes.

Still, when I a saw recent article titled, “From politicians to producers, here are 50 prominent men accused of sexual misconduct since Weinstein’s downfall,’” I immediately asked myself, “Are pastors and preachers next?” (Actually, we’ve had more than enough scandals like this in recent years.)

This is Not the Time to Gloat

In the 1980s, a prominent TV evangelist was exposed for sexual and financial corruption, after which another prominent TV evangelist went after him mercilessly. Rather than mourning his fall, he mocked it. Not long after, he too was exposed.

That’s why I continue to counsel that we not mock our perceived enemies and opponents when they fall (and certainly not all of those recently exposed are our “enemies” or “opponents”). They are suffering enough already and will have much to deal with in their own lives and families and reputations and careers.

Let there be redemption in the midst of the mess, and let us all of take stock and be sober.

Instead, we should search our own hearts, we should take each new shocking announcement with sobriety (these are wake-up calls to us all), and we should pray for the repentance and restoration of those who fall.

I for one could imagine hearing Matt Lauer testify one year from now, “That was the very worst thing that ever happened to me and the lowest point in my life. But God has used it to wake me up and show me what really matters, and I’m living a brand new life.”

Let there be redemption in the midst of the mess, and let us all of take stock and be sober. This is not the time to gloat.

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  • Danske

    yes, let the LORD sort out and be the only perfect Judge in these matters…praying for genuine repentance for the perpetrators of these acts, and not rush to judgment as is the norm for social/entertainment media. The Judge of all the earth and observes every human being who has ever lived (Psalms 33:13-14).

  • HisChild

    I don’t rejoice at any of this news where men’s sins are being exposed and great shame comes to them. My heart sorrows for them as I pray God will lead them to Godly sorrow for their sins, bringing them to repentance which leads to the salvation of their souls. God saved a wretch like me – even me and he took away my shame. My sorrow is deep and my prayers for these lost souls are sincere.

  • Paul

    Trump isn’t gloating, he’s using the opportunity to go after more rotten fish.

  • BroFrank

    In the meantime, when an innumerable multitude of people had gathered together, so that they trampled one another, [Christ] began to say to His disciples first of all, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be known.”
    (Luke 12:1-2 ) nkj

    … when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.
    (1 Peter 3:2-4) esv

    My greatest concern is where we go from here. Within a society that flaunts indecency and denigrates virginity, will the work place now become a teasing station—or a place of mutual respect? I agree with Dr Brown that this is a time for the Christian community to spend some serious time in introspection and cleansing before God, so that we may be a Light to a darkening and oft confusing world.

  • Rick Kingsley

    The Lord is performing a cleansing work in this nation and His people must remain silent in reverential fear

  • O’Pinyon

    “Better to grieve over their loss and take stock of the cost of sin. Better to stay low and search your own heart than to mock someone else’s disgrace.”
    Absolutely right.

    “If I can easily discuss the shortcomings and the sins of any; if I can speak
    in a casual way even of a child’s misdoings, then I know nothing of
    Calvary love.”
    Amy Carmichael

  • rick dean

    Thank you Michael. I need to be reminded often to not judge people, but rather to pray for them.

  • Jim Walker

    I have not seen the microscopic scrutiny of any President using a fine tooth comb as the one everyone used on President Trump.
    The Media
    The Evangelical
    The DNC people
    The RNC people
    The Public
    The Celebrities
    The Everyone else
    Suddenly we are all holier than thou and comment what a person can or cannot say ?
    I’m very tired of micro-aggressive outbursts of everything Trump says or does. Is there nothing else to write ?

    • Concerned Christian

      Just yesterday, Trump gave WW2 Indian hero’s an award in front of portrait of a president who broke treaties with the ancestors of those Indians and was directly responsible for the Trail of Tears. To top it off, he had to insult Elizabeth Warren in process.

      Of course that was much better than the week he spent getting mad at a father and lying about being on the cover of Time Magazine.

      So yes, why would a person that lies, insults, is basically useless in the legislative process, receive more scrutiny than any previous president.

      • Jim Walker

        Every portrait of past presidents have bad history. If those Indians who receive the awards don’t even notice why do you care ?

        Is the name Pocahontas is an insult ?
        You are such a wussy.

        • Concerned Christian

          you know you’re right. Andrew Jackson just uniquely represents America.

          • Jim Walker

            Like I said before, if you are really a Concerned Christian, you should be fervently praying to God to use Trump because that is what we must do, pray for our leaders, whether you like them or not.
            FYI, I didn’t vote for Trump.

          • Concerned Christian

            I think the biggest excuse people in general make is to say “just pray”. That statement is normally an argument for in-action.

            Well, I lost my job, i’ll just pray. I’m extremely overweight and in bad health, just pray. My kids are crazy, just pray, my marriage is bad, just pray. At some point action is needed.

            Evangelicals don’t say well abortion is legal, just pray. Members of the LGBT community want to get married, just pray. You certainly don’t say that about people on the left unless the prayer is for God to punish them for their sins. Evangelicals want action and are willing to support anyone that will give them that action.

            My concerns has and will always be the Christian community. Trump is president because Christians believe in top down leadership as opposed to bottom up. If anything, evangelicals have fallen for what they claim about liberals. Don’t pull yourself up, rely on government to do it for you.

            Prayer should lead to action not excuses for in-action.

          • Jim Walker

            Pray is one aspect of taking action. You must do more of course.

          • Concerned Christian

            that statement is just a pet peeve of mine! 🙂

            I’m seen people tell people in abusive relationships to just pray. Only to then see something worse happen because no action was taken.

          • Bryan

            “My concerns has and will always be the Christian community. Trump is president because Christians believe in top down leadership as opposed to bottom up. If anything, evangelicals have fallen for what they claim about liberals. Don’t pull yourself up, rely on government to do it for you.

            Prayer should lead to action not excuses for in-action.”

            I agree. We need to pray and we need to act in conjunction with prayers. Having a moral code that was accepted as normal and the freedom to act on it without much questioning because everyone else, believer or not, acted that way lulled Christians into complacency. We’ve forgotten how to stand on God’s Word even if the world stands against us.
            A government that doesn’t oppose Christian beliefs is helpful, but not a necessity. Christians should work in their own communities as well as at state and national levels to be the salt & light of the earth. That being said, having government officials that aren’t opposing your work because you’re religious makes it a bit easier.

          • Concerned Christian

            No disagreement there! 🙂

  • tz1

    Speaking of double standards, you ask if you believe the charges against Roy Moore, should you pick up a big, sharp, rock, and throw it hard as you can, or do nothing, or proceed as if it didn’t happen.

    Why do you treat heretics as practical heroes, pagans with respect, but your fellow Christians with suspicion and seem to want them to be considered guilty without any strong evidence, much less proof?

    We still need to hate the sin, and Lauer sinned bigly. Spare me this “don’t judge”. If he’s innocent, then it is different than if he is guilty, but he has not denied the charges. If he IS guilty, why don’t you treat him with proportional contempt you seem to want to treat Moore with? And shouldn’t you condemn him while calling for him to repent?

    Jesus called the Pharisees “a brood of vipers” and “sons of the devil”. I’m sure he hoped they too would repent. But he didn’t pull his punches.

  • GodisGood

    The Lord watches over all who love him,
    but all the wicked he will destroy.
    Psalm 145:20

    Let the Lord do his work. We do ours. In times such as these I find myself in deep introspection of my own sin and what would happen if it were all exposed. It honestly scares me to death. I will try to clean my street first, before I judge my neighbors street. Easier said then done, but what better time to witness to non-believers. I pray for Matt Lauer and his family today.

    • Proud_NIMBY

      Sorry but the despicable left wants the 100 percent, complete destruction of all Judeo-Christian traditions that this country was founded on, in order to turn it into their Sodom and Gomorrah. They must be stopped on all fronts, especially in the media. Simply praying and reading your bible will do NOTHING except allow them to continue their destruction. RISE UP AND FIGHT BACK.

      • O’Pinyon

        “For ours is not a conflict with mere flesh and blood, but with the despotisms, the empires, the forces that control and govern this dark world–the spiritual hosts of evil arrayed against us in the heavenly warfare.”
        We fight spiritual battles in the spirit.
        God commands His troops; we need to listen to His voice.

  • Proud_NIMBY

    Completely disagree. The vile left has been destroying the country for generations, with the help of its weaponized media superstructure. I LOVE what Trump is doing. Anything we can do to aid in the complete destruction of the media/Hollywood infotainment leftist propaganda complex as it currently exists would help to slowly bring America back from the brink.

  • Howard Rosenbaum

    Well Trump will be Trump. Sure a more delicate trump may appeal to some , but that was not the Trump who won this election. Perhaps Trump in spite of himself is sending a message that ” the times they are a changing”. Until such a time as a more “spiritually mature “Trump emerges we can at least be entertained by the “coming to Jesus moments” some of these guys are providing for the public. Lets hope as Mr Brown suggests, that some of these guys really will have a “coming to Jesus” moment . Leading to a living for Jesus life ..!

  • Caitie

    Simply what we need to do is pray for President Trump’s heart That God continues to work on him and continues to raise him up surrounding him with men of faith to speak unto him. Pray protection over him. He is constantly under attack spiritually as is exhibited by his tweets. I think writing about and repeating his weaknesses his sins instead of lifting him up in prayer is exactly what you are writing that we shouldn’t do with these fallen men. We shouldn’t point out anothers man’s sins but rather pray continuously for their deliverance from this sin. I think the enemy rejoices in the wickedness of all mankind even those who rejoice or gloat yes but I think he especially rejoices in Christians turning from Jesus by writing of such things
    These are things of the world not of God. We must believe he had raised this flawed man up to lead this broken country and turn its focus back into Christ Jesus. We must stand together in constant prayer. And yes imo no Christian should rejoice in the destruction of a marriage or child of God. We need to pray for our own sinful nature that draws us away from Gods Word

  • azsxdcf1

    Father God in heaven, we pray Your Holiness into all of our hearts as this discussion spreads… In the Name of Jesus.

  • Dean Bruckner

    “How (Not) to Respond to the Fall of Matt Lauer:” Don’t write a column on “How (Not) to Respond to the Fall of Matt Lauer.”

  • LisaL

    Donald Trump needs a wall around his glass house. He still has 16 accusers out there. Another way to not respond to this whole harassment mess is to stop blaming the “the vile left” over and over. It’s always the liberals, blah-blah. Unfortunately the powerful have taken advantage of the weak for a very, very long time. Like when King David walked out on the roof of his palace and saw Bathsheba bathing, he had her brought to him and he lay with her. I’m sure he didn’t ask her permission!

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