Feb 16, 2011

A Heart to Heart with Mooresville's Mayor After a Moral Lapse

Mayor Chris Montgomery

Chris Montgomery is the Mayor of Mooresville, North Carolina (he also happens to be a Christ follower). The news broke a few weeks ago about intimate emails that he sent from a town email address to a woman who was not his wife. He has said he will continue to serve until his term ends, but not seek re-election. He wants to work on his faith and family.

Jesus was not the stone throwing type and neither should the church be. Chris agreed to do an interview for Randumblog that I pray will be an eye opener for us to see that this could happen to anyone. My hope is that anyone dealing with secret sin will be able to hear Chris’ heart and flee one of the many self-destructive paths our enemy places before us.

Nate: I appreciate your willingness to do this interview for Randumblog. My hope is that my readers gain a clearer understanding of how truly challenging political life can be.

Chris: Thank you for asking me to participate, Nate. It was kind of touch and go there for a while. But I have been blessed with good friends and family who have supported me unconditionally. I have been very overwhelmed. I have been even more thankful.

I would contend that LIFE is challenging. The politics just added to it in my case. But everyone has their demons. That statement is not designed to be a cop-out, just fact. Quite literally, my saving grace was realizing I had Jesus Christ. He was always there. I just ignored the Bible or pretended not to need him. That is a recipe for disaster, particularly when you have been chosen to lead. It has been a tough road. But the weight was lifted once I realized how much God loves his children.

Nate: First, I would like to apologize for myself and other Christians in Mooresville who have neglected to lift you up in prayer. I believe God has called us to this and I for one have failed you as a leader in this way.

Chris: No one has failed me. It was quite the opposite. But it's not about deserving each other. We have already been accepted. Who else do you know that would give his only son's life for a bunch of sinners? It's overwhelming when you think about it.

Nate: People in positions of leadership (especially believers) tend to be targets of the enemy’s attacks. What advice would you give to others in leadership positions in the area of fidelity?

Chris: Well first let me make it perfectly clear that my wife and I love each other. We have volumes of stories and experiences, not to mention three beautiful children. But I, like most men, thrive on attention. Of course some of that is human nature. However, the thought process should go further than that. I for one am very narcissistic and am learning to deal with changing that behavior. I believe putting God as your number one priority is the first step. Then back it up with daily devotions and scripture. My wife has helped me build such faith. She is my rock. 

Nate: It seems that many Christians tend to shoot their own wounded or distance themselves from those who have fallen. It is easy to swell with pride and think that it could not happen to us. If you could go back five years and give a much younger Chris Montgomery some advice—what would you say?

Chris: "Pride comes before the fall."; "Check yourself before you wreck yourself." Leave your ego at the door." "There is no I in team." -- We were all taught these proverbs and lessons as kids, but some people get so wrapped up in themselves and agendas that the message gets lost in the shuffle.

I have been in advertising sales for the last twenty years. Salespeople are trained from the get-go to appear confident, wear a smile, and provide solutions better than the competition. I fell prey to my own pitch. In a nutshell, I would tell the younger Chris Montgomery to be more humble and less assertive in most situations.  

Nate: I know that you have asked for forgiveness in this situation. You said in a letter to the town commissioners that you are going to, “…focus on my faith and family.” How can my readers pray for you specifically as you do this?

Chris: Don't pray for me, pray for everyone. Ask God to show ways to help others. Pray that leaders everywhere make sound decisions, personally and professionally. Or as my wife says, "Let go, let God.”

Nate: Thank you for your time and straightforward answers. You have given us a lot to think about as we take stock of our own lives.

Chris: It has been my pleasure. If this virtual Interview can influence one reader, you and I have made a difference. 

Another Interview from Randumblog:
Jerry Jenkins on The Brotherhood


Anonymous said...

I know of a woman who was trapped in a bad marriage, and through the course of her life met a man and developed a friendship. That friendship developed into a relationship, and when the news broke, the affair spread like wildfire. To date, she wears a scarlet letter across her chest in her hometown. People are so quick to judge, but really, this type thing happens way too often, and it's just individuals who are crying out in some way regarding dissatisfaction in their marriages. In Mayor Montgomery's case, his wife chose forgiveness and they committed to each other to work on the things that were lacking. As he said, many friends stood by them, which has made it easier for them to heal. In my friend's case, her husband had no interest in reconcilliation, not so much because she strayed, but because he didn't love her to the depths of what a husband should love a wife.
None of us need condemnation for decisions that we make in regard to not only infidelity, but many other sins, and I am very pleased that a marriage was saved from destruction. They and their children will be better off. I just ask that when you do hear of a situation involving marital infidelity that you will not be so quick to judge. My friend bears years of hurt because of how she has been treated by the people she called her christian friends.

Laura Milner said...

What a brave thing to do this interview. Thanks you for sharing. People need to see that no one is perfect and that we all fall short of the glory of God. Also it is so great for the world to see forgiveness and redemption. Praying that the Lord will work wonders in the mayors life and that he will be used to help others.

Nate, i wanted to tell you that this interview was done well, with much grace and respect. The God you love and serve was shown in your words and actions!

Inside Nate's Head said...

Thank you Laura, I was glad to see him have the courage to do the interview as well.

One who has been changed said...

Must be plugged in to receive power for life

marcusclarkus said...

Great interview and thoughtful comments precede this one. Some great lessons can be learned from this: be faithful, don't be quick to judge others and Christ will always be there for us, even during those apparent down times.