Pastor John Gray stepped down from leading Relentless Church in South Carolina just months ago. But, even though many thought Gray's troubles were over the eviction lawsuits which he settled with Ron Carpenter, he revealed that wasn't the real reason he stepped down.
On Sunday, in a lengthy Instagram post, Gray revealed he stepped down to work on his marriage to his wife.
"A few months ago, I sat down from leading at Relentless. My life wasn’t in order. Church isn’t first. My wife is," Gray wrote on the post. The post was a photo of his wife on the cover of WOE (Women of Excellence) magazine. In the post, he delves into the intimate details of how he met his wife, how they met at church, and then how he needed to grow, but she still said yes and married him. "I never knew what consistent discipline, planning, leadership, manhood, or personal holiness in action from a man’s standpoint looked like. Living a shadow life, God was unwilling to let me die assuming I was whole."
Gray says in the post that, even though he never slept with another woman, he was still cheating on her emotionally. "I failed to uphold the holy standard of God in my marriage. And I’m sorry. Although you are the only woman I’ve ever slept with, emotional unfaithfulness is just as wrong."
He also asserted that, though people try to categorize different sins, all sin is wrong, no matter whether it is something perceived as small or large. "Sin is sin. People want to minimize one sin over another, when it all can get you sent to hell," he said in the post.
Gray added that he always loved God and preached Jesus, but he still needed to work on his problems and "face [himself].”
“My marriage forced me to face both of me. Flesh versus spirit. It is every man’s battle. Loving God isn’t enough. Preaching Jesus isn’t enough. Face yourself. Get delivered. Or hurt the ones who actually love you the most,’ he wrote.
Gray’s journey of deliverance led him to receive intensive counseling, which he said was the "most necessary thing ever." It took time, but, eventually, he started making progress. However, he said it "broke" his soul when he saw his wife's name in blogs because of things he did. The public embarrassment he caused her, hurt him the most.
In the post, Gray took the time to say how amazing his wife is. "Aventer you are a miracle to me. I am sorry for the pain I have caused you. You name should have NEVER come up in any conversation in any negative way with anyone ever. I must do the work to earn your trust. I’ve lived a life I’m not proud of in so many areas, but before I die, I will be the man God intended and the husband that Your heart can rest with," he said.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Marcus Ingram/Stringer
John Paluska has been a contributor for Christian Headlines since 2016 and is the founder of The Washington Gazette, a news outlet he relaunched in 2019 as a response to the constant distribution of fake news.