June 30, 2009
South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford admitted today that he saw his mistress more times, including what was supposed to be a farewell meeting in New York accompanied by a spiritual adviser, according to an Associated Press report.
The governor told that AP that with his wife's permission, went to New York with a "trusted spiritual adviser" serving as chaperone to end the affair. The three went to church and dinner together and parted ways the same night. The AP article does not indicate who the adviser was.
The AP also interviewed the man Sanford referred to during his press conference as a "spiritual giant," who declined to say whether he had met Sanford's mistress. Sanford and his wife attended Warren "Cubby" Culbertson's spiritual "boot camp."
He thinks Sanford was simply caught off guard by "the power of darkness." Culbertson also thinks that the only thing holding his friends' marriage together right now is "their vow to God."
"Because it's not feelings - it's not emotions," Culbertson said, the smile fading from his tanned face. "For most Christians, at some point in your marriage, if you're married long enough, you do it because that's what we're called to do - out of obedience instead of out of passion. And I think that's where Mark and Jenny are right now."
"What I find interesting is the story of David, and the way in which he fell mightily - fell in very, very significant ways, but then picked up the pieces and built from there," he said.
Sanford offered an apology on his website using words like grace, renewal, and the sin of pride.
So in the aftermath of this failure I want to not only apologize, but to commit to growing personally and spiritually. Immediately after all this unfolded last week I had thought I would resign - as I believe in the military model of leadership and when trust of any form is broken one lays down the sword. A long list of close friends have suggested otherwise - that for God to really work in my life I shouldn't be getting off so lightly.
The full letter is after the jump: