Saturday, February 11, 2006

CHURCH'S DIRTY COLLAR: The ring-around-our-collar - Part II

... it's not The CRIB's job to hang out the church's dirty laundry but, in the presence of the filth below, I feel burdened to do so. And I don't give a flip if anyone but me cares ... but you all should.

Fidelity, InfidelityThat this kind of behavior can go on in the presence of the Bride of Christ, let alone in His presence, is patently foreign to the Good News I understand and love.

Before I address the horrible fiduciary and fidelity failure of the church by certain of her leaders, I want to clear up an inadvertent error in my last post on this subject.

The error occurred in this paragraph ...
In the report linked above we're told Pastor Earl Paulk stood with the family as a precious baby girl was born; later Paulk would dedicated her to the Lord, then celebrate her high school graduation, and then, when in her thirties, he would foul her marriage bed ... this in spite of the fact Paulk arranged her marriage to his best friend.
I confused and collapsed the circumstances of two of Earl and Don Paulk's apparent victims into one ... one was the baby born in the church and later seduced and used as a young woman by both Paulks; the other was another young woman, who married Paulk's best friend, who was seduced and used two years after her marriage to his friend. I am sorry to my readers for the carelessness.

However, the issues were and remain the carnal, deviant, perverted, immoral, and evil behavior of church leaders, as well as the absolute need for leader accountability (I'm joining an accountability group today).

For example, the behavior of Earl Paulk was enough to make a believer puke; but the following aspect of "the rest of the story" is enough to bring about spiritual cardiac arrest ...
In 1992, six women accused Paulk, his brother and two nephews - all ministers - of sexual manipulation. In seducing them, the women said, the men had talked about "special" or "kingdom" relationships not bound by earthly interpretations of morality. [...] (CRIB NOTE: sort of like 70 virgins justifying a suicide belt)

By 2001, the church had gained new members and seemed to have recovered from the 1992 scandal. But a new one was breaking.

Jessica Battle, a college student who had been a dancer in the church's arts ministry, filed suit in DeKalb State Court alleging that Paulk had molested her from the time she was 7 until she was 11 years old. Battle also accused him of forcing intercourse on her when she was 17.
Integrity, TrustFor the sake of discussion
lets assume one of the women or both seduced Paulk; bottom-line it changes nothing regarding a pastor's biblical and fiduciary responsibility to his flock.

Reverse the scenario anyway you want, you still have to deal with the fact that the Paulks have evidently been involved in immoral and adulterous behavior with women other than their wives. And they both continue to step into the pulpit each week. Shame on us for allowing this to continue.
Paulk denied the Brewers' allegations in court papers. But Dennis Brewer, his Texas attorney (no relation to Bobby and Mona) acknowledged a sexual relationship between the bishop and Mona Brewer. [CRIB emphasis]

"About nine years ago, there were two or three incidents wherein she was the aggressor," he said in a telephone interview.

The lawyer said the bishop had "absolutely not" had a sexual relationship with Cindy Hall, and that Don Paulk, the bishop's brother who is also his client, "absolutely denies" having sex with Hall.

He said he thinks Hall and Mona Brewer are "writing a book or want to ... be movie stars."
If we assume all of this to be true, it still doesn't mitigate the fact an under-shepherd of God Himself is guilty of numerous egregious sins while carrying the mantle of ministry. One sin, no matter how it is spun, makes another sin right!

As you should recognize, this is entirely consistent with our modern relativistic culture where no ones accepts responsibility for his or her actions. But, one day coming soon, God will see to it that all mankind takes responsibility.

Conspiracy, IntriqueEqually hard to believe, but apparently true, is the complicity of other men in the church to assist Paulks in his perversion and later to hide the dark secrets of "bishop" Paulk.

Likewise, the failure of peer clergy in the International Communion of Charismatic Churches (ICCC), an organization Earl Paulk was instrumental in founding, is patently unacceptable. Only one group has apparently made a statement of apology ...
The pastors of 13 independent charismatic churches in the Atlanta area issued a public statement of condemnation, as well as contrition for not disciplining Paulk earlier. After the recent charges went public, they said, "We offer a deep-felt apology for tolerating this type of behavior and heretical teaching among those who say they represent God."
According to Brewer, Paulk had her service visiting evangelists and his brother Don.
In 1992, when his brother Don Paulk stepped down from the pulpit briefly after confessing adultery, she said, Paulk asked her to have sex with him to make him feel better. Once, the brothers took turns with her. Soon after that, her intimacy with the bishop began to taper off.
IntegrityWe must remind ourselves the Paulks are only two of many whose pride allowed them to thumb their noses at Christ, the Scriptures, and their flocks. I can quickly think of Gordon MacDonald, Jim Bakker, Lonnie Latham, Jesse Jackson, David Hocking, Randall Terry, a multitude of perverted Catholic priests, Jimmy Swaggart, and a dozen lesser known clergy ... shall I continue?

Probe Ministries reports ...
An article in a 1997 issue of Newsweek magazine noted that various surveys suggest that as many as 30 percent of male Protestant ministers have had sexual relationships with women other than their wives.

The Journal of Pastoral Care in 1993 reported a survey of Southern Baptist pastors in which 14 percent acknowledged they had engaged in "sexual behavior inappropriate to a minister." It also reported that 70 percent had counseled at least one woman who had had intercourse with another minister. [CRIB emphasis]

A 1988 survey of nearly 1000 Protestant clergy by Leadership magazine found that 12 percent admitted to sexual intercourse outside of marriage, and that 23 percent had done something sexually inappropriate with someone other than their spouse.
Family, Friends, PainThis my friends is an abomination and ought not to be. I know how difficult it is to maintain fidelity to your wife and church ... it's hell, especially in a world where far too many women fail to help us maintain our integrity. But the job can be done and must be done. Nothing crushes the spirit of a church and her people like the failure of its main spiritual leader.

Next week I'll make my final post on this subject and discuss the damage done to the innocent. Then I plan to leave it in the Lord's hands ... what will you do?

UPDATE (2/13/06): Blogotional has an excellent personal take on this post here; as well as a reaction to my first post here. These are worth the visit because they come from a lay-leader not a member of the clergy and a non-Baptist.

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