Monday, February 27, 2006

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

The purpose of this post is to follow up on my two earlier posts on the lecherous and debauched behavior of Earl and Don Paulk (here and here). I've chosen the following Scripture to close this three part series on the brothers Paulk to organize my rant along some biblical line.
Brothers EArl and Don Paulk, ICCCThere are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers.
Proverbs 6:16-19
There is no question in my mind Earl Paulk and his brother Don, Paulk's son, members of the church staff, pastoral members of the ICCC (International Communion of Charismatic Churches), friends, and others are guilty of all of these abominations. The brothers Paulk violated each one individually and jointly.

The entire cost of infidelity in ministry leadership is known by God alone ... remember, He's infinite. But the devastation to families, churches, friends, and our witness is enormous at best but beyond measure at worst.
There are so many others damaged by the abuses of these servants of the flesh and their minions from hell that one doesn't know where to begin when speaking of the cost.
Cathedral on Chapel Hill, ICCC, PaulkEarl Paulk was forced to resign in October as archbishop of the ... ICCC after a member of his local church - the 6,000 - member Cathedral at Chapel Hill in Decatur, Georgia - filed a lawsuit on August 31 charging him with using his position and spiritual role to manipulate women to have sex with himself, members of his family, and others, including visiting pastors, for many years.
The following is just a sprinkling of those who've been irreparably damaged by the brothers Paulk and their soldiers of sin.

What is terribly disturbing to me is that this is appears to be just the tip of an iceberg in the church today. Over and over we've had to confront men who've violated their God given fiduciary responsibilities. Last post I mentioned a number who came quickly to mind; I forgot two of 2005's perpetrators David Seamands (UMC icon) and Lonnie Latham (an SBC executive and pastor) and I'm certain there are many more.


Haughty Eyes. One has to ask how a man can defile his marriage bed again and again without having a exaggerated opinion of himself? An opinion that looks down the nose at others considered less in stature or station.

How could an adulterer, child molester, and overall deviant lay claim to a calling of God and get in the pulpit three times weekly with a straight face without haughtiness?

A Lying Tongue. Now that the snake is out (no pun intended), we see what others have seen for some time. Classic clinical denial by the perpetrators. And now their accusers are being accused of improper actions and motives.

Look it is entirely irrelevant if the victim enjoyed every liaison, or if she suggested kinky or perverse sex. The point is this: the victim does not have a fiduciary position of trust, nor is the victim the one called to a "higher calling."

It's this simple. Was the perp married? Yes or no? Was the perp in a position of authority? Yes or no? Did the perp use that authority to get what he wanted? Yes or no?

Consider a comment left on a forum at Strange Communications ...
How could ALL these women, children excluded, get caught up in this scandal without being guilty themselves? In my opinion they wanted this relationship or how else could it go on for years? These women have a personal responsibility to God themselves and they chose to go against God's commandments. They are not stupid and are not blind. They know what is going on and in fact they embrace this kind of behavior if not they would not have gotten involved. (Rape is one thing; relationship is another.) My father was a Bishop of a Holiness Church. You wouldn't believe how smart these women were and the way they behaved. It was ugly. The minister is WRONG; but, so are the women. Some cry wolf and pretend like they were misled when they was not misled. These women would have lived the same type of life had they been in any other forum. It just so happened they were church going people.
Though this is most likely a sincere point of view, it's obviously an individual who has no experience with the real world of seduction or with male egos perverted by power and privilege.

Hands that Shed Innocent Blood.

Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe to stumble, it would be better for him if, with a heavy millstone hung around his neck, he had been cast into the sea.
Mark 9:42
It's one thing to seduce a grown woman who is aware of the dangers and aware of her powers, but the exploitation of children is not just disgusting, it's repugnant!
In 2001, a woman in the church charged in a lawsuit settled out of court that Paulk had molested her as a child and teenager.
It's apparent the children of the victims of Earl and Don Paulk are innocent and numerous; the profound affect this will have on them is unknown.
The unsavory tale may get much worse. The discovery process in the case - which attorneys say may not go to trial for several months - is exploring reports that Paulk has fathered a number of children with women in his congregation, and Brewer's attorney has filed a motion for DNA evidence.
And so we see the thread of evil winding its way through the veins of deceit, subterfuge, illicit sex, adultery, and evil, then into the very arteries of the innocent. And whereas the courts normally protect the identities of the kids, the courts recently declared ...
In December, the Georgia Supreme Court overturned the church's request for a gag order that had been granted by the trial judge to protect the parties in the case.
If the Paulks fathered children their pain will join with that of spouses harmed by these leaches in clerical garb. And keep in mind we now know of others who've been involved in this debasement of the ministry and abuse of the sheep in numerous denominations.

A Heart Heart that Devises Wicked Plans. Not only did Earl and Don Paulk not act with a fear of God (Romans 3:18), they evidently enticed others to participate.
Brewer's lawsuit said Paulk required her to have sex with him, "other members of the church community ... [and] leaders of other churches as well as his family members, sometimes with other individuals observing the sexual acts."
And the word of God knew them before they were born ...
and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.
Romans 1:32
Paulk had a special and secret bedroom built in order to have his time with his victims. Rooms aren't built and furnished without a lot of planning; they're not maintained without a lot of clandestine efforts.

And Mrs. Paulk has been putting up with knowledge of the truth since the late '50s and early '60s.

Feet that Run Rapidly to Evil. In spite of pastoring and managing multiple ministries and programs these men still had time to set up liaisons with their victims and from reports hurried to them often.

A False Witness Who Utters Lies. We're told that Paulk denied in depositions and under oath he had any of these affairs; he denied the same to his congregation and supporters, his wife and family; and he lied to his peers ... what few challenged him. Instead he turned upon his accusers and slandered them.

One Who Spreads Strife Among Brethren.
I know of several women whose churches and personal lives have been virtually destroyed by perverse church leaders. Men who played off their positions of influence and played upon the vulnerability of their victims - marriages destroyed, trusts broken, phobias and paranoias created, unspoken fears nested, and a feeling of uncleanliness that just won't go away. The sheep were shorn and abused by the very shepherd sworn with their care.
Rev. Larry Tomczak, pastor of Christ the King Church of Greater Atlanta, said he grieves over what has happened to the victims. "Having been in the city for 10 years, I wish we had reached out to these women," said Tomczak. "We should have taken initiative and provided a refuge for restoration."
Bobby Brewer told Charisma last month that he and his wife filed the suit "to give victims a voice."
The count of families reported directly affected runs to at least eight; this doesn't take into consideration the Harvester family.

ICCC, Ministries, PaulkOne cannot throw the monster out with the filthy sewage from this corroded and embarrassing episode in charismatic life without noting Paulk was the founder and "archbishop" of International Communion of Charismatic Churches (ICCC). Certainly it doesn't take much imagination to visualize the friends and supporters the Paulks would have within their circle of influence.

How does a decades long supporter feel now that the fox in the hen house is none other than head fox? How does a young preacher who idolizes and reveres the brothers Paulk feel? And what does the young woman preyed upon by her pastor do when she sees the horrible publicity of this sordid affair?
The ICCC, ... claims a membership of 263 bishops [sic] overseeing congregations in 29 countries ....
The stain of sin moves out from this pagan letting of blood and touches the lives of God's servants and their families in no less than 30 nations.
The lawsuit seeks monetary damages ... from the church's board of directors for acquiescing and covering their misdeeds.
Consider this my friends, these men and women, who failed in their fiduciary duties out of misguided love and loyalty for their depraved leaders, each have spouses, children, grand and great grandchildren, as well as employers, neighbors, brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews, friends, and fellow workers.

How must a believer, saved under the ministries of the brothers Paulk or under the umbrella of the ICCC, feel? Who will come alongside and tend them, sooth them, and heal them?

"Public" figures have publics; by default there are non-believers, seekers, and backsliders looking for answers ... often they look to the lives of religious figures who have large followings, such as the brothers Paulk. What must the damage in and around Atlanta be?

And the Paulks aren't the only ones ... Catholic priests aside. Fourteen percent of SBC church leaders admitted to a sexual indiscretion in a survey conducted in 1993.

There are upsides, though.
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."
Initially, this will engender a healthy respect for our fiduciary responsibility to admonish one another. Sadly, history tells us this won't last long.
The statement apologizes to women who were "betrayed, victimized, abused and wounded by sexually inappropriate actions" and states: "We repent for being afraid to get involved in helping bring the truth of what has been happening for a long time into the light while the media exposed and mocked what should have been handled by the authority of Christ in the church."
Thanks guys, repentance is nice but hollow at this late date. This has been going on for decades; somehow your words sound more like the child who's sorry he got caught than the child who's deeply remorseful.

Earl Paulk, ICCCI've known men like the brothers Paulk, and their ilk, up close and personal; totally in love with themselves and the influence they have over others. One thing I know for sure, these guys love to talk about their conquests. And they don't talk to strangers; they talk to friends ... you guys were their friends and you knew! Period!
... a growing number of pastors who are signing the statement. "Christian leaders who see unrighteousness done in the name of Christ simply cannot sit back and say nothing ... ."
Empty and hollow! How in God's name can your word be trusted now, after all of this. You are as guilty as those you now name scoundrel.

At this time there exists ...
Cathedral on Chapel Hill, ICCC, Paulka moderated forum for former members of Earl Paulk's church, the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit/Chapel Hill Harvester Church in Decatur, Georgia, to connect and discuss our experiences, try to find some healing and move on with our lives.
This appears to be a forum for the Harvester survivors not the victims; I wasn't able to find out exactly but if anyone could tell me, I'd like to know.

I'd think one thing all those repentant "bishops" of the ICCC could do to demonstrate their remorse is to establish a legal expense fund for the Brewers and others, as well as pay for counseling costs for those abused by their clerical "brothers."

All-in-all, I'm glad this series is done ... I need to go take a bath and then pray for the lost wolves of this debacle.

Read more >>>

CRIB Related:
Dirty Collar Part I
Dirty Collar Part II

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