I've been so disturbed by the embarrassment brought about by "Christian" leaders this year and last (Christy, Tester, Haggard, Pearson, Paulks, Whites, Bynum/Weeks), that I promised myself I wouldn't go there again.
Bottom-line, what brought me here again is J. Lee Grady's piece on Pentecostalism's huge White-head! It needs to be lanced before the whole body becomes diseased ... my opinion, not his.
I subscribe to Charisma Magazine to receive Grady's online editorial called "Fire In My Bones" ... always a good, brief read; and Grady is usually a discerning and skilled Christian-writer, but not this time.
His article, There’s a Whole Lot of Shaking Going On, coming from a charismatic leader and and magazine, is not part of the solution, it's part of the problem. At its foundation it's as carnal as "Bishop" Thomas Weeks III receiving a standing ovation from his church after pummeling his wife and being released from jail.
The article is more of the same old Christian-spin and overwrought White-wash. Friends, there is forgiveness, there is self-control, and there is restoration; but there is also condemnation! It is the only thing which will cleanse the pockmarked face of Pentecostalism. Grady even goes so far as to modify Bynum's beating with the politically correct "allegedly."
In reality, Grady is telling us sin is not the problem; he's telling the injured, who lie devastated around the intersection at Avarice and Pride, that its their fault and that THEY need to be careful about how they react to these events. See the following ...Ultimately we must come to a place of humility as we face this crisis. We must admit that we too might stumble into compromise or moral failure if we held a stressful leadership position. How would you act if you had Juanita Bynum’s preaching skills, Randy White’s huge congregation or Ted Haggard’s access to the White House?I am so tired of Christian leaders telling us the stress of the calling to higher position is responsible for their transgressions I could puke! That's tantamount to saying Jehovah Jireh called me but is incapable of providing what I needed to do the job He gave me.Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.The advice offered by Grady is the same-old trinity of secular psychobabble that I'm so sick to death of ...Jude 1:24-25
These very public people need to make very public demonstrations of remorse, contrition, and guilt. [Psalm 51] If the church continues to follow the world's methods of discipline the word should be removed from our lexicon.
- It’s OK to be angry.
- It’s necessary to grieve.
- It’s essential to pray rather than criticize.
On the surface there is nothing patently wrong with Grady's advice - in fact, one paragraph sounds more like the true heart of the writer ...Holy anger should boil inside us as we see how the name of Jesus is maligned and misused in today’s church. We must aggressively seek accountability and integrity at a time when we have been compromised by hyper-prosperity preaching, carnal showmanship and self-absorbed charlatans. America’s pastors should lift their voices in this hour and denounce this shameful charade before the false prophets of Jezebel completely hijack the American church. The people of God need bold prophets who are not afraid to draw lines and call down the fire of holiness from heaven.Hoorah! Amen! Preach it brother! But then he intermigles this:For those of us watching this painful drama, it’s tempting to become cynical, discouraged or judgmental.There's that setup word, "judgmental." The reader is warned, "Don't you dare take offense at what these dear brothers and sisters have done, don't you dare show your God given emotions ... for shame, you'll be worse than them."
Folks, this steals the prophetic voice from among us; it diminishes the prophetic office and those who hold it. Discipline becomes an anachronism.But godly people sometimes do ungodly things—and these scandals are a clear indication of deeper issues God wants to address. In this time of unprecedented spiritual shaking we must respond properly.There it is, the spin! The excusing of sin! The adoption of worldliness ... political correctness!
Now a setup phrase, "respond properly." In this context, a proper response would be indignation, outrage, and gnashing of teeth. But that's not what Grady is advising, is it? What in the world does properly mean to a faithful follower, when his leader has betrayed his trust? It means, "You better watch out how YOU respond; your leaders are watching you!"
Friends, the "pewsters" didn't commit these acts, the leaders did.
And this: "godly people sometimes do ungodly things" ... yes, and sometimes ungodly people do godly things. Good grief!Before you say anything negative about Randy White, Bishop Thomas Weeks, Ted Haggard or any other leader who may have disappointed you, pray for them by name and ask God to grant them His loving correction, His amazing forgiveness and His full restoration.Just speaking of their confessions is something negative ... we can't avoid it! Especially when addressing their sins. Does this mean they're "innocent until proven guilty in a court of law"? God help us! Unlike non-believers, authentic Christians (to their credit) confess their sins openly. Are we suggesting we cannot speak of their confessions because it's politically incorrect to do so?
I can just hear Isaiah, Amos, Malachi, and Jeremiah confronting the leaders of their day with their disappointment: "I'm angry and you've disappointed me, but I'll pray for you!"
Under normal circumstances, when a leader disappoints you, yes! But not when they've egregiously sinned against God and the church! Cleanse the Temple! Pentecostalism is surely sending the wrong message by leaving these apostates in power and encouraging others to imitate them. Is there no fear of the Lord among them?
Lee, your callers asked you a question, "What in the world is happening to the church?" Tell them, my brother, tell them! Sin and Satan have entered the hearts of Pentecostal leadership and are bringing her down. Period!
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