Monday, March 7, 2011

Was Barnabas Right? Part 7

In 1988, Assemblies of God televangelist Jimmy Swaggart was caught with a prostitute. Unable to lie his way out of it, he finally confessed. When he had been ordained, he had agreed to the AOG regulation that if he were caught in immorality, he could not preach for two years, and then could only return to the ministry if the AOG leadership permitted him to do so. While the Bible does not give such a command, it clearly does command that we are to keep our word.

Claiming that it would hurt his ministry and that the AOG was too harsh and unforgiving, Swaggart broke his word and returned to the ministry. Three years later, he was caught again with a prostitute, and he announced that God had told him to tell his followers that it was none of their business.

If you cut through the hype and read a neutral article on Swaggart at Jimmy Swaggart - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia you'll see that he had lived a life of self-sacrifice for a long time. Was his first repentance real? I don't know, but based on Proverbs 2:19, I had known back then that he could never be trusted again:

" None who go to her return, Nor do they regain the paths of life ---"