Friday, March 18, 2011

Was Barnabas RIght? Part 9

Jim Bakker (Yes, I spelled it correctly) was an extremely wealthy and successful television evangelist when he had an affair with Jessica Hahn in 1980. His ministry continued to proper, but seven years later, he came under investigation for fraud. Among his various crimes was using donations to pay off Hahn's blackmail demands.

While in prison, Bakker made a major turn-around, confessing his guilt (although some people feel he was more guilty than he admitted), and currently runs a much-smaller ministry. But Bakker really did stop his fraud. He really has kept himself clean. God doesn't object to His children going to prison; He objects to the sins that got them there.

When Bakker eventually did produce real repentance in prison, God didn't get him out the very same day. He had to go through a period of spiritual growth before God, Who can do anything, got him out. When a Christian goes into major sin, there can still be consequences that repentance doesn't remove.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Was Barnabas Right? Part 8

In the 1970's, while Jack Hyles was pastoring the largest church in the world, his son David was running large youth conferences and was a highly sought-after speaker. When I was in college, I worked for David, who had a stupendous personality and was always surrounded by admirers.

Unknown to me, he was having frequent sex with teen-age girls, and his youth department promoted his friends who were involved in David's sins. Dave would demote or fire hard-working, Godly college students who were getting results, and put his ungodly friends in positions of authority where they took the credit for the success of the Godly students.

Years after I graduated, the sex scandals blew up badly enough that Dave couldn't lie his way out of them anymore. Faced with the prospect of having to work at an honest job, Dave "repented," Hyles declared that the Holy Spirit had restored Dave, and once again he became a successful Christian speaker.

When a large church in my city was considering bringing Dave in as a speaker, I stated publicly that his repentance was fake, and that I would tell anyone who would listen to me that Dave was still a sexual predator. A Godly deacon confronted me about how I could KNOW that Dave's repentance was fake, and I explained the Biblical commands to go back to those you have wronged, and how Dave was disobeying all of them.

Months later, when new sex scandals with Dave Hyles broke out, that same deacon was thanking me for having spared his church from public embarrassment.