Saturday, June 30, 2012

Part 7

Therefor, you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. Romans 2:1

You need to understand what judging is and is not. Judging is recognizing your own sin in somebody else, whether or not it's really there.

 Judging is not "making a false accusation." When you read Romans 2, Paul does not deny that the accusations of the judgers are true.

Judging is not "making an accusation." If your accusation is based on something you observe, or comes from applying Biblical principles, you're not judging.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Part 6

In the 1970's the pastor's son listened to a fifteen minute radio broadcast by Jimmy Swaggart, and told me that Swaggart was a phony.

In 1986, competing for donor's money, Jimmy Swaggart helped expose fellow evangelist Marvin Gorman for adultery. The next year, Swaggart helped expose Jim Bakker for an affair years earlier with a prostitute. And the next year, Marvin Gorman sent a film crew to catch Jimmy Swaggart with a prostitute.

Romans 2:1 tells us how phony preachers can spot another phony, while thousands of their Godly followers cannot:

 ... you who judge practice the same things.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Part 5

"Restoration" teaches the common mistake that if you genuinely repent of your sin, there will be no consequences. Spiritually, this can be true; your spiritual fellowship with God is restored. But the effects on your physical, emotional, social, financial, and family life might still be affected.

David repented of his sin with Bathsheba and God restored him, but explained "From henceforth, you will have wars." The book of Isaiah spends a lot of time pronouncing doom on Israel. But chapter 40 begins "Comfort ye, comfort ye, my people." For the next several chapters, God promises his people that when they are restored, they will see their children playing in the streets again, they will have enough to eat, and they will have peace. But He leaves them as a vassal state to the Gentiles.

If you are the victim of a fallen preacher, remember that he has also suffered consequences. But if he insists that God has removed all his consequences and you should treat him as before, something is wrong.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Part 4

The Assemblies of God is a fundamentalist charismatic denomination with a strict rule for its preachers. If an AOG preacher is caught in immorality, he cannot preach anywhere for two years. After that, the AOG leadership will determine his preaching status. You cannot be ordained as an AOG preacher if you do not agree to keep that rule.

There is definite Scriptural justification for demanding that a Christian keep his word. If you choose to become an AOG preacher, you are bound to obey that rule. So when AOG evangelist Jimmy Swaggart was caught with a prostitute, he faced a problem. If he obeyed the rule, his television ministry would lose so many donors that it would permanently fold. So he refused to obey the rule, claiming that God had restored him, and that the AOG was too harsh and unforgiving.

I stated back then (1988) that Swaggart's restoration was fake and so was his repentance. Restoration cannot include permission to disobey God's commands.

 Three and a half years later, he was caught with another prostitute, and he announced to his followers that God had told him it was none of their business.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Part 3

"The World's Largest Sunday School" announced that the pastor's son has been "restored," and that we were to move on as if it had never happened. But God tells us in Matthew 5: 23    Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you,
24    leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.

The pastor's son had a long string of victims, and God required him to seek reconciliation with them. When I worked for him, I had known that he was giving the credit to friends (who it turned out were participating in immorality along with him), but God was blessing me and I wasn't interested in who got the credit. But he made no attempt to correct this, nor did he attempt to undo the harm he had done to multiple Christians families.

I have seen this doctrine with other fallen preachers: When God restores a fallen preacher, the preacher is not required to obey God's commands to make things right. The doctrine is false, and I stated at the time that the "restoration" of the pastor's son was phoney. Months later, he was caught in immorality again...and again...and again.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Part 2

In 1972 I enrolled in a Bible college sponsored by "The World's Largest Sunday School," which was running 8,000 in attendance at the time. When I graduated five years later, they were averaging 40,000. While there, I worked for two years under the pastor's son, an extremely successful youth director. Unknown to most of us, he was actively fornicating with teen-agers. In later years, he aggressively sought out the wives of Godly deacons, and it is conservative to say that he committed immorality with several dozen women.

After he got caught, the church proclaimed that he had been "restored," and they got him some important preaching opportunities. He went through about four churches, getting caught in immorality in all four, in one case actually causing the church to decline to the point that it merged into another one. He got "restored" a few more times, and is currently musing on the internet about the hypocrisy of his critics.

I knew back then that he hadn't been restored, and I knew when I found him on the web that he is a hypocrite today, and I was right both times (He's currently pushing a crooked work at home scheme). How do you know if a fallen preacher's repentance is genuine? I'm going to explain that.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

To the Victims of Fallen Preachers

Big-time or small, fallen preachers are common enough that many Christians are the victims of more than one. And many fallen preachers have a habit: they don't go away.

Are their claims of repentance ever real? What is a fallen preacher superposed to be doing with his life after he "repents"? Does forgiveness require you to pretend it never happened? And what if you are tormented by bitterness years later?

I hope you can join me for a series of "To the Victims of Fallen Preachers," as we discuss what the Bible tells us about dealing with them.