Tuesday, November 20, 2007

If this is what the world sees as "Christianity," then no wonder the secular world wants nothing to do with what we are offering them. If what they see is the "church" falling into these sex scandals - and the leaders, at that - repeatedly, we are no different than the world. Why then would they want to deny self, take up cross daily and follow Jesus? Why would they want to live life differently and give up drinking and smoking and sexual pleasures when the "church" lives just the same lifestyle as they do (from their perspective).

This is the frontline news on my AOL newsbar. The headline reads: "Sex scandal rocks famed Megachurch!"

It reads:

The 80-year-old leader of a suburban Atlanta megachurch is at the center of a sex scandal of biblical dimensions: He slept with his brother's wife and fathered a child by her.Members of Archbishop Earl Paulk's family stood at the pulpit of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit at Chapel Hill Harvester Church a few Sundays ago and revealed the secret exposed by a recent court-ordered paternity test.

Not only is that bad, but it continues noting:

In truth, this is not the first — or even the second — sex scandal to engulf Paulk and the independent, charismatic church. But this time, he could be in trouble with the law for lying under oath about the affair.

So we have here a method of evangelism by the archbishop here:

The archbishop, his brother and the church are being sued by former church employee Mona Brewer, who says Earl Paulk manipulated her into an affair from 1989 to 2003 by telling her it was her only path to salvation.

Wow. Sick. Disgusted. Heinous. Yes, and it continues...

"It was a necessary evil to bring us back to a God-consciousness," said the younger Paulk, explaining that the church had become too personality-driven and prone to pastor worship.The flashy megachurch began in 1960 with just a few dozen members in the Little Five Points neighborhood of Atlanta. Now, it is in the suburbs on a 100-acre expanse, a collection of buildings surrounding a neo-Gothic cathedral.For years the church was at the forefront of many social movements — admitting black members in the 1960s, ordaining women and opening its doors to gays.

So not only is the leadership falling into sex scandals, repeatedly, but they are ordaining women and welcoming gays into their church body. The leadership was convinced that the church members were falling into "pastor worship" and so it is a good thing that this happened to sober them up a bit.

How sad is this. Here are some applications for us:

1) Pray for and protect your leaders. They need your prayer!
2) A little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough -- guard yourself from giving into the first (and seemingly littlest) temptation! For after the first, the rest of the decisions down this long and spiral road are easier and easier.
3) Recognize that we as pastors and leaders and teachers of God's holy word will be judged more severely (James 3:1).
4) Flee from sexual immorality (2 Tim 2:22).


Dave said...

We got work to do . . .

Geoffrey Kirkland said...

Yes we do, brother man. Thanks again for last night. I had a wonderful time with you and the lovely wife!

Looking forward to tonight!! :=)

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