I’m a bit disturbed over people who seem to criticize various Christian groups or ministers.
No doubt there are charlatans out there that are fleecing the flock, so to speak, but I am amazed at the attacks on each other that occurs.
If there are churches that hold “healing and prophecy schools” and charge $5k to attend are worthy of looking into.
Bethel Church may well be skirting along the edge of a redefined sort of Tarot Card reading in the Christalignment teachings and practices. But I’m not going there.
Hillsong has gone through controversy as well with Frank Houston and sexual misconduct. This was thirty years prior to 2016 as best as I can tell. What has he done since then. Did he come clean before God and the people? I don’t know.
Vertical Worship leader James MacDonald was accused of a gambling problem. He was in with Moody Bible Institute and was released to a Sabbatical of an undetermined amount of time to my knowledge.
Elevation leader Steven Furtick has been accused of projecting a cult-like leadership. I have to ask what his church leadership is doing about it? Does he not answer to someone?
Now take River Valley Worship and I find no controversy with this church. Are they good or just not yet accused of something?
The title of this post isn’t to demean or prove anything wrong on either side, but I have a huge question. If these churches indeed have controversy, why have others pointed fingers of condemnation at them and not tried to rectify the issues first hand with these entities that claim such large audiences?
I was once a member of a church that had a strong leader. He was an only child and I would have to say he must have gotten pretty much anything he wanted as a child. His dad died from heart disease when he was a lad. He taught in a school for ministry, had an honorary doctorate that was given after many years of service. He was truly a great teacher and preacher, but he was not a “people person”. This got him into several controversies over his time in ministry.
People in this small town in which I live prayed for a man of God to come lead them and he was the one who showed up. When I met him he appeared aloof, caustic, yet very intelligent and knowledgeable about scripture. However his knowledge crossed grain with me and made me angry.
This anger put into me a strong desire to learn the word to prove him wrong if for no other reason. You see, I was a Hal Lindseyite and was well read in the works of John F. Walvoord and his son concerning the Rapture doctrine. This was my main falling out with this pastor. He had a different view of scripture on eschatology. I don’t want to belabor this subject here.
The church the people and he formed became controversial almost from the start and people in the town considered it a snake-handling cult simply because the building that was built had no windows except stained glass in the doors. They also accused this pastor of doing away with the second coming of the Lord. I beg to differ. He did not say even once there would be no second coming. He had a different approach. And to level that playing field a bit, before I met him I found a book on eschatology that thoroughly went through at least seven different views of the second coming. Safe to say we all agreed that there is a second coming.
I will adamantly tell you God placed me in that church for thirty years. During that time I studied in their school for ministry for at least four years and was in the worship team for twenty-five of those years. Enough of that, though. Suffice to say, I’ve had my share of short-comings as well as some of the other leadership there that I eventually became a part of.
BUT! The difference comes that when something wrong happened there was mediation of each and every situation with a fair hand. Why do I say this?
Our pastor was even involved with Chapel Hill Harvester Church and Bishop Earl Paulk. I know of the sexual misconduct he became embroiled in, but the matter came to a boil when lies and deceit became the order of the day to cover up what was going on. The Bishop ruined himself even after several pastors and counselors tried to restore him. Here’s the kicker. Christians should forgive.
If the offender continues to be unrepentant, then leave it before God. God’s principles of the kingdom that were set up in times past will take care of the unrepentant heart. Bishop Paulk died a miserable death at the age of 81. I don’t gloat over the judgement he received. I mourn for the loss of a soul that God had favored so highly yet brought himself to naught.
I look back at the about instances of these mega-ministries and certainly there may have been fault, but why do Christians eat their own? Do they not know it is only right to confront these issues and deal with them properly? Instead I see condemnation thrown around with no mediation. He who is without sin cast the first stone. And before going on a brother in Christ, first get the log out of your own eye before tackling splinters in another’s eye.