While I Was Gone

While I was in Oregon on vacation I did have access to the internet and Checked out some of my favorite sites from time to time. I noted with sadness the spectacle of major ministries being shaken and controversy among Christian leaders raising its ugly head once more.

Court cases involving Catholic priests accused of child abuse of 500+ were recently settled for $660 Million in San Diego. An Archbishop testified in an abuse case in Orange County (CA) and the church demanded that the record be sealed. You say you are not Catholic so it doesn’t affect you?

Then there is the domestic violence perpetrated allegedly by Bishop Thomas Meeks III on his wife Evangelist Juanita Bynum. You say they are not part of your denomination, so whatever?

Then there was the surreal joint divorce announcement made by Randy and Paula White in front of their megachurch and the subsequent matter of fact declaration that both of them would continue in their public ministry without interruption. Of course, you don’t have anything to do with their church and ministries so it really doesn’t affect you much, though it is a sad situation.

Another day I turned on the computer and read a story that former Evangelical leader and mega-pastor Ted Haggard, who was supposed to be in the midst of rehabilitation, was soliciting donations and the administrator of the funds was supposedly a registered sex offender. Does any of this sound good to you?

The major press and media love these stories and many people who never darken the door of a church are reinforced in their convictions. Whether we like it or not these stories do reflect adversely upon the entire Christian Church and faith.

J. Lee Grady responded to some of these controversies in his weekly Fire in My Bones column for 8/30/07- “There’s a Whole Lot of Shaking Going On. You can still read it by following this link and then click down on the archives at the top of the page. It is an excellent article. Here is a few of his comments from the article:

For those of us watching this painful drama, it’s tempting to become cynical, discouraged or judgmental. After all, Christian leaders are not supposed to be linked to domestic violence, irreconcilable differences or gay sex scandals. Ideally they should be role models of integrity who live what they preach.
But godly people sometimes do ungodly things and these scandals are a clear indication of deeper issues God wants to address. In this time of unprecedented spiritual shaking we must respond properly.
Then Grady proceeds to give advice in his column about how we should respond to these rather inconvenient bits of unwanted news. and closes with this suggestion:

Try this exercise: Before you say anything negative about Randy White, Bishop Thomas Weeks, Ted Haggard or any other leader who may have disappointed you, pray for them by name and ask God to grant them His loving correction, His amazing forgiveness and His full restoration.

Comments: Whether we like it or not, when Jesus comes to his church there is a whole lot of shaking going on in the midst of it all. Some prophetic folk whom I respect have been saying lately that this is a time of shaking and a time of change for the church. I believe that the Spirit is saying that we are in the midst of a ‘changing of the guard’ when many prominent Christian leaders are passing away and a new generation is coming on. It is also a time when all those who are in leadership need to be repenting and seeking the face of Jesus.

I believe that we have been living in a generation which was spiritually similar to the time of the Judges where ‘everyone did what seemed right in his own eyes’, but that time is over. Secret sins will be revealed and Ministries that continue to do their own thing will be overturned like Jesus overturned the tables and the booths in the Temple. This is not the time when Jesus is coming for his church, it is a time when he is coming to it. I believe that he is coming to purify his church and his people.

The revival that many seek could be quite painful to some, but at the other end will be a church that is better able to fulfill the Great Commission and enter into a time of major harvest. *Top

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