28 December, 2005

It's Getting Really Weird Out There

The following is was written by J. Lee Grady, editor of Charisma Magazine. He hits hard and to the point, and I believe is sounding the alarm to the Pentecostal/Charismatic churches.
A decade ago, Mario Murrillo was already sounding the alarm over some of the things he saw creeping into the church, especially in the area of greed and mishandling money, as well as other morality issues. I remember him preaching a scathing sermon on TBN about the ministries that were “selling out” for the love of money.
He suddenly disappeared from the TBN scene.
Watch for some of these ministries to begin attacking Charisma Magazine next.

It’s Getting Really Weird Out There
In many charismatic ministries today, basic Christian morality has been hijacked.
How would you feel if your pastor announced from the pulpit that he had uncovered a “new revelation” in the Bible?
His discovery: That a church leader can have more than one wife.

Hopefully, you and everyone in the building would run, not walk, out of that church and never come back until the pastor had been replaced. But I am afraid too many of us gullible charismatics might stay in the pews—and eventually give the guy a standing ovation plus a $10,000 love offering.

That’s how strange it is getting out there. Something has gone terribly wrong in our movement. Everywhere I turn I find that leaders of so-called Spirit-filled churches are making bizarre choices that compromise basic Christian integrity.
Some examples:

  1. At one charismatic megachurch, staff pastors successfully convinced all their wives and female staff members to get breast implants. (I wonder: Was this discussed at a staff meeting?)

  2. A church in California (known for its revival meetings and prophetic ministry) recently imploded after members learned that several men in the church had been having homosexual affairs with the pastor, who was married.

  3. A leader with an international following (who wears the label of “apostle”) recently informed his leaders that men of God who reach his level of anointing are allowed to have more than one sexual partner. Then his own son offered his wife to his father out of a sense of spiritual obligation.
We can all say together: “Eeeuuuwww!

What has triggered this madness? The devil is working overtime, yet our discernment is at an all-time low. Satan’s tactics are more brazen than ever. We might as well let him walk into church on Sunday morning and give him the microphone.
We’ve been bewitched. What matters to us today are the carnal things. We want flash, bang and the wow factor. If a person can shout loud enough and get everyone to swoon at the altar, we don’t care how he or she lives at home.
Morality is irrelevant.

In 2000 Charisma reported that charismatic preacher Clarence McClendon had divorced his wife of 16 years, Tammera McClendon, and married another woman after only seven days. The ceremony was performed by Bishop Earl Paulk, founder of the Cathedral of the Holy Spirit in Atlanta. Several prominent ministers attended the wedding, lending their endorsement to McClendon’s actions.

Tammera McClendon later informed Charisma that Clarence had told her while they were married that God had already shown him the woman who would replace her as his wife.
McClendon left his denomination, the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, after his divorce became public. He began a new church, Full Harvest International Church, which currently meets in Gardena, California. His preaching is aired on the Trinity Broadcasting Network, and he was a featured guest on TBN’s Praise the Lord program last week.
In fact, McClendon collected the offering during the network’s annual telethon. When I turned on the program and saw him raising money, I stared in disbelief.

How did we get in this pitiful condition? The very pulpits of America have become defiled because we are unwilling to confront sin. We are playing political games when the very health of the church is at stake.

Some Christians write letters to me saying: “The Bible says we shouldn’t judge. Sure these leaders have stumbled, but no one is perfect. We need to forgive.”

What Bible are these people reading? Mine says plainly that it is our responsibility to judge sin in the church. Of course we forgive, but forgiveness does not involve putting a preacher back on stage the next week if he just had a serious moral failure.

When the apostle Paul learned that a man was living in an immoral relationship with his father’s wife, he tore into the situation with a vengeance. He said: “Are you not to judge those inside [the church]? Expel the wicked person from among you.”

Those are not politically correct words, but they were spoken by a true apostle. If we want a restoration of genuine, apostolic Christianity in our generation, we need to dispense with the craziness and initiate some apostolic confrontation.


verdell said...

sad, isn't it? the main thing that makes me sad is that people would begin lumping all "charismatic" christians together. And if you aren't walking in true righteous like the Bible says, you have to question the "spirit" that you are operating under.

michigan preacher said...

Wow, that's what we need to hear. Whether it's the outrageous things like the gay affairs with the pastor, or the preaching against money and greed, people hate it when someone speaks against their favorite preacher. Everyone admits that these are the last days. Well, the bible says that there will be an apostacy, a falling away from the faith. But no one thinks that their favorite preacher on TV is vunerable to falling away. Some will explain away any false teaching.

Sean McKee said...


Libby said...

Haven't any of these "ministers of the gospel" read the second chapter of 1 Samuel? Eli and both of his sons were judged by God and died due to the defilement of God's house and the mockery they made of the temple. Maybe that's the problem. They've stopped reading God's Word altogether.

DARAQ said...

Interesting posts and contemplations; rather should be mortification and oblations should it not? Ironies all around. I am a preacher's kid, The church has nothing to say to preacher's kids like me, for we pretty much have heard it all in terms of the Message, those of us that have spent our lives in the forwarding of the Gospel, and have seen abuse DO actually sit back and watch in awe how far God's grace is extended and preyed upon, as opposed to prayed upon. Once again irony...

I see shamanism, I see spiritual Gangsters, I see such stories as this and I consider them the same: Protectionism of the first order, I think a lot of people try really hard to protect the "Church" more to the point, protect their collective asses in the belief that there is a standard of procedure that needs to be protected by explaining away effects that are challenging AND molding,for It does help build up the lot of us that have been stalwart in our walk with our God and it is to this end that we stand. We simply know the way home. Who else is can do it. Say you can? Watch what you take upon for He will not forget! (accountability by the only'est one who can!) There is a place of submission that must needs to happen(obey, and do not sacrifice, do not be a posuer!) and it does not worry me for He alone is the judge of all of us but conversely, I tire of milqetoast preachers that utter the "innertant' word'O gawd-uh!" in effects of : "Sumthin' needs to be done!" either do something or get outta the way. Get busy living or get busy dying!

Everything we say is a weapon, everything we do is a weapon, each day we are of a mind to take down the enemy's entire well and not be satisfied by the half full glass he spoon feeds us.