How many reprobates does it take to screw in a light bulb?

My subscription to Charisma magazine lapsed some time back. I wish it weren’t so. If for no other reason, Charisma makes for good reading because of the level-headed, critical look at the charismatic world that editor J. Lee Grady provides in his monthly editorial columns. And if that’s not enough to pay for a subscription, you can buy it to weep over the foolishness of the preposterous advertising.

Something I read this morning sent me off to read recent columns by Grady. Apparently, he posts one online each week.

Earl Paulk, Jr.The first column (select 11-04-05 article from archives) was about the alleged moral lapses of “Archbishop” Earl Paulk, Jr. Paulk is infamous now for at least twenty years worth (as I understand it) of alleged sexual harrassment and abuse–legal cases that usually end up being settled out of court. Apparently, his problems go back to 45 years ago when he was first accused of adultery. Imagine that! Grady writes:

Most pastors in the Atlanta area kept quiet, and national Christian leaders didn’t get involved in what they viewed as a local problem. No church court investigated the charges, mainly because Paulk’s ministry has been independent of denominational accountability since he left the Church of God (Cleveland, Tenn.) more than 40 years ago.

But bishops in a loosely controlled network Paulk has led since 1982, the International Communion of Charismatic Churches (ICCC), asked Paulk to step down from his post as archbishop last month. And earlier this week a group of pastors in the Atlanta area broke their silence by issuing a statement of apology for alleged abuses of power at Paulk’s church.

Will someone please explain why it took forty years for discipline to be employed against this man? The leaders of the ICCC have had over twenty years now to examine his character. And why does the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) put this man on the air? (I don’t know if he has a show on TBN these days but I did see him on several months back with Juanita Bynum placing a tallit on his neck and “prophesying” over him. Juanita Bynum is another story of herself. And why I was even watching TBN is yet another story.)

Sadly, some people don’t care. Some time back, after I informed a lady of the horrible reputation of sexual misconduct that Paulk has, she stated that she couldn’t think bad about him because she loved his preaching so much. I wonder if she might care a little more if her daughter had been sexually abused by the preacher.

If Paulk is guilty of doing even one of the things that he has been accused of, he should be drummed out of the pulpit. Better yet, he should be tarred and feathered and ridden out of town on a rail. Forty years of abuse is too long! One case of abuse is too many! When will church leaders wake up? A couple is going ahead with a lawsuit against Paulk–he will finally be held responsible in the City of Man; if he is guilty of these things, a more severe judgement waits in the City of God.

Now that I’ve raised my blood pressure a few notches, let me move on to Grady’s other column (select 11-11-05 from archives). In this column, he discusses the wacko “revelations” and activities of some ministers. Included items:

  • 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?)
  • 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.
  • 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.

It hasn’t been that long ago that Charisma ran the story that pastor Roberts Liardon had engaged in a homosexual “relationship” with his youth pastor. After three months, he was back in the pulpit (the youth pastor fled to Guatemala).

Another example of the collective idiocy of immorality:

Clarence McClendonIn 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.

I think Grady gets it right when he writes the following:

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.

We are all imperfect but if we let sexual abuse, harrassment, and abuse of power run rampant in the Church, we are violating the sacred trust of pastoral care God has placed in us. No amount of counselling and restoration processes can restore the trust of those who have been violated by reprobates in the pulpit.

Repentance is great–and will be more believeable if the contrite heart is seen.

This article is part 3 of 14 in the series Ugly Church Stuff.

6 Comments

  1. Yvonne O. Coke

    There is a sadness that comes to our hearts to realize that men and women to whom God has entrusted his grace for the work of his kingdom are simply agents of Satan. They carry out the works of darkness although claiming to be children of light while carving the gospel to suit the sickness in their own souls.r nr nBishop Earl Paulk and the men and women who served in this ministry while knowingly violating God's moral laws will pay a high price both in earth and in heaven for becoming "people of the lie." r nr nM. Scott Peck speaks to this psychosocial sickness that allows us to become so fully a part of "the lie" that we do not know the difference.r nr nHaving gone to this church for three years, I had the distinct impression that Ezekiel's vision of the abominations being committed in the temple by the priests was present at the Cathedral. r nr nIt became a case of survival of my own soul after I heard Bishop Paulk interview a former Governor of Georgia and at the beginning of the interview asking his wife point blank: "Are you good in bed." The whole congregation gasped and the woman literally tripped over the words. With that the sickness in his soul was made obvious.r nr nMay God deliver him and those he has influnced.

  2. Yvette Maxwell

    If my people who are called by my name, shall humble themselves and pray, then, will I hear from the father and heal their land. Lord, please heal our leaders and all of us that have been victimized by their perverse leadership. In Jesus name. Amen

  3. kadene porter

    If you haven't realized it yet, there is a separation of the wheat from the tares going on right now. Judgement has begun in the House of God, and many preachers are going under. Yes, it is sad, but it is only a realization of prophecy. Many a preacher/pastor who has fallen have purported to have received messages from the Lord on an ongoing basis, even during the period when they were living in sin. They may have performed healings and prayed for people, knowing full well what they were doing. But on the last day when they plead their cause, the Lord will say: "I never knew you!"r nSo ask yourself: where did their "messages" and "annointing" come from?r nWe had better remove ourselves from under the influence of these charlatans.

  4. kadene porter

    When you go to church meetings, please do not check in your brains at the door. The charismatics tend to rely on 'feelings' even if the Word overrides it. God cannot lie on Himself, so His word is final.

  5. Pastor Otis

    The 'spirit of Eli' is upon many churches where we have ignor blatant ungodly conduct among clergy.r nI firmly believe if America is going to see 'Revival' in our land we (clergy) must repent across this nation. Its nice to have friends and good ministerial network, but if it means we compromise God's Word to keep deadly relationships because what they can do for us (gifts, money, clout, etc.). If we wont turn and repent then we will be judged along with the wicked because we love things more than loving God with a pure heart. r nI do not celebrate the dimise of those who have fallen before us such as those among the clergy. r nI believe we believers are to sound an alarm when our brother or sister is living willfully in SIN. r nr nIn Matthew 7:21 r n"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father in heaven.r n"Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in your name?'r n"And then I will declare to them, I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'r n(NKJV)r nr nGod is for real, He has know favorites. We minisrers must live a mature and holy lifestyle before the Lord.r nLet us cryout for God to deliver us, break up our stony hearts, open the eyes of our hearts. There is a call of the Spirit of God speaking to our nation will we hear and reject Him or will we submit to Him and change?r nr nr nIn Service of His Majesty,r n 

  6. andrea "aj&quot

    Of course, no man is without sin.  Unfortunately, we are all imperfect people "trying" to work out our own soul salvation.  Although I am saddened and utterly appalled by the actions of some who are in the fold, but have allowed their own "ignorance" to deceive them – I think the greater message should be to those who sit in the pews:  Phillipians 3 v. (2-3).  Our confidence should be above man and only in God.  Never confuse the messenger with the message.  As a minister myself, I'm not fascinated with people (nor myself) because they (we) make mistakes.  And God who sees and knows all will judge in do time.  But do not become so fascinated and engrossed with man's delivery and presentation of God's Word that we see them more than God.  Pray one for another as this is the WILL of God.  Become doers of the Word of God– and not aspire to be  'fans' of preachers!  If more Christians in the pews would become true bible studiers and seek God, we would hold these ministers accountable by not sitting under them for years when their doctrine is superficial.  Beware of Wolves in SHEEP's clothing.  God have mercy on us ALL;-)

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