Tags: Roman Catholic priests, sex
abuse, pedophiles, pedophile priests, homosexual priests, Roman Catholic bishops, Response
to Child Sexual Abuse, Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker, Protestantism, Evangelicals,
Pentecostals, Charismatics, Kingdom of God, James, Apostle Paul, contemporary Christian
music, Christian music and gospel music, Gospel Music Association, National Association of
Recording Merchandisers, Michael Card, CCM, Dove Award, Michael English, Christianity in America
One of the issues that the Pope dealt
with in his visit to America was the scandal of sexual abuse that currently exists among
Roman Catholic priests. In this regard he commented, "I have already written to the
bishops of the United States about the pain of the suffering and scandal caused by the
sins of some ministers of the altar. I have told them that I share their concern,
especially their concern for the victims of these wrongdoings."
It seems that there are those who have
made sacred vows before the Lord, yet have let their hands and eyes wander. It was in this
context that the Pontiff asserted, "America needs much prayer -- lest it loose its
soul." Indeed this abuse of position is not a situation that is isolated to the Roman
Catholic Church as attested by the antics of the Jimmy Swaggarts and Jim Bakkers of
Protestantism. Sin is rampant throughout the body of Christ, infecting its members as an
Where is the purified "bride"
that Christ is returning with? Right now I see ministers in the national headlines whose
lives have been filled with scandal and immorality. I witness church political structures
that are so polluted with men pleasing and ambitious professionals that the message of
Christ has taken the back seat to the personal goals of carpetbaggers. If the world is
corrupt, the church is worse. There is nothing that you see occurring in the secular world
that isn't transpiring right in the sanctuary of God.
On December 7, 1993, former priest,
James Porter was sentenced to at least 18 years in prison after three decades of child
molestation upon 22 victims. The casualties of this religious exploitation testified in
the trial of nightmares, depression, drug and alcohol addiction and at least four
One of these people, John Warburton,
could only lament, "As I look at the face of my fellow survivors, I see the pain we
suffered. There is no punishment imaginable that can erase our pain." This is not an
ailment restricted to Catholic priests. All-to-often sin is the chosen fruit of the modern
This sin became too much for the U.S.
Roman Catholic bishops to bear. Hence, on October 24, 1995 they released the document
entitled, Walk in the Light; A pastoral Response to Child Sexual Abuse. "We are
compelled to speak knowing that the Church carries a heavy burden of responsibility in the
area of sexual abuse," the bishops said. "We state firmly and clearly that any
act of child sexual abuse is morally evil. It is never justified."
However, Evangelicals, Pentecostal,
Charismatics many times forget their personal integrity and behavior under the guise that
"sharing the Gospel" is the remedy for all ill. So, they "preach the
Word" when their own word is of little value. In the act of proclaiming the truth,
they abandon the application of this truth in their very lives. While giving themselves
over to political and social subterfuge they declare Christ's message, thinking that this
will make everything all right.
The things Christians do in the name of
God is astounding! On March 12, 1993, in Bakersfield, Ca., the death penalty of serial
killer Joseph Danks was delayed over a Bible verse. During the penalty phase of the
deliberations, one of the jurors brought out Numbers 35:16 which states, If a man
strikes his victim with anything made of iron and he dies, then he is a murderer; the
murderer must be put to death. She had discussed the verse with the pastor and passed
it on to other jurors during deliberations.
Now, the integrity of juries is of
utmost importance when making decisions concerning criminal law. They all swear to the
judge that they will not consider any information other than what has been presented to
them in court. Likewise, they affirm that they will consider no other law other than which
is read to them at the end of the trial by the judge. Lastly, they promise they will not
talk about the case to anyone outside of those they meet with in the deliberation room. It
is those who pronounce Christianity while living in a manner which is contrary to the very
Gospel they preach, that has brought such a scourge upon the faith.
This leads me to wonder what is going on
in our local churches. I can remember the time when my wife was involved in a situation
where the behavior of the church-goers as they interfaced with the world was so egregious
that a member of the church finally cried out, "If that is what that church is all
about, I think I'll go somewhere else."
Unfortunately though, this duplicity of
life is what the body of Christ is all about. Pastors teach a doctrine that separates life
into different categories. Service to God is translated into service to the organized
church. Giving to God is interpreted as offering 10% of your wages to their establishment.
All of this is in order to keep the
beast fed -- to keep the machine rolling. The church has become big business now. It takes
people and money to keep it operating. The best way to accomplish that is to convince
people that the only way they can serve God is to serve Him there.
For years I have marveled at people who
obviously attend church in order to "play the game of success." They rub
themselves up to the nearest pastor in order to be noticed. If you are not
"somebody" you can be certain you will be ignored. These people are called men
In spite of their obvious intentions,
these phonies continue to prosper in the church -- many times at the expense of the truly
faithful. This is the politics of the modern church.
And why do pastors continue to give
themselves over to these people? It is because these charlatans will do anything in the
church that will make themselves be known. These "helpful" performances are what
keep the beast moving.
Indeed, by putting life into categories,
pastors have been guilty of teaching the very behavior that creates the Christian monster
that we know today. This brute is someone who puts on his smiling face at church only to
frown at his co-workers. He is the one who will do anything that is asked of him of his
pastor, only to sluff-off on the job, come in late, and take extraordinary long breaks.
But the whole system is completely
counterproductive. Of what value is it to proclaim the Word, if you as a juror are
ignoring your promise made to a judge? What good is accomplished if you spend night and
day at church only to ignore your responsibilities to your family? What is being done for
the Kingdom of God by those who "minister" in Christian witnessing programs
while blowing people away as they conduct their daily personal business? What good is your
money given to the church when the other 90% is used supporting the corruption of Babylon?
What kind of worship is it when one bows before God in church only to worship Baal in his
daily life? How is it worship for the one who leads songs on Sunday morning when he is
wiping the sleep out of his eyes from his late night playing at the bar the night before?
What is a prayer life that beseeches God at church only to forget He exists the rest of
the week? What can be gained from listening to "good preaching" from the Word
while the mind is filled with impure thoughts the rest of the week?
Are we to save lives while destroying
them at the same time? Are we to bless God at one moment only to usher curses out the side
of our mouth?
James broached this subject of the
duality of life. He said it should not be.
Not many of you should presume to be
teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We
all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect
man, able to keep his whole body in check. . .
With the tongue we praise our Lord
and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the
same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water
and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a
grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water. (James 3:1-2,9-12
Now many a pastor today is uneasy with
the straight and narrow teachings of James. They reject the notion that Christians are
called to abide with Biblical principles, claiming that this is legalism. They admonish
that biblical conformity is only a works trip -- that life with Christ is relationship
rather than religion. They point to Galatians 5 instructing that the fruit of the Spirit
is not something that can be conjured up, but rather something that naturally comes out of
a life that has built up a relationship with God.
First of all, though, when the Bible is
dealing with the question of legalism and works, it is referring to justification, not
Christian living. Indeed, the book of Romans clearly teaches that we cannot attain
salvation through our own works. We are saved by grace lest any man should boast.
Yet again we are brought back to the
words of Paul who proclaimed, What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that
grace may increase? By no means! (Rom 6:1-2a niv)
As King Saul found out, when the
believer, conforms to the dictums of God it is not works, it is obedience. It is obedience
that relationship is centered around. Saul wanted to worship God. Samuel answered, "To
obey is better that sacrifice." (I Sam niv)
If a child disobeys his father, what is
the recourse? Does dad simply excuse the offender's actions to state, "It is not so
important what my child does, so long as we build relationship, for that is the most
. . .Or does he institute quick and firm
discipline to assure his kid that he will never do it again? Does he suggest that if his
child merely fellowship with him, everything will be just fine -- that the child will
learn to conform by the mere virtue that father and son bond? Or, does he deliver a quick
and sharp swat demanding that the child just does what is expected? Be assured, at that
moment, relationship will have everything to do with obedience.
But in child rearing, it is the humanist
psychologist who stresses bonding above disciple (as if obedience precludes relationship).
No doubt this explains where the "relationship rather than legalism theology"
has come from.
Be assured, if the fruit of the Spirit
is contingent upon relationship, it is likewise qualified by obedience. They are one in
But the church doesn't desire obedience.
Obedience doesn't keep the beast fed in their minds. So, they adopt the ends justifies the
means theology. They determine that as long as everything seems to keep moving and the
Word is going out, that it doesn't matter what is going on behind the scenes. Yet, the
ultimate destination of this ends justifies the means theology is unbridled sin.
One place that this can be seen today is
in the contemporary Christian music scene. Powerful music magnates have allowed, through
either their own ignorance or lust for money and power, to allow the world's financial and
social mediums to invade that which was once considered pure ministry. They console
themselves with the rationalization that the cause of Christ is being championed, because
of the words in the music they create. But all along, they are cultivating a breeding
ground for sin.
For a long time now, the champions of
contemporary Christian music have slowly given themselves over to personal compromise. A
medium that was once characterized by the power of pure ministry has birthed the Christian
rock star donned in sun glasses and the latest fashions.
Over the last decade, contemporary
Christian music had burgeoned into a $500 million-plus industry with everything from major
record labels, to more than 100 video outlets, concert halls filled with idol worshippers,
and marketing material designed to inflate the performer to the status of an idol. With
the increased financial productivity of the Christian recording industry, the Christian
performer has had the opportunity to "go Hollywood."
By 1995, the popularity of Christian
music had risen to such a level that Blockbuster Entertainment, Circuit City, Musicland
Group, Tower Records and wholesale suppliers from Was-Mart and K-Mart promoted the Dove
awards in order to sell records. Contemporary Christian music was certainly moving into
the mainstream of American musical life.
"There's a much broader audience
for Christian music and gospel music that perhaps people realize," apprised Pam
Horovitz, executive vice president of National Association of Recording Merchandisers in
Marlton, N. J. in May 1995.
"We are 3.3 percent of the market
right now, which is bigger than jazz and very close to classical. . ." added Bruce
Kobish, president of the Nashville-based Gospel Music Association and executive producer
of the Dove Awards show.
"We're in a real transition,"
commented performer Michael Card. ". . . It's almost like there's this entity that
has evolved its own values. Everyone seems to be carried along by this beast -- this CCM
Needless to say, many have gotten on
this bandwagon as commerciality has slowly replaced ministry. As the medium has become
more secularized, so the notions of the heathen have had their say among them.
Then on May 7, 1994 an announcement was
made that shook the Contemporary Christian music scene. Only a week after winning gospel
music's highest award, Michael English divulged that he was quitting Christian music.
"I believe," he lamented, "it is necessary to announce my withdrawal from
the Christian music industry because of mistakes I have recently made."
Leslie Dreyfous of the Associated Press
reported "He'd been having an affair. An affair with another gospel singer. She and
he were both married -- to other people. Together, they were expecting a child."
When English turned in his awards, he
was likewise dropped by his record label. His lover was dismissed from her group. Radio
stations halted the playing of his music.
"I think all of us have stopped and
said, 'Woa. . .that could be any of us,'" shivered Card, himself a multi-Dove Award
winner. "The Michael English question isn't even central. It's just a wake up call. .
. .The question is: If the industry has very little or no connection to the community,
what are we playing for?" . . .And let's no forget to mention the connection to God!
A great number of Americans sees
themselves as Christians. According to the polling data gathered by George Gallup Jr.,
about 40 percent of Americans attend church each week. This is more than all sports events
combined. Likewise, about 90 percent say they pray some time during a typical week.
Approximately 70 percent of the inhabitants of America believe in life after death.
In the midst of this great onslaught of
Christianity in America, we are witnessing the greatest moral backside this country has
ever seen. What does this say about the testimony of Christendom?
With the time drawing to an end, God's
people and the unbeliever should become more and more distinct moral entities as they draw
further apart from each other. Rather, they seem to be becoming more the same. If the two
say the same things and act the same way, how can they be distinguish from each other?
Something has to be done. . . . and that
will only begin with the realization that we are not better off or wiser than our
predecessors. It might be a humbling admission to fathom that just the opposite is true. .
. .It is a fact is displaying itself in the world that we have created for ourselves. We
all would be wise to look back and hear the voices from the past. . . .those who are
calling the truth out to us.
is a graduate of the prestigious music department at CSULB where he studied under Frank
Pooler, lyricist of Merry Christmas Darling, and sang in Poolers world renown
University Choir alongside Karen and Richard Carpenter. During this time Don was also the
lead composer of the band, Clovis Putney, that won the celebrated Hollywood Battle of the
Bands. After giving his life to God, Don began attending Calvary Chapel, Costa Mesa to
study under some of the most prominent early Maranatha! musicians. Subsequently he toured
the Western United States with Jedidiah in association with Myrrh Records.
Don served as a pastor at Calvary Chapel Bakersfield to witness thousands of salvations
through that ministry. As the music/concert director, Don worked for seven years with most
major Christian artist of that time while producing evangelical concerts attended by
thousands of young people seeking after God. Dons Calvary Chapel Praise Choir
released the album Let All Who Hath Breath Praise the Lord on the Maranatha! label.
years of Dons life were spent as the praise leader of FirstBaptistChurch in Bakersfield
during a time of unprecedented church renewal. Don teamed with the leadership to
successfully meld the old with the new through a period of tremendous church growth.
During this exciting time, Dons praise team, Selah, produced the CD Stop and
Think About It.
Today Don is
the leading force behind Wigtune Company. This
webbased project located at www.praisesong.net has provided several million downloads of
Dons music and hymn arrangements to tens of thousands of Christian organizations
throughout the world. More music can be found at Don's Southern
Cross Band website at www.socrossband.com.
The book Holy
Wars represents Dons most recent effort to bless the church with biblical
instruction and direction in praise and worship. This heartfelt volume is an offering not
only to Gods people, but also to God Himself.
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