Editor laments Pentecostals’ `epidemic of moral failure’

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(RNS) After Ted Haggard confessed to a gay sex and drug scandal, he lost his Colorado Spring pulpit, his job as head of the National Association of Evangelicals and underwent a lengthy period of counseling and discipline. For the most part, he hasn’t been seen much since. Other fallen charismatic/Pentecostal superstars, however, have rapidly reemerged […]

  • carmen

    while sad this is happening , it comforts me to know that its not only the catholic church but that we all have our demons.

  • Kurt

    I have a big problem. Just because a person calls themselves a christian does not make them one. Some of the people mentioned as falling preachers were just that preachers who got caught up in sin. As we still live in this fallen world and are subject to its temtations, some will fall.

    However, at least one person mentioned in this article, preaches angel worship, and other purely pagan practices, yet has attempted to fleece the flock as a self described preacher of the gospel.

    Where are the pastors and why are they not exposing and shunning those who are promoting such obviously non-scriptural theology? I have searched my Bible and I have yet to see an angel named Emma.

    Todd Bently’s problem was not a moral failure as much as it appears to be an outright con game, and an unbelief as to who he is suppose to be worshiping and serving. G-d and only G-d. And by the way, G-d does not need our money, as he owns all the silver and gold in the world and gives it to whoever he wants.

    As christians we are commanded to support the preachers of the gospel and a workman is worth his wages, but if you are a christian preacher and find yourself on TV begging for money or your if most of your sermon is begging for money, then your problem is more likely a lack of faith in the abilities of and the promises made by the one who created the universe. If your ministry is having money problems then you need to take that up with G-d, the only one who can solve the problem anyway. If you are relying on or trusting in man and marketing skills for your ministries support, well-you get what you pay for. You would think the fear of G-d would stop most of what lately passes as christianity, as if you really believe the Bible you know that eventually, we will all have to come face to face with G-d in judgment.

    It is a total shame that preachers can get so far from the word of G-d and still be actively supported by supposedly christian pastors and leaders. My Bible tells me that if someone comes preaching another gospel that we are not even to wish them godspeed, yet they are now made part of the church leadership. Deception runs wild in a lot of what is attempted to be passed out as biblical christianity.

    When the world can watch what is being passed as a supposedly christian service and a pagen -Hindu religious service – and cannot tell which ones are worshiping and admiring demons, then christianity is has more than lost its salt. Yet, these same preachers are still considered and supported as christian leaders.

    Where are the watchmen on the wall?

    Like Jesus asked, when he came back would he find faith on the earth?

  • Douglas Gray

    The dilemma is, you can’t look inside a man’s heart and gauge the depth of his contrition and repentance. Fallen leaders can learn a great deal from their falls; humility, compassion, and understanding. Then again, they may learn very little.

    St. Paul clearly said that church elders need to be good examples. Christ told Mary of the Holy Trinity that is is much better to follow and obey, rather than be a leader. Part of the problem is that our society promotes the cult of leadership too much. Christ is the leader of every Christian Church; everyone else is a disciple. Church leadership should be rotated, so that a leader steps down into anonymity and behind the scenes service. We put too much emphasis on what is visible.

    Fallen leaders should reliquish their position until they demonstrate good behavior over a period of time.

  • Harold Crews

    It is certainly a deeply troubling event when a Christian gives into temptation and sins. Likewise the scandal that it causes among other Christians. We must be willing to extend forgiveness towards the contrite. However the repentant, if genuinely contrite, must have humility. Humility should inform their conscience that they are not worthy of leadership and have far to travel on their journey with Christ before he is in a position to teach others. During the penitential period his time is better spent learning from his failures so that in time he might be able to instruct again. It is humility that makes a man a pupil and a teacher. The gifts of intellect, zeal or communication are insufficient. Discipline and obedience to an authourity beyond yourself greatly contribute to the instilling of humility.

  • Lee’s words are prophetic. Ted Haggard has also followed suit in incorporating his house church into an official church just two days after this article:
    Ted Haggard, years after sex,drugs disgrace, starts new church

    My understanding is that he ended the counselling that was set up with other ministers and went off on his own. There is no accountability.

    Dave Hunt

  • Brian

    Thank God I’m a Catholic

  • Douglas Gray

    About 15 years ago, I spoke with a man who had been sexually assaulted by a gay seminarian at a Catholic Seminary. He went on to explain that during the late 60’s early 70’s some of the Catholic Seminaries became hotbeds of homosexual activity.

    As far as the present scandals go, very few of them involve classical pedophelia. According to statistics kept by the Catholic Church, 80-90% of the cases involve incidents between homosexual Catholic Priests and teenage boys. It is safe to say that the moral laxness at some of the Seminaries contributed greatly to these incidents.

    Because Protest Churches, by in large, rely on married clergy, the vast majority of the indiscretions involve traditional adulterous relationships between men and women to whom they are not married. Unlike the current scandals in the Catholic Church, however, such incidents have been with us since the time of King David and King Solomon, and are something we will always have to live with. However, it is true that in former times, transgressors did not have the gaul to stand up and continue leading, as if something relatively minor had taken place.


    Is it true that for a non-catholic christian, once SAVED always saved?. My boys tells me this and so they can do as much as they please that is considered sinful in a catholic world. Where does GRACE comes into our lives? There is only one woman who was FULL OF GRACE and perhaps prevented her from a promiscuous and adulterous relationship and aborting. Can we have that grace even its not to its fullness but enough just to be able to have that discernment in our daily walk? If we are able to discern daily, is it possible to be holy?