"I went to Jerusalem to become acquainted (Gk. istoria) with Cephas" - Paul's words from Galatians 1:18.

KOKH FOX 25 :: Special Reports - Pastor strip club investigation

KOKH FOX 25 :: Special Reports - Pastor strip club investigation

The above link is to a video that reports the results of a "Special Investigation" of a Southern Baptist pastor by the local Fox television news station in Oklahoma City. I watched the report and was bothered by two things: (1). The actions of the pastor, and (2). The actions of the reporter.

I have been in contact with the pastor, offering help to him and his family, and encouraging him to be completely truthful with his church and his family. As the pastor said, there is no justification for his actions, but I told him that his resignation letter to his church fell far short of the honesty needed to begin restoration.

That being said, there is nothing redemptive in the questions posed by the reporter. Sensational journalism may cause people to watch, but one wonders how this could be called "news" and what is accomplished by asking questions like "can you tear yourself away from the stripper and talk to us a bit?" or "are you stuffing church money into the g-strings of those strippers?"

The pastor is disqualified from being a pastor, and nobody can argue with that fact. What can be argued, however, is whether or not he is, maybe for the first time, ready to understand the true power of the gospel.

123 comments:

Bob Cleveland said...

I didn't follow the links as I don't have a lot of time (Deacon Meeting this evening), but I would have hoped that a pastor would understand the power of the gospel before he first stepped into the pulpit to proclaim it. Perhaps this is like the apostles in the boat in the storm; they weren't the least bit to admit their failure .. doubting Jesus would preserve them .. and it took such a failure and rescue to cause them to worship Him for (apparently) the first time.

Wade Burleson said...

"I would have hoped that a pastor would understand the power of the gospel before he first stepped into the pulpit to proclaim it."

I am reminded, Bob, that Elias Keach came to America in the early 1700's to make a go of it in the new country. To make a living he began to preach. He used his father's sermons, the notable English pastor Benjamin Keach, and passed them off as his own. He met with great "success" in the Americas and was considered one of the finest pastors in the New England colonies.

A few years after coming to America, Elias Keach was preaching one Sunday and was gripped with fear over the state of his own soul. The Spirit caught hold of Elias and he was converted while he was preaching.

I don't think it is unheard of for pastors to be in the pulpit with no reality of the power of the gospel.

Thy Peace said...

Confession is truly hard when one is not broken. I pray that this pastor (ex-pastor) comes to a brokenness state with Our Lord Jesus Christ.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Wade - this is news, and I commend the reporters for doing this. It can be called "sensational journalism", and their motives are certainly not "redemptive". But I don't think it is the job of the reporters to ask "redemptive" questions of the pastor. They did what the press is supposed to do. They have a hypocrite of the highest order in their town - a man who supposedly proclaims the gospel, who is paid presumably lots and lots of money to be a minister of people in their town, but who is going to strip clubs and spending hours and hours - during time he should be at work. If they did not do an investigation and document their actions, and converse with him while he is watching the strippers, then catch him in the act by barging in, and demanding he answer the questions of whether he is spending the church's money, then he can get away with it.

If this guy is spending hours watching strippers, what else is he involved in at his church?

If I've learned anything this year, I've learned that ministers of the gospel in the Southern Baptist Convention can get away with some serious sins with little consequences. I for one am glad that the reporters documented this as they did. They did their community and this man's church a great service to expose this man. He is out of the pulpit and no longer the pastor of the church, and that is a good thing. If they had tried to be "redemptive" he would deny, deny, and deny, and be preaching about the evils of women preachers and non-tithers this coming Sunday.

Anonymous said...

Wade:

This is so sad. Beyond belief, really. It's one thing to hear about it, but to see it on film like this.

This man is a candidate for suicide. He needs help and friendship. I am glad that you have reached out to him. I hope that other pastors, and the members of his church will reach out to him in this time.

He is disqualified, in my opinion, for further public ministry. To listen to him on that tape, and then hear him in the pulpit, it makes me think that he has a serious emotional and behavioral problem, as well as a spiritual one.

The report is sensational. Also, why pick on this one guy? How many religious non-profits have problems like this?

We have a church in our town, and one of their co-pastors had a "strip club problem." He was either caught and/or confessed. But then, there were several people who wanted him to remain on as co-pastor and get counseling or something.

The story is a legit story for news people to run, despite the unusual nature of the story and the sensational presentation.

Beware. We are being watched.

I am afraid that this problem is deeper than we may know. We live in a highly sexualized culture. Many people suffer from sin like this, and with such easy availability, this may be more prevalent than we know.

I am praying that God will protect me, Wade, Bob, the Dog, Thy Peace and all who comment on this story.

This is very sobering and sad.

Louis

Joe Carr said...

There are several things that bother me about this issue. First, I agree that the pastor was completely wrong...no excuses at all. He knew better.

Second, I also agree that the reporting was completely "over the top" and driven by sensationalism. It was a "gotcha" kind of reporting. And yet, the pastor was completely wrong and sometimes the consequences of our decisions/sins are worse than we could ever imagine.

Finally, while I watched the video, I never would have known about this apart from you providing the link. After watching it and thinking about it for a little while, I have this question - why did you provide the link? Wasn't the pastor already humiliated enough after having been caught and televised? You have many people who read your blog. Was there really any pressing need for you to aid in furthering his humiliation? I know you stated you are seeking to help him, but do you think this is helping him by ensuring that many others become aware of his sin(s)? Could you not have just written about the issue generally without providing the link? While some people would know who you were talking about, many others like myself would not have known his name nor would we really need to know it either. Do you think it was helpful to this man, his family, or the church he pastored by posting the link?

I realize that this man has a long road ahead of him. I hope he does experience true sorrow and repentance over his sin. I hope and pray that his family can make it through this difficult time. I hope that the church he pastored may get through these terrible times and find a pastor who will lead and love them honestly and faithfully.

Thy Peace said...

In this day and age of Google searches, even if Pastor Wade had not provided the link, it could have been easily searched ... Google search for "pastor caught in strip club".

Joe Carr said...

Thy Peace,

You are right, it could be googled and most likely found. Yet, the person would need to search for it without it being provided directly.

This is an issue for the church he pastored and his family to deal with. The SBC, OBGC, and the local association would be involved only if he were on any committees or boards. I am not saying that this man did not need to be caught, only that as believers we do not need to continue shooting our wounded. His shame and suffering are by no means over nor unwarranted. His decisions brought him to this point. But we do not need to continue to heap shame on him, whether intentional or unintentional.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Sensational journalism? "Over the top"? You're kidding, right? Yes, it is sensational, and "over the top" when a preacher for weeks on end is observed in a strip joint during working hours, and brags to the undercover reporter about other strip joints he goes to when he is "horny as hell". It's "sensational" not because of the reporter, but the utter hypocrisy of a preacher being caught there spending dollars.

I say kudos to the news agency. This is the level of documentation that is needed to expose a charleton like this. Anything short of the guy on tape, caught on tape, with microphone in his face, is the only way these preachers will fess up. As I said, the reporters did an incredible service to their community and to the First Baptist Church who apparently was duped by this charleton.

And they want to know if church money is going to the strippers? Of course it is! Where is the preacher earning his money? From the people putting the money in the offering plate!

And why is the Oklahoma state convention quick to say it is a "local church matter"? Perhaps they will move to disfellowship this church? Oh, that would only be if they let a woman in the pulpit, right?

Wade Burleson said...

Joe Carr,

Maybe the video will serve, as Louis suggested, as a caution to us all.

I have not used the pastor's name in the title or the body of the blog so it will not show up in search engines. I know it had a sobering and sad effect on all of us who saw it on television.

There is no glee, at all, in the pastor's fall. Only genuine sadness.

Charles said...

Wade, I have read your blogs for a long time but without responding. However I must respond to this one. I agree that this is sad news to hear of a fellow pastor that was caught going to strip clubs. There is little doubt that he has serious problems and I hope he will respond to your offers of help.

On the other hand, I do not believe that you should have provided the link or mentioned this in a blog. Although it is great that you are trying to minister to the fallen pastor and his family, you did not have to tell everyone about your offers of help. I do not see any lasting help that will come to the pastor and his family by telling us about it. Just help the pastor and his family.

In addition, it would be well for all of us to remember that there is not a sin that we are not capable of committing. So, let us all, and that certainly includes me, reach out with redemptive ministries to sinners even when the sinner is a fallen pastor. But let us be careful to remember that all of us are sinners in need of the grace of God for forgiveness and the help of the Holy Spirit to keep us from falling.

Wade, I certainly applaud you in reaching out to help the pastor and his family. But, we don't have to tell others in a way that appears we are calling attention to ourselves.

Jack Maddox said...

Wade calling attention to himself???? NEVER!

: )

Thy Peace said...

My Utmost for His Highest > March 23rd > AM I CARNALLY MINDED?

"Whereas there is among you jealousy and strife, are ye not carnal?" 1 Corinthians 3:3

No natural man knows anything about carnality. The flesh lusting against the Spirit that came in at regeneration, and the Spirit lusting against the flesh, produces carnality. "Walk in the Spirit," says Paul, "and ye shall not fulfil the lusts of the flesh"; and carnality will disappear.

Are you contentious, easily troubled about trifles? "Oh, but no one who is a Christian ever is!" Paul says they are, he connects these things with carnality. Is there a truth in the Bible that instantly awakens petulance in you? That is a proof that you are yet carnal. If sanctification is being worked out, there is no trace of that spirit left.

If the Spirit of God detects anything in you that is wrong, He does not ask you to put it right; He asks you to accept the light, and He will put it right. A child of the light confesses instantly and stands bared before God; a child of the darkness says - "Oh, I can explain that away." When once the light breaks and the conviction of wrong comes, be a child of the light, and confess, and God will deal with what is wrong; if you vindicate yourself, you prove yourself to be a child of the darkness.

What is the proof that carnality has gone? Never deceive yourself; when carnality is gone it is the most real thing imaginable. God will see that you have any number of opportunities to prove to yourself the marvel of His grace. The practical test is the only proof. "Why," you say, "if this had happened before, there would have been the spirit of resentment!" You will never cease to be the most amazed person on earth at what God has done for you on the inside.

Wade Burleson said...

Charles,

I'm of the opinion that we evangelicals, more so than the television world, should be the very people who ought to discuss this among ourselves. How can we help both the pastor and the church? How can we ensure the kind of accountability needed for our pastors and staff so that this is not a common occurance in the SBC?

By the very nature of writing on a blog, attention is called to the blog writer. However, it was definitely not my conscious intention in this post to draw attention to mysef. Jack may not believe it, but that's just one of many things Jack may not believe about me.

Smile.

Charles said...

Wade, thanks for your quick response. I believe that your intentions are noble. Also, I am praying that your will receive the wisdom that can only come from God as you minister to this family. They are hurting and need the redemptive care of a good pastor and church family. Please forgive me if I appeared to harsh in my post. Appearances can sometimes be misleading :>)

Joe Carr said...

Wade,

I think Charles is right on this issue. While you never mentioned his name in the title or blog, you provided the link from your article so that anyone and everyone who reads your blog could watch it. Discovering the man's name and church was easy after that, so while you did not mention him by name, you are have facilitated the spreading of the story.

I agree that we do not need to attempt to cover over or hide sin, nor do I believe that a professing brother needs to have our help in broadcasting his humiliation. I do not believe that there was any attempt at a cover-up, at least once the news channel aired the story. Certainly the pastor was covering up prior to being discovered, but since the discovery I do not sense that being the case.

Just my thoughts - I am not defending the pastor or his actions as they are indefensible. I just do not think he, his family nor the church he pastored needs the extra attention this provided.

Kevin M. Crowder said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kevin M. Crowder said...

A humble opinion,

This man may or may not be "disqualified" from the pastorate. Certainly, Christendom will enjoy calling him "fallen" as a way in which they can categorize his sin as worse than their own. "Above reproach" does not mean without sin. It does not mean without grave sin. And when the latter is the case, restoration by God's grace and through the accountability of the Body of Christ with absolute transparency can make this man a triumphal benefit to the Kingdom--even in the pastorate--especially in the pastorate.

Is no one willing to pray him to redemption and reconciliation? Do we demand that grave sin only occur "pre-sinner's prayer"???

What if God has allowed this man to endure terrible temptation, allowed him to yield, only to bring him to his knees in view of the world to reveal the grace only known through His Son, Christ the Redeemer???


One even has the gall to deny him "public ministry."

We can trample and let Satan get the glory; or, who knows...

Very sad comment stream indeed, from many in ignorance.


-K

Debbie Kaufman said...

No attempt at cover up? The minister in his statement said he was visiting someone who was in Celebrate Recovery. I think we need to realize that this is happening in our churches. Southern Baptist churches. Today.

Joe Carr said...

FBC JAx,

Yes, the news team was "sensational" and "over the top." Following him at speeds of 90 mph and calling the police, then following him on private property up to his garage and asking to speak to his wife? Come on and at least admit they were more like Geraldo or Jerry Springer than a professional news team.

Certainly this pastor needed to be discovered and exposed. Yes he was being a hypocrite - and it appears it had been going on for some time. I am not attempting to defend or excuse his behavior. I just refuse to rejoice in his being caught and his family and church being humiliated with him.

As for the OGBC response, what else would you have them do? He was licensed and ordained by a local church, not the OGBC. A state convention is an association of churches, not individuals. Church discipline is a local church issue. The OGBC would only be involved in removing him from any committees or boards. Other than that, what are they to do?

I have enjoyed reading your blog most of the time. I was especially glad for all you provided in response to the Caner issue. However, this man resigned after he was exposed. True, he needed exposing, but it does not need to be posted everywhere for any and all to see.

Rex Ray said...

Kevin,
My humble opinion says your humble opinion is not very humble in your “Very sad comment stream indeed, from many in ignorance.” :)

I believe the post and comment stream have been very good.

What do you think about church bylaws that state: “The Senior Pastor may be removed for falling into sinful and worldly practices without repentance”?

Joe Carr said...

Debbie,

Certainly the pastor was covering up before he was exposed. I understand that. I do not see evidence of a cover-up by the church once it was discovered and reported by the news. I doubt his church was aware of any of his actions prior to his being discovered. His family and the church need our prayers.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Does it show how corrupt SB churches have become? I don't know, seems so. But it seems a lot of sex scandals and clergy sexual abuse have come to light over the past years. Is God doing the exposing? I think He is. Could it have to do with the view of women being subservient? I think so. Is God doing a work? I hope so.

Joe, Kevin: The world already knows. Wade's exposing this is not doing anything that hasn't already been done. I think we need to expose ourselves before the world does, but we aren't and to say don't talk about it, is like the family telling the members there is something awful that happened in our family but let's not talk about it. It will go away and no one will know. To the world, that is exactly what it looks like and what it well may be. A cover up. And insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.

If we don't talk about it, the world will and believe me they will. If we are going to show any Christian integrity, we need to talk about it.

Anonymous said...

Joe, please... it's the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma BGCO not OBGC :)

Joe Carr said...

Anonymous,

My bad on BGCO...I am in Georgia and it is late and my apologies :)

Debbie,

Again, I am not suggesting that we cover anything up. We do need to be open and honest. I certainly agree that he needed exposing as he was covering up. My point is that once it has been exposed, we need to do more praying than talking about it.

I do believe that Wade will provide help if the pastor desires and seeks it. So...please do not think I am attacking your pastor on this one, as I am not. I just do not see the profit of keeping the man and his family exposed to continual shame and humiliation. His ministry is most likely finished so us talking about it will not help keep him out of the ministry. And if some church in the future decides to call him without doing a thorough and complete background check, then shame on them!

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised it's taken this long before someone blogged about it. It's probably fruitless to try and figure it out but it is entirely possible the whole mess started out innocent enough. He could have started out counseling someone in Celebrate Recovery. One thing led to another and before he knew it he was mired. I don't know why he did it, but I do know the former pastor, his family and the church needs our prayers.

Joe Carr said...

Anonymous,

The more I think about it, the more ashamed I am! While I have not served in the BGCO, yet, I have preached two revivals and led two mission teams to Oklahoma. I think it is a great state convention and I just messed up and got my initials wrong. That is what happens when you try to appear smarter than what you really are :)

New BBC Open Forum said...

Quote from the video (bolding mine):

"None of the church's members agreed to speak with us on camera, but several were kind and even invited us to worship with them. They, too, wonder whether it was their money being spent at the club. Others, though, suggested this was our fault and that we're casting a dark cloud on their church and have no business broadcasting a story about the pastor being at a strip club."

How many times have we heard this same response when a pastor gets caught in a "moral failure"? The only person in this story who cast a dark cloud over the church was their pastor himself. I see several of you scrambling to deep six this story out of concern for the pastor but a glaring lack of concern for the congregation of his church or his wife.

...one wonders how this could be called "news" and what is accomplished by asking questions like "can you tear yourself away from the stripper and talk to us a bit?" or "are you stuffing church money into the g-strings of those strippers?"

I doubt video of strippers clad in nothing but g-strings would have made it onto the 6 o'clock news, so the reporter was describing the scene through his questions. I'm sure he wanted to get an honest reaction, too. The pastor wasn't sitting there talking to someone. He was enjoying the show.

I echo Watchdog's sentiments. If this guy had not been caught red-handed on videotape, this whole thing would have been quietly swept under the rug, and he would probably still be employed by the church whose members would be none the wiser. His own statement to the church, which he didn't even have the gumption to show up and read himself, was nothing but an attempt to minimize his responsibility and make himself into a poor victim. Even those unredemptive reporters saw straight through his ridiculous, duplicitous statement. He would have served his congregation better if he'd just said nothing.

Anonymous said...

No problem Joe, it's their own fault for putting the state name at the end instead of at the beginning :) It confuses us Okies too.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

NewBBC: Pastors who are not caught red-handed, on tape, will use their church leaders to lie and cover for them. We saw it at Trinity Baptist with Bob Gray, for example. One person who came forward said Gray fondled her and kissed her when she was a child, and the leaders brought it to the church in damage control mode and never told the whole story, and said that Gray's offense was nothing sinful or sexual. And he got a standing ovation when the fact was he was a pedophile. So when you are dealing with pastors who are hypocrites in deep sexual sin, sad to say they will use their position and power and gullible followers to cover for them - unless you have the proof.

So it was necessary for the news reporters to document it all.

He can't run from it now, and NOW he will be able to get help, and the church can get a pastor. If not documented by the TV crew, then at best it would maybe have been some people at the church questioning his credit card purchases...and we all know that church members can't get the details on the money that is spent. And the church leaders who might have known about his sin would probably not wanted to embarrass their church and swept it under the rug. And worst of all, the guy would probably still be going to the strip clubs.

So again, kudos to the news folks on this story.

Remember the attacks directed at Brett Shipp for his expose of Ed Young's plane. Shipp and his informant were ridiculed and shots were taken at Brett Shipp for his "sensational" reporting. He was a "hater" and "attacking" Ed Young.

Unfortunately, we need more reporters like these that are willing to expose the ugly side of our churches and our pastors, since we do such a poor job of policing our own. We need the media to help us. Badly.

New BBC Open Forum said...

There was something I noticed when I watched the video again and paused it which wasn't mentioned in the story. The subject line on the informant's e-mail began with "Pastor is using church credit.... " I assume the word you can't see on the end is "card." "Pastor is using church credit card.... " perhaps "at strip club"?

Then when they showed the close-up of the iPhone (or whatever it is) screen, the three messages which are visible are:

1. Where is she working now? Sent August 24th (May or may not be related to this story.)

2. Can I get an update on this story. Sent August 25th (Also may or may not be related.)

3. If your not to busy. The Pastor will be at ________ Strip Club to see his favorite and spend another 500 on his church Credit cArd this evening. Around 4:30. Sent at 2:45PM

So I have a feeling there's more to this than just a wayward pastor getting his jollies in a strip club. If the informant is to be believed, he may have been using the church credit card to fund his... pastime. And while schmoozing at a strip club with your "favorite" is certainly a "moral failure," embezzling money is a crime. I'm sure the good accountants at Sanders, Welch & Wallis will be closely examining the church credit card receipts very soon.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Anadarko is a little town of fewer than 7000 people, so that can't be a very big church. Did anyone else think it a bit odd that nobody in the church seemed to know the identity of the church "financial secretary"? The person had his or her own office with a sign on the door, but nobody knows who works there? I could understand if it were a megachurch, but this is a small church in a small town. Surely everybody knows pretty much everybody else in a church that size.

Anonymous said...

Brother Crowder, so good to see you here. I actually agree with what you have said. to many times the "unblimished" want to jump on those with spots.

As we argue over how to apply certain scriptures, we have to ask "at what point do we want God to give up on us?"

Seems to me "the gifts and the callings of God are irrevocable" and all gifts and all callings are Gods and His alone to give or take away. That is not according to our interpretations and applications of His Word.

Pege' said...

Wade,
I will be praying for this man...as one who is the chiefest of sinners, I cast no stones. May God truly teach this man through this sin of His forgiving and restoring GRACE!

Rex Ray said...

“What you have said in the dark will be heard in the dark, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be shouted from the housetops for all to hear.” (Luke 12:3)`

Anonymous said...

We sin in public and then get upset when the public knows? Sorry but that's the way it works. We all get to the point of asking the right questions, often too late.

Isolation and lack of accountability are dangerous to anyone in ministry. You can spiritualize it and say it is between "me and the Lord." But the question for us all in church leadership is this: Is there a living, breathing human being to whom I accountable? If you can't honestly name someone (hopefully many) you are setting yourself up. Sadly, many ask the right question after the fact...

Lydia said...

"We sin in public and then get upset when the public knows? Sorry but that's the way it works. We all get to the point of asking the right questions, often too late."

Exactly. The other problem I see with some of the responses here is that this man chose to make his living as pastor and then deceive those who paid him. I find this much more serious a situation than some here do. Even some other pastors! I am hearing the tired old excuse about us all being sinners. Of course we are but even the church janitor most likely does not cruise strip joints.

We have a conumdrum of sorts. On one side, pastors think we should listen to them and show proper respect because of a title and on the other hand, when they are caught red handed with such vile public sinning (sins that degredate others, too) in public, we are now to have all this concern for his soul and not discuss what is public? Ironic, huh? And here we thought that is what he was paid to do...care for souls.

Yes, we all sin but not all of us are paid professional christians, either, who make our living "being a Christian". Who ask those we have been deceiving to pay us while we deceive them.

My first concern is not for him...I think the Lord has shown His love for him by him being caught. He can now work out his salvation with fear and trembling. (It usually takes getting caught which is another problem concerning salvation and a man conferred title)

I am concerned for those who looked to him as a leader and listened to his every word. Especially the younger ones. But even now many older folks are following men more than Christ.

Pastors can try to focus the blame on the media and bloggers all they want but it won't wash.

John Wylie said...

This is a tragedy for FBC Anadarko, the pastor's family, and even the city of Anadarko.

I understand why the church members didn't want to talk to the media. They were in shock, I'm sure they didn't know who to believe. They wanted to get the facts before they stated anything. There definitely should be an investigation as to whether the pastor used church funds at these clubs. When the investigation is complete they should make a public announcement.

Rex Ray said...

Lydia,
Right on.

On the other hand, if a pastor keeps telling his ‘laundry’ that a church janitor wouldn’t do as an example of what not to do, what does a church do with that?

Joe Blackmon said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kevin M. Crowder said...

Deb,

I take no issue with Wade "exposing" the situation. In fact, it will be good for the church, the pastor, and for the Body of Christ as large...not to mention the restoration process of the pastor (should he be willing to engage the process).

Rex,

Thanks for your comment, but I do think I chose my words carefully and wisely. I am happy for the discussion, but am disappointed that the conversation would not allow for restoration.

Certainly any future public or vocational ministry by this man would need to be hyper-transparent and doubly accountable to those around him, but for the grace of God is that not a wonderful thing???

I am aware that this may all be wishful thinking, and will not fit into the pragmatic solutions many on here have of killing all the snakes to wipe out sin. But the Lord is not a pragmatic Lord, and He restores snakes...He can make them rise and walk in the light. Of this I cannot declare so humbly.

Joe's Diagnosis said...

Mr. Blackman, please crawl back into your cave.

Lydia said...

"I am happy for the discussion, but am disappointed that the conversation would not allow for restoration."

Who is not allowing it, Kev? How about giving it a month or so, at least. After all, they have been paying the guy to deceive them for a while.

You want to jump to reconciliation and we do not even know if he really repented or not. Would you be jumping that fast if he did not carry the title of pastor? I wonder. Even Jonathan Edwards advocated giving repentance time to make sure it was real.

Debbie Kaufman said...

Joe Carr you said: "Certainly the pastor was covering up before he was exposed." If you will watch the news tape he covered it up after he was exposed. It was in the resignation letter to his church that he stated he went there to talk to someone who was in Celebrate Recovery. He then said,he shouldn't have gone, then he said he went back. He was not telling the truth even in his resignation letter.

Rick said...

Bro. Wade,

I have been listening to, and greatly benifited from, your series of sermons on 1st Corinthians 13. I especially appreciate your sermon on "Love Bears All Things."

How do you reconcile the fact that "love bears all things" with this post?

Please don't misunderstand my intentions. I am not insinuating anything, nor am I questioning your motives for posting the video link. I'm simply curious as to how you reconcile your sermon with this post.

May God bless you and the ministry He has entrusted you with.

In Christ,
Rick

WTJeff said...

Kevin,

I want to commend you for your thoughts on God's restorative power. A local church recently reinstated a worship pastor who had admitted to an affair. Their elders enlisted outside help, formed a restoration team, and worked together with this man toward his recovery. This Sunday they reinstated him as their worship pastor and I can tell you from what I witnessed that no one received the glory but God.

This man needs our prayers and for Christ-like men to come around him, pray for him, counsel him, and pray for his restoration. Hopefully, someone will connect him with the restorative ministry of the Blessings Ranch in Colorado, as well.

Lydia said...

'This man needs our prayers and for Christ-like men to come around him, pray for him, counsel him, and pray for his restoration. "

What about the pew sitters who believed him and listened to his hypocritical teaching for so long? I do not hear a lot of concern for them coming from pastors here.

Why should he be restored to ministry? Is it because he can do nothing else?He claimed to be something he wasn't for a long time. He lied.

It can take years for him to work through this so to even suggest he be restored to ministry could really hurt him. Why shouldn't he be a humble pew sitter if he is truly repentent...he won't want to be on stage or in charge. He will know better and know the sin trap that is for him.

There was a church in our region that did this with a minister on staff who embezzeled. They went through this whole restoration process with accountability, etc. With very godly men meeting and praying with him regularly.


They were very proud of how much grace they showed. And he began paying back what he took and everything was great.

Problem is, a few years later, he did it right. He took even more money and left town with another woman. It took them years to find him and finally convict him of embezzelment. He is now in prison.

What really occured is they wanted to show the world how much grace they had more than they really wanted to help reconcile him to God. Be careful.

Rick Boyne said...

While I completely agree that what the pastor did was completely wrong and without excuse, I have to say that I, too, think the reporting was over the top and sensationalist. The questions asked were designed to illicit a provoked response. Bad reporting, in my estimation.

And, how in the world is this news? The two reporters have gone to great lengths to create a sensational story. Yes, the guy was in the wrong, but a SIX WEEK INVESTIGATION? Did it really merit 6 weeks?

It appears to me that there was a vendetta or some sort of personal agenda in this "story" more fit for "E!" than the evening news.

When I was a kid, Frankhoma Pottery burned down in Sapulpa. One reporter stuck a microphone in the face of the owner and asked her, while she was on her knees crying, "How do you feel now that you've lost everything you own?" ~ For me, these two reporters fall into the same category as that guy did back in the early 70's.

Jerry Springer, Geraldo Rivera, Maury Pauvich... look out! You've got competition!

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Rick - no doubt these reporters know the level of proof that is needed to get people to believe that the "man of God" in their town is actually a "horny as hell" (his words) pervert who hangs out during afternoons at strip clubs when he is collecting tithes to be ministering to people.

Six week investigation? Yes, probably required. Barging into the strip joint with camera and mike asking him if he can tear himself away from the strippers? Yes, that is required when you are dealing with a preacher's gross immorality and hypocrisy. Tough questions like: "does your wife know you're here", and "are you using church money" and "can you tear yourself away from the strippers to answer a few questions?"...yep, all required these days to get to the bottom. Pastors who are caught red handed in their public sin don't want to answer questions.

We as evangelicals have set the rules for the reporters. Liberty was not going to move an inch to correct Caner's sin unless the media got involved and reported on it. Bloggers providing evidence just wasn't enough. They were recalcitants trying to tear down Liberty.

Brett Shipp used an anonymous source for his story of Ed Young's use of money for jet airplanes and trips all over the world, and the complicated legal layers that hide any visibility of cash flow. All that did was cause his defenders to come to his aid and attack Shipp. Without the hard proof of how money is spent, and who bought the aircraft, and where the money goes...all that does is rally defenders for the preacher, and criticism hurled at the reporter.

So the standard of proof is very high when it comes to SBC preachers' gross immorality. Verifiable, irrefutable proof is required, on tape and microphone if possible, before anyone will take action.

And as we see in Ergun Caner's case, even then that is not enough. He is still preaching and teaching and has never apologized to evangelicals everywhere that he lied and misled them about his past.

So you call it sensational and over-the-top. I call it necessary reporting to wake people up.

Wade Burleson said...

Rick

You ask how this post can be reconciled with - "love bears all things." I am not sure I understand your question.

Love does not hide all things. It bears only what it knows.

dee said...

Wade

I am not sure how many people who are criticizing you for posting this have any idea how hypocritical pastors are ruining the cause for Christ in this country.

There is a well-known blog called EXChristians.net. These are people who have left the faith for various reasons. Most list the hypocrisy of their pastors as one of the reasons. This blog, each and every day, lists pastors who are being arrested for pornography, pedophilia, affairs, embezzlement, etc. I have been visiting this site for 3 years and occasionally attempt to engage in conversation.

Christa Brown's excellent blog, Stop Baptist Predators, outlines each and every pastor who is convicted of sexual misconduct, something the SBC refuses to do.

There are a number who have commented here that are operating under the assumption that we need to protect the church or the pastor from scandal and even restore said pastor.The world is watching.

I say let it out in the open because the rest of the world already knows about it. Let the world see true repentance or the lack thereof. Maybe, just maybe, if the pastors who are involved in this stuff know that the world is watching, they might be more cautious of their actions.

I am with Tom R and Wade on this one. Glad you are back in the saddle, Wade.

Rick Boyne said...

FBC Jax,

It's a good thing we are each entitled to our own opinion, isn't it?

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Rick - absolutely. Sharing our opinions is a wonderful thing. I respect your views and I hope you do mine also.

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

And Rick, let me make my point a little clearer:

My point is that the level of documentation and proof that is required to expose a "man of God" amongst the southern baptists is so much higher than in any other area of life.

If there is even a hint of impropriety for a politician, it is investigated.

A doctor commits an impropriety, he has a board to hold him/her accountable.

If a school teacher has someone levy a charge against them, an investigation will be done.

But when it comes to pastors, it seems the opposite happens. It is cover, run, duck, defend, excuse...and the pastor's status as "the man of God" affords him protection that others in our society don't enjoy. Often times it is the pastor's own board or deacons that will defend him instead of hold him accountable.

So I for one am grateful for the level of detail and doggedness of these reporters. I am surprised that you say this is "not news", and the reporters went to "great lengths to create a sensational story." They didn't create anything. They did their JOB. They gathered the facts, on tape, and then reported them.

You say "bad reporting". I say "good reporting". Thank you Fox for staying with the story, gathering the facts, sticking the mike in his face to ask the tough questions, and then daring to put them on the news. They did an incredible service to their community and to evangelical Christianity. Without them he wouldn't be getting the help he needs. From the story, it seems that someone inside the church probably knew what was happening, and went to the news agency to get help in exposing the pastor.

Anonymous said...

Wade:

Again, let me say I think that there was nothing wrong with your posting this story. It is so sad. But it is true and it needs to be seen, in my opinion.

Also, let me say that while I believe in restoration of people and loving them (see my earlier post) it is not wise to restore a man like this to a public position in ministry.

I would think it would be better to help him find a job in a secular field for which he might be suited and to help with the transition to that.

I believe that the NT warns against promoting someone to public leadership in situations like this.

I have seen on this post and my experience in churches for the last 35 years that some Christians believe that restoration includes restoration to position or job, as well as status in God's eyes. I have often heard it said, "Well, David remained King of Israel."

My response - you are not David. Samuel did not annoint you.

You are a gifted person, but there is a NT prohibition against spiritual leadership that does not have a good reputation because of public sins like this.

If we can get the idea of restoring a person to a particular job out of our minds, we can really concentrate on truly restoring them. The communication is more likely to be honest, instead of connected to finances and the hope of getting one's job back.

The first step in establishing a culture like that is to say, in advance, that there is a zero tolerance response to issues like this.

Anything that "cracks the door open" for something less than zero tolerance will become a problem in my opinion.



Louis

Mary said...

The questions that I always have with blog posts like these is at what point have we crossed into idle gossip and/or creating division and discord? I don't know the answer. It just like a lot of people set themselves up as authority figures and believe they have rights to demand acountability. Who are the God ordained authorities here?

Anonymous said...

Two scriptures for two issues:

1 Tim. 5:20-21
"But those elders who are sinning you are to reprove before everyone, so that the others may take warning. I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favoritism."

Matthew 6:1
"Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' in front of others, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven."

Rick Boyne said...

FBC Jax,

I simply disagree with your analysis, as you obviously disagree with mine. It doesn't mean I'm right, but I don't concede that I am wrong.

As Wade chose to blog about this subject and we have each decided to express our own opinions about it, I simply chose to say, that in this particular case, I agree with Wade.

I made no comment directly to you or about you, but you chose to comment directly to me regarding my comment.

I don't understand your need to lecture me about the differences in our opinions; there was nothing in my original comment that would indicate I even read your original comment. In fact, I barely skimmed the comments before making my own.

Not to put too fine a point on it, but I usually don't read your comments anyway. I'm not usually interested in what anonymous/pseudonymous commenters have to say. I responded to you simply because you directed something at me.

I do happen to see your point, I simply disagree that the reporting was done in a professional manner.

And, just so you'll know exactly who I am....

Rick Boyne
pastor
Immanuel Southern Baptist Church
Wagoner, OK

rick@immanuelsouthern.com

www.RickBoyne.com
www.ImmanuelSouthern.com
www.facebook.com/rick.boyne
www.twitter.com/RickBoyne

FBC Jax Watchdog said...

Hi Rick - interesting you say that you don't care about what anonymous people have to say. Most pastors say the same thing, so it doesn't surprise me. I have a blog post up about pastors like yourself who for some reason don't like anonymous posters. You might want to read it, since I'm really not anonymous if you've ever heard of my story.

greg.w.h said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lydia said...

"So I for one am grateful for the level of detail and doggedness of these reporters."

Me too, else the pastors would simply say that 'we do not have all the facts' and should not comment on it. Ever heard that one? They say that a lot.

Lydia said...

The questions that I always have with blog posts like these is at what point have we crossed into idle gossip and/or creating division and discord? I don't know the answer. It just like a lot of people set themselves up as authority figures and believe they have rights to demand acountability. Who are the God ordained authorities here?

Tue Sep 14, 04:27:00 PM 2010

Problem is, the pastor at the strip club would be considered as one of the God ordained authorities. That is the problem!

Alan Paul said...

Wade you say the news reporter was over the top. How would have you handled it as a news reporter?

Mary said...

Yes Lydia it is a problem when a person in authority falls. So how does the chain of command work according to the Bible. Is it really just a free for all and everybody and anybody who calls themselves Christian gets to have a say now? Understand I'm not saying that it was wrong for reporters to report and do what they do. The struggle I have here is what role do we as Christians have now in this.

Rick Boyne said...

FBC Jax,

No thanks. I'm not interested. But thanks for lumping me in with all the others.

Anonymous said...

"chain of command... free for all"

Neither.

Each believer has the Holy Spirit and can read the scriptures. I quoted a passage above about holding leaders to a HIGHER standard and making a PUBLIC example of them should they fall. In the NT letters, our "how to" manual, we see that church discipline is to be carried out by the whole congregation, not the leaders alone.

And when will we wake up and realize that the very hierarchy structure (business or club) of the churches is a big part of the problem? If we stop elevating a few elites, they stop feeling entitled and above others.

We bring this on ourselves when we make gifts into titles and callings into careers.

Mary said...

Ok anonymous so the congregation is responsible for discipline - where do people meeting on the Internet fit in?

Aussie John said...

Wade,

Thank you for a great article. And thank you for showing a Christ- like attitude towards a fallen brother.
Without doubt there was no justification for his actions, but, if he is a brother in Christ, that fact alone demands that other brethren offer their personal help, support and prayers through his resignation, repentance, which will be very painful for himself and his family, as well as many in the church who love him, and then the restoration of his relationship with Christ and His Church.

I am utterly flummoxed by those whose immediate reaction is to shoot the fellow. I have found they are often the ones who have something to hide.

By the way, I have known two Benjamin Keachs in my nearly sixty years of church life.

Each of them had an excellent knowledge of the theological position to which they adhered (same as Joe Blackmon) and could preach sermons of Spurgeonic skill. I'm aware of quite a number coming to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ under their subsequent ministry.

Both eventually came to really know the Person upon whom their intellectual theology rested, the Lord Jesus Christ. I lost track of one, but the other's teaching was used to lead several to a saving relationship with Christ, and on into very fruitful ministries.

Anonymous said...

Ok anonymous so the congregation is responsible for discipline - where do people meeting on the Internet fit in?

Once believers wherever they are know that anyone has disqualified themselves from leadership, they can all help the fallen one by (a) refusing them fellowship until they repent of the sin and (b) do their best to "build up" the fallen one by instruction from the scriptures on one's proper relationship to other believers, and especially to stop grieving the Holy Spirit.

The internet is no different from the situation of the church in any age, except when it comes to speed of communication. Why did Paul name names at times? So other congregations could be wary of the false teachers. That way no one could simply move to another area and spread their falsehood. We can do no less today.

In fact, I'd say that the separateness the traditional church model creates is a barrier to the unity and safety of the church.

Thy Peace said...

Stop Baptist Predators [Christa Brown] > Pastor in strip club

Mary said...

Anon, is refusing fellowship and helping restoring a fallen brother what goes on in the blogosphere. I'm not asking if it's what should happen but us it really what's happening. At what point have we fallen to just petty gossip. Anon have you contacted this Pastor and his church? Would thousands of strangers offering their two cents on this issue really help in this situation? I mean you really believe that the Bible teaches just anybody who calls themselves Christian - thousands of people who may hear about this across the country should just insert themselves into this situation?

Anonymous said...

My goodness. Wasn't there a certain 'powerful' authority figure who demanded 'three witnesses' when women came to him to report the abuses of Gilyard?

Like Gilyard was going to do anything in front of three witnesses?

Oh, the hypocrisy of it all . . . that is what this about.

We all sin. Some in ways more 'shocking' than others, in our own minds, but God knows the truth of us.
And we know the truth of us.
It's the idiots who 'protect' the hypocrites that need to SEE those films.

For even for some of them, there is no proof that they will accept against one of their 'good ole boys',
we have seen that, as they refuse even to see videos of lying in the pulpit over a period of years, as proof of wrong-doing.

But the films don't lie.
They can't be 'denied' out of existence.
They stand as a witness to what actually happened.

Mary said...

Anon @ 6:45? What??? Maybe your a different Anon than the one I've dialoged with here. I'm questioning at what point we become guilty of idle gossip when we see stories like this on blogs across the Internet. Yes I agree that the SBC has a problem with how they deal with sexual abuse and yes something needs to be done. That wasn't the conversation I was having.

Anonymous said...

Testing, testing... post keeps going through and then disappearing...

Anonymous said...

Anon, is refusing fellowship and helping restoring a fallen brother what goes on in the blogosphere.

Sometimes. People can be banned from blogs and message boards, and block emails. I dare say the internet is no less consistent than the local churches though.

At what point have we fallen to just petty gossip.

Depends on who you ask. If you ask the privileged sinning class (pastors who act as though they alone are allowed to sin) they will say it's all gossip. If you ask their victims they'll say none of it's gossip. I think the Bible's emphasis is on believers judging themselves on their motives, since nobody else can. But we can judge actions.

Anon have you contacted this Pastor and his church?

Have you?

And if either of us has, should we tell the whole world and brag about it?

Would thousands of strangers offering their two cents on this issue really help in this situation?

We all have a relatively small number of people that cross our paths. Think about your own neighborhood: do you regularly socialize with all of them, or only some? How about your church, do you know every other member as you know your circle of best friends?

What I'm saying is that there won't be "thousands of people" contacting anybody. But neither would I expect such a public and egregious sin to be swept under a rug, and bash other believers for talking about it too much. Who gets to decide when the gates are shut?

I mean you really believe that the Bible teaches just anybody who calls themselves Christian - thousands of people who may hear about this across the country should just insert themselves into this situation?

Sadly, you'd be hard-pressed to find thousands of people calling themselves Pastors who should "insert themselves into this situation". Do the numbers matter, or the quality of the people?

I find in these comments a desire to control, to keep the club small and private. This is why the churches act more like clubs than the Body they were all meant to be.

Anonymous said...

Trying in two parts:

Anon, is refusing fellowship and helping restoring a fallen brother what goes on in the blogosphere.

Sometimes. People can be banned from blogs and message boards, and block emails. I dare say the internet is no less consistent than the local churches though.

At what point have we fallen to just petty gossip.

Depends on who you ask. If you ask the privileged sinning class (pastors who act as though they alone are allowed to sin) they will say it's all gossip. If you ask their victims they'll say none of it's gossip. I think the Bible's emphasis is on believers judging themselves on their motives, since nobody else can. But we can judge actions.

Anon have you contacted this Pastor and his church?

Have you?

And if either of us has, should we tell the whole world and brag about it?

Anonymous said...

Part two:

Would thousands of strangers offering their two cents on this issue really help in this situation?

We all have a relatively small number of people that cross our paths. Think about your own neighborhood: do you regularly socialize with all of them, or only some? How about your church, do you know every other member as you know your circle of best friends?

What I'm saying is that there won't be "thousands of people" contacting anybody. But neither would I expect such a public and egregious sin to be swept under a rug, and bash other believers for talking about it too much. Who gets to decide when the gates are shut?

I mean you really believe that the Bible teaches just anybody who calls themselves Christian - thousands of people who may hear about this across the country should just insert themselves into this situation?

Sadly, you'd be hard-pressed to find thousands of people calling themselves Pastors who should "insert themselves into this situation". Do the numbers matter, or the quality of the people?

I find in these comments a desire to control, to keep the club small and private. This is why the churches act more like clubs than the Body they were all meant to be.

Lydia said...

Yes Lydia it is a problem when a person in authority falls. So how does the chain of command work according to the Bible. Is it really just a free for all and everybody and anybody who calls themselves Christian gets to have a say now? Understand I'm not saying that it was wrong for reporters to report and do what they do. The struggle I have here is what role do we as Christians have now in this.

Tue Sep 14, 05:39:00 PM 2010

Mary, How does the chain of command in the Body of Christ work? Is there a chain of command? Are we allowed to 'break' the chain of command if the commander is a visiting strip clubs? Do you have a list of things we can break the chain of command over?

It can certainly get complicated when we follow humans instead of Christ!

Perhaps the problem is that we do think there is a human chain of command within the Body so we look toward humans instead of Christ.

There are functions in the Body of Christ but we have no earthly priests we answer to.

New BBC Open Forum said...

I'm not usually interested in what anonymous/pseudonymous commenters have to say.

As far as I'm concerned almost everything I read on the internet is "anonymous." Anyone can claim to be anyone. Why not just ignore the name (or lack thereof) on the comment and base your opinion of what someone has written on... well... on what they've written? Take it or leave it, but don't dismiss it simply because you don't know the person. If that's your acid test, you're missing a lot. Such as Anon 6:45's excellent comment.

You really should read this.

Lydia said...

Anon @ 6:45? What??? Maybe your a different Anon than the one I've dialoged with here. I'm questioning at what point we become guilty of idle gossip when we see stories like this on blogs across the Internet. Yes I agree that the SBC has a problem with how they deal with sexual abuse and yes something needs to be done. That wasn't the conversation I was having.

Tue Sep 14, 07:02:00 PM 2010

But how can we deal with the sexual predator problem within the SBC and it's ministers when you say it is gossip to do so?

Do you know the definition of gossip?

Quite frankly, so many just move on to other churches because no one will say a word! So, your hypothesis is wrong because we actually have the opposite problem.

Now, this guy cannot move on to another church anytime soon. Had he been caught without the media, chances are very good, going by how this is usually dealt with, he would have moved on to another church.

It is very hard for a congregation to admit they have supported and followed such a person. They like to hide it.

Sorry, but you won't make me feel like a sinner for discussing this. It is a HUGE problem in the church. As a matter of fact, a woman we just hired, a destitute single mother because her husband, an SBC pastor, got caught with in a homosexual relationship.

What did the church do? Quietly removed him so as not to tarnish their image. he is off in another state now and hopefully not a pastor somewhere but who knows? He was able to hide it for a long time.

I hope that while everyone is so concerned with the fallen pastor, they remember his wife. She might need money and place to live for a while.

Debbie Kaufman said...

I think Lydia and Tom(aka FBCJax) have some good points. I agree with them. Yes, ministers are human yes ministers sin. No this is not anything I personally struggle with having been faithful to my husband for 27 and going years. I have been in the world, worked with males, have male friends, and never once strayed. Why can't ministers do the same thing. It's just not hard. Yep. I am angry. Very.

Anonymous said...

"Anon @ 6:45? What??? Maybe your a different Anon than the one I've dialoged with here. I'm questioning at what point we become guilty of idle gossip when we see stories like this on blogs across the Internet. Yes I agree that the SBC has a problem with how they deal with sexual abuse and yes something needs to be done. That wasn't the conversation I was having."

who R U ?????
WHO IS TALKING TO YOU ????????

maybe someone would like to respond to the POST ! i didn't know this was YOUR POST

If we can't comment on the post without your personal approval, you need to go get yourself your own site, especially if you want everyone to keep their comments focusing on YOU exclusively

Good grief!!!!!!!!!

Christiane said...

LYDIA: you wrote this:

“What exactly are you trying to imply about me? I would appreciate directness.”

in response to my comment of
““I think you will be very surprised by some of what you read there.”

Hope this helps you a bit, as it ties into the Holocaust experience and is ‘right on’ the meaning of my comment to you:

http://www.abpnews.com/content/view/5696/9/

“I remember the first time it became crystal clear to me that there is no such thing as Christianity, but only competing Christianities. It was when I was working on my doctoral dissertation on Christians who rescued Jews during the Holocaust. During that time I attended a most remarkable conference in New York on hidden children of the Holocaust. This gathering brought together the now-grown adults who had hidden from the Nazis to survive. Some of these children were saved by Christian families.

The most memorable speaker for me was a hidden child, and now a sociologist, named Nechama Tec. A Polish Jew, she survived the war hiding with Christians. She was asked after her address whether it was Christianity that motivated her rescuers. Her unforgettable response went like this: “It wasn’t just any kind of Christianity that would motivate a rescuer. Only a certain kind of Christianity would lead someone to risk their lives for us.”

A certain kind of Christianity — the phrase stayed with me. It is enormously helpful. From hard experience, young Nechama Tec learned the difference between versions of Christianity that teach hatred of the religious/ethnic other and versions that teach sacrificial and inclusive love. Her very survival depended on being able to tell the difference between these competing Christianities and the people who embodied them. ”
David Gushee

My comment reflected my surprise that you advocated the philosophy of the Museum, and I wondered if you had read about its core teachings advocating for the religious/ethnic 'others' among us.
I am glad to hear it, if you are in agreement with these principles, as I certainly did not know that before your statement about your advocacy of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

I'm sure you can understand my prior confusion.
or maybe not . . . ?

Doug said...

Wade;
You say;

"I have not used the pastor's name in the title or the body of the blog so it will not show up in search engines."

Just like others within this Baptist denomination, you now to are burying your head in the sand

This is exactly why I post on the Internet. To expose these men whom ya'll protect!

Remember, I have fought this fight for years after exposing 2 ministers for viewing PORN on the church's computer system.

I am glad I did not do as you and "Bury my head in the Sand" to protect these deceivers! If he had not of gotten caught, he would STILL be doing this!

After all these kinds of issues in which I has been brought to my attention, I say E X P O S E them so the next church can have the TRUTH about these Pharisees before they set foot before another unknowing church.

Remember, "the Internet IS the GREAT EQUALIZER!"

greg.w.h said...

παραδοῦναι τὸν τοιοῦτον τῷ Σατανᾷ εἰς ὄλεθρον τῆς σαρκός, ἵνα τὸ πνεῦμα σωθῇ ἐν τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τοῦ κυρίου.

Mary said...

Okaay so I was talking to a different Anon which means that there are a couple of people at least who are talking to me. As to who I am - I'm Mary and you are one of at least two Anons posting so it gets a little confusing.

Lydia I certainly don't mean to imply any one here is a sinner or I should say guilty if the sin on gossip In my first post here I stated that I didn't have the answers to where does gossip begin. To me a man going to strip bars is not the same discussion as men who prey on vulnerable women and children in churches. So the topic of sexual predators absolutely must be discussed, but going back to Pastor goes to strip club I struggle with where do we draw line at "hey heads up church this guys a dirt bag". To where are we just indulging in gossip, division and discord.

Dr Who said...

Typical Baptist congregation - Blame the informer as the one doing wrong.

I am going to scream -

Ok, I feel better now.

Now, I wonder if that DR in front of his name is one of those FAKE honorary ones too.

Almost guarantee U it is!

Almost guarantee U he has been doing this for quiet some time.

Lydia said...

"To me a man going to strip bars is not the same discussion as men who prey on vulnerable women and children in churches."

Huh? You mean a pastor going to strip bars is different than a pastor who preys on women and children IN the church? You mean the building? Is the building sacred?

"I struggle with where do we draw line at "hey heads up church this guys a dirt bag". To where are we just indulging in gossip, division and discord."

It is an important discussion. Notice the differing views here. Some think that this is a normal failure for one who is paid to be a professional Christian. No biggie...let's work to restore him as a pastor!

What did Paul say in 1 Corin 5? He said kick the guy out so HE COULD BE SAVED!

This situation brings up an important question....it goes back to what is salvation and sanctification. What is being Born Again? Can one live in continual willfull sin and be a new creature in Christ.

Of course we all sin. No one I can see is expecting sinless perfection but we are going the other way fast into cheap grace.

His situation brings up a deeper question. So, when folks point out what hypocrites we are, we can say, yes, you are right. Let's talk about what being Born Again means. This "pastor" was not saved out of this lifestyle. He claimed he was saved WHILE IN IT and preaching the Word. that is serious business and we shoudl treat it as such.

Mary said...

1st Anon and Lydia, I just saw your other comments to me so forgive me for not answering in line. First let me just reiterate that fir me personally I'm struggling with this idea of let's alll gather on the Internet and discuss the goings on at XYZ church. I can absolutely agree that sins have to be exposed to the light if day. Anon I think you implied that as the Church universal it is our responsibility to try to help restore those who have fallen. Wade has demonstrated that well I think. But what about all the people who are just serving the net and just talking about this. Are we really behaving in a Biblical fashion by just hanging out and talking about this. It just seems like alot of these discussions are not at all about what is our role out here in the blogospere but just talking for the sake of talking.

When I speak of "chain of command" it's because I do believe that God is a God if order and he has set up a structure for how churches are to be set up. It doesn't mean anyone is better than anyone. There is no high priest I absolutely believe in priesthood of the believer, but there is a way I think these matters should be handled and I don't really know where the church universal through the Internet fits. I am not at all about protecting anybody or keeping and exclusive club. Just trying to figure out what role the Internet community should play.

Doug said...

Oh me, those resignation letters to unknowing church members who have no clue to what he had done. Seen and fought that before. I had a similar situation after catching 2 ministers viewing PORN. Church turned on me too. Pastor and Deacons wanted to tell the church one of the ministers was "resigning due to health reasons".....I said NO and stood for Christ Kingdom!!! And boy was I attacked!

But don't worry folks, he like others I know that were caught in these types of issues, will be back on the job very soon.

All they have to do is go to a little counseling so that they can say - or have others within their Baptist Convention say - they have "repented" and have gone through the wonderful 10 step recovery plan

Then ploof...just like thoseI caught viewing PORN on my church computer system, will be employed somewhere else by some church that did not see what I saw and by some Pastor Search Committee who has NO idea!

Forgiveness is one thing, sweeping it under the rug is another -

I wonder who they will blame this on dawn the road.
Sickening!

Mary said...

No Lydia it's not a difference in buildings. Going to a strip club is not a crime. And I would agree what seems to be your opinion that women in strip clubs are being exploited. But they are adults, this is a free country still and they do have choices. Now I know, I know that circumstances along with whatever goes on in the women's pschye might make it seem like they have no choice. So no a man going to strip bars is the not the moral equalivant of a pedophile. Sin is sin, yes. And yes I know it's shock to some that the SBC is full of sinners.

Anonymous said...

Mary, no problem about any delays in answering. :)

Order is of course something scripture values, per Paul's instructions to the Corinthians. But enforcement of that order is not for some to impose upon others, but a self-restraint. If a large number of believers in the world are undisciplined, then we have only ourselves to blame-- along with anyone who has presumed authority/responsibility over us. If we are so poorly discipled that we can't discuss anyting rationally, whose fault is that?

That said, there will always be people who just blurt out irrelevant or nonsensical comments, internet or not. We just have to remember we live in an imperfect world and resist the urge to control everyone else's behavior. At the same time, I think we all recognize the equally binding scriptures on the purity of the Assembly, and when there is SIN (as opposed to mere immaturity for example) in the Body, we have to face it and contain it. If anyone refuses to give up a sin, we have to refuse them fellowship in order to keep them from infecting the rest of the Body. It's a fine balance but we should try to achieve it to the best of our ability.

When I look at the scriptures for what the church is to be, I see the metaphor of a Body, not a chain. We can't ignore the Holy Spirit in us, guiding and advising each one as we grow spiritually. That is where order comes from, not from human authorities. People like to have a chart or a list because it's easy, but we are to have faith in the power of God to guide us.

New BBC Open Forum said...

Going to a strip club is not a crime.

As long as you're at least 21, it's not. But embezzling money is. IF what the informant claims is true, I think Randy Robertson's congregation will be much more interested in getting to the bottom of this story if they learn he's been charging his extracurricular activities to the church.

Caleb said...

Seems that I recall a verse in Scripture that says, "He who is without sin among you, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." We should remember that.
Also, as a pastor I would appreciate if some of you quit attempting to lump us into one irresponsible group. It is unfair.

Anonymous said...

has it occurred to anyone that this pastor might have had some sort of a serious break from reality, or at least be on his way to one ?

there is always more to a story than what meets the camera's eye

New BBC Open Forum said...

has it occurred to anyone that this pastor might have had some sort of a serious break from reality, or at least be on his way to one ?

I suppose it's possible, but why do they so often seem to end up in a strip club or in the company of a prostitute or minor or in an adulterous relationship?

To me, this is a much more believable example of someone suffering a serious break from reality.

Joe Carr said...

After reading all of these comments, if seems as if some are determined to crucify this man. Clearly, he is guilty of going to the strip club on numerous occasions and when caught, he did not adequately state what kind of club he was visiting. That is a given from the video.

Beyond that, it has not been proven that he used a church credit card, which would have been completely stupid, although his behavior is already in the stupid category. But for others to insinuate with absolutely no knowledge one way or the other IS gossip.

To those who wish to link all pastors together and assume all pastors are sexual predators, take a deep breath for a minute. But some of you state as if this is a problem in every church. I will admit that it has the possibility of being more serious than any of us know and I do agree that predators should have their name plastered everywhere! I just am tired of being lumped into one big group when none of you have met me or many of the other pastors who respond on here and accuse us of trying to cover up one another's sins. That is too large a blanket to be throwing around, especially on people you have never met. It seems that some may have let their self-righteous horses run a little too fast!

Pege' said...

Dear Fellow posters...has any one considered that even though this Pastor has allegedly has made some really bad choices...there a no levels of sin. His sin is no worse than some of your who have judged him and have not bridled your tongues a James says to do. Christians eat their wounded...like righteous cannibals.It is bad enough the news does what it does...we are to be different.... we all should be praying for him and his family and his church..What if your failings and stumbling were put on the evening news....its ENOUGH!!! STOP!!! Repentance, forgiveness and restoration not to the position but to the body of Christ.

Kristen said...

I think that visiting strip clubs, like viewing porn, is a symptom of a low view of women. Is she a full human being, no one's possession, and worthy of full dignity and respect? Or is she a lesser being who was born to be the possession of a man, and as long as she "belongs" to no one, is fair game for all men's use?

Giving lip service to female equality is not enough. "Equal-but" is not acceptable. Behaviors spring from our sinful natures, it is true. But the self-justification for them comes from mindsets and attitudes. Mindsets and attitudes which, sadly, are often endorsed by churches.

I'm not judging this pastor. I hope that true repentence and the resulting grace will be his. But to me, part of true repentence must include a radical change in the way he views women, or no true change of heart can follow.

Anonymous said...

To all wanting to get this pastor off the hook:

1-- Would you do the same for say, a nursery worker or janitor?

2-- What about verses that talk about a higher standard for elders and teachers? A HIGHER standard. Can we ignore those?

Rex Ray said...

Kristen,
Bingo! Well said.

Which came first the chicken or the egg? Does a low view of women lead to porn and strip clubs or could it be the other way around? I believe those who visit strip clubs viewed porn first.

Some in the church of this preacher would know how he treated his staff…did he treat women different than men? For instance, would he yell at a female secretary or refrain if the secretary was a male? Things like that reveal a lot.

Statistics show there are about two pastors for ever church available. Makes you wonder if God has called all these people or if they have chosen their goal and why.

Lydia said...

Dear Fellow posters...has any one considered that even though this Pastor has allegedly has made some really bad choices...there a no levels of sin. His sin is no worse than some of your who have judged him and have not bridled your tongues a James says to do. Christians eat their wounded...like righteous cannibals.It is bad enough the news does what it does...we are to be different.... we all should be praying for him and his family and his church..What if your failings and stumbling were put on the evening news....its ENOUGH!!! STOP!!! Repentance, forgiveness and restoration not to the position but to the body of Christ.

Wed Sep 15, 02:33:00 AM 2010

Bad choices? That is a nice way to describe willful consistent sin while knowing the truth. (Hebrews 10:26-31)

If all sin is the same then why are we told teachers will be judged by a higher standard? (James)

And what do you do with those pesky reward passages?

If we are not to judge such things then why not a rapist as a pastor? After all, the rapist just made a bad choice and we should not make judgements.

Or an adulterer. Adutery is not a civil crime, either, like watching strippers. So, that is just another 'bad choice'. Jesus taught that this pastor was committing adultery in his heart, in Matthew. So, perhaps Jesus got it wrong...it is really a 'bad choice'.

But then, Paul counseled that the church in Corinth make a "judgement" so the person could be saved. (Read chapter 5)

If we are not to discuss sin because we are sinners, then every single teacher of the Word should never mention sin when teaching.

Instead, most redefine sin as those who discuss the horrible PUBLIC behavior of pastors.

BTW: Joe, I am a bit astounded you equate our discussion here with "crucifying" the pastor. That is insulting to our Lord.

F Y I said...

This is exactly why those who stay away from the church look at Church building's on Sunday and say "Why Bother" and see those who are inside a church as "NO different" than those who are within the secular world - and smile as they pass by while going to the lake or mall.

And this is only about one man who got caught, think of the thousands of others who have yet to be exposed.

I wonder how many other Pastors are hoping that the Internet will crash before they get caught?.....

Steve said...

It is very sad and a shame that this happened. I am kind of like Rick Boyne in the fact that I skip all anonymous posters unless Wade calls them out, then I might go back and read them. But what I find very sad is that we are arguing over this issue instead of praying for this church. She has been deeply wounded, and it will be many years, perhaps a generation, before they can trust a pastor again. And no matter who's to blame, the cause of Christ is hurt because of it.

Anonymous said...

FYI, you nailed it. What is different about Christian behavior from the world's?

More importantly, what is different about Christian teachings than any other religion's? So many are saying we all really worship the same God. So why bother indeed?

I know an older gentleman who was saved on his deathbed after a hating church and Christians most of his life because he would hear the men in the parking lot after church bragging about whose wife they slept with the night before.

Character matters, people. Sin matters. Doctrine matters. The uniqueness of the cross matters.

What doesn't matter is church politics, whether the building is large and the crowds full of seekers, whether the decor is "chickified", boards, conventions, nominations, business meetings, and a thousand other weights and obstacles.

Why should anyone want to be a Christian? That's a question many need to ask themselves.

Craig Dunning said...

I believe Fox news' involvement was a measure of God's mercy on this pastor.

Perhaps the attention the report has gained will have multiple positive outcomes:

I hope that it breaks him to the point of true repentance and trust in the redeeming gospel of Jesus Christ.

I hope that it serves as a wake up call to repentance for the many other pastors who are visiting strip joints.

According to a stripper who came to me for pastoral counseling in the 90's a number of preachers were regular customers in her club. She knew them by name and profession; her father was a pastor in a nearby town.

Something strikes me in this comment stream: I don't see so much push back when someone says about an alcoholic that "he needs to hit bottom." But when a pastor gets caught in a situation like this, we try to give him a soft landing.

It seems to me that Wade has offered to help this man once "he hits bottom," which I think is the correct approach.

Jim Shaver said...

I have no problem with Wade linking this story. My question is - Where was the Baptist Messenger and the Baptist Press?

Doug Pittman said...

At this point in my life, "religion" is nothing more than a heartache and heartbreak to me. I have learned my lessons!

With that said...... I am so glad I do not follow men.

Following Christ, Not Man

Doug Pittman
doug@dougpittman.com

Joe Carr said...

Lydia,

Sorry to offend you - not my desire. Crucifixion, as you know, was a method of capital punishment that the Romans used to perfection. They would hang criminals and rebels (Jesus being the only exception) on a cross publicly for all to see and understand that this would happen to them if they messed with Rome. This was meant to be not only a tortuous death, but also a public humiliation. That was my point in the statement. I do not believe it is insulting to our Lord Jesus to use that phrase and I would not use it if I thought it was. Again, my apologies if I was offensive to you or others.

Kristen said...

Rex Ray said:

"Which came first the chicken or the egg? Does a low view of women lead to porn and strip clubs or could it be the other way around? I believe those who visit strip clubs viewed porn first."

I think it's a vicious circle. Men imbibe a low view of women from their parents and their peers (including fellow-Christians). Said peers invite them to strip clubs, and they go. They also find themselves naturally attracted to porn and have inadequate reasons to resist the temptation.

Once they have viewed the objectified women in the strip clubs or in the porn, it increases their emotional response to women as being objects, not people. So they go back to the strip clubs, etc.

Rex also said:

"Some in the church of this preacher would know how he treated his staff…did he treat women different than men? For instance, would he yell at a female secretary or refrain if the secretary was a male? Things like that reveal a lot."

Any form of disrespect to a woman is telling. I find, however, that condescension is far more common than "yelling." Does he talk down to her or lecture her? Does he assume a right to make personal remarks or ask personal questions? Or does he simply refuse to interact with her professionally as he does his male colleagues?

All of these behaviors tend to be self-perpetuating.

Lydia said...

Sorry to offend you - not my desire. Crucifixion, as you know, was a method of capital punishment that the Romans used to perfection. They would hang criminals and rebels (Jesus being the only exception) on a cross publicly for all to see and understand that this would happen to them if they messed with Rome. This was meant to be not only a tortuous death, but also a public humiliation. That was my point in the statement. I do not believe it is insulting to our Lord Jesus to use that phrase and I would not use it if I thought it was. Again, my apologies if I was offensive to you or others.

Wed Sep 15, 12:31:00 PM 2010

Thanks for clarifying that. Christians tend to relate crucifixtion with our Lord. It is not a typical punishment today. We do not even do it to convicted murderers.

Pege' said...

Lydia, Ok.. The Pastor in question sinned...there you go. How many of us have our sin broad casted on the public air waves?? Jesus did not make the interaction with the woman at the well a public spectacle. He did not publically rebuke Zacius or even Judas. Who are we to sit as a judge and jury over this mans sin and not look at our own which is just as grievous to our God. Looking at some one and lusting after him or her is a sin... have you never looked at another man and thot he was hot? I have.. SO lets put that on the screen for all to see. My point is the people around him ..such as Wade was... and he was doing it privately...confronting him and helping him. In grace to bring repentance and restoration to the body not the position as Pastor. This whole stream of "righteous" judgment what good does it do our brother? YES HE SINNED!!! Lets' stone him with our words!!! That will do the trick!!
WOW.

Lydia said...

Lydia, Ok.. The Pastor in question sinned...there you go. How many of us have our sin broad casted on the public air waves?? Jesus did not make the interaction with the woman at the well a public spectacle. He did not publically rebuke Zacius or even Judas. Who are we to sit as a judge and jury over this mans sin and not look at our own which is just as grievous to our God. Looking at some one and lusting after him or her is a sin... have you never looked at another man and thot he was hot? I have.. SO lets put that on the screen for all to see. My point is the people around him ..such as Wade was... and he was doing it privately...confronting him and helping him. In grace to bring repentance and restoration to the body not the position as Pastor. This whole stream of "righteous" judgment what good does it do our brother? YES HE SINNED!!! Lets' stone him with our words!!! That will do the trick!!
WOW.

Wed Sep 15, 02:56:00 PM 2010

Pege, I have a comment on the newest thread about the Holy Spirit that I think will help explain where I am coming from a bit better.

But I will ask you why Paul told them in 1 Corin 5 to kick the guy out so he could be saved. Wasn't that judgement? See, they were acting as if his sin was no big deal and Paul rebuked them for it.

If you are not familiar with what is going on in Christendom, please read Christa Brown's blog. Most ministers go from church to church because they will not deal with it.

Lydia said...

"Looking at some one and lusting after him or her is a sin... have you never looked at another man thot he was hot?"

Actually, that never occurs to me. I am strange like that. But, if he is really smart...watch out. :o)

And I have never once gone to see the Chippendales dance. Yuck!

Candy said...

Pege':

Did you ask Jeff if it is alright for you to teach the men who read this blog?

Pege' said...

Candy, Ah... you know that was a joke on a earlier post and I am not in a position of a Pastor/teacher on a blog...I have no disagreement with women teachers...just women Pastors.
:D

Anonymous said...

Pege', just curious,

If it's okay for women to teach, what do you say to those who insist that "I do not permit a woman to teach or take authority" has no exceptions? Thanks. :)

Pege' said...

Hey ANON....not to dodge the issue...but I do not chat with someone who will not identify themselves. SORRY. Come out of the shadows.

Anonymous said...

Pege, Your profile does not identify you. But I can understand you not wanting to discuss content of anon's question. You will have to show us where it says women cannot be pastors but they can teach men.

Pege' said...

to both of my Anon friends...your queries a off topic and I would prefer to you to identify yourselves.
A teacher and a Pastor a 2 totally different positions.
Chat about this in another post that is appropriate I am sure we will chat again.:)

Anonymous said...

Pege',

Some of us don't want to sign up with Google; it's as simple as that. And as the other anon pointed out, you have not identified yourself either. Methinks you protesteth too loudly about identification.

We've already said that scripture says a woman can't "teach" a man, so why do you allow it, whether it's "different" or not? Refusing to answer is an admission that there is no answer, since the scripture to not teach is as clear as the one to not pastor.

"the first anon"

Pege' said...

#1 ANON... your reply is what I expected...I am sure in the Future when Wade posts another blog about this particular subject we can chat about it on topic. This BLOG is about A PASTOR IN A STRIP CLUB.
Blessings.

Anonymous said...

Pege' said:
Candy, Ah... you know that was a joke on a earlier post and I am not in a position of a Pastor/teacher on a blog...I have no disagreement with women teachers...just women Pastors.
:D

Wed Sep 15, 06:16:00 PM 2010


Off topic only applies to anons I guess.

It's clear you (whoever you are) don't have anything to back up your conflicting views on women in Christianity, and I understand you not wanting attention brought to this fact. But someday you might want to answer the question for yourself.

"the first anon"