Today a woman stopped by with a young man she was going to be getting married to on Monday. She asked me if I recognized her. It took me a minute so she said, "I am the woman who parked in your driveway the other night after I had been in a fight..." I did remember. It was @11:30 at night and I couldn't understand anything she was saying though her tears (at least I cannot remember anything she said) but I prayed with her. Anyway today she was back. She told me about how her and her boyfriend were getting married because as many times as she had tried to forget about him she couldn't. I told them that was a bad reason to get married. She said she didn't want to live in sin anymore... She told me about how everyone seemed to be against their relationship.... Anyway, I tried to help them and give them some good advice (to caution them about marriage) over the fence in a limited time since I was with my kids and my little girl was listening (she also picked her flowers).
The woman told about how she was born addicted to 7 different drugs. How she had been afflicted by demons. How she had been thrown off a balcony in her first marriage. How her second marriage was also not good. I questioned if she knew how to find a stable husband. The young man didn't take offense I think he could tell it was a reasonable question and not a personal attack.
I could tell they were both hungry for God but they were conflicted and confused.
I have seen this kind of thing quite often. This woman was born into a place where Satan ruled and according to her she was afflicted by demons since birth.
At a young age she was introduced to the man who would become her father-in-law. He was the pastor and in a stable marriage. He is a man I know. He is beloved by many and known for being one of the most friendly and outgoing and always joyful (he is also known for hugging ladies a little too long). He loves to put children on his lap and talk to them. She told me about how he had come to her bedroom...and forced himself on her.
I did something I normally wouldn't do. I told her that I didn't want to hear more because I already knew that the person and the church were dealers in false religion and didn't really know Jesus (I guess I was sick of my heart being broken by these stories). She continued on. Telling me about how the pastor had lived with his current wife of 2 years before they got married and how the church didn't care. How the church doesn't care that to this day he still will hug her and grab her butt.
Like I said, I know the pastor. He is beloved for his friendliness. I believe most people question his Christian commitment and all the old ladies in the church are a little uncomfortable with him. I told someone that attends the church about my conversation with the victim (I wasn't meaning too because I knew the response). The person said "that is a church that sure seems to be blessed of God and that I should not let such things effect me too much". I said, "How could God be in a church that turns a blind eye to childhood sexual abuse" (and I listed off several other things as well that I know of in the same church).
Since moving to the area I have been made aware of more information that I can handle (I don't know why people show up out of no-where to tell me these things). I have reliable word about 2 of the biggest churches in the area whose pastors fell to sexual sin with their secretary, another with a church member, a pastor who left the church and then they found out that they had not been paying their bills and owed the IRS over 1 Million and didn't know where the money went, another pastor was on drugs for many years, I have info on what is going on at Jimmy Swaggart ministries today that is demonic, and honestly there is so much more that I cannot mention here. It literally makes me sick.
What makes me so mad about all this is that I believe in Hell. And I believe such actions by pastors are used of Satan to keep people from the Truth and that people perish because such pastors are not able to share with them because of their filthy lives. How many people have been turned off from God because of Jimmy Swaggart's failure? And then this pastor who I learned today did unspeakable things to this woman somehow felt he couldn't do these things to Christians but could to do them to an unchurched person. He didn't care that he was putting a tremendous hurdle in the way of her salvation. I don't think he cared if his action would keep her from hearing the Truth. I think he was willing for her to go to hell for his disgusting twisted pleasure.
I don't think I am better then any of these pastors or elders. I can look at many pastors prior to their falls and see them as people I could look up to in my current Spiritual Journey. But then in many of the cases I can see how pride came in, some "little" compromises, and soon unspeakable evil was committed. I won't bore you will all the many things I have learned from pastors who later fell but they have said some very significant things that helped me.
The question was raised on another post concerning the fear of God. I can say in all honesty I love the fear of God. I know my flesh. I know I am no better then those that fell to outrageous sin because its roots are in me as well. And I know I can count on Satan's help any time I want to compromise and he is waiting to lead me into sin and control me with it.
I need God's power to resist sin but I also need the fear of God. Maybe a better way to say it would be "I don't believe that God manifests His Power in those who do not fear Him."
In looking at the Hebrew and the Greek when we talk about "fear" in the context of fearing God we find that "fear" actually means "fear". Many try to tone it down saying the fear actually means respect. Or as I talked to a pastor once of a church filled with Godlessness on all levels (it was a confrontation). I asked him "well then what does it mean to 'fear' God?" He said, "honestly I don't know". That made sense to me, while he led a Godless church he was doing so without knowing the fear of God or even knowing what it was.
The true lovers of God in the Old Testament knew much about the fear of God. They walked in it and it was to them access to God and to His blessings. In the New Testament the fear of God did not change. Jesus did nothing to abolish the fear of God. We can find much evidence in scripture the even the disciples feared Jesus (I won't list examples here but feel free to ask for them). The early church was dramatically struck with the fear of God (read Acts 5:1-16). People were terrified of rousing God's anger. Think of the children and the adults who came to worship and saw two members dragged out dead from the fellowship because the had lied and God's judgement struck them on the spot. God made sure the early church had a healthy dose of the Fear of God.
All of the Great Revivals and Awakenings were awakenings to the fear of God and to the reality that to "fear God" was actually to fear God. Revival happens when judgement begins with the House of God.
I am convinced that the pastor and pastors who I mentioned lacked a fear of God (I have evidence of this in all cases besides the obvious evidence). When I hear these things I cry out "how could they not have feared the Lord?" When I sin, I cry out and say "how is it that I do not fear the Lord enough to think I sin against Him and think it will go unpunished?"
We don't fear God because he is bad; we fear Him because he is GOOD and our flesh is evil. But with the fear of God in my heart I can cry out "who will rescue me from this body of sin and death" and as I watch my deliver in action I say "thanks be to God through Jesus Christ my Lord!"
I believe many Christians have a fear of God but they feel guilty about it because pastors have tried to steer them away from it. But it is there and if we embrace it; it will lead us into wisdom, Godliness, blessings, and most importantly Knowledge of the Holy God.
I long for a Holy Church and therefore I long for the Fear of God to sweep this nation and the world for the Glory of God.
- Marvin Harrell, Kate Curry, Kevin Blankenship and 7 others like this