Friday, August 29, 2008

When Christian Ministers Fall

As humans we are all fallible including those whose work is serving God. It is sad to hear news of Christian ministers stepping down from their work because of personal issues. It may need a lot of forgiveness if these people have taken a stand against the things that they have done. It may need even more forgiveness when we see that issues have been covered up for some time and that those close to them have either been complicit or naïve. But still they need our prayers more than ever. And let us pray that their behaviour doesn't shake the faith of others.

Recently we have heard rumours of revival in Florida linked to the ministry of Todd Bentley. After stepping down, it is now clear that Todd had a drink problem and an affair. He has now separated from his wife and at least some of the healings Todd claimed have failed to been verified by his associates. Also in the news, Australian youth leader and musician Michael Guglielmucci, whose song Healer appeared on a Hillsong album, has been exposed as faking his fight with cancer, perhaps hoping to claim a miracle in the future. These are just a couple of recent examples that I feel free to quote as they are so well known.

Just because the messenger is imperfect doesn’t necessarily invalidate their message. We need to go back to God to see how much we agree with what such people have taught and practiced. I have always been sceptical of the methods used in the recent ‘revival’ but I do believe that God heals today. If this revival does continue without Todd it may well give it more credibility. But let us not turn our back on what we have learnt from such people just because we hear about them behaving in ways we would not condone.

As reformer and martyr John Bradford once said, "There but by the grace of God go I."