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What is Moral Failure?

Posted by admin in August 7th, 2020 | 7 comments 
Published in obedience

This week Jerry Falwell, Jr., president of Liberty University, the largest Christian university in the world, posted a video on his Instagram account of friends and family partying on his yacht. (There’s so much wrong with that sentence). The party’s theme was taken from a most disturbing and depraved reality TV show, The Trailer Park Boys. The video shows Falwell, his wife, kids, and their friends boozing it up, all with cigarettes in their hands, scantly dressed, and one young man holding his crotch while giving the finger to the camera man. It was ghastly. And you have to wonder why on earth did Falwell post that video? Has he no moral compass at all?!?

 

Liberty University, started in the 1970s by pastor and televangelist Jerry Falwell, Sr., was once considered one of the most conservative campuses in the nation with strict regulations on everything from attire to extracurricular activities. Still today the student handbook lists a code of conduct that both students and faculty are required to sign and follow each year.

 

“Every student is asked to respect Liberty’s Statement of Doctrine and Purpose and should avoid any activity, on or off campus, which would contradict the university’s mission or purpose, compromise the testimony or reputation of the university, or disrupt Liberty’s Christian learning environment. All members of the Liberty University community areasked to affirm the following: We, the students, faculty and staff of Liberty University, have a responsibility to uphold the moral and ethical standards of this institution and personally confront those who do not. “

 

Liberty’s moral code prohibits drinking alcohol, use of any tobacco products, and immodest attire. In Jr.’s video, (you can see it here: https://player.vimeo.com/video/444300274 ) every code is broken—and boldly.

 

At a one-million-dollar-a-year salary, Falwell can afford a yacht and multiple homes. And if the Board of Directors approved that salary, then that is between them and God. But, US News and World Report has stated that Liberty University is ranked lowest in Christian universities academically nationwide, has the lowest paid university professors in its ranking, and does not allow tenure. When Falwell, Jr., was asked about faculty members’ low salaries and his excessively high salary, he replied, “Simple rules of business: spend less on outgoing and increase revenue.” Simple rules of business. No thought to the brothers and sisters in Christ who serve the university; no thought to the ranking of the university and how that reflects on Christianity. No thought to the business principles modeled by Falwell to all those students enrolled in their business program.

 

According to figures from 2018, the university reported spending $2,609 on instruction per full-time student, per year, across both traditional and online categories. That is a fraction of what non-profit private Christian universities spend in the United States. For example, Notre Dame’s equivalent figure is $27,400 per student, per year—10 times that of Liberty. It is also behind other hybrid online-traditional nonprofit religious colleges like Ohio Christian University, which spends about $5,000 per student, per year. In 2016, according to an audited financial statement, Liberty University received $749 million in tuition and fees, but spent only $260 million on instruction, academic support, and student services. Is that okay? Is that moral? The university’s motto is to make champions for Christ. Is that being a champion for Christ?

 

Jr. Falwell explains that Liberty University, “…is simply being shrewd about keeping costs down, while plowing revenue back into the university.” Falwell boasts that Liberty’s net assets are now nearing $3 billion for the non-profit entity; that’s up from $150 million in debt in 2007, when he took over as president. $3 billion in profits and assets and yet, the average full-time salary of a full professor at Liberty is less than $40,000 a year. Adjunct professors earn around $11 an hour. Add to that, their online program has the highest complaints of any other institution in the country, and Falwell’s explanation of that is because it’s the biggest. That’s kind of like saying, “I’m fat because I’m fat.” Not really an explanation nor a promise to do better.

 

Falwell can afford the mansions, the yacht, the jet, and make huge investments in Miami nightclubs, and gay-tolerant hostiles. After all, explains Falwell, “They’re just investments.” Falwell believes that if professors wanted to make money, they shouldn’t have gotten into teaching in the first place. Even though without those professors, Liberty University would cease to exist.

 

So, the big question, “Is that immoral?” Is a lavish lifestyle, investing in vice stock, use of alcohol, tobacco, and emulating decadence, (videoing it while on your yacht) – are those immoral choices? I personally think they are. And if you are leading a Christian university with a clear moral code, your conduct should be scrutinized. Leadership is leadership after all, and accountability is important as Falwell stands at the helm of an institution which describes itself as one that equips students to become “champions for Christ.”

 

In fact, their mission statement says, “Encourage a commitment to the Christian life, one of personal integrity, sensitivity to the needs of others, social responsibility and active communication of the Christian faith, and, as it is lived out, a life that leads people to Jesus Christ as the Lord of the universe and their own personal Savior.”

 

If the mission statement says this and the leader doesn’t embody these values, or at least live by them, then that leader has failed. And yes, that is moral failure. Moral defined as doing what is right in light of scripture.

 

Recently I was talking to a good friend about the fall of James MacDonald. He said, “It wasn’t moral failure.” I asked, “Do you mean sexual misconduct?” He nodded yes. Well, no. No one has accused James MacDonald of extramarital affairs. But are there other forms of moral failure? As a leader? As a pastor? As a Bible teacher? And I would say even as president of a Christian University?

 

Paul’s letter to Timothy gives clear instructions as to what a church leader should and shouldn’t do.  “The elder then must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, an able teacher, not a drunkard, not violent, but gentle, not contentious, free from the love of money” (I Timothy 3:2).

 

Church board members found MacDonald guilty of out-of-control anger, abuse of church funds for personal profit, inhospitable in that no one could ever disagree with MacDonald and get away with it (firing employees, kicking parents and students out of his school, recorded on a hot mic saying he’d plant child porn on his enemies’ computers, and would spread lies about a reporter having an affair to discredit her). He was seen by dozens of staff members stabbing pictures of his enemies (is that violent?), had a gambling problem that cost him thousands of dollars and consistently refused to disclose spending and receipts for non-church expenditures. This resulted in his church losing its standing with the ECFA.

 

In his “so called” message of repentance he blamed others, used preface phrases like “illegally taped” or “my intense passion was confused for anger” or my favorite, “I got things done and very successfully, but perhaps didn’t take others’ feeling into consideration.” That is not an apology. That is not repentance. He would not follow through with board recommended discipline and is now back in the pulpit with no time off for bad behavior.

 

Add to that MacDonald’s nearly $3 million dollar a year salary and compensation package, you’ve got to wonder how on earth the church was left with $40 million in debt. MacDonald left the church with a debt of $40 million. Did you say that twice? Yes, because I felt it bears repeating.

 

Basically, MacDonald was fired for displaying “inappropriate language, anger, and domineering behavior,” according to the post, signed by nine elders of the church. His firing came amid turmoil in the church, which had taken on a massive debt while expanding across northern Illinois, the Midwest, and into Florida. Adding to the debt, MacDonald charged personal expenses to the church – things like stuffing a bear he killed in Alaska and having it shipped to Chicago, as well as, new Harley Davidson motorcycles every two years—all a part of his pastoral expenses, supposedly.

 

MacDonald’s $1.9 million home (which is now in foreclosure) was abandoned by him and his wife.  MacDonald owes the bank over a million dollars on the home he purchased in 2016 and owes over $20,000 in interest alone. Is that a good witness?

 

Is that considered moral failure? Yes. Sexual sin is not the only sin. In fact, leaders are held to a much higher standard. Why are Christian leaders held to a higher standard? Well, because the Bible say they must be.

 

“…but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” —1 Timothy 4:12

 

“In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness.” —Titus 2:7

 

James 3:1, “Not many of you should become teachers my brothers and sisters, for you know that we [who are teachers] will be judged by a higher standard because we have assumed greater accountability and more condemnation if we teach incorrectly.”

 

In February of this year, MacDonald stepped back into the pulpit at his new church and has assumed the role of teaching pastor. His original church fired him in January, 2019.

 

Now MacDonald’s strong support of Mark Driscoll all makes sense.

 

Mark Driscoll (who is back in the pulpit, this time in Arizona) used church money to purchase mass quantities of his book to qualify it for the NYT’s best-seller list. Driscoll, who blamed Ted Haggard’s drug-induced, long-term homosexual affair on Haggard’s wife, “You know who I blame? You know who is really at fault in the Haggard scandal? His wife. She let herself go.” Driscoll used profane language from the pulpit, described his sexual relationship with his wife in a book, and was caught plagiarizing massive portions of his writings from others, without citation or reference. Mark Driscoll, does that count as moral failure? I think it does.

 

The list just keeps on growing and the Body of Christ is paying the price for exalting these celebrity preachers and letting them exploit their positions and get away with moral failure. From Bill Hybels, to John Ortberg, Calvary Chapel’s Bob Coy (25,000-member church in Florida), to Josh Harris who says, “I excommunicated myself.” We have a problem in this nation with celebrity preachers who are given too much power, too much money, too much praise. How did we get here?

 

Pete Evans, an investigator at the Dallas-based Trinity Foundation, has been tracking religious fraud for almost 30 years. He recently told The Christian Post that billions have been lost in church fraud annually just in the past ten years due to a lack of transparency and accountability. You’ve got charismatic personalities that are larger than life and they suck followers into their vortex. There is nothing biblical in how they preach, how they spend their money, or how they treat their congregations. I thank God, that even though it is heartbreaking and greatly discouraging, this stuff is being exposed and hidden sins are being revealed. But is that helpful when these guys just move to another church and start it all over again? It’s more than frustrating. It’s well, moral failure.

 

Billions of dollars given by hardworking, God-loving, eager-to-obey Christians to corrupt leaders who spend the money fraudulently – like MacDonald’s houses, Driscoll’s massive book purchases, Haggard’s blackmail payoffs, legal fees, hush money—what good could that money have done if used for the Kingdom? What lives could have been transformed and yes, even saved, had that money been used for good and not for evil?

 

Recently, an African pastor (immigrated from Nigeria) in Michigan asked me, “Why you got to be so negative?” Perhaps it seems like that, but I think his focus is wrong. The question really should be, “Why do celebrity pastors have to be so corrupt?” And moral failure is in simple terms sin—unrepented, unremorseful, requited sin. There’s a difference between being remorseful because you got caught and being remorseful because you broke God’s heart. Two very different things.

 

I think the day of mega churches and celebrity pastors is over, or at least should be. A friend asked me recently, “Are there any church leaders you admire or respect?” Yes. But they serve quietly, honestly, humbly, passionately, without mega church numbers and no best-selling books. They live powerful lives of service, preach the uncompromised Truth of God’s Word, and love their congregations. There are thousands in the land who have not bowed their knee to Baal. And I thank God for each and every one of them. Peace.

Standing in Your Bean Field: It’s Time to Do Battle

Posted by admin in July 25th, 2020 | 4 comments 
Published in Uncategorized

ELEAZAR was one of David’s mighty men of valor. This is the David who eventually became King of Israel, was harangued by Saul, killed Goliath, and was called the Apple of God’s Eye. The Bible says David had three mighty men of valor and Eleazar was one of them. Eleazar’s story is one of my favorites because he was very determined and he never let the odds play a role in his faith. He wasn’t moved by what he saw, but always trusted God to deliver.

Eleazar came from a small Hebrew village. He joined David’s army at a young age and was a terrific fighter. He was a warrior. You may know him because he’s one of the guys that crossed enemy lines to bring David a drink of water. Remember him? Well, he got military leave one fall weekend and headed home to see the family after being at war for three years. When he got to his village everyone was hiding in their huts, shaking with fear. Eleazar asked, “What’s going on here?” And the villagers trembled. It seemed that every harvest the Philistines had crossed over the hills on their horses, ransacked the village, took the […] Continue Reading…

“I’m Fearfully and Wonderfully Made,” Says the Transgender Pastor

Posted by admin in July 25th, 2020 | 1 comment 
Published in Uncategorized

Okay. You just can’t make this stuff up. On Sunday, June 14, a Cooperative Baptist Fellowship (CBF) pastor said in his virtual sermon, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made…” The Baptist pastor was announcing to his church (via zoom) that while in quarantine he’d transitioned from Pastor Justin to Pastor Junia. I guess he can say now he really is more fearfully made than wonderful.

Snarky question, “What did you do during the lockdown?” If it wasn’t so heartbreaking, it’d be funny. But the really terrible part is Pastor Justin didn’t give his elders and executive committee a “heads up”, so as everyone watched together on that virtual Sunday morning…BOOM…he tells them he’s transitioned into a gay woman. A what? A gay woman because he’s still attracted to women…not men.

And the even stranger news? The church elders called an emergency virtual meeting (‘cause you know, the virus) and the church voted on whether or not to keep Pastor Trans. The vote? 58 to 53 – meaning they almost didn’t give him the high-heeled boot. Only five votes stood between a reprobate pastor and his congregation. Five.

Good thing American Justin Joplin and his family (thaaat’s right – wife and kids) moved […] Continue Reading…

When A Pastor Orders His Church Not To Sing, The Rocks Will Cry Out

Posted by admin in July 13th, 2020 | 3 comments 
Published in Uncategorized

The text came in just after lunch on Sunday, “So…singing is now banned for one month at CCCS. Announced this morning.” I read it. Then I re-read it, still in disbelief. You see, we live in Kansas, not California. KANSAS. There’s no crazy gubernatorial mandate against singing; there’s no state recommendation to hold off singing for 30 days. We are under an “all masks everywhere” legislation, but no one said we couldn’t sing! We can gather wearing masks.

I write back, “This is hideous!” She replies, “Yep. It’s not even a law or a recommendation here in Kansas…but our pastor decided to do this on his own–voluntarily. Singing banned for 30 days. Grieved.” Grieved–that’s a good word for it.

Never, in my lifetime, have I seen such madness among Christians. It’s total insanity, and at its root is the eternal enemy of God. And how do I know that? Because there are two vitally important weapons Scripture tells us to use to battle principalities and powers set up to destroy God’s people: prayer and singing. Let me show you what I mean.

Praise and worship has always been an integral part of Christianity. It’s not only commanded by Scripture, it is a […] Continue Reading…

Pedophilia is the New Gray

Posted by admin in July 9th, 2020 | 2 comments 
Published in Uncategorized

June was a bad month for America as the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) voted on three major cases: job discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers, on a program protecting young undocumented immigrants known as DACA Dreamers, and finally against abortion restrictions put forth by the state of Louisiana. He’s always been a fence-sitter that Chief Justice Roberts, but nothing in his 15-year history on the court compares to the recent run of liberal and destructive votes as in these three major cases in June.

But one thing the recent SCOTUS votes have done is ferret out our deceptive and closet liberal  Russell Moore. Moore has been trying to covertly sell conservative Southern Baptists on the Fairness for All Act, passed back in 2019. It’s a long story, but the Fairness for All Act, at its root, is in clear opposition to the Religious Liberty Act which President Trump signed an executive order to uphold in January. What is the Fairness Act in a nutshell? Christian universities, ministries, churches, schools, and organizations cannot discriminate against LGBTQ+ new hires, employees, workers, or students. Moore, as the president of the ERLC (please don’t make me explain again what this is), has funded the Fairness Act and […] Continue Reading…

Being White Doesn’t Make Me Guilty of Racism by Dr. Daryl McCarthy

Posted by admin in June 27th, 2020 | 1 comment 
Published in Uncategorized

At the start of the Civil War, my great-great-grandfather Callahan Creighton McCarthy left his home in Missouri, which was a slave state. Callahan enlisted in the Kansas Sixth Cavalry. For four long and horrific years he fought as a Union soldier in battle after battle, defending the right for all to be free. He risked his life for the freedom of slaves.

I’m proud of my great-great-grandfather. I’m glad he did this. But I don’t get any credit for his brave actions 159 years ago. Those were his actions, not mine. That was his decision, not mine.

The converse is also true. If my great-great-grandfather Callahan McCarthy had fought for the Confederate Army—as 40,000 other men in Missouri did—it wouldn’t make me guilty. If he had fought for slavery, that wouldn’t make me, Daryl McCarthy, a racist, or an oppressor of Blacks.

I neither gain merit from the good deeds of my ancestors nor am I guilty for the sins of my ancestors. None of us are.

Ezekiel 18:20, “The person who sins is the one who will die. The child will not be punished for the parent’s sins, and the parent will not be punished for the child’s sins. Righteous people will […] Continue Reading…

The #BLM Myths and Truth About Racism in America by Dr. Daryl McCarthy

Posted by admin in June 27th, 2020 | 1 comment 
Published in Uncategorized

I know my friends and family members who rushed to endorse #blacklivesmatter and #blackouttuesday meant well. I think it’s perhaps their way of saying “We’re white, but we’re not racists.” But I have to ask them to please reconsider what they are actually endorsing. When it comes to #BLM and that entire movement, we must consider two very important things:

1). #blacklivesmatter is hypocritical; and more importantly, 2). #blacklivesmatter is actually a new radically insidious form of racism.

Let me explain.

First, #blacklivesmatter is hypocritical and is not really concerned about black lives at all. Here is how we know this:
• If #blacklivesmatter (BLM) really cared about Black lives, they would be protesting the thousands of murders of Black citizens each year by other Blacks. The leading cause of death among Black men in their 20s is assault by other African-Americans.

• If #blacklivesmatter really cared about Black lives, they would be crying out against the thousands of Black babies who are killed each year through abortion-on-demand. More Black babies are aborted per capita than any other racial group. (Remember, one of the primary goals of Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood’s founder, was to control the Black population’s numbers, because in her words, Blacks […] Continue Reading…

Politics and the Coronavirus

Posted by admin in May 13th, 2020 | 6 comments 
Published in Uncategorized

In 1976, Dr. M. F. Weiner wrote an article for the Journal of Medical Economics entitled “Don’t Waste a Crisis.” What Weiner meant by this is that a medical crisis can be used to improve aspects of personality, mental health, or lifestyle. For example, your patient suffers a mild heart attack, use the crisis to get him on a healthier diet and exercise plan. Don’t play it down; use it for his good. But nowadays, this expression is applied to economic and political exploitation of a crisis to promote or advance manipulative agendas.

DON’T WASTE A CRISIS!

I think this is happening in our nation, and our world, with the coronavirus. Please know, I don’t think this virus is manmade; I’m not sure how it was loosed onto the world stage, but one thing I can speak definitively about is how it is being manipulated by the press and leftist political agents.

Yesterday, I received a message from Lenexa City Council where I live. It stated that absentee ballot applications will be sent to every person in our county. The message read,

“All Johnson County, KS, voters to receive vote-by-mail applications. Concerns about gathering during the COVID-19 pandemic have led to an increased […] Continue Reading…

Stephen King or the KING of Kings? How Russell Moore Has Failed The Church Once Again

Posted by admin in April 29th, 2020 | 3 comments 
Published in Uncategorized

I like Twitter. I don’t post much on Twitter, but I do use it for a news source. A few days ago, one of my acquaintances on Twitter posted the latest from Russell Moore on my timeline with the question, “Have you seen this?” I hadn’t because I don’t follow Russell Moore on Twitter.

You remember Russell Moore, right? He’s the head of the ERLC, the Southern Baptist’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. This is an organization started by Southern Baptists to protect religious freedom back in the 1940s. Today it has morphed into a left-wing, anti-Trump, all-things-social-justice propaganda machine. I blame Russell Moore for the really big changes, but it’s all the powers that be that stand complacently by and watch a good thing go terribly wrong.

I’ll admit, I’ve done more than my fair share of complaining about Russell Moore. I’ve done podcasts and blogs describing and listing his extreme anti-biblical speeches and op-eds. After three years of Southern Baptist membership, my husband Daryl and I had to leave the denomination because we just couldn’t justify SBC’s required 3% giving from each member church. I couldn’t continue in good conscience to give a single dime to support the ERLC […] Continue Reading…

The Leftist Veer of JD Greear: Moral Insanity in the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC)

Posted by admin in March 10th, 2020 | 7 comments 
Published in Uncategorized

I can’t know what’s in a man’s heart. Only God can. But I can know a lot about a man by the words of his mouth, “A good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and an evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of,” (Luke 6:45).

I can also know a lot about a man by the fruit in his life – the causes he fights for, worldviews he promotes, and in the case of Christian leaders, sermons they preach, blogs they write, and events they participate in.

The Word tells us that we must be discerning. Colossians 2:8 says, “See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the elemental spiritual forces of this world rather than on Christ.”

We are to be discerners and we’re to test the spirits, especially of those in leadership who are preaching and writing in the name of Christianity. The Bible makes it very clear that those who call themselves teachers and preachers are to be held to even a higher […] Continue Reading…

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