“Is God’s Word No Longer The Standard?”

Sent out by Moriel Ministries:

What do Ted Haggard, Todd Bentley, and Roberts Liardon all have in common?

  • All either compromised with false doctrine or preached it even before their public falls from grace.

As we have warned repeatedly, like morally discredited false teachers from Jim Bakker to Paul Cain and Bob Jones, when someone goes off doctrinally it is a symptom that they have gone off morally. And when someone goes off morally, it is almost inevitable they will also go off doctrinally.

  • All have an exposed history of homosexuality while claiming to oppose homosexuality.
  • All have constructed bogus doctrinal justifications for returning to the ministry.

Such tragic figures always employ the same arguments to justify their return to Christian leadership after publicly discrediting the body of Christ and openly dishonoring the name of Jesus. While I myself have no propensity towards homosexuality, I am not without my own proclivities and can only prayerfully trust Jesus to prevent me from transgressing in a manner no less serious and depraved. As Paul says, “Let he who thinks he stands take care lest he fall”. This consideration should be foremost in all of our minds when we observe the debauchery and hypocrisy of men like Bentley, Haggard, and Liardon.

However, God’s standard remains fixed. In the New Testament, someone cannot be in ministry unless they have a good name with those outside of the church where the world cannot bring a discrediting indictment against them. [1] We are warned specifically that those being in ministry whose witness and testimony to the unsaved world is not good that for such men to remain or return to ministry, or to be in ministry at all, is a snare of the devil that will trap them, according to Paul, and that they will fall into reproach. Yet, we repeatedly see the likes of Haggard, Bentley, and Liardon throwing themselves into that trap when in fact they can never have a good reputation with those outside of the church.

In order to justify their rejection of plain teaching of the New Testament, such villains characteristically misinterpret a narrative of the Old Testament where God forgave David for his sin with Bathsheba. An exegetically distorted misinterpretation of the Old Testament can never negate the unambiguous instruction found in the New Testament.

In fact, David was never a member of the clergy. He was not an Aaronic priest and held no Levitical office. He rather had a political office and was from the tribe of Judah, not Levi. It is a false comparison, to say the least, to say that a political figure being restored to leadership in the Old Testament has an equivalency with a member of the clergy being restored to ministry in the New Testament. Moreover, such an argument becomes doubly erroneous by virtue of the fact that David was never restored to leadership because he was never removed from leadership to begin with. The entire argument is absurd.

Yet, it is on this exegetically hollow basis and the abject false conclusion derived from it that Colin Dye of the Elim Movement in the UK brings money preacher Roberts Liardon into the ministry at Kensington Temple in London. One can only wonder if the Word of God has any place or meaning to the Elim Movement of Britain and New Zealand whatsoever.

After abandoning his wife and three children and running off with another woman who he has since married in a scenario that Jesus described as “an adulterous marriage” in the Sermon on the Mount, Rick Joyner has sought to rehabilitate criminally convicted homosexual pedophile Todd Bentley back into the ministry along with the woman he ran off with who is now preaching prophetic dreams of dancing elephants and communication with the dead.

If Joyner’s actions do not constitute a de facto endorsement of religious whoredom and a sanction of necromancy, it is difficult to imagine what does. Meanwhile, Bentley’s three children languish at home in Canada with his biblically rightful wife while Joyner shamefully applauds the spectacle.

Now Ted Haggard is making his play for an auto-rehabilitation. He and his wife are cashing in on his history of scandal with a book that has seen his wife appearing on the TV talk show circuit speaking to unsaved television talk show personalities as the world witnesses the church’s humiliation upon further humiliation.

His wife’s book is the prelude to his strategy for coming back into the ministry after it was revealed that the former President of the National Association of Evangelicals, who was already consorting with doctrinally off-base figures, was involved with paying male prostitutes for unnatural sex and taking dangerous intoxicating drugs recreationally. And then lied through his teeth about it to his church. All of a sudden, he is supposedly “restored”.

We have seen the same reprehensible pattern with drunken pervert Paul Cain and sexual predator Bob Jones of the Kansas City false prophets and, not least of all, Jim Bakker.

No one suggests that a fallen brother or sister who truly repents cannot be forgiven and restored to fellowship, but once they no longer can have a good name or reputation with those outside of the church, 1 Timothy teaches clearly that they can no longer be restored to ministry or leadership.

Indeed, the book of Proverbs teaches plainly that “a good name” is to be desired above all else. And these pathetic individuals have given themselves a bad name for which, apart from the devil, they can blame no one but their own selves.

If someone in such an unfortunate situation truly repented, they would accept the ramifications of their misdeeds, do all they could to make amends, and abide by the teachings of Scripture that prohibits them from being in further ministry or leadership. Instead they march headlong into what St. Paul call’s “Satan’s trap”. And in the eyes of the world bring further reproach to themselves, to the church, and to the name of Christ.

We are forced to conclude either that their repentance is therefore disingenuous and malmotivated or else they are so fundamentally ignorant of God’s Word that they should never have been in the ministry at all to begin with.

Christianity is a faith based on forgiveness. We can forgive, but we cannot expect the world to forget. Satan and the unsaved will always have adequate ammunition based on the past to use against them, against the church, and against the cause of Christ. For sure, not all of the corruption and hypocrisy has been sexually related, although most of it has involved this kind of immorality. Or in the cases of Haggard, Bentley, Liardon, and Paul Cain, even what they themselves admit is unnatural perversion.

The divorce and remarriage scandals of Paula White, Ray McCauley of South Africa, and Ray Bevin of South Wales and the financial shenanigans of Peter Popov, etc. are no less a public disgrace destroying any semblance of a good name or credibility. Yet, these also remain in the ministry, pretending it to be somehow acceptable to God when God in His Word says it is not.

The capacity of these people to delude themselves and others can only in some way be the product of a reprobate mind.

For three days running, the Los Angeles Times carried front-page stories alleging homosexuality by Paul Crouch of TBN. Crouch vociferously denied the charges, expecting the church and the public to believe that he paid $425,000 in and out-of-court legal settlement with a secrecy clause stipulating that the recipient remain silent about these charges of deviant sexual behavior in a wrongful dismissal suit.

The ultimate indictment however, is not of these malefactors themselves despite their hypocrisy, The indictment is rather of a church willing to tolerate it in abrogation of God’s own divine standards of holiness, sanctification, and qualification for the ministry.

The Scriptures decry a willingness by the church to compromise God’s standards as arrogance when the church fails to address such situations scripturally and remove such people. [2] Moreover, in no uncertain terms we are commanded to retain God’s standards. [3]

For if one comes and preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted, you bear this beautifully. (2 Cor.11:4)

Link notes:

  1. 1 Timothy 3:7
  2. 1 Corinthians 5:2
  3. 2 Timothy 1:13

28 comments on ““Is God’s Word No Longer The Standard?”

  1. Forgiveness and trust must never be confused. Just because I forgive a person does not mean that I trust them or should trust them. Just because God has forgiven a person does NOT mean that I owe them my trust. While people have no obligation to prove themselves forgiven, they do have an obligation to prove themselves trustworthy. All to often in churches, people extort trust from others by equating it with forgiveness. Forgiveness is a free gift. Trust must be earned over a period of years. When one reads the scriptural account of David and Saul, it is obvious that David held no malice against Saul. Yet it is just as obvious that he did not trust Saul. Pastors who confuse trust and forgiveness often turn their sheep over to wolves. It is a sad commentary on our contemporary Christian culture and, indeed, reflects the current state of doctrinal confusion within the church. Why do Timothy and Titus list requirements for those who minister in the church? Not to simply make sure they are forgiven, but to make sure they can be trusted.

    • Excellent post, George!

      Thank you so much for this article, PJ.

    • Well George, while I admire your strong stance, I pray that you never succumb to the temptations of life. But since you are a sinner saved by grace, I pray that you never fail in your moral walk in this life while carrying your cross.

      But, sadly, there are some, for whatever reason, fail in their walk, we’ve all failed in some capacity or another and it’s how we deal with our brother or sister is how the world will see us for who we are in Christ. Paul made a point to remind us that if a brother sins, we are to deal with that matter PRIVATELY.

      This does not mean we run to the church and reveal it to the world, are you insane? We keep private matters PRIVATE. There is a BIG difference between personal sin and public sins against the word.

      Let me explain; take two people or preachers, one is preaching a false gospel, leading many astray, while the other, sincere in his work, succumbs to the sins of the flesh and has had an affair.

      I believe Paul makes the case that the first is worst than the second in that the first is a corruption of the word itself, not only are they preaching a false gospel, they are sending many to hell under the guise of truth.

      The second is a failure of morals which, although is serious, we’re dealing with a persons private weakness and personal sin. This is why Paul stated to expose those who preach a FALSE gospel while something of a more personal private matter should be dealt with privately.

      This is the problem of the current church, they are tabloid sensationlized in of themselves that they desire to publicly announce to all the sins of a PRIVATE matter. This is unBiblical and wrong morally.

      The question that remains to be answered is can a pastor guilty of such sin be restored? While these scandals are serious enough to warrant the removal of a pastor from his office, I don’t think they’re serious enough, in and of themselves, to prohibit a pastor or elder from being restored to office.

      Restoration would depend on the second of the two things mentioned above: The disposition of the pastor. By disposition I am referring to whether or not the individual is truly repentant over his sin.

      Going back to Matthew 18, notice what Jesus says, “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother” (Matthew 18:15; cf. 2 Corinthians 2:5-11; 7:10-11).

      The goal of any rebuke is for the purpose of restoration, but restoration must only come after the guilty individual repents of his sin.

      As to how soon may a pastor caught in scandal can be restored, again, that would depend on the nature of the offense and the rules governing the individual church or denomination.

      In many denominations, there are rules governing what is called censure (everything from a formal rebuke to removal from office and all the way to ‘excommunication’) and restoration.

      The key to restoration is being truly repentant. Before any pastor who has been removed from his office can be restored to his former office, those in charge (the other ruling elders, etc.) must take every means possible to ensure his genuine repentance and protect the message of the gospel from further damage by this individual; and in some cases that might mean the pastor has to be re-ordained (or re-examined) before taking office again.

      In most cases, the individual must undergo personal examination to ensure as much as possible the true nature of his repentance. However, once the church has done the due diligence to ensure the fallen pastor is truly repentant and fit for office, he can (and should) be restored. The restoration of a pastor to office (or anybody in general) shows the watching world the amazing grace of God in action.

      If the world sees a true repentant believer restored and sees how the church goes, then we are in a much more better standing to reveal God’s love. I might also add that we can also see the RESTORATION and acceptance in the Prodigal son which Christ told about in his parable to the listeners of his day. Notice how the son rebukes his father, demands his inheritance, goes out into the world, goes against every teaching and moral stance his father would have condemned him for; in most cases, the modern church would mark that man off as a heretic, immoral heathen and have nothing to do with him. But, what happens in the second half of that same story Christ told? The young man came to his senses, he went back to his father THINKING that he would simply be a servant, think of that, the modern church would keep many as a servant, not thinking that God might have other plans. But what did the father do? He rejoiced, that his son, who was once dead, is now alive. So, did the father honor the young man’s wishes and allow him to be a servant, no!!! The father placed a ring on his finger, in jewish culture, a ring was a signifying type of a credit card, meaning that wherever that young man went, he had his fathers FULL authority and his blessing. No servant could say that. Then the Father’s next move was to place a robe on him, place sandels on his feet. Do you realize what just took place? His son was FULLY restored back to his original position because of his (the son) honest and true rgret and repentance.

      George, you declared that an affending brother, even if restored would never earn your trust, well, that’s not how we restore a true repentant brother or sister in the Lord. Does God, seeing a repentant heart, does he place his trust in that person again? Absolutely. Why should we be any less than our father? After all, we are to be like Christ in all areas of our life. Not just some, but all. If a person who has committed a MORAL failure, shows a true sign of repentance and honest desire to do right, we are to forgive and restore, end of story.

      So much hatred in the church right now, so much anger, so much discension. This bothers me on so many levels. But, we need to start once again showing the LOVE of Christ, and that means loving those who the world would destroy. We need to once again show the grace and mercy of God on our fallen brothers and sisters and give restoration a chance. After all George, you too were a wretched sinner beforre God showed his mercy on you and restored you in his kingdom of grace.

      C. L. Gregory

  2. I’m so happy to see the judgemental attitudes of the church rear their ugly heads when it comes to who qualifies for the ministry and who doesn’t.

    Peter was called of God, Peter denied Christ, left his calling, openly rebuked the savior by cursing his name and had decided to go back to his fishing trade. But he repented and found grace thru the resurrection of Christ who, restored his doubt and confusion. Should we do any less?

    Yes, it is a tragic thing when men of God fall, but to suggest, if they are TRULY repentant that they cannot return to their first calling. Says who? The gifts and CALLING of God are without repentance, meaning, we have a call on our lives, talents and certain traits which we carry till we depart this world, who are we to strip away what God has already established?

    I’m also not suggesting that God can’t raise another to take their place, Elijah declared that he was hunted by the king, that he and he alone remained, they had killed the prophets, yet God declared he had thousands of men who were hid who would not bow to Baal. So, God does in fact remain true.

    Look, if God waited until all of us were perfect, NONE of us would ever or could ever be used of God. I know men who have fallen and have been restored back into the ministry faithfully and have been successful and have been used mightily.

    Personally, the OP of this article used at least two terrible examples to justify his claims, that being Haggard and Bentley. I have no doubt that these men are and were and always have been heretics. I do not believe there has never been any good whatsoever in these men, especially Haggard, but Roberts obviously would or could be discussed in a more better light than being placed alongside with the other two nuts the writer mentioned.

    We must always remember, none of us know the mind of God, yes a preacher must be of good report, he or she must always strive to live holy, but if they fail, let God handle the matter, for it was God who called them and it will be God who will bring judgement. Sometimes we try to dictate the rules and regulations for those in office and it simply is a dangerous thing because that’s when pride, self righteousness and jealousy can rear their ugly heads wrapped in a cloth of virture. Paul also dealt with this matter as well. Let us also remember, had Paul been subject to the standard the OP declares in this article, then he himself should never had been used for Paul was a murderer, he led the greatest persecution of christians only to be outshadowed by Hitler in comparison. Yet, Paul found grace and mercy in the eyes of the Lord and became one of the greatest messengers of the Lord to the gentile world. Yet many in the church refused him and feared him, some doubted his conversion.

    As I said, if someone truly repents and they sincerely shows signs of repentance and correction, then they should be free, if God permits, to continue their first works over again. Who am I to challenge God?

    • C.L.

      Speaking from experience i will say this…

      When God places one in the position of pastor, teacher, deacon, etc. and that person falls into habitual sin which becomes public knowledge, even though they sincerely repent at some point, there is a price to pay. Not in the loss of their salvation [if they have sincerely repented] but in a loss, nevertheless.

      And please hear me–its a loss which the person who has went before God with a broken and contrite spirit, completely understands and accepts.

      Also, going back to a ministry position they held before they brought reproach upon Christ, is the last thing on their mind. They are just thankful to have been forgiven and to once more be in right standing with God.

      That is not what we see in todays fallen church leaders and/or preachers/teachers.

      Believe me when i say, ‘it takes one to know one’..

    • ———————————————————————————————————-
      I’m so happy to see the judgemental attitudes of the church rear their ugly heads when it comes to who qualifies for the ministry and who doesn’t.

      Your very statement reflects a judgmental attitude on your part. The church has a responsibility to judge these things and is derelict when she doesn’t.

      Peter was called of God, Peter denied Christ, left his calling, openly rebuked the savior by cursing his name and had decided to go back to his fishing trade. But he repented and found grace thru the resurrection of Christ who, restored his doubt and confusion. Should we do any less?

      I used to have a real problem with people who have sinned being in the ministry. I no longer have that problem. BUT, when people in the ministry “fall”, it takes more than just a claim of repentance for them to be restored. It takes outward evidence over an extended period of time that their lives ARE INDEED changed. Sadly, that is usually not the case, and the evidence of that is with people in ministry who fall over and over again and who minister under a shadow of ill repute. Usually their very ministry reeks of this filth as often have little compassion for the sins of those they dislike while accommodating the sins of those they identify with. This is what is referred to as selective morality. Serious sin requires serious repentance that is obvious to all observers. Peter’s sin of denying the Lord was trivial compared to much of what we see ministers getting away with in our day.

      The gifts and CALLING of God are without repentance, meaning, we have a call on our lives, talents and certain traits which we carry till we depart this world, who are we to strip away what God has already established?

      Thank you for defining the meaning of that passage from Romans 11.29. I never would have figured that out from the context and I would challenge anyone else to show me how it can be derived from the context. It is yet another poster child for the kind of cut and paste theology that is common in our day. Actually, Romans 11.29 regarding the “gifts and calling of God” is a reference to the place of Gentiles and Jews in the church of God. The point it is making is that just because God has now ushered the Gentiles into the church does not mean that he is finished with His chosen people. They too have a place in the church if they will receive their messiah. Thus Paul refers to the church as “the Israel of God” in Galatians 6:15 and 16. It has absolutely nothing to do with the gifts and calling of ministry. It was actually the Roman church that introduced this heresy of applying this scripture to the clergy. Prior to that time the clergy served at the pleasure of the church as was the apostolic tradition. Thus, when someone in the clergy fell, the validity of any repentance was judged by the church, namely by their apostolic superiors. They were not just aromatically restored to ministry as if nothing happened as is the fashion today. And if repentance was not forthcoming or was inadequate, they were forever stripped of their “gifts and calling” of ministry. The Roman church changed this practice before the reformation and the results are obvious considering the scandal one observes in that church.

      Look, if God waited until all of us were perfect, NONE of us would ever or could ever be used of God. I know men who have fallen and have been restored back into the ministry faithfully and have been successful and have been used mightily.

      Amen! So do I. But such is not always, and I would go so far as to say not usually the case. When it is the case, there is plenty of time to make sure that it is the case before we restore them to any sort of ministry. In the mean time, they have NO ministry. The church of God is way to important to entrust it into the hands of someone who MAY turn out OK. We need to be certain. This is exactly why the church of the New Testament had a structure of bishops and presbyters. The bishops were the general overseers who judged these matters, not individually, but in communion. As a result of the corruption of the Roman church and the reaction of the reformers, all of this apostolic church structure has been cast off and we are left with a choice between papal dictatorship or the me and Jesus approach of contemporary protestantism. The result is the spiritual chaos we are seeing in the church today. God established the church for a reason, and that reason was not just to be the audience in a religious circus, but rather to exercise authority and maintain order amongst the people of God. Unfortunately, in large part we have lost it.

    • The example you use of Peter’s failures is a poor one because until Christ arose, none of the apostles were truly born again nor did they have the Holy Spirit. They were Christ followers, yes…but the new birth had not taken place. When Jesus apeared to them after the Resurrection…that is when they were born again…He said to them at that time, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’. That wasn’t the Baptism of the Holy Spirit which came at Pentecost… but it was the apostles being born again..receiving new life in Christ. No one, not even the disciples could be born again until AFTER Jesus arose. So, yes, Pete failed and denied Jesus, but once he was born again and then filled with the Holy Spirit, he never again denied Christ and was a bold and strong follower right up to his death. So comparing Peter’s failure to these pastors today is absolutely absurd. And the same goes for your using Paul as an example. Yes, he was a murderer…BEFORE his Damascus Road vision of the Lord….BEFORE he was a Christian. Once he was saved, he NEVER turned his back on his Lord. Comparing the pre-salvation failures of Peter and Paul to these pastors who claimed to be saved and then openly/habitually sin and disgrace Christ… then think they can return to be pastors….. pure nonsense!

      No, God doesn’t wait until someone is perfect to use them. Of course not. We are all sinners. But when we are saved, seeking to follow Christ on a daily basis…we don’t become enslaved to habitual sin. If we do, then we are fallen from grace and need to repent. The standards for pastors are much higher. Certainly a pastor can be forgiven and returned to right fellowship…but not return to preaching. God can use them somewhere else…but NOT in the pulpit. We are talking gross sin which all of the men in this article are guilty of. That is not being ‘judgmental’, dear sir,…that is being Biblical.

    • This is why Paul stated to expose those who preach a FALSE gospel while something of a more personal private matter should be dealt with privately.

      When a well known public leader (and this is the key word, well known “public” leader) has been revealed to have been living in habitual sin, it is necessary that the church be made aware. This is not referring to a temporary slip or failure on their part–even though this is sin also, but to a leader who has been living a lie for possibly years.

      Consider those mentioned in the article–Bentley, Haggard, Cain, even Jimmy Swaggart (whom i still like, by the way). These men did not suddenly see the light and come before the church to ask for forgiveness…and because it was habitual sin, the chances they were repenting (before being revealed) are slim also.

      No, what happened was GOD HIMSELF, shone the light upon their lives, uncovering their sin publicly.

      And wisdom tells me this was after God tried reaching them through others going to them privately.

      The question that remains to be answered is can a pastor guilty of such sin be restored? While these scandals are serious enough to warrant the removal of a pastor from his office, I don’t think they’re serious enough, in and of themselves, to prohibit a pastor or elder from being restored to office.

      We will have to agree to disagree.

      Can a fallen pastor be restored to right standing before God–most certainly: just like any other fallen or backslidden Christian can. But i don’t agree they should be placed back into the position of leadership they once held. The two things are as different as apples and oranges.

      George, you declared that an affending brother, even if restored would never earn your trust, well, that’s not how we restore a true repentant brother or sister in the Lord.

      Actually what George said was,

      Forgiveness and trust must never be confused. Just because I forgive a person does not mean that I trust them or should trust them. Just because God has forgiven a person does NOT mean that I owe them my trust. While people have no obligation to prove themselves forgiven, they do have an obligation to prove themselves trustworthy.

      And he is right.

      We don’t earn love, neither do we earn forgiveness. If a fallen leader comes asking forgiveness we give it without hesitating. But that does not mean we foolishly (and automatically) place our trust in him/her again. Trust has been lost as well as respect–those must be earned back.

  3. Great blog and great comment by George. This topic of false indoctrination and preacher like Haggard have been a passion for me since the veil was lifted from my eyes about 5 years ago. I am now able to look at these men as the frauds they are and not with the blind trust we are so encouraged to give. These folks have taken God’s word and destroyed it’s street cred. They have distorted it for those of us left struggling to hold onto our faith. The true enemies of Christianity can be found in the very houses and in the very sermons that proclaim to preach it.

  4. Well said, George! That is a freeing word.

    Along with the well-knowns as aforementioned, there have been (and still are) countless situations where the sheep have been bludgeoned into submission out of manipulative fear and control by false shepherds.

    What you are touching on here is a very real trauma experienced by many sincere Christians, and that is the experience of belonging to what can only be called a Christian “cult”. Granted, it does not have the obvious markings of everybody drinking red Kool-Aid, but the bondage to the system is just as palpable.

    This is where the understanding between forgiveness and trust comes in. As you said, we are not called to trust the untrustworthy, but only forgive them.


  5. quote;And when someone goes off morally, it is almost inevitable they will also go off doctrinally.

    If their doctrine is off they were morally defective to begin with.
    Rom 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offenses contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
    Rom 16:18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

  6. The function of a priest is very much like that of a pastor. Pastors are called shepherds. David was a shepherd. Therefore, David possessed the heart of a priest.

    At least that appears to be the logic that Todd has resorted to in his latest email – as I just read in an article by Rick Hiebert over at benedictionblogson.

    As I was reading Todd’s email I couldn’t help but think it was aimed at distracting anyone who may be on the verge of ‘seeing through’ his comparing himself with David in the context of restoration to public ministry.

    • What concerns me is, in almost every aspect of our culture, we allow others in all walks of life to be restored. Politicians, doctors, lawyers, teachers, and except in the most serious of cases, we allow them back in the profession that they were gifted in. But if a man falls, if a man or woman make a mistake, christians are the first to cast that first stone, bring the trial to public view and then ban them for life. I have seen good men make mistakes and then shunned by the church, unwilling to bring restoration back into their lives and unwilling to allow them, after a season of restoration, to allow them back into the place of leadership on the basis that they might offend again, as if we hold the judicial precidence over God’s elect.

      I’ve often said, if God revealed all of our “private sins” that we have carefully and quietly hidden away in the back of our minds, none of us would be allowed in the pulpit.

      If a man or woman truly shows signs of repentance, if they are willing to be restored and willing to take that tieme to show their willingness to sit for a season, then we have no cause to refuse what God has gifted in them to begin with. We must always remember, we did not call these men, God did and it is God who should have the final say, do you not agree? After all, he called them, he annointed them, so far be it from me to argue semantics.

    • Hi David, I don’t suppose for one moment Todd wrote that article himself. 🙂

      and C.L. you can’t possibly compare a professional person to a person who has received a call from God to go into the ministry and then knowingly grieves the Holy Spirit by his behaviour.

  7. This is good and it confirms what George very wisely said:


    It has always saddened me over the years as I’ve watched church leaders bring a reproach on the church of Jesus Christ. What’s shocking to me is how frequently Christian leaders sin grossly, then step back into leadership almost as soon as the publicity dies away.

    Some time ago I received a cassette tape that disturbed me greatly. It was a recording of the recommissioning service of a pastor who had made national news by confessing to an adulterous affair. After little more than a year of “counseling and rehabilitation,” this man was returning to public ministry with his church’s blessing.

    That is happening everywhere. Restoration teams—equipped with manuals to instruct the church on how to reinstate their fallen pastor—wait like tow-truck drivers on the side of the highway, anticipating the next leadership “accident”. Our church has received inquiries wondering if we have written guidelines or a workbook to help restore fallen pastors to leadership. Many no doubt expect that a church the size of ours would have a systematic rehabilitation program for sinning leaders.

    Gross sin among Christian leaders is a signal that something is seriously wrong with the church. But an even greater problem is the lowering of standards to accommodate a leader’s sin.

    That the church is so eager to bring these men back into leadership is a symptom of rottenness at the core.

    Some have claimed that a leader’s failure makes him more effective in shepherding fallen people. That is ludicrous. Should we drag the bottom of sin’s cesspool for the most heinous sinners to lead the church? Are they better able to understand the sinner? Certainly not! Our pattern for ministry is the sinless Son of God. The church is to be like Him and her leaders are to be our models of Christlikeness.

    We must recognize that leadership in the church cannot be regarded lightly. The foremost requirement of a church leader is that he be above reproach (1 Timothy 3:2, 10; Titus 1:7). That is a difficult prerequisite, and not everyone can meet it.

    There are some sins that irreparably shatter a man’s reputation and disqualify him from a ministry of leadership forever.

    Even Paul, man of God that he was, said he feared such a possibility. In 1 Corinthians 9:27 he says,

    “I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.”

    When referring to his body, Paul obviously had sexual immorality in view. In 1 Corinthians 6:18 he describes it as a sin against one’s own body—sexual sin is in its own category. Certainly it disqualifies a man from church leadership since he permanently forfeits a blameless reputation as a one-woman man (Proverbs 6:33; 1 Timothy 3:2).

    Where did we get the idea that a year’s leave of absence and some counseling can restore integrity to someone who has squandered his reputation and destroyed people’s trust? Certainly not from the Bible. Trust forfeited is not so easily regained. Once purity is sacrificed, the ability to lead by example is lost forever.

    What about forgiveness? Shouldn’t we be eager to restore our fallen brethren? To fellowship, yes. But not to leadership. It is not an act of love to return a disqualified man to public ministry; it is an act of disobedience.

    By all means we should be forgiving. But we cannot erase the consequences of sin. I am not advocating that we “shoot our wounded.” I’m simply saying that we shouldn’t rush them back to the front lines, and we should not put them in charge of other soldiers.

    The church should do everything possible to minister to those who have sinned and repented. But that does not include restoring the mantle of leadership to a man who has disqualified himself and forfeited the right to lead.

    Doing so is unbiblical and lowers the standard God has set.

    So why is the contemporary church so eager to be tolerant? I’m certain a major reason is the sin and unbelief that pervade the church. If casual Christians can lower the expectations on their leadership, they will be much more comfortable with their own sin. With lower moral standards, the church becomes more tolerant of sin and less tolerant of holiness. The “sinner-friendly” church is intolerable to God—that is a frightening condition.

    John MacArthur (link)

    • Pj, I actually agree with this idea. I guess where George and you sadly are not getting my point is, I’m not advocating the restoration back into office of one who habitually continues to sin morally. Actually, if someone makes a mistake and they truly are repentant and it’s a first time offence, then by all means, if that person has repented and shows a past track of solid works but who, in a moment of Bathsheba emotions does wrong, then, I believe he or she should be given the chance to be restored. It’s men and women who CONTINUE to do wrong, oops, I got caught with a hooker, okay, let’s work on that, oops, I got caught with a hooker again…hmmm, we’ll have to work on that, ooops, I got caught with a hooker once again. Well, sorry, I would pray they seek Christ and repent and find some solice in his mercy, but that person is a habitual liar, sinner and deceiver. Yes, we are to forgive 70×7, but I continue to reject that someone who keeps messing up should be held accountable.

      I’ll say it like this. I grew up a pentecostal, still am. I’m a pentecostal preacher who admired men like A.A. Allen and others such as Jack Coe, who, in themselves had personal issues, but God used them greatly, but sadly their private matters ended their lives much too soon. Now, I grew up listening and learning from one Jimmy Swaggart, as most pentecostals did. I actually saw him once in person, a great man of God who literally touched many lives. But, then the scandal hit. Now, the first time people were willing to restore him and you know what? God still used him, he sincerely seemed repentant, then he got caught once more, the glass house began to shatter and crumble. Then, he was caught the third time, although to be fair to Swaggart, the third woman lied and retracked her story so we don’t really know what was true or what was a lie, all the state police recods reveal is that the woman failed a lie detector and then recanted her story. But, Swaggart continued on like nothing ever happened. But look at their ministry today, yes, he has survived in some respects, he has done some good work, but as I stated once to someone I knew, there is something missing in his preaching and his singing. It’s called the annointing. I believe Swaggart made things right, it seems he did and I do have his Bible it’s a good Bible and opens up the word in a way I never saw it; but I believe as you said earlier, there is a price to be paid. I believe Swaggart has lost his annointing in many respects and I believe he is a lame duck preacher. Now, I do think his grandson has a spark of future talent, but what was once the most powerful ministry in the pentecostal faith is nothing more than a shell of its former self. He’s a perfect example of how we should view this idea of restoration for some, closure for others.

      C. L. Gregory

    • Pj, how does one restore a well known author such as the case as Liardon?? You have to understand, the standard restoration you and others are speaking of, doesn’t work when one isn’t a Pastor such as the case of Liardon. In his case, Liardon, he’s a writer, a well known author, so do you ask a writer to stop writing books? I think in Liardon’s case, it’s the consumer who would have to make that call.

      C. L. Gregory

  8. You have heard it was said,”do not commit adultery”.But I tell you anyone who looks at a women lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart……..that’s the boss’ personal instruction, so I think there are very very few men in the church who have not committed adultery through their lives as defined by Jesus, and not just the Mosaic law which has no power over us anyway,for we are cut off by the Law but have access to the Father by grace, because we believe and obeyed Jesus as we ate and drank His flesh and blood (Lev17:10).King David murdered,lied and committed adultery,and did not lose his head as demanded by the law of Moses..King Saul for sparing the Amelakites, lost his crown…go figure.

    These mega star ministries can bring such disgrace and distress, because the real plan for the church was never about megastars..but for everyone,doing the signs,wonders and miracles,any day any where they are testifying of Jesus and preaching the gospel to all creation,creatures and mankind, as they were sent out in pairs in the pattern the Lord showed us.

    If everyone in your local church was fully exercising their gifting because they were being discipled and not just turning up for a few hours for fellowship and a good time like you go to a pub or bar to meet a few friends for a good time,these ‘megas’ would not exist for us now.So, they are as much a product of their own weaknesses and our failure to listen to Jesus and obey Him in our own backyards.

    There is a reason for these mega-s’ turning up and being exposed…and it all has to do with the raising of the One who is already condemned, the False Prophet..the Antichrist who will breathe life into the image of the Beast, so scriptures can be fulfilled and Jesus finally arrive,as He promised 1900 years ago.Come,Lord Jesus ,come.Dr.Ed

  9. What Peter did in denying he knew the Lord, he did BEFORE Pentecost, before being filled with the Holy Spirit, before his CONVERSION, because Jesus said to him, “After you are converted. . .”
    Even so, Peter did sin after Pentecost in his hypocrisy before the Jewish disciples, for which Paul publicly challenged him.
    But neither Peter, nor David, made a HABIT of WILLFULL sin nor a defense of their sinful ways. So the old saw about “even the great Scriptural characters sinned so we can’t say anything about today’s reprobate men” us totally untenable.
    Saul, though anointed, lost the kingdom because of his sinful heart, and it was GOD who took it away from him! So this argument that the gifts and callings being irrevocable does not mean that one can always FUFILL his call or gift in godly fruitfulness. The call and gift can be misused and bent to some degree to evil.
    Sampson lost his power, because he lost his consecration, and with it arguably his God-intended purpose as deliverer, due to lasciviousness, lust, and rejecting godly counsel (in lusting after that infamous girl even against his parents’ wishes) which resulted in Israel’s enemy gaining a victory and in his own enslavement, humiliation, and blindness. Because Samson had some repentance eventually, he was granted some restoration of strength, and was able to bring down the enemy, but at the loss of himself also.
    What does Samson teach us about unbridled carnal desires in an “anointed” person, and the final outcome of such a one?

    Do any of these apologists for and defenders of Bentley et al offer an exegesis of the life of Samson???

    George is so right in saying, “The church has a responsibility to judge these things and is derelict when she doesn’t.”

    • Vicki, let me be clear so there is no room for doubt on where I stand on the issue of Todd Bentley and Haggard. I do NOT believe nor do I continue to believe that Todd is a true believer. I believe he is a false teacher, a false prophet and one who needs to be marked and avoided.

      I also believe the OP does a disservice in his original article by including Robert into the mix of these other two false teachers. Roberts is a writer by most counts, so, restoration in his case, unless he’s also a pastor, to which I am not familier with, would be fruitless as being a writer and an author is subject to consumer judgement and would be outside the restoration process, not meaning that he would not seek after restoration in his home church, he should and I believe he did from all accounts, but there is a BIG difference between what Roberts did and what Todd Bentley and Haggard CONTINUE to do and that is pervert the gospel. Do not count me as one of Todd’s associates, I’m far from it. But I do see a difference.
      C. L. Gregory

  10. Another thought: The gift and the call are given FOR the glory of the Lord TO the Church. They are not for a man’s self-fulfillment. It has always been our Father’s purpose that the men are given to the Church, not that the Church is to be given to these men! We have plenty of Scriptural instruction in how to recognize the true men from the false. The false have their own ambition to “be somebody” and promote themselves, they are uncrucified, they serve their ministerial ambitions, not Jesus and His glory. Thus they promote their “right” to “fulfill” their “ministry.” It is Jesus’ ministry! HE is building His Church; we receive only from Jesus, only where we recognize Jesus our Holy Bridegroom in men who are dead to themselves. They are in effect taking Jesus’ bride for themselves. Woe to them.

  11. Jan, no, I was not suggesting that a professional career equals to the calling of God. I was stating that even in the WORLD, they allow, in most cases, people to return to their profession after they have paid their debt to society in some form or fashion. So, if the world, who is evil and corrupt can allow those who have offended to return, how much more do you think we as Christians should restore those who have fully and completely showed signs of repentance in words and in action? I thought we are supposed to be the example and not the world??

    C. L. Gregory

    • Many ex-cons have a difficult time finding work after serving time in prison.
      In many states Felons cannot vote.
      Would you allow a convicted embezzler to work at a bank, or be hired for any position handling money?

      I think the real reasons some intensely dislike these ‘restored’ ministers are –
      A – They were CAUGHT in the sin they preached against (Hypocrisy)
      B – Unlike Jimmy Swaggert (who at least apologized) the public has seen posturing but little or no repentance…

  12. As the OP concerns Todd Bentley….

    Posted at youtube today by endtimesprophetic

  13. Greetings to you, C.L. Gregory. Thanks for being clear about your view of Bently. I do not even know who Roberts is nor how he allegedly fell, so i have no comment there.
    I’ll reread your posts more carefully and perhaps the Lord will show/teach me something through you. Thanks for being here and being part of the discussion.
    pj, I get so much out of your site by reading and being able to articulate responses, and being informed, challenged, corrected, and finding good links. I am grateful to you and to the serious, Biblically informed, kind, and humble spirit of most everyone who comments.

  14. As I stated above, trust is earned. I did NOT state that a fallen minister could not gain my trust. In fact, some have. But it came gradually over a period of years. Attempts to “shame” people into “loving” those who fall are nothing less than attempts to coerce people into accepting sin. We ARE all sinners. We ALL act out sin in our lives daily in ways that we do not even comprehend. BUT we do NOT all PRACTICE sin as a lifestyle. And that is the problem. There is a huge undercurrent amongst many in the clergy to “cover” sin. When a minister “falls”, it is because something got loose. Somebody was not able to be shamed into silence or bought off. So what we actually are seeing is just the tip of the iceberg. People are being hurt, lives are being destroyed, but we are supposed to just suck it up and express only the “love of Christ” while these wolves amongst the flock devour the sheep, and their fellow clergy spend their time and the Lord’s money doing damage control. Sorry, be I have seen this all to often and I reject it. This is not the work of the Lord, but the work of foul spirits in out midst. I find no need to accept it either. There are still morally clean ministers in our midst, you just have to look for them. That is where the real power of God is, in moral cleanness. The power one sees in the morally unclean is fake through and through. And they all defend each other and cover each other. I’ve been there before myself and am I ever glad I’m out. – George

    • George, I actually agree with your last post. I think my problem with this LOOOOOONG thread has been two things; Adding Robert Liardon into the mix and what or who qualifies for restoration BACK into office.

      First on Liardon, I think it was wrong on the OP’s part to place Robert Liardon alongside with the likes of Todd Bentley and Ted Haggard, why? Because, at least from my understanding, Liardon isn’t a pastor nor is he a preacher, unless I’m wrong on this, but from my understanding, the man is a best selling author. So, the restoration process for Liardon cannot be the same or attempt to be the same as for say a pastor. His profession is entirely a different world than say a Pastor or someone like Bentley.

      The other issue is, again, I agree with you and the OP to some extent, if a pastor or preacher is a FIRST time offender who fails morally in a moment of pride and ego and lust, then by all means, IF that person sincerely desires to return to office at some point, we should and desire to restore that brother or sister. I have a lot more patience for someone who, in one moment, made a mistake, although sin is never a mistake, but just got caught up in the moment. Listen, we all fail and I do not preach a sinless perfection among the body of Christ, that is impossible. You are correct, the church today just let’s everything fly, we’re too big to fail, but then, look at what is being preached in most large denominational churches today? A false gospel.
      I am just saying that if a person, after a season of being willing to sit down and rest and heal themselves and deal with the matter of sin, then, after a time, I have no problem with restoring that person back into office. After all, how many times have WE failed in our own lives? Yet no one knew what we might have done privately. Did you know that over 60% of christians are hooked on porn? Fact.
      Brother, if God revealed the times we all messed up PRIVATELY when no one was watching, we’d all be kicked out of the church. But, thank God for the cross and his willingness to use us even though we deserve much less. But it is those are habitual offenders who I do NOT believe that restoration should be granted, why? Because they refuse to stop whatever sin it is that they are doing, whether it be hookers or affairs or drugs, if they can’t handle the sin, then yeah, they need to step down and rethink their position.

      But it’s hard to force an author who is accountable to NO ONE but their publisher and consumers to bring restoration, it’s very hard.

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