Christianity, Anne Rice, Rick Warren, Paula White and Benny Hinn

I have somewhat followed Anne Rice's journey since her time of high fame, when her book, Interview with a Vampire became a movie. I liked the movie. She is a fascinating woman with a fascinating story. When she became a Christian I was even more intrigued, though I didn't read her books about Jesus. But I had a sad feeling that her son being gay would cause her to have issue with the church. When your a mom, and in her case, when you have already lost one child at a young age to disease, you naturally are more protective of your living child. The church is growing and learning how to treat gay people, but mostly, it doesn't do very well..yet. SO, I get her quitting Christianity recently because what she has seen demonstrated to her as Christianity has mostly not been like Jesus. I would note though that she said nothing about quitting Jesus or her relationship with him. I think this is just part of her journey. She's frustrated. I get that. I pray she sees the good more then the bad, and I also pray that she comes to see the church as a family, a messed up, human family, that is trying to love but fails as all humans do. A family that needs her to make the changes she wishes she saw in the family. I would encourage her to work for change rather then throwing her hands up in disgust. And again, I would ask her to be gracious where she sees weakness, and love her family even if she feels they don't love her. I pray the church works harder to see her point and do better.

Rick Warren recently tweeted "I challenge any church in America to match the spiritual maturity, godliness & commitment of any 500 members of Saddleback. At a glance that looks arrogant but I got it, I figured he was just really feeling blessed by his congregation and this was more of a "good job" to them then a dis of small churches. But I did know right away that he was gonna get flack for this. Sure enough, all hell broke lose on twitter. The Christians that joked about it got flack from the Christians that defend all preachers all the time. Some high profile church tweeters went at it and it wasn't good. I felt bad for Rick Warren, and I then tweeted "1 of my twits gets misinterpreted n 10 feathers get ruffle. 1 of Rick Warren's gets misinterpreted n 100,000 feathers ruffle. Dang."

And then there's people in this family like Paula White and Benny Hinn. All the good done by the body of Christ in the trenches, on the mission fields, feeding poor people, reaching out to people in the sex trade industry, showing the love of Jesus to addicts, gang bangers, etc, gets over shadowed by the antics of the high profile abusers of the name "Christan". This "affair" or whatever it is, is nothing compared to the twisted, manipulative garbage they spew on their TV programs, books and public appearances. I came through the Swaggart scandal, and since then I have seen over and over again what fame and money do to ministers. I hate it with a passion. I have little grace for this kinda of stuff, I feel like Anne Rice when I see this kind of crap. It's not surprising, and that is what is so sad. We are used to it now as Christians. And the world expects it.

Have we just resolved ourselves to being famous and wealthy as the goal for all big time ministers? Have we not seen over and over what this leads to? The world is watching and needs to see Jesus not indulgence. Why does every great preacher feel they need more and more air time, to be more and more visible? They say it's because they can reach more people for Christ, but I don't believe that is true. That arena turns you into the Benny Hinns and the Paula Whites. Personally I believe that if you make more one on one disciples, personally, each believer, that's how you reach the world for Christ. In the trenches, loving people. All that is accomplished by getting bigger and bigger venues of exposure is feeding the fame monster and when they fall from that very visible place they take double the people down with them and make winning people to Christ even harder for everyone else.  I think that is why the devil works so hard to convince preachers to pursue the fame monster so ferociously, he knows the destruction he can do with it.

I think people like Rick Warren and Billy Graham have been able to avoid the trap by not letting money, fame, power or exposure be their motivation or get them in a "I deserve this" frame of mind. Billy Graham kept his eyes on what he was called to do, preach. He lived modestly and still does. He also started Samaritan's Purse and Christianity Today Magazine. Through Samaritans Purse he is feeding, clothing and giving medical care to millions. What I really appreciate about Rick Warren is that he lives on %10 of his income and gives the rest away. That makes a powerful statement for Jesus. He puts his money where his mouth is. He helps orphans and AIDS victims on a mass scale and is very respected for it. He uses his funds to spread the love of Jesus not to buy more and more stuff.

I pray for Anne Rice, I pray she finds a nice little church family where she and her son will be loved and can grow closer to Jesus. I pray for all the Benny Hinns and Paula Whites of the world, that they repent and cry out to Jesus and let Him restore them. And I am thankful we as Christians get to do that. We became Christians because we repented, asked for forgiveness and Jesus filled us with his love. Until we die, we all get to cry out, repent and have Jesus forgive us. I've been Benny Hinn and Paula White, I've made Christ look bad to others, I'm sure people have looked at me and wanted nothing to do with Christianity.

Jesus help us Christians. We desperately need you. Grace to all.

Comments

Anonymous said…
I have read your Page very nice loving a lot of understanding so I just add this "find in the Bible these words" new Test."If not for my sake then for the very (Works) sake..! then you will understand Jesus will not do you wrong It's not in him..! That why He is the best one to go to even in knowing your God. an I am an outsider looking in. also Jesus took His Body with to Return..! how did I know that even I wonder..! I was lost he found me. It's "Great"