Monday, March 21, 2016

FOR ALL THE "FIRE-BREATHERS" WHAT SPIRIT ARE YOU OF?

BROUGHT DOWN AND EXPOSED HUH?

In my article, "What God Through TRUE Repentance Can Do" I noted the following:
"Prior to 1988 Pastor/Evangelist Jimmy Lee Swaggart, known by millions simply as "Brother Swaggart" was preaching all over the country and traveling overseas conducting what we now call mega conferences. He was pastoring over 7,000 members at his church, Family Worship Center in Baton Rouge, LA. (then a part of the Assemblies Of God), bursting at the seams with a thriving Christian bible college, and receiving donations, from an estimated 8 million weekly American TV audience, (over 500 million viewers world wide) Donations were estimated to be in excess of $150,000,000 annually (that's over $500,000 per day). He was achieving all of this while preaching against sin in all forms from the White House to skid row."
What I did not mention in the article was that when Evangelist Jimmy Swaggart stated that Jim Bakker was a "cancer" in the Body Of Christ that needed to be "cut out", it wasn't long before Swaggart himself was caught with prostitutes not just once, but twice. This exposure led to a scene of repentance on a national TV broadcast that was so heavily broadcast that stations interrupted their regularly scheduled programs to televise Swaggart's repentance live.

Though Bakker went to jail for atrocities centering around financial mismanagement, he lived to repent and wrote a book called "I Was Wrong" and explained the sinful details of his own life. Currently, Bakker is thriving with a completely different ministry and approach, and still repairing the damage of his sins. 

Swaggart, having repented, is still moving on strong as well. His TV and radio networks are expanding and he has a new message singularly focused on redemption through the cross which is a good thing. He certainly preaches against sin and sinful activities and behaviors, but there is no vitriol in his messages.   

The point is, that Swaggart at one time was a "fire-breather" full of vitriol, calling down damnation upon all those which he had a disagreement with and those whom he saw as not fit to serve in the Kingdom Of Christ, had no or very little compassion in his willingness to call names and demand righteousness. He took it upon himself to be the gatekeeper of the church, and implored a standard based on his thoughts and not the thoughts of the word of God. 

"Fire-Breathers" Existed In Jesus Day  
When Jesus was not received by the Samaritans because of their prejudice and apparent disdain against them who worshiped in Jerusalem, James and John, the disciples of Jesus, became so righteously indignant that they asked Jesus to allow them to "command fire to come down from heaven" to destroy those who did not want Jesus. Luke records this incident as follows:
Luke 9:51-56 ~ 51-And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem, 52-And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him. 53-And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem. 54-And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did? 55-But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.  56-For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.
The problem was clear, even though James and John loved Jesus without a doubt, their method was about destroying first and seeking to save second. In other words, the thought was about killing, destroying and uprooting, with no sort of redemptive intent. In fact what they thought was the right spirit, because in their minds they felt that they were fighting for a good cause, was actually the wrong one! No matter the cause, their intent was WRONG and Jesus did not pretend that it was right under any circumstance.  

Telling The Truth & Desiring Evil. There Is A Difference

Now, I want those who read this blog to know that there is a difference between telling the truth and desiring evil to befall upon someone. There is a difference between searching for information, looking for dirt, wanting to expose someone when something is found and telling the truth seeking for those to change from a life of sin, evil and wrong acts and or actions. Although some get it confused, the latter has everything to do with warning the Body Of Christ and creating opportunities to call people to repentance and improve systems such as church systems and functions, while the former only seeks to bring people down and make them like other sinners in the world.   

We should WARN people of false doctrine. 
We should CALL OUT those that embrace sin and seek to subvert the gospel.
We should THROW DOWN the doctrines that seduce believers into cult like activities 
We should FIGHT for TRUTH and solid moral and sound biblical values.
We should CRY LOUD and SHOW the people their transgressions

However, those of us who are saved, must also be careful to know that we are dealing with souls and situations in which we must be responsible with and for what is presented. 

The Doctrine Of The Carterites

The doctrine of the Carterites deals in what is "commonly reported". The problem is that what is "commonly reported" does NOT necessarily have any basis in truth. Common reports normally don't have a solid basis unless the report is founded in truth that is readily stood up for by those making the claim. 

A second part of this "doctrine" is the especially vitriolic nature by which adherents to this sort of approach claim to "benefit" the Body Of Christ. It is through a lens of hatred, disdain and desire for attention that this sort of doctrine and its chief promoters thrive. What is especially sad is that this sort of doctrine is filled with gossip, error, mis-directions and what are claimed to be take-downs of leaders, especially preachers, based on half- truths, whole lies and innuendos.

What is even worse, is that many of the people calling for "right" and "righteousness" among those they target are wrong themselves and need serious attention. 

In this generation there are homosexuals calling men to "accountability". Men, who have been party to what they readily admit is wrong, who denigrate others and character bash as if they had no part in supporting the wrong that they claim existed and even helped to create if they are to be believed...We have men and women, who embraced more than their fair share of immorality, formerly engaging multiple lovers, and other immoral acts over time, but are now now breathing fire, hatred and condemnation upon everyone else, when they are still trying to figure out if they can be saved from day to day. Then there are others who cuss, smoke and drink, claiming that God placed them on a "wall" to see the truth blaming everyone else for the ills and faults of the church...

WHAT???
Now, let me get this right...Like Jesus said, you've had 5 husbands and the one you have isn't yours? I mean all kinds of beams, logs, trees, and forests, even jungles in your eye, but yet you can see clearly to remove a "mote"?  While I readily admit that some of the situations that see are more than "motes", the fact is that some just got out of the bed of immorality, still smell like their last lover, claiming and blaming all of their problems on others, have no thought about repenting, but yet see evil in others and call the objects of their disdain every ungodly and immoral name under heaven...

The message to those who hold this Carterite doctrine (as Earl Carter has consistently done this and promoted such acts as a right approach) is that One need not denigrate another to tell the truth! Preaching against sin IS telling the truth. That is enough!

Some believe that the method which Earl Carter has used in smearing Bishop Charles E. Blake is the method whereby the church and leaders are to be corrected and they have created and built a whole theology and theological system around it, at least until they are caught in the snare of the method themselves. This "doctrine" hinges, not so much on truth, but on exposure, innuendo, and character denigration. If there was no character to denigrate, what would or could they say or do?  

I'd like to point out that people in error and sin can be some nice people. I believe that even false prophets can be "nice" and preachers of false doctrine can be "sweet people" as well. People can be wrong without having a character flaw or some evil conniving scheme to subvert the masses. 

To tell the truth there is no need to out of hand denigrate the character of the individual, or try to point to a character flaw in effort to get a point across. evil character speaks for itself!

Now, we readily admit that some are slick. The modus operandi of some snakes and wolves among the sheep should be discussed at length because they cover themselves up and mix in well. Their actions, deeds and words need to be examined in light of the truth of the word of God. I have done that on this blog and will continue to do so as those committed to deceiving the masses come forth with their slick tricks and wonders...

However, as I have watched people like Earl Carter, as wonderful of a preacher that I believe he could be, as he seduces individuals to believe that he is fighting a "righteous fight" by focusing on one man, I have seen those that follow him take on his same characteristics of inconsistency, hatred and disdain. It is a "chosen few and not you" motif that has taken what could have been a good cause and tainted it to a nasty, ugly, and nearly laughable level of silliness that anyone with any sense of decorum is ashamed of. 

To The Point

Certainly, I hold Bishop Charles E Blake, the Presiding Bishop of the Church Of God In Christ and the General Board of Bishops in account for many various actions and moves of the church since he and they have been our leaders. Elder D. L. Foster and myself have both fought hard for reform in the Church Of God In Christ in many areas dealing with sexual abuse and clergy sexual misconduct and victims advocacy, which still needs much work within our church.  

Prior to our call for reforms on various levels in the church, (when Carter was still collecting money from some of the same people he now condemns), WE we placing our reputations on the line and doing the work of Christ by calling sin sin and doing the best we could to restore all men to Christ. 

We called the unrighteous, unrighteous and called them to repent of their sins. After some years, though some of the unrighteous still yet exists as it continues to do everywhere on this earth, we SAW and SEE some of the results of our efforts and continue to see our labor pay off in many forms today. While there remains significant work that this church must do in order to be the church that pleases God in these areas and more, we did not and will not denigrate the character of individuals to get the point across...

Yes, WE breathed FIRE...but WE DID NOT BECOME DRAGONS! We call names with information that we can thoroughly support.

COGIC Election Year

This year, we will host elections in the church for positions and leadership once again. We will see all kinds of stories leveled at nearly everyone like always...there will be folk claiming that Bishops have had babies, killed folk, run drugs and do all kinds of evil right under the nose of the Saints. We will hear from all the "fire-breathing dragons" that are out there that all leaders are part of a syndicate and that some have sent others to kill, steal, and harm...

While those of us, that know the truth, know that we have much to do within this church and that there is much preaching and teaching that need to be done, to expose and root out hypocrisy and lies, we are not willing to kill the character of men and women until such time as doing so is warranted and even in that, we seek not to engage in topics that do not help lead and guide others to paths of truth, distinguishing the difference between clean and unclean. 

For all you fire-breathers, remember, there is no need to become a dragon in the cause of righteousness. Before you allow your emotions and frustrations to take control, remember the words of Jesus and ask yourself are you in and of the right spirit in your cause? Yes, it may be tough...the pimps and tricks will expose themselves. However, make sure that you have something to bring them to if they change...that's the OBJECT of the effort!

Blessed! 

3 comments:

  1. Supt. Barnett,

    I usually enjoy your blog and wisdom on a variety of matters, but this one struck a nerve in me. Let me say that I am a saved, holy ghost filled believer, that has been transformed by the message of the Cross, that Bro. Swaggart teaches. It's not a new revelation but one that was given to apostle Paul, when he was struggling to live the Christian life in Romans 7. In Romans 8, the Lord had given him the solution in overcoming sin--through the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. The same faith it takes to get saved, is the same faith in Christ and the cross that we must have to live this saved life. There's plenty of material on the subject; the Holy Bible being the main one. Bro. Swaggart doesn't need me to defend him and that's not my reason for writing.

    I don't agree with the way Earl Carter does things; nor do I agree with the way your Bishop Blake does things. Bishop Blake was the one who went to Youtube first to do to Earl Carter in public, what should have been handled in private. You may not have handled things the way Dr. Carter has, but you seem to want to belittle and demean HIS efforts after your name was mentioned. Also, the Bible tells us to look at the fruits in Matthew 7;18-20. As an educated and learned man as well as discerning, you'd have to admit that the bishop's fruit are to be questioned. Why would he have Carlton Pearson on the stage at the November convocation 2015? Why did Rick Warren give his birthday celebration speech? Why serve on the Council of Foreign Relations? Why does the church hold up COGIC and its hierarchy like a sacred cow?

    You may have guessed that I am a former COGIC member. Things that Earl Carter are bringing out are being reported to him. I need no report. I've witnessed things in my state that the national has done that left me sad, hurt and confused. I made up my mind then that I would no longer place my salvation-- my SOUL, in the hands of mere men. I'll listen and get my teaching from SONLIFE TV/JSM as long as like the Bereans, it can be proven true in the word of God. But my sincere prayer is that the laiety will allow the Lord to open their eyes, ask questions of their leaders, and not accept whatever is being fed to them. To you I ask that you look prayerfully and OBJECTIVELY at the items I've mentioned and keep on informing.

    Prayerfully,
    MS

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  2. MS,

    Few things I would like to say...first, THANK YOU for reading and responding. I hope at the end of the day what you read edifies you in your walk with Christ in some way. That is my objective. Secondly, I want to be clear, I LOVE Jimmy Swaggart and his ministry, even through the fall. Before all of that I was a follower of the ministry and was blessed in my youth. I am somewhat of a product of his boldness and willingness to obey God. However, with that said, I can only recount the truth. His failure was not isolated to sexual behavior. It was a breakdown of character. That character brought some self-exaltation and that thing came back to get him. Many don;t live to see the other side of that. He did and I believe he and his ministry is made better because of it. ooh yes, he still teaches holiness and personal integrity, but that "in your face" fire is not essential and not upfront and the message yet reaches and blesses even as you agree. So we are in concord on that, only I was examining a particular point.

    Secondly, I am not belittling Carter's efforts. I am rejecting his methods. I don't believe they are biblical. The Presiding Bishop can say what he wishes in whatever venue he wishes to say it. That is his authority and in his power to do so. COGIC is, as you know is a church Episcopal in nature of its leadership. We have rules governing how to bring whatever grievance against any and all leaders. I would AGREE that those rules and processes do not go far enough in holding some of our leaders accountable, but there is a process, when followed, that DOES allow anyone to bring formal charges under circumstances, issue statements, have a trial, and have the matter adjudicated.

    Carter has not followed that process to any degree. To simply upbraid him does nothing! Now look at this...I have worked under a union contract before. no matter what the boss does, me just getting mad and talking about him, his family and or his friends does NOTHING, but get me in more trouble and takes me further away from my objective, and that is to retain my job. The employer expects a DUE PROCESS and a procedure in which to file my grievance. COGIC has a grievance process if the Presiding Bishop is at fault.

    Under Section D, "Trial Of All Bishops" in the COGIC Black Manual or rules of order outline how things should be done and under what circumstances and it also outlines the potential punishments and how those punishments would be decided. None of those things have been done.

    Remember, Carter is not simply critiquing a procedural issue. He is taking an individual to task. This is a difference with a distinction. Carter should have presented his charges once he came into that light and followed due process of the church. he could still youtube about what his observations were, but that would demand that the accusations be heard by individual silent on the issues and would be a very orderly process whereby the Bishop could respond openly and clearly, because he would be made to respond, and Carter would be made to support his accusations.

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  3. So there is a process that carter should have followed and he should have restricted his efforts to that process, until that process was either rejected or taken away from him. He served the church for over 50 years. He had that RIGHT!!!

    Blake should be more careful and discerning about his contacts. I will agree. The UDHR was a bad idea, Gomes was certainly a bad idea, and the issues you mention display, potentially, a very liberal approach to leadership and ministry. That, I believe may be out of tune with the church in general. COGIC followers seem to like the appeal that Blake has, but not the methods he uses. Folk like the idea that he is "mainstream" in conversation.

    With that said, it is unreasonable to tell him he has to drop all associations with people such as Warren, Jakes, and other personalities. he has a right to have friends that he likes, just like you do! one cannot condemn him by the persons that like him or the persons who are there for him. To condemn him for drawing folk like Denzel Washington and Ervin Johnson is just plain ole stupid! I mean look at it, what should he tell those people, "stop coming to my church"...The church is not his for him to tell anyone to not attend,,,and what's more, if Carter had just ONE of these entertainers or someone following him and giving tithes, you would not hear a PEEP out of him.

    In fact I venture to say that ANY preacher receiving support from an entertainer, or that experienced exponential church growth as Blake has, would have no complaints against Blake. These folk, in my humble opinion, are upset because Blake is more successful, on appearance, than they are. Yep,...JEALOUSLY!!!!

    Now, my commentary seeks to do what it does. Hold Blake accountable for processes I believe can and should be improved in the church, and show that Carter could get much further by remembering that HE will be held accountable for his actions at the end of the day, and that no matter what they do, he will be held accountable for his actions. No matter what anyone else does, we are held accountable for what we do...and please keep this in mind as I do...

    James 1:20~ For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

    In our anger at process and people, as I too have been angry at some of what I have seen and heard, we are NOT working righteousness simply in our displeasure. If we do anything, we must do it right and to HIS glory.

    The sons of thunder were rebuked. They were in the wrong spirit, even if their intents were good. Carter and other critics should take note.

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