Monday, March 16, 2009

The Tragic Scandal of Greasy Grace

It has been all over the internet that Todd Bentley, leader of last year's Lakeland Renewal, has divorced his wife and married the ministry intern he had an affair with. J. Lee Grady at Charisma Magazine wrote what I consider to be important comments on this situation and the way it has been handled in an article entitled The Tragic Scandal of Greasy Grace. Here are some excerpts from his article.
...we charismatics still seem to have a habit of elevating gifting above character. It's almost as if the end justifies the means. (So what if a preacher ruins one marriage and makes a hasty decision to marry a younger woman—the important thing is that we get him back in the pulpit to heal the sick!) That is a perversion of biblical integrity. God can anoint any man or woman with the Holy Spirit's power; what He is looking for are vessels of honor that can carry that anointing with dignity, humility and purity....

...Many Christians today have rejected biblical discipline and adopted a sweet, spineless love that cannot correct. Our grace is greasy. No matter what an offending brother does, we stroke him and pet him and nurse his wounds while we ignore the people he wounded. No matter how heinous his sin, we offer comforting platitudes because, after all, who are we to judge?

...We have not mourned this travesty. We have not been shocked and appalled that such sin has been named among us. We act as if flippant divorce and remarriage are minor infractions—when in actuality they are such serious moral failures that they can bring disqualification.

If we truly love Todd Bentley, we will not clamor for his quick return to the pulpit. While we certainly want him to be fully restored to fellowship with God, we cannot rush the process of restoring a man to ministry. Leaders must live up to a higher standard. We must demand that those involved in Bentley's restoration not only love him but also love the church by protecting us from the kind of scandal we endured last year.

These are only excerpts so you should follow the link to read the whole thing. Both character and gifting are important qualifications for ministry, but if we do not learn that (a) character is the priority before ministry, and (b) Christian leaders should not be treated like celebrity rock stars, we will continue to see more travesties and tragedies like this.