Friday, August 26, 2011
Mishel McCumber, a former insider at Jimmy Swaggart Ministries has come forward with what really goes on behind the scenes at JSM, and it's not a pretty picture. Certainly not a picture of a god-fearing man who is truly repentant of the scandalous affair of being involved with prostitutes, adultery and porn addiction a number of years ago.
Sex scandals seem to be becoming the new norm in the Christian Community. But with Jimmy Swaggart ministries, it would appear that there are other things being hidden behind closed doors.
(Click on the title above to read Mishel's story from her blog, "Deception Bytes"."
Unfortunately, the only difference between the spiritual abuse that's being alleged against the Jimmy Swaggart Ministries, and many small churches all over the country, is that it's happening on a large scale, affecting perhaps hundreds of employees, and multitudes of faithful but deluded Swaggart devotees.
I was a brand new "born again" Christian back then when the Jimmy Swaggart scandal broke and devastated the Christian community who'd held Swaggart in such high esteem, but I can still remember seeing Swaggart on TV bawling like a baby, confessing his sin and asking forgiveness to a public audience. We can't know personally the dialogue between him and the Father, but, it seemed to me at the time the guy looked sincerely repentant. But then, I didn't have much spiritual savvy and wisdom behind my belt back then either, so what did I know? I just figured that anyone who said they were a Christian...was a Christian. That was then and this is now however.
What baffled me then, was how could a sincere, blood bought Christian do the things he apparently got caught doing? Now, after some years of observing how things work in Christendom, I have a clearer picture. I've noticed that many Christians start off on fire for God, (first love), and then some where along the line, go haywire.
Obviously Swaggart went haywire big time. I believe a loving God makes a place for all Christians to repent when they mess up and fall into temptation, but what really troubles me is when they claim to be repentant, but then either don't....and/or, attempt to cover it up, which to me is a worse sin. That's not true repentance.
With Swaggart, it seems his so-called "ministry" was more important to him than God and living for Jesus Christ. Walking the walk, as I've found personally is a lot harder than just learning to "talk the talk". And in Swaggart's case, he was an expert at talking the talk. A master at it in fact. He knew the gospel, he knew- and apparently had a real experience with Jesus Christ at one time. But when he fell, he was right in the middle of still preaching publicly. This is spiritual abuse any way you shake it...and there is no "excusing it" and sweeping it under the carpet with the old "judge not" mantra.
I had a friend back then who told me that she'd looked up to Jimmy Swaggart so much as an exemplary Christian, that went he fell, she wondered if Jimmy Swaggart could "fall from grace", then how in the world could she, a lowly Christian woman ever make it?
I was a newbie during this period of time as I'd said, but my friend told me that she'd heard a "prophecy" about Jimmy Swaggart after his disgraceful fall that the LORD had said, he would go back into ministry, but it would never be to the extent and power that it was before.
I don't know whether that was a true word from the LORD or not, but the fact that Swaggart went back into the ministry at all, is sad, since apparently he has broken trust with God by spiritually abusing his employees, and deceiving his faithful supporters.
This is the issue I've been trying to drive home time and again to my friends and family, that this type of deception would NOT BE POSSIBLE, if Christians would seriously study the Word of God for themselves, and pray, pray, pray until they receive spiritual discernment well enough to detect frauds like Swaggart. I know it's possible to have this high level of discernment. It's available through God to walk in the Spirit with this discernment. We need it! The only weapon Satan has is deception.
And......"IF" Christians would learn to avoid the Nicolaitan error of putting men like Jimmy Swaggart on a pedestal, and seriously study the Word for themselves with the Holy Spirit as their teacher, then the Swaggart's of Christendom would be looking for another day job instead of deceiving and bilking "the faithful" out of millions upon millions of dollars. Not to mention disgracing the name of Christ, and being an embarrassment to God.
Well, apparently Swaggart is still in business, for the time being at least. I keep praying, believing, and looking forward to the day when "Judgment begins at the household of God". Or maybe it already has...we've seen ministry after ministry go down in recent years with one scandal after another being exposed. Unfortunately, many of these spiritual abusers and charlatans pick themselves up, wipe the dirt off their faces, do a little "counseling" and "restoration" and then get right back in the pulpit again. This, when they should be required to step down and STAY DOWN. I believe in forgiveness, but in cases like this, where it is so very serious, I think it should be a permanent deal breaker when a man who had the trust of so many people betrayed them.
I loved what Mishel prayed, (just below), that set her free from deception. What a difference it would make for all Christians sincerely seeking the truth if they would pray the same way. Then, these terrible abuses would NOT be possible because we'd all be able to spot the wolves in the sheepfold early on and avoid them at all costs!
"My journey out of deception began with a prayer, an innocuous prayer that hardly seemed life changing in its scope. In fact, at the time, it hardly seemed much of anything at all. “Dear Lord,” I prayed, “if I am believing any lies in my life, or am deceived in any areas of my Christian life and what I believe, can you show me? I want your Truth at all costs, even if knowing it destroys my entire world. Oh, and I mean it Lord, even if part of me doesn't and is scarred.” That was the prayer; the prayer that changed my world and set me free. In retrospect, it was a silly child-like prayer, but God honored it.
Did knowing the Truth destroy my world? Quite frankly, yes. However, at that point, my entire world was built on lies and illusion. What would the value have been in keeping that kind of world intact?Make no mistake about it. Truth will cost you."
I was moved to pray like Mishel did as well. We need never think we are above being deceived. That's a dangerous place to be spiritually and can open us up to much pain, and it's not God's will for us to suffer in that way. But..he does require that we discipline ourselves to study and pray so that we may know that precious truth that will set us free from error, bondage, sin, and the deception of spiritual abusers and extortionists.