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Transparency in Ministry

March 30, 2008

One of the things that I value is transparency. I have done some amazingly stupid things in my life and I am always open about those things to the people who serve with me. When you have no skeletons in your closet, you cannot be held hostage by the evil one through fear of people finding out about your past. Because I do have a past and have had to live through the Lord’s discipline and restoration, I value people who respond correctly when they fall.

To me, the mark of maturity is not living a sinless life (though I do believe that is possible), but rather how you deal with things when you mess up or are accused of messing up. Over the years, I have watched a number of major ministers crash and burn. It has been highly instructive to see how they have dealt with the situation.

Jim Bakker

I will say up front that I was never a fan of Jim and Tammy Faye. As a matter of fact, the tourist trap my husband worked at had a pair of mules named Jim and Tammy. I found that vastly amusing.

When the whole PTL thing went down, I thought that Jim’s sentence was truly the justice of God in action. He had refused to repent and so was suffering at the hands of the world.

Then I read his book, I Was Wrong. It was one of the most complete and thorough pieces of repentance I have ever seen. He was honest about how he got into that mess, how he let the ministry take priority over his relationship with the Lord and how he had been seduced into preaching a false gospel and another Christ. I was blown away at his honesty and transparency. I was also forced to admit that I had misjudged PTL. Jim had a good intention that got swallowed up in the massive juggernaut that PTL became.

When Jim was able to travel following his release from prison, he traveled to many of the churches he had formerly preached prosperity in and repented to the congregations and warned them that the gospel he had preached was a false one. I don’t believe I have ever seen such thorough repentance on the part of any minister before. It actually made the papers in the South where I was living at the time how Jim had repented to a local congregation and warned them of the falseness of his previous preaching.

Bob Jones

I came across an article last night pertaining to Bob Jones, the Kansas City Prophet, dealing with the sin that he was caught up in back in the early ’90s and the restoration process.

The article, God’s Ultimate Plan, is by Rick Joyner and tells about his dealings with Bob during that time and after. Bob Jones asked Rick to share his story with the readers of Rick’s Prophetic Journal so that others could learn from his errors.

One of the things that happened that Joyner felt bad about is that Bob Jones called him repeatedly and asked him for help, but Rick blew him off. He didn’t think that someone with the level of anointing he had seen on Bob Jones could be overcome the way Bob really was. When he actually saw Bob, he realized how deeply in trouble Bob was, went and got Mahesh Chavda and they ministered to Bob.

Bob’s real issue was he allowed bitterness to come in to his life because he was being unjustly accused, and his main accuser was a man in an adulterous relationship at the time. He was upset that no one was defending him in this situation and the accuser’s sin was remaining hidden (the accuser eventually left his wife for the woman he was involved with and faxed his resignation to his church from Atlanta, if I remember correctly.) Bitterness defiles and opens all kinds of doors for evil in your life. It was no different for this man and he walked into sin. He didn’t fall. He walked right into it, much the same way Jim Bakker did. Bob did not commit adultery, but he was guilty of gross sexual misconduct. He was disciplined and underwent a restoration process.

What I found interesting was that he wanted people to know about what had happened and how it took hold in his life, so that others would not fall into the same trap.

Patricia King

Patricia was accused of teaching false doctrine. Her response was to stop teaching for a season and submit her entire life and teaching to a thorough audit. You can read all the documents concerning this audit here.

She didn’t just submit the teaching that was causing the controversy to a theologian for theological audit. She brought in teams to look at her personal life, her ministry, her ministry finances and lastly brought in recognized prophetic voices to examine her life prophetically and discern what the Lord was saying. Out of all this, there were no findings, but she did institute some additional processes to bring her ministry into an even higher level of accountability.

A New Day

Hopefully, we are seeing a new day of transparency in the body of Christ. We truly have nothing to hide and I am distrustful of anyone who is not willing to be open and transparent about their life, their ministry and their ministry finances.

Jesus came to destroy the works of the evil one. The works of the evil one thrive in darkness. We need to allow the Lord to shine His light into every area of our lives and be transparent for all to see. Jesus’ life and ministry was open for all to see, and we need to follow Him in this as in all else.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. reshma permalink
    April 19, 2008 2:52 am

    i luv patricia.

  2. JunglesWife permalink
    August 17, 2008 7:23 pm

    I completely agree with you concerning the importance of transparency.

    Thank you for the information about the ministries. Good to know.

  3. September 21, 2008 1:06 am

    I took the liberty to read Rick Joyner’s article linked to this site. I specfically wanted to know how Bob Jones’ sexual misconduct was handled. Rick Joyner is someone who has ministered to me greatly in his writings, but I must say…I was horrified by how he minimized such evil conduct by comparing Jones’ failures to Peter’s. At the root of clergy sexual abuse is a very depraved heart. Peter’s sin was fear of man and is not on the same level of evil as a minister using his power and reputation to sexually abuse women. The other comparisons to Isaiah and John the Baptist make no sense…these men were not in sin, but obedience. They were stumbling blocks due to obedience not depravity. I do hope that Bob Jones has been restored; nevertheless, I am concerned that sexual abuse is still not taken seriously enough in the church. I wonder what it is like for these women who have been abused to see Jones exalted. Also, the excuse in Joyner’s article that Jones had a bitter root that led to such behavior is a rather large stretch. I fail to see the connection. I pray that the victims know God’s justice, and that they know God hates what happened to them. Other ministries seem more concerned about not speaking negatively more than they do about justice and truth.

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