Yeah, definitely. I’ve followed what’s he’s doing from afar these days, but he’s still trying to swindle people unfortunately. But that’s going to happen with anything from jobs, to religious institutes, to non-profits, and so on. Good things can get infiltrated by those seeking gain. Back in the day I held a grudge because it baffled me that someone who demanded perfection from me, felt he was somehow exempt. The truth was, I never heard the gospel, but my entire upbringing was 7 Steps to a Better Life, How Jesus Wants you to be Happy, or something along those lines that taught moralism. The whole premise was “come to Jesus and Don’t.” But what happens when you come to Jesus and keep doing?
I didn’t leave Christianity because of a pastor (some people have made that assumption). I left because of therapeutic, moralistic deism that was being taught. And a lot of times it’s still taught sadly. But when the Gospel got ahold of my heart, I realized just how broken my old pastor was, and then I realized both he and I were broken in different ways. While his was more external, mine had moved to internal pride that I wasn’t like him. Then one day I realized I was just like him. That was humbling. There’s a line from the song Provision by my favorite band, August Burns Red and it goes like this:
I’m just as much the problem as the man behind bars, he does with his business what I do in my heart.
Isn’t that the truth. We love to say we’re not like “those people” but we all think it in our hearts. Thanks for pointing out his need for grace. We all need it. And we all want to be loved in spite of our shortcomings. And that’s what the gospel does.