Ex-Megachurch Pastor Earl Paulk Dies in Atlanta Hospital
ATLANTA — An evangelical pastor whose leadership of an Atlanta-area megachurch ended in a sex scandal has died.
Atlanta Medical Center said Archbishop Earl Paulk, who was in his 80s, died early Sunday. The hospital could not release a cause of death. Paulk had been in bad health for the past couple of years after a battle with cancer.
A phone listing for Paulk's family could not immediately be found.
Paulk co-founded the Cathedral at Chapel Hill in Decatur and helped grow it to a peak membership of about 10,000 in the early 1990s.
A lawsuit by a female employee sparked a chain of events that ended in Paulk pleading guilty in January 2008 to lying under oath by denying affairs with other women.
A paternity test revealed Paulk was the father of his nephew, who is now leader of the church.
It is not my intention to speak ill of the dead but to point out how a Christian life is not to be lived.
Paulk was no stranger of being involved in sexually related scandals. Those scandals eventually led to the dismantling of his suburban Atlanta megachurch.
Compare Paulk to the Apolstle Paul who wrote in 2 Tim 4:6-8 (bolding mine); "For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing."
Paul wrote to young Timothy telling him in 1 Tim 6:11-13 to "But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses."
I believe, based on James 3:1, that the leaders of the church will receive a stricter judgment when they stand before the Lord.
How many people did Paulk become a stumbling block to?
How many people blasphemed the name of God because of the escapades of Paulk?
Pastors should be godly men who walk upright and justly before God and men. Paul gave good instructions for pastors in 1 Thess. 2:4-12 (bolding mine);
But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts. For neither at any time did we use flattering words, as you know, nor a cloak for covetousness—God is witness. Nor did we seek glory from men, either from you or from others, when we might have made demands as apostles of Christ. But we were gentle among you, just as a nursing mother cherishes her own children.
So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us. For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the gospel of God. You are witnesses, and God also, how devoutly and justly and blamelessly we behaved ourselves among you who believe; as you know how we exhorted, and comforted, and charged every one of you, as a father does his own children, that you would walk worthy of God who calls you into His own kingdom and glory.
Paulk has given us an example on how not to live and end our lives.
The Apostle Paul has given us, through his own godly living and through the words of the Holy Spirit, an example and an exhortation on how to live and finish a godly life.
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