Sunday, March 29, 2009

How not to be remembered

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.

1 comment:

Ike said...

I forgot where I copied this but thought it interesting. I agree with your the way!

Scott Sauls, pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian in NYC, told a story the other week that’s stuck with me.
A couple in a church lived together out of wedlock, and slept around on each other. They called their pastor and said, “We’d like to come in for some relationship counseling.”
The pastor prepared his speech. He was ready to read them the riot act about their immoral behavior. He was going to tell them how they are using one another without committing to each other, how they’re impure because they’re sleeping around. No wonder they had relationship problems.
They came in. The woman was dressed in a miniskirt, and sat down right in front of him. As soon as the couple looked away, the pastor’s eyes began to wander.
The pastor said later, “It was at that moment that I realized that there is not a dime’s difference between me and them.”
The more we get to know ourselves, the harder it is to look down on others. There’s not as much difference as we’d like to think. We need grace. We need the Gospel. We need Jesus.
The fact that Jesus has died for my sins creates a radically different kind of economy for Christians. It means we at least have a fighting chance to be honest with ourselves. Outisde of this Cross-centered economy=2 0you have religious and worldy positioning. Whether you position yourself religiously or irreligiously it all depends on where you find your specific idols.
The self-promoted spin and positioning humans naturally have stops at the Cross and with the Gospel of Christ. The battle has been won. Its time to fully let the Cross and the Gospel take hold of us and quit resisting and denying the words of Jesus when he said “It is finished”.
Praise Jesus! it is finished by what He did and not by what I can do!