Yesterday I received some really shocking and sad news. The pastor of a megachurch that my Mom attended for years suddenly resigned (or rather was fired). His name is Pastor Bob Coy from Fort Lauderdale Calvary Chapel, and I've sat several times in his church and listened to his sermons. My Mom spent 10 years at that church and my brother and his family go to one of the satellites that spun off from it.
Bob Coy was a man I highly respected. His testimony is astounding. He used to run a strip-club in Vegas before he got saved, but once the Lord pulled him from the mud, Bob knew he wanted to serve Him the rest of his days. So, he took his wife and moved to Florida without so much as a dime in his pocket. Nearly 30 years later he runs one of the largest churches in South Florida, boasting 20,000 congregants. He started a Christian School and has several ministries for the youth and tons of outreaches.
Yet. . .
The power went to his head. Instead of keeping himself humble and giving all glory to God for what God was doing, Bob gave into the lure of SELF and self-pleasure and the "It's all about me" culture that surrounds us. He started to believe his own press about what an awesome powerful guy he was.. a great man of God. And he fell. Admitting to an addiction to porn and several affairs (after having been caught) he has stepped down from his post.
This news upset me so much last night that I could hardly sleep. You see my husband and I have watched two of our pastors fall right her in our own home town. Two in the past 10 years. Both from pride. And I know of dozens more who have fallen.
So, I'm asking myself and God, why do these men of God, men who were once so in love with Jesus, men who wanted nothing but to serve Him, why do they fall so hard? Yes, I know they are attacked by the enemy.. perhaps more than the average Christian, but we all face temptations. We all have the power to command the enemy away in the name of Jesus.
Perhaps there is something wrong with our church culture that sets a single man on a pedestal above all others. Jesus himself said that ALL believers are equal in Him. We each have different gifts from the Holy Spirit....
For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another
discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another
the interpretation of tongues:
But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that
one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.
by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or
Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink
into one Spirit.
For the body is not one member, but many. 1 Corinthians12
Later on Paul talks about prophets, teachers and miracle workers. We each have a gift or gifts and we each have a role to play. But no one person is above any other. All gifts are to be used to glorify God and to help our fellow Christains.
Why then do we elevate certain positions above others and make them the head of the entire church? What person, man or woman, can resist that sort of power and prestige? Look at what it does to Hollywood stars? It ends up destroying them. A person would have to be extremely strong and fully rooted and grounded in God's love to resist this kind of head-trip. This is not how God envisioned the church.. with one man at the head and everyone else following like sheep. The church in Acts is nothing like this. Everyone participated in the service (which was normally held in someone's house). Everyone used their gifts to help each other. No one person had power over all and was almost worshiped as if he had a special relationship with God that no one else had.
It's dangerous. It's unhealthy. And it makes Christianity a spectator sport. Then when these men fall, we all sit around and wonder how that could have happened.
It just breaks my heart at how many people will now fall away from God or give up on Him completely because they put their faith in a man and not in God.
Perhaps it's time we put God back on the throne of church and let all of His disciples operate in their God-given gifts for the edification of the entire Body of Christ.