I was informed this morning of some interesting news. A mega-church pastor, probably one of the most recognizable figures in Christianity, had resigned, citing lack of trust in the bible, and having lost his faith in God.
The news link had the right wording and graphics. Several things went through my mind. First one was about the impact this news would have in Christianity as a whole, especially in the faith of many I know that use his books and messages as spiritual encouragement.
After processing the news for a bit, I did a Google search and found partial confirmation in a Baptist website: http://www.baptistboard.com/showthread.php?p=1968849among others.
A little more searching led me to the truth. It had been a hoax. Just like Daddy Yankee being gay. Or Eddie Murphy dying in a skiing accident.Or you getting a free IPAD. Hoaxes all.
This is what I learned:
1. Who is my faith in? My faith is not in Joel Osteen, Rick Warren, Alejandro Bullon, Mark Finley, or any other human. My faith is in God and His word. Many times we allow the cult of personality to overshadow our personal walk with God. My faith is not even in my faith. My faith is in God. God is not a grandpa, and while it’s easier to eat spiritual food that’s already been harvested, chewed, and even partially digested, it’s probably not good for you.
2. Why did it surprise me? The Bible, Spirit of prophecy and Christian history has enough examples of spiritual giants that fell like Goliath. Sometimes it’s a moral fall. Sometimes its pride. Sometimes is a messiah complex. Sometimes is doctrine. It has happened before, it will happen again. You should expect it, but it shouldn’t affect you.
3. The movement is bigger than any one individual. Christianity won’t die if Joel leaves. When are we going to understand that “it’s not about us”. We sometimes use testimonies of people to point others to the fact that faith works. What happens if those same people end up leaving? Did faith fail? Faith is solid enough on its own. It does not need my works to prop it up. I believe the bible, its teachings and its promises, primarily not because it saved Johnny and Susie, but because its truth saved me.
One last note. This episode taught me how vicious the attacks can be from other Christians, even from news that can’t be confirmed. But that is a topic for the next blog.
For now, I leave you with what my friend @pierrefrancois says in twitter today: “Check your bible. God just send you a text.” Let’s.