Posts Tagged ‘divorce’

You would think if Abraham came down from Mount Sinai fresh from a conversation with God these days, the chat would have been a skosh different, no?

Perhaps, the angel of the Lord would have mentioned the kerfuffle on MySpace, the mysteries of big-name religious figures refusing to follow like-minded folk on Twitter, the dangers of texting while driving and for the love of God (well, himself), why is Bristol Palin still on “Dancing With the Stars.”

Why people really join churchMost likely the first modern Commandment would have something to do with privacy rights on Facebook.

Well, meet Rev. Cedric Miller of New Jersey – a pastor who believes the forbidden fruit had a QWERTY keyboard and came with status updates.

A New Jersey pastor [of Living Word Christian Fellowship] is giving his married church leaders an ultimatum: delete Facebook or resign

…“One or the other spouse is on Facebook and reconnects with an old flame,” Miller said. “It’s even gone to the point where there have been inappropriate reconnections.”

It’s interesting what the leering media finds newsworthy. Somehow, someone heard about these conditions and decided to make this “a mountaintop experience.” And this thing has come across the globe like the buzz about a certain burning bush.

So, here’s the question: Is he right?

Yes, there are many people in this world that use Facebook to reconnect with folk from back in the day or to keep in touch with people today. However, for all those who like to corral contacts for their personal ego storehouse, there are many, many more that use this web portal for hook ups with those flames that have never been put out.

Answer: Yes.

Because as we have seen with serving the Kingdom, you have to err on the side of extreme caution because if you don’t, there is certain to be a snare with your name all over it.

Ask any megachurch pastor that have been in headlines lately. Sex, philandering, getting frisky… and why? Because they have power and they can.

This pastor doesn’t have the recognition, at least he didn’t at the time of the ultimatum, but he wanted his staff to serve the Lord wholeheartedly nonetheless. If you think Pastor Miller doesn’t have to go far for proof, you’re right:

The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers says 81 percent of its members have used or been faced with evidence plucked from Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and other social networking sites in divorce cases over the last five years.

About one in five adults uses Facebook for flirting, according to a 2008 report by the Pew Internet and American Life Project. And a do-it-yourself divorce site in the United Kingdom, Divorce-Online, reported late last year that the word “Facebook” was appearing in about one in five of the petitions it was handling.

Again, this site was made for online booty calls and many people, including My Fair Lady, use Facebook to speak with family across the country who are too lazy to write an e-mail and too distant to pick up a phone.

If I was in that ilk working at Living Word, I would be both offended and armed with a myriad of examples to tell this pastor what is up. However, if I was a person who hid my Facebook account from my spouse, sent clandestine status reports and was looking for that one sheep that got away, then good on the pastor for bringing this up.

Then again, it’s not guns that kill people… people kill people, right? So, it’s not Facebook that’s killing marriages… shady fools who should have never been engaged kill marriage. They just use Facebook quite a bit to do it.

A look inside of the Crystal Cathedral

File Chapter 11 and this is what a church probably looks like, from the inside out

News hailing from the Orange County Weekly and Reuters reports what we only knew was just a fleeting moment away: the nation’s first megachurch, the Crystal Cathedral, has filed Chapter 11.

Crystal Cathedral Ministries, founded by Dr. Robert Schuller, best known for its weekly “Hour of Power” television program that it claims has 20 million viewers, listed assets and debts of between $50 million and $100 million each, according to documents filed on Monday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Santa Ana, California. Its largest creditors include several U.S. television stations.

What began as a sticky family divorce is now a nasty separation of church and state. Pity.

This is a guy who created more than a trend; he established the genesis of the modern church – run like a business, looks like a corporation and “feels” like a church. Oh yeah, that one.

There is a microcosm forming here, only I wish more megachurch pastors would pay attention the tsunami it is creating. I’ve thought about it, and typed as much for years, but I will cite a source from the OC Weekly instead:

Maybe if Schuller had ditched the endless tours and paid more attention to his church, the Crystal Cathedral wouldn’t be in this situation today. Or maybe he understood that it’s Christ’s message that’s more important, not so much paying bills on time.

MEMO to the Elder Schuller: You know, if  you weren’t kicking your son out of the pulpit, making your church into an Amway convention, skipping town on your bills and deciding the only way to save the place is give those same tired motivational messages (instead of sticking to the power of the Gospel that got you there in the first place), perhaps you would still have a church.

However, there you are blaming the recession or whatever else sounds biblical in the face of a tragic decline in giving and church participation. Take it from all the talking heads on the national networks. These are the days of a persnickety shopper. If you don’t give them a reason to invest their money, they won’t.

Moral of the story? The secondary opportunities that come up as a result of your ministry are just that – secondary.

Tend to the greater vision at hand and all those other things will happen. Don’t worry about sheering out a TBN contract when you should have been tending to your flock. Oh, and your family.

Benny Hinn and Paula White red handed, literally

I love my pastor, but I ain't holding his hand!

Sounds so seedy, doesn’t it?

Both went to Rome for a Vatican getaway, allegedly at the Pontiff’s behest (yeah, like he needs her advice).

So when all of the sudden out of the catacombs arrives an ill-mannered paparazzi photographer and snapped the two during their Italian tryst shopping for a glove that fit for two, the evangelical world stopped on a dime.

Naturally, both “independently determined” this report was utter poppycock (although they repeated each others’ press release), and the news kept on coming. From blogs to mainstream Christian media, no one believed them and everyone doubted them.

Hinn is a husband scorned by an ex-wife who thinks her own miniskry is taking off and White… well, she thinks she is at a swap meet outside Compton most of the time anyway so we will just move on.

Indubitably, they both took a hit and considering both are in the news more for what they are not doing for the Gospel, I would say this could create a ripple in the financial blessings of both of their worlds. Something had to be done… and wouldn’t you know it?

Benny Hinn came forward in an exclusive with Charisma magazine. Well, kinda.

Evangelist Benny Hinn recently admitted at a crusade in Oakland, Calif., to having a “friendship” with fellow minister Paula White while he’s still married after a tabloid pictured them holding hands in Rome on July 13. But the well-known healing minister says the relationship is over.

Paula White and Benny Hinn still just friends

Yes, we're single and we like to mingle.

So, here’s a thought:

Brother Benny, what in the world do you call the “things” you have with fellow male ministers in the TBN circuit? Holy Ghost encounters?

No, you call them friendships, you dolt. You know, like the rest of the world.

You may roll with the Holy Ghost a lot more than most of us, but I’m fairly certain that doesn’t mean you are smarter than the rest of us.

Here’s a news flash – I’m married, and I have “friendships”. With women. [Cue scary music]. And guess what, I don’t fly them to Rome to buy Gucci, fool.

But just in case the Church wasn’t on to the rouse Captain Nehru was exhibiting, there’s more to this uh, “confession”:

“A friendship did develop,” Hinn said of White in Oakland on July 30. “Hear this: No immorality whatsoever. These people out there are making it sound like we had an affair. That’s a lie.”

Dude, your wife split and Paula left her man while he was sick and bankrupt. A classy catch she does not make, but meh? Whatever floats your coifed hairpiece… eh, hairdo.

So, you were friends, big deal. MEMO to Benny Hinn’s internal PR-ish department: I have friends and I don’t fly their narrow behinds to Rome and hold hands longingly. Friends don’t let friends get caught by the National Enquirer. Only “Hollywood lite” folks with too much time on their hands. Well, in this case… in their hands. (Thanks, I’m here until Tuesday.)

To wrap up the interview, we have the most real words Hinn echoed:

“I don’t care how strong you are,” Hinn added. “I don’t care if the anointing of God is mighty on you. Nobody wants to be alone. I don’t care who you are. I am a human being just like you.”

Yes, Brother Benny. Yes, you are. You stink like us. You mislead like us. You lie like a dog like us. And you did all of them with this report.
“Birds of a feather flock together” is an old adage for a reason. It’s been true for so many years. You know who marries cops? Lots of other cops. Lawyers? That’s right, attorneys and the occasional paralegals.

So, why is it so hard to believe that national televangelists would not find more than just “common ground” in each other’s company?
That’s understandable… still rather gross, but at least we get it.

Admit that and you gain respect. Admit to a harrowing “friendship” as if you are some eunuch with a slow pulse and people laugh at you even more. Surely, you must have asked the Holy Ghost that one.

Well, then again, maybe not.

It was only a matter of time… and that lasted all of a few hours before both Benny Hinn and Paula White denounced the National Enquirer story about those two practicing confidentiality in a confessional and brushing it off as “We just friends.”

Benny Hinn and faith healing

Would be cool if these were outside a Benny Hinn crusade though?

First, let’s take Brother Benny from his website. Wait… I’m sorry? You say he took the response down from his site? Oh, that’s a shame! It’s almost as if he wants us to forget how he dropped the monogrammed Nehru for an open-collared, silk button down freshly exposing his tuft of love and gold chains.

Come on, man! It’s the Internet:

The publication, which is known for its bias against religious figures, misleads readers regarding the ministerial friendship I have had with Paula White for over 20 years… Although I had not seen her for years, she was an encouragement to me and shared helpful advice out of her own painful experience. As a result, I will not deny that the friendship has strengthened, and, while it has remained morally pure at all times, I have enjoyed the company of someone who has also gone through the trauma of a painful and public divorce.

Let’s break this down the preacher-speak for the kids scoring at home:

  1. “The ministerial friendship.” So, let me just tell you that had it not been for TBN, I wouldn’t have dropped two bits of government cheese on her plate. Since she is in my ilk, I’ll let her hang with me.
  2. “While it has remained morally pure at all times.” She’s not my type. I likes my women chubby and really dumb (Exhibit A here). And Paula is nowhere close to being chubby (Exhibit B here).
  3. “The trauma of a painful and public divorce.” Let’s not let the smooth taste fool you, brother. Public, yes. She wanted it that way. Painful, not so much. She dumped Randy’s behind for life coaching. And while he was sick.

And for more from Brother Benny:

And so I am writing to tell you today that I forcefully, categorically, and absolutely renounce the lies that have been spread about me and want to set the record straight with you. There is nothing inappropriate or morally improper about my friendship with Paula White… Paula and I also recognize that being seen in such settings is unwise, and we have independently determined that we will have no further social relationship until such time as my divorce has concluded and only if we feel direction from the Lord to do so.

  1. “Forcefully, categorically and absolutely.” I love it when people put strong superlatives in a written statement, as if the oafs like me who read will put any different tense on the poppycock we are reading. “Oh, he said categorically. I guess I need to grit my teeth.”
  2. “Being seen in such settings is unwise.” You mean, in public, holding hands? Then yes, you’re right. That spirit of discernment is strong.
  3. “We have independently determined that we will have no further social relationship.” Don’t let the scrupulous masses who want more out of their preachers than shady Roman getaways get in your way. You are your own people as you can ‘independently determine’ to do anything. You know, like post statements of apoplexy on the same day, around the same hour. Tell me, do you make a sound when you back up that fast? BEEP. BEEP. BEEP.
See Paula White's defintion of marriage

I always tell women, "Till death do us... oh, nevermind!"

Now that we have discussed slapping someone’s weave, Sister Paula, what say you?

The National Enquirer released the misguided and untruthful article, which falsely characterized my friendship with Pastor Benny as being something that is morally and spiritually inappropriate. The article goes on to suggest that we were having an improper intimate relationship, which is categorically false… As someone who also endured a painful and public divorce, I was able to offer him insight and spiritual encouragement.

  1. “My friendship… intimate relationship.” If they ‘falsely characterized’ your friendship, then saying they ‘suggested an intimate relationship’ goes without saying. But hey, thanks for saying it anyway.
  2. “Painful and public divorce”. Hmmm… where have I have ‘independently determined’ that I heard that before?!

Next?

I publicly profess and forcefully renounce assertions that the recent trip to Italy to meet with Vatican officials suggests that the friendship is in any way improper or morally impure. We traveled independently to the region for respective ministry duties and, while there, spent time together along with others. We were never alone and were in the constant company of staff and other associates.

  1. “Publicly profess and forcefully renounce.” Seriously? Speak simple. You want to sound smart? How about “Brevity is the soul of wit”? A guy named Shakespeare said that. Just sayin’.
  2. “To meet with Vatican officials.” Um, Benny Hinn? I can believe that. In fact, I have no problem believing that. The dude holds global crusades everywhere! Paula White on the other hand? The lady who has a hard time debating a theologian about real biblical issues goes to the Vatican at the Pope’s behest?! Pat, I’d like to buy a clue please.

Anyone can lie about the Word of God. Anyone. To most who don’t read their Bible faithfully (and regretfully), the Scriptures become subjective. In fact, people have become so detached from the Bible that they live vicariously through faith… and through their pastor.

For them, anyone saying “Touch not mine anointed” will cause people to scurry. However, if you read the second part of that verse, “or cause my prophets any harm.”

Here’s the thing: We – the bloggers and journalists that expect way too much out of those manning a pulpit – are not causing them any harm. Their actions do it. Their mouths do it. Their “independent determinations” do it.

This blog was birthed on the premise of the Church needing to read the “writing on the wall.” And if you want more voices to echo that sentiment, may I introduce you to the “Another Brick in the Wall,” “The Acme Arena” and “WOW News” contributors.

There would not be sentinels screaming in the darkness if there were not shady people doing shady things in the name of God. May the ones full of light shine bright, dear Lord Jesus. And may the ones who are just shady stay in the dark. Too many people are hurting because of clandestine preachers who think they can get away with anything.

Those times need to stop. And if you don’t believe me, ask the cracked crew at the National Enquirer. Believe me, there are more of us than you think. How’s that for categorical weave slapping?

BREAKING NEWS 07/27: Benny and Paula respond via website to this story.

BREAKING NEWS 08/15: Benny Hinn admits to an elicit “friendship”?! Enjoy.

Once upon a time, there were two well-known preachers found anywhere on Christian TV.

The first, a rococo guy from out of town who had a flair for the garish and flamboyant in terms of preaching and healing. The second, a confused, opprobrious white girl twice-removed from a trailer park who perfected a panache for ministering to those she considered ‘like-minded’.

Both were married and enjoying making a living on the backs of Christians in need. Life was good. A lot of television. A skosh of megalomania. And egos the size of Solomon’s Temple.

They couldn’t be touched… until their reality check bounced and both were divorced.

He was stunned that this woman that he had grown to adore and tolerate would ever leave him and his Nehru suits. He was internationally regaled, the TBN poster boy and was constantly in the headlines thanks to swindling the IRS out of its cash. What’s not to love?

In fact, he was so perturbed that his betrothed of 30 years would hit the bricks that he made a public plea for understanding, which is so unlike him anyway.

Her story is a little different in that while she was plying her craft to women with “weaves, government cheese and jheri curls” (three words you can hear in any message she delivers), her Camelot was crumbling as the church was very much in debt, her son was following in mom’s footsteps offending intelligent black folk and her husband just didn’t get her act anymore.

Then, word comes out that she is gallivanting around the chitlin’ circuit with a man who truly understands her – Rick Hawkins.  This self-appointed ‘Bishop’ from San Antonio, Texas whoops and hollers just like her and just to a crowd that they are so not like.

They get each other. They find rest in each other. They dig each other… until … (the video is great):

Both preachers were wandering on TBN and Daystar aimlessly in need of a connection. Not the one they daftly exploit with Jesus Christ. No, I mean one of a worldly sense.

And now, reports are they found one… in each other’s arms. Yeech!

Thanks to the (are you ready) the National Enquirer, we find Benny Hinn and Paula White are rumored to be dating! What the what?!

Benny Hinn and Paula White having a love affair?

(Courtesy: National Enquirer)

Hurting. Jaded. And alone. These two dolts find a way to seek God while traipsing off to Rome and playing ‘laying on of hands ministry’?! Seriously? So says the gossip rag:

In a shocking revelation sure to rock millions in the Christian community Hinn,57, recently sneaked off to a romantic Roman holiday in the Eternal City – with another beautiful blonde evangelist!

Well, tap the brakes on the “beautiful” but I get the point.

It’s a proven fact that people in similar industries discover love only there. Be it police officers, lawyers or media types, the intermingling there goes well beyond the water cooler. And now, add to the mix fraudulent preachers?

Let’s keep it classy, gang. America is watching okay?

Now before you go off and tell your pastor of the smut I am extolling, I understand this is the same publication that prides itself on pictures of celeb bumps and stretch marks. However, it is also the sleazy publication that broke a few things you may regard as “news”.

The National Enquirer discovered that Rev. Jesse Jackson had an illegitimate child, that Rush Limbaugh had a painkiller addiction, and most recently that Tiger Woods was having an affair or two. And oh yeah, John Edwards and his love child? Yeah, they broke that too.

So, spare your world the drama of “Oooooo, God’s gonna get him” and stop to consider what if this is legitimate?

Is it so difficult to imagine that two ignominious messengers of God would feel that they are like a castoff from Survivor, banished from the island of all things televangelical, and have no one to preach at that would understand?

Surely, they would call each other and discuss how they are both being investigated for IRS fraud by the government and both have been dumped by their spouse. There’s a common bond there, no?

One thing leads to another and Paula places her “life coaching” on hold to fly around the world with Benny and his sexy coifed hairdo. She needs his attention being twice-scorned herself (and still recuperating from Pastor Handsy noted in the aforementioned video). Benny is an agape wound and Paula’s presence is the Hello Kitty band-aid he so desperately needs.

I’m getting misty just thinking about it.

And before you cast this off without a respected source, The Toronto Star is covering it as well.

Neither Hinn nor White could be reached for comment Friday.

That’s an attempt to uncover a source. As Another Brick on the Wall, Get Religion notes: “There’s a big difference in most people’s minds over ‘reports suggest’ and ‘the National Enquirer reports.'”

Yes, there is. So as many of my beloved colleaguessuggest” better than most, I’ll keep watching the Enquirer’s report until a more respected source follows suit.

Odds are they will be reporting to Benny and Paula “This Ain’t Your Day” again.