Archive for March 29, 2009

Bishop Earl Paulk:

A face only a jail... eh, mother could love.

A face only a jail... eh, mother could love.

Here’s the million-dollar question: What’s his legacy?

Is he a remarkable man whose ministry began at the age of 17 and spawned a megachurch amidst urban sprawl in Atlanta, seen by millions on TBN and attended by tens of thousands?

Or, is he an octogenarian debauchee whose reputation for getting handsy since the 60s (allegedly), has countless cases against for sexual harassment and allowed his son believe he was his nephew for more than 30 years?!

Either way, he’s notable, that’s for certain. But, is that a good thing?!

Don Paulk, a retired minister [and his brother, but more about that later] at the Cathedral, said he hoped people would remember Earl for his good works and forgive the scandals. “Preachers are just like anyone else — they’re a man,” he said.

Yes, “they are a man” [bad grammar alert, but hey, he’s a preacher so cut him some slack].

BUT… do they have to lie under oath about being an unscrupulous perv, practice “laying on of hands” to his choir leaders and see his megachurch attendance go from 12,000 to less than 1,000 in months as a result of your deceit?!

I can’t say I was ever a fan, but when you have a national ministry like his was, and an apparent anointing like he did, you should appreciate the mantle God placed upon him… despite the trophies of debauchery, aberration and prevarication he laid proudly on that joker.

That said, what does it say about a man who in a matter of mere months sold his church for $24 million, plead guilty for lying under oath – you know, as in laid a hand on the bible he was supposed to be so familiar – and then died practically alone, ridden with cancer, hand-in-hand with the brother whose son was actually his (yeah, I just can’t get past that part)?

As recently noted in CNN from Paulk’s real nephew:

“As most of you know, my family has been walking through a very long nightmare season in connection with things concerning him,” [said nephew, Bishop Jim] Swilley wrote in his blog post. “Please pray for some much needed healing and closure for us all.”

Prayers won’t do Paulk any good. And although I’m sure he’s hanging with Jesus right now, many people are thinking with their carnal hat and considering the other path for good ol’ Pauley Paulk.

Again, what does that say about his legacy? I once heard a pastor say, “Live as if the town gossip lives with you.”

That mentality creates accountability. And accountability breeds integrity. The thing of which it seems Earl lacked more than parishoners. The thing that should be never be said of anyone who goes by the title “Bishop”, much less “man of God.”

His legacy, you ask? Perhaps quoting a preacher with a little less more luggage than what the Beverly Hillbillies trotted over to the Hollywood Hills would be appropriate as an epitaph:

Our days are numbered. One of the primary goals in our lives should be to prepare for our last day. The legacy we leave is not just in our possessions, but in the quality of our lives. What preparations should we be making now? The greatest waste in all of our earth, which cannot be recycled or reclaimed, is our waste of the time that God has given us each day.

Rev. Dr. Billy Graham

Godspeed, Earl. Some say you will need it to outrun the demons who will be chasing you down.