Oops, I Don't Have Terminal Cancer (part 5)

Just in case you missed it, catch up on Parts 1, 2, 3, & 4 first.

This is a little late because I was out of town, got back, played catch up on a lot of stuff and now am back in the swing of things. Anyway, saw this video over on Victor’s blog & thought I’d share:

Here’s my thoughts for what they’re worth.

  1. It’s interesting that God has a way of working in people’s lives. I just read a cool quote over at Brad’s blog from Rick Warren (pastor of Saddleback Church). It goes like this:

    “God is more interested in your character than your comfort. He is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making it happy.”

    So true, so true. I believe that it’s Michael’s time now when God will develop his character. And it will be uncomfortable. But it will be the healthiest thing he’s ever experienced. It’s just too bad it took him to this point to be broken. Which leads into my next thought…
  2. I believe that situations like this are symptoms of a larger problem in our christian/church culture. A problem of accountability with leadership. We elevate people to such a high status and begin taking their words as gospel – as if any man was incapable of failing. These men and women begin to believe that they are special, that people owe them respect, honor, etc.Don’t get me wrong, I believe in honoring one another. I believe in respecting elders. I believe that people who spend their lives serving others should be called saints. But the Bible teaches that we are all saints, priests, and servants – those who call Christ Lord. And we are all imperfect, all capable of what Michael Gugglielmucci did or worse.What is missing? Where’s the breakdown?

    I believe it’s lack of real relationships, and lack of accountability.

    MG says that he was raised in a ‘Christian’ home, in the church and that the church so looked down on the sin of pornography that he was driven to create this fassaud to take the focus off. I believe this is a story that many of us could tell or hear over and over – if we were real. Christians are the worst at pointing fingers, at creating unattainable expectations, and at covering things up rather than dealing with them. When will we wake up? When will love conqure fear? Now I’m not making any excuses for this man, but imagine the situation he found himself in. In too deep and no way out.

    Next is the lack of accountability. This one really gets me going. I don’t know the situation in his church or personal life, but because of this very public scandal I do know that somewhere, accountability in his life & church broke down. Where were the people who had complete access to his life? How could he possibly get away with lying about having terminal cancer for 2 years… 2 years! Why didn’t an oversight team, accountability partner, wife, father, mother, demand to see doctors results? demand to go with him to an appointment, at least one.

    This again wreaks of the idea that just because he was a ‘pastor’, he was completely trustworthy, above reproach. Just because he wrote an amazing song, he had to be telling the truth. There’s got to be a place where the ‘buck stops’ and it can’t be with a single leader. That’s how people end up drinking kool aid, and trying to catch a comet.

    I’m not saying we distrust everyone. What I am saying is that we setup, to the best of our ability, a system that helps people be ABLE to be honest. And get them help BEFORE stuff like this happens. And we better start doing it quick, because I only see more and more of these types of situations on the horizon for church leaders in our high intestity, growth driven, personality driven modern church.

I’m really hoping that Anne Jackson’s book Mad Church Disease will be taking an honest look at some of these types of issues. Can’t wait to read it.

And for Michael. Let’s praise God that he will finally be free.

5 thoughts on “Oops, I Don't Have Terminal Cancer (part 5)

  1. Katie

    I agree with the lady before me…how terribly sad for his family. What a lonely situation he has created for himself.

  2. Jeff T.

    I thought many of the same things when I watched that video. I immediately thought of Paul’s letter to Timothy, where he describes the qualifying traits of elders and deacons in the church. It’s interesting that Paul encourages Timothy to examine the individual’s life AWAY from the pulpit – for example, how does he interact with his family? What is his relationship like with his kids? I think this part of evaluating leaders has been COMPLETELY IGNORED for decades in the Western church. How many people follow leaders, even though it’s a poorly kept secret that their marriage is a shambles or that they’re terrible parents who never spend time with their kids? I believe that if we’d look at leaders’ families and lives away from the pulpit, we’d see a lot less leaders elevated inappropriately…

    Jeff T.s last blog post..Killer Charlie Hall Track

  3. James McLean

    i am so glad this happened, because it is real.

    i think it is too soon for this guy to be brought out in the open and interviewed, he needs to stay out of the spotlight for awhile and deal with this thing.

    this was the quote that stood out to me “i’ve told too many people how they should live their lives”…all of us who say we are Christians have to work out the salvation that God has worked in. i have to preach and sing and teach to myself so that it can be real in me and then out of that flows a life inspired by Jesus that changes everything around me.

    at the end of it all, we don’t get a sensation or prosperity, we don’t get all knowledge or success. we get Jesus and that is enough.

    James McLeans last blog post..A Long Obedience in the Same Direction

  4. tiff

    Wow that is a heartbreaking story. I remember singing this in church and it meant a lot to me at the time. I just watched the song again and it still means a lot. The words ring true. Sidenote: I am so surprised at the coverage by CNN. I thought it was a good piece. Usually I hate CNN and think they are so biased.

    tiffs last blog post..Mother’s Day 2008

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