| Re: Jimmy Swaggart|
I am from south Louisiana and was attending Brother Swaggart's church from time to time in the late 80s before his fall.
I have many friends who have been blessed by his ministry over the years as well, and who have even attended school there.
There is a local radio station that carries Brother Swaggart's broadcasts every day now, and I have been very blessed to hear the difference in the focus of his preaching and teaching since he has returned to full-time ministry.
I have been a part of the Assemblies of God for many years, yet there are alot of things Brother Swaggart points out that are wrong with the Assemblies of God that I totally agree with.
There has been alot of focus in our denomination in recent years on signs and wonders, prosperity, and other things that are not central to the cross of Christ.
Brother Swaggart's current ministry focuses on the cross of Christ, and I think we all would do well to get back to the basics and focus on Christ again.
Having said that, however, I would agree with Greg that it was wrong for him not to submit to the authority of the church in accepting discipline years ago when he fell.
All they asked him to do was take a year off and get some counseling, and he wouldn't do it.
I don't doubt that he is back on track now, but yes, his testimony has been damaged. I think his testimony was damaged more by people seeing him not submit to church authority than anything else he could have done.
When all this was going on, Brother Swaggart's Youth Pastor at the time, Glen Berteau, was asked by the Assemblies of God if he wanted to remain with them or if he wanted to stay with Brother Swaggart and go independent.
His answer to this question impressed me very much. He said, "Independence?! That's what I was saved from!"
Brother Berteau chose to remain under the authority of his elders and was blessed because of it. I think we can all learn a lesson from this.
| 2003/8/5 18:17||Profile|
I do pray that brother Swaggart is indeed a repentant man. The fact that he made such a public display of his repentance in front of millions of viewers and then was discovered driving around with a prostitute in his car only three weeks later disturbs me. It seems that he is a pretty good actor, at least at that time. I agree with Taka that he should have been submissive to those in leadership over him. His independency showed a lack of a subject spirit and a man who always wants control. Just because someone can get on stage and preach a good sermon does not mean he is "anointed". In the early church they had a similar problem with preachers who in actuality were nothing more than "professional" public speakers. They know the right words to say and can even bring an audience to tears but that does not make them "anointed" or even men of God. I have no doubt that God can use anyone to reach people and often does despite the vessel.
I have a story similar to Taka's story about Glen Berteau. It's about one of the most spiritual men of the last 100 years....T. Austin Sparks. In the 50s brother Sparks was accused by a Chinese brother named Witness Lee of having the pre-eminence like Diotrophes in his church at Honor Oak. Brother Sparks had been the pastor at this church for about 30 years and was greatly loved by all and had a successful ministry even outside of Honor Oak Christian Fellowship. Lee stirred up so much controversy over the matter that brother Sparks was asked by the elders in the fellowship to step down. He humbly submitted to his local brethren believing that the Lord was ultimately behind all things. The ones who lost out were the brethren at Honor Oak. Brother Sparks was now freer to pursue the Lord's work in other avenues. He traveled quite extensively over the next 20 years until his death in 71. He accomplished 10 times more in that last 20 years of service than he had the first 30! God honors humility and subjection.
| 2003/8/5 20:07|
As a former, AVID, follower of the Swaggert ministry, it became very obvious to me about 6 months before he was exposed that something was wrong. His writings were getting to be very biting and his overall approach to ministry was getting high and mighty. I remember telling someone on the phone after receiving one of my last copies of the treasured "Evangelist" that something was wrong and we needed to be a bit more careful.
Most of us that followed his ministry very closely, watched him confess his sin to see what he was going to do. You honor him for confessing.
Quote: He didn't do this willingly. HE WAS CAUGHT AND EXPOSED. The interesting thing about the whole discipline that the A/G church was going to put on him was that this was the same discipline that HE proposed and was adopted by the denomination for any fallen ministry - step down for two years, find a place of mercy and forgiveness in God and allow the Lord to restore him.
My question is, how many men of God are willing to come right out and confess their sin before everybody? Not very many.
It was some time later that I was visiting my in-laws when one Sunday morning I was walking down to their shower in the basement when I heard the television with a very familiar voice - Jimmy Swaggert. My father-in-law was watching the program. I became very grieved and then I heard Jimmy say that his prayer from the time he was young was "Lord I want to go where you want me to go and only say what you want me to say." As I was stepping into the shower, I asked the Lord how anyone that was involved in the things he was involved in and then not find a place of repentance could say such a thing. The immediate answer was Balaam. Balaam was a prophet and even prophesied the coming of Messiah. He declared,"
So Balaam said to Balak, "Behold, I have come now to you! Am I able to speak anything at all? The word that God puts in my mouth, that I shall speak." (Numbers 22:38 NAS95)
Then the LORD put a word in Balaams mouth and said, "Return to Balak, and you shall speak thus." (Numbers 23:5 NAS95)
I don't believe that I am being overly presumptious here, but what separates many of the preachers on this site from the Swaggert ministry is not WHAT they are saying and not even that they are HOLIER than others, but that they are/were WALKING in a spirit of repentance and under the discipline of Lord. This results in a fruit that comes from their ministry that sets people free.
There are many people out there that are PREACHING a good word, but there isn't any freedom. Why?
For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error, promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved. (2 Peter 2:18-19 NAS95)
Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah. (Jude 1:11 NAS95)
The pentecostal churches of America have lost their discernment and not only associate with but run after the "anointing" or "the fire." However, we fail to do what the LORD said, "inspect the fruit." Your posts are proving that this continues to be true.
Jimmy Swaggert, and others like him, fall into the category that the apostle Paul writes about...
Quote:Men creap into people's houses everyday through the mediums of radio and television. Leading people captive to THEIR ministry. These same people have a lot of Bible knowledge and some of these guys teach some good things. But their is no freedom. They resist the TRUTH and preach what is only TRUE. Note Paul's lifestyle, [b]"Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions, and sufferings..."[/b].
For among them are those who enter into households and captivate weak women weighed down with sins, led on by various impulses, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these [men] also oppose the truth, men of depraved mind, rejected in regard to the faith. But they will not make further progress; for their folly will be obvious to all, just as Jannes and Jambres folly was also. Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium [and] at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me! (2 Timothy 3:6-11 NAS95)
God is looking for men that can say, "follow me as I follow the Lord." Jimmy got off track back in 1987. His teachings never changed, but he did. He knows what he needed to do then and still knows what he needs to do now. He has not returned to the path that God wants him on. This is what separates him from those ministries that are posted on this site. I am not throwing stones at Jimmy. I have done some VERY stupid and sinful things in the past. Thank God for His mercy and restoration. I know, however, that God has a way and man has a way. His way produces life and freedom. Man's way produces death and bondage. If Jimmy ever decides to do what God has required of him, then I believe that he can be restored, not to A/G, but to a place where people are set free.
[Disclaimer] I do not represent any of the moderators of this site in any way. These statements are my own.
| 2003/8/6 7:07||Profile|