It has often been said that Mark Twain frequently made fun of preachers or their sermons. He also made negative comments about them in his book called “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” Here is a famous quote from this book about preachers: He was a preacher, too… and never charged nothing for his preaching, and it was worth it, too.”
In his book, he eludes to the fact that they are impostors or con men claiming to be preachers. According to the Olympia Brown Unitarian Universalist Church, Mark Twain once said:
I once heard a preacher who was powerful good. I decided to give him every cent I had with me. But he kept it too long. Ten minutes later I decided to keep the bills and five him my loose change. Another ten minutes and I was darned if I’d give him anything at all. Then, when he finally stopped, and the plate came around, I was so exhausted, it all goes to show how a little thing like this can lead to a crime.
Is there a possibility that he could have been right? If one looks back over history with today’s leading preachers, also known as pastors, there have been many scandals involving society’s so-called preachers. These preachers or pastors have done everything from money laundering to unforgettable sex scandals that have rocked today’s church. Can anyone remember these so called preachers in the 70’s, 80,’ 90s’, and 2000s? Now let’s fast-forward it to 2013.
Over the years many pastors with mega churches have also gained our attention through TV and other means of mass communication in which point to the fact that mega-church pastors have been or are currently being investigated by the IRS. There are allegations of several pastors in the United States owning very expensive luxury cars, homes, boats and private jets. As I was searching the Internet for sources that would verify what has been document for the public evidence, in which I came across one such article called: “Senator Probes Megachurches’ Finances”: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16860611
Could once again Mark Twain theory be right? Today, a great number of pastors are using their title and congregation to live out extravagant lifestyles at the expense of others. As I was watching a premiere of a new reality show called; “Preachers of LA” the show is going to air in October. The shows clips were tiny glimpse of what is in store for season. I decided to see what other bloggers on You Tube were saying about the new show based on pimps, I mean pastors, who are rich and famous: here is one the of clips from YouTube. One is called “Real Millionaire Preachers of LA [Pastors Living Lavishly]”
Come take a walk with me down memory lane to the year 1970 when Jim Jones, the leader and founder of Peoples Temple, lead over 900 hundred innocent men, women and children to their death. Now let’s look at the 80’s, in which the famous televangelist Jim Baker was involved with a scandal of funds from his televised ministry and reportedly raped his young secretary. With his fall from grace, he ended up settling out of court with his secretary; however, when it came to the charge of stealing millions of dollars from the Christian community, he wasn’t so lucky. In fact, he ended up doing the sentence of four years in a federal prison.
Many people would like to know what Jim Baker has been doing since he has been released from prison. According to an article called, “Disgraced televangelist Jim Bakker now selling ENEMA KITS and apocalyptic survivalist gear to his followers to help make up money he owes to the IRS” (Daily Mail), it would seem like nothing has changed with him very much over the years. I’ll take that back, with his current wife, we don’t all see a boat-load of makeup on her face. I have to mention this; it seems Tammy Faye Baker has a twin running around by the name of Jan Crouch. She is the co-founder of Trinity Broadcasting Network. I read an article which stated that the owners of Trinity Broad casting Network, Paul and Jan Crouch were having major problems. The author Steve Stang in his article stated: “Why Paul and Jan Crouch Can’t Escape Accountability” http://www.charismanews.com/opinion/38695-why-paul-and-jan-crouch-cant-escape-accountability
Trinity Broadcasting Network again has been in the new with allegations of a scandal. Take a look at this YouTube video called: BN | TBN SCANDAL | TBN EXPOSED | Trinity Broadcasting Network
Does the name Jimmy Swaggart sound familiar? A large number of people probably wouldn’t recall his name, but for the ones who do, let’s enlighten those that do not know of him. He was involved with an IRS scandal, several lawsuits and in 1988, the televangelist preacher was said to have been in a sex scandal with a prostitute. I found this in an article on the internet that was featured in People Magazine back in 1988 (People Magazine: http://www.people.com/people/archive/article/0,,20098413,00.html). Jim Swaggart’s most famous words on national television can be seen on this video: http://www.youtube.com/embed/pCpeeaIfF9c
His famous words were: “I have sinned.” The sad part is that the prostitute said that even though she saw him on a regular basis they never did actually sleep together—they only talked while he was looking at her breast: I found two website to support her claim :Warning!!! Contain graphic picture: http://www.apnewsarchive.com/1988/Former-Prostitute-Returns-Home-After-Swaggart-Saga/id-dd1dc6bdf68b4dac44a027b2953ae756:
Another sad thing, that later came out in 1991, was that he was pulled over by police after he was seen picking up yet another known prostitute. I found two very interesting website that confirms this allegation toward Swaggart. The two web links are: http://www.spiritwatch.org/fireswag1.htm and http://articles.philly.com/keyword/jimmy-swaggart
Could he have been picking her up to counsel her about being a street walker? Apparently no one was buying it either.
In 1998 there was an article written by Randall Balmer in which the author described what Jimmy Swaggert had to said ten years later, the article is called “Still Wrestling with the Devil: A visit with Jimmy Swaggart ten years after his fall.” To view these articles go to http://www.ctlibrary.com/ct/1998/march2/8t3030.html
I wonder what Jimmy Swagger is doing now since he has been dethroned from his own pulpit. Take a look at what he has been up to on YouTube for this year: Frances and Friends with guest Jimmy Swaggart 2/26/2013 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCXdG52PlWI
It would seem that Jimmy Swaggart isn’t the only preacher or pastor that has been involved in sex scandals according to numerous media and internet websites there are plenty of former or current pastors out there at the present time. Nowadays, we have read about a pastor that has been involved with a woman or a series of women or men.
Here are a few of websites that I have decided to share with you:
4 Pastors at Virginia’s ROC Megachurch Resign Amid Swirling Sexual Assault Allegations: http://www.christianpost.com/news/4-pastors-at-virginias-roc-megachurch-resign-amid-swirling-sexual-assault-allegations-97444/
Dirty Dozen: 12 Biggest Christian Evangelist Sex Scandals of 21st Century: http://www.justprove.it/blog/12-biggest-christian-evangelist-sex-scandals/
Bishop Eddie Long marched with hundreds on Peach Tree Street in downtown Atlanta, GA, announcing that they were taking back their Sodom-and-Gomorrah city from all forms of homosexuality, in the name of Jesus Christ. It wasn’t too long after that incident, that four young men came forward and told all of Atlanta and the world that they had slept with their beloved pastor when they were teenagers. I would like to share with video clip made by ABC in conjunction with the allegations against Bishop Eddie Long One is titled “Anti-Homosexuality Pastor Faces Accusations of Sexual Misconduct”:http://abcnews.go.com/US/bishop-eddie-long-accused-sex-abuse-fourth-alleged/story?id=11721548
As I continued to do my research on Bishop Eddie Long I also came across another video clip which involved more information about his sex scandal charges with men, only this time this YouTube video showed two of his male victims—take a look at what they had to say about their former pastor: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Orn2Pc-dn_8
As an African American Christian it deeply hurts me to see so many African American preachers or pastors who are engrossed in such misconduct, that it tends to make other good pastors look equally as bad who are innocent of any wrongdoing. Today, our fallen black preachers are now placed in newspapers and their faces are plastered all over the internet. Their name and reputation destroyed. I ran across several website that eluded to this fact. One article title “5 ‘God Soldiers’ Who Fell From Grace” at:
It took me by storm when a female pastor that I look up to confessed that she had slept with women in her past. Pastor Juanita Bynum said that was in her past. Take a look at her public confession at http://www.pittsburghurbanmedia.com/Pastor-Juanita-Bynum-Says-That-She-Has-Slept-with-Women/
However, in the African American community, her confession drew media spotlight to the fact that maybe she is bisexual. Some critics even said she never liked men in the first place. This is the type of drama that comes with being a preacher in today’s society. The question that come to my mind and perhaps other Christians would like to know, if theses pastors can be restored after so devastation in their lives. My nephew has a tattoo on his arm that says, “Only God Can Judge Me.” We as a society especially those of us that are Christian say that we are willing to forgive, but we never can seem to forget.