An ex Microsoft exec decides there are greener pastures in the flock of God and so he starts his own Warren-esque ‘Purpose Driven’ ‘church’– for the apparent purpose of satisfying his perversity.
Pastor Dale Lee McFarland was an up-and-coming star in the “Purpose Driven Church” movement, having left his position as a Microsoft executive to launch a thriving megachurch in Arizona and travel the world with evangelical superstar Rick Warren to train others in the methods of “The Purpose Driven Life.”
Notice the language, which lacks any basis in New Testament theology or exegesis: he ‘launched’ a ‘thriving’ ‘megachurch’. None of those terms are Biblical, not even ‘thriving’ as apart from the indwelling Holy Spirit and obedience to his guidance there is no true life and hence no sort of ‘thriving’. ‘He traveled the world… to train others in the methods…’ These ‘purpose driven’ churches are purely anthropocentric exercises in self aggrandizement and enrichment. They are ‘pyramid schemes’ gone spiritual. The New Testament doesn’t teach us to train each other in the ‘methods’ of pastors- it teaches us to imitate Christ (which at the present moment, for me, means driving these filthy money-changers out of the Temple of God).
McFarland’s congregation, Radiant Church in Surprise, Ariz., had even boasted of receiving the Church Health Award from Purpose Driven Ministries and had grown to be one of the largest Assemblies of God churches in the country. But earlier this year, a couple in the church filed a lawsuit, Courthouse News reports, alleging McFarland told the wife to have sex with him with “God’s approval” and divorce her husband. Derek and Jody Gallagher claim McFarland “breached his duty as a pastor and counselor when [he] began manipulating a vulnerable Jody for his personal, perverted sexual pleasures.”
What are we to expect though? These ‘congregations’ are founded upon anything but the work of the Holy Spirit- instead, they rest upon the ‘charisma’ of the ‘pastor’ who in too many cases, like Mr McFarland, lack any substantive theological training or expertise in biblical interpretation and instead rely on themselves and their personal magnetism to fleece the flock. In McFarland’s case, that fleecing being sexual perversity, because he is a sexual predator.
The Gallaghers’ sordid story includes charges McFarland told Jody her husband was “dangerous” and convinced her to change her home’s locks, sent her salacious and pornographic messages, exchanged nude photographs with her and manipulated her into having sex with him in the church building, even while he was offering the couple marriage counseling.
Christians in these sorts of ‘churches’ need to flee Gomorrah before fire descends. They need to find a church to attend where God is the central personality and not the pastor.
You must be logged in to post a comment.