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“Father, Son and Holy Mess”

Stan Moody:

There’s something about old preachers that encourages them to keep on keeping on long after they’ve passed the coherent stage. Pat Robertson, at 93, finally bought the eternal farm on June 8, 2023. The most poignant comment I read was the wish by one writer to be a fly on heaven’s wall as Robertson is confronted with his political doctrines: “Where did you get that idea, Pat?”.

Billy Graham lives on through his nationalistic offspring, Franklin; Andy Stanley picked up the torch lit by his famous Dad; Robert Schuller’s “Hour of Power” flared out post-Robert, Jr. Ben Jackson referred to the process of refusing to fade as, “Father, Son, and Holy Mess!”

Time to Check for Circumcisions?

John MacArthur is showing signs of losing his grip. One of his most noted doctrines of the Christian faith derives from decontextualized 1 Cor 14:34, “… women are to keep silent in the churches; for they are not permitted to speak, but are to subject themselves, just as the Law also says.”

John Piper is showing signs of having been at the fair too long. It is now alleged that he had built a narcissistic structure that demands loyalty and unity over the pursuit of Truth.

It Gets Personal!

In mid-2019 I retired from pulpit ministry. I now have a fade-resistant social media platform dedicated to the pursuit of my favorite doctrinal passion, the Gospel of the Kingdom of God (Matt 6:33), far too abstract for the quintessential armchair theologian.

Philip Yancey’s article, What Makes a Church Toxic[i], puts mission solely into the hands of God. Below are a few wise snippets (wise, provided Yancey passes the “fading away” test):

A healthy church does not use scare tactics to manipulate emotions…Rather, it directs fearful people toward a trustworthy God.

A psychologist friend of mine who has studied pastors estimates that 80 percent of them have strong narcissistic tendencies. Why not? We elevate them, literally, on platforms, and assign them the lofty task of telling us what to believe and how to behave. (Ouch!)

Paul summarized his approach: “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.” (including myself?)

_______________________________________ [i] Philip Yancey, Patheos, 27 Oct 2021

[1] Ben Jackson, Korea Exposé, 28 April 2017

Father, Son and Holy Mess: Family Succession in Megachurches (

[1] Philip Yancey, Patheos, 27 Oct 2021

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