Calvin’s Corner: The Truth About Jan Crouch
In the days following the death of Trinity Broadcasting Network co-founder Jan Crouch, I saw at least three internet stories with the same title.
“The Truth About Jan Crouch”.
Two of them were heartfelt apologetics for the woman, one a final expose on her as if trying to get the last word on her character before the casket was closed.
That last article reflected the truth about her in my mind.
She was the feminine side of the greatest husband and wife team of con artists in the history of the church.
I found her to be crass, base, and immoral, her piety as false as her pink hair and surgically enhanced appearance.
That’s the truth and I was glad the church was rid of her.
There is some truth to the old saying that what the church needs for revival is a few more funerals…
In my online copy of the Lamb’s Book of Life, I doubted that her name would be found.
It’s not easy for me to find someone with a Bible to feel morally superior to and I enjoyed the ride while it lasted…until the Lord pulled me up short.
What if…everyone knew the truth about me?
While I have no money and have left gross immorality to the distant past, I am not holy.
My list of sins would look different from the late Mrs. Crouch, but it’s length might rival hers.
If we we achieve salvation based on good behavior, I’m as lost as many think she was.
Because I like to share my misery, I’m here to inform you that you are too.
That’s the bad news.
The good news is that the Gospel is about behavior, but not ours.
It’s about His.
Jesus lived a perfect life and obedient death in your place and if your faith is in Him,you are credited, “imputed”, with His righteousness.
Your behavior is replaced by His and is your “get out of hell free” card on Judgment Day.
It’s free to you, but cost Him everything.
So, the truth about Jan Crouch is that if she believed on the name of Jesus she is in His presence right now.
When it comes time for us to head home, with our own sin lists and false fronts the door will still be open as well.
That’s the truth…the only truth that matters.
Make your own application…
Ok. right on. That’s awesome….. awesome. Amen. Amen. Thank you.
“It’s about His” (perfectly lived life and death). AMEN….
I have no opinion about Jan Crouch as I think perhaps I saw roughly an hour of her schtick in my life.
Like yourself it is my own schtick that is better off unknown.
The truth about us does matter but not in most of the ways we think.
“And of his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace”
I left a post on Linkathon on the first. Thought I’d re-post it here.
I watched TBN a lot in the 70’s. I enjoyed Arthur Blessitt who was a regular and had his own show. His stories of walking the world with his cross inspired me. I think it was his fall that opened my eyes to the fact that those you admire were capable on any sin just as I am.
Of course I watched when Hal Lindsey was on as I was big on prophecy in those years. It was especially nice when Pastor Chuck would appear. I recall they aired one of his prophecy films and I would call people to watch.
Paul and Jan were something I had to get used to as I wasn’t familiar with Pentecostals in any way. Of course it was odd seeing Jan in her wigs.
I was drawn to Paul and Jan because I sensed they really loved God and wanted more than anything to see souls saved. And the truth is I’m sure there were scores saved through their ministry no matter how we look back on them.
I have read everything on most every scandal on TBN and the Crouch family through the years. I recall thinking how great it would be if there was a network as large as TBN that was above board in everything. I like hearing stories of what God is doing in the world and I like listening to good teachers and preachers and of course good music.
I’m sure many think Paul and Jan are now separated from God for eternity for what happened under their watch and the things they participated in.
I imagine Jan was the real deal as a young person and for part(s) of her life. My hope is she is with Jesus.
This has to be a terrible time for a family that seems so divided at this time.
Although there was and probably still is so much scandal within TBN I believe it’s in poor taste to mock or have a laugh at Jan’s passing. It’s a terrible thing to imagine her separated from God eternally.
Good word Michael, as usual. I don’t like it when it’s directed at me though… 🙂
This is a great post Michael.
It reminds me a of a great Orthodox prayer that I believe comes from Metropolitan Philaret of Moscow (19th century) that includes this line: …..God grant that I would see my own sins, and not the sins of my brother…..
If we take much of what Jesus clearly taught to heart, then it is clear that there are sheep and goats. Their are religiously zealots who are blind guides. Their is leaven that comes from such that we are supposed to watch out for. Their are those that despise Jesus and those that despise Mammon and nothing at all in between. I agree with Michael that the two Crouch religious empire builders made their position clear because they served money and their own fame first. If those two are Christians then so were the bulk of the religious leaders who killed Christ and persecuted the early Church. We are warned to look out for false religious leaders of all types. I wish to avoid the extremes. While we are not the final judges of who goes to heaven and hell, and we certainly do not deserve to go to heaven by our own merits, we should, at least, have the freedom to repeat what Jesus said. Namely that not everyone who calls Him “Lord” will enter into his Kingdom.
The only other thing I will say is concerning the comparison made here, which is frequently repeated on this blog by others as well. While it is wrong for any Christian to become smug about his condition of being “saved” and we all should embrace humility and confess daily the sins that so easily trip us up, I am not sure that comparing these two groups of people is a fair comparison:
A) Paul and Jan Crouch, KP Yohannan, Mark Driscoll, CJ Mahaney, and other leaders who are condemned by the words of Jesus as false teachers and prophets.
B) The common believer who is actually trying not to deceive, but follow Jesus as a disciple by applying the instruction of the New Testament in a humble and sincere way in reality before their savior.
There is no sincerity in group “A.” Only a form of godliness that lacks the power of God. Group “B” contains the Apostles and those men that we base Jesus’ actual church on. Group B is saved by grace with faith in Jesus. And while we might argue who belongs in the group A or not, there are goats and tares because Jesus clearly said that there exist. I guess I am not comfortable with the comparison of the lists of sins because it does not logically line up, in my own mind, with what is recorded in the Gospels. I probably am not clearly communicating what I am trying to say here. But I cannot agree fully on this comparison being made the way that it is. Our sins are forgiven because we are being real in our confession. The sins of the Pharisees were retained because their religious displays were only theater for the people, they were not genuine before God. If there is no difference between the two groups, then we are all lost. There is no grace or salvation. Did not Jesus say that unless our righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees, that we will not enter the Kingdom of God?
“Did not Jesus say that unless our righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees, that we will not enter the Kingdom of God?”
The only way that is possible is if we have the righteousness of Christ Himself, not by our our failed behaviors.
We still speak out against what appears to be wicked…I’ve done it for a very long time.
I give no quarter to those wolves, but I know not their eternal destinies.
i fear that we, the Church, do have some cuckoos among us… i don’t really know how to keep score on folk like the Crouch family – what is sin and what is denial – God does, tho
my life has been the antitheses of Jan Crouch’s, it would have scared, maybe disgusted me, to have the personal affectations and needs that she displayed … but i don’t know that fact makes me more righteous at all … (i was better looking than Jan 🙂 ) lol
I never really thought they were corrupt. This is what bad theology does – they were just living out the promises God laid out for those who were faithful and claimed their victory and possessions.
This was not just caused by their pentecostal theology or their prosperity theology but they (the participants on the programing) were also very much into rapture theology which in its own odd way is glitter to the viewers.
Well, a little corrupt perhaps in that none of us knows how to handle money in those quantities.
I met the Crouches once in the mid-90’s. Jan, in particular was very kind, and fairly “normal” really.
They were not honest in their business dealings, but that is forgivable.
I am inclined to think that if Jan met Jesus face to face she’d be the first to fall down at His feet and wash His feet with her tears. Same with Tammy Faye.
I always thought Tammy was a victim, too. She always seemed sincere in her faith, if a bit whacky.
“I am inclined to think that if Jan met Jesus face to face she’d be the first to fall down at His feet and wash His feet with her tears. Same with Tammy Faye.”
…y’know, I think that goes for all of us, yes?
Actually, regarding dishonest business dealings, I once did a study of the things God called “Abominations” in the Old Testament. I wanted to outline what was on the list that we generally do not consider to be a great sin. I also wanted to see what we do generally consider to be great sins that are not on the short list. I also noted how many times each thing was mentioned to see if there were any items that were standing out from the list more emphasized from others. While the results were interesting overall, I noted that the Abomination most mentioned was not one I have ever heard taught about from any preacher: dishonest business dealings. Do not believe me? Google “Abomination false balance divers measure.” Mentioned four times, more than anything else.
Interesting question raised here: can an unrepentant wolf make it into the Kingdom of God? I currently would have to say “No.” I do so based on what Jesus said about His contemporary wolves: The Pharisees. Make sure you read all the way to the end to see why I think that.
23 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 “The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat, 3 so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice. 4 They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. 5 They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, 6 and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues 7 and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others. 8 But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. 10 Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. 11 The greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
13 “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. For you neither enter yourselves nor allow those who would enter to go in. 15 Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.
16 “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ 17 You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred? 18 And you say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.’ 19 You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? 20 So whoever swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21 And whoever swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it. 22 And whoever swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who sits upon it.
23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cumin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others. 24 You blind guides, straining out a gnat and swallowing a camel!
25 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. 26 You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.
27 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which outwardly appear beautiful, but within are full of dead people’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 So you also outwardly appear righteous to others, but within you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, 30 saying, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31 Thus you witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. 33 You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell?”
Unrepentant people are easy targets as wolves and not making it into the Kingdom.
Let’s raise it a notch – How about an unrepentant Christian?
We find out for the past 20 yrs Billy Graham has had a honey on the side and he refuses to repent. In or Out????
i agree 100% with Xenia’s 11.
I always believed Jan and Tammy Faye were wounded, broken little girls who, sadly, thought their only value was being adored by men. Corrupt…sinner…… but I believe they prayed many times, “Lord have mercy on me, a sinner.”
I pray that same prayer.
It’s very sad that Jan seemed to have the world’s riches, but her family was fractured.
How tragic. What a waste.
I used to smoke pot and watch Tammy Faye and laugh at her as she cried and the mascara ran down her face. Then one day, Jesus got shook me up and laid me flat, as I watched her show. One of her guests was sharing and I prayed, knowing I needed Christ.
God can use any thing and any one to declare His glory. Ive never looked back.
I’m sure there are similar testimonies to how God used Jan and her pink wigs.
i agree with both Nonnie and Xenia… it is interesting that the women are kinder to Jan Crouch than the men are… usually it is the other way around… in the world…
that fractured family – i do believe Satan goes after the loved ones of those who serve Christ
Thanks Michael for your transparency. I’ve never really understood the temptation to “figure out” if a dead person is in heaven or hell. Didn’t Jesus tell us to leave these judgments to God? Sin is no longer an issue between us and God if we are in Christ. But what if it’s “unrepentant” sin? So what? Does that negate the whole sacrifice of our Lord on the cruel cross? We tend to want to complicate things more than they have to be. Jesus said if we believe in Him, we have eternal life. Period. As to who “truly” believes or not? That’s supposed to be left to God.