Kevin H: Compromised Conduits
It was written and conversed about here on this blog and was reported on and discussed many places around Christian and social media. I confess that I probably watched not more than 10 minutes total of Jan Crouch on tv in my lifetime as I have usually chosen to avoid TBN and much of the foolishness that takes place on that channel and in that organization.
I cannot say that I knew a whole lot personally about Jan Crouch. But I do know that I despise much of what she and her organization represented. The level of wrongdoing and corruption that takes place at TBN is really disturbing because they are very publicly representing Jesus Christ.
When I was vacationing with my family (including some extended family) a few years ago at Disney World, the rest of them wanted to go visit The Holy Land Experience, a nearby Christian amusement park owned and operated by TBN. While I did not try to enforce my convictions upon anyone else, I could not bring myself to give my money to such an organization. And so I stayed at the resort that day (along with my then one-year old) while the rest of my family attended the park. I did not want to in any way help support a “Christian” organization that I believe does more harm than good and brings much shame to the name of Christ.
“What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.” – Philippians 1:18
Yet God has worked through this dastardly organization anyway, hasn’t He? Through all the muddle and morass, His name has been proclaimed. I’d be pretty sure God has used TBN as an avenue by which people have come to faith in Him and have grown in their faith and relationship with Him. Our own Nonnie testified on a thread last week of a similar context where God used a guest on Tammy Faye Baker’s show for her to come to grips with her need for Christ. If God used Tammy Faye Baker in this way, could He not also have used Jan Crouch and TBN?
This certainly does not excuse all the crap that goes on at TBN. I really don’t think Christians should support it in any form or fashion. But God works anyway and somehow Christ gets proclaimed amidst all the other shenanigans. The Apostle Paul rejoices.
I reluctantly join Paul in his rejoicing.
I have heard it said in various ways and words that God won’t use a compromised life. Yet our observation tells us that is not true. First of all, we are all compromised. Yes, some maybe more so than others, but every time we sin we’re compromising on what God would have us to do. If God is waiting to use someone until their life is totally uncompromised, well then God is never using human means to bring about His work and His plan.
Could God choose to use us even more if we weren’t so compromised? I would most definitely think so. But that doesn’t change the fact that God has nothing but compromised lives with which to work and so He does.
Second of all, we see the big public examples all around us. There are presumably many who would testify to how God used TBN to work in their lives. There are plenty of ministries and preachers out there with strange or unorthodox, if not heretical beliefs and teachings that God probably still manages to use in one way or another. He doesn’t use the aberrant teachings, but the people still, somehow.
What about all those fallen preachers? We can rattle off quite a list of those who have been reported on and/or discussed just here at this blog over the years. Some who may have been living in disqualifying sin for years while they continued in the pastorate. And yet….. God used them. The gospel was preached. Christ was proclaimed. People came to faith and others were strengthened in their faith. These preachers had no business continuing in the pulpit and yet God used them.
DC Talk wrote a song some years ago at the height of their popularity entitled, “What If I Stumble?” In the song they described their struggle as to what for they were doing all of this. For the Lord? For their fans? For the money? For fame? And they sang of their fears of falling with all the eyes on them. What would happen if they stumbled?
I don’t know what would have all happened had they stumbled. How much would they have tried to cover up and carry on? I don’t know. I imagine they would have received a lot of flack one way or another. But one thing I know for sure is that God used them and would have continued to work through the situation for His purposes. And no matter how much one may have chosen to quibble with their mode of delivery or the impreciseness of their theology (I personally did not see any significant problems with these things although others may have), Christ was proclaimed. And the Apostle Paul rejoiced.
I am thankful that God doesn’t wait on us to get it all together before He uses us. I am thankful that despite my disdain for organizations like TBN that God still works through them to reach people. Organizations that probably are better off being disbanded God will still use as in one convoluted way or another, Christ is being proclaimed.
When and where Christ is proclaimed, I will try to rejoice, no matter how screwed up I think the conduit is….. and sometimes that conduit is me.