Oh my freaking goodness. I am so mad right now, and feeling more than just a little vindicated (read; self righteous). I read this today:
How the hell did this happen? Was there really no-one in his flock of thousands who stopped to think, "Wait a minute. This guy's full of crap."? Has modern Christianity really become such a triumph of blind compliance over intelligent consideration that all you have to do to influence thousands, possibly millions, is be loudly emotive enough to attract a crowd?
I've been to events held at Edge Church in Adelaide. I've never been to a Sunday service there, but from what I've heard it's one of those renegade congregations where being louder, bigger and newer is equated with being more Spirit-filled (mind you, that's only what I've heard).
If your flock is made up completely of "new" Christians, or Christians who spend their lives bouncing from one "new movement of the Spirit" to the other, then it only takes a certain amount of brazenness combined with sheer volume to make your message look fantastic, and therefore legitimate. Never mind reverence for the truth, humility or submitting to one another with respect and love.
My heart really goes out to anyone who's been affected by this guy. It absolutely breaks me in half to think of those who will be disillusioned with the Edge church and may end up walking away from Christianity altogether because they've discovered that they've been listening to a big fat liar instead of the word of God.
Jesus himself promised dire consequences for the bung shepherds who would lead his sheep astray. As I was reading this story, I had a U2 line coming straight into my head (this happens fairly often, due mainly to the amount of time I spend listening to them) "Instant Karma's gonna get him, if I don't get him first*". Oh, and what do you know? I'm off to Adelaide this week. Good thing I'll have my hands full.
Far from home
Garry with 2 Rs
*This sentiment does not constitute a threat of actual violence against Michael Guglielmucci