I prayed so hard for you, I had a stroke.

Sometimes I scratch my head at all the things that are going on in the church today. Some church leaders are delusional.  Some are plain out living a lie.  And some are living a double life. It makes me so angry when I hear stories of sexual immorality and general unscrupulousness of some church leaders. And it’s easy to think that things are much worse today than ever. But you know what?  They’re not. Sin has always played a starring role in the lives of some church leaders.  I mean you can go back as far as the old testament to see that. But today, I just want to go back to 1991. Robert Tilton. You remember him? I recently found this clip Robert Tilton aired on his TV show the day after ABC News did an expose’ of his ministry for allegedly  having donations sent to a drop address; taking the checks; and dumping the prayer request forms in a dumpster.  Supposedly thousands of them. Robert Tilton’s defense? 1.  We never did that. If they found real prayer request forms in [multiple] dumpsters [over months of time], then they HAD to be stolen. But he takes it a few steps further: 2.  He said that he prayed over EVERY prayer request that was sent in.  And when I say he prayed over them, he did so literally. He physically laid on top of the stack of prayer requests while he prayed. That’s nice.  And gives me an uncomfortable picture. And it would have been ok if he would have left it there.  But he continues. 3.  He physically laid on the stacks of prayer requests SO much, that the ink from the prayer request forms entered through his skin into his blood stream, and gave him at least two mini-strokes. OK… you lost me. That’s just friggin’ unbelieveable. And probably physically and medically impossible. And it seems that most other people didn’t buy it either.  Tilton was forced off the air within months. So… why would someone like Tilton say this? Was he delusional?  Just a plain out nut?  A case could be made for that… probably pretty easily. But Tilton was no nut.  He did quite well, thank you very much. Was he just a con-artist?  Did he make this play in just an effort to keep his scheme going? Could be.  But it didn’t work. When church leaders go off the rails, there are often lies involved. Maybe not as stark as Tilton’s lies in 1991; but lies none the less. My question for you today:  are you starting to tell little fibs in your ministry or personal life that may turn into giant bold face “I had a stroke because I prayed for you so hard” lies? Don’t underestimate the power of sin.  Neither should you underestimate the quickness and the veracity that it will bring upon your life to bring you down. As a pastor or church leader, you have EVERYTHING to lose… your career… your family… your friends… your income… everything. Don’t screw it up by succumbing to little sins now that will overtake you. Because they will overtake you. Get some help.  Call a friend.  Contact me. But don’t end up as some washed up church leader with nothing but a Walmart greeter job. I’ve seen it happen to too many people.  And I don’t want it to happen to you. Todd