I Was Wrong

 

UPDATE: I have been approached by the Bakker family and asked to remove this article as it is damaging to their image. I would like to respond here openly that I have reviewed what I have written and I continue to stand by every word of it as I always have. This is a true and correct record of my experiences in the time I knew Jim Bakker and his staff and family (most of whom are one and the same). I stand by my opinions and conclusions without reserve. 

As the seasons change, I look back upon the journey of the last half of this year and the terrible conditions my wife and I are forced to live in. While we have shelter and warmth and each other, we are without work and without purpose. We are ministers and we have a need to minister to the people but we are unable to as we work hard just to survive ourselves.

I don’t regret coming here, because it had a purpose. There have been many great blessings and many wonderful people who have come into our lives, and I want to be clear that nothing that I have written here is a reflection of any of those people. The men and women of Morningside have proven themselves to be great Christians and great brothers and sisters who endure through challenging situations. I love them all and am proud to know them.

I am writing about my experience around and what I observed about Bakker. I came because I once knew him to be a certain kind of man and I thought I was coming to serve that man again. I was wrong.

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“Dark Church, Violent Sky”

There is an organization of people who believe in the God of the Bible and they call themselves “The Church.” They were founded by the God of the Bible, who lived for a time on Earth as a human like us, to live in such a way as to be reflections of his own goodness, kindness, love, and incredible power. In theory, this is a wonderful thing. In practice, they just seem to block the view most of the time.

Charlet

You don’t always have great and noble reasons for doing things.

You don’t always act in a valiant leap of faith responding to a heavenly voice’s call.

You don’t always count the cost before you decide it’s worth paying it.

Sometimes you just do things because a smile touched your heart.

Sometimes your only motivation is wanting to feel as special as you did in one moment over and over again.

Sometimes someone just says something to you that makes you want to act like a hero.

They Dream

They dream…

…of faraway places where people live in castles and every girl is a princess with a pony of her own…

…of living dreams and every sound is a giggle and every face has a smile…

…of all the promises in the pages of every favorite storybook coming true…

…of never ever hurting or having a reason to cry…

…of dancing with the butterflies in a fragrant garden and being little girls forever.

They dream.

Papa’s Tree

I hadn’t been back to the place since we buried my father there. It was only a little less than three years ago. At the time, it was little more than a sapling.

The whole thing was kind of ironic as my dad was notoriously averse to having trees around him. He cut down nearly every tree at every home we ever owned. We joked at his funeral that the little tree would probably die “mysteriously” in about a year.

I miss my dad.

40

O, my little friend, I have missed you.

I’m looking at your picture today and I know that where I am isn’t necessarily where we ever intended to be. I don’t think we turned out too bad, though. Sure, there’s a lot that could have worked out better than it did, but we’ve been happier a lot more than we’ve been sad. We aren’t alone, we have purpose, we’ve missed some opportunities, but we’ve taken advantage of everything that mattered.

I hate to have to tell you that Papa is gone now. You didn’t leave a thing unsaid, and there was peace when he went home. He will love you with all of his heart all the years you will live and have him. Mommy is still here and she’s doing alright. You’ll get to take care of her and spend lots of time with her yet. Pat is here and she has a daughter and someone to take care of her. Things will be hard for the two of you, but don’t worry about that now. You’re married, have been for seven years, and she is the most amazing human being you will ever meet and she will love you so much. You’re happy with her and she’s happy with you.

Look, Joe, I hope that if you can look through time at me today the same way that I can look at you, that you can look at me and find something to be proud of. I’m really sorry because I know that there’s a lot of ways that I’ve let you down, but look at everything that’s turned out so awesome. At the very least, if you can see this old man sitting here, I hope you can forgive me that we never became Luke Skywalker, a fireman, or bionic. I tried my best.