Clayton Jennings – Hating on His Haters

21 Mar

Last fall, news broke about the Indiana-based Evangelist Clayton Jennings.  According to reports, Clayton had been involved with several women sexually all while preaching the gospel.  These reports are most clearly reported by Pen and the Pulpit.

After not one but six women came forward with similar stories, you might think that it would slow down this man’s social media empire and speaking schedule, but apparently there is no stopping him.  (Apparently, there is no stopping this lion, or Bentley as he often refers to himself.)

Clayton went on the offense recently against those who have written about him.  He calls them Haters – among other things like wolves and fake Christians, and my favorite a “Honda Civic.”

Clayton Jennings - haters

You can watch his Spoken Word – here.

I wrote about him once – here.  So I guess that means I am one of those “bloggers who can’t do real ministry – living in their mother’s basement.” There is much that I could say about this video, but I think that his work speaks for itself.  Oh, so much that I want to say…

but I will exercise a little self-restraint.

I do not know Clayton.  I am not driven by hate for him.  He clearly has great personal charisma to attract such a following.

I do not truly know his story, his inner motivations, or the current state of his soul.  I will not attribute his work to Satan, for statements of this type when the individual steps into the role of judge are extremely dangerous.  So while avoiding coming to those conclusions, there are some things that Christ-followers should reflect upon.

Some might feel that writing on Clayton’s life is nothing – but gossip – and putting down someone else for no reason.  There are several reasons why this story should be shared.

  • Because of the nature of the sin. This was not one accidental sin or a mistake.  This was a season of life living in full knowledge and complete disregard to his hypocrisy.  He was preying on victims before and after preaching on the stage. 

  • Because of the abuse of spiritual power to force others to do things that were against their beliefs. 

  • Because of the current lack of authority and accountability.  Clayton has removed himself from all authority and his own church community revoked his license to preach (Which although extremely significant in its message, this action only removes his state license to marry people).  While this doesn’t affect his speaking tour, it does speak volumes, about the concerns his home church had about this man. 

  • Because he currently lacks a “ministry” location. He no longer works at a local church.  His support comes from a vast social media empire which is what supports him.  This is why when he was apparently called to close down his social media empire, Clayton refused.  There is too much to lose for him.  The only way to remain connected to these people is through continuing to feed them his brand. 

  • Because his income is based on speaking the gospel.  I don’t believe Clayton has another job, but I assume that he lives off his speaking, ads, donations, and t-shirts.   

  • Because the deceitful mess of the human heart and how repentance and reconciliation requires community, accountability, and time.  Public figures needs time out of the spotlight and away from the stage to truly walk through mistakes, and refocus their lives. 

What is important:

  • To call Christians to question the “Celebrity Pastor” trend.
  • To warn Clayton’s followers (Currently 217k) of his past abuse of spiritual authority. I am not a social media expert, but I am sure steps have been taken to seclude his followers from the news.  Maybe he should truly #telltheworld.
  • To attempt to recapture the authenticity of Christianity.  No matter how popular you are, how eloquent you sound or how pretty you look.  Authentic messengers are so crucial in today’s world.

Here is a up-dated bio.  Enjoy.

David - Prof 2Dr. G. David Boyd does not currently live in his mother’s basement, but would not judge anyone who does.  He is close to 40, and drives a Nissan Sentra.  He is not concerned about his number of Instagram followers.  He does not make any money from blogging, nor is he concerned about how many “hits” this article will receive.  He is a survivor of spiritual abuse, and has seen how spiritual authority and power can ruin even the most dedicated of Christ followers.

 

 

Fostering Virtual Faith: Is online community real?

14 Mar

As the internet has become more apart of our lives, discussions have been around for years about the possibility of a virtual church.  Here is an article that speaks about a truly virtual church, and how it desires to reach out to Millennials.

The Rev. Sion Gough Hughes, pastor of a Protestant church in Melbourne, Australia, was surfing the web a couple years ago when he happened on a Facebook page that challenged his understanding of his calling. 

Continue reading

Building Your Men’s Ministry Leadership Team

7 Mar

Group of men - churchI came across this article this past week, and wanted to pass it along to my readers who serve regularly in Men’s Ministry.

So you’re a men’s ministry leader in your church, and you’re wondering about ways to help the ministry move forward. Consider this fact: One of the keys to a successful, growing ministry is a quality leadership team. It isn’t enough to have just one man who can see where God is going and can help a group of men get there. You need other men serving alongside the leader. Where will you find the men to make up your ministry leadership team? They are probably right under your nose…

Here is the rest of the article by Lifeway.

 

Do your kids need friends?

23 Feb

After relocating my family from Minnesota to Indiana, our family has had to make a few adjustments.  Although my wife and I had grown up in Indiana, our lives had changed, and our whole family found ourselves looking for new friends.

Around the dinner table, we discuss how everyone’s day went, and inevitably we end up on the topic of friendship.  Do you have any?  Who are they? and What they are like? 

Unfortunately, we did something everyone says NOT to do.  We moved while our kids are in Middle School.  During this transition, we put a lot of pressure on my boys when it comes to making friends.  I remember my junior high years, every day after school, I would break down in tears because I felt unwanted at my school.

Sometimes, we as parents put too much emphasis on making friends their own age.  Here is a great clip from the Middle (a great TV series for parents), that shows why having peer friendships might be over-rated.

Here is the link.brick-peer-relationships

 

Dad, will you do something with me?

21 Feb

picture with boys“Dad,I am getting ready to leave for grandma’s house, and I want you to say goodbye.”  I reached out my hands blindly in his direction and gave him a hug.  My head never turned, but I continued pondering the work that was before me.

“No, Dad.  Look at me.”  My son raised his voice to break me out of my work-induced coma.

I knew he was right.

“I am sorry, buddy. I am just trying to get some work done.”  In the back of mind, I hear the song “The Cat’s in the Cradle” playing (a song which by the way has been banned from the house by my children believe it is too sad).

Time passes whether we want it to or not.  Whether we reflect on it or not.  Reflecting on the endless march of time often brings strong emotion whether over the memories of my childhood, the passing of young adulthood, and even hitting 40.

Each moment is a gift from God.  In today’s world of modern medicine, I sometimes we feel that reaching 75 is a given.  Life, however, has no guarantees.  Just this morning on Facebook, I read about the death of friend from college who died at 40.

Just as each moment is a gift from God, each moment that you share with your children is a gift from you.  In our household, we limit the amount of television that is on in the home, and so shortly after instructing them to turn off the TV, I receive the question, “Dad, will you do something with me?”

I am sad to admit that often the words are regularly met with some sadness or frustration because I feel that I have more important things to do.

However, those are words that as a father that I long to hear and remember.

So today, I will sit down on the floor, or make myself comfortable at his bedside.  I will give my sons a gift that costs no money – the warmth of my presence.  I will fight being driven by duty, but truly engage the moment.

I resolve to find joy in it – whether reading the Bernstein Bears or building with Legos.  I will listen to every word, focus on every movement, and linger with every touch – knowing that Fatherhood is a gift, and in it – I can find great joy.

David - Prof 2Dr. G. David Boyd is the Managing Director of EA Resources, a non-profit that focuses on equipping churches and parents to minister to the needs of emerging adults.

 

Manhood – More Than a Beard

14 Feb

The purpose of MTAB (morethanabeard) is to remind men that your status as a man is not based upon your physique or other standards by which we are sometimes judged.

Image result for nick vujicic imagesOne man who continues to inspire me is a man named Nick Vujicic.  His story and speaking continues to encourage me as a man of faith.  Here is a video to introduce Nick to you.

Prepare yourself – It is awesome.

Premature Intimacy

9 Feb

 

wedding-1

Copyright by Aaron Roberts Photography 2016

 

I believe in purity. I believe in purity rings. I believe in setting physical boundaries in relationships in order to keep from hurting ourselves and others. This is something that is often taught, lectured, and discussed in Christian circles. However, I think we are missing something. Something BIG.

Physical intimacy is something to be shared only within the boundaries of marriage. God created a special connection called marriage for a man and a woman to enjoy sex and physical intimacy.

However, after years of working with students, I have discovered that there are many students who while keeping their bodies pure, have crossed over boundaries in other areas that I believe should be reserved for God’s design of marriage.

Is physical intimacy the only intimacy a man and woman can experience? As humans, we know that there are several types of intimacy that two humans can enjoy including emotional, spiritual, and physical. I believe that God desires to keep us pure until marriage in every aspect of our lives. I believe that intimacy in all areas should be reserved for marriage.

(While I am not usually into dissecting human relationships into different aspects, please be patient as you will quickly see my point without a drawn-out explanation of each area, or a need for distinct lines. I usually run from books that dissect relationships into a new way just to sell books. However, because of the Purity Movement, and its focus on the physical intimacy of teens, I felt this needed to be written.)

There should be boundaries in various areas of our lives that keep Christians from becoming intimate too quickly. Christians should be careful so that they do not cross the line of “two becoming one” before they enter into marriage.

For example, many young adults are surprised to hear that I do not encourage them to share their devotional lives. I do believe that guys and girls can and should pray together, but regular times of deep prayer/ bible study as a couple can cause premature spiritual intimacy. Your spiritual health becomes dependent on the other person, and so when the relationship is broken, you are left to pick up the pieces of your walk with Christ. Students should regularly talk about their spiritual lives, but boundaries should exist.

This is also true when it comes to emotional intimacy. Both guys and girls bear their entire hearts in a relationship, and then feel emotionally vulnerable after the relationship is over. No wonder they feel uncomfortable after the break-up and can no longer be friends. A boundary has been crossed.

I have worked with too many guys and girls who have not kept boundaries in their lives, and so with each broken relationship they wound their heart. These wounds turn into scars, and scars lead to calluses. A calloused heart can hurt a marriage even before it begins, so let’s guard ourselves from premature intimacy.

I am not saying that dating or relationships are evil. I simply want students to retain intimacy for the day that they walk down the aisle.

What are your thoughts and experiences? What do you think are some good boundaries to put up in a dating relationship?

Other Posts on Love and Dating:

David - Prof 2Dr. G. David Boyd is the Founder and Managing Director of EA Resources.

 

 

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