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.”
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.
Dr. 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.