Several years ago there were several high-profile cases of hypocrisy in the church. There were allegations and many of them were ultimately proven to be true.
- Jim Bakker sold more time at his resort than was available and had an affair with a woman who was not his wife.
- Jimmy Swaggart had mysterious liaisons with a prostitute and then refused the discipline and correction of his denominational leaders.
- Oral Roberts claimed to have had a vision that he would die if he did not raise a large sum of money for his ministry.
- Robert Tilton threw prayer requests in the trash after taking the money out of envelopes from supporters.
- Larry Lea was accused of some shady fundraising to support his ministry and lifestyle.
Those are all terrible accusations, and if true are certainly a black eye on the face of the Christian church. But that's not all. Recent months have only seen an increase in the number of prominent Christian leaders involved in dubious activities.
- Todd Bentley, a Canadian evangelist leading a celebrated revival in Florida announced that God had led him to leave the revival just before it was revealed that he and his wife would be separating. That came to light just before Bentley's admission of "emotional" infidelity with a female staff member.
- Ted Haggard solicited gay prostitutes for sex and used drugs with them.
- Randy and Paula White announced that they were divorcing (apparently for no good reason) just before Paula took a job at a church in another state. Since their announcement the church that they co-pastor in Tampa has filed for bankruptcy.
- Victoria Osteen, wife of Joel, was accused of assaulting a flight attendant over insignificant issues in a first class cabin. (Osteen was acquitted of the charges.)
- Thomas Wesley Weeks III, after beating his evangelist wife and being sentenced to community service for that crime, was led hand-cuffed from his church for being delinquent on mortgage payments.
I'm depressed. That is a terrible list. No wonder so many non-Christians are skeptical of the church. We have a checkered history, to say the least. But there is good news. For every Barry Bonds who cheats and alienates others, there is a Cal Ripken who plays by the rules and is very consistent. I am going to do my best to be a Cal Ripken. I am going to be looking for Cal Ripkens all around me.