Irregularities and scandals also exist in evangelical churches, even on a repeated scale. In particular, the usually very “motivated” pastors in the charismatic churches in the USA keep making headlines. For some, this seems to be the order of the day.
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Lots of “motivation” at charismatic mega-churches
Various escapades are not exclusivity of the Catholic Church. Missteps of all kinds also occur in evangelical congregations. In the USA, for example, an extramarital affair involving a so-called “worship artist” from the New Life Church in Colorado Springs is currently making headlines. This church is a charismatic community and is one of the mega-churches, which usually have a huge influx of “believers” every Sunday. The focus of the charismatic is less in the statements of the written word, but in living out the feelings experienced. Among other things, the “Speaking in tongues” is a (supposed) evidence of the coming Holy Spirit.
Worship artist kicked from worship team
Now, at New Life Church, a “worship team” band member has been caught having an extramarital relationship with a young woman from another city, as The Christian Post reported. The “worship artist” was fired immediately after this relationship became known. The church justifies this tough move because of an employee issue.
The fired musician previously served as a “worship pastor” at the Chicago-area Harvest Bible Chapel for about two decades. At the beginning of the employment at that time, there were already irregularities. The church suspended him from service for moral reasons. However, after a discussion and confession, work was resumed.
Irregularity with drugs and escort men
In the New Life Church there have been incidents in the past which required similar appropriate action. In 2006, the then pastor had to resign after admitting “sexual immorality”. It was about illegal drug use with a male escort. In 2010, this pastor started a new church in Colorado. In 2022, “riots” broke out again after two young men accused the pastor of “inappropriate touching” in connection with drug use.
Not an single phenomenon
Other mega-churches are not spared from such missteps of their charismatic pastors. In the US-based church of Hillsong East Coast, the senior pastor was fired for financial and sex crimes. Another leader was fired after facing allegations of sexual misconduct over the past 10 years. Among other things, during the annual conference in 2019, under the influence of prescription drugs and alcohol, he entered the hotel room of an unknown woman for around 40 minutes.
Among the “most dazzling figures” of the Charismatic Churches in the USA are the pastors, who also appear on local TV. Among them are Kenneth Copeland, Benny Hinn and also the German Reinhard Bonnke (self-description: “God’s combine harvester”).