Christians, please vet your political candidates and pastors.
|Heart of Fire Church in Fern Creek (R.G. Dunlop) - Source: The Pope's Long Con|
I am sickened at the lack of discernment and common sense among God's people when it comes to choosing political leaders, churches and pastors. Please realize that not everyone who claims to be of Christ actually knows Him. You must become familiar with the Word of God and learn to judge a person by the "fruit" their life produces. A man or woman might have all the right religious cliches and be able to cherry pick Scriptures to support their sin, but you have a responsibility to become wise enough through God's Word to detect the falsehoods and discern if something is not right with what you're being told by those proclaiming to be God's messenger.
16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them. ~Matthew 7:16-20 (KJV)I am terribly sorry for the family of Kentucky State Representative Dan Johnson as they pick up the pieces after his recent death, which appears to have been self-inflicted. But the recent investigative report on his ministry and the allegation of sexually molesting a 17-year-old girl (a friend of his daughter and church member) in 2012 are credible, in my opinion. I invite you to read it in it's entirety here: http://longcon.kycir.org/
Friends, I'm extremely dismayed and heartbroken that so many people were taken in and deceived by this man through what was supposed to be a church, but sounds more like a flophouse. Here are some excerpts from the investigative news article "The Pope's Long Con":
Through the years, as American politics grew more divisive, the Pope used his church as an outlet for his political agenda. ...
The church rally in August 2016, when Johnson tearfully pushed Trump’s candidacy, was a violation, according to Hill and two other tax attorneys who reviewed the video.
There were many other political endorsements, former church members say. ...
At least one churchgoer was turned off by Johnson’s political proselytizing. Jennifer Stepp, who was bounced from the ballot last year and replaced by Johnson, attended Heart of Fire for several months, a few years ago.
“Turning worship into a political event bothered me,” she said recently.
She also recalled sermons laced with racist and anti-Islam comments. And congregants smoked in church. “I didn’t want to be associated with that,” Stepp said.
Stepp grew troubled by another component of the church: the weekend parties at Pope’s House.
“The first night I went up there I was like, ‘Wow… never seen a church like this before,” Stepp said.
Bikers, booze and, occasionally, bare breasts. A part-time tattoo parlor with a costume party featuring zombie nuns in short skirts.
Law enforcement saw some of this, too. State and local Alcoholic Beverage Control officers cited Johnson and the church three times between 2008 and 2015 for unlicensed alcohol sales. ...
In one case, ABC agents arrived to see Johnson and others whisking away cases of beer from behind the bar. Patrons told officers they had been directed to say they had brought their own alcohol in, rather than buying it there.
When the case went to trial in March 2009, Johnson testified before Jefferson District Judge Sheila Collins. He wore a priest’s collar and a cross around his neck. His defense to the charge: the alcohol being served at the church actually constituted “communion.”
Since it was communion, he argued, he didn’t need a liquor license.
Friends, even those with the most elementary understanding of Scripture should know that bare breasted women, tubs of beer and tattooing do not belong in Church and the Lord's Supper does not involve cracking open a can of beer and drinking one's self into a stupor.
So, if you find yourself in a "church" that does not practice holiness or doesn't have a pastor with proper theological training and credentials, I advise you to leave and seek out a respected body of believers to Worship with. In today's world with many genuine Christian resources available, you can become more discerning and knowledgable of God's Word. But, you will have to give up satisfying your sinful desires, which it appears "Pope" Johnson wasn't teaching his "flock" to do. It looks to me like he was making the church so friendly to the world that it eventually became his undoing.
May God have mercy upon those who followed this man's teaching and those who eventually elected him to the Kentucky State Legislature.