Look who’s coming back 31

Gary Lamb has been hinting for a while that he wants to start another church, and an alert reader noticed that perhaps the first step in his rehabilitation occured a few weeks ago, on the same day that Noble was preaching a sex sermon inspired by Lamb’s own failure.

The church that welcomed Lamb back on stage was Life Church in Rome, Georgia. The church’s corporate twitter thought it was worth trumpeting:

Had @garylamb sharing his story today.

The church’s music minister added a few more emotions:

Great morning @lifechurchrome, @garylamb shared his story, confessed sins, showed brokenness, and lives were changed fo the kingdom of God!

We thought you’d like to know.

Oh, Lamb’s host church is about to do a “Porn Sunday” and has been posting porn ads on Facebook. As some of you may remember, these were the same kind of topics that Lamb’s church was doing when he was getting into trouble. Here’s some of their chatter:

just posted a porn ad on facebook for @lifechurchrome whole nutha level

YEs @lifechurchrome seen salvations again today and our porn ad is working thats right i said porn ad. 7 more days until we attack that 🙂

our local alcohol commision turned down girls gone wild but @lifechurchrome is going through with porn sunday, yeah come on

Like a dog returns to its vomit…

31 thoughts on “Look who’s coming back

  1. Charlie Oct 1, 2009 5:40 am

    I’m wondering…
    …Which of David’s sins – adultery, lying, accessory to murder, that census thing, the whole bloody hands thing, etc. – disqualified him from leadership of God’s people?
    …Who took Galatians 6:1 out of the Bible?

  2. AP Oct 1, 2009 8:38 am

    I have been following Gary Lamb’s twitter feeds lately as well. I pray for him often, even though I don’t personally know him. But that doesn’t matter. I pray that his repentance will be complete- and I’m glad that he is still in contact with a church. God is the giver of second chances!

  3. James Duncan Oct 1, 2009 11:51 am

    Charlie,

    We’re being a little defense, aren’t we? This post says nothing about him being disqualified for ministry.

  4. Paul Oct 1, 2009 12:33 pm

    words can’t even express the ungodliness of life church’s marketing scheme…how dare anyone use such a horrible sin in order to advertise their church? what happened to the simple message of preaching Christ and Him crucified? do we really need to market period let alone market in such a way as lifechurch?

  5. AP Oct 1, 2009 12:50 pm

    JDun: I think Charlie is reading between the lines; are you saying you don’t believe Gary has been disqualified from ministry?

    Paul: For some, that type of marketing strategy has always been a tough call. Jesus was called “friend of sinners” and he did hang out with “re-publicans and sinners” 🙂 I suppose it all depends on your theology and philosophy.

  6. James Downing Oct 1, 2009 1:21 pm

    Anyone who would welcome this man back into ministry without 1 million red flags should have their head examined.

  7. Paul Oct 1, 2009 1:33 pm

    yes…Jesus was a friend of sinners. He did not use their sin to draw crowds to himself. i think marketing a church reduces the gospel to a consumer type of mentality. But what really upsets me is this church using “porn.” Porn is straight from Satan. It defiles humanity, reduces women to object, exploits men, women, and children, destroys marriages, it causes addiction, etc. the list goes on. HOw dare a church use such a vile thing in order to b e cool, relevant, and a “come and see us” mentality. Jesus died on the cross so his people coudl be delivered from such evil. This is the type of church lamb planted…his fingerprints are all over this. agree with downing, this man has shown his true colors, and should NEVER be a pastor again. SHould we forgive…yes. does God forgive…yes. is their repurcussions for our sin…yes. lamb should accept it, and do somehting else. OH, and by the way. David was kept from building the temple because of his sin.

  8. keitho Oct 1, 2009 2:19 pm

    Charlie,

    You are forgetting that David paid heavy prices later for these failings in his life. He almost lost his Kingdom from civil war within his own family. But onto Gary.

    Paul admonished the Corinthian church to “expel an immoral brother”. JDuncan gave you a soft answer. I’m not. My answer is yes it does disqualify him (he disqualified himself), but not for good and not forever. God has plans for Gary and God’s mission can go on with or without him. He needs to be on the sidelines for awhile and find something else to do. This behavior obviously cannot be tolerated in church leadership and I don’t see how less than 6 months constitutes successful rehab of his character and reconnection and repair of his family, which he should be putting before his career and above all else.

    I wonder if his wife thinks he’s ready to lead again?

  9. AP Oct 1, 2009 2:23 pm

    James: So you are saying that you think he has been disqualified from ministry, then? So perhaps Charlie was not being defensive.

    I agree that there does need to be a longer period of time before he would ever be allowed to even entertain the idea of getting back into ministry. The tough thing is that in zeal to get back into the saddle, proper channels can be bypassed and short circuit the process of repentance, healing and proper discipline. I pray that will not be the case here.

    I would be surprised if his spiritual advisors or governing board or even the people at his former church would not have encouraged him to wait on the Lord. He seems to at least be thinking less in the direction of starting another church lately, based on tweets.

    Also, the pastor who preceded me at my current church had to leave because of sexual sin. 12 years later he has repented, gone through counseling, and basically done all the right things. God restored him to the ministry. So, it can happen.

    Paul: but, to paraphrase Larry Osborne, “God didn’t end his life; he allowed him to write some of the Scriptures and he still was useful.” There are always consequences to sin- in this case, there will always be a scar. But Gary is loved by God’s amazing grace, and I am pulling for him. And no, I’m not implying that you aren’t. Peace!

  10. AP Oct 1, 2009 2:25 pm

    One more thing: Gary was just sharing his story. He’s not joining a ministry staff (as far as I know). I would think that hearing his story might shake some other people up and that God could use his story to draw people to Himself. But maybe I’m too much of an idealist!

  11. James Downing Oct 1, 2009 2:34 pm

    Do I think he’s disqualified from ministry? No. He can and should minister everyday of his life everywhere he goes. All believers should.

    Would I ever go to a church where he was Pastor? HIGHLY unlikely.

  12. AP Oct 1, 2009 2:39 pm

    James: I (and Charlie, I think) meant vocational ministry.

  13. Anthony Oct 1, 2009 2:42 pm

    Paul, Keith-O and Downing–you all are pretty much spot on with your comments. Im not exactly sure when Gary left revolution but I know it hasnt been a year. It is entirely too early. Period! God does have a plan for Gary’s life and none of us know what that is. You dont need a title to minister or be a leader, a book was just written on this. Gary can still do his thing without having the title of a pastor. I think that Gary should share his story but this may be too soon. Also using porn as an advertisement goes too far, it just does! Talking about sex is one thing but advertising porn is a different animal!

    I’m going to go throw up now…I cant believe I just agred with Downing! UGH!!!!! Just kidding! 🙂

  14. James Downing Oct 1, 2009 3:15 pm

    Give me a scripture that says he is entitled to vocational ministry.

  15. James Downing Oct 1, 2009 3:29 pm

    Anthony – I admire your growth…hahaha.

  16. James Duncan Oct 1, 2009 3:30 pm

    Charlie and others,

    My first response was a little teasing because it was interesting that Charlie would read that angle into a post that mainly quoted Lamb’s friends.

    For the record, I didn’t think Lamb was qualified for ministry even before the affair, and so far I’ve seen no reason to change that opinion.

    Also, Noble’s statements on fallen pastors indicate that he thinks that affairs are the end of pastoral ministry.

  17. AP Oct 1, 2009 3:42 pm

    Anthony: Gary’s announcement was made on June 7 of this year. I do think that it is too early to be talking about starting another church, and perhaps even sharing a testimony that is still being written (by God). That point I am not contending. I am just saying that God is able to use us in our weaknesses, even when men have written us off. Yeah, it’s probably too soon for him to be up in front of people, but God can still do His work regardless.

  18. James Downing Oct 1, 2009 3:47 pm

    No doubt about that AP, God is all-powerful.

    Still, wiser decisions need to be made by all of these guys. That’s what got Lamb in this position in the first place.

  19. Paul Oct 1, 2009 3:59 pm

    Duncan,

    agree with you. lamb was never qualified to begin with. The qualifications set forth by paul focus on gifting and character. Lamb flunked on character well before his “fall”. the sin of adultery is the fruit of bad character. Adultery had the sins of lust, coveting, lying, stealing, rebellion against God, and idolatry in the heart well before the actual physical act. He deceived many, and should not have ever been a pastor. Well, his church may be been decieved…it happens. hope they learned from it although it appears they have not. I think lamb should never be in the office of “elder/pastor” idefinately if never again. Marriage is supposed to be a reflection of the Gospel..the marraige of Jesus to his bride. Lamb, through his sin, spit all over that refelction. perhaps i’m being too hard. at the same time, perhaps we as believers take sin too lightly.

  20. AP Oct 1, 2009 4:00 pm

    You make a great point, James. I can’t really defend the decisions that are being made.

    We have to be willing to allow other people to speak into our lives and say, “Dude, what the heck are you thinking?” And while someone said that accountability will never make you into the type of person you don’t want to become,it is still needed by us all.

    It does make me wonder if there are people in Gary’s life who are saying, “Man, we love you! But you must wait on God- and stop tweeting about starting the next church so soon- it’s only been 3 months!”

    Well, I gotta put the finishing touches on the sermon. Have a great weekend guys!

  21. Ron Oct 1, 2009 4:36 pm

    Here is why Lamb’s qualifications as a pastor should be questioned:

    http://www.garylamb.org/2008/07/03/trailer-stolen/
    Contemplate his attitute of ‘forgiveness’ towards those who stole the trailer…

    Some thoughts of mine on the aforementioned URL/post
    http://ronclick.wordpress.com/2008/07/04/two-thefts/

  22. Paul Oct 1, 2009 4:48 pm

    Ron…excellent post. very good.

  23. Sara Crocker Oct 1, 2009 4:57 pm

    @ Ron:

    Thanks for that link to Lamb’s post. That post is embarrassing, stomach turning, and infuriating all at the same time. It is just further affirmation that my gut feelings about the immaturity and culture driven attitudes of some of these emergent preachers are correct. That post sounds a lot like Perry Noble’s “punch you in the throat” posts. They should be ashamed. But, who should be more shocked, outraged, and embarrassed than I am, are the thousands who affirm this garbage with their money and attendance each week.

    These “pastors” sound more like thug rappers than Jesus. Appalling.

    And to think…Jesus’ prayed for the forgiveness of the very ones nailing him to the cross

  24. Anthony Oct 1, 2009 7:00 pm

    WOW! thats all I can say after reading that link from Ron. Thanks for that! Also, I am going to Catalyst next week!

  25. Seth Oct 1, 2009 11:32 pm

    Anthony

    I will be there too! Should be amazingly crazy good. Can’t wait!

  26. Josh Oct 2, 2009 9:34 am

    Titus 1:5 This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you— 6 if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination. 7For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, 8but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined. 9He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.

    I don’t see how anyone could think Gary Lamb is qualified to be an elder or pastor. Being a church leader isn’t a right. Lots of people are disqualified from being elders. Women can’t be elders, for example. Does this mean women can’t serve God? Of course not. The bible is filled with examples of women who did great things for God. The bible has no examples of women serving as pastors or elders because they don’t meet the biblical qualifications. There is also no example of a man serving as a church leader who destroyed his marriage with an adulterous affair with a woman in his church. Any guess why?

    Hopefully Gary Lamb will stop focusing on what he apparently desires (to be a hip church planter/pastor) and serve God in one of the many, many other ways in which he is still qualified. But if I was a betting man, I’d say he’ll have a church meeting in some high school, movie theater or bar before summer of next year.

  27. Slim Oct 4, 2009 11:04 pm

    From Gary Lamb’s blog post today:

    “I’ve been attending a great church in Rome, Ga. The people there have been awesome and have shown us love and grace like I’ve never seen. I’ve enjoyed attending there and seeing what God is going to do through them.”

    US?! Elena and Gary are attending church together? No…there is nothing positive I can learn from anyone with Gary Lamb’s actions at this time.

  28. AP Oct 5, 2009 2:30 pm

    Slim: Perhaps I missed something, but how do you infer that when Gary says “us,” he means anyone other than he and his kids?

  29. Slim Oct 5, 2009 3:12 pm

    Because I follow his twitter, and his children only stayed Friday night with him.

  30. Slim Oct 5, 2009 3:16 pm

    AP: Why would the church feel the need to show “grace” to his children? When reading within the context of the sentence, “grace” would not apply to his children.

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