What’s next for Gary Lamb? 32

A few more thoughts on the Gary Lamb story.

  1. Elena Stoeckig is being trashed. I don’t know her story, but she’s not getting a fair deal here. Lamb didn’t apologize to her. Noble didn’t either. The official Revolution staff statement ignores her completely as well. She was a paid staff member who lost her job and perhaps her marriage because of the actions of their pastor. One would have thought that Christian decency at least owes her an apology. Instead, she is being trashed. Witness this reaction to her from someone who knew Elena and appears to be involved in the Revolution church:

    Wow! Hope you are proud of yourself you manipulative, psysco! Karma is a bitch, better prepare!

    In Lamb’s one-sided apology, he said he is 100 percent responsible. I don’t buy it. By refusing to apologize to Elena, the subtext is that she was the aggressor and he was the victim. Until I see that apology, Lamb’s statements about taking responsibility are just formulaic and hollow. He’s saying what he needs to say to save his career.

  2. Elena has disappeared, but Gary remains. Elena Stoeckig’s blog has disappeared. Her twitter account has vanished. Ditto for her husband. Gary Lamb, however, is still as big and bold online as ever. Lamb and his people are circling the wagons around Gary, but leaving Elena in the cold. As Ron Burgundy said, “I don’t know how to put this, but I’m kind of a big deal.”
  3. The sin will be excused. If we’ve learned anything about what matters in these churches, it is that it’s all about bringing people to Jesus. Lamb’s supporters will soon discover that his replacements won’t be as effective at it as Lamb was, so the longer they keep him away, the more that they’ll be complicit in populating hell. It’s the same thinking behind a recent comment on another post on this blog.

    Each week people are meeting Christ and even if it’s just one person, that is one person that won’t go to Hell. Yes, there are things that happen that I may not agree with but I don’t know anything in life that I completely agree with, 100% of the time. As I have said to others, who are we to cast the first stone? I know I’m not perfect.

  4. Lamb will be back in the pulpit, probably at Revolution, within six months. As much as his church is supposedly not about the man, they are about to find out how much it probably was. The rhetorical style of preaching is built on passionate outrage, so they’ll have trouble finding someone who can match Lamb. My guess is that they’ll pipe Noble in and make Revolution at least a temporary NewSpring video franchise.
  5. No other pastors will reassign their personal assistants. Where did this job title come from anyway? Hollywood? Affairs with secretaries are a staple of business life, but at least there’s some official separation between the boss and a secretary or administrative assistant; both are working for the same entity. Labeling someone a personal assistant changes the relationship and makes the person the vassal of the boss, someone who works primarily for the man rather than for the organization. Administrative assistants are people who help the boss do his job; personal assistants are more likely to be seen as someone to be used by the boss for whatever he wants. Note how Lamb just thought Elena was his for the taking. That thinking coincided almost exactly with the beginning of the affair. Perhaps it’s time for these show-time pastors to rethink that relationship.

32 thoughts on “What’s next for Gary Lamb?

  1. Seth Jun 8, 2009 7:06 pm

    I believe the reason that they haven’t brought more up on her, and I know this because I listened to the service this past weekend in which they announced this is because it is a personal issue. I am willing to bet that there was an apology. His letter to everyone was to the congregation, not to Elena. That apology, if made in public, would hold less credability that if it was done between just the 2 of them. Think, would an apology to Elena be more sincere in person or via a letter? I seriously doubt Lamb will be back at revolution at least for a year. And, if he does come back, so what? Yes, committing adultry is a sin, but, since we are all sinners would that not disqualify everyone from being a pastor because in God’s eyes all sin is equal. I agree with him stepping down though, it was the right thing for him to do and the right decision by the board of elders. And there is a difference between excusing sin and forgiving sin, if they excused the sin, he would still be preaching and would not have stepped down as Revolustions leader. And, just because Elena has disappeared, does not mean she is out in the cold. I am willing to bet she is becoming reclusive so as to not have a million questions answered as well as not have a ton of hate thrown her way. Also, yes, Gary is keeping his twitter and blog active, but as it says on his bolg, he will not be visiting them nor will he be using them for some time. If, in his apology, he mentioned Elena and an apology, then you would get on to him about how it isn’t a real apology. I don’t agree with having the letter, designed to be addressed to the congregation, including an apology to her because that was not the place to include that, it is a matter better left to be between the 2 of them. We don’t know who intiated it, we don’t know all the nitty gritty details.

    Overall, I hate to see this happen, but, I support how the situation was handled and I will pray for Gary Lamb and his family, Revolution in this time of transition, Elena and her family, and anyone else who may be affected by this.

  2. Jared Wilson Jun 8, 2009 7:16 pm

    Why should he apologize to her, exactly? Is she a victim? Any more or less than he is?

    He should apologize with face in the dirt before her husband. It’s none of our business if he does or doesn’t, if it’s public or private. But before he apologizes to his church and after he apologizes to his wife, he ought to beg Kyle’s forgiveness.

  3. James Duncan Jun 8, 2009 7:37 pm

    Why apologize?

    He apologized publicly to everyone else. If he can apologize to his wife in his public statements, he can apologize to the people in the other marriage he has ruined.

    He has cost Elena her job, her reputation, and perhaps her marriage. He hurt her more than anyone else.

    Seth, who cares who initiated it? He was her boss (there’s all sorts of sexual harassment issues in that alone). He has a free will, right? As they say, it takes two to tango.

    Without that apology, the message (that Seth seems to have picked up on) is that she initiated it and therefore doesn’t deserve an apology. There is nothing gentlemanly about how GL is handling this part of it.

  4. Sara Crocker Jun 8, 2009 7:44 pm

    @ Jared Wilson:

    I think he should apologize to Elena for pursuing her/seducing her/using his power to sway her into this affair. Yes, she is at fault as well, but leaving her out to dry is wrong. And I totally agree that he owes Kyle a huge apology before he starts begging forgiveness from his fellow pastors and congregation.

    @ Seth

    You are an eternal apologist for these people. Why? I get the whole grace and forgiveness and not casting the first stone thing. I agree. But I’m starting to think that anything these men do is excusable in your eyes. It’s like you have no standards at all. It’s people like you that inflate these men’s egoes. They can do no wrong according to you.

  5. Jared Wilson Jun 8, 2009 7:59 pm

    I think he should apologize to Elena for pursuing her/seducing her/using his power to sway her into this affair.

    Do we know that’s what happened?

    Does it matter, really?

    James, I’m not saying he shouldn’t apologize. I’m saying it doesn’t make sense to me for him to apologize to her, as if she is a victim. They’re both at fault. Let’s not buy into the “poor guy was seduced” or “poor girl was controlled.”
    He didn’t hurt her any more than she hurt him, just assuming it was a reciprocal affair.

    The victims are their spouses and their church.

    Honestly, it’s none of my business, so that’s the last I’ll say about it. I just find it odd everyone’s talking about victims and apologies but nobody thinks to mention the lady’s husband.

  6. Seth Jun 8, 2009 8:14 pm

    Duncan

    Again, you don’t lknow if he did or did not apologize to Elena’s husband or family of what, so I do not think it fair to assume that just because he did not do it in a letter read by someone else written for the church that he did not do it in person.

    Sarah

    Would you have me critize him, condemn him, and outcast him? That does not seem very Christ-like. Do i realize what he has done?, yes, do i know it is wrong? yes, but, we are not called to condemn and outcast him, Christ would not do that so neither can we. If I condemn him, critize him, and outcast him what kind of message does that send to outsiders who are not of the Christian faith? That if you mess up once we won’t love you? That is not the message that God sends to us so who are we to send that message to someone else? This is a chance for Christians to acknowledge the wrong but at the sametime to show to people who are not of the faith how we as Christians act, not with hate and outcast to a fallen brother/sister in Christ but with love and forgiveness. So, what would you have me do? Show love to him like the Bible says we are or to condemn him, critize him, and outcast him?

  7. James Duncan Jun 8, 2009 8:18 pm

    Jared, I mentioned the husband in the first post, btw, and suggested that he was owed an apology.

    I realize that we don’t know, nor need to know, the whole story. What we do know is that a boss had an affair with his personal assistant. Not knowing any other details, this is always his fault, much more than hers. Lamb’s whole attitude of owning Elena to be able to do with her as he wished puts him in the driver’s seat for whatever transpired between them.

    Who does the Bible blame for the David and Bathsheba affair? Hint, it’s not Bathsheba.

  8. Seth Jun 8, 2009 8:20 pm

    Duncan

    Also, yes, who cares who did initiate it, And since it takes 2 to have an affair, should she not also apologize? I have heard less from her an anyone, so, why get all over him when she has said nothing. It cost both of them their jobs and possibly their families, not just one or the other. Again, you don’t know what was said in private, so I don’t think you can make assumptions on how gentlemanly he is handling it. Maybe they did not want an apology right now, I know people like that, if you apologize too soon after something happens they get even more mad. And, they could have requested that Gary leave more details off the letter. You don’t know the full story.

  9. James Duncan Jun 8, 2009 8:22 pm

    Seth,

    Three people have made public statements about a public sin and apologized to people involved in the sin.

    Lamb, Noble, and the Revolution staff mentioned everyone except the Stoeckigs. Perhaps it was done in private, so why not also do it in public? I’m not impressed.

  10. Seth Jun 8, 2009 8:56 pm

    Duncan, they are not out to impress you. They do not have to prove anything to you, I think that if they had not apologized to Elena and her family, then she would have said something or their would be some kind of outrage over it. So, until anything surfaces about that, I will assume that he apologized to her. I’m sure Noble did not say anything partly b/c he might not have known Elena and partly because he was addressing the questions that were asked to him about Gary, not about Elena. Again, we do not know everything that happened, maybe they did not want a public apology, maybe they did not want anything more than their names mentioned, maybe it was because she initiated it, so there are a number of factors that you simply do not know, nor will you ever know, so whether or not your impressed does not affect the situation or what was done or said on the part of each party.

    Note-Yes, it is wrong that the staff note not mention Elena and kyle and their family, but, again, I do not know the whole story, so tho I may think they should be named for prayer, they arent and I am sure it is for a reason.

  11. Scott Pollard (RevScottie) Jun 8, 2009 9:23 pm

    One thing I continue to see being overlooked in this is the fact that Gary is much more than an adulterer and boss. He is a pastor and is held to a much higher level of accountability than any other Christian. I don’t know if there is such a thing as restoration of a pastor in this situation because one of the biblical qualifications is to be of good reputation. Gary’s reputation has been permanently damaged to the point that I don’t see how he could ever be restored to the role of pastor.And before anyone thinks that I am a Gary basher I count him as one of the people who most encouraged me to become involved in ministry, but I am angry that Gary fell into sin and put his own desires ahead of God’s work.

  12. Tommy F Jun 9, 2009 12:12 am

    Seth: You wrote: “So, until anything surfaces about that, I will assume that he apologized to her.” He doesn’t deserve the benefit of the doubt. I would suggest you assume the opposite. The fact that he mentioned who he had the affair with, necessitates the apology. He should have named her and apologized or said “the people involved want this to be a private matter.” Now, her name is archived online forever as the assistant who GLamb had an affair with. It would have been the right and responsible thing to apologize. And it would have taken 1 sentence.

    He’s named her publicly. He needs to apologize publicly. Until then, I’m going to assume he’s laying the ground to blame her, and deflect the blame from him to her. By not apologizing, it gives the silent message that he doesn’t owe her one. Like he’s not at fault. Sure, he says he’s at fault. But, if he’s totally at fault, then why no apology? This is basic elementary school-yard manners.

    He’ll be back. 12 months, a “rehab” with trusted pastors, and a church will come calling.

    I wonder where Elena will be in 12 months. And her family. I imagine the bus tire tracks will still be there. And I wonder if GLamb gives a damn.

  13. Slim Jun 9, 2009 4:37 am

    Jumping into the discussion–perhaps Gary and Elena are still together? They are still friends on Facebook, which I find odd (neither of their spouses are listed as friends). Also, there is a statement on Perry’s blog that DeAnna is going to “stay” at Revolution Church–strange wording, in my opinion.

  14. Andy Jun 9, 2009 8:54 am

    Acting like Elena is a victim is only making excuses for her sin. You say, “Lamb just thought Elena was his for the taking.” This is pure speculation. You have no idea whether or not Elena herself initiated the string of events that led to the affair.

    Just as it’s wrong for people to point at Elena and say it’s her fault, it’s wrong for you to point at Lamb and act like he preyed on her.

    They were BOTH responsible adults, they BOTH sinned. They owe each other apologies, yes, and they both owe the congregation apologies. But to act like one is merely a victim in the whole affair is naive.

    All of us ought to have Isaiah’s attitude before God’s holiness: “Woe is me, for I am undone! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts!”

  15. Andy Jun 9, 2009 9:34 am

    “Who does the Bible blame for the David and Bathsheba affair? Hint, it’s not Bathsheba.”

    This is just plain incorrect. Of COURSE God blamed both of them for the affair, just as both Adam and Eve were held responsible for the Fall. The claim “so-and-so tempted me!” is not an excuse.

    The difference with David and Bathsheba is that David greatly compounded his sin by arranging to have Uriah KILLED to hide his sin! In addition sexual immorality, he added murder (by proxy), and lying. He conspired to hide his sin from others, and gave no thought to the fact that the holy God witnessed it all, from beginning to end.

    So yes, if Lamb had arranged to have Elena’s husband killed, rather than confess and resign, you might have a point.

    Note the punishment that God pronounces through the prophet Nathan: “The Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child who is born to you shall die.” We would be shortsighted indeed if we failed to recognize that this is a punishment on Bathsheba as well.

    Interestingly, David says to God in Psalm 51:4, “Against You, and You only, have I sinned and done what is evil in Your sight, so that You may be justified in Your words and blameless in Your judgment.” He recognizes that, though our sin may have negative affects on others, that is not why it’s wrong. Our sin is wrong for the sole reason that it is rebellion against a holy God.

    “The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.”
    – 1 Tim 1:15

  16. Rhonda Jun 9, 2009 10:16 am

    I am the author of the comment mentioned in this post and I feel the need to explain that this is a much different scenario than the one I was commenting on. I don’t think Brad Cooper’s use of BAMF is horrible enough to overshadow the work of *Fuse. However, I would be extremely disappointed if Gary Lamb was back in ministry and I do not feel the same towards the Gary Lamb situation as I do the Brad Cooper situation. It’s not the same thinking, Dr. Duncan. In fact, I don’t think that Gary Lamb returning to ministry could be beneficial at all. I don’t believe he could be trusted and his reputation is forever tarnished. I do believe he made a mistake that he needs to correct his sin with Jesus and his family. In the staff announcement, they mentioned that the only reason Elena Stoeckig was named was to prevent speculation and rumors. I don’t know whether Gary Lamb apologized to her and her husband, but I do feel she is just as guilty as he is. She could have said no and she could have removed herself from the situation if she didn’t want to be in it. As I said, I do not feel Gary Lamb should return to ministry and I do not think this act should be swept under a rug and forgotten about.

  17. Scott Pollard Jun 9, 2009 11:28 am

    One reason that Elena was named publicly was to deflect any speculation that he had an improper relationship with his former assistant Taylor who was previously released from her position.

  18. Satan Jun 9, 2009 1:29 pm

    WOW!!!! this is off the hook.
    i was just sitting here at my pc working making sure all my porn sites is keeping christians and non christians from reading blogs that glorify you know who and decided to take a break. googled my favorite song “highway to hell”(just to make sure no other churches are using it to steal another 150 souls from me) and look what i found. This blog, threw me off at first when i saw church at the top but when i started reading WOW, F-bomb the porn i want more blog sites like this one. I mean slandering, gossiping, dragging my worst enemies through some mud, so on and so on. that will def help keep people from visiting these churches or any churchs. hearing the word of Jesus(I hate to even mention him). kind of brings a tear to my eye. And way to put down Gary Lamb. bout time someone put my work in the spot light. that took awhile but i finally got him. Keep on kicking that dude while hes down and keep him there. we dont want him back on his feet. he was doing to much damage to my purpose in eternity. Now keep on working on perry and steven. they are showing to much passion in bringing you know who into peoples lives and kicking my big red butt.

    Anyway, back to work. may try to google “church basher” instead of “church planters” and give them 2 big red thumbs up. later Duncan. Lou-dog out!

    C-ya soon,

    Satan

  19. Karen Jun 9, 2009 2:20 pm

    When I first read of Mr. Lamb’s resignation, I was very shocked that he publicly named his personal assistant but I can understand the reasoning: there are several female staffers there and they did not want the church members gossiping trying to figure out which one it was, thus causing innocent reputations to suffer. Having said that, he could have privately informed that local church body and NOT POSTED IT ON THE INTERNET both in print and in audio for millions to see and hear. This incident will now follow that woman around in cyberworld for the rest of her life! I agree with Seth’s idea that a personal apology between him and his assistant is more meaningful but the same can be said for an apology to his wife and kids. If he publicly goes through the laundry list of people who he hurt and publicly apologizes to those same people, then by default, whoever he leaves off the list makes it appear that he does not owe them an apology, thus he did not wrong them. Now as to whether he owes an apology to his assistant, that point is debatable as we don’t know the full story of how the affair evolved and if one or the other was the aggressor but the bottom line is that it takes two to tango so ultimately they share the responsibility. However, as her pastor, he was in a position of spiritual leadership/authority over her and even though the affair was consensual, he did fail her in that respect, and I think an apology for his failure in that leadership capacity was warranted. But I do not consider her a victim on the same level as the other family members. I feel that it was egregious for Mr. Lamb to publicly apologize to his own family and his congregation while failing to mention the personal assistant’s husband. The personal assistant’s husband (and any existing kids) were just as victimized. That other family’s lives have also been wrecked and it is just unconscionable that this family’s identity has been made public and this woman, although she sinned, she is having to bear the brunt of her shame in an excruciatingly public manner due to Mr. Lamb’s decision to broadcast her name to anyone and everyone. If they have to go through the agony of having their family put into the limelight, then they should also reap the benefit of a public apology and a public call for prayer and support, which does not appear to be happening.
    To date, I have not heard Mr. Lamb, nor his church staff, nor most of the blog supporters (on the internet in general, not here) call for anyone to lift up the personal assistant and her family in prayer. All I hear and read is support, forgiveness, grace and prayers for Mr. Lamb’s restoration. etc. And I agree that we should do this, but the double standard here (as far as to how the personal assistant and her family is being treated) is GLARING.

  20. Sara Crocker Jun 9, 2009 3:56 pm

    @ Satan (How silly does that sound?)

    Your post was lame.

  21. VML Jun 9, 2009 6:08 pm

    Maybe they should be apologozing to GOD!!!!!!! Hello people! Wake up! They are two adults who made a VERY AWFUL mistake! It takes two to TANGO. They are both adults, they both made a choice, “We all fall short and sin in the glory of GOD.” Pray for EVERYONE involved. They need to repent and rebuild their lives.

  22. James Duncan Jun 9, 2009 6:28 pm

    Rhonda,

    I’m glad you don’t extend your argument to excuse Lamb. I didn’t intend to suggest that you did, but I picked your comment as an example of the outline that others will use.

    (I could have picked a similar comment from Seth, but I didn’t want to start a “I didn’t say that” dialog with him and his shovel.)

  23. Not a Stone Thrower Jun 10, 2009 9:14 am

    I do believe that both Gary and Elena went into this willing and are equally responsible. Believing that its Gary more than Elana is just as wrong as believing all women are vile and infections like Gary’s mentor believes. The people the deserve the apologies are Gary’s wife and children and Elana’s husband and children. Both Gary and Elena should do this. The church is secondary to the family. I worked in church ministry as a worship leader for nearly 10 years and was beaten down with toxic relationships that all but destroyed my marriage. A year after I resigned, I was still not healthy nor was my marriage and I had an affair. There were many I hurt because of my actions, but my now ex-wife and kids were the ones I hurt the most. I take responsibility for my actions and sin. It is unfortunate that other’s in the church didnt see their actions prior to mine as toxic and sinful. Pastors, leaders, lay persons, parishioners and those who have never attended a church service in their life face choices everyday. Choices that carry consequences. Choices that can build or destroy. We are all human. We all make bad choices. Unfortunately many of those bad choices don’t only affect ourselves, but more so affects others.

  24. Stumbles onot this blog Jun 11, 2009 3:53 pm

    Who is James Duncan and why is this website so against these ministers. Is James Duncan an atheist or anti-christain or what? I was searching for Gary Lamb’s blog and I stumbled on this.

  25. James Duncan Jun 11, 2009 5:00 pm

    Stumbles,

    Someone who disagrees with a fallen human leader is an atheist?

    Think about what you’re saying.

  26. Stumbled on to this blog Jun 11, 2009 6:26 pm

    I did think about it….I just read a handful of your topics on here that were taking things that many different pastors have said and ripping them to shreds, as if to show these pastors should not be listened to. I may have posted to soon, but it really reminded me of the way atheists take scripture out of context, post it on the internet and rip holes in it. I am really curious who James Duncan is….I know that this is your blog and you are free to share your thoughts on all these topics….but please, I am curious. Who is James Duncan?

  27. James Duncan Jun 11, 2009 6:46 pm

    Stumbled,

    All that matters to you is that I’m the guy who writes this blog. Deal with the ideas you find here, not my identify or motives.

    Truth is truth, no matter who it comes from. Error is error, no matter who it comes from. It’s for you to determine whether what you read here is truth or error, not to worry about who is saying it.

    BTW, I will continue to deny that I’m really Perry Noble, no matter what conspiracy theories you hear.

  28. Seth Jun 11, 2009 7:22 pm

    Duncan

    Let me get this right, we should not deal with your motives, like you just said, yet, we should listen to you while you try and deal with other people’s motives? Yes, you do have some truth on this blog, yes, you do have some error on this blog, but, you also attack other pastors motives and critize them, and yet your motives cannot be attacked or critized? Shouldn’t you also be tested to see if you are right? If not, does that not make you a hypocrite? I think the ideas we find here are driven by your motives, so, i think your motives matter if you are critizing a church that is so big and powerful. In the same way you say they need to be checked, you also need to be checked because there are people out there who attack them just for the fun of it. Granted, sometimes your posts I feel are just attacking them for the fun of it, and other times I feel you may have a valid point. Take these latest posts, granted, you do put the facts out there, but you also assume somethings based on what you know(or think you know) and it comes across as attacking someone. Take the posts on How Perry Noble’s legalism failed Gary Lamb and The essence of Pharisaism, you took an idea, and, while having good intentions, you made it sound like 2 things, number one, Gary Lamb had the same level of accountablility and the same safeguards in place as Noble, and number 2, that Perry is a fool for trying to protect himself while you also forget to quote the rest of the blog which there is more to it than what you posted. So, For example, we don’t know if Lamb’s and Perry’s methods are the same, also, yes, you do call perry what he says to, the thing people get at is that, they feel like you are against any pastor who tries to protect himelf. So, I think just as you question other people who influnce alot of people motives, your motives, because you have claimed in the past that alot of people read you blog, should also be allowed to be questioned.

    PS. No, I’m not calling you an atheist or anything of that nature, I know better, but I figured I haven’t posted in awhile so, I would jump in here. But this time, I left my shovel in the car.

  29. Jake Jun 11, 2009 7:23 pm

    No offense, but PN has many more things to do with his time than run a blog like this…I completely agree with you there Duncan!!!

  30. Danny Jun 12, 2009 3:53 pm

    matthew 18:15-17 … that is all.

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