Paul Wilson: The Free Fall of Councilman and Pastor Brooks

sLGIX.St.81It’s old news…

Kansas City Councilman Rev. Michael Brooks pulls a Weiner and sexts his righteousness to a female on Facebook. My first thought; if you’re a person with any level of prominence, how do you think that’s not going to go public?

Actor Hugh Grant parked curbside on Sunset Blvd. with Divine Brown partially in the passenger seat, the President of the United States armed with a cigar and an intern under the desk – you have to know it’s not going to end well.

Why do these men of God fail?

It happens more than we care to admit. From Brooks to Jimmy Swaggart, or the colossal meltdown of local First Family‘s mega ego’d pastor Jerry Johnston.

_38691859_swaggart238Swaggart railed against sexual sin going as far as to help expose Assembly of God pastor Marvin Gorman for having multiple affairs. Gorman lost his church but returned the favor by having Swaggart stalked until he turned up at the Travel Inn, New Orleans, checking into #7 with a local hooker.

How does this happen to the spiritual leaders of their congregations?

The answer is simple – like it or not – they’re HUMAN.

Great men of the Bible failed – disciples, living and walking with Jesus – and they needed no more faith than a glance across the dinner table to see their Jesus.

How could the job possibly be easier today living? It’s not.

Screen shot 2013-08-16 at 8.27.31 AM*** 1050 pastors were surveyed by the Fuller Institute. The results were staggering, and for the sake of brevity, I’ve rounded them down.

***100% had close friends who left the ministry over burnout, inner church conflict or moral failure.

*** 90% considered leaving the ministry.

*** 80% felt they did not have a good marriage.

*** 70% felt underqualified or poorly trained to lead and manage the church or counsel others, leaving them disheartened in their ability and battling depression at a level they described as “beyond fatigue” on a weekly or daily basis.

*** 60% would leave if they had a better place to go, including secular work.

*** 30% were divorced or currently in a divorce process.

*** And lastly, only 20% said they felt happy or content on a regular basis with who they are, their church, and their homes!

Check it, the basis for their worth and value, missing in 80% of them. What could that set you up?

These are men who basically spend every waking hour feeding the congregation, many times at the expense of their own family lives, while having self imposed pressures to be the perfect family on public display at all times. Rarely home, caring for the needs of others – the cobbler’s family that has no shoes.

Get the picture? You want that gig?

Making matters worse the people of the church expect nothing short of perfection from their leader. He’s human, but he’s expected to be Godlike.

The sun warms the congregation, but who warms the sun?

Confidants and true friends are hard to come by. A good deal of these people’s load is confidential and pastors are among the least likely to seek mental health assistance or counseling of any kind. Internally, they live with a level of hypocrisy just as we all do, preaching about living the Godly life while struggling with the same issues we all do.

We all are hypocrites on some level, but it leaves them with an internal struggle that seemingly has no cure.

And lest we forget politics.

If it’s a church of 20 or 20,000, it’s no different than in the corporate world, sad as that may sound. The smaller church pastors struggle with tight finances and old timers who want things to remain “just the way its always been.” The mega church pastor has a large staff, major donors, influential church members, huge budgets and yes, their own families.

So the job description is to balance conflict, family issues, finances, a 24/7 work load, politics, appear perfect and steadfast, manage stress – just like the rest of us in the corporate world – not to mention the ugly things that are often said and done under the guise of “Christianity.”

We place them on a pedestals and the power and influence can go to their heads.

Rev. Brooks is a just a man, nothing more.

Was he stupid? That’s pretty obvious, but in the eyes of God, sin is sin and it’s no worse than what each of us engage in daily. As fun as it is to laugh at these people – and I totally get it – they really do need our prayers and support.

Should Brooks step down? Sure.

But there’s no pleasure in these situations for anyone, because in the words of Winston Churchill, “There but for the grace of God, go I.”

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19 Responses to Paul Wilson: The Free Fall of Councilman and Pastor Brooks

  1. Sergent Shriver Stedenko says:

    I think the problem is more widespread among non denominational churches. Without a church hierarchy to watch over them and sanction them it just results in a bunch of people who went to pretty suspect Bible Colleges or none at all just calling themselves a church.

    Every pastor I know, save a few Catholic Priests, live comfortable lives rent free in the church rectory with nothing but the best provided for them by their congregations.

    Adam Hamilton and his growing Church of the Ressurection empire (now encompasses a liquor store and a convenient bank to **change your money in the temple!**) are a great example.

    For one after the fall, check out Jerry Johnston at first family. Ole Jerry used to charge Blue Valley North for his anti-drug speeches (lol) and lived in bigger Hallbrook house than captains of industry.

    I see the white suburban megachurch minister and the black urban nondenominational right-reverend-minister as two sides of the same greed coin. Is it worse to take dollars from those who have Money but no soul or those who have Soul but no money?

    • Patriot says:

      I agree Sergent. And the blacks seem to have a disproportionate number of clergy among them. Seems like the majority of them are a bishop, deacon, pastor, etc. of The First Church of Holy God in Sweet Jesus Christ of Salvation and Everlasting Peace Evangelical Temple, which is often housed in a former Taco Bell.

      • paulwilsonkc says:

        Patriot, if I use that church name in a future story, do I need to give you credit?

        • Patriot says:

          No, Paul … Use it in good health. Just be sure to put a lil’ somethin in the collection plate if you stop by on Sunday.

  2. Orphan of the Road says:

    The Right-Reverend-Councilman didn’t fall, he jumped.

    More empirical proof that putting religion and government together is a death sentence for the public.

    If the holier-than-thou-crowd would look at the guy who started the whole shebang rather than create him in their image, they would see he looks like Tony Botello and not Jeffery Hunter.

    And if they listened to what he is reported to have spoken about during his time, we wouldn’t have these leaches stealing in the name of their lord and being servant to two, unreconcilable masters.

    Just as every cop is a criminal
    And all the sinners saints
    As heads is tails
    Just call me lucifer
    Cause I’m in need of some restraint
    So if you meet me
    Have some courtesy
    Have some sympathy, and some taste
    Use all your well-learned politesse
    Or I’ll lay your soul to waste, um yeah
    Pleased to meet you
    Hope you guessed my name, um yeah
    But what’s puzzling you
    Is the nature of my game

  3. mark smith says:

    Brooks penis has its own Twitter account. I can’t post a link for some reason. Just Google brooks rogue penis or death it on Twitter. It’s comedy genius.

  4. mark smith says:

    Search it, not death, fvcking auto correct

  5. paulwilsonkc says:

    Mark, I searched it and all that comes up is a reference to it from an Alonzo tweet, not the actual page. Any chance its been nuked?

  6. mark smith says:

    No its still there try

  7. chuck says:

    I saw the pics on Tony’s blog and the creep factor is galactical, not becuase of the dick picture, but the close-up with the tongue.


    Just brutal…

  8. mike says:

    Many of them are so busy doing what they think is God’s work, they end up neglecting their relationship with Jesus as well as their family members. They have to prioritize. Their relationship with God should be first, then their relationship with their family, then their work. Their work will end up suffering anyhow if the other two things are not put ahead of it.

  9. Libertarian says:

    Religion was forced on me for the first 16 years of my life. Today, I have very mixed views on organized religion.

    I do have to agree with you, Paul-its hard to walk the walk.

    • paulwilsonkc says:

      Similar background, you and I. I saw the ugly underbelly of church from different periods in my life, but came to a time I had to get my eye off the hypocrisy ball and focus on me and my life, my relationship with God, not what others were doing. In the end, I am only responsible for me and if you want to get picky, we are all a little hypocritical to some measure; it’s just easier to see the splinter in our fellow man’s eye, even if we have a board in ours.
      We actually attend one of the churches lightly criticized in an earlier comment. My wife assists in leading worship there; she’s one of the top 3 jazz voices in the city. It’s been an amazing place of healing for me and a place that truly does put its money where its mouth is and walks the walk as closely as any one.
      Thanks, Lib, as usual, you always have well-reasoned comments, whether I always agree or not isn’t important. Appreciate your thoughts.

      • Libertarian says:

        Without a father figure in my life (dad was out the picture before I was 2), my working mom thought God was the only answer to everything.

        She thought she could just raise 4 kids by the grace of God, and she did.

        However, that didnt answer all the crazy, worldy questions I had about life. 10,000 years ago, the Bible would have held the answers, but not today, and mom wasnt having any part of finding answers elsewhere.

        Like you, I continue to be the best I can, giving thanks to God daily.

        Since nobody is perfect, what else can we do, right?

        • paulwilsonkc says:

          Lib, I think the Bible really does hold answers for today, but there’s a really important word that needs to come into play; CONTEXT.
          I was raised by a right wing, religious, totally well meaning Mom, a very godly lady, but a literalist from A-Z. “The Bible says it, I believe it, that settles it” and there in laid the issues I struggled with for 40 years.
          There really is hope in clean, normal spiritual life but God isn’t Santa Claus. He gave us brains and expects us to use them.
          Since I sorted out how I was raised from what I always felt was right… it works a lot better. And, no matter how people view the place or the person, Adam Hamilton has been nothing short of instrumental in that, for me.
          He encourages people to disagree with him and pretty much require you use your brain. Its church for the thinking man…. and it works for me. Plus, I get to hear my wife sing all the time.

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