While I was gone, a minister at the First Christian Church, Disciples of Christ, in St. Joseph, Mo., blogged about a long ago encounter with a twentysomething Jerry Johnston.
At that time, the man who would one day lead the First Family church of Overland Park, Kan., was the evangelist at a Southern Baptist youth camp. The good Rev. Peep was a teenaged camper.
Even then Johnston preached hellfire. He terrified the young camper. In his post, the Rev. Peep argues that Johnston's theology of fear is more of a betrayal of his congregation than the financial shenanigans Johnston has been accused of recently.
The Rev. Peep writes;
I can't help but think about the 13 year-old me. I believed what he said. I trusted him. I agonized over what he preached. I was tender-hearted, vulnerable and doing my best to be a good Christian. I was manipulated. I only lost a bit of innocence. I never recall giving any money to Jerry Johnston, like so many others. Yet, he betrayed me and he betrayed the Gospel by teaching me about a vengeful God and offering nothing of God's grace. Jerry's gospel was about Jerry. Then and now.When I have time. (Hah! No really...) I want to look more into the Gospel of Jerry. I think it may well be time to talk theology, but first, a little money-inducing work.