Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Kansas: Christian bloggers express outrage over Jerry Johnston's transgressions

By Diane Silver

The blogosphere is jumping into the story about megachurch pastor Jerry Johnston of Johnson County, and it isn't a pretty sight. Most of the harshest commentary is coming from Christian bloggers.

In a series of Kansas City Star stories this weekend, Johnston was shown to be hiding his books, possibly misusing donations and committing a host of other transgressions, both large and small.

First up in my review of the blogosphere is JustCara, who gets the award for being the first blogger to jump on the stories about Johnston. Cara is a tad more secular than the harshest critics, but her blog is interesting because of all the comments folks have posted about Johnston. These include comments from people who claim to be members of his church or former members.

Meanwhile, Johnston is taking the harshest fire from Christian bloggers.

And more fire from Christian bloggers.

A local minister takes Johnston to task and notes:
But I also know that Johnston's philosophy of ministry is polar opposite of my own. In fact, I believe it's opposite of how a minister should act... Jerry’s arrogance was absolutely breath-taking at times. Recently he suggested that such National Christian leaders as Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell were getting “old” and that someone would need to replace them in the forefront of Christianity. You know who he suggested? Himself.
Yet another criticism from a Christian blogger, who write that at the very least Johnston and First Family Church did a terrible job of managing this media crisis.

Another Kansas pastor blogs:
At the risk of sounding smug myself, I would just mention that this Pastor’s downfall could be seen coming “a mile away.” I certainly don't say that gleefully, but rather with a note of sadness.
Tony's Kansas City, a decidedly unChristian blog, takes aim at Johnston and mulls over the place of religion in the metro area.

Photo Credit: I'm sorry, but I couldn't resist this. The photo is from the web site of the Bott Radio Network, which just dropped Johnston's radio program. The headline on the photo and accompanying story is "Kansas Pastors Meet for Moral Activism Thursday, June 3rd at First Family Church."

Of course the "moral activism" discussed at that meeting had to do with passing a ban on same-sex marriage, so that adults who love each other and are committed to spending their lives together don't get any legal rights. The "morality" of this session also had to do with making it harder for the children in these families to get health care and other benefits, or even have the right to live with the parents who love them.

How very moral of these pastors. Of course, folks that day didn't discuss such basic issues as honesty, integrity and keeping your word, but at least they were "moral."

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