Article Library of Christian Thoughts · April 21, 2018
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Confessions of a 20 Something: Be inCREDIBLE!
Two prominent Christian leaders—Juanita Bynum and Ted Haggard—appeared on the reality show DIVORCE COURT. Bynum—a televangelist, prophetess, singer and author—is best known for empowering women to pursue spiritual maturity. Known as a champion of healthy relationships, Bynum recently divorced her husband Bishop Weeks in a high-profile case that included allegations of domestic violence. Haggard pastored New Life Church, a mega church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. A successful preacher and head of the National Association of Evangelicals, Haggard revealed in 2006 that he was involved in a three-year affair with a male prostitute. Bynum first appeared on DIVORCE COURT in April 2008; Haggard (accompanied by his wife, Gayle) turned up in April 2009. Both Bynum and Haggard spoke about their troubles and healing processes. They also counseled litigants on the show.

Two prominent Christian leaders—Juanita Bynum and Ted Haggard—appeared on the reality show DIVORCE COURT.

Bynum—a televangelist, prophetess, singer and author—is best known for empowering women to pursue spiritual maturity. Known as a champion of healthy relationships, Bynum recently divorced her husband Bishop Weeks in a high-profile case that included allegations of domestic violence.

Haggard pastored New Life Church, a mega church in Colorado Springs, Colorado. A successful preacher and head of the National Association of Evangelicals, Haggard revealed in 2006 that he was involved in a three-year affair with a male prostitute.

Bynum first appeared on DIVORCE COURT in April 2008; Haggard (accompanied by his wife, Gayle) turned up in April 2009. Both Bynum and Haggard spoke about their troubles and healing processes. They also counseled litigants on the show.

I’m not in the business of picking apart the private lives of Bynum or Haggard. So, I won’t focus on their marriages or what not. That’s none of my business. And what the heck would I know about marriage, anyway?

This I know: there is no scandal too large for God. Restoration is what He’s all about. Bynum and Haggard fell. As the seasoned mothers in our churches would say, “God is still in the miracle-working, soul-cleansing business.”

The fact remains, though, that DIVORCE COURT is a cross between Days of Our Lives, Flavor of Love and Cheaters. In short, it’s a hot mess. For these two bright pastors who are hard at work rebuilding their ministries, appearances on DIVORCE COURT further damages their fragile reputations. It adds even more drama to an already tenuous circumstance.

Not a good look.

Choices (i.e. choice of platform; choice of appearances) build our reputation. Reputation fuels credibility. Credibility propels our witnessing power for Jesus. If people don’t take believers seriously, they don’t want to hear what any of us have to say. They won’t want our Jesus, either. As Christians, we have to be mindful that a good speaking opportunity is not always a Godly one.

Was appearing on DIVORCE COURT a good or God thing? I don’t have a definitive answer. I’ll give Haggard and Bynum props in that they demonstrated great strategy.

In secular theory, DIVORCE COURT is exactly where a preacher should tell the world of their individual healing process, voice their side of the story, demonstrate where they are now in their walk. That may have even been the ingenious approach taken by Bynum and Haggard. In practice, however, God doesn’t need our clever game plans.

The following passage aptly describes credibility:

A credibility check is rooted in the past. It has to do with reputation….Reputation is to be cherished and cared for. A damaged one lower’s people’s estimation of a leader’s worth and their motivation to follow. Credibility, like reputation, is something that is earned over time. It does not come automatically with the job or the title…complete trust is granted (or not) only after people have had the chance to get to know more about the person. Reputation is human collateral…The credibility foundation is built brick by brick…The conclusion is inescapable: when people work with leaders they admire and respect, they feel better about themselves. Credible leaders raise self-esteem. Leaders who make a difference to others cause people to feel that they too can make a difference. They set people’s spirits free and enable them to become more than they might have thought possible.

In other words, be inCREDIBLE!

“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches” (Proverbs 22:1)

“A good name is better than precious ointment” (Ecclesiastes 7:1)


*Kouzes & Posner (2007) Credibility: How leaders gain and lose it; why people demand it. New York: Wiley-India.


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