11/28/2013 | Share this article: View CommentsBy Glebealyth ~
One newspaper called him the “Crystal Methodist” - he is now suspended from his position as a Methodist minister of 40 years’ standing - after having been found to be purchasing crystal meth and cocaine.
When he resigned as a City Councillor in Bradford, UK, citing "increasing and competing demands on his time", the leader of the council reportedly paid tribute to his “significant and lasting contribution”. No mention was made of the fact that he had resigned when “inappropriate, adult content” was discovered on the council’s laptop which had been issued to him for work, and which he had taken in to be serviced.
He is no longer the Chairman of the Cooperative Bank.
One assumes that this man of the cloth, Paul Flowers, who apparently used his work email address for the task of soliciting “rent boys”, is a believing Christian, though it is not something he is currently boasting about. If he is, where did the renewing of the old through the bold of Jesus and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit disappear to? Was he born again, or merely regurgitated, slightly pre-digested?
Whilst his ordination might be called a “ministry”, I fail to recall any mention of meth addiction or pornography collection among the many “fruits of the Spirit“ by which it is claimed that the world will know Jesus’ followers.
Mr Flowers, to his credit, has apologized saying, "This year has been incredibly difficult with a death in the family and the pressures of my role with the Co-operative Bank. At the lowest point in this terrible period, I did things that were stupid and wrong. I am sorry for this, and I am seeking professional help, and apologise to all I have hurt or failed by my actions."
I am at a loss to know what happened to “not being tested beyond what you can bear” that we hear so often from believers. Where is the strength that fellowshipping with Jesus is supposed to provide to help face trials which life tends to throw at us?. A death in the family is a stressful event – sad and painful - but everyone, except those who die very young, experiences this and the world seems to be turning, still, and, after all the generations of its existence, humanity is still around, dealing with it.
This is not schadenfreude. I am not saying, “Look, how the mighty are fallen!”.
I am asking believers to consider serious questions here:
- We are all capable of doing these things. Not one of us is immune from falling prey to what you, a believer, might call sin; but what I want to know is not why Mr (Rev) Flowers failed Jesus, but why Jesus failed Mr Flowers.
- Mr Flowers will have regularly asked Jesus, “Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil”. He will have prayed this for himself and for his congregation, so where was Jesus?
- When Mr Flowers led the singing of “Standing on the Promises”, “Victory in Jesus” and other favourite Methodist hymns, where was Jesus? He seems not to have been interested in making the words of those hymns come true.
- Why did Jesus let Paul Flowers down?
- Should you not start to question whether the promises in the Bible will ever be kept?
The greatest shame here is that Mr Flowers will now be prosecuted for drugs offences, having been caught on video, committing them. Why is that the greatest shame? Because there will be no action taken against those who lied to Mr Flowers about the divine help he could expect to receive once he entered a life of service to Jesus as a disciple, ordained or otherwise. No, they will not be brought to justice for their frauds; and, of course, neither Jesus, nor his Dad will be made to pay for the breach of contract which their broken promises constitute.
Mr Flowers should be pitied, because he was conned. Despite the promises, Jesus was nowhere to be seen offering assistance, comfort and succour in any of Paul Flowers’ hours of need, and it is Paul Flowers who will pay the price. The Lord has certainly been Paul Flowers’ shepherd, and Paul is now the lamb about to be slain.
The Guardian, BBC News