Planetshakers Insider

Musings on Life, the Christian Journey and being a part of Planetshakers City Church

Planetshakers: Pastoral Care, The Power of Confession

with 7 comments

“Pillars are Just Crutches” is a former YWAM missionary, current Bible College student who (like many Christian Bloggers) has been watching the Michael Guglielmucci saga.

He blogs on The power of pornography and the power of confession:

There is nothing that will destroy a man more quietly than shame.

There is nothing that a man will avoid more than shame.

Unfortunately, that seems to be the source of Mike Guglielmucci’s fall. It’s an all too common threat, especially since the internet, that has deceived many young Christians. What is the deception? Just one look.

What young men and women don’t understand is that once is never enough, and the enemy of our souls knows and understands this. And in a Christian culture where there is a lot of shame attached to sexual sin, and especially pornography, that shame is more of a stumbling block to healing than the actual sin itself.

There is something particularly powerful that a lot of Christian do not do. Maybe because they think it’s Catholic, maybe because they think that it’s between them and God, maybe because they’re ashamed to do it so they use the other 2 excuses. Christians do not confess things to each other.

I’m not talking about confessing to anyone. It should be someone you completely trust and someone who is godly and mature. It may be a good friend or a pastor, or an elder in your church, ask someone. Nothing will kill shame faster like confessing it to a godly person, asking God for forgiveness and then praying together.

Therefore confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective. (James 5:1)

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. (Rom. 8:1)

Can we really blame Mike Guglielmucci for not confessing his addiction to pornography sooner?

Had he confessed – what would have happened to him?

I expect he would have had a lot of fear… That he would lose everything he’d worked so hard for – everything that God had entrusted to him – his own good reputation included.

After all, as Dutch Sheets referred to, in pentecostal churches, “looking on the inside” is rare – so what would have happened if Mike Guglielmucci had have showed his sin?

We, the leaders of the charismatic community, have operated in an extremely low level of discernment. Frankly, we often don’t even try to discern. We assume a person’s credibility based on gifts, charisma, the size of their ministry or church, whether they can prophesy or work a miracle, etc. (Miracles and signs are intended to validate God and His message, not the messenger; sometimes they validate the assignment of an individual, but never the person’s character, lifestyle or spiritual maturity.)

We know how ruthless and unforgiving Christians can be to one another…

But would it have mattered?

Would Mike Guglielmucci’s confession to a smaller sin, even in September 2006 (just prior to the cancer story/myth/deception, but still while he was under Planetshakers’ authority) – would this have ended it all before it got “out of hand”?

My point remains – Planetshakers needs true pastoring, where we might receive a soft shoulder, insightful word, caring teacher, probing question or a firm rebuke…

Delegating authority to one man (Urban Life Group Coordinator, Ben Fewster), who in turn delegates authority to dozens of small group leaders who aren’t trained or skilled in pastoral care – what hope is there for the broken, the misguided, the hurt or those lacking in faith.

Planetshakers – please shepherd your flock!

I’m going to finish on a comment from “Julia”:

It´s sad that Planetshakers reaction is: Mike didn’t work here anymore, we didn’t know about it, etc etc. In other words: “DON’T BLAME US”. It seems like that’s all they care about.

Mike was involved with them for a long time, during his addiction. In those 16 years of his addiction, he didn’t feel safe enough to find ONE person to tell the truth to.

In my opinion, everyone who was involved in Mike’s life, ESPECIALLY church leaders (but also his family & friends-but I’m sure they already do that), should examine right now if they contributed to an environment where Mike was put on a pedestal, where there was no accountability and where there was no safe place for him to admit his addiction.
Planetshakers was a big part of his life, and they shouldn’t be thinking about their reputation, they should very very seriously analyse if they worried enough about their pastoral care and how this could have happened.

That’s the saddest part for me, that he felt like he had to carry this burden alone for 16 years, that just speaks volumes to me.

7 Responses

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  1. Isn’t that a two way street?

    Mike didn’t feel that one person whom he could trust and confide in? Why? I have just one theory: he didn’t see any transparency around him.

    I publicly keep myself out there to twist in the wind. My struggles with pride. My struggles with lust. My struggles with whatever is on my heart.

    I keep that out there to clearly communicate to our Surgeon. He knows where to make the perfect cut and to cut away what doesn’t need to be on my heart.

    Shockingly enough, the residual effect is that people around me are more open about their junk.

    Be open about your junk. God can began to heal, rescue and deliver.

    Think you are all alone in this. You will drown. You will be locked up in your own prison.

    Joe Louthan

    August 29, 2008 at 1:49 am

  2. Joe – incredible post. Very insightful. I read it, hadn’t thought of it before, but couldn’t agree more.

    It’s a deeper church culture issue.

    Planetshakers Insider

    August 29, 2008 at 2:09 am

  3. If he confessed about porn earlier he would have been able to quietly step down from the pastorate, hand in his credentials, get help and become a pastor again when he got well. It would have been a completely different scenario!!

    Guaranteed, unless he told everyone his problem (which wouldn’t have been prudent) no one except leaders would of known the issue.


    August 29, 2008 at 10:47 am

  4. I wonder if he had talked to people about this before and got either a)ill pray for you (and they did) b) ill pray for you (and they didn’t). many different scenarios. the transparent post was good, always be transparent with what your fighting with. sometimes though when we see someone struggling or hear about it from them, we dont want to take on their baggage, help them through it because some addictions.. well not a quick/easy prayer can solve it. its a new behavior they have to learn again (temptation/lust etc), and in wanting to help you want to see results. im sure mike wouldn’t have wanted to let them down.. maybe its easier to say yes im fine, prayer is working etc etc.
    if he did confess outloud or perhaps ‘on stage’ to people before the whole cancer thing (as i take a deep breath), would he have then used it as his story? i remember being shocked at seeing a world wide speaker get on stage the second and third time around and… tell the exact same story. that’s what they are known for, their sex/race/abuse card that they can pull our, tell jokes, make you cry and then say ive overcome it, jesus is awesome and is a healer/redeemer/savior etc (which He is!). i just wonder if that could have been someone like mike as well? christian speaker superstars baffle me. or is it because he never was abused, but was the one to continue for so long?


    August 29, 2008 at 1:54 pm

  5. The thing is, yes he cheated his family and church, but did he cheat God?? Could God be cheated? Did God know everything from the very beginning?? Who inspired him to write that song? who gave him every word(lyrics) of that song? Who touched millions of people through that song? Can he manipulate people’s feelings to that degree? Can he, by just cheating and manipulation, make that song No. 2 of the chart? Michael said he didn’t start that song out by trying to fool the world. How many musician are trying to write a song with that hit?
    People, you got to think out of the box.
    God is the healer of cancer. But more so, He is also the healer of addictions. He will never shy away from prospititues. People in the Bible condemned prostitutes. But Jesus was their friend.
    God has a purpose to bring this song so high up in the secular world, that is, He wants this message to get into the whole world…. that He is the healer of sexual addictions!
    How many people in this world can honestly say, that he’s never affected or harmed by sexual sin? from fantasy, to porn, to different digrees of activities…how many can honestly say that he’s completely holy in this area?
    Then how to get free? The only Bible way of freedom is by confession. It’s easy for cancer patients to confess that he has cancer. It’s easy for a pastor to go to a doctor and confess that he has a fever. But do you hear of many people confess that he has fantasy or other secrets? No. Because people condemn it. But by condemnation and fear of humiliation, we actually blocked our way to freedom and healing. Because God requires confession.
    That’s why sexual sin is so rampant. And this is the enemy’s trick that’s been so successful….to block the way of healing.
    Michael opened this way….through true confession. He’s a living example to true healing.
    God loves his prodigal son. The son had porn issues, so what? God gave him the biggest celebration. Who are we to condemn and judge?
    Why do we embrace someone with so much mercy and compassion with cancer, but immediately condemn someone who’s sick with addiction? Michael was a sick boy at 12 years of age, he was a victim! But could he just go to a doctor and tell him that he had this problem? No, cause he was a pastor’s kid. We don’t have this culture of acceptance and support in our church. He could only battle this on his own, even when his own daddy was a pastor. Why can’t we make it easy for people to confess sexual sin and get healed and be free? Why do we have to cause millions of sexual addiction sufferers to battle on their own, with blocked healing from God, by our condemnation and judgement?
    God treats the cancer or addction people the same….why do we have so dramatic different ways of treating them?


    August 30, 2008 at 9:49 am

  6. xnowimcoolx:

    I disagree. If he had stepped down, everyone in the church would have wanted to know why. Why would our Youth Pastor be stepping down? He would have people asking him, time and again, and he would hurt them, not because he would have wanted to, but because it is private. And not only that, I can garuntee that Mike’s heart was not to burden his leaders. While it might not seem like a burden to tell them, if he was thinking too much about it, he would know that they would be bugged night and day for answers as well. He wouldnt have wanted to lay that on them. I’m not saying this was how he thought, but if these thoughs were raging around my head, I dont know about you, but I would feel…trapped. And if you feel trapped, you have no idea how to get out. Truthfully, the only solution is Jesus, and in the end, He did ask Mike to come out and say it.


    August 31, 2008 at 10:50 pm

  7. […] Planetshakers: Pastoral Care, The Power of Confession « Planetshakers Insider […]

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