Planetshakers Insider

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

Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Mike Guglielmucci in Psychiatric Hospital, Police “No Basis for Charges”, Secret Accounts Audited but Not Released

with 7 comments

I missed this article that was published 3 days ago…

For the sake of telling the whole story, here’s what’s been reported in The Adelaide Advertiser:

SOUTH Australian police are unlikely to lay criminal charges against “porn pastor” Michael Guglielmucci over the fake cancer donation controversy.

The police say while they have taken a “very proactive approach to it”, no one had made a formal complaint.

The Advertiser understands that Mr Guglielmucci is in hospital receiving psychiatric care after confessing to faking a battle with terminal cancer to hide his 16-year obsession with pornography.

But police say the former pentecostal preacher, who performed his hit song Healer with an oxygen tube in his nose, may not face further investigations. Detective Superintendent Jim Jeffery said police were finalising their investigations.

“Unless further information comes to light or people that may have been affected by Mr Guglielmucci action’s come forward, no further police investigations are likely,” he said.

At the centre of the inquiry was a website, established by a friend of Mr Guglielmucci, asking for donations to the Praying Together for Mike Guglielmucci cancer cause.

“We have tracked that but as far as monetary amounts are concerned, we can’t comment on that,” Det-Supt Jeffery said.

Despite two people complaining to The Advertiser about feeling duped after donating money to cause, police said the majority of people who gave money were interstate.

No one has yet made any formal complaint to police interstate.

Mr Guglielmucci’s father, Danny, the founder of Edge Church at Reynella, yesterday confirmed four people had received refunds after writing to a post office box the church established.

“They were small amounts,” a spokesman said yesterday.

The church has also assisted police with auditing the accounts of Michael Guglielmucci, but despite repeated requests The Advertiser has been unable to view records for those accounts.

Advertisements

Written by Planetshakers Insider

September 15, 2008 at 4:27 am

Enough is Enough

leave a comment »

I read on Bill Muehlenberg’s CultureWatch blog recently:

Now is not the time to be soft on one another. It certainly is not the time to be soft on ourselves. The heavenly Father chastens those whom he loves (Hebrews 12:1-13). And we are called to encourage each other, warn each other, challenge each other, and seek the best for each other.

It reminded me about the spirit of gentleness that God rebukes us with – with one hand rebuking us, but the other comforting us.

And it also reminded me how we, as Christians, should be treating each other.

There has been a lot of negativity (read: abusiveness) in comments recently – comments that don’t contribute any valuable insights, but exist to belittle other people.

This blog isn’t a place for people to vent anger and hatred to one-another.

It’s a place for people to discuss issues of culture that affect our church in a thoughtful and reflective manner.

Previously, I’ve let all comments pass (assuming they weren’t spam), choosing not to censor any comment – I believed that everyone has something valuable to offer.

But now, I’m going to be ruthless in deleting comments that are just plain abusive.

If you don’t have anything valuable to contribute, if you want to call other commenters names, or if you just want to be abusive – this isn’t the place for you.

To the 90% of people who contribute their valuable information, discussion, debate and insights to this blog – keep up the great work.

I don’t agree with you all the time, but your thoughtful comments are more than welcome here 🙂

Written by Planetshakers Insider

September 9, 2008 at 5:02 am

Planetshakers Placing Son On Stage Too Young?

with 16 comments

Received an interesting message via SMS.

Tomorrow’s Father’s Day church service at Planetshakers will feature 3 generations of the Evans family… Including Russell Evans’ eldest child, Jonathan (still primary school aged).

I wonder to myself… Is this appropriate?

Obviously it would be inappropriate to have Jonathan delivering a message, because 1 Timothy speaks against promoting novice pastors.

But is it also inappropriate to be placing the child on a pedestal alongside his revered father and grandfather?

I can’t help but think of Mike Guglielmucci, and the shame and torment that began for him at a slightly older age. Surely some of this was caused by the expectations he felt he had to live up to, as we heard that he bottled his sins up inside, put his best foot forward – while suffering horrible physical and emotional symptoms.

While every good parent (and I don’t doubt Russell Evans is a good parent) wants to build their child’s self esteem, and lift up their son and say “This is my son, in whom I am proud” – it seems unnecessary and potentially harmful…

… And yet again, it takes the focus off Jesus and places it on the Superstars of Planetshakers – in this case, the Evans Family.

Written by Planetshakers Insider

September 7, 2008 at 3:10 am

When is someone ready for leadership?

with 33 comments

“The Doctor” posts an interesting series of ponderings:

A few things I have been pondering on …

Firstly, 1 Timothy contains instruction that would encourage elders (pastors) to be appointed who are not young men – promote not a novice. From what I have read although Timothy is referred to as a yound man, he was probably in his late twenties or early thirties … How old was Michael when he was appointed and annointed for minsitry?
Whilst there may be a case for the appoinment of some young men such as Timothy the clear injunction for the church (and Senior Pastors who seem to have two votes on most eldership boards) is not to appoint too early, take time to observe character – not charisma! And of course the family name seems to open doors that are often closed to other “lesser lights”.

Secondly, it seems to me that bad teaching plays a part in leading to this type of behaviour. After all having to acknowledge sin as a habitual problem in your life is considered amongst those who have it “all together” as a sign of weakness. The magic formula works for us (your peers in ministry), it should work for you. If it doesn’t then the problem is yours – you are not doing it right, not trying hard enough, or let’s maximise the guilt and shame by saying, you just don’t have enough faith brother! After all what place does weakness have in this type modern derivative of Christianity influenced heavily with a KINGDOM NOW Theology. That is, ALL of heaven is mine to enjoy NOW, in this life, right NOW – healing NOW, sinless perfection NOW, financial prosperity NOW, success in all I do NOW.

Thirdly, we as Christians are called to forgive and distribute mercy as freely as we have received it. We are all sinners and can bring the name of Christ into disrepute through our actions. The tragedy in Michaels case is the tremendously damaging effects of such a public fall from grace – it magnifies the reproach to the name of Christ because of the media and internet.

In closing, this is a timely reminder of the days in which we live where in the last days men will fall away because of iniquity. Therefore we should exhort each other to live a life that honours Christ and His holy Name, rather than the modern approach which exalts charismatic men and makes idols of them. Rather than the greatest shall be your servant we now have the servant shall become your master.

Honour and Serve Your King, and keep your “lesser light” shining !!!!

The question “The Doctor” raises about the right age for ministry is interesting. There’s no shortage of young leaders within Planetshakers – Russell Evans, Mike Guglielmucci and many more Planetshakers began working in ministry at reletively young ages.

Yet again, read this post at face value.

I have more questions than answers.

It’s just a shame that the culture of Planetshakers discourages discussion of these sorts of questions…

Written by Planetshakers Insider

August 29, 2008 at 5:00 pm

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.

Taking Responsibility for Mike Guglielmucci

with 12 comments

There has been a lot of discussion around whether Planetshakers City Church should bear any responsibility for the hurt and grief caused among young believers that came as a result of Mike Guglielmucci’s deception.

This was a lie that had its Genesis, it’s beginning while Michael Guglielmucci was at Planetshakers City Church, under Planetshakers’ covering, under Planetshakers’ blessing.

It was a lie that accompanied the song, Healer, which was released by Planetshakers – a song that Planetshakers received royalties for, in addition to the dozens of other songs Mike Guglielmucci wrote for Planetshakers around the same time.

And Mike Guglielmucci’s lie continued for several months, from September 2006 to January 2007, while he was still working within Planetshakers City Church.

Yes, the question is “How could this have happened?” – but only in the context of “How do we stop it happening again?”

In the bible, both Jesus and Paul both call us to have discernment, and Paul very explicitly talks about holding other believers accountable for sin. So was Michael Guglielmucci being held accountable inside Planetshakers City Church? Or was this a failure of leadership?

Regardless, does Planetshakers City Church take any responsibility for Mike Guglielmucci’s actions now?

Here’s a comment left on this blog:

How difficult is it too stand up and say “I had responsibility of Mike… his failure is therefore partly my fault”…. “Lord… teach me more discernment… more of your insite into the heart of man”! I’d be incredibly … well….. impressed. Surely the communities respect would hit a J curve up!? Sadly…. that is not an option!

Lets put it another way…. when children muck up…. who’s responsibility is it? Their own? Come on! When a young apprentice blows up an expensive piece of equipment …. unsupervised….. is it totally their fault? No way! Where was the Supervisor, Leader……. dare I say Pastor? Where is the responsibility. And where is the accountability!!! Feed my sheep…. look after my sheep…. care for my sheep…. Don’t metaphorically put the ugly one on a Souvlaki Cooker!

The sadness that leaves my head shaking, is almost political in its nature. What do politicians do when one of their “Party” do their own thing? Dump them. When the “outsider” upsets the balance of harmony in caucus….. remove them suddenly from the position of office? Tell the media you were shocked and upset? You can’t condone what they did? You can’t support them anymore?…… No wonder Pastors are going into politics…. There is not much to change!!!!

Again….. as you read this post… Please pray for Mike. His family. The people who are just plain angry at this young man. And pray for this circus of a church!! 🙂 Really… pray….. God will do with it, what he will. And if it is of God… he will bless it!

In his post “Mike Guglielmucci, Todd Bentley… Repentance Starts with Leaders“, Alister Cameron publishes a message by a widely respected American pastor, Dutch Sheets.

Alister Cameron leaves a wise description of what Dutch Sheets message is about:

It is a long and impassioned appeal to his fellow senior leaders in the Pentecostal and Charismatic movements in the US and beyond, and it MUST be heard by leaders here in Australia. In the hope that my little blog reaches some of them who may have missed Dutch’s letter in the midst of all the noise surrounding the Guglielmucci matters, I reprint a portion of it here.

I urge you to read it. I urge you to be prayerful. I remind you solemnly that this is a very senior Christian leader in public repentance. This is a man doing what in Bible times would have looked like a bloke walking around in sack-cloth and ashes, refusing to eat or bathe or smile. This is serious stuff, because we are in a watershed season for this branch of the Body of Christ. Please hear that, folks.

It’s a long message, and I’m not going to republish it all. You can read it on Dutch Sheets’ own web-site if you want.

But let me show you the first few paragraphs:

The fact remains, however, that we have failed the Lord and His people in many ways — not just with Lakeland but in countless other situations — and must repent if we are to be trusted in the future. And as you also know, no repentance is effective if watered down and couched in excuses, therefore, I intend to be brutally honest:

1.

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 leaders in the Church have become no different than the world around us in our standards for measuring success and greatness. This has contributed to the body of Christ giving millions of dollars to undeserving individuals; it has allowed people living in sin to become influential leaders — even to lead movements, allowing them influence all the way to the White House.Through our lack of discernment we built their stages and gave them their platforms. We have been gullible beyond words — gullible leaders producing gullible sheep.

When a spiritual leader we’re connected with violates trust, is exposed for immorality or falls below other accepted standards of behavior, it does not exonerate us simply to say we don’t condone such behavior. Those we lead trust us to let them know whom to trust. We have failed them miserably in this regard.

For this lack of discernment, and for employing and passing on inappropriate standards of judgment, I repent to the Lord and ask forgiveness of the body of Christ.

He then goes on to say:

2

We, the leaders of the charismatic church, spin our involvement and fail to acknowledge our responsibility when other leaders fall — all of which stems from our self-preservation and pride. Enough of the spin — we’re no different than Washington, DC. Every time another embarrassing and disgraceful situation is exposed, the dancing begins…

To contrast, what we hear from Planetshakers is:

None of us knew about this – not even his wife…

…and…

Mike Guglielmucci left Planetshakers 18 months ago

Yes, but his problems with pornography existed throughout his entire involvement at Planetshakers, and his lie began (and continued) between September 2006 and January 2007, while Mike Guglielmucci was still at Planetshakers.

Back to Dutch Sheets:

3.

Our procedures and standards of accountability are incredibly inadequate. We have provided camaraderie, not biblical accountability…

Is it because of the intertwining nature of the relationships between all parties that this failure of accountability occurred?

Andrew Evans is Russell Evans’s father.

Mike Guglielmucci is Danny Guglielmucci’s son.

Andrew Evans’ prodigy was Danny Guglielmucci.

Danny Guglielmucci was Russell Evans’ youth pastor.

Please correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m told Russell Evans was the youth leader of Youth Alive and Youth Pastor of Paradise AOG during Mike Guglielmucci’s time there.

And later, Mike Guglielmucci became Youth Pastor under Russell Evans at Planetshakers.

Is this the reason for the lack of discernment and accountability?

Dutch Sheets goes on to talk about several areas where I have criticisms of Planetshakers:

4

We, the leaders of the charismatic church, have built on hype, sensation, innovation, programs, personality and charisma. This has produced: shallowness; false movements; novice leaders — gifted but immature and untested; a deficient understanding of God’s word; the building of man-centered rather than kingdom-centered churches and ministries; competition rather than cooperation; humanistic, self-centered Christians who don’t understand sacrifice and commitment; Christians without discernment; superstar leaders; a perverted and powerless gospel; prayerless and anemic Christians; a replacement of the fear of the Lord with the fear of man; and a young generation that is cynical of it all. We are responsible, not the devil; he takes what we give him.

Sadly, there are several points in here that ring true for Planetshakers…

Who is Planetshakers accountable to? Who is Russell Evans accountable to? Are the other leaders accountable to Russell Evans? Who is willing to speak out when things are so obviously wrong.

Written by Planetshakers Insider

August 28, 2008 at 2:46 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

Planetshakers Dilemma?: Quality of Belief over Quantity of Believers?

with 2 comments

Planetshakers boasts to be one of the fastest growing AOG churches in history.

Let’s flip that coin for a moment…

Mike Yaconelli (until his death in a car accident in 2003) claimed to have “…the slowest growing church in America” in Yreka, California, and wrote several popular books for youth leaders.

Here’s a quote that was left on this blog, from Contemplative Youth Ministry by Mike Yaconelli.

“Remember always that human need is infinite, and that the number 5 bears the same relationship to infinity as does the number 5 million.

Therefore, wise persons are going to make conscious decisions that have a qualitative impact on infinity rather than a quantitative one”

Written by Planetshakers Insider

August 28, 2008 at 1:32 pm