Mulder's World Commentary: Megachurch Pastor Fall From Grace
Many years ago I lived in South Florida and as a Christian, naturally, I attended church. It was in the very early 90s that I had hit a dry spell. I just didn't find anything in any of the church's I visited. All the while, I was passing a church every day on my way to work. In fact, I could throw a stone from my building and hit this church. The parking lot was not only full on Sunday, but most every day! Since I had somewhat of an aversion to church, I just kept driving by.
Then one Sunday I was flipping thru the channels and came across this Pastor. His name, Bob Coy and to my surprise, he was the head Pastor of Calvary Chapel, the very church I passed each day. I began watching and realized that I was tuning in every single Sunday. It wasn't until I had a falling out with my girlfriend that I decided to give it a try, in person. So, I drove down there and went to a service. After, I waited and got to meet with Pastor Bob and talk about my problems. That was back when he would stand for 2 hours and speak with every single person in line.
After that everything was amazing! The band was playing like an 80s rock group and the charisma just seeped from every brick of the building. One of the most impressive aspects was that they never passed a plate or asked for a dime. There were boxes at the back and if you wanted to, you could drop in a tithe or offering, but no pressure. To this day, I still think this is the best way to cause people to give with a glad heart. Not a hard revelation to come to when the example has over $120 million dollars in assets.
I really liked this place and began attending two days a week. However, it wasn't long before I began to notice something wasn't right. I couldn't put my finger on it, but, I couldn't shake this feeling that all was not right at Calvary. In fact, although I hadn't said a word, when my mother or one of my sisters came to visit from PA, they themselves said that something was amiss with this already megachurch. It was as if it was holding sinister secrets just under its stunningly beautiful façade.
Of course, Pastor Bob kept people coming with his charm, wit and stories of overcoming drug abuse and sexual deviancy in his younger days. But I began to notice little things that were causing me to wonder about this man. Aside from that, I also started noticing the cliquish nature of the church, where groups of people got together and basically shunned unwanteds with a smile. Oh, I developed relationships with a small group, but even they were not acting right. They were all very nice and friendly, but not too nice and never got close enough to invite you to a BBQ or anything else for that matter. Since I had more than my share of friends, both Christian and non, these groups seemed out of the ordinary. Somewhat like cliques we've all experienced in high school, but still not comparable in nature. In my experience, one of the functions of church was to build relationships with people, but in this place, you had to fit a certain criteria it seemed or you would be left just slightly on the outside. Close enough to feel a part, but not so close that you were a part. One thing Pastor always said was that there "was no membership at Calvary". Maybe that had something to do with it.
Soon, I began watching everything peripherally, such as the parking lot, where most of the cars near the front of the church were not your average automobiles. They ranged from Mercedes to Ferrari's. I watched the people and the average age seemed to be about 35. Not many older people there. Add to that Bob's brother, also a pastor who was as standoffish as I've ever seen. He'd walk right by you, no expression, no smile and not say a word and he had his little clique as well. If he saw one of them, his face would light up and he'd be Mr. talk your leg off. It got so bad that Bob had him go up on the pulpit one day and explain why he treated people like dirt. He handed out some flimsy excuse of being deep in thought and it seemed to satisfy most.
I tried to overlook all the warning signs that the church wasn't right. After all, we're not there to worship the man delivering the message, right? In fact, I even helped move the church as it kept growing. The first move we had over 10,000 in attendance, by the second, it was over 18,000. I did like the fact that instead of building, the church would just move to an already existing, bigger facility. The last time we moved onto an old IBM complex ( I believe it was IBM). However, nothing I did swayed me from my strange feelings.
It was shortly after the final move that I finally decided I couldn't deny all the things that bothered me and I left the church. I rarely thought about it until about 2 days ago when I saw the headlines:
Megachurch Pastor Bob Coy Stepping Down Due To "Moral Failings". However, it was the news from other outlets of pornography addiction