Hundreds of pastors and elders are expected to resign in moral failure, having been discovered trolling an adultery website.
Whether this happens or not, it will be “Black Sunday” in my house, for it will mark the one year anniversary of the death of Charles Bowden.
Bowden was like a living Old Testament prophet to me, a man who told the truth about himself and others without regard for cost or profit.
He was ignored by most, vilified by some, and loved by a few.
If if you speak prophetically, whether you have a mantle or not, this will be your lot.
He warned of our current water crisis back in 1977, he told us what would happen in Mexico in 1995, and he long stated that the greatest issue upon us was the worldwide migration of people fleeing oppression and poverty.
He called out people by name and sometimes the name was your own.
His greatest gift however, was in understanding human nature.
He knew and articulated better than anyone that there is none good, no, not one.
He saw the darkness in our souls and how it resided next to the light…he knew that under it all we are creatures of instinct and desire.
“Good” men are capable of incredibly bad things and “bad” men will sometimes do much “good”.
Bowden stared deeply into the abyss that is our darkness and the darkness sometimes threatened to overcome him…because he, like all of us, contended with darkness of his own as well.
I can relate…
He would not have been surprised by “Black Sunday”.
I won’t be either.
When the church became a corporation dependent on growth to satisfy the “shareholders” it opened itself to every vice and temptation common to leaders in that field.
These would be in addition to the ones common to the vocation they chose.
Men in the ministry are still men and still open to the arrows of the world, the flesh, and the devil.
We will discard a few hundred on Sunday and replace them with a few hundred that will know better how to cover their tracks.
Because the system will not change, nor the expectations of it, the song will remain the same.
We will pretend the abyss is not there and the light is brighter now.
Staring into the abyss almost drove Bowden mad.
I made my own application long ago.
I’m not that “good” myself.
I’m redeemed…and that is the wonder of the Gospel.
Rest in peace , Chuck…I miss you more than I can say.