But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people. For among them are those who creep into households and capture weak women, burdened with sins and led astray by various passions, always learning and never able to arrive at a knowledge of the truth. –2 Timothy 3:1-7
Growing up in Alabama as I did, everyone knows of the Rick and Bubba Show. It is a staple of morning entertainment for many folks across my home state. Many transplants to new areas of the country where the show can’t be picked up on local radio stations still listen online at TuneIn or other Internet streaming options to hear the boys confabulate and confer the day’s happenings.
The show is aired out of Alabama but syndicated around the country from Florida to Alaska with thousands and thousands listening daily. As they often say on the program, “like Seinfeld was a show about nothing, they are a show about everything.” It’s not a political show but they talk politics. It’s not a sports show but they talk sports. It’s not a Christian show but they are Christians that do a radio show–and that’s where a problem ensued earlier this week.
First, a little background. Rick Burgess typically is not the type to compromise on Gospel issues. After the death of his youngest child in a swimming pool accident, he and his wife boldly proclaimed the sovereignty of God. Many were reached with the gospel at their son’s funeral (nearly 640,000 views on YouTube). Then, earlier this year, his oldest daughter came out as gay. Rick and his wife once again stood firm on their Biblical principles and called their daughter to repent and believe the gospel. Of course, they were smeared and misrepresented all over the liberal media, including the Huffington Post, for their audacity, yet for those who truly know Christ, it was truly a breath of fresh air to see this bold stance for Christ in this present-day of compromise.
However, earlier this week, as I was listening to the program (as I often do) while going through the morning grind of responding to emails and answering phone calls in my office, I heard Rick plug a so-called “Christian” conference, Women of Joy, that his wife, Sherri, is slated to speak at. My interest piqued, I did a quick Google search to see what this was all about. I was shocked to see that two of the other speakers she’d be partnering with her are the well-known prosperity pimptress out of Hillsong, Australia, Christine Caine, and seeker-friendly blogger and author, Ann Voskamp. These two well-known false teachers spew multiple heresies from Word of Faith to Theoerocism every time they step on a stage. They are a plague on a generation of Christian women hungry for Godly leaders. Sadly, well-intentioned women get caught up in the superficial satisfaction of a watered-down gospel delivered by a whimsical mouthpiece who gives lofty, erratic motivational speeches that lack any semblance of biblical clarity.
That being said, I decided to reach out to the famed radio host to share my concerns about these women. I laid out my case and I directly quoted the words of these women that confirm their false teachings. I closed my email with the exhortation that this is a violation of 2 Corinthians 6:14-16. To my dismay, he dismissed the claim, stating,
thank you for the email and the spirit that it was written but I do disagree with you on the point that my wife should not be in the lineup for the tour….She isn’t yoked with these other speakers she is and has been given the opportunity to stand before 10 thousand women and set them straight with the truth. I think leaving these women to only hear the type of stuff that you are speaking of would be the biggest mistake….
I was aghast that a man, who prides himself on being “no compromise,” is now compromising. A man who hates even using the term “big man upstairs” to reference God showed no concern that his wife would be teaching and ministering with and lending credibility to a woman like Voskamp that uttered such blasphemy as;
I fly to Paris and discover how to make love to God. (One Thousand Gifts, p 201)
I remember this feeling. The way my apron billowed in the running, the light, the air. The harvest moon. I remember. The yearning. To merge with Beauty Himself. But here…….Now? Really?…….I am not at all certain that I want consummation…….And who wouldn’t cower at the invitation to communion with limitless Holiness Himself? (One Thousand Gifts, p 211)
Of course, he offered no biblical explanation of why being on a speaking tour, ministering, and teaching women while sharing the same stage is not being unequally yoked, and thus violating God’s command. He simply shrugged it off. It appears everyone is subject to downgrade at some point, but I digress. So again, I challenged him to provide me a biblical response to 2 Corinthians 6. Sadly, he did not, but boasted in his wife’s oratorical prowess as if that somehow changed his exegetical approach to scripture. Perhaps he can explain how one’s ability to speak correlates with obedience to this verse, but I have my doubts that he will.
I will and to answer your question, I did not know much about any of these women I just know one little blonde that loves Jesus and speaks 400 level truth! Thank you.
Setting aside the fact that his wife isn’t Charles Spurgeon, I am glad he is proud of her. He should be. She seems like a lovely woman. However, that does not give any of us a free pass to ignore the commands given to us in Scripture. Jesus said, “if you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) The fact is, Rick should man up as the head of his house and guide his wife to spiritual purity. There is no doubt that Sherri would have a great opportunity to reach many women that need to hear the gospel message at this conference, but at what cost? Unless she plans to call these false teachers to repent and publicly distance herself from (which based on our back and forth – she is not), then she is going to lend credence to them, drawing thousands of weak women into their courts.
You cannot simply sidestep Scripture because you think the ends justify the means. God does not give out free passes to violate His word because we think it could be a good opportunity for us. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.” (Proverbs 14:12) We serve a sovereign God and we don’t get to pick and choose what verses of scripture we will abide by. These women openly blaspheme our Lord, and she will be partaking in this sin with them.
I am reminded of Matt Chandler’s (who I don’t endorse FYI) rebuke of Steven Furtick at his famed “Code Orange revival.” It was beautiful to see Chandler authoritatively hand slap Furtick’s narcissistic style of teaching while Furtick had no other choice but to sit behind him and take his theological spanking. Watching that wolf with his tail firmly tucked under his legs sit flabbergasted while shaking his head throughout the entire sermon was epic. Sherri, this could be your moment to speak out. Do you dare? Will you idly sit by or will you be bold? The ball is in your court. May the Lord guide you, and I pray he does.
So what do we do with Rick and Sherri? Simply put, we must call them to repent. I certainly do not doubt their confessions of faith, but there is absolutely not one good reason they can offer for teaming with heretics. The fact is Rick didn’t even attempt to do so. Is God no longer sovereign? If you speak on a 400 level would you speak with a modalist like T.D. Jakes? How about in a Mormon church? Would you not believe this to be sinful?
Does the interpreting the Word accurately no longer matter to Rick? Just because you say it isn’t a violation of scripture doesn’t make it so. During this 500th anniversary year of the Protestant Reformation, there is a great deal of shakeup in the Protestant world right now. The downgrade surrounds us on all sides. Wolves are at our doors waiting to devour innocent sheep. We must continue protesting all forms of anti-Christ false teachings, be it Eastern Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, or faux Evangelicals like Christine Caine and Ann Voskamp.
I am blessed enough to have a few good brothers around who will smack me when I step off the path, and I do the same for them. We must hold each other accountable as believers. Rick, it is time to step up, lead your wife, repent of your compromise, and obey the Word of God.
So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin. –James 4:17
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