Should Christian leaders be ‘holier than thou’?

Televangelist and gospel singer Juanita Bynum has made no secret of the life she led before she found “purpose and destiny” through Christ.

 

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The celebrated speaker, who celebrates her 57th birthday today, documented her one-time sexual exploits in her 1998 book No More Sheets: The Truth About Sex.

And in 2012, Bynum gave a radio interview, in which she revealed more about her past.

“I’ve done it all,” she said. “I did the drugs. I’ve been with men. I’ve been with women. It’s not a line. It’s my life.”

 

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The gospel star, who was physically assaulted by her former husband Bishop Thomas Weeks, said of the experience:

“That abuse that I suffered was because I attracted after my own kind. That abuse was always sitting in me. I had already abused myself mentally and emotionally for years trying to fill a void that only the power of purpose can fill.”

 

Purpose

 

Speaking of her Christian conversion, Bynum said that purpose had filled the “void” in her life.

Prayer

“When purpose has a place to fill that hole, you can have sex with 50,000 people, you can do drugs ‘til the cows come home,” she said.

“But the void that you’re trying to fill is a void that’s been put there by the Creator, and it’s called purpose and destiny. And until you accept that, you’re going to walk around with the living dead.”

Bynum’s experiences got us thinking: As a Christian, would you prefer to have a leader who had always followed a Christian path? Or do you think a leader with a chequered past is great proof of how God can change lives?

 

Pastor

We asked a selection of Christians for their thoughts. Here’s what they said:

Marcus, 32

“I know we all have a past, but I really wouldn’t be comfortable taking Christian teachings from a leader who’d had a really colourful past. I’d find it hard to focus on where they are in their life now without thinking of the life they’d once led.”

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Annette, 54

“For me, it would depend on how ‘chequered’ the leader’s past was. Having a few sexual partners in your youth is one thing, but one-time drug taking or involvement in serious crime would be a bridge too far for me. Call me old fashioned but I prefer a leader who has always been familiar with a Christian lifestyle.”

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Sebastian, 47

“The expression ‘Let he who is without sin…’ comes to mind. Nobody is perfect and I think a leader who had once led a worldly life is better placed to talk about the power of Christ.”

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Linda, 29

“Expecting a Christian leader to have always been ‘holier than thou’ is a nonsense to me. If we truly believe that God has the power to deliver anyone from a troubled life, why should we have a problem with a Christian leader who had experienced such deliverance?”

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What do you think? Share your thoughts with us.

 

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