The Ministry of Mike Warnke

Mike Warnke

Mike Warnke (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Does anyone remember the comedian, Mike Warnke? Back when I was in high school, I collected everything that guy ever wrote or recorded. I was a huge fan, and probably one of the most disappointed of his fans when his lies all came crashing down around him.

Mike Warnke first came to fame as an evangelist and comedian. He purported to have been a high-ranking member in the satanic church, and wrote a book called The Satan Seller in 1973 that described his rise in the ranks of satanism, becoming a high priest for the organization. He touted various accomplishments such as being a soldier in the Vietnam war, being involved in ritualistic kidnappings and rape, and other weird confessions, that I actually never really believed were completely true.

If you have never heard one of Mr. Warnke’s stand-up performances, I would encourage you to do so. The man seriously can tell a story like nobody’s business. Higher Education was my personal favorite.

But, as so often happens with Christian personalities when they are launched in to fame and fortune, the skeletons in Mr. Warnke’s closet came dancing out, and almost every story he’d told turned out to be a lie. His dates didn’t match, and it was obvious from military records that some of the achievements he’d falsely laid claim to were just self-serving lies. Added to the facts that he changed wives like he changed his underwear, Mr. Warnke’s reputation was completely destroyed, and his credibility would never rise like a phoenix again from the ashes of his lies. His stories were picked apart, and in 1991, 20/20 ran a story exposing all of his lies and exaggerations, with proof, and Mr. Warnke’s ministry was completely abolished.

The only reason I write about Mike Warnke today is that I see something rather sad, but common, in what has happened to this guy. As a storyteller myself, I can completely understand his motivations to “fix” up a story just a little bit, to make it more interesting or effective. It seems to me that all he would have had to do was to add the words, “Imagine if I were a satanic priest..”, thus indicating to the listener that what they were hearing was his imagination..The content would still have been funny and thought-provoking, and no lies would have had to be defended later on.

But Mike didn’t do that, and even when his lies were exposed, instead of humbly acknowledging that the moments of fame and fortune had gotten away from him, he did the very worst thing a Christian can do. He accused everyone and everything else around him, but himself. Somehow, we were supposed to believe against overwhelming proof that his stories were the truth, and everyone else around him was lying.

To me, there is maybe only a trace amount of disappointment felt for a person who has fallen prey to a sneaky attack from satan, but I can’t say that I even care all that much. I think God does His best work with our worst weaknesses, and I have always thought that Mike would have served the Lord twice as beneficially had he owned up to getting carried away, admitted he’d lied, and then let his life showcase just how merciful our God is to us. How many more people would have benefited from that than whether this guy was some sort of satanic priest or not?

The sad thing is that Mike Warnke instead has spent the last twenty years trying to jump-start his dead evangelist career again, but largely without any success. To this day, there seems to be no true honest embracing of his own frailties and shortcomings, and without that, there is no real repentance, at least not to the eyes of the public who he had lied to. I’m sure God and Mike have worked this out between themselves, but I only tell this story to say this: there is no shame in admitting that you’ve fallen short and sinned against God. We all have, in varying degrees, but as God doesn’t bother to rank our sins, all of our sins are equally appalling to Him. The shame comes when we aren’t able to be honest with ourselves and others about our shortcomings and failings.

To me, God’s best and most useful tool in our lives are our sins that we have repented of and found mercy for. Maybe the reason we instinctively try so desperately to hide those sins is because satan knows that there is a lot of power in sharing a common weakness. We should share the depth of our involvement in sin and the accompanying depth of mercy God has shown us when rescuing us, and just watch how your witness becomes so much more powerful! A drug addict is more inclined to listen to and receive a message of healing from a person who has experienced that same struggle, than to hear some bland message from someone who has never been a slave to anything.

Just for fun, I thought I’d get your thoughts on this Mike Warnke thing. My opinion about Mike’s ministry is that he should start out fresh and just confess his frailties and let God use him in a different way now. A way that I believe would be more effective in the Kingdom of God — mercy and forgiveness. What do you think?

– Bird

 

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59 Comments

  1. I love this! One the heights of love is forgiveness and ability to trust again. How wonderful if by the grace of God, he would just things around.

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    • That is my hope for him, too! What a waste of excellent skills like storytelling and humor!

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  2. I love Mike…as a teenager in an abusive home, he made me laugh and believe that God could do anything…that part was very true and that is all I needed to make it through that very rough part of my life.

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    • Same here. I was being abused also, and the only laughter I ever had back then was listening to Mike. I guess that is why I feel that I want so badly for him to come back to his ministry without the shame that has cast a shadow over him for so long.

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  3. I remember the name, but don’t remember him, or ever listening to him. I guess my opinion is that if he truly wants to follow God, he should do whatever God tells him to do. I definitely think that you’re right…God has always used the weak, and faulty among us to do his greatest work. Moses had a huge problem with his temper, for example. David knew Bathsheba was a married woman, but saw her and wanted her, so he had her brought to him so he could have his way with her. And we know that in spite of those things, both of those figures were greatly used by God still. And Peter betrayed Christ…as Christ knew he was going to do and told him he was going to do…yet he was still used greatly. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

    I think that’s one of the lies of Satan to us when we mess up though. Satan wants us to believe we’ve messed up so badly God can’t use us anymore. He does it to me all the time, and I’ll have those moments…like just this weekend…thinking I’m just too weak and can’t get it right. Nonsense! God uses the weak to show his strength!

    So yes, if God wants to use this guy, he can most certainly still do it in a huge way!

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    • My thoughts exactly!

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    • Stan Sigstad

       /  July 31, 2013

      God can use Mike but Mike has to admit all the lies he did, otherwise he hurts the kingdom of god. I was a hardcore witch for 20 years and did all kinds of damage but will never ever write a book about it or talk about what I did. God forgot about it and so do I. I’d rather talk about the glory of God than the shame I feel for my past.

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      • Amen to that!! If we aren’t careful, we can actually take a certain amount of pride in our sins. You show a lot of wisdom here.

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        • Stan Sigstad

           /  August 1, 2013

          I’ve made my mistakes in the past of wanting to give a testimony detailing the gory details but refrained from doing so. I felt that if I gave too much information about what I did it would entice others to venture into the occult out of curiosity or thinking it is exciting when it is really like eating sweet poison that rots you from within. It is better to talk about the joy of the Lord than the rotten nasty road kill stench of the occult.

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          • That shows a lot of wisdom. I’m glad you chose that route. I think you’re right about the gory details enticing people.

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  4. Yes, I remember him. Not as vividly as you however. One of the things we are exhorted to do is to confess our sins one to another. From my own personal experience, I can say that doing so definitely requires an honest humility and remorse. This isn’t easy, for our flesh is proud (as we all know), however, if we earnestly desire to confess and humbly repent and ask for our Lord Jesus strength, He will gives us the grace we need through the Holy Spirit.
    Thanks for this post!
    Blessings sweetie :)
    ~streim~

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    • Thank you, alwayzhis!

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    • Stan Sigstad

       /  July 31, 2013

      On confessing our sins one to another, I don’t exactly understand what that means. Is it the sins you do as a Christian or all the sins I’ve done in the past. If it’s past sins it would take a looooooong time for me to confess those.

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      • I think the point of this scripture isn’t that we be sure to tell all of our sins to other people. It is to make sure we never hide our sins. A hidden sin can grow to unmanageable sizes while a sin that we know other people are aware of tends to stay under some control.

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  5. My Daddy always told me that your word is your bond and that only you can really ruin your reputation. If Mile were to shift his focus and go from there, think of the opportunities for him to be a true witness of God’s plan of forgiveness and a new start!

    You made me really think. AND I’m curious as to how easy doing the poll is. I’ve thought about adding polls to my blog too. Sandy

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  6. I remember Mike Warnke! We wore out the tape where he tells of his growing up and eventually getting saved in boot camp. Coming clean is certainly the best thing for him at any time, but I doubt he’d get much of a following at this point. He’s waited too long and too many people don’t remember him. Those of us that do have gone through our mourning process over the guy who we thought was the real deal a long time ago and have since lost interest.

    Still, God can do anything through people who humble themselves.

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    • I’m inclined to believe that the longer he waits, the less of an impact he would be able to make. It is just so sad that all that talent is just wasted!!

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    • Dan K.

       /  August 26, 2013

      I agree, Its such a shame Mike’s stories have been proven false, still … there is a message in them that have made differences in many, many people. Myself included. He made me laugh and believe through dark times.

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  7. I remember Mike Warnke very well! My family owned every tape, every book and we even saw him in concert on a couple of occasions. Like you, I was horribly disappointed when Cornerstone opened up their investigation.

    I love the tone of your article – about grace and forgiveness. We have all sinned against God…mercy and grace are our only hope. However, to receive that mercy we have to confess our sins. Regardless of how Mike has worked this out with God…he has never worked it out with the public. As Christians, most of us just shake our heads and say a prayer for him. For those in the world who would condemn Christianity – he is the perfect symbol of a greedy, lying hypocrite. That is where the danger lies.

    If you do an internet search for Mike Warnke, you will see that his has opened another ministry. He is preaching, teaching and traveling again and he maintains that his testimony as given is true.

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  8. One of the great things about our God is that He is not limited, hindered, nor ultimately helped by our backgrounds, failures, or even successes! I’m with you on this one… this man should simply admit he’s human like the rest of us, and that he let pride and arrogance get the better of him. Repent and proclaim the gospel… the mercy and grace available (I voted that way) to all who ask. Thanks for an interesting and reminding post, friend. God bless.

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  9. I remember all of this very well. I was fully on the Mike Warnke bandwagon back in the eighties (or whenever that was). I remember when the whole thing came crashing down. The sad thing is that a church that I was attending in the nineties had him come do a “revival” one week. He told the same stories, as if they were true, and never once confessed to any of the lies. I was very disappointed. That could explain why he’s not had a lot of success getting restarted. The guy is FUNNY!! He’s got talent. He just messed up. But, I voted that he should continue to try to make amends…he is forgiven, if he truly has given his life to Christ.

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  10. I had never heard of him before your post, but I’m sure the poor guy has suffered tremendously for what he did. I can’t imagine being in the public eye and being brought down that way.

    Personally, I’ve never had to embelish any stories about my God or all that He has brought me through– I literally have seen him give sight to the blind and cause the lame to walk– and cured the “uncureable” in my life.

    As far as the importance of our testimony goes, Christians should read Revelation 12:10 and 11: And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: FOR THE ACCUSER OF OUR BRETHREN IS CAST DOWN, which accused them before our God day and night. 11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, AND BY THE WORD OF THEIR TESTIMONY, and they loved not their lives unto the death.

    My testimony is that I have been a slave to many things in the past, broken and ready to give up, but delivered from them all by Jesus Christ so I may serve Him and fight beside those who feel like they just can’t do it…hallelujah. Perfect? Nope — but my God IS, and that’s all I need to know. To God be ALL the glory. God bless you and keep you,

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  11. Satan Seller – My Mom bought the book back in 73 when it was published, and she really believed it. I was 16 and she gave it to me to read and I did, and I believed it, and it scared the crap out of me, but it didn’t accomplish what my mom had hoped. I became a horrible drug addict and alcoholic, albeit a God fearing one… Today, as I read this, it makes me sick. My mom still believes this garbage and nothing will convince her otherwise. It doesn’t matter, she has dementia and whether the book is true or fase now in her mind means little. I just wish that Warnke would admit his lies, do the right thing, like he preaches.

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  12. Joe

     /  September 21, 2012

    I saw Mike years ago when he performed in Barrie Ontario. He was funny and really made you think. I cannot and will not throw stones at his troubles….the old glass house philosophy!!!

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  13. Sheila Wausau WI

     /  March 5, 2013

    I was a brand new Christian living in San Diego. Point Loma Nazarene College in Point Loma had him there. I was so excited to see him w/ my Christian roommates. I had read his book, I had gotten saved from MUCH sin, drugs, sex, the like and what a testimony that God was using him after his past. When it came out he was a fraud, I was sad for him. Now, 24 yrs later I am still walking w/ Christ and decided to google him. I was even more sad that he has continued to stand by his story. A verse I read the other day came to mind. Liars will not enter the kingdom of heaven. I hope that like you said in the blog he has come to grips w/ his sin and examined his own heart and asked for forgiveness. I also was a compulsive overeater and I have been delivered. Some of my old behaviors when I was in that sin were lying, (because of my self loathing) controlling and manipulative behaviors, rage and changing relationships often. Perhaps that is his problem. I pray he can be set free and allow the Lord to do that work in his heart and life. I am not saying he isn’t saved or anything, just kind of a sad story.

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  14. Remember what Jesus said to the stone throwers who stood before the woman taken in adultery? Remember the “Angry Mob” that surrounded Jesus at his crucifixion? The accusers were all doing the “Truth” ….. ‘This woman was caught in the very act!” “This man said he would destroy the temple and raise it up in three days!” etc. etc. etc. They were all telling the truth yet their accusations did not justify them. I have never met an accuser who didn’t have a guilty conscience. I suggest you all go out and win 2 million souls like Mike did before you hurl another stone.

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  15. Randall Nichols sinner saved by Grace.

     /  June 5, 2013

    Having been to one of his performances back in the 80′s and seeing how God used him to lead 100′s, if not 1000′s to the Lord for salvation ,why give Satan any credit? Funny thing is that scrioture says to confess your faults to one another so that you will be healed.Sad thing is that when you do that most are on the passing judgement side of the seat..Remember Satan is the father of lies and the accuser of the brethren.The sole purpose of the enemy is to keep you totally inefffective for the Lord. God still uses unclean vessels to bring about His purpose. Jesus said You can deny me, but I cannot deny myself. He will never leave you nor forsake you once you have been Born Again..God can give you over to your own way of thinking for awhile. Satan will try to turn christians against christians because he knows scripture “a kingdom divided against itself will not stand ” Who am I to judge anyone ,when I have 3 fingers pointing back at me while pointing one finger at someone else.. God has already forgiven Mike past present and future and it is finished. All I remember is that God spoke thru Mike at that time and I’m sure He still does.Paul said I become all things to all men that I might win some.We all need to do a self examination. I still love Mike

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  16. Jason Kim

     /  June 30, 2013

    For some reason I woke up this morning and Mike Warnke came to mind. He was one of the greatest Christian influences in my teenage years because his book got me interested in Satanism- which lead me to study more on the subject. In doing so- I realized that God HAD TO BE REAL. If not- we were really all doomed. It’s sad to know that Mike had lied about his past- but as many write here- God can use anyone and anything for his glory. Kudos to everyone that also talk about glass houses, and throwing stones if worthy as I am in complete agreement. I remember his performance in Anaheim when his wife Rose played a piano piece as an opener, and he came to do his entertaining show. During the alter call he turned on all the the lights and asked people to make a somber decision about God- not an emotional one where there was darkness and tears with speaker pumped music. This was the most impressioned thing I have ever seen to date at a church because so many alter calls are emotionally driven spur of the moment events. Whatever Mike did- it’s between him and God to work out. Despite my disappointment I will always be grateful for the impact he had on me as a teenager growing up in the 80′s. To this day I still have his book in my parents house.

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  17. Mike Warnke’s discussions on Satanism are witnessed and recorded within the pages of Blind Date at the Glass Eye Disco by Lindsey Thomas (Kleft Jaw Press 2013): http://kleftjaw.weebly.com/kleft-jaw-press.html Here’s an excerpt that mentions the fact:http://kleftjaw.weebly.com/1/post/2013/07/blind-date-at-the-glass-eye-disco-interior-sneak-peek.html

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  18. Stan Sigstad

     /  July 31, 2013

    I have been a Christian for 12 years now but before that was a hardcore witch for 20 years. I absolutely refuse to talk about what I did as a witch, my rank, what I was in charge of because I do NOT want to glamorize the occult which is what the devil wants anyway. If God forgave me of that sin, forgotten about it and threw it as far as the east is from the west then I won’t remember it either. I know when Mike first claimed to have become a Christian many pagans, not just satanists, became Christian but when it was discovered he had lied they all went back to the occult. Pagans are very intelligent people and they did check out his stories through their networking. My name is different now than when I was a pagan and I won’t give out the name I used then because I do not want anyone digging and inadvertently going into the occult because of me. One thing I can say is there is one power, that is of Jesus Christ, nothing and no one is more powerful than Jesus Christ. We as Christians need to focus on Him, not on whose sin was worse than who’s and I was badder than you as a sinner. Who cares! I consider myself to be VERY fortunate that God has accepted me into His fold and that I am going to Heaven. Always keep your eyes on Jesus and you’ll do fine. Forget the past, it’s dead and gone, buried forever, never to return. Praise be to Jesus.

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  19. Reblogged this on the second site and commented:

    Will he rise from the ashes?

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  20. I was a big fan in 1985, on into 1987. I remember his show in Staunton, VA in 1986. Like you remember, his wife presented a beautiful piano piece and dedicated to the nation of Israel. My dad took me, and he is a strong supporter of Israel (as God’s people and chosen nation), so he totally bought the entire performance. We were both disappointed when we learned the truth about the Warnkes and their “ministry”……

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  21. Stan Sigstad

     /  August 19, 2013

    The only way I believe Mike Warnke can repair his failed ministry is to admit to the public what everyone already knows, that he lied about his past events, beg for forgiveness and go from there. He is a prideful man and pride is what got Lucifer kicked out of Heaven and a third of the angels. I will be praying for Mike in the hopes he repents of his sin then does what is necessary to repair his ministry. God can use anyone for His service.

    Moses stuttered.
    David’s armor didn’t fit.
    John Mark was rejected by Paul.
    Timothy had ulcers.
    Amos’ only training was in the school of fig-tree pruning.
    Jacob was a liar.
    David had an affair.
    Solomon was too rich.
    Abraham was too old.
    David was too young.
    Peter was afraid of death.
    Lazarus was dead.
    John was self-righteous.
    Naomi was a widow.
    Paul was a murderer.
    So was Moses.
    Jonah ran from God.
    Miriam was a gossip.
    Gideon and Thomas both doubted.
    Jeremiah was a bullfrog;
    Just kidding — he was depressed and suicidal.
    Elijah was burned out.
    Martha was a worry-wart.
    Mary may have been lazy.
    Samson had long hair.
    Noah got drunk, and that’s not all.
    Did I mention that Moses had a short fuse?
    But God doesn’t require a job interview.
    He doesn’t hire and fire like most bosses,
    because He’s more our Dad than our Boss.
    He doesn’t look at financial gain or loss.
    He’s not prejudiced or partial, not judging, grudging,
    sassy, or brassy, not deaf to our cry, not blind to our need.

    If God can use these great men with their shortcomings He can definitely use Mike Warnke for His glory. Mike knows what to do but must bury his pride, repent of his sin of lies and be lead by God. To God be the glory. Amen.

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  22. Sue Miller

     /  August 22, 2013

    Mike Warnke is still actively, eh-hem…”ministering.” He just avoids the topics of his previous lies and all his former wives while ministering or while hanging out after a “show” for dinner with the church elite (deacons/elders/leaders/favored) of wherever he finds himself preaching. (How do I know this? Because I was one…hanging out with him, getting to know him over a few visits to the church I attended at the time. And I was SHOCKED at how crude and perverted his jokes were in a more private setting and was more appalled that all the church leaders who were present just laughed at his crudeness and/or joined in.) He promotes himself as this honest, forthright, caring guy but he is as self-seeking as ever. The term extreme narcissistic personality disorder comes to mind. He still has delusions of grandeur, the story line is just different now. Sadly, too many Christians are too trusting and naïve…so scared of “judging” someone that we forget to use our senses! If it sounds far-fetched than it is! Now, he parades himself in white robes and is a “bishop” in the “Christian Communion International,” which beyond Warnke is in and of itself a farce with no oversight or accountability whatsoever, but that’s another story. Warnke’s website, Celebrations of Hope, still touts him as a former satanic priest…Quoted directly from his site: “In June of 2009, Mike celebrated his 37th anniversary of full time ministry to the lost and brokenhearted. Mike uses his unique comedic style to gain the attention of his listeners. His painful past history as a satanist high priest, hippie, drug addict, pusher and Naval hospital corpsman attached to a Marine Corps unit in Vietnam has taught him compassion beyond compare. He knows, first hand, no one is too tainted for Jesus. The diverse facets of his styles, coupled with his open vulnerable nature draws out and ministers to people both in and outside of the Christian community. He is a speaker, teacher, father, grandfather, husband, weird, radical, fun-loving, yet deadly serious minister who will deliver a powerful message to enlighten others to the eternal love of Jesus Christ.”
    Do I believe that people have come to a saving knowledge and relationship with Jesus Christ as a result of Warnke’s ministry? ABSOLUTELY! But that is not due to his dramatic testimony or his gifted abilities…we put mere men on a pedestal when we attribute ministry to these things. It’s because GOD is GREATER and HE seeks and finds the lost and draws them to His heart.
    Is Warnke forgiven? Yes. Is he the best representation of a life transformed by the power of the Holy Spirit. No. He is still self seeking, but then again, so are MANY in the pulpit (and the pews!) today. The church is in desperate need of an awakening. Thankfully, we have Jesus to trust to bring this about.

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    • Thank you for this insightful comment!

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    • Stan Sigstad

       /  August 22, 2013

      I won’t judge Mike, not because I’m not allowed to but because he won’t budge and there’s no point in doing it. The verse says not only to not judge but if you do you’ll be judged with the same judgement you judge with. I see myself as the lowest of the low, less than the filthiest homeless person. I do not feel worthy to be a minister because of my past even though Jesus forgave me. I think about all the horrible stuff I’ve done, even before going into the occult, and feel ashamed. I’ve entered into the Berean School of the Bible for a two year training program to become ordained through the Assembly of God churches but raise my arms and ask God why me? I’m a piece of garbage. God reminds me of the countless people in the Bible, men and women, who society viewed as worthless but He still used them anyway. I’m still stifled that He chose me and still feel unworthy. Since I first became a Christian 12 years ago I’ve tried to start a ministry to reach the occult depressed but it failed miserably, I feel because of my lack of training as a minister. I took short cuts by becoming an ordained minister in the Universal Life Church, got a bunch of their degrees but still felt very empty and lacking of knowledge and wisdom. The training I’m receiving now is VERY intense but I can’t get enough of it. The more I study the more I want to study. Inside me I’m like the Grand Canyon, very empty, begging to be filled. My goal is to not brag about what I did while in the occult but brag about the goodness of God and what He has to offer. I feel so deeply honored that God is allowing me to study with this school and become a minister. Honored but feeling unworthy. Thank you Jesus for seeing something important in me. Amen.

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      • I know exactly what you are feeling right now. I have lived my own hard, crappy life, and I still struggle with accepting that God knew I was going to be this awful and He still called my name. There is nothing in my past sins I take any pride in. Thanks for sharing this with me. I needed to hear it. :-)

        Your Sister,
        Bird

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      • I wrote a whole post around your comment.

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  23. G. Gibson

     /  November 6, 2013

    Mike is a great story teller and has great comedic timing. No doubt grace should abound and truth should prevail. I wanted to tour with him when I was in college in 1991. I saw him in Florida and wanted to travel with him. I saw many come to Christ at his shows. I was looking him up tonight because I guess the Lord put him on my heart. I haven’t thought of him in years but would go hear him again if he were nearby.

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  24. jeanne b.

     /  January 26, 2014

    I remember we had a crusade in my hometown in 1979 it was awesome God really moved I was looking up to see where he was now I hope all is well with him but he was very powerful back in the day

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  25. luis D

     /  January 29, 2014

    I do remember him and still have his tapes, do you know if anyone ever tried reaching out to him or sending him all of these thoughts? maybe if these come to his eyes he might have a tingling in his heart that God is reaching out to him??

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  26. Marc

     /  February 12, 2014

    One of the characteristics of narcissistic personally disorder is that you’ve convinced yourself that your lies are true. Until that is dealt with I don’t think Mike truly can repent.

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  27. Bill T

     /  February 18, 2014

    What a lot of people get confused about is the difference between judgment and discernment. Personal judging is often perceiving others as bad and ourselves as good, i.e., making comparisons. Discernment is determining what is right and wrong and acting accordingly with an appropriate response. Above of all else we should not fall into the trap of being afraid to appear as “judgers” – that is an accusation that the non-Christian world has used against Christians to shame them into not using discernment and not holding true to their standards. Christians, and in particular, Christian leaders should be held to a higher standard, should have greater character than most people. Repentance involves turning away from one’s ways, changing one’s path, and if possible, making restitution. In the case of a Christian leader, it involves a substantial amount of time of re-examination and reflection, i.e. a probationary period. If you want a case of redemption, read the full (current) story of Jim Bakker who renounced everything he stood for in his earlier ministry and endured a fourteen year period between the time he was convicted to when he started another ministry. Read also the story of Chuck Colson.
    Mike Warnke’s errors go beyond the fabrication of his satanic path. They include his relationship issues, particularly his infidelity, and the charges of wife beating. Reading his website, he acknowledges non of this, and instead focuses on the ministry. But a ministry that is built on a lack of character is like a house of cards or a home built on the sand. It’s not if, but rather when, it will topple.
    I had several of Mike Warnke’s records and read The Satan Seller, but when I learned about what really happened, I threw them all away. There was a line on one of his records where he was speaking to kids and talked about how bad being a liar was, and that he said “You know where liars go….to Washington.” It was funny at the time, but now it seems so sad. To me, minimizing his actions because of the ministry he has, is minimizing the work of the Holy Spirit. Have we ever considered that maybe the Holy Spirit is reaching out despite him?

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    • willaim francis

       /  March 25, 2014

      Bill,
      you hit the nail on the head. Mike was used by the Holy Spirit to make a 23 year old decide that he could not figure out how to do all himself. With laughter and humor and a unique delivery of God’s Word Mike got me the look beyond what I thought I knew about Him.
      After the concert, alone in my car, I asked God to make himself real in my life and that I wanted to follow him. I’m saved today by God’s mercy in spite of M.K. not because of him…

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  28. willaim francis

     /  March 25, 2014

    I got saved at a Mike Warnke concert at a local high school back in 1990. This was the second time I have seen him. Around 1992 Mike had come back to our area. This time at Louisiana Tech University. The feeling he was projecting at this conerct was not of lightheartedness as before, but now , strangely of fear, anger. He alluded to the notion of people trying to slander his minisrty. This time his concert seemed “empty”.
    After the concert I wanted to say a quick hello to him and share with him how he helped with me becoming born again. His “bodyguards”( remember that former satanic followers were probably still looking to do harm to him) said he was real tired from all his intense tour schedule and could talk to anyone (bummer!). As I walked passed the window on my way out, I looked in and saw Mike, bodyguards and some very “skanky” looking girls appartently talking and just hanging out ( odd, but just shrugged it off).
    My boss and a friend came to me in the summer of 1992 after going to the Cornerstone Music Festival. They brought me a copy of Cornerstone Magazine issue 98… “Satan seller – the Tragic History of Mike Warnke”. It was a 24,00 word /over 150 footnotes expose on Mike. Though heartbroken about the situation, the Lord quickly showed me that even lies and half truthes can be used in His hands to bring people like myself to a point of choosing to follow Him.

    Mike Warnke got you laughing and then, while “your defenses were down”, he brought up GOD’S truth, which NEVER will lie to you, A very good storyteller that Mike Warnke… so good even he believes they are true. I hope he repents and comes clean to himself and to the world.

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  29. Thank-you for your post on Mike Warnke. It’s sad to know that much of what he shared was (for whatever reason) either embellished or made-up for whatever , but like you, I feel God’s grace is still reaching out to him. And even though there might be scores of people who can’t understand it – despite Mike’s personal failures, God still used him to further his kingdom. I think it’s because God is bigger than we give him credit for – and also because he’s not willing that “any” should perish… so sometimes he uses us even when we’re not the people we should be.
    My heart will always believe that even though he struggled with moral failure – Mike still felt compassion for those who didn’t know Christ.
    Thanks for the kindness you offered him in your post.

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    • Mike Warnke brought a lot of laughter to my life at a time I had little to be happy about. I think of his life as proof that God can take our failures and still make something beautiful out of them. I feel for this man. I believe he picked a much harsher route than he could have. I genuinely hope for only good things for him.

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  30. I just wrote a letter to Mike. To thank him for the impact he has had on me and on my family.

    My son (18) wanted a record player for Christmas and I bought him one. Now he plays my old LPs. Among the Beatles, Monkeys, and others were my Mike Warnke Albums. My son has gone through some very difficult times since the divorce 10 years ago. He lives with me and the other day he pulled the “Alive” album. He has struggled with many issues that Mike refers to in his material.

    This same material is what led me to rededicate my life to Christ in 1978 at a Navy transit barracks in Philadelphia. My 3 year stint in the Navy included a broken back and traveling to 16 different duty stations in 23 months. If I had not rededicated my life right then, after boot camp, there is no telling what would have happened to me. It is likely my foundation to make choices would have been much different. I believe it was this one act that made all the difference in my life.

    I have seen Mike in concert and am aware of the issues he has faced. It doesn’t take away from the fact that God has and is using his ministry to touch lives. In one of his albums he mentions that he had been saved 9 years at that time. I’ve been saved 41 and I haven’t touched nearly as many lives as he has. He has repented.

    I told of friend of mine that he needed to catch Mike’s show in Kalamazoo, MI. back in the early to mid 90′s. My friend said that a full page ad had been taken out in the paper spelling out all of the accusations. Only 50 people showed up for the performance. Mike came out on stage before it was to begin and explained and apologized about everything and thanked those who had come in spite of the ad. He then went on to complete the entire performance.
    I understand that there needs to be discipline in such instances, but as a Christian Brother in the Lord I take my que from Christ. “He who has not sinned cast the first stone.”

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  31. Forrest

     /  July 4, 2014

    I am a fan of Mike Warnke even in the full light of his madness and inconsistency. I don’t look up to him as an example of a good Christian; I don’t believe anything he says. I don’t expect anything of him except to entertain me. I wouldn’t contribute money to his “ministry”. He’s a a character, and a wonderful storyteller, and an amazing thing to behold. I still haven’t figured him out. Thank you for linking my Wikipedia photo. I took that at a church in Lebanon, Ohio in 2001.

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    • I completely agree with you. I still love his routines, and I will just keep Jesus as my model for Christianity. Humans are always going to trip up. He just happened to have more people watching him blow it. I love that picture! Good job!!

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