Over a year ago, I wrote a post about one of my absolute favorite Christian comedians, Mike Warnke, called The Ministry of Mike Warnke, where I summarized this man’s career and fall from grace. I asked people to offer up their opinions, and boy, did I get some. I had no idea then, but as it would turn out, Mike Warnke has surpassed Three Boobs and Nipple Shirts as the number one search term on my site. All I can say is…it’s about time! Color me happy! I don’t want those to be the phrases I’m remembered for. 🙂
I continue to get comments on my Mike Warnke post almost weekly. People really, really loved this man, and I think it hurt us all when he wouldn’t come clean. His fall from grace tended to be very polarizing it would seem, and I have people visit that article who come close to either hating him or those who believe his ministry can (and will) be saved. Good or bad, the man is very remembered. His ministry was rather short, but his handling of the lies lives on even today.
I’m somewhere in the middle. I really love his stories; I did not believe they were true. I just chose to ignore his statements of how this was true. It made me laugh, and that was what I needed. So, when it all came out that he was full of it, I wasn’t as freaked out as others were. I didn’t condone it, but I didn’t let it become a big problem in my own faith. Mike answers to Jesus. Jesus will handle it without my input. That didn’t seem to be the normal reaction for other Christians, though, and there were a ton of broken hearts out there.
I’ve had a tiny taste of the pure humiliation that accompanies sinning spectacularly in a rather public way (lest any of you forget my fantastically humiliating Vodka Posts), and if it sucked for this rather anonymous blog writer, than it really, really had to blow for a man millions of people looked up to. That’s one long fall down to earth, and I’m not going to cast a single stone in his direction. Maybe admitting to people I’ve blown it is easier for me because it’s done on a keyboard out of everyone’s eye. And as for the people in my real life, I’ve been shown a massive amount of mercy and grace. I’m not afraid of what my true friends and family will think…they don’t judge me harshly. Maybe Mike didn’t have that. Or, maybe I just have a lot of practice stumbling, and Mike didn’t.. Who knows?
I do know from experience though, that by the time you’re sitting in the room with The Really Big Sin, there was whole road of compromises you travelled to get there. Little compromises with the truth are what paves the way to the really painful sins that everyone notices. I imagine Mike’s road was paved with those too. I know firsthand how quickly things can get away from you, and I really feel sympathy when I think about the guy. Most of the time, I can empathize with someone else’s story, and while I might not agree, I can understand. Mike paid a heavy price for his lies, and an even heavier one for his refusal to confess his shortcomings. Even in his sin, I’m still learning from him.
But it did make me wonder.
Do we Christians encourage our brothers and sisters who’ve stumbled, or do we attack them mercilessly? I sometimes think that if we did a better job helping each other back up after the inevitable nosedives we are all known to take, maybe it wouldn’t be so hard for some people to get back up, brush off the dust of our sin, and keep on fighting to improve. Isn’t that really what we are all doing in our lives? Trying to get it right?
I wanted to share one man’s comment. I am struggling with some crappy issues in my real life, and when I read this man’s comment a while back, I actually teared up a little. It was a good reminder of who we are and why we shouldn’t judge anyone. Simply put, we all suck. How we deal with the suckiness of others is going to have some effect on how people deal with yours, so be gentle.
Always opt to show too much mercy rather than not enough.
Error on the side of compassion, mercy, kindness… Isn’t that what Jesus did?
I want to thank Stan Sigstad for letting me post this. I hope it touches some of you out there like it did me.
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.
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.
Unlike Mike, God reached right into the occult world and yanked Stan out of it. He once was in the occult, and unlike Mike, he finds nothing redeeming about the experience. His answer below resonates something true to me about his past sins that I never sensed in Mike’s stories. Disgust. Disappointment in oneself. Relief to be set free. An appreciation for what Jesus did on the cross that is born from the knowledge that we simply don’t deserve it.
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.
Jesus is the only one who got it right the first time. The rest of us need a little mercy. For those who have fallen, get up! Keep trying until you succeed or die! It’s only you keeping count anyways!! The rest of us all lost count forever ago!! We all wrestle, and utterly fail, with something. Keep giving it to Jesus. He knew this about you before He called you. You aren’t surprising Him.
And for those who watch the weaker ones fall, be merciful. Self-discipline doesn’t come easy to some people, and if you have that awesome trait, consider yourself blessed. Every big sin I’ve ever committed was rooted in my inability to control my own flesh. No self-discipline. Some of us ride the spiritual short bus, but we’ll get there. Just enjoy learning from our mistakes…. 🙂 You’re welcome!
Thanks again, Stan. Kick butt in your ministry school. Coupled with the wisdom of experience, and the demise of your pride, and your sheer gratitude for what Jesus has done for you, you will be dangerous to satan’s agenda. I’m glad you’re on our side. 🙂
- The Ministry of Mike Warnke (thesecondsite.wordpress.com)
- “Boob” As A Verb (ctworkingmoms.com)
- Why do men have nipples? (thinkbannedthoughts.wordpress.com)