Posted by Kevin, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 12:31 pm
My prayers go out to Paul Sheppard, his family, and the members of ALCF. The devil is so busy and he knows are weaknesses. But, God is in complete control of ever circumstance. So, as with David, Paul Sheppard can be restored. Let's not look to point or to critize but look to prayer that God will do bigger and better things with the ministry of Paul Sheppard and the ALCF church family.
Posted by Melva Jones, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 12:40 pm
My prayers go out to Pastor Paul, his wife and family. Please let’s not judge him lets pray for restoration and healing for his family. Let’s not forget all the lives he has touched and the countless hours of service he has given. Pastor Paul fell short like we all do he has repented and has stepped down as Pastor so let the healing begin
I pray that he will be renewed in his spirit and my deepest prayers go out to his wife. I pray she can forgive him and this relationship can be made whole. I also pray for the woman that took part in destroying this union because God is not pleased. When I first heard I thought not another marriage not another man of God then I was reminded of all the grace God has extended to me. Pastor Paul you will be missed and I will travail for your marriage.
Posted by Matt D, a resident of the Monta Loma neighborhood, on Dec 22, 2009 at 12:53 pm
WOW! I can remember the 1st time I went to Cubberly to see the man on the radio. We must remember that we must focus on the fact that we are right with God through his son and the that we must continually abide in the light, we as beleivers must not leave the light or we will fall prey to the enemy. Paul Shepherd is a man who seeks Gods will I assure you this is true. But he is also just a man, I to have struggled with sexual sin in my life as a married man and it's a tough spot to be in. I'm sure he has repented and I know that he has been forgiven, please be cautious not to judge because the enemy has a plan to destroy everything in pastor Pauls path and the path of ALCF but our God is a mighty God and his will shal be done. Beleivers stay strong, non beleivers seek and you shall find!
Posted by Angela Ilemobade, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 12:57 pm
May the Lord hold up the Shepard Family at this time. God is in control and satan is so busy seeking whom he can destroy. Lets look to God who is the healer, restorer, and the lifter-upper of hearts!! The Word is God is alive, true, and will stand the test of time. May God be glorified in the restoration of Pastor Paul, his family, and their ministries.
Posted by Grace, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Dec 22, 2009 at 1:19 pm
Abundant Life has always been superficial, and they've always taken sin lightly and the Bible lightly. Many of us left Abundant Life...because we could see this coming. (Abundant Life has never abided by Matthew 18:15-17, Biblical Church Discipline, Jesus's first command for dealing with sin in His church.) Those that would support someone in sexual sin leading a church afterwards, obviously are weak in the Bible again: God forbids it. Our church leaders are to be examples.
I pray for Mrs. Sheppard; she is such a lovely, generous woman.
Posted by P. Merritt, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 1:27 pm
Love is needed most in the difficult and dark times. I am one small part of the Body of Christ who is praying for Pastor Paul, his precious wife and family, the ALCF church and all believers. I pray that he goes through a godly time of discipline, restoration and strengthening and that we see Pastor Paul on the other side of "Lessons from a Moral Failure." May Christians everywhere arm themselves for battle, pray and stand in the gap for our leaders, our families, our churches, our communities and those who don't know Christ. This is war!
Posted by tony lewis houston,tx, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 1:28 pm
Shame on you Paul Shepard,how long were you cheating? i cast no stones for i am a man without sin,but you are a HYPOCRITE,talking about how men supposed to treat their women,all the time lieing to your kids,wife,GOD(first)and church members. And those bleeding hearts,its okay to forgive,but he should step down,he abused his priveledges and misled GOD'S people. SHAME on you,for playing on the minds of the weak,did you not know what the bible teaches us,and you? yes,let's use that excuse,he's only a man,but a man in high position that KNEW better! all the while sneaking around with another woman?was your wife not enuf? could you not go to other church members and confess,get counseling,you are asneak,you knew the consequences,predator mode knowing what you were going to do..may GOD bless you and bring you out,PLEASE RESIGN and give new fresh on fire for GOD person a chance,restore your family,ask church for forgiveness and step down.
Posted by V, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 1:38 pm
Shocked as I was, I just realized more than ever that we are in the last days. I am a member of this church, and he is the LAST person I would have thought this would happen to. But he is HUMAN, as we all are - and he is subject to human errors of judgement and immoral acts, as we all are. Let him that is without sin, cast the first stone. My prayers are for his ability restore his spiritual walk with God, as he is gifted of God. But his actions were wrong. And moreso, my prayers are for his wife and children - who are in need of our constant prayers. My mother once said, "Nothing happens all of a sudden." No doubt this has been an issue (in some capacity) for some time - and we sometimes fail in how we RESPOND to the issues in our lives. Of course, we hold the Man of God to a much higher standard, as he preaches and teaches us. But what we must do is PRAY for him, that he is able to walk blameless before God and man - as he, and his family, are often under great attack because of the Kingdom building work that they do. To the mistress, and there was one, I'm praying for you. While Pastor Paul may have engaged, this was unfair to his wife and children. We can't allow our selfishness, to overshadow the common courtesies in life. You have helped to bring down a man, a ministry and shatter a family. I just hope that everyone involved can be restored spritually. I still love Pastor Paul and his personal ministry. In the end, I guess I would have had more respect for him - if he's stood up amongst the 6000 members he preached to weekly and told us. Instead of having a letter read to the church by an Assoc. Pastor. But I understand that he must be ashamed, as would I be. And we all deal with things differently. He and his family are in my prayers. I hope they all heal from this soon with God's divine help!
Posted by Milton, a resident of the Castro City neighborhood, on Dec 22, 2009 at 2:03 pm
Just another moral failure from "Tiger Woods" and company. My point is Tiger is no better or worse than Sheppard. This is why we must never judge others. Because "ALL" have sinned and "DO CONTINUE TO SIN", and Consistently Fall Short of God's Glory. I pray for Sheppard and for Tiger, but I wonder how many people feel like Sheppard (in his sin) is "BETTER" than Tiger ( in his sin). YOu see how weak and stupid humans are? Thank God for His Savior who redeemed us from the "curse of the law"...
Posted by Sunnyvale, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 2:06 pm
As we all know as bible believing christians, we have all fallen short of the standard and no man or woman is perfect...The devil is busy at work destroying the lives of believers as end times near...I believe Pastor Paul is a great man and needs our prayers at this difficult time...I was extremely saddened at hearing the news yesterday, but I hope and pray that God has mercy on him and returns him back to Abundant Life where he truly belongs...God Bless Pastor Paul and his family.
Posted by Spatula, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 2:09 pm
Hypocritical gasbag. I love how all these Christianistas are only too willing to give him a free pass on this, while at the same time they campaign for marriage discrimination against gays and lesbians who are in committed relationships and who aren't cheating on each other. You people ought to be ashamed of yourselves, but of course you're not... your self-righteousness is getting in the way.
Posted by M.A, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Dec 22, 2009 at 2:22 pm
I've been a member of Abundant life for 2.3 years. It's truly a difficult situation for all but we need to pray to God to give us all strenght and rather than falling apart coming together as a community even stronger. It is easy to judge and humiliate than to take a step back and continue loving, caring and praying for our love ones. I love Pastor Paul, he has being gifted by our father to touch millions of people's heart through his ministry. Let's all pray for him and his family! This are difficult times and it's a sign that the devil it's getting busy trying to destroy the things and people that God touches.
Posted by Michael N., a resident of the North Whisman neighborhood, on Dec 22, 2009 at 2:23 pm
I have not gone to Abundant Life in over a year, but I will never forget a service that Pastor Paul gave. I remember him talking about himself being a "Man." A "man of the flesh," and because of that he too can fall like any other man. I remember how he gave a service on King David and how God forgave him, because he was a man of his own heart. The reason why I am writing this is because Pastor Paul is of the flesh and we often forget that, because we hold him to a higher standard. All of us have fallen & all of us are sinners, so I pray that this lesson will not cause a break the church or take a great a toll on Pastor Paul's hard work. May God give him the wisdom to move on, and through God's grace forgive him. My prayers go out to Pastor Paul and to his family. God forgives and so should we!
Posted by happymom, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 2:37 pm
I'm glad I'm an aetheist, and I'm glad I raised my highly successful and happy children without religion. There's too much hypocritical leadership, and too much opportunity to lead people astray. Too much holier-than-thou nonsense, too much insistence of I'm better than you...too much is too much! evildoer, I like your message, and I'm guessing you're not really evil. Neither am I. Maybe if people stopped being dependent on their church leaders to know right from wrong, there would be happier, emotionally healthier communities. And you know what else? You'd have more money in your pocket and Sunday mornings to sleep in and enjoy your time off. Think about it. the herd mentality is downright scary.
Posted by Sammy Turner, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 2:44 pm
Pastor Paul is a human. Plain and simple, he is not God, he is a man who has had a moral failure. None of us know what the moral failure was because did not tell us. So, I pray that everyone would stop speculating on what happened because we don't know. In God's eyes their is no BIG sin or little sin!!! It's just sin and it separates us from fellowship with God until we have repented. There is no man living today without sin so rather than talking noise about Pastor Paul....do what God commands us to do LOVE him without condition! And pray for him and his family during this tought period of time.
Posted by BIll Kendall, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 2:46 pm
So, I was waiting to hear the broadcast today and was really saddened by the news that there would be no "Abundant Life" program. However, the replacement program is Chuck Colsen and a message about the Angel Tree ministry.
Can we talk about redemption here? Can we have hope in the Good News of this season? Chuck Colsen can certainly talk about "moral failure", political disappointment,and redemption. Christ came for me 'cause I'm sick. And I'm really glad I have a Savior. Paul Sheppard can be grateful too that he has a Savior who will walk with him in this ongoing part of his life. Can we be the body that supports and encourages and doesn't "break the bruised reed"?
The Spirit of God can help us to be just that to Paul. If we allow him to...
Posted by P. Williams, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 2:49 pm
I am glad that there is a place of dialogue for this heartfelt issue. I moved out of the area so I am no longer a member but my prayer is that the family of ALCF will allow its members to really feel the pain of this before moving on to our deeper spiritual "understanding". Its a healthy part of the process although I know most ALCF members know the Word and what this means in the eternal perspective. Lets still take some time and cry out to God. This hurts really bad. The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18)
Posted by Sweet Blessing, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 2:55 pm
This was quite a shocking revelation, as sin is on many occasions. No one expects to "fall" into a sinful situation, but we are hum,an and subject to many. We have one judge, who will judge every one of us on judgment day. That is who Pastor Paul is answering to and whom will restore him to His place in ministry. We have a faithful, able and mighty God who allows situations to happen so that we stand. This, no doubt, is a test of faith in God for all who listen by radio, conference or are able to attend Pastor Paul's church. God can work in and through all things, for such a time as this, that we might be able to stand. God will take care of the sins the world has committed and every one of us is with sin of some kind. The Bible says that there is no sin uncommon to man - none. We are all tempted in the same way - by the world, by satan and our flesh. God has a purpose and plan for Pastor Paul, his family as well as the congregation at Abundant Life. You are all in my prayers.
Posted by Ken, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 3:03 pm
We are all human and we do all fail. I know that had we as a church and radio listeners not raised you so high on a pedestal than you would not have had so far to fall when you did fail.
However too much is given, much is required. You were an inspiration to me on my morning drive. I changed my work schedule just so I could start my day by listening to your sermons. I am not bitter towards you, and pray that God can restore unto you a clean heart and renew a right spirit in you.
God can cut away the sin and make you new again, but I have to look at you as a diamond. You were once very large and glowing and now when you are restored to beauty you won’t be a large or as brilliant simply because of all the crud that was cut out.
Being a pastor is not to be taken lightly. There is a tremendous amount of responsibility from not only the sheep, media, but of God. Though sin is sin, I know a school teacher or police officer is usually given a much stiffer penalty for transgressions of things they are to look out after because of the trust factor awarded them by their position.
I agree that whatever the “Moral Failure” may be it is between he and his wife his family, and God. Now is the time that we must stand together and pray for protection for our family, church, and pastors. Satan is working overtime trying to get us to fall into sin, especially the elect.
May the presence of the Holy Spirit minister to you in this time of difficulty and give you that strange peace that only he can give in times of trouble.
Posted by forgiven 1, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 3:05 pm
Sorry to ruin your "party" mr "evildoer"... but even if man fails, the gates of hell will not prevail against the church of God...
(You may not understand this, for it is to be discerned spiritually)
Certainly we (the christian community)in all, are saddened for what has happened in the life of our fellow brother in Christ... but the crown belongs to those that finish the race, get up pastor Paul and continue the race! We are praying with you and for you! May the Lord completly restore you!
Posted by Jorge A. Bassett, a resident of the Jackson Park neighborhood, on Dec 22, 2009 at 3:07 pm
I listen to Paul Shepperd every day for the past 3 1/2 years since I've accepted Jesus as my savior. I'm very sorry to here what has happened and will pray everyday for Pastor Paul and his family. I hope he gets restored and raise with his head high, the devil is a dirty trickster, and sadly great men of God fall, but Pastor Paul, get up, wipe the dust off, and lets get going! If they don't want you in Georgia, we love you here in Texas! Lets pray for Pastor Paul, and remember, who of us is without sin? Read Mat 7: 1-5
God Bless you all, now I do believe the end is getting near. Amen.
Posted by Don Frances, Mountain View Voice Editor, on Dec 22, 2009 at 3:07 pm Don Frances is a member (registered user) of Mountain View Online
The self-described atheists here, claiming to decry intolerance, represent the only intolerance to be found in this comment thread. Though we welcome a conversation on religion, it must remain respectful rather than self-righteous and disparaging. Alex, happymom, evildoer, spatula: if you can't handle that, go post somewhere else.
Posted by JOEC, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 3:07 pm
Pastor Paul was not the only Pastor who resigned this month. My Pastor also did. I am so sad and hurt about how these annointed leaders of God slowly decreasing in numbers. Please pray for ALL the Pastors - they need it very much. Pastor Paul was a prime example of how we need to not take all our spiritual leaders for granted. We need to continuously pray and encourage them - not destroy them especially when situations like this happens.
Posted by Louie G., a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 3:11 pm
You're all missing the point...this is about living! Pastor, his wife, and his family, have to figure out how to live their lives in light of God's standard.
I'm glad that truth has stepped in to their lives to relieve the pressured sepsis of "moral failure," so that we can watch the truth of God's living Word, and living Church, lovingly help them through these times.
As for the atheist comment, there is no hypocrisy here...as all have fallen short of the glory of God. That said, God never changes!
We're all figuring how to live our lives out in a time when all (and I mean, ALL) around us is falling apart - our government, our state, our education, our safety, and yes, our leaders. And yet, there's hope!
As we come upon the reason for Christmas, Christ came so that we may be forgiven of our moral, character, and ethical failures, to be individually empowered to fight off sin (which includes self-righteousness) while successfully loving our neighbors, resulting in living with other saints eternally with God.
Posted by fairly new believer, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 3:14 pm
I have looked forward to 2:30 pm every week day to listen to Pastor Paul. Not because his message is unique; rather, it is a very pure scriptural message. What is unique is his presentation. He was blessed with the gift of communication. He can clearly explain both the simple AND complex issues found simultaneously within most Biblical principles. Plus, he can do this in a down-to earth and entertaining (yet respectful) manner. Also, he makes the connections between the scriptual ideas and practical application. Of course he has to step down. As a pastor he is held to a higher standard (not that "moral failure" is excusable with anyone). But, the goal should be reconciliation--with his wife, family, congregation, and, most importantly, with God. We are all sinners,including all Christians, whose only advantage over unbelievers is our desire to not be driven by our sinful nature, even as we sin.
Posted by OF COURSE!, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 3:14 pm
Of course out of all of the churches to have a scandal.. it's THIS ONE!! I remember the last article that was written about the "over-population" of the church and commented on how disgusted I was with the way the attendees frolicked around the street before and after service as if they owned the street. It is IMPOSSIBLE to drive down that street on a Sunday while there is a service in session. [Portion removed due to disrespectful comment]
Posted by D.Odom, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 3:16 pm
"Moral Failure" What ever happen Pastor Paul is human, we all make mistakes. I have tuned into 1100 AM @2:30pm for years, I would not miss his program. I tuned today and what do I hear not pastor, so I loged on the net and what do I see... The thing is he has touched so many lifes, he has changed many that may have been headed the wrong way. So now look something has come up and he has been tempted, he confessed his failure in the name of JESUS CHRIST, and he has told his wife. Pastor Paul has a higher calling ahead. (DON'T GIVE UP) live the life you preach about.
Posted by a child of God, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 3:35 pm
i was at the service on Saturday when this news was shared, i was definitely saddened by what has happened. i ask that everyone on this site ignore negative remarks, they are used to get a rise out of you and know that the only words we should be focusing on are from our father, he teaches us peace and love. there are people who do not know christ, for this we cannot judge we just need to pray for everyone especially those who do not know christ that they may one day see Gods glory! i pray for pastor paul and his family and ask God to keep everyone safe from satans path and please remember we all have sinned and have been forgiven. because God loves us and we are his children like the song says "the victory is ours!"
Posted by Eugenia, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 3:39 pm
I am a member of ALCF. I am sorry that this has happened, however, Pastor Paul is cloaked in the same flesh as you and I. We often esteem our leaders as superhuman, but they are mortal.
I possess no anger and I commend this man of God who realized that he must do as the Lord commanded. I believe that the Lord will perform a restoration that will open the eyes of men and women everywhere revealing His miraculous power.
So many pastors are committing sin and mounting the pulpit each week, without guilt or fear. It is honorable for this man of God to realize the error of his ways and be subject to the Lord. I've not EVER seen this in all my days. Most are OUTED, but to come forth willingly is unheard of these days.
My prayers are with my church, the Sheppards, and the congregation. I pray that the Lord seals the lips of those who would judge Pastor Paul. Man should be careful of what manner by which ye judge men; by that manner might ye also be judged.
ALCF is a dynamic ministry and was established by a phenomenal leader through the Hands of An Almighty God!!!
Posted by EKH, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 3:52 pm
This morning after breakfast, my family and I remained seated at the kitchen table to listen to Pastor Paul’s message, only to learn to that his online ministry had been preempted. Soon after, our hearts were grieved to hear that this giant of a Christian man had fallen to such human failures.
Pastor Sheppard we are praying for your wife and family, members of the local church, and for your restoration (Galatians 6:1). The Spirit of God thought it necessary to show in His word how infallible believers could be – such as Peter. As it was for saints in the early church, God’s grace and mercy is sufficient for you as well, even during this time.
To all saints, please pray for all of our spiritual leaders and recognize that they are (more so) subject to the same formidable enemies (the flesh, the world and Satan) as any other man or women. God is still working with His Church, so count it all joy (James 1: 1-4) and be encouraged knowing that our Father in Heaven is in charge, in spite of our failures and continuous disappointments.
Posted by JRH, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 3:53 pm
Here we go again with another report of moral failure in leadership. It's almost as bad as that report that we heard a little while back of that leader who committed adultery with another man's wife, and then had the nerve to try and cover up the whole affair by having the woman's husband killed. I believe his name was David. No one should applaud moral failure in leadership, but it's happened before, and will no doubt happen again. But God who is rich in mercy is a God of restoration...For He restoreth my soul. Prayers are with you Pastor Shepherd and I commend your stance of stepping down until that time. For God is not only the God of creation, but He is the God of restoration as well.
Posted by Spatula, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 3:54 pm
I think you mean you welcome a conversation on religion, so long as religion cannot be criticized... which is of course not a conversation on religion at all (or at least a very one-sided one). Of course atheists and atheism are subject to your harsh and bitter criticism, and that is indeed an entertaining double-standard, which just goes to demonstrate the very hypocrisy in question.
I'm not intolerant of religion or religionists. I am, however, rabidly and unapologetically intolerant of hypocrisy and hypocrites who presume to want to tell me how to live, judge me, criticize me, and level all kinds of unfounded accusations and lies about me, while writing themselves a free pass to behave in whatever deplorable manner they like because they're "only human" and "fallible."
Is it too much to ask to either apply the same standard to everyone, or, failing that, not presume to judge others in the first place?
Posted by Yetunde, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 3:57 pm
Here is a news flash for you stone throwers: God loves sinners
Deal with it!
If you are saved, you are saved by grace
I love Pastor Paul with all my heart. The church MUST pray for its leaders, they are on the front lines. We wanted Pastor Paul to help us with all our issues but we never took the time to see where we could pray for his issues.
The wicked people out there just want to see people fall. Just like satan does. PRAY FOR PASTOR PAUL AND HIS FAMILY. Stop trying to tear others down - that is an evil thing to do.
Posted by Don Frances, Mountain View Voice Editor, on Dec 22, 2009 at 4:02 pm Don Frances is a member (registered user) of Mountain View Online
I don't notice anyone here judging you or criticizing you. In fact, they seem to be gamely ignoring you, despite your name-calling.
Are many of the Christians' comments here self-righteous? Yes. But they're directed at themselves -- not outwardly, as your comments are. Some commenters above (like "a child of God") seem to think highly of themselves -- but they don't think lowly of you, or even seem to think about you at all. This is to their credit.
You, on the other hand, along with the other commenters I mentioned, feel the need to direct acrimony at them. That is why your notion of applying "the same standard to everyone" doesn't fit here.
Posted by Ann, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 4:04 pm
Pastor Shepphard, thank you so much for all of your messages. YOu have no idea how many of your sermons have touched my life so powerfully and made me a stronger woman in my walk with God. I am so blessed to have heard of your teachings, and I am saddened to hear of the news that you have stepped down due to "moral failure." I commend you for acknowledging your mistakes -- whatever that is-- and I pray for God to begin a journey of healing and reconciliation in your's and your family's life.
Posted by robert, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 4:10 pm
As everybody who loves the LORD, it hurts to hear what has happened to our brother Pual but as many had said God is in control and my prayer is that what satan has meant for evil GOD will turn into a bigger blessing for the shepherds family and for the whole body of Christ. brother Paul if you are reading this messages know that we love very much and that we all pray for Gods comfort and courage to be with you and than you for having the courage to confess and do things as the Lord commands, thank you for all the hard work you have given to the ministry of reaching lost souls for the glory of God, hope to hear you again soon, and know that nothing will separate us from the love of jesus..... in christian love robert carranza
Posted by Spatula, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 4:13 pm
Nice attempt at deflection, but nonetheless a failed one. This megachurch, other megachurches, and religionist hypocrites in general have a solid, longstanding, and deserved reputation of hostility and intolerance toward others, individual posters to one small comments forum on one article notwithstanding.
I apply the same standard to everyone: I expect people to practice what they preach, or in other words, to apply to themselves the same standards they set for others.
I do not apologize for calling out hypocrisy where it's deserved, and never have I seen it more deserved than what I'm seeing here.
They preach on and on about the "sanctity of traditional marriage" as the megachurches and funadmentalists love to do, while at the same time they're cheating on their wives? Then when they get caught, the judgment they have for others is suddenly reserved and any number of excuses are provided that would never be afforded to anyone outside their compound.
That's hypocrisy in a nutshell. These are, by the very definition, hypocrites. This church has lost its moral authority to tell anyone about marriage or relationships, but somehow I suspect that won't stop them.
Posted by saddened, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 4:19 pm
I tuned in just a short while ago to listen to my favorite radio broadcast and was quite saddened by the fact that there wasn't one. I immediately knew that something was wrong and searched to find out what had happened. It is unerving to see how the ememy is trying to bring division amongst the Body of Christ and people in general. But as someone stated (and I wholeheartedly argree)this is about living - fighting the good fight. I want to encourge the members of ALCF and Pastor Paul to walk by faith and not by sight. Do not grow weary. There are millions of warriors standing on the wall and we will join you in the fight. Remember that love covers a multitude of sin. I implore you not to respond to the negative comments that you hear and read, unless it is with wisdom and love. It's a deceptive trick of the ememy to ruin your testimony and take away your enfluence and authority.
What I love most is that God will use this too in order to bring glory and honor to HIS name. This has very little to do with Pastor Paul. It's about the Name of Jesus being lifted up. And in the end...you know the rest. HE (JESUS) HAS ALREADY WON! Pastor Paul and his family will be all right - just continue to pray and stay rooted in the sound doctrine that God has used him to teach. THAT my brothers and sisters is what will enable us all to persevere and prevail! All Glory to the Most High God! Merry Christmas!
Posted by CHall, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 4:19 pm
AS FOR THE COMMENTS FROM, EVILDOER, HAPPY ATHESIS MOM, ALEX AND OTHER BLINDED MINDED HATERS, WHO AT THIS TIME, ARE REJOICING BEHIND PASTOR PAUL SHEPPARD SHORTCOMINGS AND THE LIFE OF CHIRSTIANS; WHY DOES OUR LIFES AS CHRISTIANS AND OUR FAILURES EXCITES PEOPLE LIKE YOU? WHY ARE YOU SO CURIOUS ABOUT GOD'S MESSAGE AND WHO WE ARE?
IS IT BECAUSE, SOMETHING, DEEP DOWN INSIDE IS MISSING IN YOUR LIFE? I THINK SO. ITS "JESUS", HOWEVER, BECAUSE OF YOUR BLINDNESS, PEOPLE LIKE YOU, CAN'T SEE IT.
AS FOR PASTOR PAUL SHEPPARD, HE IS TRULY A MAN, WHO HAS BEEN CALLED BY GOD, TO PEACH THE "TRUTH", THE GOSPEL.
MONDAY THROUGH FRIDAY, I ALWAYS LOOKED FORWARD TO LISTENING TO PASTOR PAUL, ON KFAX AM, TO HERE THE MESSAGE THAT GOD HAVE PLACED ON HIS HEART, NOT ON PROSPERITY AND MATERIAL GAIN PREACHING, AS MANY PASTORS OF TODAY ARE TURNING TO, BUT PASTOR PAUL PRECHED MANY TRUE WORD MESSAGES THAT PERTAINED TO MY LIFE AND MANY OTHERS AS WELL.
THE "DEVIL" HAS BEEN "INCREASLY BUSY, MORE THAN EVER BEFORE. HE IS SEEKING TO DESTORY, ESPECIALLY THE CHILDREN OF GOD.
HE'S IN OUR:
AND ESPECIALLY IN OUR CHURCHES.
I PRAYED THAT GOD RESTORES, AND I KNOW HE WILL, PASTOR PAUL SHEPPARD AND TO GIVE HIS WIFE THE STRENGTH THAT SHE WILL NEED DURING THIS HURTFUL MOMENT THAT HAS COME INTO HER LIFE.
AS FOR THE HATERS: IT'S HAS BEEN SAID BEFORE, AS I AM SAYING AGAIN:
THE TRUE CHRISTIANS, NOT ALL ARE HYPOCRITES.
THOUGH, WE ARE NOT PERFECT; IN THE HEART AND THE SIGHT OF GOD:
Posted by former pastor wife, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Dec 22, 2009 at 4:20 pm
I'm praying for the both of you,(This too Pastor and first lady shall Past) I've also have been through this. I can really appreciate a man of God that can admit his or her mistakes and repent get up and go on with life, remeber that it is God that forgives. First Lady you be encouraged I feel your pain, I am a former first lady I know the hurt but you can forgive,Love your husband all Satan needed was just a moment of weakness, and for the woman satan used you should really be praying asking God to forgive you! God said touch not my annointing and do my prophets no harm(Shame on You!!!!)
Posted by DD, St. Louis, MO, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 4:23 pm
I too, am sad to learn of Pastor Paul's alledged indiscretion. As it has already been stated, he is a human being, in spite of his title, and he not immune to sin. None of us are.
This is a time for all Christians to band together to pray for healing in his marriage and for his spiritual rebirth. May God bless Pastor Paul and his family, as they take time to pick up the pieces of their shattered life.
Posted by Don Frances, Mountain View Voice Editor, on Dec 22, 2009 at 4:24 pm Don Frances is a member (registered user) of Mountain View Online
It's not deflection, it's the central point. And you keep missing it.
You've come to this comment thread with an agenda against "religionist hypocrites" that seems specifically geared toward the gay marriage debate. That's your agenda, not the Voice's -- we don't have any specific agenda -- and so it's a bad fit here.
You say these people "have a solid, longstanding, and deserved reputation of hostility and intolerance toward others, individual posters to one small comments forum on one article notwithstanding." But my goal is not to cure the world of these theoretical people -- it's to monitor this particular "small comments forum on one article." And so far everybody's been fine except you.
You say "They preach on and on about the 'sanctity of traditional marriage'" ... not only has no one done so in this comment thread, this particular church goes out of its way to avoid such wedge issues during its services. You'd know this if you'd read our original story on the Abundant Life church: Web Link.
If you can think of a way to point out the alleged hypocrisy of whoever it is you dislike without the use of acrimony and name-calling, then great. So far, you've been unequal to the task.
Posted by Menlo Park, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 4:30 pm
It appears to me that you need therapy to deal with your anger issues and understanding. If Pastor Paul had caused you any direct pain, then I would definitely understand your position. Your passive agressive behavior is ridiculous and I pray that you seek the help that you need.
I have visited over 100 churches in my profession and I can personally attest to the fact that Abundant Life may have been characterized as Charismatic by numbers, but not the message. Stop judging and listen to some of Pastor Paul's messages. The format was a message directed at a diverse group of people. He didn't preach, but he taught.
You are definitely way off base and I think that you know this deep inside. The one thing that binds all humans to God is our spirit. I believe that you are so angry because your spirit is disturbed. I will definitely pray for you. How can you be happy about someone else's mysery? As a Believer, I may not believe in homosexuality. However, if you as an obvious homosexual was hurt or in need, I would assist you. Not because of redemption, my ego, or a need to make myself feel better, but because God applies the same grace and mercy to my life. Furthermore, instinctively I know that it is the right thing to do. This is the message of "Good News" that was being taught and applied at Abundant Life. While the environment was filled with Believers that love Christ, I wouldn't call it religious. You should do your research before judging.
I think you are miserable in your own skin and need psychological help. I pray that one day, you find "truth and peace" within.
Posted by andywongchina, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 4:31 pm
It was a shocking news but we are all sinner. We are living in a world that full of temptation. Satan is using every weapon to destroy the church and God's people. Let's stay strong and not to condemn Pastor Paul. Love cover multiple of sin. And we believe in God, not human being. God is trust worthy and righteous. Let's continue to pray for Pastor Paul and his family for healing and restoration.
Posted by Spatula, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 4:35 pm
If you don't have any specific agenda, how can any topic be a bad fit?
I have a problem with religious hypocrites who apply one set of standards to people outside their compounds and a different set of standards to themselves, period.
That's *exactly* what's going on here, and marriage is relevant to the topic because this guy was cheating on his wife.
If you presume to tell others how their marriages should be while at the same time you're cheating on your wife, you very well deserve to be called a hypocrite.
Maybe more people OUGHT to respond to hypocrisy with acrimony rather than giving the hypocrites a free pass to behave as badly as they choose because they happen to be hypocrites that they like. What kind of moral authority can people claim to have while holding two sets of standards like this?
Posted by JC, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 4:43 pm
There is no joy in hearing the news about Pastor Paul in this area. Know that we too are praying for him and his family as well as ALCF.
And what the negative posters don't realize is that the same God who the members of this great church serve also loves them, and that we believers are also praying for them. If they choose to see those who teach about the love and forgiveness that God offers as hypocrites because of teaching something that they don't agree with, that's their choice. Just know that despite that, we're also praying for you - whether you know it [and accept it] or not.
Posted by Bemused, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Dec 22, 2009 at 4:43 pm
Not surprising. When one wraps oneself in the cloak of an alleged supreme being, supported by the circular logic of an alleged holy scripture, and hold oneself and ones' disciples and followers up as superior to everyone else on the planet as pastors like this do, the fall is simply a matter of time. Because as so many have noted here, we're all human. The crutch of "god" will last only so long before it collapses into the nothingness it really is.
Longing for the day when we can finally be free from the persecution of christianity and the horror and havoc it wreaks on this world.
Fully expecting this comment to be deleted by the intolerant moderator of this board. Who, interestingly enough, defends his church and his religion and cares little about the trashing that does on in other threads . . .
Posted by Derrick O'Reagan, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 4:45 pm
My prayers go out to Pastor Paul and family. Please, let us not judge him let us pray for restoration and healing for his family. Let us not forget all the lives he has touched and the countless hours of service he has given. Pastor Paul fell short like we all do he has repented and has stepped down as Pastor, so, let the healing begin.
Posted by Menlo Park, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 4:49 pm
Stop over generalizing. We are not talking about a group of people, but a specific "Man of God" who has confessed according to the WORD of GOD.
You are obviously hurting and in a lot of pain. You should be addressing Congress or the Governor. Pastor Paul doesn't make the laws. The state of California voted against "same sex" marriages. Some wanted a vote, but wasn't pleased with the outcome. I don't believe that you would be here blogging your disgust if the vote would've been in your favor.
In any case, this is hardly the platform for that. Your heart is very dark and you need to find a healthy environment to discuss your pain and correlation fallacies. Therapy is the first step. You will definitely remain in my prayers. Life is too short for you to allow anger to overcome you.
Pastor Paul and the ministry at Abundant Life have blessed many lives and merged a diverse community of believers that would otherwise be separate. God forgives your ignorance and still loves you, despite your darkness.
Posted by Shocked, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 4:49 pm
Well said, Bemused. Not only was this not surprising, it was fairly predictable. Haggard, Swaggert, Craig, Vitter, Sanford, Foley, thousands of catholic priests. Pride goeth before a fall, and ministers, priests and republicans are possesed of of a pride so great it rises to the level of hubris -- and practically guarantees their eventual fall.
Posted by Don Frances, Mountain View Voice Editor, on Dec 22, 2009 at 4:50 pm Don Frances is a member (registered user) of Mountain View Online
* You agree to be respectful of others, be truthful and be solely responsible for all postings you make.
* You agree not to use any profanity, nor post any information that is hateful, libelous or obscene, or that is threatening, abusive or offensive to any individual, group or class of person.
And so on.
As for your contention that all these people from Abundant Life are busy being hypocrites and you're here to strike a blow in the name of Truth: that's exactly what's NOT going on here. You've launched your crusade against the one megachurch that specifically doesn't do those things -- doesn't take a stance against gay marriage, doesn't make a big deal out of family values, etc. It's kind of funny actually.
From our story in June: "Abundant Life's recipe for growth involves a certain tolerance for diversity, both ethnic and political. For example, the church does not take political positions on issues such as gay marriage or abortion, because they can be "incredibly divisive," explained assistant pastor Tilden Fang."
Before continuing, you might do a bit of research on the people you're attacking. And if you're still inclined to attack, so so someplace else.
I don't ask that apologize for anything, or that you believe any certain thing. I only ask that you abide by the rules set in this privately owned and operated online forum. For my part, I won't apologize for redacting or removing your comments should you fail to do so.
Posted by Greg Blotter, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Dec 22, 2009 at 4:57 pm
abundant life, indeed. how many lives are these pastors entitled to? their public, exemplary life. their private, hedonistic life, and their eternal after life, which is theirs for the price of confession -- never mind their crimes and amoral lives. nice work if you can get it. 'course, no need to worry about that eternal afterlife, it's fiction.
Posted by hoobiedooo, a resident of the Jackson Park neighborhood, on Dec 22, 2009 at 4:58 pm
Do people rally believe in the devil/Satan? Well, ok god too. After reading the reader comments I am astounded at the number of times the devil has been blamed for this persons affair. I'd say it was human desire not controlled to our societies expectations, but the devil seems like as good an excuse as any...
Posted by S Stein, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 5:01 pm
Through Pastor Paul, God was able to reach out and bring my shattered life back together and rebuild my faith. Let us all pray to God, and ask Him to guide Pastor Paul and his family. Pastor Paul's gift for bringing the gospel to us all has not been squandered. He has helped so many find their way to Christ. Let us all remember that Jesus instructed us to love the sinner, not the sin, and not judge him. His judgement come from the most holy judge, our Lord. Pastor Paul, the prayers and love of my entire family of 7 go with you and your family.
Posted by Valeire Smith, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Dec 22, 2009 at 5:06 pm
I’ve been a believer for 30 years seeing them great and small, come and go – it’s a reminder that we need to look to God only and be about His business – feeding the poor, clothing the naked. There is great need for love – Hug a Homeless person today, they are seldom touched.
Posted by hehe, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Dec 22, 2009 at 5:08 pm
THE DEVIL IS CONTROLLING OUR LIVES!! lol that's hilarious.. i keep picturing a red devil (like the one in south park) and it's running around wreaking havok. I am thoroughly amused by everyone's comments. HOOBIEDOOO.. you are right on target. Human's control their actions, NOT the devil. RIDICULOUS!!!!
Posted by Kenneth J, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 5:11 pm
Abundant Life Pastor Paul Sheppard steps down for unspecified 'moral failure' At this point all we know is there has been a confessed "moral failure". Let us not assume or speculate on what the failure was, but let us pray. For those that wish not to pray, please don't assume.....
Posted by Paul Turner, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 5:11 pm
I have loved your ministry for years and looked forward to listening to you on a regular basis! I was brought to tears when I heard the news and said a prayer for you and your family Paul. You are a mighty man of God and He has an awesome plan in mind for you still. Don't you dare let the devil convince you of anything else!
Posted by Sharon P "St. Louis", a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 5:12 pm
My prayers also go out to pastor sheppard. your ministry has brought so much love and clarity to my life. each morning at 5:30 a.m. my alarm awakes with the word of god spoken through you. please know that love covers a mulitutude of whatever we do. my heart is broken that you feel that you have done something that god cannot heal. i pray your recover and reinstatement into the body of christ where you belong. whatever is was god forgives and so do we! may god bless you and your family. a faithful listener. don't give up! david won the battle and so will you in jesus name. amen.
Posted by MJ, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Dec 22, 2009 at 5:17 pm
Has anyone stopped to realize that this happens to numerous pastors and members and most will be held acocuntable by their elders and continue to teach after 6 months or so. This man was known in all 52 states and has a congregation of almost 7,000 and a radio ministry and on the board of directors of NRRB. He made the decesion, not his elders, to resign and restore his marriage after realizing after some time that he could not work on it fully becuase of the busyness of all God has called him to do. That is honarable. I am no way condoning whatever happened; as far as were concerned it could of been a emotional affair. Nevertheless, he left everything for his marriage. Trust me most churhces would of welcomed him back in a year after he got his marriage back to where it needed to be. Lets just pray. BTW... Why would you give people details. People only want details to be nosy and spread the gossip. Would details make members feel beter, no it was a moral failure; thats all you need to know. What do you want to do interview the people involved? Think about it, the man is ashamed and hurt. I dont know very many men of God that would give up all that to make sure their marriage was saved and sustained. Oh and his wife forgave him. Thats what matter most.
Posted by R S, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 5:25 pm
I've been attending ALCF for 5 years since I've moved to the area. I fell in love with the church for Pastor Paul's strong, direct, practical, easy-to-understand sermons. Every weekend I was surprised by how he takes the smallest nuisances from scripture and turn them into wonderful truths that help our walk with the Lord. He has clearly influenced my life to be have a more confident and assuring relationship with God.
Last Sunday, I was shocked to hear the news. To step down from what he has poured his all into would have been devastating. But I remember that there are two things having priority over the church in his heart. I pray for his prompt reconciliation with God and quick restoration of his family. Our prayers are with Pastor Paul and his family.
Posted by Vet, a resident of the Blossom Valley neighborhood, on Dec 22, 2009 at 5:39 pm
I really don't believe any one who says they are Godless or atheists. I thought I was once until I found myself in a combat zone with some fanatic trying to kill me on a daily basis. Or until my child was sick. Or when a dear friend passed away.
Posted by Grace, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Dec 22, 2009 at 5:56 pm
As a former member of Abundant Life, Pastor Paul brought himself down, his wife and family down, and everybody else down. It wasn't a woman, it wasn't Satan, it was himself. His choice.
The Abundant Life elders failed to do their biblical jobs, the way God said sin was to be dealt with in the church. Specifically, he was to be brought before the members of the church and confronted there, as outlined in Scripture. (Starting with Matthew 18:15-17, Biblical Church Discipline.)
The modern day letter of resignation is completely and totally unbiblical. It is a biblical cop out, on his part and on the elders' part. It is disobedience to God.
Having non-members invited to this discussion at church, is likewise, also unbiblical and in disobedience to God.
Abundant Life has been off track for a long time, which is why so many of us left. (The inflated membership numbers are because Abundant Life doesn't keep track of all of the people who leave, or even let them resign officially. They are terribly disorganized, and would probably fail an audit.)
The Abundant Life elders are flailing...because they decided to toss out the Word of God on how to handle these very issues. (Even a Godly ALCF elder left the church in biblical disgust.)
Posted by J. Myers, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 6:07 pm
I have been listening to the Pastor's radio program for quite a while here in St. Louis, and was given the opportunity to visit his church this last Sunday morning the 19th, the day the letter was read to the congregation.
I was invited to see, hear, and meet Pastor Paul by my niece who has been a member for over a year, I was really looking forward to meeting a man I respected and had grown to admire. You can’t imagine the disappointment I felt sitting there for the first time and having a bomb like that hitting me. Although! Even though I was sitting there with my niece, singing, and praising the Lord, I felt satens presents in the room; “Now I know why.” He must have been having a big laugh!
Well, guess who gets the last laugh? Our Lord! “That’s Who”
We truly need to pray even harder then ever now! Especially for Pastor Paul! We don’t know the details on what brought him to this point, but we know who benefited from it.
Let’s not give the devil anymore to laugh about. Please Pray hard for Pastor Paul, And Pray even harder for Each other.
Posted by Grace, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Dec 22, 2009 at 6:18 pm
As a former member of Abundant Life, the elders failed to discipline Pastor Paul in accordance with what God has commanded in the Bible:
1 Timothy 5; 20
20 As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear. 21 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality
Pastor Wayne and the elder board took the unbibiblical easy way out. (Ditto for Pastor Paul. He copped out.)
Complete disobedience to God, like everything else they do. Emotionalism at ALCF is supposed to take the place of obedience to God.
I am so glad I left, with so many of my friends, before the house came tumbling down.
Posted by Texas Police officer, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 6:23 pm
Mr. Sheppard your teaching has helped me in my christain walk. Every morning before work you make me laugh and make me realize how much GOD loves me. My brother in christ let me lend a hand and pull you up, I will dust you off and I will be proud to walk with you towards the east so that we can wait on the return of your Lord and savor. As christains we will all need help and forgiveness now and then. You speak from the heart and I know that you are a christain man. Don't let this stop your walk. I have never met you in person, but look forward to worshiping our Lord Jesus in heaven with you. I know that you will be there. My prayers are with you and your family. God is Great.
Posted by BTW, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 6:50 pm
"Have mercy upon me, O GOD, According to Your loving kindness; According to Your tender mercies. Blot out my transgressions." Psalms 51:1 remember this spoken from David? He sinned with Bathsheba and had her husband killed. GOD in his infinite mercy and wisdom restored and forgave David, declaring that David was the man after GOD'S own heart.
See GOD said; "The sacrifices of GOD are a BROKEN SPIRIT, a BROKEN and a CONTRITE (repentant) HEART- these, O GOD, You will not despise.Psalms 51:17
Father in the name of Jesus Christ we thank you for the years Pastor Paul poured Your WORD onto the flock entrusted to him. We thank you even now for this fall. As a result of this fall HE WILL be restored with greater power and anointing. We are reminded of David a man after your own heart. He too fell from grace into sin. BUT GOD! You forgave. You are a forgiving GOD. One who takes and cast our sin as far as the east is from the west and you remember them no more. Thank you! Forgive us for judging Pastor Paul. Thank you for his heart that lay open before you broken and repentant.
You stated in your word. "Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness considering yourself lest you also be tempted." Key words here are "you who are spiritual, in a spirit of gentleness" We can not restore Pastor Paul is we our self are not spiritual. Then GOD tells us in what manner to restore. The word continues on to give us the consequences if we do not restore. "Considering yourself lest you also be tempted" GOD is so good, HE tells us how.
v2 "Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ." Bear meaning carry or endure. Fulling the law of Christ means to love your neighbor (Pastor Paul) as your self. Would you want to be forgiven, not judged or ridiculed? How would you want to be treated?
v3For if anyone (that's you!)thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing (we are all saved by the same grace) he deceives himself.
v4But let each one (that's you!) EXAMINE HIS OWN WORK, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in ANOTHER.
v5 For each one shall bear his own load. (TAKE HEED LEST YOU FALL)
Pastor Paul, is a man who gave up the ministry, church for the sake of his relationship with his wife (I love you Meredith, blessed woman of GOD). Just as GOD gave up his life for the church (HIS WIFE). This will signify a truly repented heart. This man has put 20 years of service, was well known and affected the lives of many people. It was not an easy decision, a much agonizing one I am sure. But the mans heart was broken, with true repentance. My prayer is for full restoration and fellowship back into the ministry.
satan, in the name of Jesus. We serve notice on you, GOD's will be done on earth at ALCF as it is in heaven. There is now NO CONDEMNATION to those who are in Christ Jesus, we hide our self under the shadow of the ALMIGHTY. He alone is our refuge and fortress. In HIM we PUT our TRUST. JESUS CHRIST will deliver us from your snare as we take shelter under HIS wings. Every assignment sent against the body of Christ is canceled by the blood of the redeeming lamb. Every decree, principalities, powers, territorial demonic forces, demonic plants sent against the body of ALCF is destroyed and nailed to the cross of Calvary. You have been disarmed by the power of the BLOOD. Every Jezebel spirit, perverse spirit, greed, seducing spirit, lust spirit you are bound and cast into outer darkness. You are further commanded to never return. Father we ask for your angelic host to surround Pastor Paul, his family and ALCF. Minister your love. Release you glory of prayer, true worship and praise. Take what satan has meant of evil and turn to your good. May ALCF be a light in the community of the word of GOD. Let all see that it was the word which of GOD on which the church was built. You said; "In the beginning was the WORD, and the WORD was with GOD and the WORD was GOD. It was the word in Pastor Paul, the WORD spoken that built ALCF. "Upon this rock I will build my church and the gates of hell will NOT PREVAIL. We declare it to be so LORD JESUS. AMEN!
II Corthinans 7:1 "Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting HOLINESS in the fear of GOD".
Clean your own homes. Do not allow gossip regarding this matter to infect your spiritual temple and give permission for satan to attack YOU!
Posted by Supporter, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 6:58 pm
Pastor Paul should feel shame for his decision due to the selfish content of it. It is a deliberate wrong he's done. In the old testament believers would repent in ashes and sackcloth as a sign of mourning or penitence. He needs a time for remorse and regret(minus the ashes and sackcloth)and some serious introspection
.But after that he needs to stand up and fight the good fight,know who he belongs to and push forward like David did. It won't be easy but he will have a better and deeper understanding of his relationship with his God and his family. These sentiments I have for myself and any believer who falls. Pastor Paul never gave me the impression he is or was better than anyone. He gave me the impression that he was a soldier in a war with messages(ammunition)that were inspirational. He's still a soldier-albeit a wounded one.
Posted by Jonathon, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 7:38 pm
Let this be a reminder to all of us that we all fall short in the eyes of God. If this transgression could occur to a man as spiritual and as knowledgeable of the word of God as Pastor Paul it shows how vulnerable we all can become if we give in to the devil's temptations and don't rebuke in God's name every attempt that he makes to corrupt our souls and character. Let us not forget all of the good that Pastor Paul has done and all of the lifes that he has changed for the better but, instead we must continue to pray for he and his family for as painful as this is for us it can not be any comparison to what pain they must be feeling now.
Posted by doublelook, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 7:45 pm
It is truly amazing how we say forgive, forgive until we find out it was our sixteen year old daughter who was victimized. Why do you think these MEGA pastors keep doing this. They tell us to fear the wrath, fear the consequences just dont forget your tithe so i can live in a mansion drive expensive cars send my kids to the best college you know experience the abundant life. They play on our emotions while they LIE, DECEIVE, BETRAY, HURT, WHOREMONGER, DESTROY THOUSANDS OF SPIRITUAL LIVES, ETC. Stop giving GOD and the Christian Faith a black eye STEP DOWN.
Posted by Me, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 7:52 pm
I have seen something similar to this before. I am in Texas and was a member of Darrell Gilyard's church in Richardson years ago. A pastor being exposed for any type of "moral" problem is painful but for any Christian with their eyes on God it is a growing experience. We learn not to follow man because we are all flawed. Pray for all pastors.
Posted by Minister Isom, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 8:01 pm
Satan has struck another blow to the body of Christ. This kind of fall gives non-Christian,and carnal minded Christians, a reason to fall away from the church and devout sinners not to come at all "THEY THINK. Paul Shepard has touched a lot of people. Satan is on his job. Yes Paul Shepard was a man, and still a man of God. Don't side with non-believers and ranks sinners on this. Here's a scripture to remember.
Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
Paul Shepard, and get back in the fight. Satan always goes after the saint who are doing the most damage.
For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.
Posted by Ann, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 8:03 pm
People want to know what he did because it makes a difference. Did he have a 1 time affair? Did he have an affair for 10 years? Was he with prostitutes? If it's the latter, he needs serious, serious help. We want to know more than what was told, but not all the details.
I do not condemn him nor excuse him. He has to live with the consequences like everyone else. Don't forget, he did give his life to preach the love of God. We should not forget that!!!
Posted by Dedra, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 8:24 pm
My heart goes out to Paul Shephard and his family and my prayers will be with them. He is a fallible human being just like the rest of us. Please don't be so quick to write this man off, lest you fall into the same temptation.
God can take even this and use it for good and for His glory.
Posted by Hank, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 9:10 pm
The Apostle Paul's admonition to the church in Corinth was "let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." Our heart's cry should be "but for the grace of God go I." The body of Christ has a bad reputation for devouring its own. Saints of God, this should not be. We are to forgive and restore Pastor Paul to fellowship. This is more about the body of Christ, specifically ALCF. It's called spiritual maturity. This too shall come to pass and be comforted that He who began a good work will complete it. PRAISE GOD!!!!!
Rather than try to disect Pastor Paul's moral failure, allow the Holy Spirit to take a scalpel to our lives. The parable about separating wheat from tares is so profound. The Master said that this is not to be done by us, but the angels. Woe to him that burns wheat having judged it to be a tare.
Restoration is on the horizon and "brighter days are sweetly dawning." God bless you Pastor Paul, your family and the congregation of ALCF.
Posted by humbled-by-life, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 9:37 pm
Tony Lewis, evildoer, spatula, happymom, etc.
Just what is a hypocrite? There’s a distinction between being a hypocrite and being imperfect. You seem to think a hypocrite is someone who has different standards for living than you do. But everyone of us has standards for living; they may be different from the next person’s, but we all have standards. So having standards is, well, the standard. Atheist have them, evangelicals have them, gays have them, heterosexuals have them. We all have them. And to say that a standard is important to me does not make me a hypocrite.
Spatula wrote: “I apply the same standard to everyone: I expect people to practice what they preach, or in other words, to apply to themselves the same standards they set for others.”
What happens when we fail to meet one of our standards, and we all do at one point or another? If I fail, it does not invalidate the standard. It just shows that the standard is higher than I could reach. I become a hypocrite if I am violating the standard and simultaneously telling others they should reach it without sharing that I am in violation of my own standard. Now if I failed in the past but am once again living up to my standard, am I a hypocrite? No. But if I say to others, “Don’t cheat on your taxes” and I cheat on mine, then, yes, I am a hypocrite.
None of us knows enough about Paul Sheppard’s situation to know how long his “moral failure” was going on, if he preached against whatever his moral failure is while not himself meeting it. If he did, then that is one him. But he has left his position as pastor because he violated one of the standards that he held dear, and that does not make him a hypocrite. It just makes him a sinner apparently in the midst of repentance.
Those like Paul Sheppard, whose jobs are to help others figure out how to live, are under the public eye. In doing so, they put out standards of living that they could be called to task on if they fail. If we ourselves don’t have some standards that are worth meeting, and even sharing, and possibly failing to meet, then what is our living worth?
As for being judged by others, it is a fact of life. We judge the guy who is always comes in late for work because we value timeliness. If we are late once, are we a hypocrite? Get over being judged, and stop judging the judgers!
Posted by Mr. Jeter, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 10:08 pm
Praying for Paul and his family. He is a Man of GOD. How many of us have did or thought the same thing. We are all guilty some way or another. Thank GOD for HIS grace and mercies. He did the RIGHT thing by stepping down. The LORD will be the lifter of his head. I know this was a big let-down to us all but if its bothering you that much, take your eyes off man and focus on our Savior..
Posted by Mel, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 10:10 pm
As I was getting ready to hear yet another sermon by Pastor Paul on the radio, I was shocked to hear that he resigned from ALCF, a church that I was a member of. To also hear that it was due to "Moral Failure", that was a double whammy.
Right now, Pastor Paul, his family and members of ALCF needs our prayers and support! this is not the time to be-little and use negative comments towards our brother in Christ. Yes, he is a pastor... Yes, he is in the public eye, but lets not forget he is only human. I can remember vividly during one of his sermons... he stated that we all need help, from the pastor on down (not a direct quote).
People, we all fall short each and everyday. If anyone have not fallen, let him/her raise their hand... my point exactly. We all fall short. I know he and his family will come out of this better individuals and him a more powerful Pastor.
Pray with me... Father God, I pray for Pastor Paul and his family during their walk through the valley of darkness. I pray that you uplift, comfort and give each of them the strength that they need at this time.
Father God, please continue to show them your grace and mercy as we all need it each and every day. I also pray that Pastor Paul returns to ALCF soon... if it's part of your will of course.
One last note, turn this negative situation into something positive. Our Heavenly Father is going to use this for something spectacular... why, so He can get all the praise and Glory. Further more, God knew Pastor Paul was going to go through this and He knows Pastor Paul can handle it.
Continue to pray for Pastor Paul, his family and members of ALCF.
Posted by S OBrien, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 10:34 pm
Sometimes, what we perceive as hypocrisy in Christians is not true hypocrisy but the actions of very flawed and broken people. When you approach these people as individuals you often see that they recognise these failings and are frustrated, ashamed and desperate to change. In fact that is why we are Christians in the first place. The central message of Christianity is that we really are not intrisically "good enough" to earn God's acceptance. We all fall short in the "perfection" arena. God doesn't fall short. To approach his perfection we need his grace and mercy yet we cannot earn it because we can't be perfect. Our churches are filled with broken people depending on Jesus to earn that acceptance for us. All humans fail at perfection.
So Pastor Paul failed at perfection -- by a long shot. He recognized it, and confessed it to his church of 6000 people, apologized and then resigned. He was not forced to do this. That is humility, not hyprocrisy. There is no free ride here. His failure came at tremendous personal cost but I bet he considers it nothing compared to the loss of connection with God that it caused.
Christian failures do not disprove Chrsitianity. They are the reason we need Jesus. That is why we focus on Jesus and his teachings rather than his human followers.
Posted by Tyrome Garrison, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 11:21 pm
we pray the mercy of God for the Sheppard Family. Romans 3 declares All of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Let us all pray for grace and mercy to be extended to all those who are hurting: the Sheppards and members of ALCF. We pray for you as we pray for ourselves
Posted by Brian, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 11:28 pm
As alyways, the God that created the universe, and the hydrogen that He used in the big bang, is using the public amplification of another fallen sinner to speak to His people. Paul Shepards sin is drawing from the shadows an umbelieviable amount of attention from athiests, homosexuals, & pagan witches. This is a chance to give you all fair warning. Repent of your sin and call on Jesus to save your soul from eternity in Hell seperated from God. The real Satan has emboldened you wicked people to throw stones, and cry hypocrite in the streets as if your own filthy sin isn't seen by Go because Paul Shepard decided to love sin like you do. Nor Cal is the most full of itself place on the planet, Does the clay question the hands that mold it? There is nothing new under the sun, & just because you question The existence of God in your hard rebellious hearts does not change the proven fact that you are Created in His very own image. He gave you freewill to choose because God is love, and He wanted relationship with His highest creation. He could make you love Him, but there would be no real relationship. Paul Shepard may be able to reach more of you now than ever before by showing himself to be as wicked as His generation. Selfishness, greed, lust, idolotry will be what this whole area is remembered for after the Lord comes back to kill all of those who are caught in their sin
Posted by Anau Hafoka, a resident of another community, on Dec 22, 2009 at 11:40 pm
I think of all the comments posted here, I am most sad over "former" Abundant Life attendees. To be honest, I can deal with "spatula" and his atheist crew, but the former members of Abundant Life who are posting attacks on this church (the body of Christ) and your former Pastor, Paul Sheppard only shows your lack of character. How do you sleep at night with your heart full of "criticism" and "hatred?" I do not need to defend Abundant Life, for that is not my job. I will not stand by and let your divisive comments on here remain unchallenged. I'm sorry that you feel that you had to leave. That was your choice. Search yourself. Why this joy over someone is obviously in pain and a congregation in pain. Those who rejoice over those downtrodden are folks with "low self esteem" and a "low view of themselves." I hope that in time and when you FAIL or are humiliated, you don't receive the treatment you're giving out. This post is to all former members who are using this time to criticize and not emphathize.
Posted by ENOUGH ALREADY!!, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Dec 22, 2009 at 11:42 pm
It seems like everyone has their own explanation of what a "christian" is. And, every single one of you explain something completely different than the last person. You all use Christianity as an excuse to act the way you do. It's as if it's OKAY to cheat on your wife, molest kids, kill, abuse, etc because GOD IS ON YOUR SIDE and it's actually SATAN controlling your mind. GOD will forgive you because blah blah blah. I feel so sorry for most of you because you are so confused and have no clue how to control your own emotions and your own life. Maybe if you had faith in YOURSELVES instead of mythological creatures, you would be able to control your life and your actions. Don't blame the "devil" because the pastor cheated on his wife!!! HE CHOSE TO CHEAT!!! Just like any one of you.. if you cheated on your significant other, it would be YOUR fault! You can control your temptations and your behavior. NOW, if you CANNOT control your own body, then GO TO A DOCTOR/PSYCHIATRIST!!! Talking to God is usually you talking to your subconscious and your subconscious telling you not to do the wrong thing. Unfortunately, most people don't listen to their subconscious thoughts and end up doing idiotic things... like cheating on their wife. Get help people.. PLEASE..
Posted by ts, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 12:08 am
There are a few things about this thread that I plainly and simply not getting. Christians, non-Christians and anti-Christians are going on about how PS did not live up to "his standards" or "what he was telling others." I have news for you. "His" standards are completely irrelevant, so are yours, and so are mine. All that matters are God's standards. PS faithfully expounded them. He also, in some way, shape, or form, fell short. This should come as a surprise only to those folks who make up their own standards as they go and then criticize those who proclaim, like PS, the full scope of God's standards. Those of us who have even a passing acquaintance with God's standards will be humbled into silence as we realize that we fall short in our own ways, day in and day out. Judgmentalness, gossip, delighting in evil (ours or that of others), focusing on "leaders" instead of testing their message before God's Word and forgetting about the human messenger--these are but a few examples of sins equally damnable as anything that PS could have possibly done.
What's with all the speculations of what a "moral failure" is in his case? How is that any of our business? How dare we post lists of questions that he'd better answer, or else he has failed us! Take your own inventory! That's enough to keep any one of us plenty busy, Christians, non-Christians and anti-Christians. PS owes his answers to God and the close ones he has wronged. The rest of us should mind our own business and get on with becoming the people we love to pretend to already be.
PS lived up to some incredible standards: He came out and told on himself--at a price that few of us would be willing to pay! He admitted to wrongs and missing the mark just like the rest of us do--constantly (even by writing dome of our posts here). He imposed the consequences on himself. No lies, cover ups, or bargaining to retain his position, reputation, livelihood, or even the right to continue to do great things in the lives of many. How many self-righteous looky-loos and commentators--Christian, non-Christian, and anti-Christian--can say that for themselves!
As to the rest of us: it's about the message not the messenger. We can take it to the bank that the latter will be flawed (unless we live by our own comfortable standards for ourselves and set the standards for others while we're at it). There's no call for us to grant absolution or, worse yet, tell others that they should feel ashamed--because we said so. PS has done more good in more lives than the whole lot of us on this thread ever will between us. All this good is a gift from God, wrought through a man who's obedient enough to carry the message. Do something greater; until then, hold your tongue.
My respect goes out to those who (unlike myself) did not rise to the bait, and simply stuck to the one and only thing that really needs to be said: prayers and well-wishes to the Sheppard family and those hurting and puzzled by the traps that our human (sinful) nature springs for us from time to time. We don't need to know any details, other than: God is still on the Throne.
Posted by Michael M, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 12:17 am
My dictionary defines hypocrisy as a pretense of virtue, benevolence or religious devotion. I don't recall Pastor Paul ever claiming infallibility -- but I do remember multiple times when he admitted his human failings and dependence upon God's grace rather than his own strength of character. It seems consistent with his character that he voluntarily stepped down from leadership since he failed to live up to his own professed standards.
Those of us who strive to follow Jesus will often fall short -- sometime spectacularly so -- of the very high standards He set. Does that mean we should lower that bar? Cover up our failures? Try to change the rules? Make excuses? No, we admit our wrong, seek to make restitution and turn back again to the Source of that standard in response to His great love and grace.
I presume those who castigate Pastor Paul were also quick to attack Jesse Jackson, Willie Brown, Gavin Newsome and Bill Clinton for their failure to be trustworthy. I trust they also subject themselves to rigorous standards and disciplined self-assessment. To not do so would indicate a pretense of virtue, would it not?
Posted by HoosierDaddy, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 12:27 am
This hurts to hear. Sheppard has quite a gift. To the judgmental atheist, c'mon, it's easy to kick a man while he's down. There are plenty examples of good men and women of God. Where else in your life do you choose not to participate because of one or two bad data points? Do you also raise your children never to love or get married because of the many who fail at both? Have you given up on the legal system? Or choose never to invest your capital because of Bernie Madoff?
Posted by Cathy, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 12:33 am
Is Pastor Paul a hypocrite? Yes. But he's a hypocrite who has recognized his failing, admitted it to others, is taking responsibility for it and is experiencing the consequences.
In that way, I find him to be displaying more integrity than many of us. Who among us hasn't said one thing and done another - foolishly, impulsively, arrogantly or fearfully - and then tried to excuse it or cover it up? (That was rhetorical, but if you think you haven't, I encourage you to take a closer look at your life. Or just ask your friends.)
Personally, I'm tired of the culture of irresponsibility. In Silicon Valley, we seem to believe the thing to do after we've made a mistake is to squirm out of responsibility at all costs. Time to pull out the old smoke and mirrors!
So while I'm saddened about whatever Pastor Paul did, and it's obviously serious, I see him going through the necessary process of owning up to it. He's lost/given up his job. He's suffering the embarrassment of having his private failure known to the whole community. And after causing that kind of pain to his family, he's got a long road ahead to rebuild their trust, if that's even possible.
About the whole judgment thing ... yes, a lot of judgment has been thrown around by people in the name of Christianity throughout the ages. Hateful, vicious judgment. Which is really mind-blowing because anyone who knows what Jesus Christ was all about knows that his greatest teachings were to love God and to love others.
But standards are often tragically confused with judgment (that is, chastising people for not living up to the standards).
Here are the two purposes that I as a Christian understand God's standards to be about - and neither one is to condemn other people. One, to point us as individuals to Christ, to acknowledge we need him because we're not perfect and not acceptable to God without him. And two, to help us live lives that are truly a benefit to others (and healthier for us) rather than being self-centered.
Posted by Efrain, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 12:38 am
My prayer goes out to our family in Christ at ALCF, and especially to pastor Paul Sheappard his wife and children. In psalm 32 God has given us an example of His abundant grace, restoration and forgiveness when we come to Him and confess our sin before Him. Pastor Paul Sheppard has already confess his fault, and now the grace of our Great God and Savior Jesus Christ has already been poured out upon our brother, and we are not to think of our selfs as if we are better than anyone else, but now through our prayers may God begin the process of healing and restoration. Lets not act like the world, but rather but rather lets love our brother who has failed, lets take heed lest we also fall.
1 John 4:7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.
David would not dare to lay his hands on God's anointed so neither should anyone of us.
Posted by Jr, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 1:01 am
Merry Christmas to PPaul and the fam. Hang in there, we miss you and the wife. We're sad but hopeful and thanks for teaching us God's truth with clarity, power and a whole lot of humor:) It is what it is, but you've helped bring up enough of us to where we can continue His work. The best is yet to come! Love you much and ALCF which has been a tremendous blessing for me and mine. God bless all on here, Merry Christmas and a great 2010...
Posted by Mark, a resident of the Rex Manor neighborhood, on Dec 23, 2009 at 1:05 am
Exactly what sin the good pastor committed is not given. Did he have sex with another woman, with a man, or with an animal? Did he blaspheme the name of the LORD? Is he a sorcerer, medium, spiritist, false prophet or dreamer? Did he show contempt for a judge or priest ministering to God? Let's look to the Bible for instructions on what to do for typical sins against God (and note that Isaiah and Jesus said that scripture stands forever):
If a man commits adultery with another man's wife — with the wife of his neighbor — both the adulterer and the adulteress must be put to death.
If a man has sexual relations with an animal, he must be put to death, and you must kill the animal.
If a man is found sleeping with another man's wife, both the man who slept with her and the woman must die.
If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.
"Anyone who blasphemes the name of the LORD must be put to death. The entire assembly must stone him. Whether an alien or native-born, when he blasphemes the Name, he must be put to death."
"A man or woman who is a medium or spiritist among you must be put to death. You are to stone them; their blood will be on their own heads."
Do not allow a sorceress to live.
Deuteronomy 13:5 (NIV)
The false prophets or dreamers who try to lead you astray must be put to death.
Whoever sacrifices to any god other than the LORD must be destroyed.
Deuteronomy 18:20 (NIV)
"But any prophet who claims to give a message from another god or who falsely claims to speak for me must die."
The man who shows contempt for the judge or for the priest who stands ministering there to the LORD your God must be put to death. You must purge the evil from Israel.
1 Corinthians 6:9,10
"Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God."
"And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell."
"The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God stands forever."
"Think not that I come to destroy the law, or the prophets, I am not come to destroy but to fulfill. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished."
Posted by zmt, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 1:21 am
Dear Enough Already,
I am so sorry that Christians (all of whom you seem to lump together despite the many different viewpoints expressed) have let you down so dreadfully. There is definitely no simple definition of what it means to be a Christian, so our perspectives will definitely vary a bit. It's just not possible to easily explain such a vast concept. It's sort of like explaining a great, deep and meaningful relationship to someone else--words don't quite do it. It's something meant to be lived.
However, Christianity is NEVER an excuse to act any way we fell like. No Christian in their right mind will ever make excuses for the likes of the damnable acts that you are listing. In fact, the reason we are even having this thread is because a Christian leader fully and unflinchingly took personal responsibility for his transgressions (the details of which are none of our business) and paid a pretty steep price for doing so. If it were OKAY (to quote you) to do these things, it would be business as usual and none of us would be any the wiser.
Sorry if any of us gave you the impression that Satan has the power to control our minds. He does not! If this were a valid defense, then, once again, we would not be having this discussion thread. Christianity clearly asserts, and this pastor's example testifies, that we are responsible for our actions and that we will bear sometimes incredibly heavy consequences for them. Hence this pastor's taking full responsibility for his actions (maybe "cheating", maybe not--let's don't put words in the man's mouth now).
I am duly impressed that you seem to be able to control your emotions and your own life. Either you are a much better person than anyone I've ever met, or perhaps you are living by a set of standards that are a bit more on the accommodating side. Alas, I fall short of the only standard that really matters. And I do need that pesky forgiveness that you mentioned. But if we gave the impression that it doesn't really matter what we do, then we definitely did you a grave disservice. If there were no responsibility for our actions, the concept of forgiveness itself would become instantly obsolete and nonsensical.
If talking to our subconscious were the entire answer, the world would definitely be a better place. I agree with you that our subconscious, conscience or whatever we want to call that "little voice" can definitely be a veritable source of great insights and best of intentions. Unfortunately, once we know better, there's always cowardice, selfishness, indifference, bad predispositions, forgetfulness, etc, that will be at the ready to ruin the day--ours and that of others. Unfortunately, it appears that self cannot overcome self. Sometimes I just can't get over myself! It's at such times that it is mighty handy to be able to call on something greater than myself to come to my aid. I will agree, it is a bit of a mystery, but it works! I have seen the lives restored of people (myself included) who seemed to be beyond hope until they called on God for help. Those folks had a well-developed unconscious. They knew they were off track. But if that were all it took, we would all be nicer, happier and ten lb lighter.
Anyway, few are the great communicators of deep spiritual truth (such as Paul S, the reason we are gathered here, before I completely forget). So I will be so bold as to apologize on behalf of all of us Christians who are not expressing ourselves too clearly. And if my attempts at explanation made it even worse, well, my bad I guess. Keep an open mind. Try not to lump us all together. Hopefully, someone else will come along and do a better job. Until then, Jesus loves you and we're trying--no joke!
Posted by Mr. Reformation, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 2:31 am
I have viewed some of these comments and I find some disturbing. It seems we forget the adversary is very cunning and he works on all of our weakness. This excuse of being human isn't in the BIBLE. The word is SIN. We are quick to condemn instead of forgiving. For Jesus says it is written thou shalt worship the Lord God and him only. So we keep our hearts and minds on Jesus and not man. I pray for the Pastor Paul and family. May God be with you and yours always. When making derogatory comments look in the mirror at yourselves or open those closet doors and see what falls out. Where is the love and the support Pastor Paul and family needs?
Posted by praying for the Sheppherds, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 4:51 am
I was so saddened to hear of Pastor Paul's resignation. He certainly endeared himself to me and my family with his gifted and passionate teachings from the Word. My prayer is that he will be fully restored in his walk with God, and that his marriage and family will survive the pain of this moral crisis, and rather than coming apart, will know God's healing and restoration. Of course the future of his ministry is altered, but through God's grace, will not be stopped. May the Lord redirect the Sheppherds and turn to good this tragedy in their lives.
Posted by Sue, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 7:31 am
I started listening to Pastor Paul on the East coast during my morning drive to work. I was enthralled by his interpretations. He made the Bible easy for me to understand. He made it interesting which prompted me to read independently, to learn more. I sought solace in his teachings and learned how to begin my personal relationship with the Lord our God. I'm still learning, I will miss hearing Pastor Paul everyday just to have a fresh perspective.
I began listening because I was a crushed spirit. I was in a season of turmoil with an unfaithful husband, a terminally ill mother, a job in jeopardy. Through Pastor Paul's messages and plain speaking, I was able to understand that nothing happens that God doesn't know about. He doesn't condone sin, he doesn't create it but He's there for me. I was caught up in relying on myself, my job, my mother, my husband; I relied on everything but God to fill my empty space. I lost my mother, changed jobs and my husband and I are working on repairing our marriage. Through all of this, I have begun to turn to God, thanks to Pastor Paul's teachings. I turn to God first before all else and rely on Him to be constant in my life where no human can. God is the only everything, no human can fill that role.
I understand we are all devastated by Pator Paul's resignation, but we must turn back to his teachings and turn our eyes on God. Pastor Paul was an excellent teacher, let us give him credit for making the Word live for each of us in a very personal way and honor his ministry by turning to God for healing, hope, grace and peace.
Posted by denise, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 7:54 am
I was very saddened to learn the news of Pastor Paul's "moral failure". His teachings have blessed me since the first time I heard one of his radio messages several years ago and I continued to listen daily. I thank God for Pastor Paul, he is an asset to the Kingdom! Though I am not making light of the situation, Pastor Paul is human like each and every one of us and we have all made choices at some time or another that we lived to regret. Let's not be so quick to stand in judgment! The Book of Lamentations reminds us that God's mercies are new EVERY morning. My prayer is that Pastor Paul forgives himself so that he can move forward in the things of God. The Kingdom needs him!!! His practical teachings continue to resonate within me because the Word of God is true!!! Let's all love Pastor Paul through this very difficult time remembering that the Bible says that love covers a multitude of sin.
God bless Pastor Paul, his wife and children.
I will continue to pray for the entire Sheppard family and I know that restoration is on its way!
Posted by Grace And Mercy, a resident of the Shoreline West neighborhood, on Dec 23, 2009 at 8:51 am
You can't throw stones when you live in a glass house.
If our individual sins were made public............what would we expect from our Brothers and Sisters in Christ. And I'm not talking about the sins that happened before we met Christ, I'm talking about the ones last weekend, yesterday and this morning.
I am honored to have had the privilege of having studied under Paul Sheppard. His public confession and resignation only validates for me that is willing to live and fall by the very standards that he taught in classes and from the pulpit week after week.
I will continue to lift up the Sheppard family in prayer (my brothers and sisters in Christ), knowing with full confidence that he who promised is indeed faithful.
Posted by P, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 9:40 am
And now it begins. The Vultures start surrounding the building. Will we have reporters in each service? And you "Former Members", may it never be in your house. But you know what I learned on monday night, We are a church, not a Fan Club. The church will survive.
Posted by JM, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 10:24 am
*punches wall* I CAN'T BELIEVE THIS!!! I loved listening to Sheppard for YEARS, he NEVER comprimised when preaching the straight, true Gospel of Jesus Christ, our families go way back(he did my cousin's home-going last summer); and now I get this(right before Christmas too *growls*)
*sighs* Ok,ok, I'm cool now, but still this IS a tragedy. To anyone out there not right w/ God, please don't let this scandal(or my reaction) turn you away from Him. Jesus can and will fogive anyones sin(mine, yours, and yeah Sheppard's too). If you want help, just pray 'Jesus, I belive you're the Son of God. Please forgive me of my sins and be my Lord and Savior. In Your name, Amen' Now let's all continue to lift up Paul, his family, and the Church in prayer.
Posted by Regina, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 10:44 am
FYI..I wanted to agree with the comment from "Mr. Reformation" and inadvertently sent a comment email to "Report Objectionable Content". I DO NOT have an objectional comment to anything Mr. Reformation has said. I belive it was right on the mark!! I myself have learned a lot from Pastor Paul and his teachings and have always believed that it is the "Message", not the "Messenger"!! We do not know the entire story. May GOD bless the Sheppard & ALCF family.
Posted by Stuck in Traffic, a resident of the North Whisman neighborhood, on Dec 23, 2009 at 10:51 am
Hopefully, some people will stop attending this church and help alleviate traffic in the area. Not only do these paritioners add to the local congestion, but most of them are uncourteous drivers with poor driving skills. Please people, stay home and find a service on tv or the internet to watch.
Posted by Andy, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 11:02 am
I am deeply saddened that Pastor Paul is no longer on the air waves. I have never heard any man more clearly illustrate our basic human demeanor than this man. He knows the Lord. He knows the Lord very very well and I believe Pastor Paul will rise up again and preach the word and continue to encourage others in their walk. Right now, we need to encourage him through prayer.
Merry Christmas, everyone. Jesus Christ is alive yesterday, today and forever and ever.
Posted by c, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 11:08 am
I am a member of ALCF and we aren't going anywhere. I hope Pastor Paul returns. JC died for our sins, it doesn't mean that all sins are ok it means they are forgiven. I'm sure it was very hard for him to step down and admit he failed. WE are praying for him and his family; especially Meredith.
Posted by Z.H., a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 11:32 am
Wow, I guess It must have been over 20 plus years since I have left Mt.View,so the Church nor Pastor Sheppard were there. However I feel that if this many people responded to the Message he was preaching then may God Bless him and his family. All who believed in him and who believe that God spoke through him to deliver his message need to stay in prayer and remember him for all the good he did and not the moral failure. God Bless and Merry Christmas.
Posted by Mark, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Dec 23, 2009 at 11:58 am
Let him that is with out Sin, cast the first stone. We need to remind ourselves that as children of God we are divinely made but we are also made of clay. The enemy attacks where we are weak an when we see a person down we need to pray together for that person. My prayer is:
Father God, we pray in Jesus Mighty name for our Pastor Paul Shepard. We ask you to fix and mend his heart an family, In Jesus Holy Name. No weapon formed against him shall prosper. We rebuke all manner of evil and un-godly spirits that has tried to destroy what God has done through this man of God....He is the Head an not the Tail...He is above an not beneath, he is a city set on a hill, that can not be hid. Sozo (heal, protect & save) him and his family in Jesus Holy Name, Amen
Posted by J.J., a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 12:08 pm
Here is the problem with that ... "moral failure" and it needs to be comunicated to pastor paul.
I fall down every day , I fail every day . So what if he had a moral failure he's human. Thats dumb.
Why can't we still download the messages there are i mean just cause this happened doesn't mean what he was teaching was false. Even if he was faking it (i'm not saying he was) the messages were still very good.
I don't care about the moral failure i've been looking for a pastor that teaches me something for 20 years now he quits that dumb. God loves you where you are , when you fall down get up
Posted by Julie, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 12:48 pm
Be slow to anger, slow to speak, and quick to listen - this is great advice and one that makes sense to me. As we express our opinions, thoughts, or personal biases, please be mindful that the Sheppherd family, friends, and members of ALCF are in mourning and hurting. As members of one body, we have suffered a grave injury, and need time to heal. We love and appreciate Pastor Paul's teaching and also Merideth's ministry and example, as she has maintained her dignity and walk with God during this difficult time. None of us are an island, what we do, say, and walk does affect the lives of others, so you who are without sin, stand in the gap and pray - those of us who have issues and weaknesses, let's look in the mirror, and have the courage and integrity to make things right before God and suffer the consequences. Remember, God is FAITHFUL, RIGHTEOUS, and has FORGIVEN us through the death and resurrection of JESUS CHRIST, the only perfect sacrifice. May the Lord take the ashes of our lives and create a beautiful testimony of God's restorative grace. Blessings to the Sheppherds and God's family of believers.
Posted by DYMON, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 1:17 pm
MY HEART AND PRAYERS GO OUT TO THE WIFE..NO WOMAN DESERVES TO BE MADE A FOOL OUT OF BY HER LOW LIFE HUSBAND..I KNOW ITS HARD BUT DONT FORGIVE OR FORGET..TAKE UR KIDS AND GET ON ABOUT GODS WORK..HE A SCANDELOUS MESS,I HAVE BEEN THROUGH THE SAME MESS YOU WILL NEVER LOOK AT HIM THE SAME..I AM SO SORRY THIS IS NOT OK..
Posted by B A, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 1:19 pm
I read with pain the news that the enemy shot down another giant of faith! What a sad story. Pastor Paul is a practical teacher of the word whose ministry has blessed several people across the country and believe me beyond the shores of the United States. Disparaging comments about Pastor Paul now will not make a difference, rather the body of Christ should rally the troops and rehabilitate its own.
Posted by Ruth H., a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 1:31 pm
My Dear Brother & Sister In Christ, I Love You, God Loves You and He cares about you right where you are, right now. He is touched with the feelings of your infirmities, Lean on Him, Cry out to Him, for He is More than able,.... more than able, to strenghten and sustain you during these times.
Posted by Marvin, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 1:43 pm
Funny thing about atheist, they always call Christians self-righteous but in reality, our righteousness comes from God. The Bible tells us that our righteousness is as filthy rags and it is because of that fact that we recognize our failings. If we were perfect, there would be no need to attend church, pray, or serve God! We know we can not make it without a savior and our beliefs are based on the teachings of our savior. Christians are just sinners saved by God's grace. Where does an atheist righteousness come from? Did it just evolve? Naturalism cannot explain it. Naturalist/Evolutionist always use Judeo-Christian definitions (i.e. the Ten Commandments) to explain the difference between right and wrong. May God have mercy on all of us because we all live in glass houses. I, for one, would love to see the Man of God restored. I love his ministry and I will continue to pray for him, his family, and all who have been impacted both negatively and positively by this tragedy.
Posted by marci williams, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 1:48 pm
For the atheists that have commented: Pastor Paul messed up like most people do. However, ONE person NEVER messed up. That's Jesus. No one is perfect as He is. The Bible is and always will be the TRUTH. It says to choose Jesus and LIVE FOREVER or reject Him and burn for eternity. Choosing Jesus does not mean we will never have pain or mess up or be perfect. It does mean eternal life in abundance. You atheists can restrict or kill us Christians so you won't have to hear the Word of God. However, you will still suffer the lake of fire AND put your own children there with your selfish, greedy, hateful, immoral lifestyles. And you would take a chance on the eternal future of your own children. That is not a loving parent.
Posted by A. Watson, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 2:11 pm
As an avid listener of the Enduring Truth radio broadcast, I initially was very saddened and disappointed by the circumstances leading to Pastor Sheppard's resignation...
Then I spoke to God in prayer. As many believers have stated on this forum; love, truth, and forgiveness mean everything. God is sovereign and just. Life may not be fair, but we serve a mighty God who sees and knows everything in our hearts.
I pray that we, as believers in Jesus Christ, take a moment to repent for OUR sins, and sincerely thank God for His grace and mercy. Thank Jesus for His righteous blood that paid for OUR sins.
To the Sheppard Family,
Please remember Romans 8:28 "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose"
Posted by pastor e,f,hill,jr, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 2:41 pm
pastor paul you yet have a job to do god new we would have up and downs but he never told us to quit pastor get back in the fight and do gods will the real people of god have for given you and the lord new you before you new yourself he did not call us becouse we were right if you quit over this thing we all would need to quit god is working on us if he was done with us we would not be here so until god is done with you get back in the fight god just do for give the people he also for give the pastor peter was restored to power and so must you i now pary in the name of the father and the son and the holy ghost that that power of god move on you to get back in the fight love pastor e,f,hill,jr c,o,g,i,c
Posted by Damiris Tyson, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Dec 23, 2009 at 2:58 pm
I am deeply hurt that Pastor Paul will not be ministering on the airwaves anymore. This man has a powerful ministry and I just won't believe that he is giving up on the wonderful and life changing gift God has intrusted him with. We fall down, and I know in my heart Pastor Paul will get back up again. Pastor Paul you must know you have save my marriage, you help me with issues on my job, and my children have given their life to christ because your teachings. My husband is a minister and the same situation took place,and together we got through it with God's help, you, and encourgement from the saints. So Pastor Paul my encouragement to you.......God is there for you and he loves you. You have members, friends, family and listeners (of your broadcast) who love you......As in your messages you yourself said ALL THINGS WORK TOGETHER FOR GOOD. Know that God is in control and he is a forgiving. Shame on those who are quick to judge and not have forgiveness in their heart for our brother who is hurting. I know you are having it hard, but nothings too hard God to work out. I love you Pastor Paul and I will be praying for you, your family and the ministry. YOU WILL GET BACK UP.......NO DOUBT!!!
God Bless you and may your Christmas unfold a self-worth and may the New Year give insight on a new you and a new start. God is listening to the what's being said about you and he knows those who are sincere.
Posted by Art Martinez, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 4:05 pm
I am very sad to hear the news of Pastor Paul's moral failure. I attended alcf during a difficult time in my life and I was greatly ministered to by pastor Paul and alcf church body. I am confident that he will be forgiven and be restored in Christ but his ministry may not be the same. sin does have consequences but thank God for the blood of Christ. God is not done with you Paul for your giftedness can be still used in the body of Christ. regardless of what all the skeptics say or think, God will keep his word. I love you pastor Paul n family. time will bring healing!
to all you skeptics, the real tragedy is not that a man fell in sin and shammed the whole christian community. the real tragedy is you have been given opportunity after opportunity to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins but willingly refuse to. one day you will die and have to stand before God. you not going to be asked whether you trusted a man or how much good did for society. Jesus said unless you believe that I AM HE YOU WILL DIE IN YOUR SINS. please don't harden your hearts. Pastor Paul will be forgiven and restored because God promises to so that settles pastor Paul's sins. what about yours?
a sinner saved by grace through faith and that not of yourself
Posted by Renita Franklin, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 4:07 pm
Dear Pastor Paul,
Repent & Return! Thatshould be our new Christian mantra...We're in a WAR...you lost one battle. If you sustain a non-life threating wound...you retreat, get bandaged and go back to battle...Repent & Return! with a lesson learned. That's the beauty of God's GRACE and MERCY...His grace abounds and we have "new" mercies each day!
Posted by garland harris, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 4:53 pm
its just another life lesson that he is going to be able to help someone else with, can you imagine going to a preacher who has never had a problem,and cant identify with anything coming out of your mouth. it just makes him more human, let him recover and rebuild his relationship so he can show others how to put their lives back together.
Posted by LB, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Dec 23, 2009 at 4:55 pm
Don Francis, you are amazing! Thank you for you unbiased, compassionate and intelligent rebuttals. It is sad that Paul was caught in a snare of his own making, the collateral damage is yet to be seen. Our prayers go out to all concerned.
Posted by WITH LOVE, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 5:01 pm
I understand that God is the I am of every situation. For God said do not afix your eyes upon man for they fail us every day but the Lord will never fail us. It also says that if we confess our sins to one another we shall be set free. Pastor Dont beat yourself up for a mistake or a fall that occurred in your life. Understand that Gods grace and mercy we can never phantom, For he knows the plans that are for you! Even with the mistake that were made before you he always turned them around and shone the glory of his hand that was revealed in the end. In the end God has the last and final say over our lives! It is unfornated that we do reap what we sow but not for long for GODs disciplines those who he loves. I dont understand the full facts of what occured but I know that you have a gift and nothing will and ever will seperate you from the LOVE OF GOD! I pray that you dont beat yourself up more than others. I pray that you rise above a sin and not let it controll you. I pray that your family will love and forgive as christ did. I do pray that restoration you allow God to penetrate in your guys hearts. I do pray that God will lead and you will submit and follow. My prayers are with you and your family because in the end your family is my family through christ. I love you guys and I appreciate all the sacrifice that yall given to me with the messages on the radio. YOU will be missed but not forgotten!!!! C YOU IN HEAVEN!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by Kastone, a resident of the Monta Loma neighborhood, on Dec 23, 2009 at 5:19 pm
To Marci Williams: You add nothing to the dialogue by suggesting that atheists are trying to kill Christians. I know far too many politically active non-believers who fight for your right to worship however you choose. Your lack of appreciation of their support and efforts reveals nothing less than another failure of the flesh.
Posted by KT, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 5:24 pm
I hope you are reading these comments Pastor Paul and sense that rather than judgment and condemnation, there is much love and gratefulness we all feel towards you for the wonderful years of ministry you have poured out into not only my life but into the lives of countless others.
Posted by radio listner, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 5:38 pm
Praying for you pastor Paul and family God is able to sustain you As you have said in your messages don't quit HOLD ON please hold on to God unchanging hands. I wanted to hear about Mary and her cousin Elizabeth. You got to pick up the pieces.
Posted by A Servant of The Lord, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 6:02 pm
Ephesians 6:12 warns us of the spiritual wrestling we are continuously involved in with principalities. The more committed to Christ you are, the greater the warfare. Pastor Paul if you have repented to Our Lord and confessed to your wife, then Satan only bruised your heel - Jesus forgives and heals. These last days before the coming of the Lord what is to come in unprecedented. No one is immune from sin that is why Jesus poured out his blood to save us all. King David was a mirror of the weakness of the best and was forgiven.
Mrs. Sheppard please forgive Paul and may God be your balm for healing. Tests like this also tests our will to forgive (Mathew 18:21-22). I did shed a tear when I heard because I felt Satan gathering his season of final attacks against God's people before King Jesus deals him the final blow.
Paul now I know that when you preach against immorality it will have genuine power because experience is not text-book knowledge. You would be the best counselor to young men, adult men and marriage councelling.
I have advocated in the past that Men's Ministry is not only man-power for the church, but MUST include arming men, through genuine brotherly love, to stand against every seductive force in this fallen world.
May ALCF help to pick up their fallen soldier and continue the march for Christ into eternity with Jesus as your banner. But... if any of you is without sin, let him of her cast the first stone. Satan must not steal that radio program which I listen to. GOD bless you.
Posted by Diane C - St. Louis, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Dec 23, 2009 at 6:03 pm
We must not judge and have to forgive. I woke up every morning listening to this man of God. I will continue to listen to him - once he returns. God has forgive and cleansed. We must continue to trust God that restoration is taking place right now with him, his wife and family members. Continue to pray for them all and continue to trust God. Falling is not God's will and purpose, but, He know this would happen, and He sent His only son Jesuse. Stay encourage and continue to look to God for strenght and peace. Continue to look upward and trust that God has worked this out already.
Stay encourage and hurry back.... I need to hear the Word of God from you... The purpose and plans of God has NOT CHANGED FOR YOUR LIFE. Remember that> I thank God for you and your family.
Posted by GB, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 6:28 pm
TO: Pastor Paul and Family: I want to say that as soon as I got the message via the internet that you had resigned I was shocked and taken back, because I, elevated you, perhaps too high above what you truly are, and that is a MAN. We don't like to admit it but we hold our pastors in high esteem far above anyone here on earth and that is a mistake. You make mistakes just like the rest of us. I listened to your service on my way to work in the van pool from Fredericksburg to DC for several years and I continued to listen to you each night via the internet in Korea since I got here last year. I have introduced you to quite a few people because you are a man of GOD and your communication skills are "Second to None". I told my daughter this morning on the way to work about what had happened and she was shocked. I was shocked again, because she told me that she and her husband had started listening to you each night because she saw how much comfort it gave me to listening to you preach the word of GOD. My brother, this has happened and you have to get up and go on with you life. You are still a man of GOD and we love you and your family so in the words of one of my favorite gospel singers, take the following words to heart "There is no pain Jesus can’t feel, no hurt he cannot heal. All things work according to his perfect will
no matter what you are going through, remember God is using YOU for the battle is not yours it is the
There is no sadness Jesus can’t feel and there is no sorrow he cannot heal. For all things work according
to the masters holy will. No matter what you are going through remember that GOD is only using you
according to the master’s holy will. The battle is not yours it is the Lords. Yes it is the Lords so hold your head
up high, don’t cry, it is the Lords. Remember that only GOD wants to use you , no matter what you are going through right now.
Remember that in the midst of it GOD only wants to use you. For this battle is not yours alone. You cannot handle it all by yourself. He wants to use you
as his vessel, so be open to him. From Korea, I look forward to your coming back and presenting the word of the Lord to us again!
Posted by J. Williams, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 6:46 pm
I live in Georgia and I have enjoyed very much Paul Sheppard's radio ministry, Enduring Truth, so I was greatly devastated to hear that it would no longer be broadcast due to him stepping down from the ministry. He has a very unique way of presenting the gospel and I looked forward each day to make time to listen to the program. Pastor Sheppard, I will pray for you and your family. No one should judge him because we all sinners saved by the grace of God and as believers we are "just beggars showing other beggars where the bread is".
Posted by blue, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Dec 23, 2009 at 6:57 pm
I feel very angry, shocked, hurt, betrayed, furious, disappointed and rejected by what Pastor Paul has done. Every weekend for the last couple of years I so looked forward to hearing him teach. Days when I didn't feel like going to church or when things were just bringing me down, I knew if I just made it to ALCF and if Pastor Paul was speaking, I'd leave afterwards feeling uplifted and hopeful. Every single time. His humor and his way of looking at things in Scripture and in life is so refreshing and unique. Everyday at 2:30pm it was a nice time to stop and take a break and reflect listening to Enduring Truth. As a newer Christian, the radio program sustained me daily. And now all of that is gone. His saying, that it's not a Pastor Paul thing but it's all about God, is what is preventing me from being angrier at God right now. I realize we are all human and have our weaknesses, "from the pastor on down", and I know I will eventually forgive him. But, I'm just so shocked and angry right now. With that said, I will TRULY miss Pastor Paul. His work has positively touched the lives of more people than anyone will ever know. I pray for healing for his wife, kids and him. And I thank God for the short period of time that I had growing in faith under Pastor Paul's teachings. Thank you and God be with you Pastor Paul.
Posted by Thou are inexcusable Oh Man,, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 7:48 pm
I hope pastor Paul's fall doesn't create opportunites that would not otherwise be there. Now unto him who is able to keep us you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy...."For nothing is secret, that shall not be made manifest; neither anything hid, that shall not be known and come abroad.
Posted by Marv, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 7:49 pm
Man! I feel sorry for an atheist's loved one that fails morally. There apparently is no love, redemption, forgiveness, or grace for them! God bless you Pastor Paul! We love you and pray for complete restoration!
Posted by Servant of God, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 8:20 pm
Pastor Paul take this time to take care of your first Ministery your family. Always remember that God has blessed you with the gift to teach his word. A gift has to be given away it's not for you to sit on. In do season you will lead and teach agin. Pastor pray for God's will to be done not your will. Jesus loves you and so do I.
Posted by K. Womack, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 8:32 pm
Pastor Paul is a mighty man of God. Look at most of the Biblical characters and what they went through, but how God changed them, gave them a voice to speak and God mightly used them even greater. I am a member of ALCF and I will say I was stunned, shocked and speechless when I heard his letter that Pastor Wayne read to us. I remember on 6/14/09 Pastor Paul's sermon, " Enjoying the Favor of God", F stood for Fruitfullness - Be true to who God called me to be. Born an original, don't die a copy. Don't take on someone elses calling. Pray for Pastor Paul, he is being attacked. Every new level is a new devil.
I truly admire Pastor Paul for resigning and wanting to restore his marriage to Sister Meridith and work on this. So many pastors sin and never admit it and still preach every Sunday from the pulpits. He is a man of integrity and even though he has sinned, as we all do. He will be back, he will rise above this and have a greater more powerful ministry. Very humble man and now he will be able to speak to those areas that most pastors truly don't touch. He will get back up, the enemy isn't going to win this one.
God isn't done fulfilling the prophesy, that he would reach 1000's of unchurched for the Lord, that he would pastor in northern ca, and he would have a ministry called Enduring Truth. He will be back. He taught us to get back up, stay in the word of God, listen to God and let Him lead and guide us. God forgives and you will hear from this mighty man of God again. Allow him to get his healing, restore himself and marriage and then later will be his ministry. God isn't done yet. We pray for Pastor Paul and his wife daily and can't wait to see what God is going to do with these two and the platform that is going to be raised for them. God works all thing out for His good.
We all need to lift our pastors up in prayer, pray for their protection against what is unspeakable and warrior angels to emcamp them. Pray for their eyes and what they see, their minds since this is where the enemy takes a foothold. Anyone can fall into temptation, anyone.
God is in control and has allowed this for His greater plan and purpose.
Posted by Jim Durczak, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 8:38 pm
Everything is going EXACTLY as it's supposed to. God is in control, we exercise our free will; sometimes we obey and please Him, sometimes we don't, and consequences are due and paid. I'm confident that Paul Sheppard is hashing things out out with his Creator at this very moment. Could this be the end of another apostate church and the possible start of a leaner, truer version? JD dv
Posted by Jose A. Matos, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 8:46 pm
I will continue to pray for Pastor Paul and family; also the congregation.I listened to him here in NYC on WMCA 570 found out about it by the radio station announcement when I tuned in. I consider him and still do my favorite Pastor. Pastor Paul has done the right thing by stepping down as being a man of God could have done it. The devil is a liar BUT!, the King of kings and lord of lord's still reigns in victory Jesus.Proverbs 24:16 "For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief".Our strenght comes from the Lord almighty like always this time we must continue to seek the Lord'd guidance.God Bless You all...
Posted by Local, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 9:31 pm
I pray for Pastor Paul and all others who fall prey to sin. It is true that we all fall short and are affected by the enemy. I do pray that all Christians come to unity as God says "that they may all be one" (Jn 17:21). All Christian churches should obey the same standards and it is clear that the protestant churches do not. The fullness of truth is in the universal church. www.catholicscomehome.org
Posted by LD-SJC, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 9:56 pm
I am an ALCF member. Last week end's announcement was stunning. As we were driving home, we realized that we had already forgiven Pastor Paul and were in prayer for him and his family. Still, it is tough, it is the feeling of death, nothing less. I have read through maybe 2/3 of the comments here. The "standards" issue seems to have been rung out pretty well. I grieved as I read of the people who listened to Pastor Paul on the radio and now "death" has reached from coast to coast. What can I add here?
If our politicians had the same standards as Pastor Paul, our nation would thrive and we'd lose about half our government including a President here and there. Not mentioned here is the fact that this resignation also cuts off Pastor Paul's income. How many people would do that on "principle"?
When King David was being brought back into his throne, he was harassed by a person who yelled about his shortcomings from a hill. He told his soldiers to let the man talk and keep deriding him. So let the proud atheists and "hypocrisy" shouters continue their harangue. Pastor Paul can take it and so can we at ALCF. We've been taught well. Thank you Pastor Paul.
Posted by humbled-by-life, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 10:12 pm
As I am reading this, I am delighted with much of what I see from followers of Jesus Christ: humility, compassion, patience, hope: the fruit of the spirit. I caution those who are attacking Christians as a group. Is it more acceptable to attack Christians as a group than it is to attack Blacks as a group, or gays as a group, or Muslims as a group? What manual makes it ok to dump on followers of Christ? What in you makes you do that to followers of Jesus?
Check yourself, your heart, your soul. But neither is it surprising, because the word of God is is either life or death: 2 Corinthians 2: 15-17: “For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life.“ Please stop attacking Christians willy-nilly... if you can. Do you who speak so strongly against Christians, who want to even have them stop parking in a largely industrial neighborhood, even have personal friends who are close friends. It is an easy out to speak against a group when you are distant from them in any real way. It’s happened to most ethnic groups, religious groups, groups. But it always tells more about the person doing it than the group itself.
Posted by mendmyways, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 10:29 pm
I first heard Pastor Sheppard on the radio on my way to a christian counselor I just started seeing. You see I too had to confess a "moral failure." I never ever in my life thought I would have done something like this but I did. We are all human and our spiritual leaders are attacked even more. He needs our prayers not our judgement
God Himself does not propose to judge a man until he is dead. So why should we?
Posted by Anita, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 10:39 pm
To all unbelievers & atheists reading: Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He died on the cross for your sins. He was burried and rose from the dead on the third day. Anyone who believes in Him and receives Him as their Savior will have eternal life. He offers you this gift of life. Receive it and have life abundantly, eternally.
Posted by Saint Francis, a resident of another community, on Dec 23, 2009 at 11:35 pm
I thank God for pastor Paul. I already miss him and am deeply saddened. I respect his righteous decision to step down.
Far be it from me to make any assumptions and/or judgements. Seeing as I am the worst of the worst of sinners. "For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate (Romans 7:15)"
Posted by Helen Thomas, a resident of another community, on Dec 24, 2009 at 12:16 am
"There is now therefore no condemnation for those who are in CHRIST JESUS because through CHRIST JESUS the law of the SPIRIT of life sets us free from the law of sin and death."
I commend Pastor Shepphard for his transparency, maturity and humility in stepping away from the pulpit to lay before the LORD. I pray that he and his family remember the Light of CHRIST that they walk in and allow the HOLY SPIRIT to heal any breaches in trust that have occurred. I know that the LORD restores and I know that if we are faithful to HIS WORD by HIS SPIRIT, we will continue to be in HIM until that Great DAY. Would that other pastors and leaders and members were as transparent so that the Bride can be presented to the LORD spotless and blameless.
Posted by a Palo Altan, a resident of another community, on Dec 24, 2009 at 1:57 am
I attended last Saturday's service at ALCF, where Pastor Wayne stated that Pastor Paul had confessed his moral failure to his wife about 4 months ago, that they've been working out the issues over time, that they've been reconciled to each other, and that he can solidly say that now they are truly blessed - meaning their marriage is well on the way to restoration. I am very happy to hear that God is healing their marriage. It's definitely the work of a merciful God to bring brokenness back to wholeness.
Having heard that Pastor Paul had confessed as early as 4 months ago, I recalled a very somber and serious sermon he gave around that time where he said God makes it clear throughout the Bible that sexual immorality is wrong, but that REPENTANCE IS THE KEY TO GETTING RIGHT WITH GOD. He further said that after acknowledging before God what you've done wrong, and making a mindful, non-emotional, decision to turn away from that wrong, we should then "let God take care of the details."
At first, I was sad thinking about how much Pastor Paul has chosen to give up: 20 years of building one of the most unique churches in the world - one that crosses cultural, ethnic, socioeconomic, political barriers - and massive ministries that have helped thousands of lives to be brought closer to God.
But now I am encouraged to know that Pastor Paul is living out his exhortations, fully owning up to the consequences of his wrong-doing, and is now faithfully putting his life in the hands of God to take care of his massive "details." I know God is at work in dealing with this MESS. So I can't wait to hear what kind of MESSage Pastor Paul has to give in the future!
"I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus."
Posted by Peninsula Dweller, a resident of another community, on Dec 24, 2009 at 4:46 am
Question - Was Pastor Paul biblically sound in the first place?
We don't bury our heads in the sand, hiding behind ill-used Scripture like many quoted out of context above.
To restore him to the pulpit would be both unbiblical and abominable.
This is God's mercy on Pastor Paul, that perhaps, he should be confronted with his sin and seek the True and Living Christ, who tears you up in order to humble you, convince you that you are a sinner and then, if He's willing, save you from your sins.
I pray that God is working a multitude biblical graces, allowing this event to open the eyes and ears of many decieved folk, as well as the parties involved.
Come on Christian, read your bible and ask God to open your understanding!
Better that God deals with you on this side of eternity rather than later!
Posted by Jackie, a resident of another community, on Dec 24, 2009 at 6:08 am
I have attended ALCF for over 10 years and I am devastated to hear of Pastor Paul's troubles. My own life has been touched this year by infidelity, so this 'moral failure' of my spiritual leader has really got my head spinning. I do know that Paul and Meredith Sheppard are truly blessed by God and have been engaged in doing God's work. As for the Pastor's failures...we have only what he put in a letter to comfort us and for me...it's not enough. What happened, with whom and how long did it go on? How long did you stand in our faces and lie??? I want answers...now!
Pastor Paul...please be the man you've professed to be all these years, and come address your congregation!
I'm praying for healing in their family, in our church family, heck, even my OWN family. As a reminder to all those ready willing and able to throw stones at a man while he's down...God is good, even when we aren't, and that doesn't change. Hallelujah!
Posted by Lorraine from Washington, DC, a resident of another community, on Dec 24, 2009 at 6:40 am
The reason why leaders resign when they have fallen is because of people. The majority of people can not move beyond a leaders’ mistake without seeking punishment. We need to be very careful when we comment about a person’s life (especially when a person has made a terrible mistake). If we take a close look at our life we will realize that we all have fallen short in the eyes of God. Because of the grace and love God gave us by sending His son to the cross, we can live another day. What if God bring the same judgment on your life that you want to see on this man’s life? As Believers, we must learn to demonstrate love and withdraw from temptation to criticize leaders when they fall. God will give Pastor Paul direction on what to do next. The bible states that David was favored by God. If God knows everything that will happen before it happens, why did He favor a man that would comment adultery and murder the husband? GOD loves and he allows us to make mistakes so we can realize without Him we are nothing. Leave the Judgment to GOD Matt 7: 1-3
Posted by Ken W, a resident of another community, on Dec 24, 2009 at 8:51 am
I was also deeply grieved when I expected to hear Pastor Paul's radio program, but instead heard the news. My prayers were immediately for pastor paul, his wife and family. I read perhaps half of this comment thread, and would like to thank EUGENIA (which also happens to be my wife's middle name) for her comments. I also cannot remember a well-known radio preacher who WILLINGLY outed his own sin, and followed it up with properly stepping down from ministry. I also pray for his full restoration with God and his family. I don't understand how some of the above commenters can be screaming "Hypocrite" when Pastor Paul confessed it himself, and most of the messages in this string are talking about how the bible says we are all sinners! The hypocrite is the one who denies that they are sinners, like the athiest lady I read above. I hope that she and the other negative commenters keep reading this string, and I pray that God opens their eyes to see the reality of the family of God coming together to comfort one another as brothers and sisters, because that's what we are.
I believe that God will eventually restore Pastor Paul to ministry, and that it will be stronger than before because of a greater ability to empathise with other people's failures, but it will be a long road back. For several years now I have been resisting the urging of the Spirit for me to go to seminary, because I am terrified of being put in Satan's crosshairs, and having the terrifying responsibility of knowing that if I fall, it would seriously harm many others. "Better for that man if he had had a millstone tied around his neck and been thrown into the sea". I take brother Paul's falling personally, because I know how easily it could have been me. Please pray for me too, as I will continue to pray of Pastor Paul and his family.
Posted by Brother's Keeper, a resident of another community, on Dec 24, 2009 at 10:07 am
Pastor Paul has truly been used of God as His chosen vessel! Pastor was always careful to give the glory to God in his messages and rightfully so! The annointing of God rests on him and God used Pastor Paul to minister to me countless times on real issues my family and I faced through our pilgrimage to Heaven. Christ' sacrifice and love has washed him clean from all unrighteouseness and is restoring him daily. Although, he may not be fit for ministry for this season, God has a plan and purpose for his future. My families prayers go out to Pastor Paul and Meredith as they navigate through the challenges ahead. I also, pray for ALCF as they bind together in the love of Jesus Christ with the vision and commission that is bigger than anyone of us! I humbly submit to Pastor Paul my prayers and brotherly love during his difficult time...
Posted by jeff, a resident of another community, on Dec 25, 2009 at 5:43 am
I will not comment to the people who are NOT believers of God. I do not understand why they are on this post commenting, since I, as a believer, would never take the time out of my day to comment on a non-believer site. If you don't believe that is okay with me.Thats YOUR decision. But I cannot understand for the life of me why you would waste your time looking for this site, just to post your hateful comments? Anyway, I will pray for pastor paul and his family. Being a sinner myself, it is not my place to judge pastor pauls sin. He was wrong, and he stepped down. I don't consider him a hypocrite, i consider him a man, flesh and blood, with the same flaws we all have.
Posted by Kai S. Drew, a resident of another community, on Dec 25, 2009 at 5:53 am
MORAL FAILURE??? The MORAL FAILURE is not being "MAN ENOUGH" to come face-to-face before the congregation and resign from the pulpit, openly. This is not some game. The millions of dollars that has been collected should be returned to each congregant and each radio minister who supported Paul Shepherd. This is a serious matter. People will their estates to the church upon their death and grant large sums of money to ministries and the "ministers" who preach one thing but live something else. Forget MORAL FAILURES...let's call this thing for what it is. And no it is NOT A PRIVATE MATTER, not when thousands of people are supporting your "ministry"---it is very much a PUBLIC AFFAIR.
Posted by emmanuel tyler, a resident of another community, on Dec 25, 2009 at 9:00 am
To all my christian brothers and sister that wrote on this posting of our brothers failure, what's truly your problem? I know that we all have failed at something and come short of what our goals were. Where is GOD'S mercy from you that extends to my friend and Favortie teacher, pastor Paul. Hey guess what he's human too. And can give into temptation just like the rest of us. Pastor Paul if you read this please know that we all are tempted by something or someone, there's no shame in admitting and working out your problem. If we could do all that we needed to do, CHRIST WOULD NOT HAVE TO COME!!!!!! So being the leader that you are please continue to do what GOD HAS CALLED YOU TO DO!!!!!! MAN IS AND WILL BE FLAUD ALL THE DAYS OF HIS LIFE, BUT IN CHRIST WE ARE ALLLLLLLLL GGGGGGGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD. THANKS, YOUR BROTHER IN CHRIST, EMMANUEL TYLER FROM CHICAGO, IL LISTENS ON WYLL1160 DAILY.
Posted by Bro. Barnabus, a resident of the Jackson Park neighborhood, on Dec 25, 2009 at 11:34 am
I want to encourage you Bro. Sheppard to keep fighting the good fight of faith! God HAS NOT FORSAKEN YOU no matter what people say or even what thoughts may go throuh your mind at this time of your life! Truly He is a God of restoration and He is more than able to bring healing to this situation. As I throw my papers in the early mornig hours, I have been so blessed by your ministry and share the truths you elaborate on with others. All have sin and fallen short of the glory of God! Even David a man after God's own heart, fell short! So, with all this in mind, I pray that God will bring you to the place of restoration in due season and that you may continue to do God's will in the capacity that He directs you in!
Posted by Dogberry, a resident of another community, on Dec 25, 2009 at 1:19 pm
It proper that a pastor be expected to maintain a high moral standard, since he serves as a model for the community and a symbol to the world. Transgressions are not to be lightly dismissed; there are consequences to be faced. And yet human beings are fallible, and none is above temptation and sin. So we continue to face these situations which rightly shouldn't occur.
This is a sad state of affairs. May God guide us onto the pathway of wisdom and righteousness. Merry Christmas to all.
Posted by ThisToShall, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Dec 25, 2009 at 1:26 pm
It is a sad fact that all men are sinful. But does their sinfulness nullify the truth of what they teach? No. The messenger and the message are two different things. Even a crack head can tell a child not to put their hand on a stove top and be absolutely right about it.
I attended ALCF for 8 years. I was there to fellowship, hear the word, and renew. Sorry to hear about the Pastors failing, but was not too shocked as he was just a man with a message from God, not God. I put my trust in no man, only God. I am sad to see him go, but he is doing the right thing by stepping down. Better for him to do it on his own than for us to have to take him down.
But now he will have to suffer the fall out of his sin. Loosing his ministry, his followers, his credibility, and possible his marriage. My prayers are with him and his family in this difficult time. And I am praying for my family big time also. You just never know who is next on the list to kill, steal, and destroy.
I have faced many temptations in life. I have not passes all of them with flying colors either. As my walk with God progresses there are just some things that are a non negotiable. But the devil is alive and smart. If your weakness is a woman in a blue dress and heals, please believe she is gonna show up at your door one day. Just pray you are strong enough to resist.
One thing I feel very bad about is that God had put it on my heart to pray for the pastor and his family 2 years ago and I did for a season, but stopped. This taught me a lesson, pray without ceasing, even for the people who don't seem to need it.
Posted by Dovie Jones, a resident of another community, on Dec 25, 2009 at 1:52 pm
The devil is busy!......Pastor Paul and family you are in my prayers...I Love you guys....My heart goes out to you this has to be very hard on your family, but God is good and just...alcf family we must hang in there and keep Pastor Paul and his family up in prayer.
Posted by Maryann, a resident of another community, on Dec 25, 2009 at 3:27 pm
He who is without sin let him cast the first stone. Take heed how you stand lest you fall. We are all vulnerable to sin. Pray so you do not fall into temptation. Pastor Paul, when you turn, strengthen your brothers.
Posted by Good thing, a resident of another community, on Dec 25, 2009 at 6:04 pm
When we get sick and tired of giving in to the flesh and allowing for excuses rather than obeying God by crucifying the flesh and its affections and lust...when we die to the flesh...dying daily..Reckon ourselves to be dead to sin and alive to CHRIST Jesus, who lives by faith in us, when we Walk in the spirit we will not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. All thing are possible with God. AND So is being all God desires us to be. God said to "mark the perfect man"! We must only believe, meditate on and internalize GOds word! How can I do this and sin against my GOd??!! Thy word do I hide in my heart that I may not sin against you my God my Lord and Loving Savior!~ Peace and love always in Christ Jesus. Amen! He Lives! Happy Christ~mas!!
Posted by NotChristian, a resident of another community, on Dec 25, 2009 at 6:11 pm
Something tells me that the churchgoers wouldn't be so quick to forgive if the offender were a non-Christian or even a member of another church. Am I stereotyping? Perhaps, but I am speaking from my own experiences with several members of THIS church. Time and time again, they showed that they have a different set of rules for their fellow church members than they do for others. It was very cult-like behavior – to the point of discriminating against non-church members - and just downright disturbing. Are all members of this church this way? I have no idea, but I experienced enough nearly identical behavior from so many that I began to notice a pattern (as did others). I see more of that pattern here. Forgiveness should be applied equally to those inside and outside one’s church (or belief system).
Posted by C. Burton, a resident of another community, on Dec 25, 2009 at 10:10 pm
God bless Pastor Paul Shepard and his family. I burst into tears when I heard he would no longer be on the air here in Oklahoma City. Yes, we all experience moral failure but as the song states "We fall down, but we get back up again." I also have a radio show in Oklahoma City and have shared Pastor Shepards messages on my show. I often told friends if I could afford to fly to California weekly I would just to be under his leadership. We love you Pastor Paul in Oklahoma and you are more than welcomed to come here. I would be the first to join your church.
Posted by Theresa, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Dec 25, 2009 at 11:21 pm
This is devastating to me. This seems to indicate that Paul Sheppard (not Pastor) was a phony because if what he preached would have been in his HEART, this could not have happened. (I was married once and cheating on my husband was so morally wrong to me that it was far from my mind and I did not even walk with God in those days.) Had he really walked With God, he would have not fallen so low. Forget the Old Testament David. We Christians are bound by the New Testament. Our rules are different than those at David’s time. It makes me wonder if he just enjoyed to “beat us up” in the sermons and grow the congregation and be financially successful more than really being a servant to God. He is devastating his flock. I am devastated even though I was going to this church only infrequently. How can he be so extremely selfish and do this to his family and his flock of 6,000 members? Outrageously irresponsible! He appeared strong and responsible and now we are finding out that he is actually quite weak. He should have become a comedian.
Posted by Theresa, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Dec 25, 2009 at 11:28 pm
People jumping right away to forgiveness really irritates me. It seems they are really out of touch with their feelings. First the feelings of devastation and anger have to be dealt with. What he did must be condemmed - but not the person, of course. The disappointment and hurt and devastation must be expressed. He failed not only his congregation but everyone who believes in their pastor. If our moral leaders fail like this, what about the rest of us? That he is a human being and therefore has failure does not whitewash the fact that what he did is causing great pain in many people and is destroying the church that looked up to him.
Posted by Theresa, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Dec 25, 2009 at 11:48 pm
Paul Sheppard should never be restored to being a pastor. (By the way, stop calling him "pastor" he no longer is one! His lust was more important than what Jesus wanted him to do or not do; more important than his moral values, more important than his wife and family, more important than the trust of 6,000 people. How can someone who is morally so base lead others morally? Not possible. He also was deceptive to his congregation and knew that he was deceptive on top of everything else. Forgive him? Eventually. Restore him to leadership... NO!!! He cannot be a moral leader because he lacks the ability to control certain body parts.
Posted by R.A., a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Dec 26, 2009 at 12:27 am
IN RESPONSE TO HAPPYMOM at 2:37 pm and OTHERS WHO HATE CHRISTIANS: First of all, if it weren’t for 2,000 years of Christianity, children might still be sacrificed on altars to appease the gods as they were all over Europe, you as a woman would be continued to be treated like cattle and your children would be considered useless consumers and abused at will. If you are really a happy mom, the reason you can be so happy is because you live in a Western civilized country that goes by the Golden Rule which is based on biblical principles AND THE 10 COMMANDMENTS. Furthermore, you might be living under Moslem rule and I’m sure, I do not have to give you details on that. Definitely, they would cut off a certain body part of yours to make sure you have not too much pleasure and happiness; after all, pleasure is primarily for their men, not women. Jesus Christ was the first man who elevated women and children. Secondly, you seem to have a stereo type in your head about Christians that is based on the movies (from Satan’s workshop) where Christians are portrayed as very stoic and judgmental. In other words, you do not know what it means to be a Christian. Thirdly, apparently you have never read the New Testament with an open heart toward God; if you did read it, God did not reveal a thing to you (he only reveals to certain people) because he knows that you are full of pride! Just so you know the basics, Christians, in general, are as good and bad as any other people, except, certain Christians only, the ones who walk very closely with God, have certain spiritual qualities that elevates them above other people. They might have this certain quality overall or only in some areas and fail in other areas. A Christian who walks with God (born again) is different than a Christian by name only. A born again Christian walks with God daily and repents of their evil thoughts and deeds all day long. Judgement is necessary in order to comply with certain moral codes. Take for example sex outside of marriage. What has that lead to: abortions by the millions, broken hearts, betrayal of the partner, devastation of family life, abandoned children, financial devastation, hearts that never heal in a whole lifetime. There are good reasons for moral codes. I’ve been a Christian all my life; I’ve never seen the type of Christian you describe. I think it’s all in your mind based on ignorance.
Posted by AL church goer, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Dec 26, 2009 at 12:41 am
Paul Sheppard would make a good Christian comedian because he really has a knack for playing with the dark side in his sermons. He is quite funny, and I think he would fit in with that crowd. I can rally see him there. Then he could enjoy himself freely with a Hollywood Jezebel.
Posted by Local, a resident of another community, on Dec 26, 2009 at 10:26 am
This is unfortunately what happens to a church where the leader is worshipped by the flock. One where the pastor sets up shop, builds a congregation based around his personality,his interpretations of the bible, where he is the star. Folks, Jesus started one universal church 2000 years ago. The enemy has successfully divided Christians against each other and resulted in 40,000 denominations, some called "non denominational". If one is a true Christian, they will humble themselves, pick up the history books, read the original bible (with 73 books in it, not 66) and ask themselves where their set if beliefs came from and who started their church. A pastor or Jesus? Look who compiled and gave us the bible. Jesus handed the keys of the kingdom to Peter and built his church on him. One should not go to church because the pastor is so lively. One should go for true worship and receiving our Lord worthily. Read John chapter 6 in context and it will change your life.
Posted by R.A., a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Dec 26, 2009 at 11:07 am
That Jezebel who lead Paul Sheppard down the wrong path; she's got a big boulder on her shoulders for what she has done. She has destroyed a man's reputation (though he was willing), she's destroyed a Christian community of Thousands of people, and she has destroyed the hope and faith of people all over the world in spiritual leaders. She must be extremely evil to do such a thing. Or maybe he's gone to prostitutes? That could be possible, too. Apparently, Paul Sheppard uses the excuses of the Old Testament, King David, blatantly ignoring the FACT, that when Jesus came, the Old Testament was cancelled out by him. "If you ever even look at a woman with lust in your heart..., you are guilty of adultery." If he had lived by that commandment of Jesus, he would have never taken the next step, acting out. But no, he kept bringing up King David because King David is his excuse. Very self-serving.
Posted by Sher, a resident of another community, on Dec 26, 2009 at 11:32 am
My prayer for Pastor Paul, Meredith and family, all Brothers, Sisters in the body of Christ and THOSE YET TO COME is lots of love and good company to celebrate the birth of Jesus. Christmas is about CHRIST hence CHRISTmas. SALVATION IS TRULY THE BEST GIFT ANYONE CAN EVER RECEIVE. Pastor Paul should always remember that he was used of God to draw countless souls to Christ. ONCE IN CHRIST ALWAYS IN CHRIST and no one can take that away. I have struggled with my varying thoughts and emotions about Pastor Paul’s immediate resignation last week. The letter to the congregation mentioned that Pastor Paul had told his wife previously of the moral failure and they were working it through. I don’t understand church matters so WHY Pastor Paul felt compelled to resign and the WAY he chose to do it which is causing so much speculation will probably remain a mystery to me this side of heaven. However, I am real clear about the purpose of CHRIST and the importance of the Word of GOD especially in these last crazy times we live. MUCH LOVE TO ALL BELIEVERS AND THOSE OF YOU WHO WILL COME TO CHRIST BUT YOU JUST DON’T’ KNOW IT YET. I keep wondering how Pastor Paul is doing and praying that he will stay strong, be encouraged and know that he and his family are in the hearts and prayers of countless people across this country. Here is some of what I love most about JESUS: “Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, ‘Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour’? “Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For THE SPIRIT IS WILLING BUT THE BODY IS WEAK!” - Matthew 26:40 -41, NLT - Christ set an excellent example of how to love people when they fall short.
Another favorite: Jesus’ words flashed through Peter’s mind: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.” And he [Peter] went away, weeping bitterly. - Matthew 26:75, NLT. Here Christ knew HE would be betrayed but look how HE RESPONDED AFTER HE WAS RESURRECTED: “Now go and tell his disciples, INCLUDING PETER, that Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you before he died.” – Mark 16:7
Jeremiah wrote: The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? - Jeremiah 17:9.
We must guard our hearts and minds at all times but when we fail God is faithful and He has promised to never leave us.
Posted by P., a resident of another community, on Dec 26, 2009 at 12:41 pm
I AM SO HAPPY TO BE A CHRISTIAN! Christians are made of flesh and blood and struggle with the same issues as everyone else. I can only imagine how crazy I would be if I had to make amends for every wrong I have done according to the Word of God. Thank God for Jesus Christ because if the whole world was living according to an eye for an eye EVERYBODY WOULD BE BLIND. People in the body of Christ are at different places in their walk with and understanding of Christ so remain encouraged. During the persecution which we clearly see has already started remember 1 Peter 4:7-8, NLT: "The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins". A word for suffering - 1 Peter 4:12 – 13, NLT: "Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad – for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world". Love is not all about feelings and romance, the best definition is found in 1 Corinthians 13: 4 – 7, NLT: "Love is patient and kind, Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. IT IS NOT IRRITABLE AND IT KEEPS NO RECORD OF BEING WRONGED. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful and endures through every circumstance". Practice makes improvement and I have definitely improved in the way I love friends and foes alike. Be encouraged because the body of Christ is huge, someone always has your back and there’s always room for more. The church is built on the foundation of Christ, Pastor Paul was part of God’s plan at ALCF and he is sorely missed already but we can be grateful to serve a LORD who does not resign when things get rough. Will there be changes and movement at ALCF? Absolutely but in the long run ALCF will be just fine as long as it remains Christ centered. I love how God can do anything, His power is second to none.
Posted by David L., a resident of another community, on Dec 26, 2009 at 12:57 pm
The ALCF church is not destroyed, because Paul Sheppard is not the church. I fully realize that he had a real fan club following within the church, which was unhealthy and built him up too much, but that is never what he taught. What I saw consistently from Pastor Paul's teachings over the years was constant reference back to the Bible, and the importance of reading it and knowing it personally. "Don't take my word for it; check it out by the word."
I am greatly saddened by what happened. It feels like losing a family member or close friend to know Paul will not be there in the services. But true believers in Christ do not put our trust in man, because there is no man perfect and worthy of such trust since the Lord Jesus walked the earth two millennia ago. It would be great if after becoming believers, we never sinned again, but that is not reality, nor does it negate the teachings of (flawed) Christians, as long as those teachings are based on the Bible. Paul Sheppard never presented himself as some rarified holy man who was without defect; he always pointed people to Jesus. And if this event ultimately forces people to focus less on the teacher and more on the true object of faith--Jesus and God's word--then something good will have come out of it.
Posted by T., a resident of another community, on Dec 26, 2009 at 1:03 pm
2009 has been the most challenging year of my life as well as countless others in so many ways. I was only able to get to ALCF a few times this year but I study the Holy Bible and meditate on the Word of God. Scripture is very clear that the minds of the men who wrote the books in the Bible are inspired by God, therefore we know it is the Word of God. We worship in Truth and Spirit. A shout out to Pastor Dan and choir for the lively, inspirational song "Rejoice in the LORD Always and again I say, again I say Rejoice!" No matter how bad things may seem it is better to be in the body of Christ than not. Peace and Love!
Posted by SHG, a resident of the Blossom Valley neighborhood, on Dec 26, 2009 at 2:40 pm
I find it really interesting how so many people are using this as an opportunity to pontificate and let everyone know how well they know the Bible and can quote Scripture. This is not about you. How about we pray for Pastor Paul and his family.
All of you parking lot preachers can do your preaching at another time.
Posted by A wretch like me, a resident of another community, on Dec 26, 2009 at 2:56 pm
Keep your eyes on the LORD folks for scripture tells us we are living in the last days and you don't have to look very far to see it materializing. 1 Peter 4:12 – 13, NLT: Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad – for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world. Amen!
Posted by Peace, a resident of another community, on Dec 26, 2009 at 3:19 pm
That's right everyone exercise your 1st Amendment right to freedom of speech whether about Pastor Paul, the church, or whatever is on your mind as a result of this subject. Remember boys and girls it's your world and you can use as little or as much dogma to express how you feel as you want. That's part of the benefit of being an American! And Christ said: "Don't let your hearts be troubled. Turs in God, and turst also in me". My prayers to the Pastor, his family, the church and all others. Peace.
Posted by Peace typos corrected, a resident of another community, on Dec 26, 2009 at 3:21 pm
That's right everyone exercise your 1st Amendment right to freedom of speech whether about Pastor Paul, the church, or whatever is on your mind as a result of this subject. Remember boys and girls it's your world and you can use as little or as much dogma to express how you feel as you want. That's part of the benefit of being an American! And Christ said: "Don't let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me". My prayers to the Pastor, his family, the church and all others. Peace.
Posted by Peninsula Dweller, a resident of another community, on Dec 26, 2009 at 3:26 pm
2Th 2:9 Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan with all power and signs and lying wonders,
2Th 2:10 And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2Th 2:11 And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
2Th 2:12 That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
In context, God raises false prophets to show them, leaders and the flock for what they are. It's as simple as that.
When you don't love the truth as it is in Christ, God Himself will give you over to a strong delusion. God raises delusions!! Don't be quick to overlook Mr Sheppard's sin b/c if you do that, then you'll open the door to all sorts of abominations to come and lead the flock.
To use David and other OT failures to justify sin is mishandling the word of God. You fail to acknowledge the admonishments of 1 Timothy, Titus and 2 Peter 2 regarding how leaders should conduct themselves and specifically in the 2 Peter 2 account is an exposition on how false prophets act. If God opens your eyes you'll be able to draw parallels. The small book of Jude is a source of how false leaders are too.
The prayer is that God will deal with Mr Sheppard's sin in the privacy of his dilemma. I'm referring to the sin of mishandling the truth to build his church moreso then the adultery. If God is dealing with him, there is hope.
God, if He's willing, can fix the dishonesty of 'salvation by making a decision for Jesus' equating it to 'fire insurance'. How abominable!
I'm appealing to those who truly have a reverance for God and the truth of the bible and pray that from this event, may God according to His pleasure and His will, bring many to the true light and ultimately give all Glory to Himself. This is something only God can do!!
I'm speaking as someone who was deluded under this ministry until by the mercy and grace of God, He plucked me out of this mess.
Unfortunately, I still have many friends and family under this ministry. I could only pray and hope.
Please if you still are a ALCF attendee ask yourself every time you leave a sermon, 'Do I know Christ a little better? His offices? His work? What He really accomplished on Calvary? Has the preacher exposed Christ coming in the volume of the book from Genesis to Revelations?' - If the preacher is not answering these questions, cry out to God to have mercy and lead you to where you can get fed!
If you 'see red' after reading my comments, I do not apologise. Check out if what I'm saying has any validity!
Posted by Forgiven, a resident of another community, on Dec 26, 2009 at 4:48 pm
"Bretheren, If any person is overtaken in misconduct or sin or any sort, you who are spiritual (who are responsive to and controlled by the Spirit) should set him right and restore and reinstate him, without any sense of superiority and with all gentleness, keepng an attentive eye on yourself, lest yo should be tempted also. Bear (endure, carry) one another's burdens and troublesome moral faults and in this way fulfill and observe perfectly the law of Christ (the Messiah) and complete what is lacking (in your obedience to it). For if any person thinks himself to be somebody (too important to condescend to shoulder another's load)when he is nobody (of superiority except in his own extimation), he deceives and deludes and cheats himself."
All we like sheep, have gone astray. Be careful, lest you think you stand and you fall.
Posted by Roasted Garlic, a resident of another community, on Dec 26, 2009 at 5:28 pm
What do atheists and Christians have in common? We have CHILDREN! Pastor Paul and Meredith Sheppard are parents of young adults age 20 something. We ALL know how we might feel if someone were attacking our dad. Some people may have either not known their dads at all or had unhealthy relationships with them but for all people who do not fall into this category think about how YOU might feel if someone was talking about YOUR DAD no matter what he did or did not do. TO ALICIA AND AARON you are not your parents. YOUR MOM CAN HOLD HER OWN and is the only one for Pastor Paul. In case the moral failure was indeed marital infidelity, KEEP YOUR HEADS HIGH WITH EYES FOCUSED ON THE LORD. People do not realize that the words they speak have a far greater impact on the CHILDREN than the parents. AARON AND ALICIA whatever you read, since we know your generation is far more Internet savvy, be sure to filter through your minds ALL THINGS THAT YOU KNOW TO BE TRUE ABOUT YOUR DAD AND DISCARD THE FALLACIES AND OPINIONS YOU KNOW ARE WRONG. We have nothing but love for your family and especially want the two of you young Sheppards to be encouraged knowing YOU ARE NOT YOUR PARENTS and GOD HAS YOUR BACK OK?? We feel you and are praying for you and know the pain of how your parents must feel knowing that you are subjected to all of this “stuff”. Stay strong and be encouraged.
Posted by Monica, a resident of another community, on Dec 26, 2009 at 6:41 pm
I've attended ALCF for many many years and have never known Pastor Paul to promote himself as anything other than a human being, flawed like the rest of us. To those calling him a charlatan and a false prophet...You've either never heard his sermons or you are buying into your own hype. No human is perfect and we are not here to judge! We can only expect perfection when we can offer it...and guess what? We ALL fall short.
The battle Paul Sheppard fights is his own. It's between him, his family and God...how dare any of us take a holier than thou approach to his situation and deem ourselves qualified to pass judgement on him or anyone else...and I don't care HOW many scriptures you quote...you're wrong to judge. If God has a penance for him...he will mete it out...not us.
Posted by cazoomal, a resident of another community, on Dec 26, 2009 at 8:39 pm
I join the church community in saying that Pastor Paul is loved and I am praying for him. He made a serious mistake and now he has begun to address it, understanding better than many of us how a short-lived pleasure (of whatever nature) can bring tremendous pain and suffering. I thank God that He continues to deal with all of His children with patience, with love and with forgiveness when we repent of our sins.If it is God's will, I pray to live to hear Paul Sheppard deliver more "Words to" all of us willling to listen to the Holy Spirit speak through a fellow (self-ackonwleged and repentant) sinner.
Posted by Anau Hafoka, a resident of another community, on Dec 26, 2009 at 11:10 pm
In response to Theresa.
You need to deal with your anger. Obviously, you are angry at Pastor Sheppard. Please deal with your anger; process what you feel without attacking him. As a member of ALCF, I am dealing with my grief. You should do the same. It's okay to be hurt, felt let down, or be disappointed, but deal with it without attacking.
Posted by young sheep, a resident of another community, on Dec 27, 2009 at 9:43 am
My sincere sorrow to all in the flock under Paul Sheppard, I too recently had a sheppard go in the same way a wolf in sheeps clothing got the best of our pastor as well, It devastated our church and youth but Gods mercy and grace endures forever and we are almost to where we can trust again but not without doubt or fear lingering in the air. I pray this flock will find the real meaning of Christ follwers and be authentic Christians with Integrity and Transparency with all they say and do! God Bless you all
Posted by member of ALCF, a resident of another community, on Dec 27, 2009 at 10:43 am
Pastor Paul should address his congregation.God has changed so many lives through this man.But he is only a man,not God.As believers,we know that Christ is our Lord. Pastor Sheppard reaches so many in ways that others do not.He needs to use his gift.
Pastor Paul-have courage. Step onto the battlefield.
Posted by po'd, a resident of another community, on Dec 27, 2009 at 3:11 pm
Dear Mr. Anou Hafoka, comments like yours are part of the problem with the perceptions of Christians. You sound like a wounded soul who should get help in order to win souls to Christ not drive them away.
Posted by Member J, a resident of the Blossom Valley neighborhood, on Dec 27, 2009 at 4:46 pm
ALCF members I hope you were able to attend Service this weekend. It was awesome. I attended 11:00 o'clock service... The church was full because we are a church lead by Jesus not by a man. Our church is blessed because our Elders share the WORD and are able to teach it the way our once leader did. Unfortunately every church has ear ticklers, people that attended to hear Pastor Paul who is truly anointed. Well only the strong in Christ will be there to do the work of the Lord. Pastor Paul use to tell us the church will do great thing... We pray for the Sheppard family and lift them up to the Lord. For those that need to know details or speculate I will pray for you also. Because we are all sinners. I am guarantee to say those that have judge PP to take a look in your own backyard. "You Are A SINNER" You are in my prayers along with the Pastor Paul, Sister Meredith, there children, and the church. I hope others will pray for the same.
Posted by los angeles, ca, a resident of another community, on Dec 27, 2009 at 5:58 pm
GOOD for you Pastor Paul, I'm so glad that you are a man of God and step down. So many leaders are not doing the right thing and continue to lead God's people the wrong way. And we as followers keep following knowing it's wrong. I am so happy that you do practice what you preach. You saw a flaw and instead of trying to make it right in your own way, you acknowlegde it and stepped down. Thank you for being a good example for leaders!
Posted by member of ALCF, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Dec 27, 2009 at 8:45 pm
I'm deeply saddened by Paul Sheppard;s departure I have been a member since the church started on Leghorn. I'm a christian and commit sins daily. I believe Pasteur Paul's leaving ALCF to work on his marriage is commendable. I have had 3 friends in the past year who have had cheating spouses this seems to be a trend in our culture..look at the media the magazines that glamourize infidelity, the porn sites on the internet, and the discussions that people have gossiping about men and women having sex before marriage, sex with multiple partners, and "the anything that goes mentality of these times". We will miss him and it's truly sad. I wish him the best with his personal relationship with his wife and family, forgives his himself before God and will someday come back to ALCF. He will be deeply missed. I will have him in continued prayer and will stay a member of ALCF.
Posted by Natalie J., a resident of another community, on Dec 27, 2009 at 11:34 pm
Before we past judgemnt, lets consider the personal struggles we all face daily. Just because he is a leader does not exempt him from the very temptation that pulls on us daily. Paster Paul's ministry has been a blessing in my life as well as others. If he has asked God for forgiveness, we should allow him to be restored as God restored David. Whatever his reason for his resignation, lets create an atmosphere of love and compassion and pray for Pastor Sheppard and his family, after all, we all have suffered a great lost.
Posted by LB, a resident of the Cuesta Park neighborhood, on Dec 28, 2009 at 1:14 am
A point of observation in response to R.A.: I couldn't help but notice that "the other woman(en)" was mentioned in misogynistic terms, i.e., the "Jezebel that lead Paul Sheppard down the wrong path" and "she's got a big boulder on her shoulders for what she has done" and "she is pure evil", etc. Come on now...remember, dear --it takes two willing people to commit adultery. If "the other woman" is all these things then surely Paul committed an even more despicable act because he abused his power and influence "to whom much is given, much is required". It is only logical, and Biblical, that if one is going to extend compassion, forgiveness and prayers for restoration to Paul then why not also to "the other woman" --God is not partial. With that said, the act has its consequences and I believe Paul did the right thing by stepping down given his position; a contrite heart will do that, I believe he should and can be restored but I also believe he should not take the pulpit again in his former capacity.
Posted by Passing Through, a resident of another community, on Dec 28, 2009 at 4:03 am
It is not in the fact Pastor Paul quit, but how he did it it bothers me. I had been listening to him since March 2009, when I got back into fellowship with God. One of his last messages was about being a boxing ring with the enemy. When knocked down, don't throw in the towel, keep fighting he said. Get back up and keep going. So Pastor Paul gets knocked down and what does he do, he has his back up Pastor deliver the message that he quit to his congregation. How many people and years did they give to him? Could he not have manned-up and stepped foward and explain this to his church? "Hi I screwed up and now have to leave." That would have been easier for people to grasp. He left EVERYONE, the church, radio audience without so much as a real good bye and I am sorry? Yeah "don't through in the towel, while I throw in the towel, ring chair, water bottle and my gloves." "I took my ball and am heading home." As for me me I found a new Pastor that gives really good sermons, I pray he does not quit. This whole issue gives a brand new meaning to the line from the movie Meet The Robinson's "Keep moving foward." Pastor Paul quit, have a new minister, I am moving foward.
Posted by Carol, a resident of another community, on Dec 28, 2009 at 4:45 am
Paul Shepard was the man who jumped -started me every morning at 5:30 am. I had the oportunity to meet him when you came to Kansas City. My spirit is sad for him and his family. My prayer is that God would encourage him and entire family. His message was power as well as his love for the word. Let's continue to pray for this man of Godas well as the lives he has touched.
Posted by Far Away, a resident of another community, on Dec 28, 2009 at 7:44 am
Pastors, elders and teachers are held to a higher standard.
James 3:1 (TNIV)
"1 Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers and sisters, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly."
And for those calling for immediate forgiveness and reinstatement?
1 Timothy 3:2 (TNIV)
"1 Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. 2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach"
Look again at 1 Timothy 3:12 (TNIV)
"12 A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well."
Titus 1:6, same thing (TNIV)
"6 An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient."
Note the common theme, "faithful to his wife". In other words, a man who is not faithful to his wife is not qualified to be an elder/pastor. In this, Mr. Sheppard was correct in stepping down.
If a man who is the spiritual leader of a church of 6,000 cannot live in Christ's power to deliver from the flesh, why should anyone believe in such power? This is serious. It does damage to the testimony of Christ.
Posted by ONE SET FREE, a resident of another community, on Dec 28, 2009 at 9:15 am
When a brother or sister falls, we, who are stronger, should help him up. Remember the only man spoken of by God's word as a man after God's heart, He was an adulterer and a murderer, yet God accepted him. David, the King. The disciple that Jesus called "The Rock", He denied Jesus not once, but 3 times(Peter). Who are we kidding? It is by the Grace of God that you or I do not fall. You are surprised by sin, Do not lie to yourself, God is not mocked. Sin feels good for a moment. It is subtle and the enemy has been at it for centuries and his wisdom surpasses yours or mine but with our hearts and mine focused on Jesus, we are more than conquerors. Lord God, Almighty, In the name of Jesus, I ask that you forgive this brother in Christ, heal his family and restore what the enemy has stolen that the work of the ministry may continue. Amen.
Posted by po'd, a resident of another community, on Dec 28, 2009 at 9:34 am
A 5 year old can understand moral failure to some degree. Skimming through all the comments MOST PEOPLE UNDERSTAND MORAL FAILURE, AGREE PASTOR PAUL DID THE RIGHT THING WHEN HE STEPPED DOWN AND OFFER SO MUCH LOVE, SUPPORT AND PRAYERS FOR HIM, HIS FAMILY AND THE CONGREGATION. FAR MORE GRIEVOUS than his moral failure WAS THE WAY HE LEFT, ROBBING THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SIMPLY EXPRESS LOVE, KINDNESS, FORGIVENESS AND TO TELL HIM NO ONE REALLY CARES ABOUT THE DETAILS (and for those few who think they do, they really don’t want to know). PEOPLE WANTED TO TELL HIM HIS MINISTRY WAS APPRECIATED AND A BLESSING TO SO MANY. Of course he would not have been expected to stand and have 1:1 sessions following each service announcing his resignation. No one would have expected him to personally respond to thousands of Email had he left his site open but IT WOULD HAVE BEEN A NICE GESTURE. The letter stated HE TOLD HIS WIFE 4 MONTHS AGO AND THEY WERE WORKING ON IT PRIVATELY. THAT'S GOOD ENOUGH; the mention of moral failure was too much information. YET HE ENDED UP RUNNING OUT ON THE CONGREGATION & LISTENERS FROM OVER 500 RADIO STATIONS ACROSS THE COUNTRY LIKE HE STOLE SOMETHING (I’m just saying). Anyway, what’s done is done – a PR nightmare but perhaps it was the only choice he had (my heart and prayers of support for Tiger Woods family too, his wife must feel CRUSHED AND HUMILIATED). ALL OF THAT SAID, I TRULY, GENUINELY AND SINCERELY PRAY GOD’S BEST FOR PASTOR PAUL, HIS FAMILY, THE CONGREGATION AND LISTENERS FROM COAST TO COAST AND AROUND THE WORLD. The LORD is my shepperd.
Posted by Nikki, a resident of another community, on Dec 28, 2009 at 10:27 am
This happened so you all could stop going to church and seeing this man as your God. It happens Romans 3:23, pray for him and get over it. God has forgiven him, so u all do the same. I listen to Pastor Paul Shepard on the radio here in Detroit, yes I was sad about the news but u know what? It could be any of us.
Posted by Terry Oldsmen, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Dec 28, 2009 at 11:29 am
I have only just recently gotten back into town after holidaying out of state with family and friends. I assume that most of you can imagine my shock and confusion when I attended the 11:30 service. Everything was just so unclear, and then when Pastor Jackson prayed a prayer name calling, I was all the more taken back. A child behind me whispered to his parents, " Why we gotta be stupid?" While I understand that he was not calling any one person in particular stupid, but that of the action of blogging, letters, phone calls and email in which he has found offensives, I would just cation him as well as the rest of the pastoral staff to really think about what you are saying before you say it. I feel that the phone calls, letter, emails and ect that ALCF are being flooded with, are the concern and a fear of the unknown. It would serve the church better to answer the questions pertaining of the general house keeping of the running of the ALCF, because the unknown can be scary.
Posted by Christ in Fresno, a resident of another community, on Dec 28, 2009 at 11:34 am
We spend countless days, weeks, months, and years lifting Pastors and Leaders up onto a pedestal...then are in complete shock when they fall off it. As a leader in church, I realize that we (in leadership) are held to a higher standard, but everyone needs to remember that we are all daily sinners...from the pope to the pastor in the pulpit. Everytime you attend a worship service, you are a sinner looking/listening to a sinner. That is the beauty of the redemptive spirit of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. God can and will work through anyone...and will love anyone. Pastor Paul's actions do not take away from the thousands who are now leading a Godly life because of what they heard him say. No one can take away your faith, so if you are so distraught and disgusted...and faithless, it is a spirit that you are choosing to live with. My bible tells me that we are still to love one another, and forgive one another.
Posted by CeeCee, a resident of another community, on Dec 28, 2009 at 12:12 pm
My husband told me to not put so much trust in a man because I took it hard when I heard the news. It's not that at all. It's just that Pastor Paul's ministry has "walked" me through so many hard times in my life by helping me focus on God's word and His grace.
Now it's my turn to pray for you and your family...and I will!
Posted by By the sea, a resident of another community, on Dec 28, 2009 at 2:19 pm
In Pastor Paul's series titled Lessons From a Moral Failure he said "If you're going to live right, you have to be harder on yourself than other people. Some of us have a mouth full of criticism for other folk, but if you want to live right you have to be your own worse critic. You have to hold yourself to a tight line, be easier on other people 'cause you're not answering to God for them you're answering to God for you". In his Practical Faith for Daily Living Part II he said, "Don't look for people who are perfect, don't look for a church that's perfect and don't look for a small group, a prayer group or an accountability group that's perfect. You'll mess yourself up you know why, 'cause there is no such thing. You won't find a group of perfect people. If you happen to find one and YOU join [listeners LOL]there goes the neighborhood [more laughter]. We know Jesus is LORD and the tiny snippet of sermons above is what we miss about Pastor Paul's teaching ministry that helped so many learn how to apply God's Word in a practical manner on a daily basis.
Posted by Micah RaSun-Vann, a resident of another community, on Dec 28, 2009 at 2:26 pm
I attended ALCF in Menlo Park when Pastor Sheppard pastored 100 or so. I loved him dearly for his simple style and humorous delivery of his sermons. He and his wife were always kind, loving, available people. God raised him up to pastor 6000 members and used him mightily. It's funny that in other cases I have been incensed however, not condoning the sin, I am clear that this is a satanic hit. I pray that Meredith will be graced with enough forgiveness to continue to stand by him and that God turns this to a testimony. I pray for his restoration. I love he and his family.
I also pray for the congregation that there will be enough spiritually mature members who are able to minister to the baby christians they may not be aware of Satan's strategies and that this incident in no way discredit the God who Pastor Paul preached and the God who still IS.
With the Love of Christ - The Sheppard family both natural and spiritual will be in my prayers.
Posted by ALCF Member-EPA, a resident of another community, on Dec 28, 2009 at 2:48 pm
My Lord! What an outpouring of grief, anger, compassion, love, judgement, ignorance, self-righteousness & faith (most in God; some in self)! Some of these expressions of faith (in God through Jesus Christ) have been so helpful & encouraging to my wounded spirit. Some of the expressions or judgement & self-righteousness have been just heart-rendering in their ignorance. But, Momma always said the best thing about ignorance is that it's curable (PP, if you're reading this, you may have a clue who I am, cause I made the same comment in an email to you a few years back). My sincere & heart-felt prayers go out to Pastor Paul, Meredith, Alicia & Aaron, as well as my ALCF church family and each & every person who has been touched by the ministry of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as shared by Paul Sheppard. This "moral-failure"/resignation has impacted me on many levels, but none so powerful as the affect on my prayer life. I stand so convicted that neither I or the Church can afford our namby-pamby prayers of the past. We really have to pray like we mean it to contend & intercede on behalf of our leaders, ourselves, our families, our church family, our communities, our government & the world at large. Spiritual warfare is real, strong & unrelenting & our prayer life MUST respond in kind. I don't know the details of the future, but I know this: God wins in the end! I trust that The Lord is not through with Paul Sheppard in furthering God's Will being done on this earth as it is heaven. After Biblical restoration is completed, my hope & prayer is that Pastor Paul will be restored to the ALCF ministry as a wonderfully human example of what God can & will do with broken & cracked vessels such as Pastor Paul, myself & everyone reading this post, to name a few. To God, and God alone, be the Glory!
Posted by Chris G, a resident of another community, on Dec 28, 2009 at 3:21 pm
I have never attended this church, I dont even live in the area I live in Sountern California. I dotn know the ends and outs of this church or the church congregation, but I have to say God has done an amazing work through this man. His ministry has effected me in a way that is unlike I have ever known. We all go through storms in our lives, and most of the storms we go through are because of our own doing. This MAN made a mistake plain and simple. Is it wrong...without question it is. We look to much at these men as if they are gods because the words they speak are so impactful to our lives. They are speaking God's word, not their own. when they get down from that pulpit they still have to face there own flesh and struggles. Paul Sheppard is a man of God who simply made a mistake, that he is paying for. Pray for this man and his family dont condemn him. How many times have you messed up? I pray for this church as well,my church is also going through a storm with our senior pastor. God Bless you Pastor Paul Sheppard and for being the Man of God you are sir.
Posted by God's Child, a resident of another community, on Dec 28, 2009 at 3:33 pm
God will see Pastor and his family through this unforutnate time. I thank God for restoring him, and continually using him as a vessel. I thank God he's humble enough to repent. You have some people with no humbleness, and think they are above God. Pastor Paul isn't one of them, and will make it through with God's guidance,
Posted by Palo Altan, a resident of another community, on Dec 28, 2009 at 6:15 pm
I have attended dozens of Christian churches, fellowships, and bible study groups for decades in many different states where I lived throughout the United States. What Pastor Paul taught was true to God's Word in the Holy Bible, just as many of the other pastors, preachers, and teachers were. I know this, not because I blindly follow what other people say or how they interpret things and not because I am the follower of a cult. I know this because I've read the Holy Bible. What Pastor Paul taught was real; it is valid not because he talked a good talk or walked a good walk (although they can be quite helpful encouragers) - but because it agreed with God's Word.
I mourn for Pastor Paul's falling just as I have mourned over the sins and mistakes I've made in the past. But God has proven that He is full of mercy and grace.
There is a wonderful hope for those who are in Christ: He is faithful to forgive our contrite hearts, to restore our broken lives, and to bring us back into peace with God and even our enemies. I know this because God said so in the Holy Bible and because He has done such a work in my life. Time after time, God has also helped people understand this wonderful truth through the ministries of countless pastors, preachers, teachers, leaders and even regular folks who were/are strangely human like the rest of us, including our dear Pastor Paul.
My whole family deeply misses Pastor Paul, and we pray for God to do a good work in and through him.
Posted by LD-SJC, a resident of another community, on Dec 28, 2009 at 9:37 pm
I, a tithing ALCF member, have found this long string of comments fascinating. For sure, Pastor Paul being highly visible in the public realm draws a lot of comment. Way back up there, someone said we should no longer call him "Pastor." Pastor comes from ordination, not position. There, done with that comment.
What we don't know yet is the manner of Pastor Paul's resignation. If it was just a letter to the board with no other communication, then that was wrong. He should have come before the elders, confessed the situation, and then ask for their wisdom on the matter. Maybe that happened, we don't know. If it occurred in summary fashion, I can see why. If Pastor Paul was overwhelmed by the situation and deeply contrite and realized that surfacing it was overdue (sounds like it was), then being a human, he just might have said, "I have to stop this now", and reacted impulsively. Thinking about my self in the situation, it is easy to see. I pray for Pastor Paul and his lovely wife and kids daily. I pray for restoration, that somehow the clear voice of practical, powerful, and insightful Christian living might be restored. At ALCF? It is not impossible, there is a lot of love for Pastor Paul and his family here, a LOT. Wherever it is, I pray that it will happen. Bless you Pastor Paul and your family wherever you are at the moment.
Posted by Debbie Little, a resident of another community, on Dec 28, 2009 at 11:09 pm
I am very grieved about this situation. I feel badly for his wife and family. I found it absurd and cowardly that Paul only wrote a letter, disclosing nothing much except that only his wife needed to know the details. I don't think that is right at all. He does owe it to the the other pastors of the church for accountability's sake. What a mess he has made and left behind for others to deal with--yet he owes no explanations. Ultimately he is accountable to God, yet he has had men who have served with him for years. I think he took the chicken way out by not being accountable to anyone in the church.
I will be praying for Paul, his family, and the congregation that is also hurting from his actions. This has hurt a lot of people and the repercussions will be quite measurable.
Yes, I do realize that the Lord will forgive him/has forgiven him if he has repented. The sad thing is that this is how Paul will be remembered. Another consequence is that his actions have hurt so many people who will continue to hurt for a long time. It is just so sad... Paul will also have to live with the guilt, pain, shame and sorrow he has caused even if he has repented. Very sad and a hard thing.
I will miss his teachings very much. I am sure many others will too.
Posted by Hope, a resident of another community, on Dec 28, 2009 at 11:35 pm
ALCF has had some outstanding guest pastors over the last couple of years such as Richard Allen Farmer, Chip Ingram to name one or two. Like Pastor Paul these men have a unique style distinctly different from Paul Sheppard yet as much of a blessing to such a large and diverse congregation. Many prayers and much appreciation for the Assistant Pastor Wayne as well as all the elders (whatever that means) & ALCF staff for walking in faith while holding the fort down. God is up to something wonderful doing things His way. As it is written in the book of Psalms "I waited patiently on the LORD..." May God continue to bless Abundant Life Christian Fellowship.
Posted by Duncan, a resident of another community, on Dec 28, 2009 at 11:41 pm
You know, I find it interesting how many people are talking about how satan got his way. Why do sooooo many people give satan (I don't capitalize that horrid name for a reason) so much credit? Satan didn't commit the sin, Pastor Paul did. The devil didn't make him do it, Pastor Paul WILLINGLY CHOSE IT.
What bothers me the most is the way Pastor Paul left. I wish he would have humbled himself enough to go before the elders at least. I wish he would have gone before the congregation, told us he has sinned and asked for forgiveness. The congregation loves him! They support him in prayer and monetarily. It IS other people's business when a person in that position does something that affects peoples livelihoods and spiritual state. Even radio listeners deserve to know something whether they are supporting the radio ministry in prayer or monetarily.
Would it be embarassing for Pastor Paul? YES! Should it be? YES! But at least he would be transparent and not running away. There are too many lives involved here to just run away and not face the music. Yes, ultimately he does have to answer to God, but he will have to face man also.
This congregation will never be the same again and will be wounded for a very long time. I pray for those newer Christians and hope they won't be stumbled by this situation.
Posted by San Leandro ALCF-er, a resident of another community, on Dec 29, 2009 at 12:29 am
We have no idea if Pastor Paul confessed to the Elders (leaders or senior figures in a group for the person who didn't know) or not, so I don't think anyone that wasn't in that meeting can say what Paul Sheppard did or didn't do. Satan did get his way because he comes to kill and destroy and he's killed trust in the congregation and destroyed the confidence of hundreds of people.
Paul is just a man. Yes he did chose to be disobedient, the Devil didn't MAKE him do it...merely tested him beyond his human limitation and he failed. Look at it this way...when your children act up...do you stop loving them? Of course not.
While I've found amazing comfort in most of these posts, I see some folks are so heavenly entrenched they're no earthly good...and guess where the work is folks? It's here on Earth amongst us sinners (and that means you, whoever you are). We are the salt of the Earth, and some of us need to get over ourselves and come out of the salt shaker (other members may remember THAT series).
Anyway, I'm trusting that every test can end in testimony, and that God is doing a great thing..both through the flawed Paul Sheppard and through each one of us...even the not-yet-believers amongst us are touching souls. Newsflash! Your vitriol may be just the prescription to bring another soul to Christ.
May God bless each and every one us...flaws and all.
Special shout out to Pastor Wayne Jackson for holding it down in the midst of turmoil! God's gotcha back...and so do I.
Posted by Another SL ALCFer, a resident of another community, on Dec 29, 2009 at 6:41 am
We will miss Pastor Paul's teaching style. He and family are in our thoughts and prayers. ALCF is a great place to worship Christ. The many people who volunteer their time and those who attend are amazing, warm and inviting; you ALWAYS FEEL WELCOME no matter who you are. The sanctuary is beautiful and spacious. We have been members of ALCF for a couple of years now and it's exciting to know that approx. 100 others from San Leandro attend ALCF too. God bless the congregation, staff and leaders. Change is inevitable and we patiently wait for God's very best. I love learning something new everyday & appreciate the diverse perspectives expressed here.
P.S. to San Leandro ALCFer thanks for the definition of Elder, we had not a clue what the term meant either and I always forget to ask someone.
Posted by Cindy, a resident of another community, on Dec 29, 2009 at 6:41 am
As an online listener from another state I'm very saddened that all of his archived ministries have been deleted off the internet. I understand he needs time with God and his family to be healed, but the word of God that he preached touched me in so many ways.
Posted by ALCF Attendee, a resident of another community, on Dec 29, 2009 at 7:34 am
I was born and raised on the Peninsula. I come from a line and circle of preachers. I have seen other ministries and preachers rise and fall, never rising as large as ALCF or disappearing as fast as Pastor Paul Sheppard. God lead me to attend ALCF, through the radio ministry of Paul Sheppard. God called and lead Paul Sheppard to ALCF. I once met a lady who told me she hand carried an offering to Paul Sheppard’s old Menlo Park location, for his Enduring Truth Ministry. He walked outside to greet and thank her in person. I have only been met with kindness, tolerance, Godliness and smiles at ALCF. ALCF IS Pastor Paul. The church is the congregation. God calls everyone to do certain things. Not all are called to minister to others. I only know of a handful of local preachers who have risen to become world class preachers, Sheppard being one.
I have no doubt that Paul Sheppard will continue to teach and preach. His ALCF title was “Senior Teaching Pastor.” It is not my place to cast any judgment on Paul Sheppard. After reading the letter of Acting ALCF Executive Pastor, Wayne Jackson, several times, it seems that the incidence that produced the resignation occurred or at least began several months ago or longer. I can recall several Sheppard sermons about fornication, living in sin, adultery, etc, that he delivered over the past year or more.
I am praying for the entire Sheppard family, the ALCF church body, including the person on the other end of the “moral failure” equation. This is a time of ALCF reflection, a time of faith retrenchment, a time for testing one’s commitments with and beyond Paul Sheppard. If you have been saved through Paul Sheppard’s teachings, then you, like me, should keep on living the saved life.
Posted by Beth, a resident of another community, on Dec 29, 2009 at 8:48 am
To hear about what happened brought me to my knees in prayer. Pastor Paul absolutely adores,loves,and words can not speak enough about the trueness that is in Pastor Pauls heart for our Lord Jesus Christ. I hear him on the radio and I can just feel his love for JESUS CHRIST in every word he speaks. Pastor Paul if you read this I just want you to know that because of your love for Christ I absolutely love you too!!! Because of your life and your love for Christ you have helped lead me closer to Our God In Heaven. Please remember that Beautiful, Precious Son Of God is hear for you too!!!!Please the world needs you to say strong in Christ and Know that you can be forgiven. We love you Pastor Paul. Get up and walk stronger into Heaven!!! I love you
Posted by Aden, a resident of the The Crossings neighborhood, on Dec 29, 2009 at 10:31 am
I find it shameful and very disheartening that men of God, that can just like that, allow Satan to destroy their lives. If I did not know any better and study my bible for myself, I would have probably giving up being a Christian.
How can a so claimed man of God, who proclaims to be under the leadership of a mighty God, A God according to my bible is able to keep us from falling, go to such extent, as to commit such an act! What does God mean to him. I understand we are not perfect, but to commit such an act, what does that state about us as ambassadors of Christ.
If we claim to serve God, especially when you have reached a position of leading God's people ( 1 Peter 3 Please read for yourself)than we have a high level of spiritual maturity, walking in the spirit and not by our own desires....Christ came that we might be victorious and not defeated, he came that we may be over comers, and a light and salt to the world.
So when I read 1 John 3:6 "Whoever abides in Him does not sin. Whoever sins has neither seen Him nor known Him". I will not condemn him but, I will judge him, based on him claiming to be a man of God and bring disgrace and shame to my holy God. Please let us not tolerate sin, but let us desire nothing else but righteousness, and give no man any opportunity to blame you other than being a true follower of Christ.
Posted by Hall, a resident of another community, on Dec 29, 2009 at 11:40 am
To Meredith and the Sheppard family you are a great woman and God gave you this great man, not a perfect man, the two of you have acomplished so much in the 20 odd years, raised a beautiful family, brought thousands of people togather in the name of our God, who can compare ?. The DEVILS are busy, we must not let them win forgive and go on with your lives We love you and pray that you stay strong
Posted by Dominique, a resident of another community, on Dec 29, 2009 at 11:54 am
I just want to thank Pastor Paul for sharing with us the Gospel that God has placed in his heart. While many here posting on this website choose to condemn him, I choose to pray for him and his family at this difficult time...Please remember the same way we judge someone else is the same way God is going to judge us. No one is perfect and Im sure we have all had our share of doing dirt!!! The only difference is that Pastor Paul is popular and we are not!! Please think about that before you post...We all have done things in our walk that are not always pleasant and God chooses to forgive us so why cant we forgive Paul...Our purpose is to learn how to perfect our walk and not trip someone who has stumbled...For those of you who are praying like I am please continue with me to pray for him!!!
Posted by Margie Wong, a resident of the Blossom Valley neighborhood, on Dec 29, 2009 at 12:35 pm
He who is without sin cast the first stone. Pastor Paul made a mistake, he is forgiven by the blood of the Lamb and it is cast into the sea of forgetfulness. He is working it out with his wife and is repentant. He should not resign. We forgive him, he doesn't have to run and hide. His sin was taken to the cross and left there. I hope he comes back, this is a wonderful God sent church, the people do not deserve to be punished like this with the loss of such a great leader. There is always forgiveness and no condemnation. I hope he returns to the airwaves as well, there will be a great void without him. God bless him, his family and the congregation.
Posted by D Wilson, a resident of another community, on Dec 29, 2009 at 2:13 pm
I've read most of the comments Pastor Paul and his Family, and the church needs to be lifted up in prayer. God forgives and restores David was not dethroned for his moral sin. He had consequences however he continued to be King. All professing Christians and believers should memorize Gal 6:1 "Brothers" (Church, Elders etc) if someone is caught in a sin you who are SPIRITUAL should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also maybe be tempted. Heb. 8:12, James 2:8-12. Example after example of human failure throughout the Bible however God continued to use the very ones HE loved and were called according to HIS purpose. Satan wants to silence Pastor Paul Sheppard... We are called to be mature Christians as soon as someone falls we want to denounce them that is a wordly mindset, yes there should be consequences and Pastor Paul is dealing with His consequences. This is about giving God Glory and for those who are calling him a hypocrite you are missing the point. Read 2Peter 3-9
I could go on I have experienced being a member of a church where the Pastor failed morally and because of anger, immaturity on both sides the leaders and members not knowing Gods word the church split and it was never the same. The church's reputation was that the church that kicked the Pastor out.
Posted by Jeff, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Dec 29, 2009 at 3:20 pm
There were great consequences for King David's sin, but still God used him greatly even after. There is no doubt in my mind that the forgiving God we believe in will use Pastor Paul in a great way some day. There are many examples in the Bible of this fact.
Posted by Wally, a resident of another community, on Dec 29, 2009 at 4:31 pm
Pastor Paul has ministered to me during some very tough times over the years and I am a stronger Christian because of his teaching and leading. I will continue to love and support Pastor Paul and his family. We are all human, regardless of title or position, and subject to mistakes. It is how we handle those mistakes and change our behavior that truly matters. The issue is private between Pastor Paul, his wife, family and our Lord. We just need to pray for them and continue to LIFT our brother up, not TEAR him down in his time of trial. We as Christians need to practice what we are taught and judge not - that is the Lord's position.
Pastor Paul, I love you, support you, affirm you and will pray for you even more now. Please correct this matter and return to us a stronger person. God bless you my brother and friend in Christ.
Posted by Stan, a resident of another community, on Dec 29, 2009 at 5:53 pm
Pastor Paul I'm praying for you and your family, I hope with the help of God that you someday return to preaching the word of God. You have changed my life! I'm a member of ALCF,and your truly missed. I know that God can restore you to a stronger,better man and he will bring you through the season. God Bless You and your family.
Posted by M. Serrano, San Jose, a resident of another community, on Dec 29, 2009 at 6:16 pm
Because you say, I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. Rev 3:16-21
Pastor Paul is an overcomer already for admitting his sin. Let us not forget that our savior is sick and ready to vomit all of us out. The Church is lukewarm.
"Go Ahead" Cast the first stone, if you don't have no sin in your life.
In the Last Days, the Agape love will grow cold among Christians.
I love you, Pastor Paul, looking forward to sitting with you next to Jesus.
Posted by Rev. Randy Manon, a resident of another community, on Dec 29, 2009 at 6:46 pm
I am from the Philadelphia area. Paul Shepherd's radio ministry has touched me, taught me, and strengthened me in the years since I started to listen to him regularly. Through his ministry of God's word, I have grown and members of my family have been blessed as well. Although I am saddened by what has happened, I know that nothing can take away what Pastor Paul Shepherd has poured into myself and his other listeners.
As a student of God's word, I realise that there are consequences for sin. But I also know that in the end, we still win. "There is therefore, now, no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus." Nothing can separate us from His love.
I pray that that God will give Paul and Meredith Shepherd the courage to go through this valley, the confident hope that God will never leave you nor forsake you, and the wisdom of our mothers and fathers who understand that trouble don't last always.
You are still His beloved son in whom He is well pleased. He has carved you in the palms of His hands and loved you with an everlasting love. His blood still has miraculaous power. We poor miserable wretched creatures are still more than conquerors through Jesus Christ who loves us.
My friends and I are praying that God will surround you with loving friends and family who will support you and comfort you as you grieve your loss and rebuild your lives.
May God continue to bless you and keep you and to make His face to shine upon you and give you peace.
Posted by Diane, a resident of another community, on Dec 29, 2009 at 7:20 pm
I am so sorry. I know that you made a mistake, just as I have and many, many others. I was so ashamed that I could hardly face my children. However through prayer, I did. Learning to forgive myself was the hardest thing I ever did. I truly have come a through the valley of death, really death. I made a very, very bad choice, at the moment I didn't think about the consequences and I almost lost everything, including my life. I prayed and asked for forgiveness from my family and from my God. It took time for things to come together, but it did. God saved me and you known he will do the same for you. Please Pastor Paul don't leave us, I am sure God has a plan B for you too.
Posted by LD-SJC, a resident of another community, on Dec 29, 2009 at 8:00 pm
I have caught up on all the postings here. I have been reading them out loud to my lovely bride of 40 years. The "accusers of the brethren" seem to have faded, and love continues unabated. Oh Lord, may Pastor Paul be reading these comments. There is so much love, so much fruit of his ministry on display. Consequences, Restoration, Plan B's, Healing; they are all on display.
Lord Jesus, restore your servant Pastor Paul Sheppard, heal his family, bring his lovely wife and tremendously beautiful children into full reconciliation with your servant. Help him and them to get up, get going, and get done with the wonderful walk, and the next part of Plan A or a Plan B or whatever we choose to call it. Put the fire of the Holy Spirit in their lives, and let Pastor Paul burn brightly once again and let him be supported by one of the most wonderful, sweet, women I have ever met (and his kids too!). For Jesus sake, and in His Name, many of us pray. Amen!!
Posted by Roxanne, a resident of another community, on Dec 29, 2009 at 8:43 pm
Pastor Paul and Family. I love you. God already saw this as he did Peter denying him. I know your hurting, but be encouraged.God will restore you in His timing. I thank God for your ministry. I will be praying for you, your family and all of those that are affected.
Posted by Elizabeth White, a resident of another community, on Dec 30, 2009 at 2:24 am
This truly is sad news. I pray the church will stay strong through this situation. I have enjoyed listenening to Pastor Paul on the radio this last year and am quite disappointed at the news. I believe he has made the right move in admitting his failures and God will forgive him.
Posted by joe, a resident of another community, on Dec 30, 2009 at 6:05 am
Paul Shepherd is still a man of God,like it or dont like it.God,Jesus Christ said so.Many examples in the Holy bible.We forgive him and most of all our Father of Lights,that is what matters.Paul Shepherd should start another Holy faith church and watch new things be born,healing,new ministies,prophecy at extremely higher level that no one has expieranced.Only true belivers know what i am talking about.Please pray for him in Jesus name.
Posted by Venus David, a resident of another community, on Dec 30, 2009 at 6:23 am
People like to judge with finality, when in actuality God is the final judge. Pastor Paul loves the Lord and he is hurting more than anyone else in this situation. Let's not make gross assupmtions, of course one can read in between the lines, however if he did not specify what "moral failings" he encountered assumption should be reserved. I pray that after all this that Pastor Paul will arise and come to himself and continue forth in what God has ordained him to do. I pray he will not allow the enemy to cloud his thoughts with doubt and shame and forget not the former things and the lives he has profoundly touched through God working in him and through him. He will be redeemed and restored in what capacity I don't know, but as a Christian I know that we serve a God whose grace and mercy is far reaching and he shall bestow it on whom He will!!!
Posted by Deneena, a resident of another community, on Dec 30, 2009 at 6:39 am
GOD destroys idols and I believe that may be what Pastor Paul became to many. Alot of times we set our men and women of GOD up to fail by worshipping them. Unless Pastor Paul has told you personally what his "moral failure" is, we have no write to assume what that is. Immoral behavior can be any number of things in the world we live in however, it is for GOD and those that are hurt by the unfortunate situation to forgive and the rest of the body of CHRIST to pray for him and his family.
Posted by Rhonda Johns, a resident of another community, on Dec 30, 2009 at 7:06 am
FIRST of all, NOBODY knows the EXACT reason why Pastor stepped down, people are ONLY speculating. Please keep your negative comments to yourself and keep him and his family in prayer. Respect the fact that he stepped down ON HIS OWN (unlike MANY Pastors that get found out and have yet another scandal in the church), they need prayer and covering at this time. What happened to forgive your brethen?
Posted by Cateea Lansdowne, a resident of another community, on Dec 30, 2009 at 7:31 am
I am praying for Pastor Paul Sheppard and his family. This is a time where the body of Christ is to lift them up in prayer. God has truly used Pastor Paul to reach many people, there is no questioning that. He may have fallen in an area that he has preached about but he is not perfect just like David (one of the great man of the bible). David had thorns in his flesh but God still used him. We as a body must stick together and hold each other up instead of tearing each other down. One of us has fallen but he was man enough to admit it and sit his own self down. I respect him for that. I know everyone has their opinion but it means nothing really because we are not God.
@ those like Tony Lewis of Texas: I feel sorry for you because you missed the whole point. God worked through him to touch peoples lives and that is no LIE!! Because we are held accountable for our own actions on the day of Judgment no one will be able to say that Pastor Paul made them do something against God's word. What he preached was TRUTH. The same measure you use to judge him you will be judged. We are to give him what we want God to give us compassion and grace. Who are we, to say shame on you when we live our lives daily with things we ought not. Just because most people are not pastors does not make them exempt, the sin is still the same. Yes he is a pastor but he is not perfect. People like to see you on high but when you are low they love to kick you when you are down. But those that understand some things that are hidden from the naked eye know that we are to stand together and pray for Pastor Paul & family until he is restored.
I am waiting for your return Pastor Paul, I love you dearly.
You have helped me in my walk and now I will pray to help you. This walk is not easy for anyone but I believe this will make you even a greater threat to the enemy and things and people will drop off that have been hanging on to you that are not to be attached to you any longer so that you will move to a dimension the world does not understand.
Posted by Local, a resident of another community, on Dec 30, 2009 at 7:50 am
Many of you speak of pastors "speaking the truth". How many if you have actually looked at who created your church? How old it is? What version of the bible you read? Yes, we as Christians are to have faith, but we need faith in the fullness of the truth. Look at church history and how the bible was torn apart in the 1500's during the Protestant reformation. We all seek faith, but we need the whole truth. Please use this as an opportunity to look at the Christian faith as it was originally practiced - not one that was created within the last 50 years- one that a pastor founded. There is a reason that Christ founded the church on Peter and that there is one "universal" faith with an unbroken lineage back to the apostles! The Catholic hutch compiled the bible, yet the devil has broken Christianity up!
Posted by Local, a resident of another community, on Dec 30, 2009 at 8:02 am
If you sincerely have faith and are seeking the fullness of truth in how people have worshipped since Christ's time, plead watch this video with an open mind and question the foundation of the church you worship at. No where in the bible does it say the bible is all you need for salvation. Salvation is not a one time experience. It is a daily walk. The church gave us the bible as a tool. The original apostles decided to write it down from their ORAL teachings and traditions when they realized Christ would not return in their lifetime.
Posted by The Word of God, a resident of another community, on Dec 30, 2009 at 8:56 am
Luke 6:37 Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven:
Luke 6:38 Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Rom 2:1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.
Rom 2:2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.
Rom 2:3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?
John 8:7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
John 8:8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
John 8:9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
John 8:10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
John 8:11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
Gal 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.
Posted by PF, a resident of another community, on Dec 30, 2009 at 10:13 am
WAVA Listener - East Coast
I initially did not care for Paul Shepherd's style of ministry. However, I continued to listen to the message presented. Over time, I began to really appreciate him and his ministry. I regularly taped the messages for my children (28-36) especially my boys.
I have gone through this type of situation with a church I previously attended 20 years ago and I feel the same way today as I did then: disappointment, disgust and anger for what it did and does to the body of Christ and especially to the testimony before unbelievers. The pastor of the church died a broken man --BUT--he ended well. Paul Shepherd may the same be said for you. I know I will forgive you, I have to, but at the moment I am very disappointed, disgusted and yes, ANGRY!
Posted by JB, a resident of another community, on Dec 30, 2009 at 11:33 am
So called man made churches rise and fall because folks are so enamored with the 'pastor' Get real and keep your eye on the Jesus Christ Mission. I heard about this church several years ago and my initial reaction was 'there they go again'. Obviously I am a catholic and see things differently. May God continue to bless and sustain everyone in this situation. Paul Shepherd walks the earth like every other man. Enough already.
Posted by saddened, a resident of another community, on Dec 30, 2009 at 12:31 pm
I have been praying for Pastor Paul and his family, the memebers of ALCF, and all involved in any way, ever since I heard the news last week. I know that many others are doing the same thing because I notice that the comments have changed to some degree since last week. Prayer works! Keep at it saints!
Lord God Almighty, we thank You for Your sovereingty. We that You that you are in control of EVERYTHING, and that there is nothing that escapes Your attention. I stand with the Body of Christ, and in agreement with them and Your Word, and declare that no weapon formed against the Body shall prosper, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. We pray that You will move in a mighty and powerful way as a result of the things have happened and all that has been said. Father, use the things that have been meant for evil, and to tear down, to save many alive. Use every destructive scheme to deliver a blow to the kingdom of darkness. Bring unity, love, and revelation knowledge through Your Word. For it is TRUTH and it is LIFE! I pray that the Word of God that goes forth on this thread will be used to discern the thoughts and intents of EVERY heart (those believing and unbelieving). Use this, Father, ALL of it, to bring glory and honor to YOUR NAME. And may none of Your children forget that we do NOT wage war as the world does, but that the weapons of our warfare are NOT carnal, but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds. We pull down the strongholds of bitterness, unforgiveness, hatred, and pride (along with every erroneous mindset)and overcome with the blood of the Lamb, the word of our testimony, and Your everlasting LOVE. May we find shelter, protection and peace under Your shadow, Almighty God. We love You Lord. Hear us, O God! Heal and deliver, O God. In the Matchless Name of Jesus Christ, AMEN.
Posted by LOVING JESUS, a resident of another community, on Dec 30, 2009 at 12:46 pm
I am a listener of Pastor Paul at 9:30am on Enduring Truth. I love Jesus. I was lost like a lost sheep. I have a Bible and was lost because I did not know the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Through Pastor Paul and Enduring Truth Ministry and my radio etc. God has worked a Miracle in my life.(I want to write a book on it some day it is so awesome) People may think all sorts of things about Pastor Paul and nobody in this world knows more than Pastor Paul how wrong it is to do whatever it is he did. Does it matter to me as a listener and a believer in the Word?? Of course it does!! But one thing I know for sure is that Pastor Paul is a powerful believer in Christ. I know in my heart Pastor Paul is not a hypocrate although people may think he is. The devil is a LIAR!!!Although the devil managed to make an attack on Pastor Paul and attempt to bring him down, I believe with the Power Of GOD working in his life God is preparing something Great! Just like GOD prepared His Son Jesus to come into this world for all of us sinners that we may know God and live and strive to be perfect.Everyday is a new day. We do not live in the past.Pastor Paul being the man of God he is knows the power of repentance. I pray for everyone his wife and children as well as everyone who is hurt by this that we will always remember to put God first and God's Kingdom before any hate,or anger that comes against you. Jesus taught us He wants Mercy!! Mercy brings the Power of God stronger in our lives so lets get it!!!! HALLELUJAH IN JESUS NAME!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by Cindy, a resident of another community, on Dec 30, 2009 at 12:50 pm
My heart goes out to the Sheppard family at this turbulent time. To his wife and children many blessings for the Lord himself is the lifter of our heads. I am a longtime Philadelphia listener and went to see Paul when he preached at his daddy's church and thoroughly enjoyed his teaching and never found anything against scripture touted. So I pray for him as God will restore (always) his repentant children. With tears.................
Posted by Erin, a resident of another community, on Dec 30, 2009 at 1:14 pm
"The Horrible Thing in God's House: Adultery, Fornication and Divorce," from David Wilkerson's book "Set the Trumpet to thy Mouth."
He writes, "Oh man of God--tremble at this curse God prepared for priests and ministers who refused to forsake their immorality. The Lord will cut off the man that doeth this, the master and the scholar, out of the tabernacles of Jacob, (Malachi 2:12). Not only will God cut off the anointing, unction, and blessings: He will humiliate the offender, destroy his credibility, and cast his ministry aside. God has reserved the most fearful prophecies for ministers who live and preach in sin."
Posted by Malcolm, a resident of the Waverly Park neighborhood, on Dec 30, 2009 at 1:16 pm
I heard a rumor this was not Pastor Paul first moral failure and that they allowed him the dignity of resigning as opposed to calling him before the congregation publicly. I pray this is rumor only.
I acknowledge that moral failures of any variety are between a person and God...but with SO MANY followers listening and following his teachings I find it hard to believe he'd just skulk off into the night with hardly a farewell to those that he's led for years. Has anyone checked the money? Did he skulk off with that too? golly
I'm angry with the manner of the Pastor's exit. The members of his congregation deserve better.
Posted by Ron Cook, a resident of another community, on Dec 30, 2009 at 1:28 pm
Hey people of God let's lift up Pastor Paul and his family up in prayer,our bible teaches us that we should love one another with that God type of love,Pastor Paul deserves that love, yes he made a mistake and yes he is still a mighty man of GOD,one who has help countless thousands of people have a closer walk with GOD with his teaching ministry.. I thank GOD for my Pastor, Horacio Jones at Family Bible Fellowship in Newark,Ca.,he got up on sunday morning and had the whole church pray for Pastor Paul and his wife as well as the whole Abundant Life Family,we prayed that Pastor Paul would
repentto GOD and that his circumstances and situations with his wife be restored..(we don't know what they are and i personally don't want to know) We prayed also that this Soldier FOR CHRIST voice not be silent, at the GOD appointed time,that GOD would use him in a greater way and that he would preach the word with even more Passion and POWER than before.
Pastor Paul and Family and the Abundant Life Church we at Family Bible Fellowship, we LOVE YOU and will not cease from praying until GOD says so,we encourage you to hold fast to the confession of your faith,knowing that the one is ,who was and is to come is on your side!
Posted by ts, a resident of another community, on Dec 30, 2009 at 2:17 pm
Dear Malcolm: If you have to explain that this is a rumor (in other words, you don't have even the slightest idea if there is even the least shread of truth to it), and if you are really magnaminously "praying that this is rumor only", then why are you spreading this unsubstantiated rumor? What business is that of yours to do?
Why do you try to bring "money" into that as well--no allegations of wrongdoing have been made there either. Once again, YOU are starting and spreading gossip. We don't know what the pastor's precise shortcomings are, but you are certainly insisting on making yours as apparent as you can!
Next time you're praying for PS (as you claim you're doing), consult your Bible. Check out Romans 1:28-32. It discusses sins of sexual depravity right along with gossip. They are equally severe! Get it?
I am not in the business of defending PS. But let us all refrain from gossiping, embellishing, trash talking and all that stuff. Sure you may be mad at PS, but tantallizing people's imagination with totally foundationless gossip? That harms a lot of people who deserve better. Think about it, all ye gossip mongers out there!
Posted by ALCF Attendee, a resident of another community, on Dec 30, 2009 at 2:52 pm
The preacher and moral failures
By Joe Bob Mizzell - Aug 28, 2007 - 17
Let’s face it, the minister of a Baptist church can be forgiven of almost anything, if he repents and changes his ways, except sexual sins. If a minister gets involved in a sexual sin (adultery, child molestation, homosexuality), he might as well resign and look for a new occupation. Well, maybe not every time, but almost every time. Even if he stays in the ministry, he usually has to move to an office other than senior pastor. Once a diamond is chipped, it may be reground, but it will never be as large as before.
Many are aware of the past history of outstanding preachers who have fallen to the sin of David. The movie about Elmer Gantry, the fictional preacher who fell to moral sin, made many people aware that preachers are human. In more recent times, the moral failure of Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, Ted Haggard, and in our state the failure of a large church pastor and successful evangelist, has created news events that reflect poorly on all ministers. Even sadder is the fact that there are hundreds of ministers who fail morally that we never hear about.
In a recent conversation with Dr. H.B. London of Focus on the Family, he told me of serving on the restoration committee of Ted Haggard and then he said, “When you hear the names of these great preachers who failed, you never think of their accomplishment because it is always overshadowed by their moral failure.”
What is wrong? Why are so many preachers failing morally? Can we trust any minister? What can the church do to make sure they do not call an immoral minister? Is there anything the church, association or state convention can do to keep ministers from failing morally? There are a lot of questions, but there are also some answers.
First, not all ministers are anywhere close to moral failure. Most pastors and staff serve all their lives and never do anything questionable related to moral conduct. The number of ministers who commit adultery is much, much lower than that of the average male population. Today we are made aware of the sexual sins of ministers more so than in past years. The failure of a well-known evangelist was on the first page of the Birmingham News, on the “Rick and Bubba Show” and even on Paul Fienbaum’s sports talk radio show.
The church can do a much better job making sure they do not call an immoral minister. Churches must check out the minister before extending a call. They should run references, talk to directors of missions, check with former church members, and question other ministers who know the prospect. Don’t hesitate to ask any question about the prospective minister. Listen carefully to what the reference may tell you.
The church can do some things in a preventive way to help their pastor when temptation comes. They can give him time off for family. The deacons or others can warn him if they see signs of over-involvement with a particular woman.
The minister is the one who can do the most to avoid sexual failure. He can guard his thoughts. Ultimately, the battle for sexual purity is won or lost in the mind. Those things that could erode your thought life should be avoided. He should make sure that his best time goes to his wife and family. Only great husbands and great fathers can be great pastors. He should resolve never to be alone personally or to be involved emotionally with a woman who is not his wife, sister, mother or grandmother, or at least old enough to be his grandmother.
The minister will do well to remember the cost of sexual sin. A big house may be attractive, but the payments are huge. He should recognize his vulnerability. No one is above sexual temptation. No pastor should destroy his call to the ministry for a moment of pleasure. An effective minister must be a holy minister.
The morally failing minister is usually a loner. He may be in his late 30s in a highly successful church, receiving a huge salary with praise coming from all directions. He may rationalize that he is so capable that God will overlook his moral sins and that he deserves a second or third woman, but he is usually a loner. He may be in his 50s with a troubled church and an unhappy family life, but he is usually a loner. We all need accountability!
We need to attend the associational ministers’ conference. We need to have minister friends. We need to have close deacon friends. We need to rely on our director of missions. We need accountability!
The minister should value his family. It is more important than the church, more important than money, and more important than pleasure. Outside God, family is the most important thing in a preacher’s life.
Most importantly, the minister must stick close to God. Pray, read your Bible, love your family, minister to your people and please keep your life clean.
Mizzell is director of Christian Ethics/Chaplaincy Ministries of the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions.
Posted by Malcolm, a resident of the Waverly Park neighborhood, on Dec 30, 2009 at 4:34 pm
TS, I'm not spreading rumors. My right to speak on it is bred from my family's many years at ALCF, as well as my Mother and Sister and their families as well. We left when services became so big we never saw the same people twice. There is nothing magnanimous about me. I mention money because as trust goes...once it's gone everything can become suspect. If person tells one lie, where's the difference in two?
I make no bones about my anger and furthermore it's my right as a former attendee that helped fill the coffers of that church over a 5 year period to question where the money goes. Lastly, yes...pray...I do it and perhaps you'll step down from on-high long enough to try it too.
Posted by David L., a resident of another community, on Dec 30, 2009 at 5:28 pm
I've noticed that the voices of outrage on this board have wisely avoided naming some other church leader as a superior example of godliness. They probably don't want their leader scrutinized the way Paul Sheppard has been these past two weeks. No person, whether senior pastor or new believer, lives a sinless life upon becoming a follower of Christ. Who on earth does the complete will of God 100% of the time, with never a covetous or hateful thought, or unforgiving heart? Whose life is a total meditation on God with not a moment's lack of faith?
Sinlessness before God is achieved not through our own will and work, but by the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. God's presence in us does not result in a perfect life, but yields a great harvest that would not have grown otherwise--new attitudes, priorities, decisions, and ultimately good works.
1 John 2:1 (NIV) - "My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One."
Paul Sheppard has admitted guilt and surrendered his pastorship. He is out of the church. I'm not minimizing his sin, just pointing out that the penalty already imposed is enough. The things that some have suggested--public confession of the sordid details, taking Q&A from the membership--are not going to accomplish anything further and would likely be a harmful spectacle.
Posted by Far Away, a resident of another community, on Dec 30, 2009 at 6:12 pm
After reading through all the posts here and checking regularly, one notices a disturbing trend: almost every post is the same, following the following pattern: "Forgive Pastor Paul. Since we're all human and we all sin, we can't judge."
However, the flaw with this reasoning is the following: Pastors, Teachers, and Elders are held to a higher standard. Witness James 3:1 (TNIV):
"1 Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers and sisters, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly."
So although us "regular" folks may sin, when someone who is a teacher does it, it is more serious. Comparing this to you or someone you know's sin is an invalid comparison.
Also, I am highly curious about the extremely abrupt nature of the resignation, in the sense that Pastor Paul did not even appear in person to explain himself. One can only guess that one or more of the following is true: 1) the circumstances were so dire that he was not physically able to attend (i.e. jail?); 2) his level of shame was so high he could not bring himself to appear, or; 3) the offense was so great that he was barred by the board of elders from speaking in person. Whichever case, not a good scenario.
On a sidenote, I also find it amusing that there are those on this board using this as an excuse to promote the superiority of Roman Catholicism, which is, frankly, laughable. The history of Roman Catholicism is bloody and corrupt. If it wasn't for men of God such as Martin Luther during the Protestant Reformation, the Roman church/government would still be engaging in appalling practices such as selling indulgences, and charging thousands of dollars to purchase dead relatives out of hell. The worship of one man as "infallible" (the pope), the worshiping of Mary and the saints, have no place in the Bible or actual Christianity. Salvation is by grace alone through faith, not through the pope, any human intermediary, or rote rituals.
Posted by Tee, a resident of another community, on Dec 30, 2009 at 6:40 pm
Pastor Paul's a human being who sinned and fell short of glory just like each and everyone of us does on a daily basis. God can and will restore him to do even greater things. May God bless him and his family. I miss waking up to his sermons every morning at six to start my day. If the Lord can forgive him so can I. Who are we to judge? I love, respect, and support Pastor Paul and cannot wait for your return to whatevery God has called you to.
Posted by brown, a resident of another community, on Dec 30, 2009 at 7:01 pm
It does matter what we read, watch, and listen to. I thought some of Pastor Paul Sheppard's teachings were sound but I did feel uneasy about his references to secular artists and entertainment.
I remember hearing something about "if you are not the Beyonce type, then work what you have". I got his point but who wants to hear this coming from a Pastor?
Maybe overexposure to secular entertainment and music caused him to drift. That can happen. It's hard to stay spiritual and listen to some of today's entertainment. You can't feed on this stuff all day every day without wanting to be a part of that world. Some things should just be avoided to keep our minds sober and alert.
Some call this "legalistic" but I say do what you need to do to stay strong in your walk with Christ.
Pastors should address this; in a balanced way of course. It's hard being a Christian out here in this world and we need help!
Posted by ALCF member, a resident of another community, on Dec 30, 2009 at 7:03 pm
Like Far Away, I too am curious about the abruptness of the departure. All the reasons listed seem rational and possible. It may go down in history as a great mystery, but I'm choosing to believe that things done inthe dark eventually do come to light. If knowing the dirty details somehow serves God's purpose...perhaps eventually they'll be known.
Some people are grieving and dealing with the sudden loss of something comforting and familiar. Instead of accusing people of sowing discord, perhaps we're better served, as true Christians in today's world, praying that the season of anger and grief ends quickly for the angry people and and we all find healing and stay focused on Him.
TS and Malcolm, since we can only speculate on what the moral failure was, no one can say if the failing was sexual or monetary or anything else. Let's not judge Pastor Paul and let's not judge each other.
Posted by David L., a resident of another community, on Dec 30, 2009 at 7:04 pm
I hear you and agree that leaders are indeed called to a higher standard, which the verses you quote illustrate well. It's also true that all followers of Christ have the implicit responsibility not to cause another brother / sister to stumble by a poor example. Nonetheless, official church leaders are in a special category.
Honestly though, I don't see many people here blowing off the seriousness of the situation. With the exception of a few who would like Mr. Sheppard to immediately return to the pulpit, most realize that his stepping down is the appropriate thing. It would be a totally different situation if he were seeking to remain in office, and using the members love for him as license to escape consequences. But that isn't the case; the man has left his position.
Finally, similar-sounding posts are to be expected. ALCF has just lost its pastor, and these are more expressions of sorrow, of people going through the grieving process, than anything else. The church needs to heal, and healing requires forgiving.
Posted by Beth, a resident of another community, on Dec 30, 2009 at 8:31 pm
WOW!! look at all these lost sheep!!See this is one reason why Pastor Paul needs to stay strong in Christ. When Pastor Paul or any preacher is speaking remember people their are a lot of secular people listening. I understand people sometimes get caught up on themselves and want to call pastors out on every little flaw they seem to have.(Example Pastor Paul talking about secular artists) I believe I am a Christian and the most important duty as a Christian is to follow and do what Jesus Christ says to do. Many people appear to not share the same idea as I do. I thought a CHRISTian follows Christ Jesus. Jesus says have Mercy. If you choose not to, no one will force you. Pastor Paul I do not think will be a better man if the whole world is for him or against him.God only makes him the good he is!! Whatever happened with Pastor Paul is between him and God. We I believe need to stay strong in our walk with Christ for our own sake. Just as I believe his family needs to do the same. There is a ton of lost sheep out there that do not have a clue about God's forgiveness and for this I believe Pastor Paul is ahead of the game. People that do not know Christ do not know God and they need to get on board and read the Bible Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Stop looking at Pastor Paul and take a look at yourself. People that know Jesus Christ know that God is a Forgiving God. God also expects us to be righteous and on this part I believe is why Pastor Paul resigned. Whatever he did needs repentance and this is why he needs time to let God heal him from this serious matter. In case anyone forgets we all need to repent. Please people if you want to know God know the Son first and focus on what he says ONLY when it comes to living your life and loving your friends and family and you will learn also to love your enemies too!
Posted by ALCF Attendee, a resident of another community, on Dec 30, 2009 at 9:55 pm
I came to ALCF from a local neighborhood church run by a close friend and neighbor of Paul Sheppard; One of those no growth churches that Paul Sheppard joked about all the time; Run by one of those preachers Paul Sheppard had/has weekly lunches with. That pastor’s wife is a close friend of Meredith Sheppard.
I invested my time, talent and treasure into this other church. That other pastor was not and is not living right. I was about brain washed. A member of that other church informed me of all the behind the scenes dirt: Pastor stealing money, pastor having multiple affairs, pastor was/is an alcoholic/drug user, etc. This other church was on a roll. Each Sunday the pews were packed. Money was coming in like honey being dumped from the heavens. As rumors began to spread around the church, so did a corresponding drop in membership. One month ago, I counted twelve people in this other church. It only takes one heathen sinner to empty out a church of members. The difference in the other church and ALCF: That other pastor OWNS that other church. There is no one to make him resign. He is left there to continue to lie to and control a vulnerable congregation.
Pastor Paul is a gifted orator, teacher, comedian, etc. He is just like his father, the late Horace Sheppard Sr. But, like all mortals, he came up short. A preacher, especially a national preacher running a mega church, must be living right, must walk by faith, must be beyond reproach. Such a preacher’s holy and sinful acts are seen and heard by countless thousands of people. Rumors, gossip and other information spreads like a Southern California forest fire in August. Somebody sees everything we do: Our friends, our children, our wives and their friends, church members, and especially God.
The old statement “The taller they are, the harder they fall” still rings out true. Paul Sheppard was not living the Christian life he espoused in his weekly sermons. He fell from grace. He confessed his sins to his wife, to his senior associate pastors and to God. We all forgive him and pray for him. He will never be the same.
I have never officially joined ALCF. I came to ALCF as a refugee from that other church, like many others have. I was looking for that Christian Utopia I kept imagining in my dreams and visions. I was mesmerized by the former Senior Teaching Pastor of ALCF. I have come to look at ALL preachers as human and flawed and capable of great Christian stewardship and dismal failure and downfall, just like I see myself.
I was advised by a little old wise man who lives not far from ALCF. He said, “Read your Bible. Study your Bible. Live what you read in your Bible. Put your faith in God and not in a man.”
Posted by ALCF Member-EPA, a resident of another community, on Dec 30, 2009 at 10:07 pm
Faraway, the flaw in YOUR reasoning and understanding is that you feel the scriptures you've quoted give you, me and whoever the right to judge others according to our particular standard of righteousness. There's a name for that. It's called "self-righteousness". The scriptures you've quoted only come clear in light of the plethora of scripture and Mt. 7 in particular. God & God alone is the only true judge &, Praise be to God, his standard is Jesus and not you, me or whoever!
Posted by radio listener, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Dec 31, 2009 at 12:43 am
I think he should have faced his congregation instead of sending a letter. It's so easy to tell people what to do but when its your turn to practice what you preached for 20yrs your run and hide. how long was this going on for? It did not happen overnight. I am sure there were people around him who knew? Why was not there a circle of accountability? how can we help our leader better?
Posted by upsidedown, a resident of another community, on Dec 31, 2009 at 2:38 am
I drove from Sacramento, CA, and took my date to church and then dinner. It was our first date, and she had been mistreated by church leaders in the past. I talked-up ALCF, and she was eager to visit.
After the Christmas Choir sang, the bomb was dropped, and all I heard, as the resignation letter was being read, were gasps of frustration, hurt and disappointment.
The letter was vague, and I learned there was a revision that was read the following day [Sunday] which included a timespan in which the failure occured.
As a man under Pastor Paul preaching [holiness] I was disappointed and almost dupped, because he still preached on the platform after this so called failure happened. I'm even more disgusted with how preachers nowadays are running churches like businesses.
So, it's almost like he preached under compulsion during this "moral failure" period, as one would show up to work every day so they can get paid. I say that because he said in one of his sermons, he was the CEO of that corporation.
So, like others who question the authenticity of the preaching, as opossed to the benefit from the proceeds of the Pastor Paul brand of preaching. We pick our media, our apparrel, our favorite car manufactuers, and our preachers too. Lord help us, and the preachers that sucumb to the pressure of American Capitalism.
And I pray for you Pastor Paul and the wife you betrayed, in whatever way she was betrayed, because your description was extremely vague, almost like a mind game.
Posted by SaRaia, a resident of another community, on Dec 31, 2009 at 6:54 am
First, my heartfelt prayers and love to Pastor Paul Sheppard and his wife and family and congregation. The Spirit of the Lord will always prevail, no matter what.
To 'Happy Mom':
I am a Christian and I am so glad that I raised my children as Chistians; a very beautiful Daughter and a very handsome Son who love the Lord Jesus with all of their heart and soul and they live honourable lives.
They TOO, are quite sucessful and rightfully and honestly so. They have followed the path of Destiny that the Lord prepared for them, long before they were born.
Instead of thanking yourself, thank God that in spite of your atheism, He still saw fit to bless you and your children in HIS earth and with HIS resources, not yours, not theirs, but HIS. To God be the glory forever and ever.
Don't be a fool, for it is the love of God which has sustained you and your children and not by any works of which you can boast. No matter what you choose to believe or not, where it not for God, there would be no you.
Posted by M Hall, a resident of another community, on Dec 31, 2009 at 7:34 am
My prayers go out to Pastor Sheppard, who has indeed been a vessel leading and discipling others. Satan takes joy in bringing confusion and deption to families however, I know that God will restore what the locusts have destroyed. I pray for healing for the marriage as well as for the church body and I look forward to hearing Pastor Sheppard again more powerful than before.
Posted by Joy, a resident of another community, on Dec 31, 2009 at 7:45 am
I too have loved listening to Pastor Sheppard for three years. Since I don't own a television, I could not wait to listen to him at 9:00 pm on WFIL. Boy was I devastated! I mean literally furious. Although I know he's just a man, I was still hurt.
I'm sick of it! I'm sick of the reports of yet another man of God having an affair or "moral failure". No one is perfect and I understand that, but when someone's sermons bless you like that of Pastor Sheppard, it's just a hard pill to swallow.
I think the problem is we are treating our leaders as if they are celeb's and we put them on pedastals that they were never meant to be on. I believe that our churches were never meant to grow as largely as they have and when they do get big they need to be broken down. Our pastors are also making way toooooo much money. I'm not saying that just b/c I'm poor; LOL! I'm saying that when a pastors life begins to reflect the lifestyles of the rich and famous there's a huge problem.
Lastly I agree with one of the previous statements. Yes we are to always forgive and restore a fallen brother or sister in the spirit of meekness, but just remember that we are to hold each other accountable and not ignore sin b/c of a persons high position. Cause you all know we are the first ones out there protesting gay marriage and abortion; but what about the person who is going church every sunday but is fornicating mon-fri? What about the man or woman committing adultery and sitting in the pew next to you? And I'm not talking about those who seriously struggling, I'm talking about those who are mocking God and think that they will continue to get away with their sin. B/c just like the lesbian, homosexual and murderer (abortionist) if they don't repent they will ALL be cast into the lake of fire according to the book of Revelation!
Posted by Nicole, a resident of another community, on Dec 31, 2009 at 10:06 am
First-my thoughts & prayers go out to Pastor Paul & family. GOD have your backs.
2nd- to all of those who feel that Pastor should have come out with it face to face with the congregation - WHY? So people can really cast judgment & try to tear him down INSTEAD of trying to build him back up?? Absolutely NOT. Everyone's doing that now & don't even know which of the many moral sins he's speaking of. Imagine if people knew EXACTLY what happen?? WE, US, THE CONGREGATION of ALCF... aka (The Don't Knows That Want To Know ALL of everyones personal buisness ) know all that was needed to know by Pastor.
No one person, man or woman was born w/o sin. No one person on this earth is perfect. But us being Christians, Christ like - have The Perfect One, JESUS & as long as we've got KING JESUS we don't need nobody else...TRUTHFULLY.
ALCF & the world need hear from you again. I personally feel that the churches need someone whose going to preach the truth & from the BIBLE with love instead of condemnation.
Pastor Paul & Family - Be Encouraged & Stay Prayerful!!
Posted by Will help you if you let it, a resident of another community, on Dec 31, 2009 at 10:33 am
MOST WIVES ARE USUALLY FIERCELY LOYAL AND WILL LOVE THEIR HUSBANDS THROUGH THICK AND THIN. When your world falls apart and everyone else walks out or runs for cover YOUR WIFE is the one standing by your side encouraging you and telling you WE WILL GET THROUGH THIS no matter what “this” may be. My prayer for Pastor Paul and men who think like him is please remember YOUR WIFE IS YOUR BEST FRIEND.
I HEARD and LISTENED to Pastor Paul’s sermons and often prayed silently for him PARTICULARLY ABOUT THE DOUBLE-ENTENDRE “WOMEN CHANGE”. Well, yes of course women change. HOW CAN THEY NOT CHANGE WHEN
1. Dealing with regular fluctuation of hormones,
2. Carrying life in her womb,
3. Birthing and/or adopting
And then her real work begins? She has
1. A husband to satisfy,
2. Children to look after,
3. A home to keep in order and
4. Many married American women work outside of the home too.
IF SHE FUSSES OR COMPLAINS SOMETIMES BUILD A BRIDGE AND GET OVER IT! THERE ARE ONLY 24 HOURS IN EACH DAY AND GOD HELP HER IF SHE NEEDS REGULAR SLEEP OR PERSONAL TIME OUT FOR HERSELF.
Married men who feel they are not getting enough attention from their wives here is A REAL SIMPLE SOLUTION:
1. Get her a nanny,
5. Personal stylist,
6. Fitness trainer,
7. Hair dresser and
8. Makeup artist for starters.
THEN SHE CAN BE ALL YOU WANT HER TO BE, since the Godly wife ALREADY HAS YOUR BEST INTEREST ABOVE ALL OTHERS SECOND TO CHRIST and EVERYBODY WILL BE HAPPIER.
For those unhappy husbands who are unable to provide his wife with those things, I suspect there are many, the following may come as a shocker “BUT IT WILL HELP YOU IF YOU LET IT”. Guard your mind to the ways of the world. YOU HAVE TO GIVE A LITTLE! FOR THE CLUELESS MAN WHO MAY BE ASKING GIVE A LITTLE WHAT? THIS MEANS to GIVE YOUR WIFE A LITTLE MORE UNDERSTANDING, PATIENCE AND A HELPING HAND HERE OR THERE [ALTHOUGH YOU MAY FEEL IT IS NOT YOUR “JOB” in the marriage].
Husbands who married silly or superficial women only God can help you, for all other husbands; the little and simple things you do are a TREMENDOUS TURN ON FOR YOUR WIFE. Even if it doesn’t make sense to you, TRY IT FOR A SEASON AND SEE WHAT HAPPENS e.g. VROOM! THERE IS NOTHING MORE HURTFUL TO A FAITHFUL WIFE ESPECIALLY THE WIFE WHO SELFLESSLY GIVES THAN TO FEEL HER HUSBAND IS NO LONGER ATTRACTED TO HER.
Marriage is not a sin or being single if you can control yourself 1 Corinthians 6 & 7.
Posted by My burden is easy, a resident of another community, on Dec 31, 2009 at 10:39 am
SOME PEOPLE SAY THEY DO NOT WANT OR NEED “SOME BOOK” [THE HOLY BIBLE] TO TELL THEM HOW TO THINK AND LIVE. YET THE WORLD CANNOT SEE [BLINDED] that they are perpetually conditioned around the clock on how to think. The constant subjection to powerful, subliminal messages promoting epicurean, hedonistic ways as the only acceptable means of living a fulfilling life has permeated every area of modern society and it is scary ridiculous.
THERE IS NO PLACE IN THE HOLY BIBLE, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, THAT TELLS YOU TO cover up your gray, inject Botox to freeze those forehead wrinkles away, use terribly expensive creams and potions that only benefit the seller and not the buyer, get collagen injections, breast implants, liposuction, a tan, live in particular homes in certain zip codes, drive certain types of cars, attend the “best schools”, have a big bank account, portfolio, huge salary, prestigious job title and the list goes on forever. THE UNDERLYING MESSAGE OF THE WORLD IS YOU ARE WORTHLESS BUT THEY CAN FIX YOU. That is THE BIGGEST LIE EVER TOLD TO HUMANITY!
JESUS simply said: “COME” regardless to who or where you are, what you wear, look like, drive, live in, do for a living, earn or level of education. HE DOES NOT CARE ABOUT ANY OF THE THINGS OF THE WORLD. HE CARES DEEPLY FOR OUR HEARTS AND MINDS. HE KNOWS that ONCE IN HIM WE REMAIN CONSTANT WORKS OF PROGRESS UNTIL either we leave this world or HE returns.
SO WHICH LOVE WOULD YOU RATHER HAVE, ONE THAT IS UNCONDITIONAL FROM THE MOST POWERFUL FORCE IN EXISTENCE OR ONE WITH A TON OF CONDITIONS AND NO GUARANTEES? Believe it or not the choice was that easy for me.
Posted by Catholic, a resident of another community, on Dec 31, 2009 at 10:53 am
There are sinners in every Church and the Catholic church has never failed on faith or morals. Sinners (including popes) have done bad things. Wouldn't the devil attack the one true church?
The fact is that there is no other Church in the world other than the Catholic church that stands up to the world as it does. The Catholic church is the one out on the forefront of the abortion fight, the one attempting to lead the world back to a straight path, the one saying what ills contraception has done to society, the one that gave the world the bible and has vowed to protect it. Of course to see that some got their way, they removed 7 books from the bible (ignoring what scripture says about that, example: Revelation 22:18-19). The church was handed the keys to Peter and has succeeded in leading billions to Christ for over 200 years.
Mary is the ark of the new covenant. Read scripture and you'll see it. Who wouldn't honor (not worship) the one that carried our beloved Jesus for 9 months? Without her, where would salvation lie? God didn't rent out a surrogate mother for 9 months! The rosary focuses us on Jesus's life. There is mass (church service) EVERY hour of the day around the world in the Catholic church. One can go to any Catholic church and follow the same daily readings, the same type of service,etc. Not what that particular pastor feels like. How can one say that about a protestant church that is only open on some evenings and weekends? True worship is in the Eucharist and last supper. Read John 6 literally (yes, we Catholics do read the bible literally). True worship is not singing to a band before a lively sermon.
I'm not trying to take away from any of the wonderful things that so many do for Christ. It's just that there's a fullness of truth, steeped in 2000 years of history waiting for all of us. Watch the video and tell us how you can deny any of it?
Posted by Doleman, a resident of another community, on Dec 31, 2009 at 11:41 am
I absolutely love hearing Pastor Paul's deliverance of God's word. If gold rust, what then will iron do? He made a mistake, as we all do. But God's grace covers all. I am surprised that he would be involved in this situation but it can't stop him from doing the work that God called him to do. He is annointed to preach the Word and I pray that satan won't be able to steal him from all the people in this world who need to hear him. He will be back-you can believe that. I pray that his family and his wife will be able to forgive him. We can't forget how much God has forgiven us for-things that we are aware of and those that we aren't.
Posted by Peninsula Dweller, a resident of another community, on Dec 31, 2009 at 11:49 am
To say 'don't judge' is to render oneself useless and a fool. Life necessitates that we make judgement calls.
Matt 7 and previous two chapters is Jesus addressing the issue of judging WITH the wrong motives, wicked intent, corrupt heart.
The Christian is called to make judgements with a good heart according to the Bible.
Consider the verse...
2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
To reproof and correct requires one to make judgement calls.
Far Away is correctly stating the biblical framework of a leader. There's no denying that.
We know that when you called of God to lead, God Himself will keep you, as Far Away stated earlier, because THE TESTIMONY OF CHRIST is at stake here.
Remember - "Many are called but few are chosen." Jesus called 12 disciples only 11 made it to the end. Why? Cos Jesus only chose 11 and the one He didn't pray for in his High Priestly prayer (John 17) was the one that failed. My point - If you're God's He'll keep you. That's just the bible. I reiterate - It's Christ testimony at stake here. Not mine, not yours, not Mr Sheppards. Am I saying Mr Sheppard wasn't chosen? I'm saying Mr Sheppard didn't meet the standards of Scripture regarding 'leaders and teachers' and the 'moral failure' was a sign for those who refuse to see the 'other signs'.
So what am I saying? When a 'leader' has fallen, those under him have the right to ask 'Wat went wong?'. We know if the 'head' is bad then everything under it must be up for inspection. 'Judging' by the mixed emotions on this board, most have chosen to cover it with a band aid - to do that would allow unrighteousness to flourish and fester in the church - while others demand an explanation. This is just different reactions to the 'inspection' side of things. Christians are demanded to be wise and prudent.
If we are professing Christians, we refer to the Bible on how it instructs us in dealing with such matters. It is correct to pray for Mr Sheppard and his family and for everyone involved. But when God Himself allows one to fall (Yes God is responsible for this! - the devil has no power to do anything without God's permission!) it's for those looking on to pause and consider what is God teaching us. Nothing is new under the sun.
In essence the issue really is, am I really convinced that the Bible is the truth or am I happier 'playing church'.
Posted by Gary, a resident of another community, on Dec 31, 2009 at 1:19 pm
I have been listening to Pastor Paul on the radio for about the last six months and found him to be very inspiring in his teaching ministry. I am sorry to hear about his failure but all have fallen and come short of the glory of God. I pray for Pastor Paul family and his church.
Posted by Who's Head of the Church?, a resident of another community, on Dec 31, 2009 at 1:43 pm
CHRIST IS THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH. Church is made up of many congregations worldwide. Congregations have leaders; titles vary according to denominations [The meaning of denominations is far above my understanding]. Pastor [title] Paul was a leader of a congregation, he led and then stepped down. CHRIST IS STILL THE HEAD OF THE CHURCH. Life is all about choices from Adam and Eve to present day, so choose wisely. When people go astray people are responsible but God is good. My understanding is all are God's creation but the term children are those in Christ.
1 John 2: 1 - 2 "My dear children I am writing this to you so that you will not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate who pleads our case before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who is truly righteous. He himself is the sacrifice that atones for our sins - and not only our sins but the sins of all the world". Thank you LORD, Most High with Power that is 2nd to no person or thing.
Posted by St. Peter's Friend, a resident of another community, on Dec 31, 2009 at 2:16 pm
I do hope that all of you who were so committed to a reqular listening routine with Pastor Paul will not abandon your desire to grow in Christ and learn of Him. Therefore,make a new resolution to spend that same time in the study of God's WORD and continue to get to know Him.
Read Phil 3: 10 The goal of every christian should be to KNOW HIM!
As Sojourner Truth said, "IS GOD DEAD?
Remember that knowing Christ sometimes requires suffering
Love you all, I have been impressed by the number of people who are hungry for God, don't stop the hunger it has a blessing to be filled.
Posted by Visitor, a resident of another community, on Dec 31, 2009 at 3:29 pm
Christ is indeed the head of the church. But then why do all the churches teach and believe different things? Wouldn't he leave someone/some organization to ensure it doesn't go astray? The question here is about truth. Christ didn't leave 40,000 denominations which all disagree on how to interpret the bible. The bible was compiled by a universal (Catholic) church. It's like an instruction manual. If you design a product and someone else comes along later telling you that you didn't know what you were doing when you wrote the manual, then what is correct in the world? You don't come along many years later and tell the original authors that they didn't know what they were doing.
Posted by Way over my head, a resident of another community, on Dec 31, 2009 at 4:31 pm
Jesus help! As far as I know most Christian congregations teach about Christ. Pastors speak many times about essential and non essential doctrines. If a Doctor of Theology doesn't know then the average follower of Christ probably has the slightest idea.
Personally, I simply trust in God and believe in Jesus by faith according to His Word in the Holy Bible. No one alive today was here 2000 years ago except for Jesus who was even before the world began and He knows all things for sure.
It's probably best to direct these questions to Him in prayer. Whatever He reveals to you I'm sure inquiring minds want to know. He may answer some of your questions while keeping other answers a mystery. Either way I keep the faith and do not doubt.
"Jesus Christ is [not was] the same yesterday, today and forever". Hebrews 13:8
Posted by ALCF Member-EPA, a resident of another community, on Dec 31, 2009 at 4:34 pm
To Peninsula Dweller: I did not say we are not to judge; but rather that our standard of judgement must be The Lord's and not that of our own making. Faraway made judgement calls based on assumptions rather than facts and ran away with it, in The Name of Jesus. I personally have a problem with that. When PP was called to become Sr. Pastor of ALCF, to the best of everyone's knowledge, he met all of the scriptural requirements for leadership and he lead the church well for a number of good & fruitful years. When he had a "moral failure" (whatever that is/was), he wasn't exposed, but rather removed himself from leadership on his own volition (unless you know otherwise & if so, please do tell), which would be what one would expect from one in Christian leadership, but in actuallity is not behavior that is prevalent in the Christian community. This is the information upon which I'm making judgements, rather than searching scriptures for ammuniton to get answers to questions that may or may not be my business to ask or have answered. Even if I have a "right" to ask what went wrong, who really has the information? Nobody but The Lord. Remember, this situation may have blindsided & shocked us, but it was no surprise to God. So, let's say you ask & get your questions answered, then what? If you're mature, you pray to the Lord for discernment. Since God knows what's up, even if you or I don't, can we not pray for discernment as effectively with little info as with much info? Discernment is a gift from God that I expect will play a large role in how ALCF moves forward. That discernment can and, I trust, will be given to everyone; both leadership & lay members, and will help us make sense out of this situation. The Lord is not the author of confusion & I can't think of anything more confusing & less helpful than each of us runnig about using our own personal yardsticks for judging PP and the situation at hand. Rather than looking back in judgement, I'm searching scripture on the circumstances & requirements under which "restoration" can be effected; a matter of which I admit to being woefully ignorant; except to know it doesn't happen overnight or even quickly. I don't even know if PP wants restoration, but if he does, I plan to have remedied my ignorance on this matter and in the meantime, in view of his past record of fruitful & blessed ministry, I wish him and his family nothing but Jesus; i.e, The Ultimate Best of The Very Best, and I leave judgement for PP's sin and it's consequences to the only true judge; God and God alone. I will continue to pray that said judgement & consequences be tempered with God's unfailing Grace & Mercy. That may not work for you, but I simply can't entertain doing anything else. If you have further advice, I'll listen, but it should be appropriate to the reality of the current situation. In other words, I don't need to be reminded of the Biblical requirements for church leaders. PP is no longer leading this local body, so that's not appropriate. What do you know about restoring fallen leaders?
Posted by ts, a resident of another community, on Dec 31, 2009 at 5:24 pm
As a sometime attendee at ALCF, I am grieved to see the difficulties that a wonderful church is going through due to the failings of one man. Such failings should come as no surprise to anyone who is human and who has ever hurt others by their own shortcomings and acts of self-centeredness and disobedience to the Lord that we serve to the best of our abilities (give or take).
I am, however, disturbed by the opportunism of some individuals who find it necessary to promote their own church (thusly implying that they have a better track record). Making the claim to being the one true church with the one true edition of the Bible (incl. some books unused in Protestant faith traditions--for good reasons, although other faith traditions may feel free to disagree) is plain ludicrous.
All throughout history, there has NEVER been a single true Christian church. Even during the times that the catholic church was reigning supreme in matters of the Christian faith, the faith landscape can hardly be described as united. There were always times of competing creeds, sects, factions, popes and emperors. Many councils and other efforts remained inconclusive, and life went on with factions that were catholic (as in "universal") in name only (for the most prominent example, what of the Eastern, or Orthodox, church?). Bolstered by their own sense of importance, these factions were often quick o excommunicate each other, or much worse.
Furthermore, when disussing the subject of "moral failure," I would not want for one minute to be put in the position to defend the conduct of catholic clergy. 2000 years brought a lot of bad stuff.
Yes, the world is a much better for its acceptance of the Christian truth and its values. True humanitarian and cultural accomplishments were made, as a result of the presence of the church in the world (catholic, Eastern, or Protestant alike). But there is also the fact that "God loves humans so much as to entrust us with his reputation." On that account, our humanity has given countless black eyes to the God and Faith that we claim to represent. So whether it's Pastor Paul, some pope, postor, elder, or priest, we all come up short. It's about Christ's perfection and our desperate need for him, as we all fall short and need His forgiveness and grace.
So you may continue the catholic propaganda and post links to some cheesy video all day long. It doesn't change a thing: Every denomination has its shortcomings and downfalls, and includes those people ("all of us") who at times just did not do the true faith much justice in their conduct. The true church of God is not made up of "one true church" represented by a single denomination--it never has been in two millenia! The true church is in the heart of believers, of all truly Bible-based Christians, who are seeking God in their Spirit--Eastern, Catholic or Protestant.
I wouldn't claim that having all of these factions is the greatest aspect of Christianity. But at the same time, we're talking about the pursuit of an infinite God; it's no wonder that our inability to fully comprehend such a being would lead us to disagreements in our finite understanding. So while we may worship where we feel most at home with regards to our different understandings of minute aspects of the whole Truth, we should always respect those whose understanding differs from ours in some aspects. The greatest of all virtues, after all, is Love. Claims to being the only right church are typically the mark of cults, that typically don't operate within the absolute boundaries of the Gospel message anyway.
I am not a member of ALCF, or even all that close to that church, but I believe that for all who love and seek God, this is a time to support that church along with its former Pastor in prayer, and to petition God to turn our mess into His message. There's too much at stake to make this into an opportunity for gossip, finger-pointing or unjustified confidence in our church's or denomination's superiority.
Posted by Visitor, a resident of another community, on Dec 31, 2009 at 5:25 pm
Visitor has prayed to our lord, Jesus, as he does numerous times throughout the day, each day for clarity and truth. He has continued to grace my life in abundance within the church and lead me to the fullness of truth!
For those who sincerely want to enrich your faith, I suggest the following two books. I know many of you are searching for answers right now, but prayerfully consider these reads. Preview the books and their reviews. These stories are not made up. It us up to us as Christians to look for the answers, not accept all that comes to us.
For as in James 2:20 "But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? "
The devil works in many ways, but we have to ask questions in our daily walk. We cannot simply walk in blind faith. Often times, the enemy (devil) gets in the way and leaves us a trail of false prophets and things that appear to be the answer. The Lord does his best to straighten the paths.
2 Timothy 4:1-4 - "1In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths."
Posted by zmt, a resident of another community, on Dec 31, 2009 at 5:33 pm
Come on, Visitor, quit the spamming already! It's getting old! We saw your web link the last six times already--it's still lame! It doesn't become true by repetition anymore than the stories of fortunes waiting for us in Nigeria or the promise of happiness by buying Viagra from Timbuktu without prescription. Just because the spam is sent every half hour, it's still that: an unwanted advertisement for something that wants to boost its questionable value by merciless repetition. Ever heard of Chinese water torture? Well, your readers surely have by now!
How about we return to the subject of this thread for a change?
Posted by Peninsula Dweller, a resident of another community, on Dec 31, 2009 at 7:06 pm
ALCF member - thank you for your comments and your concerns. You are only protecting the church you attend and what you have built a part of your life on and that's understandable.
I too was in your position, as mentioned in an earlier post, am an ex-ALCF member until things didn't 'seem quite right'.
It's hard to see pass the success of numbers, aesthetics and friendliness and count that as fruit. In fact ALCF prides themselves as being a friendly, welcoming and hospitable church and so they should because they are!
However, what good is friendliness etc if it's not built on the truth of the bible as it is in Christ? People from other religions are friendly and welcoming too. In fact some of the kindest people I know are unbelievers.
I left ALCF cos I wanted to learn more about Christ, His Accomplishments, His Work, His Story - not mines, or my neighbors or even the pastors...I wanted to hear about Christ.
So, God has a biblical framework in how He feeds His sheep thru preachers and teachers that God Himself chooses and teaches and keeps them so that they'll be able to teach His Word with integrity.
Rom 10:14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
Rom 10:15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
Joh 6:44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
Joh 6:45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.
As for 'restoring fallen leaders' - I understand that you want to restore your pastor. But the bible and history teaches us, that they will not be restored to the same capacity - not an authentic restoration anyway. David's restoration was never the same.
The question really is, are you satisfied to hear the truth of the bible from another pastor or does it have to be PP?...Do you want to hear Truth in Christ?
By Grace Alone, In Christ Alone, Thru Faith Alone...and Scriptures Alone.
Posted by prisoner of war, a resident of another community, on Dec 31, 2009 at 7:59 pm
I listen to Pastor Sheppard on an Ohio Radio station,I thought his messages were immature and childish and reminded me of a stand-up comedy routine.These are serious times people are hurting,struggling,dying. Preachers like Sheppard,Osteen,and others feed them sweets,and humor from the pulpit.I wonder as I read 1st and 2nd Peter,Ephesians,Galatians,1st and 2nd Thessalonians how many funny stories,jokes,the apostles told their persecuted congregations.Pastoring is serious business Pastors like Paul Sheppard are popular because they are silly and inoffensive. I Thank God for removing Pastor/comedian Paul Sheppard.Who's laughing now
Posted by Glenn, a resident of another community, on Dec 31, 2009 at 9:10 pm
I really wish Pastor Paul and his family God's blessings during this difficult time. I've had the privilege of attending services as well as the wonderful Easter Play at Abundant Life for the last couple of years and I must say that I know God's love runs throughout that church. I love how it brings all ethnicities together for the purpose of praise and worship. I am glad to see that there compassionate people who remarked about this situation with class and forgiveness because that is really what God is all about. I tell you, I have shied away from organized religion for my own personal reasons, but I truly believe it has an important place in the lives of everyone looking for a safe haven with like-minded individuals who require the spiritual bonding of a congregation. Now, I cannot speak for God and I will not try, because he is the Almighty, however I will say this, it really amazes me how some people use religion as a plat-form to spew their bigotry and self-righteous values to tear down anyone who doesn't walk that line that they themselves are supposedly walking. I do believe that we all fall short of the glory and that it is God and only God who knows our true inner soul. Forgiveness is divine says the lord and if he can forgive us for all that we do, then who are we to look our noses down at anyone who has fallen down because of a bad choice made. All I know is that I am not put here to judge anyone; I am here to learn from my mistakes and to continually grow into the person that he wants me to be. God bless you Pastor Paul and may God hold you close to his heart during these trying times.
Posted by Sad but Trusting in God, a resident of another community, on Dec 31, 2009 at 10:53 pm
"prisoner of war" doesn't know what s/he's saying. On the surface, Pastor Paul sounded like a comedian, and sure some part of his sermons have been very humorous illustrations. But upon listening beyond the surface, Pastor Paul has communicated biblical words that honor God, Jesus, and the bible. His sermons have helped me realign my life to do so too. The ministry of ALCF has helped me become a much more regular bible reader. Of course, Pastor Paul's sermons could become too easy for people who only listen to sermons and don't do anything else like pray to God, study His word, serve others, help others, live out a life of faith, etc.
Posted by Sad, a resident of the North Whisman neighborhood, on Dec 31, 2009 at 11:19 pm
and that means all of us-
could get to work with intelligence, love and respect right now.
The debate on who's redeemed vs who's smart and platitudes on forgiveness while ignoring real acts and consequences are a waste of all our time.
Paul Sheppard was and is a charismatic man with great leadership power and many followers and fans. I support him in now teaching a true faith in Christ.
Very Simple. Start with love. Real love. As far as i've seen in this forum, few of us have gotten past the very first lesson.
I was once warmly invited to attend ALCF by a friend with whom I did extensive volunteer work at a local non profit. I responded with enthusiasm and then asked how the ALCF community respects and celebrates its gay families. After that question I was shunned. Not righteously thrown into the 'lake of fire' as several of these posters (joy?) would do; just no answer given...the welcome withdrawn. My coworker continued telling others to have a blessed day while creating a quiet hell for myself and several others.
I don't know what was preached at ALCF because I never went. It is very frightening to live among people who so easily do harm with little understanding of their actions. It makes the world a living hell with harm wrought by many who strangely think they do God's will. One false friend is hard enough to recognize. To go where there might be many more can do irreparable harm especially to our children. I know because I was raised in a 'loving' church like that in Los Altos where priestly crimes were hidden, protected, and forgiven while children; both straight and gay, suffered serious harm. None of the actions of the preachers or their superiors or the women who covered for them truly showed the work of Christ. Many young prophets were left to forge lives on their own and to look for real truths outside of the corrupt religious forum.
One ALCF member stated in this forum that their church avoided discussion about gay marriage because the 'topic' is too divisive. Christ as he/she lives today would not avoid this discussion but would teach love.
If the pain and dismay expressed here is any measure, a more divisive event has occurred and should be faced with respect as an opportunity for us all to grow.
If Paul Sheppard's true nature in God was to live as a gay man would you bless him and love him? Would your forgiveness extend to him now? Would you support him and his wife as they tried to navigate the treacherous waters of almost certain hatred from friends? Would you support him as he allowed his true soul to witness for his community? Would you support he lover who brought him mercy? Or would you shun him? Christ would show them love. And from what I've read in this forum, very few of us have gotten to the spiritual place where we can show love to all.
God's truth is as diverse as the natural universe and never simple. We are fools to think we know it fully or that our fellow humans could transcribe, selectively edit, and translate it over 20 political centuries so we could persecute each other with it or come away with any message but love.
Perhaps Paul Sheppard's new journey as a teacher and prophet is to learn to tackle the big issues; Truth is owed to the thousands of people who count on hearing his voice. Love extends to ALL; to shun or avoid confronting hatred for any reason is a moral failure. Living a lie because it is popular within one's religious community is a moral failure but may be a necessary survival mechanism. Coming from a place of humility, perhaps Paul can help all of us be become better people. If we learn to write and speak from a place of love and take responsibility for our own spiritual paths, perhaps we can help him to become more honest and to strengthen his practice. Do you love him enough to let him?
Posted by Efrem D., a resident of another community, on Jan 1, 2010 at 9:34 am
I want to first thank GOD for bringing PS into my life and I pray for him and his family. I listen to PS every morning, and sometimes listen to his marathon on Sundays, so I noticed that it was re-runs that was being played and was wondering why? And then I found out why! :( When I first got the news of his resignation, I was DISAPPOINTED, SAD, HURT AND CONFUSED! Although totally unexpected, I understand that we are ALL human and are subject to temptation. Unfornately, the enemy caught him slippin! But "ALL things come together for GOOD for those who love the LORD" For me since I have a VERY troubled past, and I know of GOD's GRACE and MERCY, my life has changed! As a result, I have often found strength and hope others stuggles, not so much in the struggle, but more so in the VICTORY! This unfortunate mistake will only make his message that much more STRONGER, thats how GOD works, he can use a BAD situation and turn it around for HIS GLORY!! Thats the POWERFUL GOD that we serve!!! AMEN! I will be here waiting for PS upon his return because although the enemy does not want him to return, GOD IS IN COMPLETE CONTROL and PS has more work to do, more souls to save and GOD is not through with him YET! See w/o no MESS you have NO MESSAGE!(4me!) GODS knows as a result of the dirt of my past, I need to be lead by someone with a lil dirt themsemselves, then I can identify. I see you when you get back PS, if anything I think this has made me more eager to hear your message! Im gettin excited already thinkin of your return. PRAISE GOD!! I love you PS and I am a better person today as a result of your biblical teachings!
"The full fruit of a labor of love lives in the harvest, and that always comes in right season"
Posted by Truth seeker, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Jan 1, 2010 at 10:40 am
Maybe we as Christians need to be less self-righteouss and obey the book we all quote from. Like Gal 6:1 which says "you who are spiritual should restore the one fallen." That means to put back into place. For God sake we say he's just a man but pretend he's a god who IS already perfect. David not only committed adultry but had her husband killed but because he truely repented he REMAINED King. Poor God He didn't have us to tell Him to remove David after all we are "Righteous" secondly after 25 years of doing marriage counseling I can tell you if more women obeyed 1 Cor 7 and had sex with their husbands like they are commanded too we might see less "straying" sexual abandonment is ALSO a violation of your marriage vows. Have we conviently forgotton that OUR bodies don't belong to us if we are married or is that just another accepted sin by self righteouss Christians?
Yes he should stand a strictor judgement but is the responsibility of his board and God. Let all those are without sin throw the first stone. Just some food for thought.
Posted by James L. Swaggart, a resident of the Blossom Valley neighborhood, on Jan 1, 2010 at 10:44 am
Unfortunitely, I believe one of his close ALCF female associates may have recently (less than a year ago) had a child fathered by him. His resignation goes far beyond a simple rumored "affair." People have consentual sex all the time, often with others outside of their marriage. I did some digging. You can do your home work and gather your own conclusions. Preachers also often use metaphores and anecdotes to preach about their own short comings.
Posted by ALCF Attendee, a resident of another community, on Jan 1, 2010 at 11:15 am
Thinking back. I used to drive by the ALCF church, located on Obrien Drive, Menlo Park on Sundays. I noticed the folks going and coming from that building. My first impression was "that must be a cult." It took me about four years to go from curious, to radio listener, to Mountain View Center visitor, to "regular attendee."
Upon further inspection, I have found ALCF to be a God driven, Holy Ghost filled, congregation, formerly lead by a visionary charismatic Bible teacher. Paul Sheppard is no Jim Jones, Creflo Dollar, or the like. He has a distinctive and peculiar style of delivering the word.
I, like many other commentors on this blog, feel that Paul Sheppard should have been more forthright and personal in facing his church members, and he should not have simply had Pastor Wayne read a vague goodby note as part of an obviously pre-planned disappearing act. This seems like true ARROGANCE at its worst.
I recently heard a co-worker talk about spokes, hubs and wheels. A spoke is one of many components on a wheel(think bicycle). The hub is that center piece that holds the spokes together(think God and his chosen messenger who connects you with God's word). The wheel is that component that hits the road ( it has no ends, think church body). A wheel looked upon in the context of an (Christian) army fighting a war is no stronger or weaker than the sum total strength of the soldiers (ALCF members) or spokes that make up the army.
Posted by tgm, a resident of another community, on Jan 1, 2010 at 1:05 pm
James Swaggart: Your pen name is well chosen, bud! (If you don't recall Swaggart was the TV preacher who fingered Jim Bakker, only to be found out to be just as immoral and dishonest. That phony was just trying to make himself look better at someone else's expense. Could that be the case here too?)
You come here under the protection of a pen name, make serious allegations, make nebulous claims of having dug into this, and offer absolutely no proof. You don't have jack. Just a nasty rumor you started yourself! How dare you publicly talk about another man's life so recklessly. Would you like to be judged this way--with big claims and no proof? Would you like me to call you a coward, liar and a gossip. At least I would have proof; you gave it yourself right here!
If you feel so poorly about yourself that you have to do this, go get help! I am sure that the ALCF counseling ministry would be happy to help you and show you some kindness and respect that you are obviously incapable of.
Posted by loving Jesus, a resident of another community, on Jan 1, 2010 at 2:35 pm
After reading alot of these posts, it is apparent that for many reasons people are feeling lost and empty because of this situation we are all in. I am no doctor but I am in love with Jesus Christ!!!! See Pastor Paul brought us The Word of God everyday. We look forward to hearing him speak,making us laugh and mainly bringing us closer to God everyday. See I read my Bible and because of this I know how much Pastor Paul centered everyword around JESUS regardless of what any body posts,says or whatever. When I did not hear Pastor Paul's voice talking about (MY JESUS) as he does everyday I was concerned. I was in my car coming home from the grocery store or doing whatever and as soon as I got in my house before anything else I investigated what happened. The first thing I read was something about his family and grieving and the first thing that ran through my head was that something serious happened to Pastor Paul. I honestly thought for a second he died until I read more. I was floored but then I noticed moral failure. Honestly I was relieved. I searched all around the internet looking for Pastor Paul and finally I found his voice on you tube preaching The Word. See Pastor Paul speaks the TRUTH. I was actually searching for the TRUTH!!I do not know what to make of all this and honestly it is not my concern. I just know that the Word came through powerfully through Pastor Paul Sheppard and we are all missing that. It makes some of us sad that is me, some angry and some lost,some depressed etc. It probably makes non believers laugh! All I know is that I still Love Jesus and forever will. I pray that all of us who listened to Pastor Paul will not be lost because of this but continue to grow in Christ. I also pray that for those who do not know Our Heavenly through Jesus Christ will find HIM and with Jesus in your life everyday God will reveal himself to you stronger everyday!! I also have Faith that Pastor Paul and his family will be stronger after all this and triumph over this because Jesus is the REDEEMER!Keep your Faith in Christ Jesus he is the GREATEST GIFT FROM GOD!!!ALWAYS!!!
Posted by David L., a resident of another community, on Jan 1, 2010 at 3:55 pm
Thanks for summing up the situation so succinctly, and for calling out the difference between judgment and discernment--the former of which is of course God's domain alone. Unfortunately, the pointing out of others' sin is still a popular hobby both within and outside of the church, as exhibited by some posts here. What we need now is not sage comments about "I saw this coming" or "I told you so", but to tend to the problem at hand in a constructive manner, and prevent further damage to the body of believers in Christ.
Posted by Linda K, a resident of another community, on Jan 1, 2010 at 7:22 pm
I am so deeply saddened by what has happened at ALCF. For seven years I have been under Pastor Paul's teaching. He taught me to take the Word seriously and doing just that I can truly say through his teaching, the Word changed my life in so many ways, including being healed of cancer, going through a divorce and coming out "fine", my business completely falling apart and now walking through it victoriously, I could go on and on about how Pastor Paul taught me about God's faithfulness. We have to remember that even with a man of Pastor Paul's position that "All things work together for the good for those who love God and are called according to His purpose. There is no question Pastor Paul loves God, God loves him, and that in the end this will work wout for the good. We have to keep our eyes on Jesus, the Word of God, and take it very seriously. Remember, God will not be mocked. Pastor Paul will reap what he sows, as we all do, let's pray for him and God's mercy, as we all need God's mercy, and despite the pain and suffering being the result of his sin (and ours when we sin) know that God will restore and walk him through it.He promises never to leave us or forsake us. With tears in my eyes and my heart overwhelmed with loss, Pastor Paul has been the most influential person in my life, and by the way, I have never really met the man! Let's praise God for how He will turn this into the good! Amen?
Posted by If, a resident of another community, on Jan 1, 2010 at 11:11 pm
If single women would put a quarter between their knees and hold it there until she found her own husband we would definitely see an increase in marital fidelity. Married couples would have no choice but to learn or create new ways to honor 1 Cor. 7:3. "But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband". 1 Cor. 7:2.
Unfortunately infidelity committed by married women is on the rise too.
Posted by Peninsula Dweller, a resident of another community, on Jan 1, 2010 at 11:52 pm
Truth Seeker and If...
The issue isn't the battle of the sexes - eg if men or women would keep it together.
The plain truth is that we can't! Man or woman! Only by the Grace of God is one able to deal with their sins.
Romans 7 Paul speaks of the tension every saved sinner deals with.
Rom 7:23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Rom 7:25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
Notice v24 WHO shall deliver me from the body of death?
Salvation from our sins is a WHO? and Who is the Who? CHRIST, as Paul further explains in v25.
Salvation is Christ. And I'll say it again...THE TESTIMONY IS CHRIST'S!
Whenever the bible gives you a command eg don't lie, don't cheat, don't commit fornication - you're better of being honest and say 'God I can't keep it, have mercy on me and help me to keep it!'...and when God is merciful and allows you to stop cheating etc...you'll understand that it was only by the grace of God that you were able to do that...cos when we tried to do it on our own we realised we were only hypocrites.
God Himself will make sure He gets alllll the glory...and we the sinner will know it!
Tit 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;
Tit 3:6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;
In short, Christ is beautiful to the sinner who realises his/her own corruption. He's beautiful to me. I hope He's beautiful to you too.
Sola Gracias, Sola Cristo, Sola Fide...Sola Scripturo.
Posted by Monica Parker, a resident of another community, on Jan 2, 2010 at 12:06 am
Never have I ever been on time to an appointment until Paul Shepherd came to Kansas City. I was so blessed how he came out to shake the hands of those who had arrived early. I practically knock this Sister down so I could be the first in line. Lord forgive me. My husband looked at me as though I lost my mind, we both had to laugh. We finally get to meet the man who is annointed to bring the word like no other minister we have heard. My husband said, " Mr.Shepherd it is our pleasure to meet you. You are the only person who has ever been able to get my wife to be on time, a whole hour early." Pastor Shepherd tilted his head back and broke into a big laughter. I asked him to sign my Bible and graciously he did. We became partners in the ministry that night, 2yrs. ago. I look at this gentle giant and called him a friend. Yes I've cried many tears over the situation, but they have been tears for him and his wife. I know Pastor Shepherd is repentful, thats why he has resigned. Pastor continue with your counseling so that your marriage to your lovely wife may be healed and restored. When the time is right it is our prayer that we will once again wake up and hear the gentle giant feeding us the Word of God once again. We forgive you, we love you, and we are praying for you-friend.
Posted by If, a resident of another community, on Jan 2, 2010 at 12:34 am
PD you made a great point. Many faithful married women probably struggle with monogamy as much as husbands. Although men and women are wired differently self control with the help of the Holy Spirit can make the difference for a man or woman. Thanks for sharing the scriptures.
Posted by GB, a resident of another community, on Jan 2, 2010 at 4:40 am
I listened to Pastor Paul on WAV 95.1 over the internet tonight from Korea. The date of the sermon was 31 Dec 09. Is the church now posting sermons on this radio station or please advise us all what is going on?
Posted by LOL, a resident of another community, on Jan 2, 2010 at 7:26 am
I just thought of a sermon where Pastor Paul said "quoting scripture is not exactly foreplay". His ability to point out the truth of scripture combined with the reality of being human is what made some of the things he said so funny. He helped so many learn how to apply the Word of God in a practical manner. We miss him so much already and they are in our prayers.
Posted by Jeanette, a resident of another community, on Jan 2, 2010 at 8:05 am
When I heard the news yesterday I felt like someone had punched me in the gut. I couldn't figure out why his program wasn't on at it's usual time, and then the announcer gave the sombering news. What a terrible start to 2010! I have listened to Pastor Paul on WFIL in Philly for probably over 5 years. I met him at an event at his Dad's church and he and his wife were so gracious and kind. There are almost no words to describe the shock and upset at this. It's like getting served a crap sandwich in a dirty ashtray.
I still love him and his preaching, but cannot wrap my head around the fact that someone so smart, so well versed in God's word could fall to disgrace like this!! But, if Peter, one of Jesus's closest friends could deny Him 3 times, I guess anything is possible. How ironic that PP's teachings on marriage helped bring healing to my marriage that was on the verge of divorce- he and Merdith have probably helped thousands of marriages! I pray whatever moral transgression he had was only a one time deal or at least somewhat brief. If it turned out to be some long term affair, and he was truly repentant we know God is faithful to forgive, but I don't know how I could ever have any respect for him again! This just plays into the stereotype of Christians being hypocrites, so sad that it hurts the kingdom. I am sure that thought alone is probably tearing him apart. No matter what, if you have ever listened to PP, you know he loves God!
I will continue to pray for him, Meredith, Alicia and Aaron. This is a stark reminder for all of us to keep our church leaders in our prayers, they are probably spiritually attacked and tempted in ways many of us will never experience. Not to mention they will be judged by God more strictly. James 3:1
Posted by Juana Arvizu, a resident of the Castro City neighborhood, on Jan 2, 2010 at 10:30 am
My husband and I will pray for the Sheppard family.
Be encouraged Pastor, God will certainly have the glory through this sad occurrence. We know that you had a choice and you for whatever reason chose to allow your self to fall, but we also know the shame and humility you are experiencing is plenty of punishment alone. Please ignore the ignorant comments of people who obviously do not have the love and forgiveness of the Lord Jesus Christ implanted into their lives. You should take the opportunity to pray for these people for their salvation, because people with so much unforgiveness are truly unsure about their eternity.
Posted by Truly Humbled, a resident of another community, on Jan 2, 2010 at 11:52 am
Thank you Mountain View Voice for allowing all the posts which are a catharsis for many.
In mid 2008 Pastor Paul facilitated an open meeting at ALCF to brainstorm about the direction and next steps for a rapidly growing congregation. Any and all were invited to participate. I RECALL PASTOR PAUL SAYING IN ESSENCE that he intended to stay in the pulpit for maybe 10 more years and RETIRE SO HE CAN MENTOR OTHERS. That was Pastor Paul's timeline but how many know that GOD’S TIMEFRAME TRUMPS OURS ANY DAY OF THE WEEK.
As I am reminded of Romans 8:28 it is possible this terrible trial is God’s way of preparing Pastor Paul for his next steps as a servant. Those of us who have walked with Christ and studied the Holy Bible at any length know that GOD CAN USE ANY CIRCUMSTANCE OF HIS CHOICE to fulfill His purpose [and it ain’t always pretty or neat].
At first glance illustrations [like Joseph] make no sense until you get the whole story. GOD CAN USE PASTOR PAUL’S MORAL FAILURE CRISES, devastating but equally as powerful, TO HELP OTHERS LEARN HOW TO DETECT AND AVOID LANDMINES IN VOCATIONAL MINISTRY or daily walk with CHRIST. PASTOR PAUL NOW HAS A TESTIMONY IN THE DEVELOPMENTAL STAGES FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE, he can share deep insight into the painful consequences of a moral failure.
Ministering to a congregation of any size is a lot of work. Although painful to acknowledge, PASTOR PAUL’S TIME TO PASS THE BATON, STEP OUT OF THE PULPIT and DO A MORE POWERFUL WORK FOR GOD BEHIND THE SCENES is here. IT MAY LOOK BAD RIGHT NOW, IT WILL TAKE SOME TIME FOR HIM TO HEAL, GROW AND PREPARE HIS HEART. I am constantly reminded to WALK BY FAITH [IN CHRIST] AND NOT BY SIGHT [LIFE EVENTS or peoples opinions]. GOD DID NOT BRING HIM OR US [wherever we are in our personal relationship with CHRIST] THIS FAR TO LEAVE US. God parted the Red Sea in the dire circumstances;a powerful reminder of WHO HE IS AND WHAT HE CAN DO NO MATTER WHAT WE MAY SAY OR THINK OR FEEL.
Posted by Optimistic, a resident of another community, on Jan 2, 2010 at 11:57 am
Pastor Paul often commented about those "spooky and spiritual" people [whew] and I thank him for the heads up. It helps me to apply scripture in a practical way that builds people up not tear them down.
We miss you Pastor Paul and praying for you and your family. May God continue to help us all[we need you LORD like never before.
Posted by NLT, a resident of another community, on Jan 2, 2010 at 12:15 pm
My prayer is that God will help people who are HEARTLESS AND HAVE NO MERCY Romans 1:31.
Romans 2:1 "You may think you can condemn such people, but you are just as bad, and you have no excuse! When you say they are wicked and should be punished, you are condeming yourself, for you who judge others do these very same things". CHRIST IS LOVE.
I thank God for my relationship with HIM through CHRIST, HIS WORD and the countless ways I have been blessed by Pastor Paul's unique way of helping me to avoid becoming a mean Christian with a light that only tries to shine in light (good grief). Our prayer for Pastor Paul, Meredith, family, all Brothers and Sisters in the body of Christ as well as those yet to come is lots of love and good company.
Posted by Save Us, a resident of another community, on Jan 2, 2010 at 12:23 pm
God please save us from the PHARISEES in the world! You know THE ONES THAT FIERCELY CRITICIZED EVERY LITTLE THING ABOUT JESUS when they were just as bad (worse actually. We know from scripture that JESUS was perfect and we are not so how much more critical and condemning will the modern day Pharisees be towards us?
Through countless testimonies here we see that Pastor Paul's ministry has blessed so many. We love, miss and hoping for God's very best for your life from this point.
Posted by ND, a resident of another community, on Jan 2, 2010 at 12:50 pm
Looking at a long string of posts A PERSON OR TWO here obviously have a SERIOUS PERSONAL PROBLEM WITH Pastor Paul. For that brother or sister, if your heart is truly after CHRIST and FOR THE SAKE OF CHRIST PLEEEEEEEASE ask HIM to shower you with the strength, mercy and grace to FORGIVE.
FORGIVENESS IS NOT ABOUT THE OTHER PERSON. Forgiveness is to acknowledge YES THIS PERSON WRONGED ME IN SOME WAY INTENTIONALLY OR NOT BUT I WANT TO BE FREE from the ugly, self destructive emotions of anger, hatred and pain that will enslave you if it does not already have you in bondage. It’s heartbreaking to see people walking around chained up when they don’t have to be.
Posted by Miracle, a resident of another community, on Jan 2, 2010 at 1:19 pm
JESUS TOOK A WHIPPING LIKE NO OTHER FOR ALL OF US! Those of us who saw The Passion of Christ have a vivid idea. Do not assume, confuse or mistake peoples expressions of love and mercy here for thinking they worshipped Pastor Paul. Yes people acknowledge; really “get” the fact that he failed morally, yes he stepped down, no one is excusing him or taking this lightly what more do you want from him?! People really liked Pastor Paul and guess what?? No matter how hard you try, you cannot tell other people how to feel about another person or to not like somebody because you don’t. Deal with it.
Prayerfully Pastor Paul will know how much he is loved and missed from the airwaves. We are praying much love the way Christ loves us –without condition for him and his family, friends and the congregation at ALCF. Love the way Jesus taught is never wrong.
Posted by Another visitor, a resident of another community, on Jan 2, 2010 at 2:02 pm
There have been leaders of all faiths that have been bitten by the enemy and fallen.
It appears that some of us are just asking everyone to take an honest look at what you believe and apologies if this has come across harshly.
Blind faith does not lead us. It is searching out and knowing what we are taught. I haven't been able to walk on water yet!
There have been many who have come in the name of the Lord which do many wondrous deeds.
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'"
No where in scripture does it say that scripture alone is all that is necessary in salvation. Paul's letter to the Thessolonians even says this -
2 Thessolonians 2:15 - "Therefore, brothers, stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours."
So, while many of you are deeply hurt, remember that Christ is here for all time and paid the price on the cross. However, we have to work out our salvation and it sometimes hurts. Life is not a prosperous walk in paradise. That's heaven, if we so choose it.
"12Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
14Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe 16as you hold out[a] the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing. 17But even if I am being poured out like a drink offering on the sacrifice and service coming from your faith, I am glad and rejoice with all of you. 18So you too should be glad and rejoice with me."
Posted by Rebecca and Alan, a resident of another community, on Jan 2, 2010 at 2:04 pm
We also thank the MVV for providing this forum. We have enjoyed Pastor Paul daily from the Washington, D.C. area, and attend ALCF when in the SF Bay area. We are so saddened by Pastor Paul's absence, but he, sister Meredith, their two children, the church family and Enduring Truth are foremost in our thoughts and prayers. We are confident that by God's grace, he will return in a powerful way. God Bless.
Posted by Crystal, a resident of the Blossom Valley neighborhood, on Jan 2, 2010 at 6:33 pm
I was saddened to hear the news of Pastor Paul. He has been such an encouragement to me. Pray for him and his family, not judge him. We are all christian and we know better not to judge and to be quicker to forgive. I will keep him in prayer and hope that we all will.
Posted by Mildred used to be in the Bay Area, a resident of another community, on Jan 2, 2010 at 6:35 pm
I am sorry for those people who are not Christians. With out the Lord our God in our lives, we are nothing. People make mistake and they learn from that.
Pastor Paul made a difference in people's lives and he made a huge difference in my life and my family. We will pray for you pastor Paul, Meridith and your family. May God bless you both. Meridith, hang in there. I will still listen to your sermon that I download in my computer. Jeff and I will be both on your side.
Posted by VAuzenne, a resident of another community, on Jan 2, 2010 at 7:13 pm
Dear Pastor Sheppard and Mrs Sheppard my prayers are with you both and your family. I met you both in San Diego a few months ago. Mrs. Sheppard you said "I was too young to be a grandmother"...Pastor Paul's teachings are so very well heard...condemn the sin not the person...he who have not sinned cast the first stone....said Jesus Christ our Lord...
Posted by ALCF Member-EPA, a resident of another community, on Jan 2, 2010 at 9:00 pm
Just want to give some shout outs: Emiliana, I couldn't agree more. This email thread has been so helpful & encouraging. Amau, thank you for your kind words. I think PD is a Bible thumping Pharisee. Loving Jesus, you rock! Miracle---YES! This has been a wonderful forum. But our Strong Tower, Our Rock, our Refuge in a time of Trouble is Jesus! I am so appreciative to The Mt View Voice for this opportunity to process, vent, instruct & begin to construct. You folks rock too! Please keep the ALCF church family in your prayers, as The Holy Spirit prompts you. You know we need them. But, we are not a church of 4 walls. We're a church of "living stones" constructed by God himself. I am certain that we will not only survive this test, we will triumph! And, you better believe that we will be ready, willing, able & QUICK to give God ALL of the Glory! I've spent a good part of this day in meetings & actual church service. The shock is wearing off, the grief process has begun in earnest, which means that healing is not far off. It is an AMAZING gift from God to find yourself in actual circumstances that make His Word come alive in the form of The Holy Spirit's ministry of Truth & Comfort. God's Spirit has truly & utterly fallen "FRESH" on me this very day! I just can't wait to see what The Lord will do next. I'm not afraid. I'm not uncertain. I'm ready. And, say what you want, but I have Paul Sheppard to thank for that. He may have fallen, but the message he conveyed has not, will not & cannot. He was an instrument used by God for God's good purpose. The messenger was imperfect, but the message was flawless. As someone at this morning's meeting said: I honor the man, but I WORSHIP The Lord! Praise be to God and thank you all who are lifting our local body in your prayers. I love you all.....even PD. God Bless!
Posted by Plain Jayne, a resident of another community, on Jan 2, 2010 at 9:06 pm
I learned so much about people like Joseph, David, Gideon, Peter and of course Jesus through Pastor Pauls teachings. My bible was always open to verify for myself that he speaking the Truth and he was indeed.
His messages were so plain that it was easy to tell the difference between Scripture and anecdotes.
So many people are praying for the ALCF congregation, Pastor Paul and Meredith. There is power in prayer.
Posted by ALCF Member-EPA, a resident of another community, on Jan 2, 2010 at 9:10 pm
Oops... I'm sorry. In the "shout outs", I got carried away and made a couple of mistakes. Anau, it was your post that made me think of PD as a Bible quoting Pharasee. And David L, it was to you that I meant to direct my comment appreciating your kind words. I know it's only 9 PM PST, but I've had a long day.... please charge it to my head & not my heart. Much love to all....
Posted by Humble Servant, a resident of another community, on Jan 2, 2010 at 10:41 pm
I thoroughly enjoyed Paul Sheppard's teaching ministry. I'm sorry that this has happened. I agree with all who say that we, the Christian community, need to pray for him and his family. We can all take comfort in 1 John 1:9, because, like Paul Sheppard, we are all imperfect and subject to fail. My prayer is that the Sheppard family can get through this difficult time. I believe that God has more for Paul Sheppard to do and I know that He can restore Paul.
Posted by Al, a resident of another community, on Jan 3, 2010 at 1:01 am
Here is an excerpt from Web Link commentary on Church Discipline and Forgiveness.
"It is the corporate responsibility of the church to punish wrongdoing (2 Cor 2:6; 10:6), to excommunicate in the case of persistent sin (1 Cor 5:2, 10-13) and to reinstate the repentant (2 Cor 2:7-8)"
For all who care to read, this is the biblical standard for the church to discipline her own. The fact that the repentant sinner was separated from the rest of the church for a time was sufficient punishment for the offender. The apostle Paul then urged the Corinthian church to reinstate the repentant sinner "to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow." (2 Cor 2:7)
One would have thought there are fewer "worse" sin than denial of Christ. But in John 21: 15-19 where Christ confronts the sorrowful and repentant disciple Peter after Peter's threefold denial of Christ had reinstated him as the rock (petros) that the church will be built on.
My wife and I pray that as Pastor Paul gets the help he needs, truly repents and confronts the consequences of his sin, that he will receive the discipline from ALCF and that he will hear Christ's charge of reinstatement to "feed my sheep."
And as in Luke 22:32: "I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."
Having been Christians for over 20 years, my wife and I have been ministered to by Pastor Paul's preaching in a significant way for the first time in many years after attending other churches. For that, we do not take for granted.
We will be willing to come under the teaching of a man who having failed but is convicted of his own weakness and gained a renewed understanding of God's call to "feed his sheep" and to "strengthen his brothers".
Posted by joan, a resident of another community, on Jan 3, 2010 at 1:16 am
Pastor Paul needs to read or see the testimony of the author of the Shack.(William P. Young)
He was at the Santa Cruz Twin Lakes church(in Aptos) recently and is also a p.k. His own story blows away all the "Christianese" garbage we tend to believe sometimes. (I'm not saying that whatever happened was ok tho)
Even if you think "the Shack" is heresy or "unorthodox" if you can read between the lines you might be able to see the deeper meanings in his book, and the story of the author's own life really touched me..
I also read this somewhere:
The Radically Real Christian:
When I say that I'm a Christian, I'm not shouting i'm saved
I'm whispering i get lost and this is why i chose this way
When I say i'm a Christian i don't speak of this with pride, i'm confessing that i stumble and need someone to be my guide
When i say that i'm a Christian i'm not trying to be strong, i'm professing that i'm weak and pray for strength to carry on
When i say that i'm a Christian i'm not bragging of success, i'm admitting i've failed and cannot ever pay the debt
When i say that i'm a Christian i'm not claiming to be perfect, my flaws are too visible, but God believes i'm worth it
When i say that i'm a Christian i still feel the sting of pain, I have my share of heartaches, which is why i seek His Name.
When i say i am a Christian i do not wish to judge, i have no authority, i only know i'm loved
Posted by ALCF Member-EPA, a resident of another community, on Jan 3, 2010 at 6:40 am
To Al, thank you VERY much for your post! It was extremely helpful and on point. To Joan, I believe that "Real Christian" poem was authored by Maya Angelou; but, I'm not sure about that. Thank you again, Al, and may God Bless you & your family richly!
Posted by Nadia, a resident of another community, on Jan 3, 2010 at 7:05 am
Anyone who knows thier Bible know about King David and Solomon. rmember what happened between King David and Bathsheba, all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. This indiscretion does not make him any less a man of GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by Tanya, a resident of another community, on Jan 3, 2010 at 8:42 am
God is bigger and more powerful than we allow him to be in our lives in moments of tempation when we want to sin. Pastor Paul wanted to sin this sin more than he wanted to depend on God to give him power to overcome it.
God still loves Paul, and all of us when we sin. God hates the sin and the hook that sin digs into our soul. Sin scars our soul and reduces function in aspects of our life. God sees in totality what sin does to our future, and that is why God hates sin.
I think it is right that Pastor Paul resigned, it reveals that he is seriously sorrowful about the choice to sin he made. We must constitute onto ourselves the consequence of our decision to walk, then stand and lastly to sit in unrighteousness.
To handle immorality as Clinton did, denial, deminishment of sexual sins, and hanging on to his position of President degraded the position of the office. The act of Pastor Paul's resignation displays his respect for the postion of Pastor. He was a shepard to the flock of Christ - he took advantage of his position and reputation- allowing sin to work its way to give him what he wanted (the pleasure of sin for a season).
Sometimes you have to ask if this is a way for some personalities to exit their job or current life, otherwise why would they risk the current life which they so love?
Lets forgive Pastor Paul, pray for him, and be thankful that he resigned. God can find a different way and as valuable way to use Paul. Just as God did not let David build the temple, but his son Solomon, there was a consequence that was determined by God regarding David's murder of Uriah. But God still loved and honored David.
Posted by Peninsula Dweller, a resident of another community, on Jan 3, 2010 at 8:53 am
Not to be tit for tat...but was Simon a disciple or a fully fledge Apostle/Teacher with a huge ministry at the time of his denial eg did he have people under him?
Let's get a fuller picture. Like a fuller picture of God. Yes God is love and forgiveness, but He also sets out standards and stipulations for his children which are EVIDENCES, not causes, that you are His children.
As for people in leadership - How about reading up on King Manasseh - 2 King 21 - he was a wicked King, even sacrificing his babies and yet he was of the line of David - disobedient and OBVIOUSLY not exhibiting the EVIDENCES of being a child of God - UNTIL GOD struck him, by allowing the Assyrians to hold him captive. BUT in 2 Chron 33 - in his affliction He cried out to GOD...and GOD WAS MERCIFUL... DRAW THE PARALLELS...Look up King Uzziah too.
If referring to Scripture sounds Pharisaic...I don't apologise, it's the only authority we have to live by!
Posted by Peninsula Dweller, a resident of another community, on Jan 3, 2010 at 3:51 pm
Believers, fellow-sinners, religious folk and everyone in between...
If quoting Scripture vexes you then allow me to use 'Sheppardisms' to draw my point across...
I once had a 'pastor' who made me laugh, made me feel good about myself and most of all warn me against 'DETRACTORS'.
I also had a 'HATER' in my life who always 'banged the bible' on my head. I was grateful everytime I went to church to hear my 'pastor' warn me about the 'spiritual and spooky' and 'scriptural foreplay wheeling' DISTRACTERS.
What irritated me the most was this 'HATER' had a biblical answer to everything and that GOT ME MAD! So by the grace of God, I started REALLY reading the bible for myself...then I realised, 'hey this HATER didn't hate me, but LOVED ME THRU THE SCRIPTURES.'
...the rest is history, I 'left that church like the plague' to quote pn above.
Moral of the story - There is no hope speaking to you in my 'wisdom' LORD KNOWS I HAVE NONE. IT'S ONLY THRU the AUTHORITY that's in God's Word- the Bible - and if HE IS WILLING, perhaps HE'LL open the eyes and ears of a few or many, in this arena called cyberspace.
Joh 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.
Yes we pray and hope that GOD HIMSELF will comfort PP and anyone else that is afflicted (Tiger Woods included et al) AND allow the TRUTH OF THE WORD and THE HOPE THAT IS ONLY IN CHRIST to clean up the carnage left behind.
May God Bless You All.
PS enough said from this 'DETRACTOR'.Much love to you too ALCF MEMBER-EPA.
Posted by ts, a resident of another community, on Jan 3, 2010 at 8:05 pm
Having grown bored with random quotes (yes, even from the Good Book) that don't add anything to the discussion whatsoever or promote agendas that have nothing to do with this thread (such as converting readers to another religion--get a life!), I just happen to read something that I hope will be an encouragement and perspective-setter to us all. This one also goes out to all of our atheist/agnostic friends--enjoy y'all (RC Sproul: The Holiness of God, p. 49):
"No minister is worthy of his calling. Every preacher is vulnerable to the charge of hypocrisy. In fact, the more faithful a preacher is to the Word of God in his preaching, the more liable he is to the charge of hypocrisy. Why? Because the more faithful a man is to the Word of God the higher the message is that he will preach. The higher the message the further he will be from obeying it himself.
I cringe inside when I speak in churches about the holiness of God. I can anticipate the responses of the people. They leave the sanctuary convinced that they have just been in the presence of a holy man. Because they hear me preach about holiness they assume I must be as holy as the message I preach. That's when I want to cry, 'Woe is me.'
It's dangerous to assume that because a person is drawn to holiness in his study that he is thereby a holy man. There is irony here. I am sure that the reason I have a deep hunger to learn of the holiness of God is precisely because I am not holy. I am a profane man, a man who spends more time out of the temple than in it. But I have had just enough of a taste of the majesty of God to want more. I know what it means to be a forgiven man and what it means to be sent on a mission. My sould cries for more. My soul needs more."
Posted by Jeanine, a resident of another community, on Jan 4, 2010 at 6:28 am
While this has deeply saddened me, I am still gratefult that god has blessed us with a powerful man of God. He is still a great man of god who has happened to fall as each one of us has. Please contuniue to pray for him and his family so that he can get back up and continue preaching the word of God. Satan is on a mission to destroy anything that is set up for God's purpose. I would like to encourage Pastor Paul, his wife Meredith and family. God will get you all through this and I pray that you return to ministry one day. I totally respect YOUR decision to resign because some people would continue to preach without any hesitation. You have been such a blessing to my life as well as my friends. We love you and wish you much encouragement through this time.
Posted by Bernice Combs, a resident of another community, on Jan 4, 2010 at 6:29 am
I have been lsitening to the enduring truth lbroadcast for nearly 4 years. I found this broacast after losing my job. I sent in a prayer request that I would find another job. Dr. Shepard's broadcast renewed my spirit. I am praying for Dr. shepparard and his family. I know it must be hard.Although I am somewhat disappointed in the Braodcast not being on the radio, I stand in prayer for Dr. Sheppard and his family. If God can forgive him and give him a new start, everyone else should too. This ministry has brought me great happiness. By listening to the early morning broadcasts, I was able to cope with people on my job. I was able to get a new job as a Pharmacy Technician. . Dr Sheppards broadcasts has help me tremednously. I think we should all pray for Dr.Sheppard and his family. I will miss hearing him on the radio. lets give him another chanc. If God and his wife can forgive him, I can too. Pastor Paul,come on you made a mistake get back on your feet and preach the gospel like you were doing. I belive in you. You can make it with the help of God. That's what your ministry was all about. Believing and others and helping them after they have fallen. I belive in you and your broadcast. Please get yourself together and come back. I will continue to give to the ministry. I'm praying for you and your family
Posted by Listener, a resident of another community, on Jan 4, 2010 at 9:42 am
I have been listening to him for about 18 months in the car every day on my way to work . In fact yesterday on the radio he preached a sermon titled "Trust Him". It was so good that for the very first time ever I decided to purchase the series so I went online to find their website. To my shock, I instead find a statement that he has resigned due to moral failure. I was really sad and dissappointed to hear this because his preaching has really given me insights and inspiration. I think that a lot of people out there, like myself, feel worried when they hear that a preacher we have received inspiration from might have been a hypocrite or a fake. However, it is then we must remind ourselves that these teachers are merely vessels being used by God to deliver a message. God can use anyone to teach us something . So if you enjoyed his preaching then you can still enjoy it. He was only the vessel that God was using to get a message out. It is not about the vessel or the human or the teacher that he uses...it is about HIM. We cannot put our faith in human beings. We cannot follow teachers or preachers. We follow the Lord. That is all. So I will continue to listen to his messages. I test everythign that i hear to make sure it is based on the Word of God. From what I have heard his preaching is based on the Word and it has been used for good. He who is without sin cast the first stone. At least he is owning up to it, repenting and taking the blame. Some in this life continue in persistent, habitual sin and never turn and repent. Never follow the teacher . Only follow the Lord. Preachers are just the vessel. Don't put your faith in the vessel. Only God above deserves our honor, praise and complete trust. This is a reminder that all have sinned and fallen short. It is a reminder that we can do NOTHING apart from HIM.
Posted by JJ, a resident of another community, on Jan 4, 2010 at 9:59 am
Another preacher who has fallen from grace. Do I sense a pattern? That's the way this world works. You better be very careful to put yourself up in a high position. The higher you go, the further you fall. For his sake, I hope he is truly repenting and turning from this sin. Surely no one knows more than him what is at stake when we don't turn from sin. Now it is time for us all to take a good long look in the mirror at ourselves. What are we hiding? What have we not confessed? What sins do we still have in our lives that we just don't want to let go of? Anyone who answers that question with "nothing" is just as much of a hypocrite. We all have our private sins we think we can hide. You may fool the world, but you will never fool the only one who counts. God. So instead of pointing the finger away from us, we need to turn it around and point it right back at us. Take care of your own business before you go into the business of casting stones.
Posted by Fletch, a resident of another community, on Jan 4, 2010 at 12:56 pm
Why must we as Christians shoot our wounded? Instead let's pray for PP, his family, the members of Abundant Life, and those who haven't yet met the Savior. It's counterproductive to speculate (gossip) here or anywhere else. Remember, we're all vessels of clay, so that no one mistakes God's work for ours.
Posted by NDY, a resident of another community, on Jan 4, 2010 at 2:51 pm
As a pastor who was also ministered to through his radio ministry for several years, starting back when on KFAX 15 minutes daily, my heart sank and my eyes filled with tears as I heard the news. Yet I know that God can deliver and heal. Pastor Sherpherd's reputation may be marred, but his character can be fine tuned in the hand of the Almighty. I've prayed and will continue to pray for the entire Shepherd family and ministry. In times like these, we need a savior and we must take inventory and check around our anchor to make sure we're anchored in Jesus.
Posted by UNKNOWN, a resident of another community, on Jan 4, 2010 at 5:12 pm
AS BELIEVERS WE HAVE TO LEARN HOW TO KEEP EVERYTHING IN BALANCE. WE ARE CALLED TO BE EXAMPLES AND MODELS FOR OTHERS TO FOLLOW. HEB 6:12 FOLLOW THEM WHO THROUGH FAITH AND PATIENCE INHERITS THE PROMISES OF GOD. YOU ARE NOT TO FOLLOW OR IMITATE A REGULAR MAN/WOMAN OF THE FLESH, BUT TO FOLLOW AND IMITATE THEM WHO FOLLOW CHRIST AND DISPLAYS HIS CHARACTER. I AM CONVINCED THAT NO ONE HERE ON THIS SIGHT HAS EVER SAT AT JESUS' FEET AND HEARD HIM TEACH OR WALKED OR TALKED WITH HIM DURING HIS EARTHLY MINISTRY. SO OUR EXAMPLES ON HOW TO LIVE AND BE CHRISTLIKE WILL COME FROM THE GODLY MEN AND WOMEN THAT GOD HAVE RAISED UP IN THIS TIME. THE BIBLE IS CLEAR NOT TO PUT TRUST IN THE FLESH OF MAN. THE APOSTLES WERE ALL MEN BUT WE TRUST THEM BECAUSE THEY WERE HOLY MEN AND SO IS PASTOR PAUL SHEPPARD. HE CERTAINLY MISSED THE MARK ON THIS ONE, BUT GOD HAS AWAY OF READJUSTING YOUR AIM FOR HIS GLORY. GOD DOES WANT US TO BE HOLY BECAUSE HE IS HOLY. THIS WHAT HE EXPECTS AND NOTHING LESS. AMEN
Posted by Valerie, a resident of another community, on Jan 5, 2010 at 5:08 am
There, but by the grace of God go I. If we will confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us our sins. God promised to forgive us our shortcomings. Pastor Paul sinned against God; not us. God has forgiven him and so should we. Remember, the same standard that we use to judge this man God will use to judge us. All of God's servants have failed him, but God continues to heal and restore. Pray for Pastor Paul and his family. Watch what you say about him, because his God will condemn every tongue that rises in judgement against him.
Posted by M Oliver, a resident of another community, on Jan 5, 2010 at 5:22 am
My prayer is that this general in the army of the living God is restored. That his natural and spiritual family will not only survive whatever this is, but they will thrive and be cleansed white as snow & That love will cover this. I pray that what the enemy meant for total destruction, shame and devastation, the Father will use to reveal His mercy and restoration power. These people that are turning up their noses at this situation are themselves behaving as hypocrites. We all turn our backs against God with our actions/decisions in one area or another. So, the mercy or lack or mercy you show will be returned back to you. Pastor Paul Sheppard is our brother, our family. We don't turn our backs on our family. I don't care what the enemy used to bring chaos within his life. He is our brother and I love and am pulling for Father's will to continue to be done through him. In Jesus' name/ My brother Paul, I applaud you for humbling yourself. You were not caught, but you judged yourself. God our Father will exalt us, when we humble ourselves. I will continue to glean from the Father's wisdom in you just as I do with Solomon and David and the countless other Saints who wasn't perfect.
Posted by Dr. Subodh Dhanawade from India, a resident of another community, on Jan 5, 2010 at 10:29 am
I just submit everything into the Lord's hand. I do not want to pass a comment on Pastor Paul. I have been a keen listener to "this man of God preaching the WORD of God". God has used him to touch our lives. God has His purpose in everything. Pastor said in one of his sermons that we who are saved are not sinners but we are children of God sinning.Our role in this crucial hour is to pray to God to shower upon all of us His Grace so that we will all radiate the Love of our Lord Jesus Christ in whatever we say and do. Let us not be quick to Judge as the Lord has not finished as yet.Let us look into our own lives and introspect as this is a time of introspection. We will realize that it is only because of His Grace that we can lift our heads.Let us pray for our extended family and pray for the Pastor that the Lord may help him and guide him in this valley period of his life and pray for early restoration to mountain heights. Let us all be firm in prayers and be in the fold of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Posted by Mr. E, a resident of another community, on Jan 6, 2010 at 3:37 am
I will lift and add Paul Sheppard, his family to my prayers. God is able to heal every wound and restore their lives. The true head of the church is Christ not brother Sheppard, and as so, we must look only to Him to lift this family up in prayer, and not to obtain any kind of answer. My heart is broken because even though I don't know Paul Sheppard personally, I love him like a brother. I have learned a lot from his teachings and I know God will restore his family. God bless you brother.
Posted by Fernando A., a resident of another community, on Jan 6, 2010 at 7:40 am
Nothing happens in this world that ultimately does not bring glory to GOD and JESUS his son, our savior. We are all sinners and we have been forgiven by GOD and therefore we must forgive other and NOT judge others. I pray that Pastor Paul comes out of this situation with a deeper faith than what he already has shown us through his sermons. I cant wait to hear him preach again.
Posted by Patricia R., a resident of another community, on Jan 6, 2010 at 8:08 am
After wondering for days why I couldn't find 'Enduring Truth' on the radio, I felt something must be wrong. I am just as disappointed with what has happened as anyone, yet I'm not placing blame. We all fall short, we're human. But after reading all the comments, I shake my head. This is one man, yes he's a pastor, but can you imagine what he deals with every day, listening to people's problems, trying to lift them from the depths of despair..this has to wear on a person. I thank Pastor Paul for the time he did give us and hope that he makes the 'recovery' with his family and returns...it will be tough. For those who want to criticize, please save your anger for the politicians that really trying to control you!
Posted by Wynona, a resident of another community, on Jan 6, 2010 at 8:38 am
The devil is a liar! He seeks to destroy those that do his will. I love what God has done in this man's life and will continue to pray for him and his family. I know that God has set aside riches in heaven for the work that Pastor Paul has done. Please everybody pray for him instead of judging...
Posted by A fellow Christ follower, a resident of another community, on Jan 6, 2010 at 9:44 am
Gosh, I was so moved by this news...I got up in the New Year expecting to return to my routine of listening to Pastor Paul in the morning as I prepared for work and was disappointed that he wasn't on. I thought perhaps the program didn't have enough money to stay on the air. When I got to work, I went to the website to listen online and read that Pastor Paul had stepped down due to "moral failure." Each day as I've driven into work since reading this news on Monday January 4th, I've thought of Pastor Paul, his wife, his children and the congregation. I pray that God will show us all more of His love and His amazing forgiving power. I know I need it ongoingly!! And I am thankful for the forgiving power of the blood that washes away my sins. Pastor Paul was a great example of the Christian walk which is why I think this is such devastating information for soooooo many people. But I just pray that we look to Christ and know that He is really the source of grace. I hope Pastor Paul can come back when he is stronger and wiser, but the truth is, he may never be able to fully recover...and the enemy so knows how destructive something like this can be...I'm encouraged to pray for fellow believers like never before!!
Posted by nestor, a resident of another community, on Jan 6, 2010 at 10:57 am
I'm a Pastor Also, and sad my collegue went through this.
May I share a personal confessions too? I hope it would help some soul. I have a Preventive moral failure plan
I pray everyday that God can keep me from temptation. I'm scare when an attractive woman tell me I'm a good preacher. I rather to hear it from my wife's instead.
I try to play the fool when a lady make a remark directed toward my appeareance.(not that I'm a good looking superstar)
I must admit that I do not give counseling to ladies that are going through divorce or are singles. If I have a word for them I give it in an open space. Rarely in my office with the closed door.
I would never give a ride to a lady or sister in the church unless is an emergency.
I try not to click in sites that nudity will pop up. I have a filter on my computer.
I made a pact with my eyes to God and my family never to watch pornography. So far so good.
when my wife had not being able to be with me for reasons normal in a marriage.like Kids, fights, ilness.etc I try not to feel the victim, or look for consolation somewhere. I beg to God for patient and edurance.
This are some measurments that as a man of God I have taken.I do not impose to anybody.
I make a pleading to all the Church members and leaders from all Churches.
Do not hesistate to ask in a sensitive way to your Pastor that If he have some preventive plan to avoid moral failure. I'm sure that this is the least question addressed to any leader of the Church.
Posted by Christi, a resident of another community, on Jan 6, 2010 at 2:36 pm
I have missed hearing Pastor Paul on the radio. His teaching will be missed by many. I know that the pain he and his family are going through is great, but I know that the healing our Savior brings is even greater. He truly is greater than our hearts and bigger than our issues. I am one who certainly knows the high cost of sin and yet even so, in all ways our Lord is merciful beyond anything I could ask. My prayer for Pastor Paul and family during this time is that they would know the comfort that only Jesus can give and know that they are in all of our prayers during this time.
Posted by BrindaFaye Drummer, a resident of another community, on Jan 6, 2010 at 4:10 pm
Thank God for Jesus! We all sin and fall short, that is why Jesus has to come, we're none able to do it for ourselves or others! I will pray for Pastor Paul and his biological family as well as his church family. If it is The LORD's will, He can use this for His glory! Hallelujah!!
Posted by S. K. Powell, a resident of another community, on Jan 6, 2010 at 4:30 pm
My heart and prayers go out to Pastor Sheppard, his wife, and those who are negatively impacted by this most recent news. However, this is evidence of the need for us within the body of Christ to stay close to God so that we can continually lift our pastors, leaders, and each other up in prayer. Remember we all have sinned and come short of His glory. Thanks be that we serve a forgiving God!
Posted by Donnice Hightower, a resident of another community, on Jan 6, 2010 at 6:13 pm
Coming from 1 Timothy 1-2
1 I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. 2 Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.
This would be a perfect time for all of us to pray for Pastor Paul & his family. They need restoration, forgiveness, and oneness with God. Just like David from the Bible, he sinned but was not removed as king. We should not lose heart, because this evil deed has tried to waver our faith. We should not scatter because of a fallen vessel, but pray together for that vessel's guidenance. Pastor Paul you've come to far. Repent, and be restored. Tell your story so others can avoid the trap set for christians. You are in my prayers. To me you will always be God's mouth piece
Posted by Jim Robinson, a resident of another community, on Jan 6, 2010 at 6:48 pm
God will tell you and your wife when you are finished. If you have failed, recognize the failure, Christ has forgiven you long before you failed. Rest and recover from this self inflicted wound. Lay your pride in Christ's arms, and get on with the work that God has given you. The enemy wants you out of the game - I believe God wants you back in.
Jim Robinson - A recent radio listener from the Los Aangeles area. I believe God led me to hear you. Now I believe God wants me to tell you to "shake it off." You lost a battle, but "Don't give up the fight." "Get back in the game." As to your wife, I pray that God will minister to her and lead her back into your corner. You need her to help you with this fight.
Posted by Regular Attendee, a resident of another community, on Jan 7, 2010 at 9:13 am
From the ALCF Website:
Who are You Looking At? Pastor Eric January 2-3, 2010 All Services
A Time of Grief: Two weeks ago we received the unexpected word that Pastor Paul was resigning as senior pastor of ALCF. The news sent shock waves throughout our entire church family and we all reacted differently. Some of us are deeply saddened, confused, angry, disappointed, etc. There’s a range of emotions that we’re feeling and it’s perfectly okay and normal to feel those emotions. We are actively grieving this loss, and we need to give ourselves permission and time to grieve individually and collectively as a church family. For me, this news was nothing short of traumatic. Not only did I experience a range of emotions, but the news sent me into behaviors and responses that were uncharacteristic of me. For example: leaving the oven on all day; misplacing keys, cell phone, hat…things that I normally know exactly where they are I couldn’t find. This unexpected news hit all of us hard and the impact on us manifested itself in many ways—emotionally, physically, and even spiritually. But as the symptoms of the shock begin to wear off, we must now trust the Lord to bring the healing we all need.
A Time of Transition: In addition to our healing, we need to begin a process of transition. Transitions are a fact of life. If you’ve ever changed jobs, been newly married, had a relationship end, recently graduated, etc., you know what it’s like to transition. You leave one reality behind as you move into a new one. That’s where we are as a church family. As we are healing from our pain we also have to simultaneously transition into a new reality. And how we transition is important. If we are going to get to where God is taking us, we need to transition by faith. This transition presents us with many opportunities to grow closer to the Lord and to grow deeper in our faith.
Get Alone With God: In our text, Jesus is at the Sea of Galilee with His disciples. He tells them to get into the boat and sail to the other side of the lake. After Jesus gives these instructions, He gets away from the people and gets alone with God to pray (v.23). In times like these, we also need to get away from the clutter of everyday life and get alone with God. Our faith as a church family is being tested and this is a great opportunity to talk to our Father in heaven—to tell Him what’s going on, how we feel, and trust that as we pray the Lord will strengthen our faith through His Word and through His presence in our lives.
Jesus is With Us: Jesus wanted His disciples to see the power of God at work in the circumstance of a storm. The disciples at first did not recognize Jesus and thought He was a ghost (v.26). But in fact it was Jesus who was with them. So whether it is the storm we are facing as a church family or the storm you are facing personally in your life, we as people of God need to know that Jesus is right in the middle of the storm with us. You may not recognize Him yet, but He is with you because He loves you. When the disciples saw what they thought was a ghost coming toward them, they cried out for help. Jesus immediately made three short statements: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid” (v.27). When the disciples were terrified and full of fear, Jesus said what they needed to hear in order to calm them down. In other words, Jesus told them to be strong in the face of their fear. He identified Himself so that they would know who He was and He told them not to be afraid. That’s what we do as parents or friends when children or close friends fall into some traumatic event that causes them a great deal of stress and anxiety. We hold them and tell them it’s okay. We tell them who we are and we tell them to not be afraid.
Jesus told His disciples exactly what they needed to hear, and I believe the Lord is saying those same words to us as a church. In the midst of this storm we’re going through, in the midst of our questions, fears, and doubts, Jesus is saying to us: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” As unexpected as the news concerning Pastor Paul was, Jesus knew that this was coming. We’re surprised, but He isn’t. In fact, Jesus knew before Pastor Paul came some 20 years ago that this was coming. And He is right here in the face of this storm telling us to face our fears.
Keep Your Eyes on Jesus: After recognizing it was Jesus on the water, Peter’s faith is strengthened and he is able to walk on water. But as soon as he gets distracted by the winds of the storm and takes his eyes off of Jesus, he begins to sink. In the midst of this storm we’re going through as a church or in your personal storm, who are you looking at? Where is your attention aimed? Where is your focus? What preoccupies your mind? When Peter kept his focus on Jesus he could do the supernatural. Similarly, in the midst of our storm, we need to keep our eyes on Jesus because He is still in control of His church. It may not feel like it, but He knows exactly what He is doing. Although Peter became distracted for a moment, Jesus loved Peter and Jesus was not going to let him drown. In our moments of distress, when all we can do is cry out to the Lord to save us, we’re going to find that Jesus is right there to reach out His hand and catch us (v.31). As Hebrews 12:2 says, “Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith.” Our faith begins and ends with Jesus, so it only makes sense that as our faith is being tested we keep our eyes fixed on Him. Just as Peter needed to keep his eyes and focus on Jesus to walk on water, as a church we need to keep our eyes focused and fixed on Jesus if we want to successfully transition into the future. We have to resist anything that will take our attention off of Jesus. He is our source, our strength, our provider, and our help in time of trouble, and we need to keep our eyes on Him regardless of what is going on around us. We can’t let Pastor Paul’s resignation be a distraction that takes our focus away from Jesus. It is understandable that we want to acknowledge and grieve it, but we can’t let the resignation be the focus of our thoughts and cause us to make decisions based on this circumstance. We need to fix our eyes on Jesus because He is the One who is in control and He is the One who can save us.
Next Steps by Faith: As Jesus walked on water, it presented an opportunity for Peter and the other disciples to stretch and grow in their faith. Likewise, the announcement we received two weeks ago presents us with a tremendous opportunity to grow in our faith. As we transition together to wherever the Lord is taking us, we are going to see our faith grow as we pass this test. After witnessing Jesus and Peter walk on water and seeing the wind die down as Jesus came into the boat, the disciples’ only response was to worship Him (v.33). Similarly, the Lord is calling us to trust Him and to worship Him. When the events of life take us by surprise and we are suddenly thrown into a storm, it is not the time to give up. Rather, it is the time to worship Jesus, to keep our eyes and focus on Him. In 2010, let’s commit to worship the Lord, to get alone with God, and to get a Word from God. We don’t know what is next, but we know the One who does, and Jesus isn’t finished writing the story of ALCF. We will continue to have membership classes; Growth Groups will continue to meet; all the other ministries, such as the Easter outreach, will continue to happen. As we continue to move forward by faith, we will see what the Lord does. And as we continue to worship the Lord and seek His faith in prayer, we will see with great excitement how our God writes the next chapters of Abundant Life Christian Fellowship. To God be the glory!
2. A time for grieving. What were some of the things you were thinking and feeling when you heard the news about Pastor Paul’s resignation? How are you processing the reality of this sad event? What have you found helpful in doing so? See: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8; Matthew 6:9-14; 2 Corinthians 1:3-5. _____________________________________________________________
4. Next steps by faith. Why should we worship God in the midst of the storms of life? How can we do so when we are dealing with fear and doubt, or are preoccupied with what’s going on around us? See: Psalm 25:1-6; 62:5-8; Matthew 14:27-33. ______________________________
Posted by Member of ALCF, a resident of another community, on Jan 7, 2010 at 9:26 am
Wow-well put Jim. Couldn't agree with you more.
I believe if put to a vote the members of ALCF would have not wanted Pastor Paul to resign-maybe a leave of absence. Who really made this decision and why would there not be another solution than total resignation? I have been attending church since the Dec.29 announcement and sorry to say-the energy is drained from the room without Pastor Paul. The elders can cheer-lead all they want but Pastor Paul has ministered to us in a way that is so unbelievable. His intensity,his humor,his ability to captivate and motivate are unique. God forgives and helps us to grow through our failures.He failed big-but we are not to judge.
When to do the members of ALCF get a say in their church-would Pastor Paul be so humble as to return to the people who love him so much and who look to him for insight and direction as the Lord uses him? Could that question be answered?
Posted by Mare Repetto, a resident of another community, on Jan 7, 2010 at 2:50 pm
When you're in a war, the enemy tries to kill the leader. Because without a leader, the army could lose their heart, their hope and then the victory.
Mature believers understand that the victory was won at the Cross. Our leader isn't a man but our God. Pastor Paul is a Great General for God. He is only wounded, not destroyed. We don't leave our own behind. When a man has dedicated his life to freeing prisoners, he is bound to get "hit" by the enemy. This time, Pastor got hit hard enough that he retreated to heal.
Those who have been personally touched by Pastor Paul's ministry and returned to God are grateful that - Pastor Paul fulfilled his calling to the best of his abilities. We keep him and his family in faithful prayer because we know our God is a mighty God. God is the great healer and restorer.
God is the ultimate power. What belongs to God cannot be stolen or destroyed. ALCF is God's church. ALCF is just fine. This moment of great sorrow, God will turn around and bless ABUNDANTLY for ALCF and for Pastor Paul and his family.
Many, many souls were saved, stolen right out the hands of the enemy because of Pastor Paul's faithful work. My soul was one that was lost and restored to God. ALCF's general may have fallen, but the army he trained will continue the battle, lead by the Holy Spirit Himself.
So for every person who has been touched by this ministry, I urge you to FLOOD the church with letters of love, support, donations and volunteer in some way. Even if all you can send is a $1. Let the streets be even more packed on Sundays. Let the church add a 3rd service on Saturday. What the enemy has sought to destroy, let God's people build up. Even in our sorrow, let us stand firm in our resolution that what God has built, will not be destroyed.
God's healing is already happening in the church and in Pastor Paul's family. ALCF is an awesome church - because it's God's church.
Posted by Debra, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Jan 7, 2010 at 3:02 pm
I was baptised at Abundant Life in 2006 but felt like there was too much of a "Rock Star" atmosphere there. So I prayed about it and decided to stop attending. In fact, I don't attend any church but rather spend daily time in the Word learning what God wants me to learn/know. I missed his wife the most. Funny huh. She is good people. Anyway, these are the last days and we need to get our focus straight - Christ First, Christ Only.
Posted by Interested Person, a resident of another community, on Jan 7, 2010 at 3:07 pm
Base upon the warm comments of support for Paul Sheppard to continue as a church leader.....I guess we all can assume that 1 Timothy Chapter 3 is just filler material placed there by God to fill the void between Genesis and Revelation.
Posted by Word Of God, a resident of another community, on Jan 7, 2010 at 3:19 pm
18 For when they speak great swelling words of emptiness, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through lewdness, the ones who have actually escaped[d] from those who live in error. 19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by whom a person is overcome, by him also he is brought into bondage. 20 For if, after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overcome, the latter end is worse for them than the beginning. 21 For it would have been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than having known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22 But it has happened to them according to the true proverb: “A dog returns to his own vomit,”[e] and, “a sow, having washed, to her wallowing in the mire.”
Posted by Word Of God, a resident of another community, on Jan 7, 2010 at 3:20 pm
1 This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop,[a] he desires a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; 3 not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money,[b] but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; 4 one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence 5 (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); 6 not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
Posted by sister in CHRIST, a resident of another community, on Jan 7, 2010 at 5:19 pm
MY HEART & PRAYERS GO OUT TO PASTOR PAUL & HIS FAMILY. WE DON'T NEED MESSY DETAILS, ONLY TO PRAY FOR RESTORATION IN HIS RELATIONSHIP W/ GOD & FAMILY. HE IS A MERE MAN USED BY GOD. SOMEWHERE HE HAS PAIN HE COULDN'T DEAL WITH. WE ARE ONE STEP AWAY FROM SIN WITHOUT GRACE & ACCOUNTABILITY ! WE NEED EACH OTHER. LET'S LOVE, HELP & ENCOURAGE-NOT CRITICIZE HIS SIN. WE ALL ARE WEAK IN THE FLESH AND NEED TO WALK IN THE SPIRIT. GOD BLESS U, PASTOR PAUL. UR LOVED.
Posted by Travis, a resident of another community, on Jan 7, 2010 at 10:52 pm
How many of you men here who are calling Pastor Paul a hypocrit would like for every thought that's crossed your mind over the past 24 hours to be posted on a billboard for all to see? How many of you have had inappropriate thoughts toward women whom you are not married to? I bet that covers about, hmm, let's see, maybe 100% of you? Don't judge this man. Pray for him, love him, restore him. He obviously already knows what he did was wrong. He confessed on his own, and God paid the price for His (and our) infidelities over 2000 years ago. Why are we 'christian' our own worst enemies when it comes to things like these?
Posted by Karyn, a resident of another community, on Jan 8, 2010 at 7:58 am
Dear Pastor Sheppard, I love you, I pray for you and your family. Hoping that God will restore your ministry better than before. You have helped us all to understand God's Word in the simplest terms. Thank you for showing us how to repent and be sorry for your sin. Thank you for not continuing and stepping down. I remember long long ago, when Kathryn Kulmann stepped down because she had had an affair with a married man and she confessed it and God restored her ministry better than every before. God used her as a vessel to do HIS work. He can use you and again and I am praying for restoration because we are all subject to sin and do so daily. There is NO big or little sin, any sin is just that sin. We all do it, no one except Jesus was perfect that is why He had to die to take away the sins. Everyday we must die daily to sin. For the atheist, you will have your day in hell real soon, the bible is very clear about that.
Posted by TP, a resident of another community, on Jan 8, 2010 at 8:24 am
God is good and great. We know He is Almighty and reigns over us since the earth is His footstool and the heavens is His throne. He makes the sun rise and set. He makes the stars twinkle in the sky. He gives us sunshine and rain, all life and everything in creation was made by Him and for Him. Our life spans are nothing before Him who is the beginning and end. His love is so rich; He gave us Christ who was born of a virgin mother. The blood of Christ paid a price we can never pay.
Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. He is head of the church. He has all power, overflowing love, mercy and forgiveness. He meets us exactly where we are. He doesn’t give us a bunch of prerequisites in order to come to Him. His love is patient and kind. His Word is like none other. He knows we like some of His Word while we cringe, resist and rebel in other areas. He loves us anyway, the purpose of His Word is to protect us and keep us from harm. Even when we get into trouble, those of us in Him, have His promise that He will never abandon us. While He forgives we sometimes have to live with the consequences of our disobedience. Even then He gives us mercy, strength and the ability to endure.
Pastor Paul is held to a higher standard but all of us have to give an account to God. Only God can be God. Ultimately God has the final word about Pastor Paul and each one of us. Yes, I wonder many things about many things and at those moments I am reminded to trust God since He is the only One with all the answers. Trusting God and loving others as Jesus would during times like these is an exercise of faith and a great workout for me. I cannot help but feel for Pastor Paul and his family the way I would want people to feel about me when I fail and especially if I should fall in such a public way.
There is no going back in time for any of us only forward. Many of us are looking forward to see what God does next in Pastor Paul’s life as well as our own. We pray and hope for many things. Certainly, I am not where I want to be in my walk with Christ but I am glad I’m not where I used to be by the Grace of God.
Posted by Janice Schmidt, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Jan 8, 2010 at 9:21 am
I think that the problem isn't that Paul Sheppard was a flawed human being who got caught up in lust and an immoral sexual relationship. The problem was that he obviously continued in ministry when he knew that he was trapped in such sin. How do you preach against hypocrisy and stand up against sexual impurity when you are actually living in sin? They used to say that the "fear of God" kept people from sinning. Is that in the Bible? I don't know.
I am not going to throw stones at Pastor Paul Sheppard for the sin itself. As a wife and mother, I am going to question his moral compass for neglecting to step down from his position when he first fell into sin. Instead, he continued life like always. He kept preaching when he himself needed to change his ways. Maybe his ministry became similar to a job in secular life?
I think that I remember reading something about King Saul being rejected after he was no longer "small in his own eyes." After his sin was privately exposed, he wanted to continue to hold his position as king. I guess this was the first demonstration that his heart was in the wrong place. It was all about covering up his own sin so that people would hold him on that little pedestal. King David, on the other hand, committed seemingly worse sins but wanted to die when they were privately exposed. He wasn't concerned about his position or office. David was worried about the condition of his relationship with God. I guess it is a matter of the heart.
Of course, I am not a minister. I am just a wife and mother. I will be praying for the man and his family. However, I don't think that he should stand in front of any church or microphone until he is willing to step down at the times that he needs to.
As for those atheists, you have a right to your opinions. However, it is very sad that you point the fingers at Christians (or those who simply believe in God) and ridicule them or their beliefs. This is disgusting religious bigotry. Why do you feel so empowered to mock people based on their sacred religious beliefs? It is hypocritical to desire tolerance when you are extremely intolerant.
Posted by JESUS FAN, a resident of another community, on Jan 8, 2010 at 11:06 am
Pastor Paul Sheppard is in my opinion one of the best Pastors in the world. I am very sad that he and his family had to face this crisis. I am also sad that all the listeners of Pastor Paul can not look forward to hearing The Word of God the way Pastor Paul preached it. But JESUS LIVES no matter what and The Word of GOD will always stand. Pastor Paul would not be who he is if it were not for God. So if you are not reading the Gospel Of Jesus Christ now is the time. I will tell you the Words Of God through Jesus Christ in the Gospel is way better than Pastor Paul any day.
Posted by 2 ALCF, a resident of another community, on Jan 8, 2010 at 11:44 am
For the leaders, staff and congregation at ALCF please remember what the LORD said to Joshua after Moses died in Joshua Ch.1:
vs. 5 "No one will be able to stand against you as long as you live. For I [the LORD] will be with you as I was with Moses. I will not fail you or abandon you.
vs. 6 Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them.
vs. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses [CHRIST came to my mind here] gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do.
vs. 8 Study this Book of Instruction continually. Meditate on it day and night so you will be sure to obey everything written in it. Only then will you prosper and succeed in all you do.
vs. 9 This is my command - be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the LORD your God is with you werever you go." NLT
Posted by Across the miles in TX, a resident of another community, on Jan 8, 2010 at 12:11 pm
It's time for Pastor Sheppard and his family to let God heal them as He sees fit. Truth is, the enemy is after all of us so beware of your own temptations. The enemy wants nothing more than to divide and conquer us. Don't take the bait! It's time for us to drop the stones of judgment and seek God's face for the entire body of Christ.
"BRETHREN, IF any person is overtaken in misconduct or sin of any sort, you who are spiritual [who are responsive to and controlled by the Spirit] should set him right and restore and reinstate him, without any sense of superiority and with all gentleness, keeping an attentive eye on yourself, lest you should be tempted also." Gal 6:1 AMP
"By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." John 13:35 KJV
Posted by Robin Ha yes, a resident of another community, on Jan 8, 2010 at 12:13 pm
I will pray for this family as ALL of us should be doing. As far as judging the man I will get to that as soon as I get this log and a half out of my own eye:. I know he is annointed and he made a Life changing mistake, but it can be restored IN JESUS NAME. Please let us all pray for him and let the healing begin!! Amen.
Posted by caligirlforchrist, a resident of another community, on Jan 8, 2010 at 5:16 pm
Guess what - he's still out there looking for you and I - the deceiver - Satan - Like a roaring lion he's roaming, seeking, looking for those he can devour. Our protection is the armour of God, his word and the Holy Ghost - our true leader and guide.
Posted by TW, a resident of another community, on Jan 8, 2010 at 9:23 pm
Part I of II
I have lived in many States in the US and also abroad, hence have been to many churches and sat under a variety of teachers. As I prayed and processed this in front of God, I would like to share my thoughts...
I first heard Pastor Paul preached in 2005 and started attending ALCF in 2009. From 05 to 09, we have noticed real growth in Pastor Paul in the quality, depth and insights of his preaching. As per our observations, Pastor Paul uniquely delivers Scriptures with grace, humor and truth without watering down key doctrines or entice people with empty human promises.
Some might have mistaken other motivational presentations as preaching done by some TV evangelists. On the contrary, Pastor Paul's preaching is distinguishably Christ Centered yet without leaving out human responsibilities. Having been to churches with pastors who care more about the duties of a CEO rather than shepherding the flock, I wouldn't describe Pastor Paul that way..
How often do you hear your minister keep reminding you of Forgiveness of Sins, the process of Sanctification, God's Redemptive Plan, Love, Truth & Grace, as revealed in Scriptures? Maybe others (I don't know everyone at ALCF) might preach based on emotionalism, but in all fairness, I can't say that it is Pastor Paul.
On the other hand, I would agree that ALCF can benefit from stronger teaching in different Theological and Doctrinal concepts without becoming Legalistic or Dogmatic.
As far as I know, Pastor Paul has been a humble servant; not a lover of money as far as I can see, doesn't possess a wardrobe full of expansive designer clothes, jewelries, nor live in big luxurious houses, nor drive fancy expansive cars. (members of ALCF, feel free to correct me if I am wrong.)
The congregations are not impressed by such things but by his humility, gentleness and sincere preaching of the Word. He gave of himself fully in each service and doesn't hold back. To me, he doesn't promote legalism nor cheap grace without repentance.
I believe that we as Christians have a lot to learn from this incident.
Pastor Paul himself has admitted that he has committed moral failings. The fact is he has fallen and in a non-mistaken way, has to be dealt with and disciplined by the body at ALCF. The question is how to restore the fallen, even though that someone is as well known, well loved and gifted as Pastor Paul.
Posted by TW, a resident of another community, on Jan 8, 2010 at 9:32 pm
Continue from my previous comment....Part II of II
I believe that we as Christians have a lot to learn from this incident. Pastor Paul himself has admitted that he has committed moral failings. The fact is he has fallen and in a non-mistaken way, has to be dealt with and disciplined by the body at ALCF. The question is how to restore the fallen, even though that someone is as well known, well loved and gifted as Pastor Paul.
I respect those who quote different Scriptures on qualifications for leadership. I believe we have to view these verses in the context of the whole Scriptures and let Scriptures shed light for other Scriptures.
For instance, we read in MATT 5:27-28 where Jesus pointed out that a person can commit adultery in his heart even without doing so with his body. So, adultery is much more than a physical event--it is an issue of the heart...
So those who think they would like to disqualify Pastor Paul in view of certain Scriptures, then should we ask of our leaders, who before they step up as elders, teachers or pastors, to tell the body that they have not sinned according to MATT 5:27-28 or rest of MATT 5? This is the test set by Christ to us as believers, let alone being leaders.
I doubt those who are truly honest can step forward according to that standard. We would all fail the test in MATT 5. The key here is not that we will never sin, but what we and the church will do after the person sinned.
I agree with Al earlier that it has to follow the outlines of Scriptures and carried out the discipline in love. Reference found here: Web Link
"It is the corporate responsibility of the church to punish wrongdoing (2 Cor 2:6; 10:6), to excommunicate in the case of persistent sin (1 Cor 5:2, 10-13) and to reinstate the repentant (2 Cor 2:7-8). Paul had to rebuke the Corinthians initially for not disciplining the individual in question (v. 9). Now the church has gone too far in the other direction (v. 6)."
"Paul's counsel to them is threefold. First, the punishment by the majority is sufficient (v. 6). Mention of the man's sorrow (v. 7) shows that the punishment had its intended effect; the person has repented of his action."
In fact, God is Holy & Just so won't overlook sin but also Loving & Forgiving and will Redeem sinners. But the elders have to confront Pastor Paul in Love and Truth. And before they carry out any appropriate Godly Discipline or per 2Cor 2, they will serve us well by searching their own hearts and souls according to MATT 5 and MATT 7:3-4.
All of us who attend ALCF should search our own hearts too. As all of us humbled ourselves in front of God, He might even bring about a revival of repentance and restorations in our mist!
Posted by ALCF Member-EPA, a resident of another community, on Jan 9, 2010 at 11:39 am
This comment is directed to Debra who ceased to to attend ALCF because what she perceived as a "rock-star" atmosphere. I am so very sorry that you left, but even sorrier that you have not attached yourself to another local body of Christ that was more compatible with what you need/want in a church. You must not have heard PP exigete (sp?) what The Bible has to say about becoming a "Lone Ranger Christian". You place yourself in a dangerous position when you attempt to cultivate a meaningful relationship with The Lord by yourself & outside of the structure of a local body of believers. Please take a good look at Hebrews 10, paying particular attention to verse 25. In a real-life, practical application, think about the warmth of a real wood-burning fire. That fire can't start without several logs of wood and, once started, it won't continue with just one log in the hearth. You need to get yourself connected with a local church & I will lift you in prayer to that end. God Bless You, Debra.
Posted by LILLIAN N WILLIAMS, a resident of another community, on Jan 9, 2010 at 3:36 pm
THE BIBLE SAY'S, "FOR A RIGHTEOUS MAN MAY FALL SEVEN TIMES AND RISE AGAIN, BUT THE WICKED SHALL FALL BY CALAMITY." (PROV. 24:16) JESUS SAID, "HE WHO IS WITHOUT SIN AMONG YOU, LET HIM THROW A STONE AT HER FIRST." HE REFERRED TO THE WOMAN CAUGHT IN ADULTERY. (JOHN 8:7B) WE, WHO CLAIM THE NAME OF JESUS, ALL KNOW, WHAT (1 PETER 4:17)SAY'S. JUDGMENT MUST BEGIN AT THE HOUSE OF THE LORD. WHEN WE FALL, IT IS UP TO THE REST OF THE HOUSEHOLD OF FAITH, TO SEE OUR BROTHERS AND SISTERS RISE TO LIFE AGAIN. THERE ARE MANY SCRIPTURES WE CAN FIND TO TELL US WHO HAVE BEEN STRONG IN THIS SITUATION, THAT WE ARE TO BEAR THE SCRUPLES OF THE WEAK. IF I AM TO FORGIVE A SINNER, SEVEN TIMES SEVEN, I MUST CONSIDER A FELLOW BELIEVER TO BE OF MORE VALUE.
TO YOU, PASTOR PAUL; ELEVATION IN THE LORD IS GIVEN YOU, BECAUSE YOU HAVE BEEN A TOOL USED OF AN ALMIGHTY GOD. IN THE MIDST OF YOUR WALK, WHILE TEACHING, DRAWING SOULS TO GOD, AND BUILDING AND SECURING THE FOUNDATION OF THE KINGDOM, YOU-YOURSELF FELL TO TEMPTATION. YOU HAVE MADE KNOWN YOUR SIN, AND YOU HAVE STEPPED DOWN FROM THE HEIGHT WHICH GOD GAVE TO YOU. IN TIMES GONE BY, THE GOD OF HEAVEN SHOWED NO MERCY AT THE SINS OF THE PRIEST. HE DESTROYED THEM AND THEIR ONCOMING GENERATIONS. IN GRACE, JESUS DIRECTED THEM TO SEE THE WHOLE PICTURE OF PURPOSE. SIN IS SIN, AND EVEN THE DISCIPLES FELL TO FEAR. MY BIBLE STILL SAY'S JESUS PREPARED A PLACE FOR THE DISCIPLES. BEFORE THEY ALL PREACHED, THEY LEFT US AN ASSURANCE OF THE HOLY GHOST. THE HOLY GHOST IS PRESENT WITH US TODAY. WE OFTEN FORGET WHAT HE REPRESENTS. ONLY ON THE ALTAR, CAN WE HAVE OUR SELF-INFLICTED BLINDNESS REMOVED. GOD IS A RIGHTEOUS GOD. GOD IS A MERCIFUL GOD. ONLY THE SONS OF GOD WOULD BE SO HEAVILY TESTED OR JUDGED. FORGIVENESS AWAITS YOU, AT THE CROSS. FIRST WORKS ARE WHAT GOD WANTS, AS OUR GUIDING LIGHT THROUGH LIFE. IF WE CAN REMEMBER WHEN WE DESIRED JESUS MORE THAN LIFE, WE ARE ABLE TO MAKE OUR WAY BACK. JESUS WAS THERE, AND HE'S THERE WITH YOU NOW. MEET HIM AT THE POINT OF PRAYER, AND HE WILL RESTORE YOU AND YOURS. HOLD ONTO THE HORNS OF THE ALTAR, AND DON'T LET GO! I PRAY YOUR STRENGTH, AND THE BLESSINGS OF GOD TO ANOINT THE MRS., TO REMAIN THE WOMAN OF GOD YOU WERE BLESSED BY GOD TO HAVE AT YOUR SIDE. (firstname.lastname@example.org)PHILADELPHIA, PA.
Posted by CTFincher, a resident of another community, on Jan 9, 2010 at 5:42 pm
A few years ago when my wife and I drove many miles to hear Mr. Shepherd and were so impressed with his church she said that we really needed to pray for him because he was so effective that Satan would do anything to see that he fell. I confess I did not pray as I ought and Satan was able to bring his failure, we need to realize that we are all sinners saved by grace if we are believers and therefore we are all capable of this. Yet God forgave me, Jesus died to pay for my sin and for Paul's also. I will no longer ignore the prayers I should have been praying, asking God to bring him to repentance, to forgive him, not because he did not sin, but because Jesus died on a cross to pay the price Paul and all of us are due. My prayer is that God will take this great evil and bring good out of it.
Don't make the mistake of ignoring his message because the preacher ignored it himself. Recognize that all of us could have done what he did. I just found out about this and I am grieving, forgive me all of you for not praying as my wife suggested, perhaps this would not have happened if we had all prayed more. Those who are used greatly are in great jeopardy and truly need our prayers. Paul I am praying for you!
Posted by Brenda, a resident of another community, on Jan 9, 2010 at 11:28 pm
As has been expressed, I am saddened that this has happened. I know that God is faithful and forgiving and that this too can be overcome. I am so sorry that all of his past sermons have been removed from web. His teaching was such a blessing to me and countless others. It would be nice to be able to hear them again.
The reality is we all have sinned and fallen short, but that does not negate the positive things we have sown into other's lives. I understand his reasons for not preaching at this time, but I would only hope that he realizes that his voice was being used in a powerful way to bless others. I hope that those past sermons will be available as they were truly a good word!
Posted by Info on Enduring Truth, a resident of another community, on Jan 10, 2010 at 7:16 am
I also wanted to mention it appears these were taken off the radio probably because radio airtime is extremely expensive. Hopefully all of our Emails and letter requests will ensure this archive will remain until the end of the year.
Posted by Kirk, a resident of another community, on Jan 10, 2010 at 11:02 am
I listed to Paul Sheppard for years but we lost the station he was on a few months ago. He is a tremendous Bible teacher and I ordered many of his CDs and hope I can order more in the future. Who knows what was happening in his heart that made for fertile ground for moral failure. The Bible says that sin is crouching at the door so be on guard always. Can he ever pastor a church again and be in keeping with biblical standards? Probably not. Can he be restored to fellowship and continue to teach the Word. I don't find any scriptural conflict there. If his ministry is eternally defunct, then sin has had the final word concerning his service. I don't believe this is biblical. We minister out of our redemption! Paul is no less redeemed than he was 20 years ago. If he is repentant, he can ge restored. One thing did bother me in reading this thread and that is that it seems ALCF avoids taking a stand on controversial, devisive issues. They might want to rethink that. Homesexuality and abortion, like all sin, is wrong. Why? Because God says so and He has our best interest at heart. God never changes and our sin cannot change Him. So, why does He call certain behaviors and attitudes sin? Because those behaviors/attidudes are not good for people. Sin is NOT GOOD for the sinner! The church must start standing firm and preaching against sin - all sin.
Posted by In agreement, a resident of another community, on Jan 10, 2010 at 11:44 am
Pastor Paul's series titled Keeping in Step with the Spirit on the KFAX web site was powerful. Regardless of the actual way he failed morally, one thing was absolutely clear; he was acutely aware that a-n-y-o-n-e can have a fall including him. This scripturally sound and biblically correct teaching was an incredible blessing to my heart today.
I agree with Kirk that he will probably not pastor a congregation again but he will certainly be okay in time. Our prayers for him, wife, family and the congregation God built up through his willingness to serve the LORD.
Posted by will miss hearing Pastor Paul, a resident of another community, on Jan 10, 2010 at 8:46 pm
I am SO SAD to hear of this, I wondered what had happened when his show wasn't on. I listen to Paul Sheppard on NYC radio. Oddly enough, his teachings were helping me through the betrayal and abandonment by my own husband! I wanted to believe there were men out there who believed in fidelity. It was so wonderful to hear him talk as he did about being a real man. Billy Graham said he kept away from what (not his words)used to be termed "occasions of sin" (I think this may be a Catholic term) but that he was "…NEVER alone in a room with a woman not [his] wife!". This was with humility to his own human condition, and as a pastoral "celebrity" and "Lolas" in the world.
It's so sad too I thought him such a wonderful inspiration for men, especially the non-christians like those posting to this site who have NO concept of why Christ came, but I do believe God can work all for the good. And,of course, I don't know what really happened, only see the postings here. There are many varieties of "moral failing".
My heart and prayers go out to his family and him. May they hold on to covenantal vows and may the knowledge of the love of Christ heal them in time and repair their marriage. I respect greatly those who confess to their wrongs and go on to honor and keep together. I PRAY Paul Sheppard will be an example of repentance, contrition and how to amend.
Posted by VANESSA, a resident of another community, on Jan 11, 2010 at 11:12 am
Pastor Paul, no one can look down on you. What did Jesus say, He who is without sin throw the first stone. Well, there you have it. You need to hold your head up and continue to spread God's Word. David did it. So you must draw your strength from God and He will do exactly what He said He would. Forgive you and forget it. Now God gave you an assignment, then you need to finish it. So what if people think this or that, you have to obey our Father which is in Heaven.So stand up and get out of that cave(Elijah)and continue to do God's will. Remember not one person on this planet has a heaven or hell to put you in. Amen
Posted by VANESSA, a resident of another community, on Jan 11, 2010 at 11:12 am
Pastor Paul, no one can look down on you. What did Jesus say, He who is without sin throw the first stone. Well, there you have it. You need to hold your head up and continue to spread God's Word. David did it. So you must draw your strength from God and He will do exactly what He said He would. Forgive you and forget it. Now God gave you an assignment, then you need to finish it. So what if people think this or that, you have to obey our Father which is in Heaven.So stand up and get out of that cave(Elijah)and continue to do God's will. Remember not one person on this planet has a heaven or hell to put you in. Amen
Posted by Donna King, a resident of another community, on Jan 11, 2010 at 2:31 pm
I am praying for Pastor Paul and his family. I am so thankful that God is a God who is full of mercy and grace. I pray that Pastor will avail himself of God's forgiveness, and rely on his grace and mercy for restoration for him and his family. Also please let us keep the other parties who are just as devasted in our prayers.
Posted by Repenter, a resident of another community, on Jan 11, 2010 at 8:47 pm
Christian Brothers & Sisters, please pray for the fools that revel in Pastor Paul Shepperd's stumble. They are spiritually empty miserable people that require a lot of prayer. They are non-believers, claim to be atheists, promoters of evil and are on the wide path of the wicked. It's almost comical when a person calls church attendees hypocrites because they should also attend to become a perfect fit. They have no understanding of God's word and right now they are spiritually dead and have no clue. They require a lot of love and much prayer. Don't engage in their folly. Do what God tells you to do in His word. The following:
Psalm 14:1 - The fool hath said in his heart, [There is] no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, [there is] none that doeth good.
Pro 10:18 - He that hideth hatred [with] lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, [is] a fool.
Pro 10:23 - [It is] as sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of
understanding hath wisdom.
Pro 12:15 - The way of a fool [is] right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel [is] wise.
Pro 12:16 - A fool's wrath is presently known: but a prudent [man]
Pro 13:16 - Every prudent [man] dealeth with knowledge: but a fool
layeth open [his] folly.
Pro 14:16 - A wise [man] feareth, and departeth from evil: but the
fool rageth, and is confident.
Pro 17:24 - Wisdom [is] before him that hath understanding; but the
eyes of a fool [are] in the ends of the earth.
Pro 17:28 - Even a fool, when he holdeth his peace, is counted wise: [and] he that shutteth his lips [is esteemed] a man of understanding.
Pro 18:2 - A fool hath no delight in understanding, but that his heart may discover itself.
Pro 18:7 - A fool's mouth [is] his destruction, and his lips [are] the snare of his soul.
Pro 23:9 - Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the
wisdom of thy words.
Pro 24:7 - Wisdom [is] too high for a fool: he openeth not his mouth in the gate.
Pro 26:4 - Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.
Pro 28:26 - He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso
walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.
Pro 29:11 - A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise [man] keepeth it in till afterwards.
Ecc 2:14 - The wise man's eyes [are] in his head; but the fool walketh in darkness: and I myself perceived also that one event happeneth to them all.
Posted by Elaine, a resident of another community, on Jan 11, 2010 at 9:40 pm
It looks like Pastor Paul and his wife Meridith are being moved to another level of faith and ministry. Regardless of what those who have nothing but negative to say, God is a God of forgivance, mercy, and grace! I know my God, and he did not put his word that deeply on the inside of this man of God for naught. Yes he fell, we all do, but it just saddens me that this one incident can be solely looked at while dismissing the awesome work that God has done through this man. I love Pastor Paul though I don't know him personally. His obedience to the call to preach the word of God has impacted my life greatly. For those of you who: "saw this coming", "left his ministry for whatever reason" and so on and so forth. Remember 1Cor. 10:12 warns us to take heed thinking that we stand least we fall. Pastor Paul Earl Sheppard is a son of the most high God, great is the LORDS mercy and grace to those who love him. He is and always be the servant of the Most high God, so let God deal with his sins and let us worry about our own!! I'm praying for you pastor Paul. And I am certain that we will be hearing from you as the LORD moves you and your wife in a new direction.
Posted by Nancy, a resident of another community, on Jan 12, 2010 at 2:11 am
"ALL" have sinned, and fallen short of God's glory. What is so difficult to understand in this word?? He is as human as we are.He needs to be prayed for as well as He and Meredith go through the "for better or for worse" stage of their marriage, and let forgiveness take hold.
I send my love and prayers to you from Texas and will watch the Lord do another mighty act of His powerful hand!
Posted by Paulette Stevens, a resident of another community, on Jan 12, 2010 at 10:25 am
I was devastated to learn of Pastor Paul's resignation. I live in the Washington DC area and have been listening to Enduring Truth for a few years on the internet. I started listening to him when I was going through a "midnight of the soul" season in my own ministry and life. God used Pastor Paul to restore joy to my ministry in a time when the difficulties and challenges of pastoring had almost caused me to give up and quit! When I was not able to download current messages onto my iphone I searched the internet to learn of his confession of moral failure. My spirit was greatly grieved and I cried! I cried because of the impact his resignation will have on the Kingdom of God. I cried because Pastor Paul's acts of "moral infidelity" could easily become a stumbling block -- especially for young converts and others who may not be spiritually mature enough to accept that "All sin and fall short of the glory of God." I cried because once again, the devil got a foot in the doorhold and will use the weaknesses of a man to attack the church, attempt to diminish it's witness and create division in the body of Christ.
I am praying for Pastor Paul's full restoration. Inspite of human failure, he is an anointed man of God and God is not finished with him yet -- or any of us -- for that matter. Out of this test there will be an even greater testimony!!! For those of you who are throwing stones, be careful. They might come back to hit you in the head.
I am praying for the entire Sheppard family, the church family, the Body of Christ and especially for those who are discouraged and dissillusioned by these current events. "And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called to His purpose for them!" Ro. 8:28
Posted by Jodie Morton, a resident of another community, on Jan 12, 2010 at 12:30 pm
My heart goes out to Meredith and his daughter. when I first heard I said not another man of God. Meredith I pray for you and I know your pain. I pray for your marriage daily and that God will help you to endure ,this too shall pass. Alicia please do not let this affect what you believe or who you have become in Christ. Pastor Paul Much love your ministry has blessed me tremendously and I know God is not finished with you this will be a another chapter in your work for the kingdom. If we do not go through anything we cannot teach others how to get through and trust God.
If there is another woman involved I pray for you because in this life we reap what we sow . I'm not saying that to be mean I'm just saying God is NOT PLEASED with all the live affected by the decision you guys made.
Posted by ron g, a resident of another community, on Jan 12, 2010 at 2:43 pm
pastor paul was an inspiration to me from the very first time i heard his message. we must all remember that if anyone preaches from the Word of our Lord and the message, not the messenger speaks directly to our hearts then it's a blessing from God. many get caught up in the speaker and are desvestated when sin consumes them..i was shocked yet immediately asked our Lord Jesus Christ to bless this man and his family. he who is without sin may freely throw their stones but the stones will fall upon their own heads and their knees some day will bow and they will, everyone will, like it or not and proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord and then eternal heaven or hell whichever you so chose..God bless you Pastor as you have my forgiveness and have it abundently..ron
Posted by Rachel, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Jan 12, 2010 at 3:38 pm
If Pastor Paul starts a church in a vacant lot on the corner I will attend. He has been blessed with a GIFT from GOD...not a devil in hell can change that. Through much pain is much growth!!! So when he returns, and he will; 6,000 members is peanuts compared to what he's going to do.
Posted by One of the original 34, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Jan 12, 2010 at 4:31 pm
As one who toiled in the vineyard to see what folks now call ALCF- I shutter to think what pain my Savior has as he listens to the words/comments of people who are so quick to judge! The scripture states very clearly that we are NOT to speak against the one God has filled with his "gift". Pastor Paul is that one! Yes, he is human and yes he has done; whatever he has done that he has "labelled" as a "moral failure". The rest of us should be praying!! NOT speculating as to what the failure IS!! We should be checking ourselves, we are NOT exempt from sin!!! We should be repenting!! GOD is writing all this DOWN and I fear some folks are going to miss Heaven and Slide head first into a place that was prepared for the devil and his angels! To the Sheppard Family my prayers are with YOU! I am praying for ALCF and both the religious and secular community as well.
Posted by Thrilled, a resident of another community, on Jan 12, 2010 at 5:40 pm
Happiness is what happens and I am so happy Pastor Paul's Enduring Truth archives are still available to listen over the Internet! Somedays I long for Christ to get me out of this crazy world. Then I remember from the book of John where HE prays for us to not be taken out of the world but be kept from evil.
Posted by Confused, a resident of another community, on Jan 12, 2010 at 6:14 pm
Being newer in my walk with Christ than many I thought once you are saved according to scripture that you are saved. SO HOW CAN A PERSON WHO HAS FAITH IN SALVATION THROUGH CHRIST still go to hell? Maybe I simply confused the term missing heaven as being synonymous with going to hell.
Anyway I am glad for the opportunity to wean myself off of Pastor Paul's style of teaching in case he does not return to teaching the masses. The same way most people don't wean a baby by giving it a cup one day in place of a bottle.
He helped me understand how scripture relates to everyday life. I really miss him, feel a sense of loss and a bit of disappointment too, but I believe this pain too will pass in time.
Posted by Clarity, a resident of another community, on Jan 12, 2010 at 6:37 pm
A guest pastor at ALCF once eloquently described the relationship of a person who came to Christ with this example I am paraphrasing: Every human has a mother and father whether living or deceased. Let's say you were to do some horrible thing like commit an axe murder; though your mama might not want to admit it she would still have to say yes this is my son/daughter.
Regardless to what you do or not do, THE FACT THAT SHE GAVE BIRTH TO YOU DOES NOT CHANGE. As I understand scripture the same premise applies to those who are children of GOD through a personal relationship with CHRIST as described in scripture. We are all and will continue to be works in progress until GOD says otherwise.
Posted by am, a resident of the Blossom Valley neighborhood, on Jan 13, 2010 at 4:22 am
disappointed!!!!!!!!!!!!!! slipped out the back door without addressing your congregation. your sin minimized "moral failure". you had a public ministry therefore a public confession to your congregation should have occurred. praying for your. :-)
Posted by Dear John, a resident of another community, on Jan 13, 2010 at 7:04 am
I quit. I did something wrong and addressed it in private with the one I offended, but now I must make everyone aware that I did something wrong. Most will understand that what I actually did is not important for everyone to know.
Oh yeah, remember when I had that accident and had a letter printed so attendees could read it for themselves? Well, although this letter would be safe enough to print for the people here to read let's save some trees.
Please do me a favor and have someone read my message above from your pda, Blackberry or whatever. You know the way one would read a bedtime story to a three year old? Most will not remember my letter word for word and it may cause some confusion and things to be taken out of context but oh well.
Posted by AW, a resident of another community, on Jan 13, 2010 at 8:38 am
Sometimes the best way to leave is to get in the wind, get to stepping dont turn back, look back or go back. Instead trust God and look forward to what He has planned next.
At the same time your prayer for the people left behind is for them to quickly get through the grieving process of shock - "He/she what?!"; disbelief - "Did I understand this correctly?!" Anger - "Why this or that?!!" Acceptance - "Oh well ..." AND healing/moving on - "This is the day that the Lord has made I will rejoice and be glad in it. I am believing and trusting solely in God for His very best for my life".
I am pleasing Him when I practice love according to the biblical example, walk in faith, have hope, count all my blessings and enjoy my life here on earth above ground. Oh what a feeling to be so free in Christ and for God to have moved me through this process so quickly.
My prayers for Pastor Paul and his family, I am sure he has moved on already and enjoying looking forward to whatever is next in his life. You go boy!!!!!!!!
Posted by Bill, a resident of the Blossom Valley neighborhood, on Jan 13, 2010 at 4:23 pm
You all need to stop thinking of when Paul Shepphard will return and pray for him to just get his family healed. IT takes time for things to heal for a family when this happens. HOw would you feel if your spouse was unfaithful to you? Would you act like it was no big deal?
Get real people. Christians can be so ridiculous. YOu act like he just went over 65 on the highway. This is serious and he needs to step away for awhile and wait on God.
Posted by Pastor Malone, a resident of another community, on Jan 13, 2010 at 4:24 pm
Pastor Paul, I love you! Thank you for the word of God that you dispense in a way, than any other person I have ever heard in my life. As a Pastor, been there and done that, this too shall past, and to your family, only God can fill the void in your life after a episode like this. Pastor Paul, this maybe a hard one to swollow for many people, but GOD is not through with you yet. I am looking forward to listening to the coming messages, as God prepares through you in the coming future as a result of times like these. "Keep the faith!"
Posted by GJ, a resident of another community, on Jan 13, 2010 at 7:49 pm
He confessed his moral failure to his wife and they have been working on it for months. At least he will not end up killing someone because of excessive speeding. Going public is smart if the public was at risk everytime a speed racer gets on the highway.
As a pastor of a congregation of thousands I would step down too before I accidentally ran over one of my sheep. Good job Pastor Paul and we are praying that you get your driving speed under control. Also for Meredith as her safety is in jeopardy every time she is a passenger in your car.
Posted by JamesMontoya, a resident of another community, on Jan 13, 2010 at 9:10 pm
Frist of All I would like to say that our prayers are with the Sheppard Family. As a member of ALCF we as a church were astonished and shocked by the news.. But we must remember as Christians that Pastor Paul even though he was an wonderful and anointed Preacher, Pastor Paul still had the same temptations of the flesh as anyone else. Pastor Paul was not immune to these temptations. It's a sad day for all Christians a Brother or Sister has stumbled. this time it was Pastor Paul and we need to be there for them to encourage him and build him up and God will handle the rest. God has Forgiven Him,His Family has Forgiven him, And We should forgive him as well. For we are all part of one body and Pastor Paul is still apart of that body. We are All redeemed by the same Blood! PAstor PAul Wil be greatly missed
On a more positive note I was so happy that the Church numbers did dwindle at Pastor Paul's Departure. This shows that the Church Is Focused on GOd Word rather than The Man.. The Church is Going Strong and has not missed a beat. Praise GOd ... GOd Bless the Sheppard Family and all of GOd's Children
Posted by Moral relativism, a resident of another community, on Jan 13, 2010 at 9:31 pm
If Pastor Paul stepped down because his moral failure was indeed excessive highway speeds, everyone’s opinion, prayers and feelings here would remain the same or change? How about if he were a Sunday school teacher?
The bible instructs believers to not be conformed to the ways of the world but to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.
Therefore if one Christian stole a paperclip and another Christian made off with 10 billion dollars, we know that the laws of the land separate misdemeanors and felonies based on dollar values BUT according to God’s law is the sin of stealing the 10 billion dollars greater than stealing a paperclip?
The answer should be no BUT does the degree of punishment vary according to God’s law? Stealing 10 billion would not likely happen in one swift transaction and in all probability include a multitude of other moral failures to pull it off no matter what those were.
The point I am driving at here is there are a great number of people in the body of Christ, self included, who simply do not understand who determines what degree of a moral failure mandates when a pastor can stay or has to go?
Some of us are so new to Christ we have no clue although we are in bible study, growth groups and things. Is this a question that falls into the realm of non essential doctrine??
Brothers and Sisters if we sincerely want to win souls for Christ we must take every opportunity to challenge our thinking. Remember the Word of God does not change so if we hold a belief that is contrary to the Word of God,regardless of how we came to believe something, we instantly know that God is always right therefore we must change.
Posted by Joseph Landrum, a resident of another community, on Jan 14, 2010 at 1:19 am
Pastor Paul has lead many people to the lord through the teachings that only God can provide. Pastor Paul has been a light in a dark world for me. The news of his resignation comes as a surprise to me as I have just learned of his situation. I turned on the computer to hear pastor Paul's teachings and he was gone. I see that the enemy is working overtime to destroy any kind of light that may shine on the world. I still listen to the teachings of Pastor Paul and always will. I also look forward to the teaching that pastor Paul will have after this trial is over in his life. For God uses trials like these to strengthen us in our walk with Him. For we all are made of flesh and flesh is made of sin. And we have to live with that, but through trials and tribulations we also learn that God will bring us through stronger than ever before. I personally would rather listen to a pastor who has been through many trials than i would listen to a man who has lived his life with none. I will be praying for you and your family throughout your trial. And I will pray that your family stand fast behind you. I Will be awaiting your next teachings, maybe you and your wife can teach together and be a stronger witness for the word of God. I know that you two are going through some hard times. But through the grace of God you shall Prevail.
Posted by Sweet Jesus, a resident of another community, on Jan 14, 2010 at 9:16 am
I honestly can not wait for what God is going to do in the life of Pastor Paul.I do not think any Pastor in this world is a perfect example of how God's Sheep should live their lives. Yesm Pastors have enormous gifts such as Paul Sheppard. These gifts help strengthen people's relationship with Christ bringing you closer and closer to God. Especially to people that do not read the Bible.If you do not read the Bible you better be going to church or listening to Pastor Paul's messages or better yet both.Your Goal is to please God by living a righteous life and doing His will. People that do not read the bible will never know what is in it. I am a Christian. I want to do what Jesus Christ did and what He said to do. He said to have Mercy!! Pull out any other scripture in the bible that contradicts what Jesus says and I will tell you what Jesus said!!!Again have Mercy and Forgive.Jesus is the Son Of God and no man is greater than the Son Of God. Jesus has complete authority given to Him by The Almighty God we serve. READ your bible the Word is not Gone!!!!!
Posted by jt, a resident of another community, on Jan 14, 2010 at 10:35 am
I can see Paul coming back to ALCF as a senior Pastor, maybe a year or two from now, and teaching the congregation about the sin he experienced. If God can turn the apostle Paul in the right direction after being responsible for the murder of Christians, He can restore Paul Sheppard's marriage and position as Pastor at ALCF. That would be a miracle wouldn't it? To say that he should not return because of "sin" is to say that Jesus didn't completely die for our sins.
Posted by Does this sound like you?, a resident of another community, on Jan 15, 2010 at 10:07 am
The Emerging/Emergent Church
and their use of "diaprax"
by Sandy Simpson, 11/28/05
The concept of the Emerging Church, as advertised worldwide in books, the web and on TV by the likes of Brian Mclaren, Leonard Sweet, Richard Foster, Dan Kimball, Rick Warren, Ken Blanchard and a whole host of others, seeks to cater to the postmodern mindset while using diaprax to achieve its goals. The Hegelian Dialectic is used in concert with praxis (known as “diaprax”) to brainwash an entire generation into creating a new hybrid Christianity. This new religion is full of Eastern mysticism and Gnosticism, while systematically redefining the teachings of Jesus Christ, the Apostles and Prophets within a subjectivist, existentialist worldview.
To achieve this end, any teaching and practices of biblical churches must first be vilified and exorcised. This is done through the process of Thesis/Antithesis (the Hegelian Dialectic). Orthodox biblical Christianity and its doctrines, the Thesis, are presented as being stodgy, boring, misspent energy, misapplied methodology, and frankly, evil. The new Antithesis is then presented, excesses pulled randomly out of the hat of modern culture while being careful to sound “balanced” in presenting those antithetical excesses as if nothing is written in stone and things are in a constant state of flux. The intended audience of 20/30somethings is then led to a middle point or to a point which Leonard Sweet mistakenly calls "oxymoronic". The ideas of the leaderhip of this movement can now present themselves as those who hold a “balanced” view, when in actuality it is often nowhere near ANY kind of balance. This is when the process of “praxis” or consensus kicks in. The audience is then allowed to express their opinion, to come to consensus or praxis, as long as it does not stray too far away from the center “balance” which belongs to the leadership. Sadly, many have observed in this process, as in other cults, that if too many questions are asked, the person is then suppressed and an attempt is made to “reprogram” them. If they are unwilling to come to praxis with everyone else, they are then told to leave or ostracized and demonized. This process is EXACTLY what cults do, what the Third Wave and Word-Faith churches do, what YWAM does, and is also what forms the basis for this "new" Emerging Church. The whole structure of the Emerging Church, as defined by the Eastern mystical teachings of it's leaderhip elite, is geared around a diaprax model. Those who buy into it assume they are hearing the truth, when in fact they are signing off on the half truths and outright lies of heretics and false teachers in the movement. By signing off, I mean that literally in many cases, as many of these churches, following the advice of Rick Warren and others, are having their adherents sign their discernment rights away in “convenants”.
The dumbing down of America and the world is nowhere quite as evident as in the Emerging Church. Emergers are not taught to think for themselves, but to come to praxis. This is all done in a non-judgmental atmosphere (as long as you don’t fundamentally disagree!). Since we already live in a generation that has learned to discern on the basis of feelings rather than the intellect used to study the Bible with the help of the Holy Spirit, the false teachers of this movement are free to “put one over” on the Christian public. But many Emergent teachers are simply parroting the thinking of their leadership who apparently ARE allowed to use their brains to come up with schemes to empower and enrich themselves at the expense of stupefied Christian masses that follow them. Though this movement is built on an evolutionary model of Christianity, with the notion that we as Christians have somehow evolved to a higher spiritual plane, the fact is this movement is the tail end of a devolution of the Faith, the falling away spoken of by Paul, the Apostasy.
The Emerging Church is an idea which appeals to many youth of today. In a modern society where fast food and blazing fast Internet is the norm, young people also want a Christian menu as large and as fast as the Internet. They want to be able to shop and compare religious practices, and combine them into a religion they will feel comfortable with. Gone are the days of hard truths and the ugly matter of the Gospel message. Now Christian consumers can have their cake and eat it too. They can believe in a God of love without believing in a God of judgment. They can mix together practices and teachings from every religion, while redefining Biblical teachings in the image of their new sycretized religion of self-indulgence. They can comfort themselves that they have always been worshipping God in their cultures, as Don Richardson erroneously claims, and now they are just growing closer to Him. They can combine Eastern mystical practices dedicated to false gods with worship of YHWH. They no longer have to witness the Gospel to people, they just invite them to church and “God” will take care of the rest (or the pastor, whichever comes first). They get to do their Yoga, martial arts, and contemplative prayer, and still call themselves followers of Christ. They can continue to do anything they want in life, as long as they have convinced themselves that what they are doing can be sanitized for their new Emergent lifestyles, and they no longer need be convicted of sin. They don't have to stick out like a sore thumb at work because they are being light and salt to the world, but can fit right in and disappear in the world. They can do all this and still claim they are the most anointed, evolved Christian generation that ever hit this planet without having to admit (as they must know down deep inside) that they are wretched, pitiful, poor blind and naked spiritually.
Posted by Does this sound like you?, a resident of another community, on Jan 15, 2010 at 5:47 pm
Why is it that when people 'feel' challenged they automatically draw the 'your judging' card...when in exclaiming 'your judging' charges, makes you guilty of 'judging' too. Reread the article...this is the exact 'diapraxed' state the writer of the article is talking about.
The statement set forth in the pseudonym 'Does this sound like you?' is a question designed to provoke, thought and pondering and at the very least perhaps a 'yes' or 'no' answer. You are free to elaborate on your 'yes' or your 'no' or you can even ignore it altogether. My FEELINGS won't be hurt.
For the record 'Amazed by Grace', I didn't write the article. I'm not that clever.
Posted by Touched by Angels, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Jan 15, 2010 at 9:26 pm
If I was the Ultimate Entity, and I was to create life, hell would not exist..let alone condemning anyone to such a place for an eternity because of ignorant or even malicious mistakes here in the physical form. If an all powerful Ultimate Entity such as "God" really is here, there, and everywhere, surely this "God" is even more understanding, forgiving, and loving than myself. How could hell exist I ask?? How could eternal life be a reality and rehabilitation isnt an option for those who are confused or demented?? Those who do inconceivable acts of violence against others are truly lost but surely with an eternity ahead of them I assume "God" could theoretically help instead of sending them to hell forever. We dont hold children accountable to the same degree as adults when wrongs are committed do we?? Why would "God" treat his "children" any differently?? I walk with Jesus but I am not affiliated with any religion. There are too many unanswered questions. I believe in the earth being 3.5 billion years old. I believe humanity has existed for at least 20,000 years. The scope of different people who goto hell for various reasons is lunacy to me. I believe in aliens. I dont believe the dinosaurs were in the Garden of Eden. I dont believe at anytime throughout humanity a human being could live thousands of years. I do believe that the earth was covered completely with water and that we must have evolved from organisms that live or at least had lived in water. I believe that if I create life and I know exactly where that life is headed and that life doesnt fulfill what is required to continue on like other lives I have created...that I believe, would be murder. I do not believe that suicide, being gay, having an abortion, cursing too often, or anything else send you to "hell". I do believe that Jesus was a great man who committed suicide. I do believe there are great admirable people who are gay. I do believe some amazing women with the most admirable character have had abortions. There is much more that I do believe and much more that I dont. I just suggest to the people around me...Love.
Posted by saved by grace, a resident of another community, on Jan 15, 2010 at 10:47 pm
does this sound like you == i know you didnt write the article,
you just posted it--obviously it doesnt reflect your heart.. in my opinion the article that you used to help us think was critical of some bible believing people who love God and confess Christ...
as for feeling that you had the judging card played on you --i'm sorry you feel you were unfairly assessed..its so easy to do.
at the end of the day i do believe that the Bible has clear moral standards and that church leaders are to be held to a higher standard
than those they lead... clearly Biblical morality makes little sense
to those who do not believe the scriptures to be Gods Holy Word..
but if we do believe ( and i do )then it means we do not have the luxury of simply building our own version of God based on what we want Him to be..
that is just another form of creating our own idol..
the Bible is crystal clear on many things and by any honest standard
some things are unambiguously presented as sin ( adultery, homosexuality, fornication etc.) Jesus and the Apostles had every chance to give a pass on these things -- but they did not..but other things are less clear and those things may require us to be more accomodating to differing views -- none of us should assume we get everything right...but that doesnt mean Christ followers do not have
a solid foundation to stand upon..it may even mean that at times
we must be willing to go against the grain of prevailing culture
Posted by Does this sound like you?, a resident of another community, on Jan 16, 2010 at 11:38 am
"in my opinion the article that you used to help us think was critical of some bible believing people who love God and confess Christ..." - In other words, did you 'feel' like you were being criticised? Challenged? Offended?
I find that when Christians 'feel' challenged the first thing they say after pulling out the 'don't judge card' is 'I believe! I'm saved! I'm a child of God!'
My observation is that you don't have to tell us, we'll see it for ourselves. For example, people who are living do not go around saying 'I'm living, I'm breathing', people can see that they are living and breathing. Just like being 'saved'. People will know if you are or not. The more one says 'I'm saved' the more I'm likely to suspect otherwise...but that's just my opinion. Afterall, nothing much should be deduced over an internet conversation.
'obviously it doesnt reflect your heart..' - I believe what the bible tells me about my heart in Jer 17:9. The hope is that God sees this wicked heart through the blood shed in Calvary. In other words, can't definitively say if I'm saved or not. Just working out my salvation with fear and trembling and daily attempting to make my election sure, depending on God to help my unbelief. Way too early to say if one is saved, haven't even suffered for the gospel yet, which the bible clearly says is evidence that you believe Christ.
Posted by brown, a resident of another community, on Jan 16, 2010 at 9:05 pm
For Boys Only:
Very good. The last line of your comment is precisely why I choose to remain single. Some people think there's something wrong with a person when one chooses to remain single. I am a female.
Holy men want beautiful women too. Who wants to be married to somebody when his heart and mind is elsewhere? The Almighty didn't make me a "Rachel" (though I wish He had). But I have great peace not trying to be something that I'm not. This is off topic but I had to comment on this point.
Bless all the men and women for whom this is not an issue.
Posted by For Boys Only, a resident of another community, on Jan 17, 2010 at 12:50 am
Thanks Brown. According to the apostle Paul there is nothing wrong with being single for those who have self discipline. The world often confuses between being single with being alone. There is a distinct difference.
Some of the happiest people I know are single and walking in peace with integrity. I know some of the loneliest folks on the planet happen to be married.
The only thing I can say about a woman being a ‘Rachel’ is that it varies from man to man. Neither man or woman should settle for less than what they want in a spouse.
Posted by Wilgarif, a resident of the Old Mountain View neighborhood, on Jan 17, 2010 at 12:51 am
With so many lives touched, I believe in my heart that Pastor Paul Shepherd should return to Abundant Life. None should be condemned, for we have all made mistakes and sinned at one point in our lives. It was a joy hearing the voice of Pastor Shepherd preaching the word of God. Let us forgive our brother and hopes he changes his mind and return to Abundant Life. I am certain that many of us feel the same way. Pastor Paul, please reconsider and do your followers the favor.
Posted by Xman, a resident of another community, on Jan 17, 2010 at 10:03 am
Of course we are all human...
Do we really need to resort to needless tautology? Are there people out there that really buy into the idea that there are non-humans walking the face of this planet? Or even perfect humans? Does this need explanation?
"Umm, I thought Pastor Sheppard was not human and that he had green blood."
I don't mean to enter negative discourse, or @ a time like this,but we tend to dumb ourselves down unnecessarily.
Scriptures (and history) are replete with this sort of thing occurring. This topic is central to scripture. Why the surprise? Biblical illiteracy? Or are we quick to give opinionated answers like Job's buddies?
Sorry for the exhortation, but come on folks.
Here are more thought provocative points- less we continue to repeat this sort of failure.
- We are all @ fault. The congregation, both consenting adults etc. This is outlined in 1st Samuel and a few other Old Testament chapters.
- What went wrong? What can we do to prevent this repeating widespread failure?
- The modern Church format is flawed and un-bilical. "We" create Celebrity Christians. "W"e go to Church not knowing the Scriptures. This is a recipe for failure and gives the devil much leverage. If I were the devil I'd be having a field day with you guys -and he is.
- There is a Biblical prescribed way to be a Church.
- Don't put your faith in man et al.
I'll stop here
My heart goes out to the 1. Children, 2. Wife 3. Mr Sheppard & the Church.
Posted by Good thing, a resident of another community, on Jan 17, 2010 at 6:42 pm
The arrogance of any husband who thinks he can cheat ...without realizing his wife may also be tempted to cheat!!! Now this is thinking without a profession of faith in Christ Jesus. Many women desire sex as much and/or more than their husband. However, listening to the media, one might think other wise. Be careful who you listen to. Read Gods Holy Bible. Listen to Gods Holy Word, obey and follow HIS commandments. Flee fornication and youthful lust. Amen! Zero tolerance! We must stop making allowances for such fleshly behavior. God HATES ADULTERY! Why?? Because it can lead to Divorce which God also hates. Depending on the severity of the sin ful act, remeber that even with forgiveness there are still consequences to sinful behavior. Adultery is also criminal. The possibility of risking infecting the innocent wife with a disease that can shorten her life and disrupt her quality of life/health is a very serious offense. Is this Love as God commands?? Read Gods Holy Bible. Listen to Gods Holy Word, obey and follow HIS commandments. Flee fornication and youthful lust. Zero tolerance!Amen!
Posted by Leesburg Mom, a resident of another community, on Jan 17, 2010 at 7:53 pm
Pastor Paul Sheppard, My teenage son & I have really enjoyed listening to your morning broadcasts & podcasts. I believe that God is doing a much more awesome work in you. We just want you to know that you, your lovely wife, & children are loved. Do what all needs to be done so we can continue to laugh as we grow & mature spiritually. Personally, I'm praying that God will release uncommon favor on you & your Beautiful family.
Posted by Aida, a resident of another community, on Jan 18, 2010 at 7:17 pm
It is funny how a number of christians claim that God never change when the bible clearly shows that the God of the old testament is absolutely different from the God of the new testament. The God of the old covenant is cruel, ready to destroy even his chosen people; whereas the God of the new covenant is full of mercy and grace.
I know the arguments folks " You have taken the verses out of context" or many of you might say " You are deceived by the enemy."
How do you expect pastor Paul to follow a book with thousands of inconsistencies? If the bible itself claims that God changes his mind on many issues, how much more do you expect this poor mortal to follow some so-called moral code prescribed by pre-historic men who thought that the earth was flat.
GENESIS 6:6, EX 32:14, NUMBERS 14:20, 1SAMUEL 15:35, 2SAMUEL 24:16 God does change his mind.
NUMBERS 23:19-20, 1SAMUEL 15:29, JAMES 1:17 God does not change his mind.
Posted by Xman, a resident of another community, on Jan 18, 2010 at 8:03 pm
Aida, careful, your own words speak against you.
Knowledge of the earth being round has been understood for many millennia. Ancient cultures (including Israel) understood the earth to be round.
This was easily observed during eclipses, and when ships disappeared over the horizon. There may be a few culturally isolated understandings of a flat earth. But generally, mankind has understood the earth to be round.
The rest of what you mention can be debated as well. God does not change, but there is an instructional condescent down to our level. Then there is the whole dispensation idea... "God revealing to mankind His eternal nature." God did not reveal everything to us at once in time. From our vantage point, it looks like God changed- but He didn't.
Posted by Does this sound like you?, a resident of another community, on Jan 18, 2010 at 9:10 pm
Your assumption is that God changes. Christians who claim that God doesn't change are just asserting what the bible teaches.
Mal 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.
Heb 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.
The bible at a basic level teaches us Who God is and what man is. It is God's condescension to teach us Who He is by giving us His Bible. He didn't have to do that. He could have sent us all to hell. But by His grace He teaches us thru His Word how we can know how we can relate to Him...properly, according to His will, as opposed to humanistic notions on how we should relate to God.
Most importantly, the bible clearly teaches that man can only have a relationship with God the Father, thru the finished work of God the Son with the help of God the Holy Spirit. In short, salvation is alllll of God. So we best read His bible on how to partake in HIS salvation.
The battle is 'who' are we listening to, to teach us the bible. If at the end of the day God doesn't make sense to you or me, b/c what I'm learning and believing differ with the bible, then we fall on our knees, assume our beggarly status before God and ask God to teach us. In short, recheck your views and ask God to have mercy.
What your expressing in your views is just an example of a spiritual famine in the land which God sends due to judgement.
Amo 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:
Amo 8:12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.
Amo 8:13 In that day shall the fair virgins and young men faint for thirst.
This is undergirded when Apostle Paul in the NT says...
2Ti 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2Ti 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
2Ti 3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
2Ti 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
2Ti 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
I encourage you to pursue to know the biblical God. Ask. Seek. Knock. There are only two things that pleases the biblical God...His Darling Son and 'a broken and contrite heart'.
It wasn't until I came to the same dead-end road of 'inconsistencies' in the bible that I had to cry out for His mercy. Refuse to settle with the inconsistencies.
Lastly, the bible verses you quoted, as you say, needs to be looked in context. Repeatedly the verses states that 'God repented...because of the actions of man' (paraphrase). It shows that when mankind is left to themselves they'll do nothing but wickedness before God, then God in His mercy intercedes to clean up. A repetitive pattern - man messes up, God cleans up and by the time we get to the Gospel of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, He provided a substitute, 'a perfect lamb of God' to take away our sins.
Incidently, the 4 gospels is still under the Old Testament. The New Testament didn't start until Jesus said 'It is finished.' Jesus Himself was under the 'old covenant'. He fulfilled the law for the sake of sinners.
Sorry, I know I went on a bit, but can't help but rejoice in the God of the Bible that never changes, never fails and never lies.
Posted by Does this sound like you?, a resident of another community, on Jan 18, 2010 at 9:28 pm
Sorry, I stand corrected, New Testament age started at Pentecost. No doubt someone will correct me. Point is, Jesus lived in the Old Testament age, under the so-called 'grace-less' God. But when one is under good teaching, you'll find that God does not change and there are no inconsistencies.
Posted by Moral relativism, a resident of another community, on Jan 19, 2010 at 10:35 pm
Yes indeed, Pastor Paul had a serious moral failure that his wife and family will have to live with for a long time (YOU DO NOT WANT TO KNOW). Initially I felt the hurt, betrayal and anger as if it happened to me personally. However, THE IMPORTANCE OF FORGIVENESS IS SO MUCH MORE IMPORTANT. Pray for his spouse because if it were either you or me, I'm telling you would do the thing that would hurt your spouse the most and then leave them again.
Posted by What?, a resident of another community, on Jan 19, 2010 at 11:13 pm
Moral relativism -what is your point? Sounds like you got something you're bursting to share but you're dancing around the peripheral. Tell us something we don't know!!!...unless of course you want to elaborate on your capitalised and bracketed '(YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW)'!!!
Posted by Moral relativism, a resident of another community, on Jan 20, 2010 at 8:01 am
You are right and I am so glad you asked.
I came dangerously close to sinning out of anger [spreading gossip] which is a serious moral failure too. Initially I thought I was angry with Pastor Paul but I do know him. After searching my own heart I realized that I am angry with myself because I hate living in a world of so much disillusionment; it makes me feel vulnerable. The worst thing I am dealing with is fighting the notion that all preachers are hustlers and con men; I know this is not true of all.
My only assurance is from God and as long as I remember TO ALWAYS HAVE MY BIBLE OPEN when listening to anyone’s sermon I WILL BE FINE. The Word of God is my safety net. I’M SO GLAD that I could not care less about offending some preacher's ego when I open my BIG BIBLE, BIG ENOUGH TO CHOKE A MULE, TO VERIFY EVERY WORD he speaks as he is speaking it. I am so glad for the great big beautiful cross hanging in the sanctuary that always reminded me who I was thanking and praising whenever I was in church.
I think I am finally ready to get over my Pastor Paul-on-the-brain-syndrome. I want to forgive, send a prayer up to God for him and family, then forget about him, the entire catastrophe and take from this experience the painful reality of the days in which we now live. They seem worse than ever in some ways but I am reminded of Solomon who said there is nothing new under the sun.
The best lessons I have ever learned in life were also some of the most excruciating. I thank God for pain, disillusionment, disappointments and every single wicked thing that has caused me to draw closer to HIM.
Posted by Moral relativism, a resident of another community, on Jan 20, 2010 at 8:13 am
Gossip is a very wicked thing. I am so glad I was delivered from committing such an evil act though too close for comfort. The Holy Spirit is real. I thank God for keeping me humble and reminding me how fragile I am while walking in this world.
Posted by CandyKane, a resident of another community, on Jan 20, 2010 at 9:17 am
Hmm, looks like everyone has ASSUMED that the moral failure was sexual. But honestly no one knows, so let's not jump to conclusions. The fact is that Pastor Paul touched many and our job as "believers" is to pray for our hurting body. If one falls we all fall. Someone posted earlier we must pray for our pastors...and each other. Sin is something we grapple with daily we fall, ask for forgiveness and get back to the race at hand.
The athiests are just those who don't know or understand the God who loves them and us. Love them where they are and move on. Our comments should only be to encourage one another.
Pastor Paul we love you as we do all of our fellow brothers/sisters in Christ and know that He is the one who restores our souls. We are praying for you, that your love remains in Him, He that has sent you and will continue to keep you. NO matter how or in what capacity, there is work to be done......He knew this would happen and He has the FANTASTIC plan for you...we wait and pray with great anticipation for what He will do NEXT!
Posted by Does this sound like you?, a resident of another community, on Jan 20, 2010 at 12:21 pm
The danger of error and false teaching is that it sets one up to hate the biblical God. I say this for people to think about it carefully.
The Pharisees were the teachers of Israel and they themselves did not recognise the God of Glory walking in their midst!!! They were so-called learned, scholarly, wealthy, supposedly teachers of the Word and most of all popular - equivalent to our popular celebrity preachers of today...but instead, God chose 12 measly uneducated smelly fishermen to recognise the Messiah...Think about it.
It's sad when you see these 'Celebrity Preacher's' erroneous teaching prevalent on these posts. You can bury your head in the sand and play dumb over the 'moral failure' and you can even share your 'wishful thinking' list and hope for a fabulous comeback!! But TRUTH remains, and God stays the same and He's always chosen base, humble, unwise vessels to nullify, put to nought the strong, mighty and wise!
Posted by Jim, a resident of another community, on Jan 20, 2010 at 8:11 pm
I will miss the Pastor's radio broadcasts. I would listen mornings @ 5:30 cst while getting ready for work. He would always deliver his messages with an upbeat flair that always got my day started off right. In my prayers, along with the poor souls in Haiti.
Posted by A Listener, a resident of another community, on Jan 21, 2010 at 5:22 am
When great men fall it becomes our responsibility to restore that individual, considering ourselves. As long as we are in this body of flesh, we all have the propensity to error and sin.
Let us not be so quick to judge and criticize, but rather do what Jesus did " He that is without sin, cast the first stone". While we do not have the power to forgive anyone's sin, we do have the ability to love inspite of the sin.
Posted by Still believe in God, a resident of another community, on Jan 21, 2010 at 12:11 pm
It's not because of religion that this world is the way it is. It's because of the fall of man. There has been homosexuality, fornication, adultery, lying, stealing, gossip, and so on from the very beginning.
So they say the man cheated. Does that make it right? Of course not. But that is no argument to make it ok to commit other sins like homosexual marriage, shacking up with your hetrosexual partner, lying on your neighbor, coworker, and taxes (in spite of the fact that the government robs us blind legally)... and that list goes on and on too. Including gossiping about situations where we do not know all the details.
That man owes an apology to his family first and foremost. He already stepped down from his position (which is more than what most people would have done in a case like this), and he already gave a statement (so what if he did not do it personally. Get over it!). He needs to deal with his family first before he deals with the people who are not just hurling small stones, you're hurling massive boulders. And YOU YOURSELF have tree trunks in your eye and can hardly blink!
All those that don't believe in God or say that they have more money in their pockets because they don't go to church and they are more successful... that's all well and good here on earth. BUT YOU HAVE TO DIE ONE DAY!!!! Although I'm NOT poor here on earth I would rather have riches in heaven and live like a pauper while I'm only flesh and bones. But heaven helps the man who thinks that he and his family cannot be brought down from their riches and greatness ALL because they don't believe. I pray that no devastation comes to anyone that you love because it just may cause you to turn to a God that you say does not exist.
Isn't that what Pastor Paul preached? After 9/11 the church was packed with people who "did not believe" looking for answers. Then 2 weeks later it's back to normal as usual. Will it take another tragedy in our stuck up nation for us to turn from our wicked ways and look to God?
Because one day every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Christ is Lord. Has God called you to Him? Do you have fire insurance?
Posted by Thank God you are not Christ, a resident of another community, on Jan 21, 2010 at 12:25 pm
To: Does this sound like you. Perhaps you do not realize that you made a mistake in your comment about, "God chose 12 measly uneducated smelly fishermen to recognise the Messiah". They were not all fishermen. Among the group was also a tax collector and a one that he knew would betray him.
God not only chooses the humble of heart, he also chooses the proud, arrogant, cheater, and so forth. He can use anyone to get his message across. Even a would be adulterer.
Did I agree with EVERYTHING that Pastor Paul preached? Maybe there were a few things that I was "on the fence" about. But you cannot deny that he told the truth. The real false teachers are still preaching lies and robbing their flock. I'm not a member of that church but I believe Pastor Paul had messages about tithing but he never beat anyone over the head about giving all to him.
This kinda sound like the woman caught in the act. The man was no where to be found because surly she was not commiting that sin by her lonesome. Pastor Paul is getting a stoning and the woman is no where to be found. She knew he was a married man. Heck... I don't even go to that church and I know he's a married man with children.
Boy I'm glad that nobody on this site is Jesus. None of us would saved. We mind as well all get on that bus with the sign that says... "HELL-BOUND... ALL ABOARD!!"
Posted by CandyKane you're beautiful, a resident of another community, on Jan 21, 2010 at 12:32 pm
This is to CandyKane. YOU HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD!!! That is the best post that I've read. We are assuming the sin was sexual and maybe the man cheated on his taxes or cussed someone out and beat them up.
That's the problem with us. We do not pray and restore. We beat down and discourage. When someone is down we rejoice and when someone does well we hate and become envious.
Sin is the problem with this world. ALL SIN!! For all have sin and come short. We need to restore others through love and live at peace as best as possible with all man.
Posted by God never changes, a resident of another community, on Jan 21, 2010 at 1:04 pm
Comment to Aida. GOD NEVER CHANGES!! I would never want to serve a god that changes. He may give us 2nd, 3rd, 100th, of changes to change from our wicked ways but He never changes.
He was not a wicked and evil God of the old testiment and decided to change in the new. Like any father when you tell your children what to do and they don't do it, then you have to deal with the consequences of your disobedience.
It's like when the Lord came to Abraham in Genesis 18 because he intended to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. Abraham pleaded to save the towns and he kept crying to the Lord and asked "Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked?" Abraham asked if there were fifty righteous, forty-five, twenty.." And God kept replying that he would not destroy the town if he found so many. And every time Abraham changed the amount God agreed. But that does not mean He changes. God did not change the outcome because He knew there were no righteous in the town.
There are no contradictions in the bible and God is not a contradicting God. You do however need the holy spirit to interpret His Word because we "know in part". Without the Holy Spirit it's simply words on the page that have no true meaning but to the believer who have been called by God.
Posted by Do Right, a resident of another community, on Jan 21, 2010 at 5:03 pm
And a radio ministry on about 500 radio stations across the country And a board member on NRB National Religious Broadcastors.
Wow is right. Major is right. Prayer for each soul in Christ is right.
Prayer for restoration of each soul in Christ is right no matter what; Rapist, pedophiles, drunk drivers who kill people, murderers whatever as long as they confess to moral failure and repent. We don't need to know what they did. All sin and fall short.
That's what real love according to the Holy Bible is all about. Thank God!
Posted by Do Right, a resident of another community, on Jan 21, 2010 at 5:32 pm
One other thing for rapists, pedophiles, drunken drivers, gang bangers, arsonists and everyone else who has not already come to Christ.
Come. That's what Jesus would say. Don't worry about what people in the church think because you can always say you had a moral failure and leave it at that. It would be the truth and everyone does not need to know your past or your business.
Again, come to Christ now. It is God's will that no one should perish. The body of Christ is not some elitist country club for members only. On behalf of all Christians we are sorry and ask your forgiveness if any one in Christ ever gave that impression.
Posted by Here here, a resident of another community, on Jan 21, 2010 at 7:36 pm
Thank you for keeping it plain and sparing the platitudes. If we know nothing else, we know there is equal opportunity for all to come to Christ. Porn stars, pole dancers and the people who make it rain, married men with 13 or 14 lovers in addition to the wifey, serial killers anyone really.
I don't know if Woods is a Christian but Christians from all over the place started posting prayers and encouragement for him, his wife and family on his web site when the scandal broke and the female count was rising rapidly. It was the most touching thing I saw and only time I ever wrote to a celebrity. A much earlier post here said that Tiger was treated differently by Christians but I'm not so sure about that.
I think the term moral failure is a perfect opportunity for souls who want to come to Christ. It's like a get out of jail free card that never expires. You can tell Jesus the details and HE is an excellent keeper of confidences, has the ability to forgive and save your soul too. You get to bypass being judged or criticized by other humans because porn stars are human too and ALL sin and fall short.
Posted by Does this sound like you?, a resident of another community, on Jan 22, 2010 at 12:25 am
Thank God you are not Christ
Thank you for the clarification on the professions of the disciples and yes I was careful to add that these 12 'recognised' Christ. Yes even Judas the Betrayer 'recognised' Christ, BUT he wasn't chosen - called but not chosen. Judas Iscariot 'had the appearance of godliness but denied the power thereof.'...Could it be a possibility that the 'celebrity preacher' in question who preached against adultery and fell into it himself suffered from the same syndrome?
We have to remember that all 11 of the 'called and chosen' disciples when they graduated to Apostleship, having people under them, did not scandalise the name of God when they were teachers and leaders of a church.
It's important to make a distinction between 'discipleship' and 'leadership'. There's a higher calling for leaders. I don't need to reiterate those chapters and verses, other bloggers have already pointed that out.
Therefore, as you say 'But you can't deny he told the truth,' is oxymoronic cos the very reason why you and I are in discourse right now is because Paul Sheppard didn't tell the truth, and he should of known better as a so-called 'preacher of the word' so that non-believers and those under him would be encouraged to continue to believe in this God that he preached. I agree with previous blogger 'It's Christ's testimony at stake here.'
So I say it explicitly, as not to be misunderstood, Paul Sheppard did not preach sound doctrine, and the 'moral failure' is evidence thereof. Half-truths and bible verses out of context is not sound doctrine.
Posted by Heart of the Matter, a resident of another community, on Jan 23, 2010 at 6:18 am
I’m not a golf aficionado or condone infidelity. When Tiger Woods moral failure started coming to light it hit me like a ton of bricks that I know nothing of him personally. My compassion for him was sparked after the cruel attacks by the media. I reached out on his site to offer a prayer and found countless others did the same. Now here we go again, John Edwards finally decided to acknowledge and publicly apologize for denying he fathered that child. Yes I forgive him too although my personal opinions and of the matter and questions about his sincerity are a horse of a different color.
Forgiveness is serious business in the body of Christ regardless of what someone does. Could I forgive a cold blooded murderer, rapist, pedophile etc.? Eventually depending on how close to home it hit because God knows that some things take more time to get over than others. To me forgiveness is saying yes you were wrong and I will no longer hold it against you in my heart.
I must also say that I would not put my wife or children in potential jeopardy of a rapist or pedophile that I forgave. Neither would I vote for a politician with questionable character who could have the ability to impact millions of lives. Does this make me judgmental? No, I don’t think so. Would I sit next to one of the above described in church? Absolutely and I probably have more times than I know.
God gave humans the ability to reason and use common sense. I believe Jesus said to be as wise as serpents and as gentle as doves. The book of John tells us we can ask God for wisdom and He is happy to give it as long as we don’t doubt and depend only on Him. The moral of the story is the importance of always seeking God for Wisdom and the ability to discern so we can exercise prudent decision making without condemning the people we forgive. Can people change their ways? Of course they can and only God knows for sure who has truly repented.
Posted by Does this sound like you?, a resident of another community, on Jan 23, 2010 at 7:05 pm
Just read Pastor Wayne's sermon and he told the church to stop blogging. How absurd! He should have told Paul and himself to stop fudging the Scriptures. From what I remember he talked about 'making fluffy cakes'. Don't know whether to laugh or cry.
Posted by He's right, a resident of another community, on Jan 24, 2010 at 10:48 am
The man is right. When you confess your moral failure to the one you offended and work it out with them that's enough. This applies to every soul in the body of Christ as well as those who have been on the fence about coming to Christ primarily because of what people in the church will think about what they did. It ain't none of "the people in the church bitness". God can cause all things you know the rest.
It's time to pass the chicken and potato salad then get to the more pressing issues of the day primarily
Posted by Does this sound like you?, a resident of another community, on Jan 24, 2010 at 8:48 pm
If he's right why are you still blogging?
You obviously don't understand the magnitude of it all. Looks like damage control means suppressing the truth which is necessary for real healing....but gotta keep the 'bitness runnin' - it's all commercial and bottomline counts...souls are just collateral damage.
It's always easier to deal with food and football rather then truth.
Posted by LC, a resident of another community, on Jan 24, 2010 at 9:56 pm
ALCF needs to stop the Purpose Driven Liberal drivel and go back to the WORD and deal seriously about sin and focus on Christ's love and teachings!!! We have to take the Bible seriously. This isn't about people going to Church so they can get their spiritual fix for some temporal emotional pick me up. God knows when HE is mocked!!! It's clean up time. Repent!!!
Posted by Pastor Wayne' Buddy, a resident of another community, on Jan 25, 2010 at 8:19 am
A Journey to be Enjoyed by All Pastor Wayne
January 16-17, 2010 All Services
1 Thessalonians 5:24
Background: The fifth chapter of 1 Thessalonians can be characterized as a manual for church management. The apostle Paul goes through a litany of items, topics, and issues all related to the church’s health. In this lesson, we will look at how Paul’s instructions may be applied to ALCF during this time of transition.
How We Should Respond: Paul starts out by encouraging the church to refrain from meaningless questions of whether or not Jesus is going to come back on a particular day. He says, in effect, to not waste your time because He’s coming back as a thief in the night (v.2). He’s going to sneak up on us and come back when He decides to come back. Paul also helps us to understand that our life in Christ is a life of light (v.5). We are no longer in darkness. We’re children of light and we should act like it. Light shines, bringing vibrancy and life. Paul urges us to not get bogged down with all the stuff that keeps us from shining God’s light. Paul then goes on to encourage us to honor our leaders, pastors, and elders, “those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you” (v. 12). Give them respect because of the office they hold. Paul admonishes us to encourage the men and women of God, moving down to tell us how to act as individuals. Even in times of stress we should “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus” (vv.16-18). That is how we should be responding to the times that we’re in. Then Paul says, “The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it” (v.24). He’s talking about the coming of the Lord, about Jesus coming back for His bride, the church. Therefore, God’s trying to help us get ready for Jesus’ coming back.
God’s Church is Still Alive: There’s nothing dead about God’s church. God’s church is alive and Jesus is alive. There’s nothing dead here at ALCF. The Word is still being preached; people are still being saved; Growth Groups are still meeting; Safari Kids and the prayer ministry are still operating, etc. God is on the move because He is faithful; and what God says, He will do. God, through the mind of Paul, is telling this church that the One who calls you is who you need to be listening to. (Note: Pastor Paul wrote a letter to the church and said he confessed to his wife, not you. So quit going on blogs and posting what you think he said. Get away from all the negative stuff going around. We can harm somebody with our tongue. Our tongue can slap somebody harder than hitting them with our hand. Ephesians 4:29 says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for the building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Note it says their needs, not yours. That’s our problem; we want to know too much. The Sheppards are our brother and our sister. Let us cover them with love, grace, and compassion. Pray for them and quit talking about them.)
Get Ready: Jesus is coming back and we better be ready. V.23 says, “May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” God is the author of peace, not confusion. If someone brings something to you that causes discord and division, it isn’t of God. God wants to sanctify us, i.e. to be set apart for God’s use. It is like sifting flour when we bake to make sure the cakes and pies are fluffy. Similarly, God wants to sift us so that we are fluffy with His Spirit. As God is triggering and pumping that divine sifter He’s getting stuff out of us. We’re on this journey together and God is trying to get us there blameless. One day we’re going to stand before
Him and we will have to give an answer to our life on earth, so He’s trying to help us get rid of our impurities now. Jesus is coming back for the church and we have to be ready.
God is Faithful: God is faithful to us in four ways:
1. Our gathering. When we come together as a body God shows up. We show solidarity and partnership. That is why we are on this journey together—we can’t do this by ourselves. We need each other to help encourage and strengthen one another. When we come together God gives us His Word. If we pray and ask God to speak to our need, He will speak. If we come praying for the Word of God and if the preachers prepare, we will hear His Word. It will come because God is faithful.
2. Our giving. God doesn’t want us to only give money for the kingdom; giving is more than tithing. God wants to use our time, talent, and treasure outside of the church walls. Ministry outside of these walls is what Christ is all about. Jesus went to where people were hurting, outside of the temple. We come to church to be filled so we can go out to be emptied.
3. Our growing. God’s desire for us is to keep growing. That’s why He’s sifting us. As we let stuff out He pours His Word in. He doesn’t want us to stay the same. God has put us in good soil and He wants fruit off of us. That’s what God desires and He is faithful to do it.
4. Our going. As a church and as individuals, we are going somewhere. We are on a journey and our destination is heaven. Thus, God is trying to get us ready to go there. Yet, there are a couple of bus stops on the way where we need to stop and check in our mess, our junk, our bad attitudes, etc. He is taking stuff out of us so we can get to heaven because in heaven there is no mess, sin, or bad attitudes. But we can’t live any kind of way here on earth and expect to get into heaven. We are going somewhere because God is involved in this life and He is faithful.
Q U E S T I O N S:
1. Warm-up. What prayers has God answered for you lately? ____________________________
2. Edifying talk. What are the characteristics of a conversation that pleases God? Would you say these characteristics describe your conversations: a) all the time; b) most of the time; c) not enough of the time? What steps can you take to please God more in your discussions with others? See: Proverbs 15:28, 18:13; Ephesians 4:22-29. ________________________________
3. The church is alive. In addition to the preaching, what aspects of God’s work at ALCF has He used to minister to you in special ways? Have you felt the Lord encouraging you to support these areas more, e.g. in prayer, use of your time, talent and/or treasure? Please explain. See: Ephesians 4:11-13; Philippians 1:12-14; Acts 20:35; Romans 15:30. ___________________
Posted by Don Frances, Mountain View Voice Editor, on Jan 25, 2010 at 11:58 am Don Frances is a member (registered user) of Mountain View Online
Although this comment thread has for several weeks provided readers with a place to express their feelings about Paul Sheppard's resignation, we believe the conversation has run its course and have decided to close this particular comment thread.
Thank you to everyone above for your involvement in the Voice's Town Square.