Evangelical church on downward spiral
The Evangelical church continues its downward spiral, even here in South Africa. Those in other countries, like America, must not think that only the evangelical church in America is losing its grip on what is right and true. No, it is happening all over the world to the evangelical church!
Ray McCauley, pastor of one of South Africa's largest churches--Rhema, divorced from his wife Lyndie in 2000. Just a year after that he married another woman, Zelda Ireland, a former model. This was Ireland's third marriage!
Now, it seems, this marriage is in trouble too!
What is going on in this case is not clear yet. However, it seems that Ray McCauley dug this hole for himself. As a so-called "man of God," he should have known what the Bible says about divorce and remarriage. It took him just a year after divorcing his first wife, to marry his second wife.
He made crucial mistakes in marrying this woman. Let's look at the practical first. The alarm bells should have been ringing exceedingly loud in his ears. First of all, she had been married twice before. Did he not think that the only common denominator in her first two failed marriages was her? There were two failed marriages, and she was involved in both of them! Second, she has three children of her own, all from different fathers. Last, if my calculations are correct, based on the ages of the children given by the Sunday Times, and the amount of years she was one of his congregants, she had both of her divorces and at least one illegitimate child while she was a member if his church! Strike Three!
Biblically, he had no recourse for marrying this woman. The Bible is clear on the issue of divorce and remarriage.
One does not have to read far into the New Testament to run into the subject of divorce. Jesus said, "whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery." (Mt 19:9) Naturally, the one who has gone through divorce and the one contemplating divorce will look for all kinds of excuses to justify their divorce.
However, the case is clear against those that divorce. "Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so." (Mt 19:8) Jesus set the parameters within which divorce could take place. Except for sexual immorality, divorce would be a no-no. Paul adds one more parameter for divorce. When the spouse is an unbeliever and wants a divorce, "the brother or sister is not enslaved." (1 Cor 7:15) But, notice how Paul frames his argument. The believer should never seek the divorce. While the unbeliever wants to remain in the marriage, the believer should remain married to the unbeliever. The believer is only freed from the covenant of the marriage when the unbeliever seeks the divorce.
So, the Bible is very clear about the issue of adultery. It is when a married person has sex with someone he is not married to. When someone remarries, they commit adultery. Unless of course the divorce was as a result of the previous spouse committing sexual immorality, or an unbelieving spouse that wanted the divorce.
Coming back to Ray McCauley and Zelda. I do not know the circumstances of her two divorces, but chances are (I am merely speculating here) that at least one of her divorces was an unBiblical divorce, according to Jesus and Paul. From my knowledge of Ray and Lyndie's divorce, it certainly was an unBiblical divorce. Neither of them (according to their own testimonies) is an unbeliever. Further, according to my knowledge, neither of them committed sexual immorality. Therefore, their divorce was unBiblical and certainly was not sanctioned by Jesus or Paul.
As a result, Ray McCauley is in an adulterous relationship with Zelda McCauley (nee Ireland) according to Matthew 19. Incredibly, here is a man, head of the largest charismatic church in South Africa, and also the head of the IFCC (International Fellowship of Christian Churches), in an adulterous relationship!
Apart from McCauley's marital woes, in 1996, he decided to move away from Johannesburg where his church is. He did not move into the next town to still be close to his church. No, that would be too simple! He moved 600Km (375mi) away to Umhlanga, on the north coast of Kwazulu-Natal, about 20Km north of Durban! How in the world can a man be a pastor to a church in any way when he lives 600Km from his church. Isn't it just too convenient? He just does not have to do the work of a pastor! He only has to preach. And the money comes rolling in!
The last point I want to make about Ray McCauley is that he is part of the Word-of-Faith (WOF) clan. I have written about WOF before in a series called "Heresies in the church," and it is such a serious error that I believe it to be heresy. The fact is that preachers that teach these heresies, like McCauley, Joyce Meyers and others, have been accepted large scale into the evangelical church and scores of evangelical book stores.
The fact is, the evangelical church does not have the backbone to call a spade a spade, and will therefore not call preachers like this heretics. And if they will not call them heretics, why would they bother with holding McCauley accountable for his adulterous marriage?
The evangelical church is indeed on a downward spiral!
29 January 2010 - Although the divorce did not happen at the time of this post, it is now 2 years later, and it seems like it is definitely going to happen!