Saturday, August 30, 2008

A whole lotta shakin goin on at PlanetShakers

If the number of young people attending a church is an indication of success then PlanetShakers City Church in Melbourne tops them all. Two my kids used to go to this church, until I gave them some subversive ideas.

This week has not been a good week for this Assemblies of God affiliated church. One of its former pastors, Pr. Mike Guglielmucci confessed that the cancer he claimed to have been suffering from was a fake, there was no terminal cancer after all, it has always been a hoax. The interesting thing is that this cancer story happens to be the inspiration for a hit Christian song entitled - The Healer. Moreover, the cancer story gave the church another story - the wonderful story of courage and victory in the midst of suffering. The story of battling on with life even when life dishes out pain and sorrow. We are hungry to see heroes because we want them for ourselves. We desire inspiration life sucks.

It would surely have been a marvelous story if it were true, but this week Pr. Mike came clean and confessed that he just made it up and play acted on that angle for the last couple of years. Indeed, he managed to fool his family and church.

For a similar hoax see The Forgotten Marjoe

Good on Pr. Mike for coming clean. We must rejoice when one who is wrong recognizes it and now wants to make it right. I hope those helping him still give him Jesus and not assume the Gospel.

Some of course are shocked and angry and I expect the anger to come from the members of his church. Some of course will use this as another bullet to fire at those loony Christians and even though I am not Pentecostal anymore, I am included still in that attack. Pagans don't discriminate between one Christian from another (in case you are naive to think they can distinguish, I recommend you get some counseling). Anger always comes to those who forget that Christians are sinners too. Pagans are quiet when they see Christians on top of the game but wait till these Christians fall, they become opportunistic and take the chance to insult Christ and his people.

What of course makes the case specially serious is because PlanetShakers present the Gospel as the answer to victorious living, it is the Christian life-style that is the good news rather than a once dead now living saviour who died and rose again for mere sinners to win the forgiveness of their sins. It preaches Christianity or the Christian, rather than the Christ, oh yes, just get Jesus and life will be rosy.

Christians are mere sinners. The sad thing is that in that movement the Christian is not simul iustus et pecator, simultaneously saint and sinner. So it is a shock to the system when the sinner aspect raises up its ugly head, and the brat does do that from time to time and sometimes it wins.


Past Elder said...

This works the other way too. When my wife was dying of cancer, someone I knew who was in a local indie/pentie church was on me to have one of their pastors anoint and pray over Nancy for healing. The pastor's wife had cancer, and she had been healed!

The pastor's wife did indeed have cancer. And some time after Nancy died, so did she.

Too bad these guys into "victorious living" don't get where the victory is.

It's kind of like lawn mowers and snow blowers. Lawn mowers cut grass reall good, but are crap at blowing snow. Snow blowers blow snow reall good, but are crap at mowing lawns. But if you get all into one and deny the other, strange things happen. You run your snowblower over the lawn, see the grass isn't getting cut, and determine God is testing you, just hang on, be faithful and God will be faithful, and sure enough, it snows sooner or later and life is good! The change of seasons is mistaken for the grace of God out of season. What you really needed to do was put the snow blower away for the Summer and mow the ruddy lawn with a lawn mower, for jumping Judas' sake.

That's why the church in her calendar celebrates the saints whose date of death in known on that day, when they did not die but were born into eternal life!

L P Cruz said...


these guys into "victorious living" don't get where the victory is.

The change of seasons is mistaken for the grace of God out of season

Ain't that the truth, brilliant insight.


Anonymous said...

Welcome back, Lito.


Doorman-Priest said...

O.K. so I must be naive: why lie about such things?

L P Cruz said...

Thanks Pr. M.



so are you seeing a counselor yet? (LOL).


Planetshakers Insider said...

I agree - it's fantastic that Mike came clean - like we all should when it comes to confessing sin.

Mike handled himself with dignity in the face of his confession.

At the same time, I think the church's response (for all intents and purposes, using PR and media teams to try and silence negative press) was woeful.

Surely we are better off being open and honest, confessing the truth, standing beside Mike while he recovers, and moving forward as the body of christ.

That's the bit that makes me saddest - that a man mired by sin acted with more integrity than the churches he belonged to :(

L P Cruz said...


Thanks for commenting.

I am not sure what you mean, how did the 'church' he belonged to acted. I am so away charismania I have no knowledge of how his church reacted.

All I know from my experience and observation is that the AOG is not a denom I would belong. 15 years ago I surrendered to them my credentials.

It is the whole Pentecostalia whose theological foundation base is so far off Reformation Theology that needs to be examined. Pr. Mike's deception on his cancer report was just the fruit of theology or lack thereof.