With the constant revelations highlighted in the secular media of scandals (sexual infidelities, corruption, financial frauds, etc.) involving professing “Christian” bishops, priests, ministers, pastors and church workers, we must ask ourselves:
How can those genuinely seeking to promote the “moral welfare” of society based on a Judaeo-Christian spiritual framework, continue to do so with integrity, when so many non-Christians accuse them too of sheer hypocrisy and deceit based on the wrongdoing of others?
Surely it is important and fair-minded to first ask the necessary question: Are the “Christian” individuals and groups actually exposed for proven immorality and corruption, really Christian at all? And second: Are those non-Christians who so boldly point the accusing finger, free from hypocrisy themselves and are they entitled to ‘throw the first stone’?
Witness the case of Rev. Jonathan Kirkpatrick, 53, a former Auckland University of Technology (AUT) staff member, who recently admitted defrauding the AUT of more than half a million dollars. He recently resigned as chief executive of the university’s Business Innovation Centre after an internal investigation found “accounting discrepancies” involving $665,000 taken from AUT between 2002 and May 2011. He pleaded guilty to seven fraud related charges when he appeared in the Auckland District Court on 17 August 2011 and sentenced today to a lengthy jail term.
In 1996 he was made the 10th Dean of St Paul’s Cathedral in Dunedin, working with the country’s first female bishop, Penny Jamieson. He is ex-partner of former Labour MP, Tim Barnett and has a high profile as a “gay-rights” advocate within the church. His high-profile homosexual relationship with Mr Barnett, the former Christchurch Central MP, lasted 18 years.
The Diocese of Auckland has recently suspended Mr. Kirkpatrick from his post of Priest in Charge at St Alban’s Anglican Church in Balmoral in central Auckland.
Is the Christian community expected to just sit idly by as their so-called moral and spiritual leaders who they support financially, and claim to uphold regularly in prayer, are often justifiably pilloried by the secular media for their crimes and immorality? Are the criminal lifestyles and immorality of some of these leaders in some way an indictment of their supporters? To what extent does such wrongdoing demean the God-ordained “offices” they hold?
See full article pp. 3-11. SPCS Newsletter September 2011