The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil. -- 1Timothy 3:1-7 (ESV)
Before some get twisted please realize that John Gray has been disqualified as a pastor before his recent kerfuffle over giving his wife a $200,000 Lamborghini. The incident with the car only crystallized his position as a hireling. His true disqualification is that he does not present the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Sure he will mention His name but never with full context or delivering His message. One can understand this since he was taught by one of the largest heretics on the planet in Joel Osteen. So he was taught to marginalize sin into "mistakes" and never encourages repentance. He routinely abuses Scripture to serve his talking points instead of exegeting the Word of God. Oh and buying his wife a $200,000 Lamborghini? Yeah, that didn't help either.
Perhaps what is worse however is the reaction of Gray to those who would dare question him or criticize his purchase. Amidst the crocodile tears and misguided apologies, Gray has essentially dug his heels in and extended his middle finger to anyone who takes issue. That includes his sheep, the church as a whole and any who may have been following him who were unsaved. Realizing the public relations nightmare Gray was in, Joel Osteen turned over his pulpit to him this past week and Gary delivered an hour long sermon on being misunderstood. He even went as far to say that many biblical characters were misunderstood as well so he is in good company I suppose. This selfish act only reinforces his status as a hireling, using the pulpit of God for himself. Some people came to Lakewood that Sunday needing to hear the Gospel so that they might be saved before their life was required of them and instead they heard about the victim that John Gray is. The poor misunderstood victim.
Except John Gray is not misunderstood. He has followed the purpose driven teachings to perfection and under the leadership of one of the most carnally minded pastors in America. He has parlayed his cult of personality orator skills into a lucrative mega church gig. He does not preach the full Gospel for fear of alienating people. During this time he has followed the Osteen model for wealth and written books designed to make people feel better about themselves without dealing with conviction or sin. He believes therefore he has earned the money he has and does not think he needs to consider anyone else when spending it. So not only did he not hesitate to buy his wife the Lamborghini but the notion that it was remotely wrong or could be taken poorly never crossed into his worldly, carnal mind. To further illustrate this he bragged about it. He recorded the moment he gave the car to his wife and shared it. Now, some may think this summary is too harsh but the fact that he thinks the problem is that he was misunderstood reveals the truth beloved. As does his other comments:
"Stop broadcasting everything. I learned that lesson" -- John Gray
"This year got on my nerves, and I'm so ready for 2018 to be gone. I'm so ready for 2018 to be out of here." -- John Gray
Really John. That is the lesson you have learned? Then that informs me that you learned nothing. It is an arrogant position to stake out that you think you remain righteous in this case. You are not. Beloved, now do not get me wrong. He should not have taken to social media to brag about it but to think THAT was the lesson to be learned shows that he learned nothing. The point is unseemliness. The point is not just about money but about status. If he had spent 80K on a nice car no one would have blinked. A Lamborghini is not just a nice car. It is a wealth statement. Perhaps more arrogant is the next statement that poor John Gray feels like 2018 got on his nerves. I wonder how the congregant who has been unemployed this year feels about that. I wonder how the sheep who barely lives paycheck to paycheck feels about that. Mind you both of these statements were made from the pulpit at Lakewood when Gray was using the pulpit to defend himself. Let's see what he is saying to one of his local newspapers:
Gray, who has his multiple sources of income including several television projects, books, endorsements and a show on OWN, has said he used his personal funds to pay for the extravagant Lamborghini. "I have other streams of income, and I use that to bless my wife, not from (financial) sources the church provided," - Greenville News.
He just does not get it. There are no personal funds John! Everything you have is a direct result of your position as a pastor! Do you think you would have a book deal and television show otherwise? While we are at it, who do you think buys your books! The level of hubris to declare that you bought that car without any funds from the church is staggering. The only reason you could buy that car is the church! Where can we go for sanity? I know! Let's see what Pastor Joel thinks about this!
"What God is doing is not just for here, He is thinking about eternity. God will use misunderstanding to bring about salvation. Being misunderstood hurts, but it drives you to Jesus, it clarifies who you can trust, and elevates your spiritual sensitivity. It is the greatest blessings you can receive because it pushes you into the arms of Jesus. And that can be the greatest blessing." -- Lakewood Church Statement
Huh? So the lesson here is that John Gray now knows who he can trust? Seriously? What is worse is that you believe somehow this story will push people into salvation? Let me assure you Joel not one person will be saved as a result of this debacle. Not one. I do not expect you to know why but the reason is the same why no one gets saved when you preach -- the Gospel was not presented. This incident will push people away from Christ. That much is certain. If some feel the tag of hireling is too harsh, let's have John explain to us who he is and what he does:
"First of it all, it wasn't a pastor that bought the car. It was a husband that bought the car. Get that in your spirit, I'm a husband first -- don't confuse what I do with who I am. What I do is I pastor God's people. Who I am is a husband and a father, and I'll do anything to honor them and I won't ask permission from anybody to do it. No man should." -- John Gray
Don't worry John; no one will confuse it anymore. Only a hireling could separate out these functions as Gray does. This is what the purpose driven model teaches wannabe pastors. That their role is not that of a shepherd but rather a CEO. You see a shepherd is always a shepherd. It is not just "what they do." A CEO punches a timeclock. A CEO gets to parse out their responsibilities from their carnal desires. While we are here, how exactly is buying an absurdly expensive car "honoring your wife?" How does that make your congregants feel who cannot honor their wife as such? Like it or not, a pastor is not a profession. It is not a job. It is a calling placed upon one's life by Almighty God. Now we know that John Gray has no such calling. Thus he is further disqualified. If this was all not enough:
"I have created and been patient my whole life for this moment -- I'm 45. I'm supposed to wait until I'm 70 to live my best life? And my best life is seeing my wife happy." -- John Gray
This is straight up Joel Osteen theology. He even wrote a book called, "Your Best Life Now." What is disturbing is that John Gray equates his best life with owning a Lamborghini. He equates happiness with owning a Lamborghini. It appears to have never occurred to him that we can be happy without a Lamborghini. That you can honor you wife and not dishonor God at the same time. When the criticism first started John Gray said "I really don't care what you think." He is in damage control mode because the brand was hurt and must be protected at all costs. He does care about those who put their money in the offering baskets and then turn around and buy his books or watch his television show. So for them he puts on his best victim suit and faux apologizes while talking out of the other side of his mouth to everyone else that he does not care what they think. To hell with those who do not go to his church or those who are unsaved. That of course is not very biblical. It is not very pastoral. Of course he is not a pastor. One glimpse at the key verses teaches us that. He is certainly not above reproach. He is not self-controlled. Nor is he respectable. He clearly not only loves money but he worships it. He does not manage his household well if the only way to honor his wife is by buying her a Lamborghini. After this I think it is safe to say that he is not viewed well by outsiders and has fallen into disgrace. While John Gray does not care what we think rest assured beloved that God does.