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January 14, 2019

John Gray -- Sex, Lies, and Lamborghinis

By Anthony Wade

Well the plot thickens over at Relentless the offered defense we see how poorly purpose driven pastors are being raised and taught.


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Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers. -- 1Timothy 4:16 (NIV)

These pages have long sought to expose the heresies infecting the church today as a result of purpose driven teaching. Pastors being raised up today are taught Warren theology first and foremost. Under the rubric of saving as many for Jesus as possible, Rick Warren has taught generations how to grow individual churches without growing the kingdom by a single person. That may sound harsh but the truth often is. The bible teaches us that only the Gospel has the power of God unto the salvation of man and the first thing sacrificed on the purpose driven altar is the Gospel. And serious discussion of sin and repentance is put aside in the blind ambition of having the unsaved come back to the church and attend regularly. Perhaps the poster child pastor of the sugar coated purpose driven gospel is Joel Osteen. Pastor Joel is on record as saying he does not think people need to be reminded of all they do wrong (sin) and instead he chooses to encourage them. The true Gospel however is equal parts rebuke and encouragement. Yes we can preach "I do not condemn thee" but not without saying "go and sin no more."

This brings us to pastor John Gray, who was raised under the guidance of Joel Osteen and remains on the payroll of Lakewood Church even though he now has his own pastorate. It was recently reported that Gray gave his wife a $200,000 Lamborghini as an anniversary present. The controversy that ensued was blown up by Gray himself who showed zero humility in defending a bad decision. That decision however Gray still insists was his to make and correct. Based on how he was raised to pastor I understand. The purpose driven model makes John Gray a CEO, not a shepherd. In defending it, Gray even asked when people thought he should be allowed to live his best life -- a reference to a Joel Osteen book. I have heard both sides of this argument for a month now but now we see there may have been more behind this story than we were first led to believe. It seems that John Gray was unfaithful to his wife and that this almost led to their divorce. At the end of the day, his wife Aventer stayed and Gray felt the need to buy her an automobile that less than 1 percent of the world could ever dream of affording. Defend that as long as you like but listen to the "sermon" linked above, given by Gray recently. Let us reason together to see inside how a purpose driven mega church pastor thinks.

"This is your pastor. This is Aventer Gray (calling his wife up to the pulpit). I bring it up because people see this (forced fake smiles). What they didn't see was for the last two years we weren't sure we would even make it. This is what the people saw (smiles). But they didn't see the tears at night. They didn't see the times when one of us was sleeping on the couch (Aventer mockingly points at John)." -- John Gray

We joined the clip towards the end of the service when Gray felt compelled to "confess" to his new congregation. Considering the amount of news being generated that he had been unfaithful this hardly seem like a heroic decision. As we see even here, this seems more like an attempt at public relations and to throw the focus off of the simple fact that John Gray decided to be sexually unfaithful to his wife, period, full stop. There are however a few other considerations here. Aventer Gray is NOT their pastor. This is a phenomenon we see in many modern Pentecostal and purpose driven churches. That wives are automatically granted the status of pastor simply by marriage. The bible outlines criteria for elders and pastors and one is not deemed such by such carnal standards. The second point here is the admission by the Grays that they were simply lying to people while their marriage fell apart. I guess that is not overly surprising but the hubris displayed by John Gray here is astounding. This is again the product of purpose driven thinking. As a CEO, John Gray does not view his marriage as the business of his flock. He is mistaken. One cannot lead people in God's church regarding sin and righteousness who is so morally compromised. Gray's responsibility was to step down immediately and seek help. Not in restoring his ministry but in restoring his marriage and his walk with God. This would not happen however because in the purpose driven world the primary consideration is to protect the brand first. Lastly in this opening snippet we see the arrogance of his wife, almost gleefully pointing to John to make sure people knew that he was the one on the couch. This arrogance would only grow as we moved on in this confession.

"We had to keep smiling because even though we were struggling and even though I was failing as a husband I was already in front of the people and the people can't receive my brokenness because where do leaders go when they bleed? Because sheep don't do well with blood so I had to bleed alone. And what's strange is I traveled the whole world and the Holy Ghost showed up and people got saved." -- John Gray

No John. People kept responding to your altar calls. They kept raising their hands and repeating a three sentence prayer that Joel taught you. They weren't saved. Salvation is a supernatural work of God in response to the preached Gospel of Jesus Christ and you do not preach that Gospel. I know it is upsetting to deal with beloved but narrow is the way and few are those who find it. Our key verse today is Paul telling the fledgling pastor Timothy to guard only two things. One is his doctrine because without correct doctrine no one gets saved! This is the "save your hearers" portion of the verse. The "save yourself" portion deals with guarding your life. We have known for some time that John Gray does not protect doctrine because his gospel is the same compromised nonsense that Joel Osteen preaches. Now we know he did not guard his life either.

Perhaps the saddest thing here is John Gray genuinely did not think he had anywhere to go when his life was falling apart. He parses out the problem of standing before a congregation while steeped in sin. That is seemingly not an issue for him. Where do leaders go when they bleed? If they are true leaders in the church they go to God. They give up their compromised leadership position and they deal with the sin in their camp. They do not choose something as selfish as "bleeding alone."

"So me and my wife just kept smiling and nobody knew that we were getting ready to get a divorce. Because as long as I kept producing nobody cared what's happening at home. Because as long as we can use you, we will. And then when you fail, we will find someone else. Just do me a favor and keep smiling. Keep producing. Fly all over the world. Fight for everyone else's family while your own marriage is falling apart. While your kids are crying for you every night, wondering when daddy's coming home. But you are doing the best to provide and you're really scared to come home because you don't know how to be a husband or a father because you didn't see either one. So you got to keep smiling until it all falls apart. So I started listening to the wrong voices and let some people get too close. And she found out and set it off as a good wife should. (Aventer grabs the microphone from his hand and starts preaching)" -- John Gray

How truly sad beloved. As their marriage was careening towards a divorce, John Gray felt nobody cared. He felt that all the powers that be wanted was for him to "keep producing." He felt used. Before you go and get all weepy for John Gray you must realize that this was his creation. This entire confession is starting to take the shape of deflection. I feel slightly bad that Gray chose to be part of a dysfunctional false church system but he chose that. I feel slightly bad that he didn't know how to be a father or husband because you did not see one growing up but you know what? Many of us share that same vacuum and still choose to not violate our covenant with God and our wives. Do you see the set up though beloved? I was hurt. I was bleeding and no one cared. No one was there to help me. I had to bleed alone. I didn't know how to be a father or husband because I did not have any when I was growing up. People were using me. Just fly all over the world and smile. This is apparently the set up for the excuses I feel compelled to translate:

So is it any wonder that I started listening to the wrong voices? - Female voices

Is it not understandable that I let some people get too close? -- Female people

My wife found out and set it off. -- I got busted and this whole thing started

That is what John Gray is actually saying beloved. Anytime anyone has an affair they have listened to the wrong voices and allowed someone to get close that they should not have. Every time. Now Aventer has the microphone.

"And then I prayed for them and him and the devil loses. Because what's not going to happen is you tell me that I'm going to lose my purpose because somebody whispered to a 16 year old John? The devil is a liar. I'm standing with my husband and you can go on back to the pits of hell where you came from. Was I upset? Yes. Was I heartbroken? Yes but you better learn how to get in there, what's the vows? Better and worse. So when the worse shows up you don't run away. When the worse shows up you pray. Now I might have said a few words and told him to sleep on the couch however when the word is inside of you and you know what your position is, everything else is false. I know who I am. I am the rib that God took from him. I'm his rest in brokenness, RIB, until he wakes up and understands who he is. You pray wife while the devils run away. Amen. Don't give up to soon or he wins. But he couldn't have this purpose. He knew what this was (pointing to the audience). He was coming for y'all that's why he came for us. We know better. I see you devil but you don't want it with me! I get in the eyes of the devil! Do you hear me! You can't have this here devil! I don't care! I just look cute but the devil don't want it with me! I put scripture on that strange woman. She don't want it with me! She don't want it with y'all! Amen!" -- Aventer Gray

Wow. So not only does she blame this as a satanic attack but the reason they were attacked is the flock at Relentless Church! The devil was coming for them so he attacked them by making John Gray have sex with someone other than his wife? Seriously? I give her credit for saying that one stays true to their vows even during the worst of times but that means that your spouse repents. Not that you aid him in finding outside sources to blame. This highlights a prolific problem in the modern church. Anything positive in our lives is assigned the status of blessing from God and anything negative is assigned as an attack from the devil. Sometimes our flesh is what our flesh is. Sin does not need to be excused beloved. I have heard a myriad of sources to blame for why John Gray chose to have sex with someone outside his marriage. I have heard that it is the fault of the purpose driven machinery that only cares about him as a producer. I have heard that it was really the fault of a fatherless upbringing. I have heard it is the fault of the congregation he was serving. I have heard it is the fault of the devil. What I have not heard is that it was John Gray's fault. Instead we hear tales of places of brokenness where the victim John Gray was forced into taking his clothes off to have sex with someone other than his wife.

"So you want me to leave my husband because you spoke to the 16 year old that couldn't get a date. And he listened. So I'm supposed to leave my husband because you spoke to a place of brokenness that had not yet been submitted back to the Father. Don't let the devil push you out of your purpose. People love to hijack your purpose. They wanted to hijack y'all by coming for this. But it's a no devil." -- Aventer Gray

Not content with the complete emasculation John Gray has suffered so far, his wife now reveals the true culprit. That strange woman she has now put scripture on was speaking to the 16 year old John Gray who couldn't get a date! Because John was apparently only 16 in his mind at that time he listened. Aww, everyone feel bad for John Gray because he couldn't get a date when he was 16.

Beloved, do not think I am heartless. These are serious considerations to discuss in therapy or marriage counseling. Where they do not belong however is tacked on to the end of a sermon designed to deflect guilt and blame everyone except the guy who chose to take his clothes off to have sex with someone other than his wife. My concern for John Gray is the same as it would be for anyone else who finds themselves in his position. Adultery is not the unpardonable sin. One can truly repent of it and one can truly forgive their spouse of it and move on to a restored marriage. That same restoration is available for one's walk with the Lord. We should pray for people in such situations that they truly repent to be truly forgiven.

At the same time however I can remain concerned about the sheep. What has the sheep at Relentless Church learned from this incident? That there are no ramifications from an adulterous lifestyle. That one can try and sweep it under the rug and if caught, just pass the blame off to as many other parties as possible. Of what moral standing does John Gray have left anymore to preach anything to his flock? None but then we are forced to come back to the key verse for today and realize that while this displays his refusal to guard his life, he abandoned guarding his doctrine a long time ago. As such, he does not choose to stand on any moral ground whatsoever to provide encouragement to the people who come to hear him speak. He just nods and winks and hands the mic off to Pastor Aventer. His RIB and her purpose; caught up in the Purpose Driven Industrial Complex that cares nothing for them but allows them to bleed to death in the Lamborghini of their choosing.

Reverend Anthony Wade -- January 14, 2019

Authors Bio:
Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.