Sunday, January 20, 2008

Greasy Grace

After the much-publicized sex abuse scandal at Victory Baptist Church, pastor Darrell Gilyard resigned and started up another church just 2 weeks later. The Dallas Morning News reported that his first sermon at the new church was titled “Grace Is Really Amazing.”

These guys sure do like to call forth “grace,” don’t they? But it’s a slick and greasy sort of grace, if you ask me.

When I finally located my own perpetrator, Tommy Gilmore, he was also preaching a sermon on "Grace." (That's him in the photo.) This was almost 6 months after I contacted the music minister who knew about Gilmore’s abuse of me as a kid, and 3 months after I made a written report of the abuse to numerous church and denominational leaders. So I expect Gilmore had probably heard that I wasn’t keeping quiet anymore. But even though so many people knew about his abuse by then, and knew that my report was substantiated, Gilmore was standing in the pulpit of still another church and talking about his work in “children’s ministry.”

His sermon was titled “What’s So Great About Grace.”

Using Romans 3 as text, Gilmore seemed to conjure a twisted rationalization for thinking that what he does with his little “earth-suit” on this planet isn’t of much consequence because, after all, Tommy’s “not here.” “Tommy’s already in the heavenlies” with God. For Gilmore, it looks like "what's so great about grace" is that it gives predators like him a free pass.

Good morning. I – uh – it’s a joy for me to be here today. I cannot tell you how this church has already blessed – uh – my wife and I as we have come here to work with you – um – in the area of children’s ministry…. I just want to tell you thank you for the way that you have received Sue and I…..

I want us to think for a few minutes this morning about grace.

Grace, according to God’s word, is a gift that can never be earned. It can never be deserved, but is given not because of what we have done but it’s given because of who God is. It’s given from His storehouse….

So I want to ask you today: What is so great about grace?...

Number 1: Grace is free. There’s no way that I can ever earn it..,.

The second thing I want you to understand about grace is that it’s free to ALL….There’s no difference between anybody…it’s free to every person. Scripture says it is by grace are you saved through faith…

The next thing we want to talk about is that grace is the key to understanding how to live the freedom that is ours as a child of God. Grace is free. Grace is given freely to all. Grace frees us to live like who we are.

Andy Stanley became the youth minister at First Baptist in Atlanta while Sue and I were there…. God gave him this motto and it soon began to work it’s way through the entire church, and I use it so often in counseling and it means so much to me.

The little motto goes like this: ‘In light of who I am and by the gift of God’s grace, I will walk in a manor worthy of my place.’

What does it mean learning to live like who I am?

…. God wants us to live according to faith. So the struggle that I have is to take what God says has already happened to me, to take what God says about who I am in Christ Jesus and to by faith begin to act like that whether I feel like it or not.

God says that you’re a child of the King.

We’re a child of the King. He says that we’re a joint heir with Christ Jesus. I want you to just imagine what that means. Everything that God has for his beloved son Christ, we’re going to inherit equally…. I can’t even begin to describe what that is…but I believe it.

God’s word says that even though I am here with you today, I am already seated in the heavenlies.

And I tell you what, when the junk gets heavy, when the accusations from the world and when the temptations of the flesh, and just all of the junk, begins to pile up on me, I can sit back and remember – I’m not here.

I’m already with God in the heavenlies.

I have a friend in Texas…he does a lot teaching on grace…and he calls our body our earth suit.

Ladies and gentlemen, what you’re looking at today is Tommy’s earth-suit. Tommy ejected from this earth-suit when he was a senior in high school and he’s been in the heavenlies ever since.

This earth-suit, according to God’s word, is inhabited by the life of Christ Himself…. And scripture says He was tempted in ALL manner like unto us….

It changes the way I live when I understand who I am in Christ Jesus. I am TOTALLY accepted by God.

One of the greatest drives that people have in the flesh is to be accepted. When I was a child, I had rheumatic fever twice – uh – it kept me from participating in sports and in the little town I grew up, if you were not an athlete, you were not anything. And I was the waterboy. And I have struggled with an inferiority complex all of my life. It’s STILL there. Those feelings of inferiority are still there. But I’m not gonna walk by my feelings. I’m gonna walk in light of who God says I am. And he says I am accepted by God in the beloved – in Christ Jesus…. I have been purchased with a price…I have been redeemed…..

‘In light of who I am, by the gift of God’s grace, I will walk in a manor worthy of my place.’


gmommy said...

"And scripture says He was tempted in ALL manner like unto us…."

Jesus may have been tempted in all manner but Tommy Gilmore ACTED out his lust for power and control.
Not at all like the Christ Tommy claims inhabits his body and soul.

All the Charles Stanleys and Paige Pattersons that have known about these perverters of God's Word and done nothing to protect the innocent are GUILTY along with the Tommy Gilmores.

Anonymous said...

If Tommy Gilmore has been in the heavenlies since a senior in high school, did he sexually assault you repeatedly from there? I don't think so.

Christa Brown said...

anonymous: It seems more like a freaky sci-fi movie than any sort of theology, doesn't it? I mean, according to him, Tommy's "not here." So, I guess it was just his little "earth-suit" that repeatedly assaulted me all on its own?

Lin said...

Wow, He sounds like a Gnostic. He is not responsible for his behavior. The 'bad Tommy' raped you. the good Tommy is in heaven.

Tommy has NO good fruit. He should be worried. And he sould NOT be preaching anywhere. He is NOT qualified.

Thanks for putting his name out there...I will be warning everyone I know.