Discerning God’s Discipline—The case for Jim Staley

Messianic pastor Jim Staley of the Passion forTruth Ministries in St Charles, MO, has pled guilty in Federal Court to three counts of wire fraud. This arose from the investment counseling business he was in and concluded some time after he incorporated the ministry. The details are reported in the St Louis Post-Dispatch.

Many opinions of how to treat the pastor are swirling around the Internet. The suggestions generally emanate, in my opinion, from each person’s viewpoint based on their redemptive spiritual gifting and their own degree of woundedness or wholeness. My understanding of our spiritual redemptive gifting is based primarily on the teaching of Arthur Burk. My wife and I have ministered with significant results from these understandings for close to ten years. Basically the wounded Prophet will be calling for a harsh, legalistic construction of scripture. While the wounded Mercy will see only the grace of a loving Father toward the sinner. The wounded Servant will feel peace is the uppermost consideration–preferably without confrontation. The wounded Teacher may be the last to weigh in and will be loaded with scriptural documentation. The wounded Giver may be shocked at how the monetary contributions were obtained and used, but is less concerned about the brother. The wounded Administrator will focus on the abuse of governance. Finally, the wounded Exhorter, being by design an encourager, will be apt to deny or find mitigation for the sin. The more the woundedness the sharper the hatchet of judgment. The less the woundedness the more the whole counsel of God will be brought to the table. By this I mean the collective, balanced input of all seven of a person’s redemptive gifts will be employed even though the primary one dominates. Out of our wholeness we can much more effectively love our neighbor as ourself. Hurt people hurt people. God’s healing is held at bay by the repeated wounding inflicted by our wounded “friends” let alone our enemies.

In reading Facebook and Internet posts I found a cacophony of response to Brother Jim’s plight. It seems much advise comes from those who have experienced various wounds in their church or leadership experiences. It seems most are either throwing or deflecting thrown stones. What was God’s solution to the sin of the murderer King David? The court may have been aswirl with gossip which may or may not have reached King David. God chose a trusted vessel, the Prophet Nathan, to bring correction. Nathan was not necessarily in King David’s “congregation” or “government,” but he did have an established record of hearing God. Maybe we should be praying for a mature, established representative of God to bring His word to our brother in his time of challenge. Can we not support a brother without condoning his admitted sin? What is the saying–God hates the sin but loves the sinner! Let’s pray for a Nathan with a plan for repentance, restitution and restoration that fully ratifies both God’s kind mercy and His strict judgment.

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