Thursday, July 5, 2012

FRANKLY ... MELISSA SCOTT'S GOT NOTHIN' ON ME

I got thrown for a loop the first time I heard a pastor's reaction to Melissa Scott’s ministry. 

I had mentioned her name to him because early one morning I happened to turn on the television and watched her teaching without bias.  How could I be biased?  I knew nothing about her!  But I think all of us who are Christians have that same initial tinge of electricity rustle our nerves in shock when we first hear the news about Gene and Melissa Scott's ministry.

Well not all of us … here’s a comment from a good friend and pastor about some of his recollections of Dr. Gene Scott:
I have fond memories of Gene Scott.  I remember watching him chomp his cigar and talk about how the Hebrew slaves hid the truth of Torah in the pyramids and if you add up lengths of corridors divided by heights of this multiplied by widths of that . . . well that led you to Deuteronomy 6 and the great Shema.  AND if you line up the peaks of the pyramids they point true north. . . proof that the Bible is accurate.  WOW.  Pure entertainment. Philippians 1:15 -19. Paul is speaking to motives for teaching and not advocating anything goes as long as Jesus is mentioned, so we’ll have to continue to teach and beg and plead and hope that people with whom we are associated will allow us to introduce them to the Bible and common sense. I hope Mrs. Scott has received Jesus and I hope she blesses many with her teaching.  I’ll be rooting for her. 
What an opportunity for hyper criticism the Church resurrected when she and her husband started doing ministry! Melissa was the third wife to the “shock jock of televangelism” Dr. Gene Scott (Ph. D. Stanford University in Philosophy of Education, 1957.  There is a fascinating LA Times article on Dr. Gene Scott you might want to read here).


As one blogger put it “what he preached FOR was a staunch belief in the Resurrection, and the power of believing in Jesus Christ of Nazareth; that, and the therapeutic power of screwing with bureaucrats.”  His videos are posted all over the Internet, and folks, he’s still raising a commotion posthumously apparently!
There were very few who didn’t get on the band wagon about that ministry.  Many, along with CRI, felt strongly that Scott has no business preaching in a church. The Christian Research Institute (CRI), an international religious center based in Irvine [hosted by Hank Hannegraaf] that monitors controversial religious movements, goes so far as to advise Christians not to attend Scott's services.
During the last few years, Scott has become more and more outrageous and offensive," a CRI analysis concludes. "His language is crude, abusive and profane, clearly violating God's standards for Christians."  Scott protested to loud applause. "These judgmental asses!"  
But it gets worse (depending on your perspective of course).  Supposedly Melissa had a pretty bad reputation and background (OK, I'm being gracious).  It’s rumored that she was a porn star named Barbie ‘something or other’ prior to becoming a wife and subsequent Bible scholar.  There is more than a little slander on the Internet about that which may not yet be proven to be all fact.  But let’s just suppose that all of that stuff is true.  Let’s say she was a porn star. 

She marries Gene Scott [20 years her elder], after they both divorced their spouses.  Gene was no doubt leaning strongly toward being a cult leader by this time (OK ...so I'm really trying to be gracious now).  He now has this established ‘over the top weird TV ministry’ that pays for great looking porn star women to sit up front on Sundays which might cause some men and even the women themselves to become more curious about his messages than they normally would have ever been. I mean – people are coming in to check out the ‘show’ and wind up hearing a message that some of them really believe and enjoy. Suppose all that's true.

I read that Glenn Campbell is one of those who winds up being one of those curious guys and eventually becomes a genuine born-again believer through Gene Scott's ministry.  [Glenn may not be the best example to use because he, like many of us, has had some pretty strong struggles to overcome in his Christian walk.  But who hasn’t?]. 

Anyway, Glenn gets invited to speak on The Blasphemy Network (TBN) about his life and Christian experience. He’s on the air explaining his conversion experience to Paul Crouch that after attending some of the infamous messages by Gene Scott he becomes a believer.  Paul Crouch gets very obviously uncomfortable on live TV when Glenn mentions the Gene Scott show, and Paul changes the subject before anyone tries to explain the impossible.... someone actually comes to faith in Christ through that really weird set up with the girls and the swearing and the cigar –chewing, and the money and all the cult-like hype. 

Paul Crouch is thinking ... "sorry, that's just too weird!"

Now I'm not advocating that our church make some changes in the front rows at the early service.  But you have to agree that this looks pretty unusual, and yet by God's grace it gets used in a strange way in spite of the way it looks! And the whole story ruffles Christian feathers all over the place.

So I’m asking – do you really know what God is doing in every situation?  I mean well enough to make a judgment call on it?

But then I started thinking some more…..

Is Gene Scott’s show really any weirder than the open, blatant obvious heresy (I guess I'm not being gracious anymore) that we hear promulgated by TBN and other "Christian networks?"  I mean, let's face it, Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, and the like are about as far in left field as it gets theologically.  In some respects TBN may LOOK better than the Gene Scott show; and TBN undoubtedly has a “Christian platform” that has some surface appeal, but when you put it all together theologically, there’s nothing short of heresy flowing from the TBN studios regularly! 

But then I’m wondering to myself …. Might God choose to use that ministry in spite of itself as well? Are you sure enough about what God is doing in all situations to make a certain judgment call about that ministry?  Who knows? 

Maybe Melissa Scott did receive Christ and was rescued from her previous pathetic lifestyle.  Isn’t that what the gospel is supposed to do?  Aren't we all on 'death row' before we receive Christ?  Do any of us have a merit-worthy lifestyle prior to becoming Christians? I certainly didn’t.  Is being a porn star any worse than being … any other kind of sinner, or an atheist?  Maybe she genuinely was rescued and teaches the truth of the gospel as well as she can.

For a sampling, here’s a collection of Melissa Scott’s sermons on video; check out the brief message on the Quickening of the Holy Spirit or Altar Calls here.  Then tell me it's not orthodox.

Here’s a final delicacy for thought and later discussion:

How often does our pride manifest itself in thinking that our fellow Christians are inferior to us?  That they don’t deserve to be used of God in ministry? How quickly we run to plunge in the dagger to those we find fault with or disagree with.  Here’s an interesting testimony from a congregant in Melissa Scott’s church.  You decide for yourself. 
The ridiculous thing is, even if this … allegation was true [about her being a porn star], where is the scandal? Pastor Scott has never put herself on a pedestal and condemned others from a self-righteous pulpit ala Swaggart, Falwell, Bakker, etc. If Voss [who wrote a nasty on line hit piece about Melissa Scott’s ministry that the congregant is responding to] had listened to even a few hours of Pastor Scott's teaching, she would know that Pastor [Scott] describes herself as being worse than Paul, who was "the chiefest [sic] of sinners," "the lowest of the low," "a sinner saved by grace..." Pastor [Scott] regularly goes on like this with self-deprecatory comments. She preaches Christ, His forgiveness, His righteousness... never her own. Pastor [Scott] is all about teaching the message of grace and that no matter what condition we find ourselves in, or how badly we've screwed things up, it's never too late to turn our lives around.” 
Here’s her entire appeal.  You be the judge …. Or maybe you shouldn't be.  Maybe you should just believe God can do the impossible, and perhaps, take Plato's advice:

 You are young, my son, and, as the years go by, time will change and even reverse many of your present opinions. Refrain therefore awhile from setting yourself up as a judge of the highest matters. 

Melissa Scott photo credit: http://irishfaithcentre.ie/home.html  
Dr. Gene Scott photo credit: http://www.pirate7.com/7.html


Comments are welcome.


4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Melissa WAS a porn actress. The term actress to be used lightly. She was pretty good at copulation, but had an awful time remembering what little dialog that might've been required of her. Regardless, she made me and many other guys and gals very happy. After listening to her 'preach', it's obvious she still has trouble remembering her lines. All the best to her! Thanx....PJ.

Rick Brownell said...

Anonymous emailed me this post:

Melissa WAS a porn actress. The term actress to be used lightly. She was pretty good at copulation, but had an awful time remembering what little dialog that might've been required of her. Regardless, she made me and many other guys and gals very happy. After listening to her 'preach', it's obvious she still has trouble remembering her lines. All the best to her! Thanx....PJ.

ChristCarriesMe said...

You are young, my son, and, as the years go by, time will change and even reverse many of your present opinions. Refrain therefore awhile from setting yourself up as a judge of the highest matters. Plato

addnos said...

I was watching Dr. Scott in the 70' when he was railing against governor Dukmejian by placing those musical monkeys all over the stage and bopping their heads to play. If nothing, he was entertaining.