The Day the Pastor Went Berserk

“Son, don’t go to sleep while I’m talking. Hey! Hey! … Don’t you lay your head back. I’m important. I’m somebody.” With those words on Sunday, May 19, Pastor Jim Standridge of Immanuel Baptist Church in Oklahoma became an unwitting internet star.

And he wasn’t finished.

On a roll, Standbridge blasted the male half of a couple whom the pastor said wanted him to marry them, then chastised others’ supposed personal sins — including a church video staff member. “He’s a grown man,” Standridge exclaimed, back at the pulpit. “That video room ain’t going to be a youth hangout.”

Several challenges:

  1. This made news. Why do we not hear more often of manipulative rants — because they aren’t frequent or because this chanced to find fame?
  2. Currently the church’s blogs discuss Jesus Christ and His identity, very different than the sermon detour. How do such deviations arise?
  3. Some Christians are defending Standridge (as one acquaintance did on my Facebook page.) Do they truly see nothing wrong with publicly saying “you’re not worth fifteen cents!”? Is this okay as long as a pastor is not committing the far worse sins of “doctrinal compromise,” “feminized faith,” or “worldly Christianity”?

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About E. Stephen Burnett

E. Stephen Burnett is a journalist, aspiring novelist, and editor and webslinger at Speculative Faith. His mission: to explore and enjoy epic stories that reflect the truths and beauties of the first and greatest Epic Story, God’s Word. He also writes for a dynamic news franchise in Austin, Texas and delves into Christ-and-culture doctrine at Christ and Pop Culture. He also enjoys nonfiction, soundtrack music, and spending life with his wife, Lacy, in their Texas headquarters.