The same tired justifications are squawked and regurgitated, while they all use the same verses of scripture taken out of context saying, "Who are you to judge? God says not to judge anyone."
The contention always centers on and revolves around how great of a teacher, pastor, and prophet of God they are. They have a great church, ministry or teaching and many people have gotten healed, or saved under their ministry. They have this and that degree with so many books, dvd's and teachings. How can they not be great when they have bibles named after them and commentaries written by them? On and on it can go.
If all of their accomplishments are based on false doctrines, presuppositions, bad theology and out right lies, what does any of it matter? If your faith is not based in scripture, that is to say, if you don't have a Holy Spirit filled, sound biblical understanding of who Jesus Christ is, what His life and death accomplished, and why it needed to be accomplished, you are not truly saved.
There are pastors who have been caught in illicit adultery affairs, promiscuity, felony acts with minors, homosexuality, have purposefully and intentionally spread std's and the aids virus. There have been over the top false prophesies, false doctrine and lying claims publicly proclaimed as truth directly given from the Holy Spirit. Some have denied the truth of the gospel when they unbiblically proclaim Jews are automatically heaven bound by virtue of their blood, Catholics are Christians, we are all on the same path, God wants everyone to be financially rich, anyone who is ill is outside the will of God, on and on it goes. Yet, these unrepentant "people of God" are viciously defended.
I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
If people do happen to come to saving faith in Christ under their tutelage it is in spite of us. It is all of God, who has said He will accomplish what He has said he will accomplish.
So is My word that goes out of My mouth, It will not return to Me empty, But it will accomplish that which I desired, And prosperously effect that for which I sent it.
Was this the premise under which the Holy Spirit taught and moved the apostle Paul or the disciples?
In Galatians 2:11-14, Paul writes how he got in Peter's face because of his hypocrisy. We are told to scripturally rebuke and correct (2Timothy 4:2, Titus 2:15 ). Our Lord and Savior, as recorded in John 7:24, himself says to Judge RIGHTEOUS judgment, which is NOT according to appearances.
Coincidentally, scripture also warns us against favoritism, of which, this is the worse kind because you favor your preacher/pastor/teacher above what you have accepted as the word of God.
Having and building great churches and ministries is not the mark of a believer, (Galatians 5:22-24) neither is being well known and respected by sinner and saint alike.
Herod the Great, for example, is well known by Jew and non Jew for the great rebuilding of the second Temple. He was not a man of God, with a great possibility of him not really being a Jew. Yet, this huge building was a source of pride for the Jew, not so much for it's worship of God, but for it's magnificence in it's structure. Herod the Great was an evil, pagan, paranoid murderer who is responsible for the slaughter of all children 2 and under to protect his throne (Matthew 2:16).
It is also possible to start in the faith, only to fall away.
2 Peter 2:20-22 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. (21) For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. (22) But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.
These pastors that are deemed almost untouchable by their flock, very well may have been previously faithful. Maybe once upon a time,they were shepherds who were obedient to God and sold out for Christ. But since fame and fortune came to them, they have just sold out. Since they have allowed their hearts to be filled with lust, they have filled their time and space with lasciviousness. Where once prudence dwelled, now lives pride.
King Solomon is a perfect example of someone who started faithful but ended failed.
The man known for his favor with God, wisdom, prosperity and the building of the Great Temple.
Unfortunately, he is also known for his many wives for whom he built temples to their pagan gods, worshiped them (1 Kings 11:4-10) and could very well have died a pagan.
We need to understand the importance of not making man and their accomplishments our pagan gods. We need to make sure our hearts don't depart from serving God to serving churches, man and money. We need to repent of giving anyone or thing undue and/or higher praise than we do our Creator, Lord and Savior. (Praise can take many forms like verbal, time, action, and support)