This story made me cringe. It just goes to show that, Christian or not, we all sometimes let a lie get out of hand–but why the hell would a church pastor tell his congregation he was a Navy SEAL is beyond me? Jesus isn’t represented by covert operations to assassinate foreign militants?
Per The Christian Post, Reverend Jim Moats of Christian Bible Fellowship Church in Newville, Pa allowed his parishioners to believe he was a Navy SEAL all the way up until it blew up in his face due to Osama Bin Laden’s killing. The Patriot News, because of all the media hype over Navy SEALS, did a story on Rev. Moats on how he had been a former SEAL. It’s like a bad sitcom from the eighties with Gary Coleman as Arnold making shit up until he gets caught and has to have a heart to heart talk with Mr. Drummond.
And Rev. Moats did get caught! He didn’t actually confess because of God or his conscience. A retired SEAL named Don Shipley, who has been entrusted with a database list of all SEALs, called him out. How embarrassing.
Rev. Moats is now busy trying to explain to the media and his congregation why he lied. According to The Christian Post, Rev. Moats has been telling his congregation he was a former SEAL for the last five years!
Shipley seems to suggest the good pastor has mental problems, which begs the question why he’s in a position of leadership in the first place. I suspect it is nothing more than ego and a lie that got out of hand. I feel embarrassed for the guy and I don’t even feel like condemning him based on the obvious hypocrisy. “I bring a shame and a reproach upon the name of Christ, I bring a shame and a reproach upon my church, and I bring a shame and a reproach upon my family,” said Rev. Moats.
Is this enough to warrant stepping down from his position as a moral teacher? I’d say so. I don’t know how someone faces a congregation after that kind of embarrassment. It almost seems worse than getting caught cheating on your wife.
This wasn’t exactly a small blurb in The Christian Post either, ABC News picked up on the story, see below:
I actually have a lot of compassion for people that f-up, but Rev. Moats does need to take the step of resigning after such an incident. Coming from an atheist it might seem odd, but I think people deserve to be forgiven by other people as long as they make the effort to reconcile with those they offended. Unfortunately, much too often those in charge of churches have gotten a taste of the power involved in leading a “flock” and cannot return to being just an ordinary schmoe with a day job. That’s why the Swaggarts, the Bakkers, and the Haggards do not disappear from the limelight of church leadership, they lust after it.