Pastor Jim Staley of Passion for Truth Ministries Indicted
Blech…it’s frustrating to say the least when this sort of thing happens. Yet, there it is and this time it’s with a pastor who has been involved in teaching aspects of the Hebrew Roots Movement. Pastor Jim Staley is well-known within that movement for his teachings on the subject. Some of those teachings, “Truth or Tradition” and “Identity Crisis,” are fairly well known by those who are part of or who have at least studied the Hebrew Roots Movement (HRM). Much within the HRM teachings might considered peripheral to the fundamental tenets of Christianity and even detrimental. Nonetheless, many of these secondary matters should be questioned because they connect either directly or indirectly with those basic fundamentals.
As one individual has pointed out, Staley’s Identify Crisis teaching “…goes to the very core of the Gospel and is a teaching that twists the Truths of who believers are in Christ.” Whenever that occurs, deeper study, consideration, and even repudiation may be needed.
The HRM itself goes back to the mid-1960s as its own, unique movement. There have been other movements that were more closely tied to Judaism and seen in cults like Worldwide Church of God that go back even further.
Modern day “teachers include William Dankenbring (1964) and Dean Wheelock (1981) (both of whom had prior associations with different Churches of God), Joe Good (1978), and Brad Scott (1983). Batya Wootten’s curiosity about the Gentile majority in many Messianic-Jewish congregations resulted in her first book about the two houses of Israel in 1988.“
In more recent times, the HRM took on a life of its own since the mid-to-late 1990s, through teachers like Dean Cozzens of Open Church Ministries, Tim Hegg, and others, including Jim Staley. Interestingly enough, Cozzens revealed “that God had foreordained four major moves for the 20th century, Pentecostalism, Faith-healing, the Charismatic Movement and finally the Hebrew Roots Movement. In this prophecy, the Hebrew Roots Movement is the ‘final stage of empowerment’ before Christ returns.”
Do you see the connection? The HRM is firmly ensconced within the “signs and wonders” group and the expectation is that God uses these signs and wonders today to speak to His people and the lost of this world. Yes, Jesus said in His Olivet Discourse (Matthew 24, Mark 13, and Luke 21) that there would be signs and wonders in the sky just prior to His return. He also said that the generation that is alive just prior to His return will get to a point where they should literally look up into the sky because redemption was drawing near. If we understand the context, Jesus was referring to those people (especially Jews) who were alive and living through the Tribulation period. There will be a bit of a countdown for those during that time. Many will come to understand that the Tribulation is going to last 7 years and as the end draws near, people should get to the point where they will see the light at the end of the tunnel so to speak even though they will not know the exact date, day, or time of Christ’s return.
Those who are living right now – like you and me – shouldn’t start “looking up” because we have no idea when our end will come (either through death or rapture) and because the Tribulation has not begun. We should have an expectancy about things, but we absolutely need to keep on working. The “looking up” is for those living in and through the coming Tribulation period. The Tribulation would come to a point where as it draws to a close, signs and wonders would be seen in the heavens. This would tell them that the end (of the Tribulation) and return of Jesus is at hand.
This is also why we not only have so many people today writing about the Tribulation, but they do so erroneously, by stating that Seal 1 or Trumpet 2 or Bowl 3 has just opened. When someone sees a photo of water that appears blood-red in color, the first thing they point to is Revelation 16:4 and the 3rd Bowl or some other judgment. That one judgment has apparently occurred several times over the past few years – ugh. Never mind that the Tribulation cannot begin until Daniel 9:27 occurs, where the Antichrist brokers a covenant with Israel and the surrounding nations.
My point is that people who play fast and loose with God’s Word end up going off the main path and into their own little wilderness. Because there seems to be something unique, yet spiritual about that person and their beliefs, they wind up attracting others to them. People get excited because it seems to them that God is doing “something new.” People naturally want to be part of that.
This happened a lot when I was involved in the Charismatic Movement of the 1970s. God was said to be always doing something new. There was always a new way to understand God’s Word, a new way that God was “speaking,” or a new way that God was revealing Himself to people. It all boiled down to “signs and wonders” and the side-show that became church during those years for me.
The unique thing is that no one involved in these offshoots has a sound, firm grasp of God’s Word and due to the fact that the HRM stems from or has grown out of the “signs and wonders” crowd, it’s no wonder that people’s emotions get the best of them and they get excited about this new “revelation,” “experience,” or “movement” from God. He gets blamed for everything whether it’s from Him or not. As long as it seems to be from Him, that’s really all that matters to many/most people.
Pastor Jim Staley has been involved in this type of controversial interpretation of God’s Word since he began his odyssey down the HRM lane. But for Staley, it’s actually been more than that. I would suggest that when people go off the proven path into areas of “enlightenment” and dependency on “signs and wonders,” anything can happen and it often does. The expectancy level is always fairly high and people tend to be guided by their emotions. Because of that, they don’t always make the best decisions and more than one “signs and wonders” preacher has gotten into trouble with the law.
Jimmy Swaggart – a Pentecostal pastor – was caught by vice cops after he met with a prostitute at a rundown hotel on numerous occasions. He’s still in the ministry and still has the support of people. Jim Bakker cheated on his wife with Jessica Hahn and was also convicted of misappropriating donations to his ministry from supporters. He went to jail and is now once again, in ministry. Charles Stanley, though divorced his wife, remains in ministry.
The newest addition to the rogue’s gallery is Pastor Jim Staley who recently pleaded guilty to four counts of wire fraud when he essentially cheated 16 investors. Staley owned a financial consulting firm at the time and because of their investments to the tune of just over $3 million, Staley pocketed just under $600,000 in commissions. Remember, Staley admitted in a federal courtroom that he did cheat investors. Because of this, he faces from 6 to 8 years in prison. He also failed to tell his parishioners that he had been arrested because apparently, he didn’t think he actually had been arrested. Go figure.
I cannot help but wonder if, once he is released, he will simply continue being a pastor even though he should no longer be one? Too many people believe that if he does the time, he should be forgiven and bygones should be bygones. First of all, forgiveness is not the issue as I’m sure God can and will forgive Staley if He deems that Staley is truly repentant. However, there are consequences to actions that continue with us for the remainder of our lives, just as there were with King David and it doesn’t matter that he lived in the “Old” testament. God was the same then as He is today.
What about the $3.4 million Staley’s investors gave him to invest and essentially lost? I realize investing in anything is a practice with risks. However, in Staley’s case, the court agreed that he deliberately set out to cheat his investors “by making false promises of high rates of return and minimal risk.”
Yet, Staley’s defense attorney had the gall to declare that Staley’s crime, “had nothing to do with his role as a pastor.” I beg to differ. His trustworthiness is lost, gone forever.
This is part of the problem today. We do not hold our pastors up to biblical standard as taught by the apostle Paul. I’m talking about the biblical standard here as Paul addressed to Titus and Timothy.
Folks, we are in the end times, the last days. The lack of discernment and the amount of incomprehensible garbage that passes for Christianity today is appalling. We need to get back to loving God with all our heart, mind, and soul and loving our neighbors as ourselves. When we actively participate in the Great Commission, we are actually doing both things.
Flee from everything that is wrong with the world and if your church has been infiltrated by doctrines of demons or worldly attitudes, find another church. We have a responsibility to God to come out from those who dwell in Babylon. We may not be able to do that physically because we are in the world, but we can certainly ask God for discernment to keep ourselves spiritually unspotted from the world. That is a must.
Entry filed under: christianity, Cultural Marxism, Emotional virtue, rapture, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation. Tags: hebraic roots, hebrew roots movement, Identify Crisis, Jim Staley, Passion for Truth, pastor Jim Staley, Truth or Tradition.