Saturday, March 19, 2011

Pastor Lonnie McCowan pleads guilty

LonnieMcCowanI've been saving this this post like dessert after a seven course meal. The various pedophile pastors I’ve posted on over the last week have nothing on this case. Pastor Lonnie McCowan did not commit some horrible sexual crime. He simply stole a house from an old man. The difference is that in most cases I write about, the church eventually rejects the pastor and distances themselves from the crimes. In this case, McCowan and his followers embrace the pastor as if he were being persecuted. His followers do not care about the evidence that he committed a crime. They don’t care that there is a real victim who was damaged by McCowan’s actions. No, they stand by their pastor in clear violation of 1st Timothy 3.

3:1 The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. 2 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, 5 for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.

Why do they do this? The followers I talked to cried persecution and compared McCowan to Jesus Christ. Christians say they follow the bible, but when confronted with clear instructions on what a pastor should be, they turn a blind eye when their pet pastor commits a crime and follow him anyway. It blows my mind.

McCowan served his time in a work release program so he can continue to lead his church.

If approved by the county’s probation agency, McCowan will enter a work furlough program during his incarceration. He would be released from a locked facility near the Camarillo Airport during work hours and continue to serve his congregation in Ventura.

McCowan gets to repay his victim by working in the same job he was doing when he committed the crime. Does this seem right? I don’t think so. Do you?

McCowan and his church preach prosperity theology. He even bragged about his wealth and lifestyle.

In court records from the pending criminal case, McCowan told a district attorney investigator that he earned about $40,000 a month, $35,200 from investments and speaking events and less than $5,000 from Solid Rock. By comparison, the median annual salary for clergy members working in Oxnard, Thousand Oaks and Ventura was $61,860 last year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The McCowans own three homes in Ventura County. They live in a Camarillo home valued at $1,020,000, plus they have title to Gilmond’s house in Ventura, valued at $277,000, and another house on Santa Cruz Way in Camarillo, valued at $674,811, according to the Ventura County Clerk and Recorder.

Read more: Some revere the Rev. Lonnie McCowan as a man of God; others criticize him for amassing wealth

According to the same article, the median income for a pastor in Ventura was $61,860. Mixing money and Christianity is a scam. Letting this huckster out of prison to work at his church is insane. Allowing him 13 years to pay back the value of the property he stole is unwise. Where do they think he will get the money from anyway? It will come from the brainwashed pockets of his followers.

I sat through a service at his church in 2009. It was no picnic. These people are crazy. McCowan is a convicted felon. Attend at your own risk. Check out the Solid Rock Christian Center for more info.

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