When thinking about the current state of the church when confronted with the moral failures of its leadership and the dire need for a legitimate response to it, one question continually comes up. It is piteously asked by many who look at the sad career of Pentecostal evangelist Jimmy Swaggart as an example of how the church has “shot our wounded” and generally been legalistic, unforgiving and unchristian. In their rush to define how Christian mercy has been withheld from the fallen, they overlook several important matters about Swaggart’s life example and ministry that always seem to escape their notice, things this article will strive to underscore. These issues reveal that the subject is often riddled with emotional argumentation that often entirely obscures real consideration of the matter.
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