Saturday, June 05, 2010
What to do with Mike Warnke
What to do about Mike Warnke?
Mike Warnke was a major force in the late Jesus movement. His book the Satan Seller sold millions and I even read it. In some ways I felt a kinship with Mike as I also dabbled a bit in the black arts. While I was never close to being as Mike Warnke stated he was, to hear the story of a man that deep in Satanism make it out by the grace of God inspired me and embolden me. I finally had a chance to see Mike Warnke in concert in the mid 80s… I was deeply moved by his message of grace and hope to the freaks and weirdos that most people would not reach out to.
Then it happened.
Mike was exposed as a fraud and I was crushed. Even his book the Satan Seller took on an ironic and yet cryptic new meaning. I wondered how someone could lie so boldly and so many would eat it up as I did. I wondered at why no one had stepped up and confronted Mike Warnke to help him see his error. I marveled at the integrity that those at Cornerstone Magazine had to have and the hard decision to make in exposing Mike Warnke. In my mind these people are heroes….
However, many years have passed and I rather forgot about Mike Warnke. I then become friends with Jon Trott who was one of the journalists who uncovered the story of Mike Warnke and Laura Stratford (who I hear is now claiming she was a concentration camp victim under the Nazi’s… she seemed to just moved on from one lie to another, but that is another story).
Since coming to know and love Jon, I looked over the expose’ on Mike Warnke and see how it all unraveled and how they tried many times to get to the truth… I believe they did. Mike Warnke was called out and then put under supervision of his church (or whatever it was… maybe board?) and after a time of being counseled he would be restored to ministry… and oh what to do with Mike Warnke.
While I admit I do have some bitterness still against the con Mike committed against me and others personally I am conflicted with the truth of Grace and forgiveness. I, in my own mind and heart do forgive Mike, bit do I see him fit for ministry as he once was? I read the paperwork that shows Mike did all he was supposed to and still wonder… is it all a con… again?
I am at a point were I am like Paul and Markus. Markus ran away from Paul at a crucial time in his ministry and Paul did not trust Markus after that. Barnabas who also traveled with Paul took Markus under his wing and restored Markus. Many miss that later, Paul mentions Markus in a loving way as if stating all is now well between him an Markus. I am only at the point of not trusting Mike Warnke and do not want anything to do with him… but I pray for a Barnabas to be able to love and work with Mike and maybe, I also will accept Mike Warnke with open arms.
But, I think that will still take time for me…