…as for the sad case of Jerry Dewitt

Cracker: You loved David, you love a man you make love with a man, you have a baby, but babies cost money, there’s never enough money, so you talk about abortion , you go and see Michael, his advice what does Michael say?

Maggie Harvey: Michael says we will always be welcome in his church no matter what I do.

Fr. Michael Harvey: I was trying to make it easier for you.

Maggie Harvey: I didn’t want it made easier, I wanted you to say ‘No’. I’m a good Catholic I believe, I go along to my priest a lifetime of sacrifice and all I ask for is to protect the child in my womb, but he won’t.

Cracker My Brother’s Keeper 1995

This morning I wrote about non-believing ministers or priests leaving their positions in the church as a good thing. There is however a difference between having doubts and actual disbelief.

In the Catholic church for example priests, Bishops and even Popes still go to confession because they are not free from sin. Those confessors are also in a way coaches, helping people through the tough times.

And that takes me to the specific case of Jerry DeWitt who is mentioned in the CNN article. It’s very clear from his own words where his problems began:

As a young fresh-faced minister, DeWitt was first confronted with his disbelief when he “became the person who got the burden of preaching about hell,” he said. “I really loved the people I preached to, I loved them like family. So imagine preaching that if you don’t do this, you are going to burn in hell. That wasn’t easy for me.”

“It wasn’t easy for me”. This isn’t a question of doubt it’s was laziness, unwilling to talk about a harsh reality because of how it made him feel Think about that for a second:

  • Imagine if your doctor was not willing to tell his patients about a disease that could kill them because “he loved the patients” and “it wasn’t easy for him”.
  • Imagine if a parent unwilling to correct their children from doing wrong because “they love their child” and “it wasn’t easy for them”
  • Imagine if your accountant was unwilling to tell you about financial issues because “he loves his client” and “it wasn’t easy for him”.

In fact we see it in Washington today with elected officials unwilling to solve our financial issues because they love the people and “it isn’t easy for them

In other words, he wanted to be liked. It’s difficult to be liked when you are telling unpleasant truths that people might not want to hear, even if Christ himself said they where true.

There is a reason Pride is first on the list of deadly sins.

What we have here isn’t someone who had disbelief, he had discomfort and because apparently he didn’t share his discomfort with someone with more experience who might have counseled him. If he had asked me I would have quoted one of my very first posts:

Some argue that a good God would not allow such a thing, yet they don’t question that a good law (against murder for example) may cause a person to be imprisoned for life or worse. It isn’t bad law its the offenders bad choice that makes him liable to judgment.

Our unwillingness as people to face that fact is not unlike an overweight person avoiding a scale or a person sick unwilling to see a doctor. It is much easier to avoid an unpleasant truth than to confront it and do something about it. To the degree that Satan is active this is by design, denial works in his favor

The Devil is a psychologist and a con man rolled into one and will always steer us toward the easier more comfortable choice. Of course he could have talked to people of more experience, who could have provided some answers, but again the sin of pride, I don’t need anyone else help or opinions I can do it all myself.

After doubts about hell, DeWitt began to research other schools of thought about God and belief. He began to develop other doubts, about certain biblical translations and about healing.

And of course the rest for Mr. DeWitt is history.   He has the rest of his life to decide otherwise, but if he continues on this path the CNN article will make him popular with many in the media, he will appear on TV, he will be lionized, he will never lack for speaking opportunities with crowds of people cheering him while others less apparently and thus not able to fuel his ego will be silently praying for him and if those prayer are not answered affirmatively, if he hears the voices of the crowd above the silent voice whose message he decided was too hard to express he will achieve the fame and respect he desires and will be held up as an example to others for the rest of his life…

…after that he’s on his own. I wish him the best of luck in making that decision.