Is Elmer Gantry Alive and Well? – Today’s Youth Devotion

Is Elmer Gantry Alive and Well?

Bible Reading: 2 Peter 3: 17 -18

Grow in the special favor and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 3:18

ELMER GANTRY WAS the slimy lead character in Sinclair Lewis’s novel by that name. Gantry-a greedy, lustful, hypocritical evangelist-preached one thing and lived another. His words, his sermons, and his life were all fake.

Elmer Gantry was a made-up man. But plenty of scandals have ruined real preachers. One televangelist was disgraced by revelations of extramarital sex and his subsequent cover-ups of the scandal. Another televangelist’s condemnations of the first one crashed down around him when he was forced to confess his own ad­diction to pornography. With cameras and microphones snooping out every ugly detail of these and other scandals, more and more people have bought the “Elmer Gantry myth.” That myth is the mistaken belief that Christian preachers, evange­lists, and leaders are all crooked hypocrites.

The media coverage misses the many evangelists and preachers who continue to Serve God with utter integrity and humility. Think of the evangelistic ministry career of Billy Graham. Over a span of sixty years, Dr. Graham’s preaching has reached millions, and his life has never contradicted his preaching. Even so, Graham confesses that from the start of his ministry, “I was frightened-and still am — that I would do something to dishonor the Lord.”

Billy Graham, Luis Palau, Charles Colson, Dawson McAllister, and Charles Swindoll are just some of the well-known Christian leaders, whose lives are true to their teaching, proving that the Elmer Gantry myth isn’t true.