Christians love to tell stories of people who had their lives were transformed by finding Christ. If I had a dime for every sob-story about how someone was a child killing-mother raping-money stealing-philandering-coke snorting-alcoholic-low life-scum bucket until the Lord Jesus Christ entered their hearts and turned them into Mr./Mrs. Wonderful I’d be a lot more wealthy than I am today. I’m always a little skeptical of such stories as I know from personal experience how hard it can be to change who you are and I don’t believe there is an invisible sky fairy with the power to do it for you. It’s not that people can’t change, just it’s rarely as totally or as quickly as many claim it to be.
So it comes as no surprise to me when I read a news story about a pastor who was once involved in fraud and prostitution being arrested for attempting to burgle a member of her own congregation:
According to investigators, 51-year-old McGriff broke into Serita Agnew’s home and tried to steal more than $10,000 worth of fur coats, designer purses and electronics.
They said a neighbor, who saw McGriff climb into Agnew’s house through a broken window, called police. When officers arrived, they allegedly found McGriff loading stolen items into her car.
Police said McGriff used an alias, attacked officers and even slipped out of a set of handcuffs before being charged with burglary and resisting arrest.
Ms. McGriff is, of course, protesting her innocence:
“I’m a giver, not a taker. I’m not a burlgarer (sic),” she said.
In fact, McGriff said she was checking on the home when she spotted two burglars. She said she climbed in the window after them.
“I should have never gone in the house. I should have called the police. I admit that,” she said.
The good pastor claims she wasn’t stealing, but rather attempting to protect the belongings by relocating them someplace safe. I suppose that’s possible, but you’ll excuse me if I remain skeptical. You’d think she’ d have the good sense the neighbor did to call the police and then just keep an eye on the house to see if the men emerge with anything. It seems a little foolish to go in after them alone.
But maybe she was just doing what God told her to do. It’s not like he hasn’t commanded his followers to break the Ten Commandments on his authority previously. Perhaps God felt all that material wealth was leading that follower astray and was using the pastor as a vessel of righteousness to nudge them back onto the right path. Or it could just be she’s falling back into bad habits she thought she left behind.
Bet you can guess which possibility I find most probable…