My Team, Right or Wrong

Jeff Jansen’s Soon-To-Be-Forgotten Fall From Grace

Jeff Jansen's Facebook selfie

I spent decades in denial. Throughout my more than 40 years as an evangelical Christian, each time I learned of another prominent evangelical caught in another scandal, I convinced myself that he or she was an aberration, an anomaly, a departure from the norm. After all, he or she was an evangelical, a team member, and we must assume the best about our teammates. I’m still confident that most evangelical pastors and local leaders are well-meaning folks who are not flaming hypocrites. But I’ve also concluded that far more than I previously believed could be, really are phonies—particularly among those who rise to national or international prominence.

Over the years the world was treated to the delightfully dreadful dissembling of the likes of Aimee Semple McPherson, Jimmy Swaggart, Jim Bakker, Peter Popoff (yes, that is his real name), Creflo Dollar (ditto), Bill Gothard, Robert Tilton, Tony Alamo, Ted Haggard, Ravi Zacharias, and John MacArthur, to name just a few. And believe me, that’s just a small sampling.

I’d not recently given much thought to the topic of evangelical leaders’ hypocrisy.

White American evangelicals’ wholesale sellout to their new messiah—the crown prince of pretenders, Donald J. Trump—convinced me that I was part of a movement of easily manipulated, unsophisticated sheep. So then, having mostly disassociated myself from the evangelical movement, I’d not recently given much thought to the topic of evangelical leaders’ hypocrisy. Until I saw this news in Christian Post: “Global Fire Ministries founder Jeff Jansen leaves wife to ‘pursue his own desires.’”

My first introduction to Jeff Jansen came in November 2020. That was when I stumbled across a YouTube video in which Jansen was a guest of another evangelical huckster, Sid Roth. In that video, Roth asked Jansen about how his church was dealing with the COVID virus. Jansen’s reply was, essentially, that his massive “Global Fire Ministries” church had changed nothing in response to the virus. It was business as usual. I couldn’t ignore Jansen’s callous disregard for the nearly quarter-million Americans the virus had killed by that date, so I found his email and asked him to take the virus seriously—it is not a hoax, I said.

I didn’t expect a personal response from the “pastor,” but he sent one. He read me the proverbial riot act. He, his wife, and I had a few more email exchanges—in which they told me I could not trust the mainstream media and that they get their news from Alex Jones’ InfoWars—and that was the end of it, figuratively and literally. Until I saw the above-mentioned news about Jansen and his Global Fire Ministries.

It seems now that Jeff Jansen, who so furiously tore into me for not supporting his messiah, Trump—and, by his deduction, for my support of immoral, evil, demonic baby-killing Democrats—is not at all the man he presented himself as being. And when I saw the headline exposing his hypocrisy, I was not at all surprised.

According to the Christian Post article,

Global Fire Ministries founder Jeff Jansen, who was among several charismatic voices who prophesied that former President Donald Trump would win a second term, has left his wife and family to “pursue his own desires" and remains “unrepentant and unremorseful,” his ministry announced.

Last Wednesday, the Tennessee-based evangelical ministry announced that Jansen was asked to step down as co-senior leader of the operation because his “unscriptural” conduct disqualified him from leadership.

Two months ago, Jansen, a self-proclaimed “prophet of the Lord,” declared that God would reinstate Trump as President of the United States by the end of April. But, like the profusion of other “prophets” pontificating across the YouTube universe, when Jansen’s “prophecies” fail to materialize, he simply erases them from his googly-eyed followers’ memories by drowning them under scores of new prophecies. It seems that none of those thousands of followers is inclined to put in the effort to assess the man’s prophetic batting average—or now, his claims of moral rectitude.

So, Jeff Jansen likely will follow in the footsteps of most of the charlatans I named above. That is, he’ll keep a relatively low-profile for a month or two, then re-emerge as “a new man,” Jeff Jansen, prophet 2.0. And his gullible followers will again happily hand over much of their hard-earned money to this man who if he identified himself as a liberal they would revile as the adulterous, lying, money-grubbing charlatan he truly is. But instead, far too many conservative evangelicals will give him a pass simply because he’s on their team.