Bishop Clarence McClendon P.H.D.
Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts;
If you’ve watched much so called Christian television in this country you’ve probably seen Clarence McClendon stalking the stage in his Los Angeles church or perhaps you’ve seen him ordering viewers to the phones during a TBN beg-a-thon.
Wearing long brightly colored robes, a catholic style clerical collar, a big gold cross swinging from his neck, McClendon is hard to miss. Like his colorful apparel the bishop is a conglomeration of preaching styles and beliefs.
Part word of faith, part latter rain/dominionist, part ecumenist, Clarence McClendon seems to incorporate every faulty doctrine and man made tradition filling the religious market today.
As with most of these apostates, money and how to get it plays a major role in McClendon’s preaching. He proclaims the “seed faith” message with the fervor of a Rod Parsley, adds some ecumenist “can’t we all just get along” pleading in the spirit of T.D. Jakes and throws in some positive thinking nuggets worthy of Tony Robbins.
Something for everybody. No heresy left behind!
According to his bio, Clarence E. McClendon is quite the busy man. He reportedly began preaching at the age of fifteen, assumed his first pastorate at the age of nineteen and today serves as Senior Pastor of Full Harvest International Church in Los Angeles Ca. In addition he has founded the Siloam Bible College and Clarence E McClendon Leadership Institute as well as the Full Harvest Network of Churches, Ministries, and Entrepreneurs.
He is often introduced as Dr. Clarence McClendon and his P.H.D. is prominent throughout his website. A call to his office confirmed that his P.H.D. was acquired through Friends International Christian University, an unaccredited school based in Merced Ca. F.I.C.U specializes in degrees by correspondence and claims such religious notables as T.D. Jakes, Frederick K.C. Price, and Ira & Bridgett Hilliard among their doctoral alumni.
F.I.C.U. offers students the opportunity to advance rapidly through a degree program with the application of “lifetime learning credits” This means that your life and work experience may be applied toward your degree in lieu of actual classroom work. Some might refer to this type of school as a diploma mill. I’ll allow the reader to make his own judgment.
The ministry claims that currently over 160 million homes in North America, South America, the Middle East, Europe and Africa have access to C.E.M.M television broadcasts. On top of that, Bishop McClendon hosts Gathering Force Crusades in major cities across America drawing tens of thousands throughout the year.
Sounds like he’s got all the bases covered. But wait, that’s not all!
McClendon also serves on the Bishops Council of the Full Gospel Baptist Church Fellowship, the College of Bishops of the International Communion of Charismatic Churches, is the California Regent for President Bush’s Faith Based Initiative Faith Center, and serves as a board member of the Do Something Foundation which advertises itself as a think tank of some of Americas top young leaders.
Are you impressed yet? Well, if not there’s more!
The Bishop is not only a preacher, broadcaster, administrator, educator, and entrepreneur par excellence he’s also an accomplished author and musician having three books and a Billboard top ten CD to his credit.
How does this guy possibly find time for church and family? Well, that’s where he seems to have run into a little problem.
A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
Full Harvest International Church was affiliated with the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel (ICFG) when McClendon assumed the pastorate in 1991. In 2003 however he abruptly withdrew his church from that denomination citing “politics, real estate and systematic racism” as the reasons. ICFG officials denied the charges claiming that African Americans were represented in all levels of leadership within the denomination.
The real story seems to be a little more sordid.
After 16 years of marriage (and four children) “Bishop” Clarence McClendon announced his divorce from wife Tammera with the following statement to Charisma New Service
’McClendon said that he had married at 18 "for all the wrong reasons." He added: "The only reason [it] lasted as long as it did was because we both loved God. [Tammy] just made a decision about what she wanted to do with the rest of her life. I'm sad to say we are completely divorced."’
He added “"I have a calling to preach, not to be married. My calling is between my heavenly Father and myself. It doesn't affect my ministry."
It seems that his calling to “preach, not to be married” changed however when he married Priscilla Delgado of Los Angeles only seven days after his divorce from Tammera was finalized. The ceremony was performed by Bishop Earl Paulk who was supposedly providing spiritual counseling to McClendon at the time.
McClendons ex wife tells a different story. According to Tammera her husband had wanted out of the marriage for the last five years.
"I didn't want a divorce," Tammera told Charisma. "When I finally said yes to Clarence, he asked me to file because it would look bad if he divorced me-which could hurt his ministry."
She also denied that racism played a part in the split from ICFG.
"Clarence shared everything with me before we had marital problems, and he never once said that Foursquare was racist toward him," she said.
Apparently the Foursquare denomination has a policy requiring newly divorced ministers to step down from the pulpit for at least six months and to undergo a review by the denomination's Ethics Committee. McClendon of course claimed that this policy had nothing to do with his decision to withdraw.
Does anyone else smell a rat here?
I ask this question. Based on scripture, is Clarence McClendon qualified for the office of bishop?
When a man is not qualified for an office yet refuses to relinquish that office, what does that say about this mans true beliefs and character. What does it say about those who support him in his efforts to remain a pastor and bishop?
Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Jesus said we shall know them by their fruits. Not only by what they say but by what their lives produce.
Clarence McClendon is a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He wears a mask. He deceives gullible Christians with his smooth words. Attempting to hold on to all his accolades, all his exalted positions, all his acclaim within the Christian community this man jeopardizes not only his own immortal soul but others as well. He brings disrepute upon the Lord Jesus Christ and causes the world to hold the entire body of Christ in contempt.
If we truly loved the Lord and his word we would not be deceived by such men. Our response should be the same as Paul ordered in 1Cor 5. We should remove this man from fellowship and turn him over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh in the hope that he might repent and his spirit be saved.
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
Steve Lumbley 2004
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