Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mike Tucker and Me

Mike Tucker: Adventist Celebrity: Televangelist, Faith for Today
[Third in series of Adventist Celebrities and Me... because so many SDAs claim I wasn't ever really an SDA but someone on the periphery of the church.]

All the seventh-grade girls at Dallas Junior Academy were thrilled to get a single young male as our homeroom teacher. It was an instant crush for them. I was the only hold-out as I thought he was too lanky and gooey sweet. We knew it was inevitable that he would have a girl friend, but when he spoke about Gayle, it irritated the girls.

That year, with tears in Shari Workman's eyes, Mike married Gayle. That announcement in class didn't go over well....

Within a few months, the dudes (and a few really far out girls) no longer "dug" him, as my admiration soared. You see he was a godly man and his extremely mild and soothing manner grated on early teens who are trying their best to be cool. My roll-your-eyes-at-the-I-have-a-crush-on-Mr.-Tucker chicks helped me maintain a more judicious attitude about him.

However, I have to say... Mr. Tucker should have been a bit more teenage savvy, as the ardent tears for us to turn to the Lord each Friday during Bible class (a huge shock that really impressed us at first) (cringe).... as sincere as they might have been.... you know... it started to be mocked by the boys... I really felt sorry for him. I had never seen a guy cry and I sort of looked forward to it.

Several years later I worked for a friend of Mike's and learned WAY too much about him. And then he became pastor of a church nearby. My cousins, the Coles, are very good friends with him and I have always very much enjoyed going to the Arlington SDA church. It tries to be gospel-oriented and contemporary.

Once I spoke privately to Mike about starting a ministry for kids who had been sexually abused by SDA teachers and pastors. (NOT ME! I assure you, this idea was born from hearing so many stories from others....) He admitted that it was a real problem, but didn't really believe that he could get involved with something like that at the time. And I am sure that wasn't just an excuse, because he really was zooming his way to the top then. But when he said those kids need to just get over it with prayer, I thought.... "hum... what about those tears now? Where's the compassion for kids now?"

Not too long afterwards he became the televangelist for the Adventists TV program, Faith for Today.

I can't really see him in the SDA celebrity role, as I will always remember him as my sweet seventh-grade teacher who cried.

Dear Mr. Tucker,

I will ask the same thing of you as I have Shawn Boonstra, Cliff Goldstein and Doug Batchelor. Please, please, stop being a one commandment church. Join the rest of Christianity in fighting the culture of death, a culture steeped in immorality. No one can really understand anything about Sabbath when they are overwhelmed in sin. Sabbath isn't the answer, only Christ is the answer. I know you preach that, but begin opening up yourself to some really courageous statements. You may have to fall on your sword for this one, but why not really start preaching that abortion is a sin?

Now maybe you have been.... if so, then God bless you. But if so, speak a little louder so that the General Conference can hear!

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