There May Often Be A Kenny Amongst Us
By: Brian A. Yeager
Just over a year ago the congregation here had to scripturally mark and withdraw from Kenny Wright (Matthew 18:15-17, Romans 16:17, II Thessalonians 3:6, and II Thessalonians 3:14-15). All of us still have heartaches (cf. Psalms 119:136, Jeremiah 9:1, Romans 9:1-3, Philippians 3:18-19) from learning about the double life that Kenny was leading. While Kenny seemed to always be on the right side of the truth and had a lot of knowledge of the truth, he was also leading a life of sin. Contrary to the will of God, Kenny was living with and having sexual relations with a woman whom he was not married to (I Corinthians 7:1-5 and Hebrews 13:4). We knew that we could not leave this situation alone and just allow a fornicator [one having unlawful sexual intercourse with another] to be among us (I Corinthians 5:1-13).
While dealing with Kenny’s fornication and talking with him and his daughter, we also learned of many other things Kenny was doing which were sinful. Bill, Harold, and I had learned that Kenny lied to us when we approached him about what appeared to be a woman living with him. We then were heartbroken by learning that Kenny was a liar, for we know lying is sinful (Proverbs 12:22, Proverbs 26:28, John 8:44, Ephesians 4:25, and Revelation 21:8). We also learned that Kenny had been smoking cigarettes and also allowing his teenage son to do so (illegal and immoral; I Corinthians 6:20, Galatians 5:16-21, and I Peter 2:11). He allowed his children to skip school and even lied for them to do so. In short, we learned that this supposed brother in Christ was a huge failure as a parent (Ephesians 6:1-4).
Deeper inquiry revealed that Kenny had been married and divorced prior to his marriage to Kim. Further research (available in public records) also revealed that Kenny lied about the cause for his first divorce. There was no fornication and thus we learned he never had the right to be married to his second wife (Matthew 19:3-9). Yet, in talking with the brethren, he expressed that he was considering a third marriage regardless of what the Scriptures said about his lack of right to remarry.
Brethren, I can speak for most of us because we talk of this often, the wounds from what Kenny did are still open and sore. We all remember how Kenny would speak out so boldly in Bible classes condemning the very sins he was secretly engaged in. We learned that Kenny said one thing while he did the exact opposite. This is called hypocrisy and it is certainly not a new problem amongst God’s people (Ezekiel 33:31, Matthew 7:1-5, Romans 2:1-29, and Titus 1:16).
As I often reflect upon the harm Kenny has done to the congregation here, I wish that I could say it will never happen again. In fact, we all have seen it occur before Kenny and we know it can occur any time with someone else as well. We do all that we can to try so-called brethren to be sure that they are sound in the faith (I John 4:1). However, as we have seen and know to be scripturally true, there may often be fakers among us (cf. John 6:60-71).
We Should Brace For Another Kenny To Be Amongst Us
Truths, such as this study, are not always fun to think about (Revelation 10:9-10). Yet, it is best to always gird up our minds to be prepared for the things that we know we’re going to face (I Peter 1:13). Thus, to help us realize that we’re going to face another Kenny again in the future, let’s remember the following Scriptures:
“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? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them… Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears… Then fourteen years after I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, and took Titus with me also. And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain. But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised: And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: To whom we gave place by subjection, no, not for an hour; that the truth of the gospel might continue with you… Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience… But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived… But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not… Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints. For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ” (Matthew 7:15-20, Acts 20:28-31, Galatians 2:1-5, Ephesians 5:6, II Timothy 3:13, II Peter 2:1-3, and Jude 3-4).
We have to remember the past to be ready for the future (cf. I Corinthians 10:1-12). This is why false brethren, such as Kenny, are publicly marked to begin with (II Timothy 3:5-9). For the sake of the souls of one another, let’s be watchmen (Ezekiel 3:18 and Galatians 6:1-2). Let’s not become complacent (Isaiah 56:10) and foolish in thinking that evil is purged from amongst us (Ezekiel 13:10-16).
Volume 12 – Issue 44 - July 22nd, 2012