The Homeless Pastor that Corrupted Hadleyburg


by John Kirkwood

When it comes to “the internet hoax,” my naiveté borders on oafish gullibility. I still want it to be true that Mr. Rogers was a Special Forces sniper in Viet Nam who only wore sweaters to hide his military tattoos. True story or not, I’d still buy the action figure with the sweater, the sneakers and the Barrett .50 caliber.

On the other end of the spectrum is Pastor Jeremiah Steepak who “allegedly” dressed as a homeless man only to be revealed to his new congregation of 10,000 and point out their snobbish indifference. See Here: Church Members Mistreat Homeless Man in Church Unaware It Is Their Pastor in Disguise.

The story, which has circulated since July of this year, has Pastor Jeremiah dressing and acting as a homeless man in a mega-church that he has been called to lead. He is mistreated and ignored until the “elders,” who were in on the social experiment, invite the new pastor up to take the helm. The rejected and dejected homeless dude walks to the pulpit, relates what happened to him, reads some verses about discipleship and then, as all 10,000 bow their heads in shame, dismisses the assembly with a challenge to live more like Christ.

This story is a hoax and yet I see it posted as real over and over. Is it because so many care about the homeless or because so many hate the church and are eager to point out her alleged deficiencies? The truth is that this story is very appealing to the flesh. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen others say how “meaningful” this story was to them and how it made them rethink their own ways. Really?

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