Posts Tagged ‘Frank Pastore’

Frank Pastore was a major league baseball pitcher, a speaker on apologetics, and a Christian talk show host.  He died last year when his motorcycle was struck on the 210 Freeway near Los Angeles.

Frank Pastore Signed CardsIn 1996, my church flew Frank and his son to our community to speak at our church.  That Saturday night, my son and I joined Frank and his son for dinner at Chili’s – where we discussed Frank’s career with the Cincinnati Reds – and then we retreated to my church study, where Frank and I discussed Christian books we both loved.

The next day, he spoke at our Sunday service and blew everyone away with his knowledge and passion for the truthfulness of the Christian faith.

Several years later, I saw his initial appearance on Bill Maher’s television show Politically Incorrect.

And then I lost track of him.  A friend said that Frank was giving pitching lessons to his son, and I heard that Frank had a talk show in the Los Angeles area.  Although I regularly read the transcripts of his shows, I never got to hear Frank in his element.

But before Frank died, he wrote a book called Shattered: Struck Down, But Not Destroyed.  My sister Jan showed me her copy last week … and what I read made me both angry and sad.

When I first contacted Frank, he was teaching at my seminary.  He was also hosting a radio show for the school.  He absolutely loved what he was doing.

Then one day, Frank was invited to a clandestine meeting by men he respected … who were plotting to overthrow the school’s president … one of my former professors.

When Frank came home that day, he told his wife that he felt like he needed to take a bath.  He said, “It’s just dirty business, and I thought this was ministry.  But it’s no better than the world.”  (Don’t those last two lines make you want to weep?)

I once attended a meeting of some prominent Christian pastors.  We were all members of the same organization … and we weren’t happy with the direction it was taking.

One of the pastors suggested that he knew how we could get rid of the leaders.  I immediately said, “I’m not having any part in this,” and that was the last I heard about any sort of plot.

Frank Pastore wanted to say the same thing to those men … that he didn’t want anything to do with their plot.  But now that he knew what they were doing, he had become a threat.

His wife told him that he would be blackballed if he didn’t go along with the plot.  Frank writes about these men:

“I looked up to them.  They were my mentors.  We hung out together.  Their opinions had become my own…. I heard a lot of stuff I still wish I didn’t know.  Gradually I began to realize that they weren’t the men of integrity I’d thought they were.”

Frank says that if this scenario had happened in the Mafia, those men would have put out a hit on him.  He writes: “But this wasn’t the Mafia.  This was ministry.  So they put a kinder, gentler hit on me – character assassination by slander and gossip.  To my face they acted as though nothing had changed.  But all the while, they were destroying my reputation.”

The men who tried to stage a coup against their president were later disciplined … but the slander worked.

Frank was uninvited from speaking at conferences and retreats.  A program he had launched in churches began going south.  He wasn’t asked to teach in the undergraduate program for the next semester.

Then Frank appeared for the second time on Politically Incorrect … and he was fired afterwards.

If you’re interested in reading Shattered by Frank Pastore, you can download it from Amazon for $9.99.  I love the book because it’s just like Frank: authentic and honest.

And I’ll write more about what Frank – and many pastors – go through in my next article.

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