Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Church

I was struggling a bit with what to post this week. Of course, the big news is what Obama's preacher Jeremiah Wright said regarding Hillary Clinton. This brought about past statements Reverend Wright made which smell of racism and anger. I've heard a few black sermons in my short life. Tell you the truth, i like the black church. But looking at Reverend Wright the first thing that caught my eye was not the color of his skin or the anger in his voice but rather his clothes. They were flashy, bright, and a little too boisterous for me.

That got me thinking about televangelists in general and how they ride the fine line (and blur it most often) between selflessness and selfishness. I can think of some past losers such as Jim Baker and Jimmy Swaggert, but then i can think of some that people seem to love such as Joel Osteen and Jesse Duplantis. All of these preachers teach in Mega-Churches and all use the airwaves as part of their ministries. So here's my question to you. Are these televangelists doing the work of God as they say they are. You don't necessarily have to be a Christian to have an answer on this. Please give reasons for your answer. Remember, two paragraphs.

30 comments:

NancyH said...

I think that some of them are working for God and some are not. Although we are not to judge another man's heart as to whether or not he is a believer, common sense tells us that anyone who is pushing hate is not on the side of Jesus.
As far as Joel and Jesse, it is my belief that both of them are doing the work of the Lord. Their messages are easily understandable and loaded with good information of how to become a Christian and how we as Christians should conduct our lives for the glory of GOD. God does not forbid prosperity. I don't think wealth should be held against anyone as long as they don't abuse it and instead use it with a sharing spirit attitude for what God leads them to do with it.
These types of preachers may not be what people are used to, but I really think that people who are not Christian and who do not know the word of God are likely to pay more attention and actually listen to the messages that Joel Osteen, Jesse Duplantis, Creflo, and Joyce Meyer preach as opposed to a preacher who only points out all the wrongs that we all do and never concentrates on the goodness that comes with being a child of God. These preachers are reaching unfounded numbers of people and telling them about Jesus. That's their job and calling.
It is good that we have access to these types of programs. We all need more worship time than just one hour on Sunday. Christians are supposed to live it and the more of the Word we can get into our day, the more knowledge and peace we will have and the better off we will be!
P. S.
Jesus is the ONLY way, trust in Him, today! and Read your Bible!

S. McElfish said...

As one lives, one must exam their beliefs and how they come to understand the world around them. However, as that one person exams their life, they come to see that their life is not made of their one individual belief, but they share ideas and thoughts with the people they share their lives with on a large scale. From the family and friends that surround us in a daily sense to the ones that only now exists within our memories, these people shape our beliefs and the way we live.

Hence, if one allows these televangelists into their lives, their influnce will remain part of that individual for the rest of his or her life in a good or bad fashion. Therefore, one person's heaven maybe another person's hell, but we are all still on earth together.

Jessica said...

Jessica Hunter
The first thing that comes to my mind is a bible verse that I heard when I was little, "Judge not, lest ye be judged". That being said, I do not always agree with the decisions that preachers make, and I've never been a big fan of televangelists period. The thing that people have to remember is that they too are also people. When a person chooses to worship someone that is their God given right. They do not need to ask for your permission or have your approval to believe in what they believe in, that is what makes our country so great. I also find it funny that the Catholic church got less heat for raping little boys and having them lie about it than did B. Obama's preacher making a statement about the black community and how they support it.

As an African American I always find it appaling...the things that the media and the "American People" (meaning white people) choose to focus on. If George Bush was a Catholic no one would have ever said, well I dont think that he should be president becuase thousands of his religious leaders are rapping little boys. I mean really, are the blinders really that dark. Can no one see what this is about, this is to taint the image of Barack Obama and I applaud him for not falling for the okie doke.

Remember, jude not lest ye be judged, I can PROMISE you that I could find dirt on every single person that I meet if I wanted to, but what would be the point? Especially if they are not black and running for president. >.>

Roslyn W. said...

Personally, I feel that there are televangelists out for the money and the glamour of being on television but on the other hand, there are televangelists that really feel that God presented them with a gift to minister to the world. For an example, Kirk Franklin is a gospel singer that has taken gospel music to the next level but some people disagree with his appearance the baggy jeans, the caps turned to the side, his flashy jewelry and especially his dance moves that would not be appropriate for a Christian. Some people are so stuck in their ways that they are not use to change but it shouldn’t matter how you praise him just as long as you praise his name and live in the righteous of God. Even I sometimes question his purpose because he portrays himself in such a hip-hop way which makes you wonder is he doing the work of God or is he just for fame and wealth. I am a believer in T. D. Jakes and Juanita Bynum because these two particular televangelists I truly feel they have a gift from God.

T. D. Jakes is an inspirational speaker and book writer. I have recently read his book Woman Art Thou Loosed and it is truly a devotional book for women and also helps with marriages and relationships. Jakes books and ministry are very helpful in understanding that God will help you in any situation that occurs no matter who you are or what you did in the pass. Along with T. D. Jakes, there’s Juanita Bynum who is a strong and dedicated African American women who can preach her heart out to a women who is down to her last and don’t know where to turn. In my opinion, Juanita ministers her life stories to let women of the world know that she is only human and she had to endure trail and tribulations but God opened his arms and lead her down the path of righteousness. These two televangelists I feel are not out for fortune and fame, they were called by God to minister his works and to make a different.

Leeanna McVay said...

As was stated in the post, there is a fine line between selfishness and selflessness. However, I feel that a lot of these evangelist have gone way past the line. No, it is not wrong to have finiancial wealth, but if you are using God, His name, and His church for personal gain, it is wrong! I think the biggest portion of these evangelists are getting on television every week and preaching not what the people NEED to hear but what they WANT to hear. They just want to tickle people's ears so they will send them money. That is not the job of an evangelist. That is the job of a con artist, in my opinion. I think it is safe to say that a lot of these people are doing the job they are doing not to further the work of the Lord, but to be famous and make a lot of money.

I think it is ironic that these people that seem to love the Lord and are doing His work wear Gucci suits and drive Mercedes. The Bible states that the devil will come in sheep's clothing. Jesus Christ Himself did not have a pillow to lay His head on many nights.

On the other hand, there are probably many very sincere preachers and teachers out there that do love the Lord and are doing His work. We are blessed in a society where real preachers are able to reach thousands at one time through the technology of today.

Tessa Horn said...

I do know that some televangelists are making merchandise of men and women’s souls, taking advantage of poor people, proclaiming heresy, promoting themselves, and living luxurious lives off of the backs of their gullible donors. I do know that all of this dishonors Christ and His Gospel, and I do know that they will give fearful account for themselves before God on the final day.

The con-artist Televangelists have brought this upon themselves. They have been very conspicuous in their use, I’m sorry, abuse of money. They have raised eyebrows among believers and unbelievers alike, and they have done it without shame, apology, or pang of conscience. They have dishonored Christ, they have embarrassed Christians, and they have caused unbelievers to scorn the Gospel and the church. Now even the secular authorities have serious questions about the legality of what they are doing. However, the worst is that they call themselves ministers of Christ.

The negative ramifications so called televangelists have on legitimate law-abiding, Christ-honoring televangelists and churches is unimaginable. I can only hope that one day the needed accountability will be brought to these televangelists. It is devastating that any televangelists need this kind of scrutiny.

elizabeth bowling said...

It is very hard to say who is doing the work of God and who isn't. Some preachers put up the perfect front and fool everyone. At some time or another every preacher is "doing the work of God" and then we find out they are liars and theifs. In my opinion there are a few preachers who seem to be honestly doing the work of God, the ones who are not juping around, screaming, and sweating like they just got out of a shower. That is not to say the ons who do those things are fake but it just makes them seem that way.
Maybe it is just the way I was raised, I much prefer the quiet sermon, no matter what it is about. I also think that preachers who sell things like prayer cloths, and holy water among other things are not really preaching to help people find God but to help themselves make money, in my opiniion God will take care of the people like that in his own way.

R. Wickersham said...

Wow! The more of these assignments I have, the more I realize how strong my opinions are on certain topics. It seems that we are covering most of the hot-button issues, so I have a polarized opinion on this one too.

It only makes sense in this day and age for proselytistic religions, like Christianity, to make use of all available tools to recruit new followers and maintain contact with the current flock. There are many available tools for communication out there to choose from. For any religion where its followers are directed to spread the faith, television would probably serve as the optimum medium. The future may be on the internet, but that audience is relatively new in comparison to that of television. Whether you are young or old, rich or poor, you probably have a television and know how to use it. There are no technical boundaries for television viewers to overcome, as there can be with the Internet. That being said, it is only logical that televangelists appeared decades ago to reach the masses . . . or, at the very least, their wallets. Though televangelism makes sense, it runs counter to many people’s beliefs as it removes the interactive aspect of religion from the equation. While that may be true, the segment of the population that watches the most televangelists are the ones who, it would seem, would be more traditional in their approach to religion. That group, of course, is the elderly.

I can say, with absolute vehemence, that I despise televangelists. I am sure that their positions could be used for an honest purpose, devoid of personal gain, but I doubt that any of them are. I recall my great grandmother on my father’s, mother’s side of the family and how she gave everything she could to one particular evangelist. I don’t remember which one it was, but I think it was the one who told his audience that he needed to raise $100,000 or God was going to kill him, literally. I view them all in the same light. I feel that if that pastor is wearing $3000 suits, $200 shoes and a Rolex watch, his ministry doesn’t really need any money from me, but my sweet, cancer-ridden, great grandmother was very religious. When she lost her ability to go to church, her television filled in. Unfortunately, the pastor on the television set asked for money more often than the one who ran the small country church down the road. She gave until she had nothing left to give. I personally believe that, even though her money probably paid for one of that man’s numerous cars or houses, God knew where her heart was when she gave it. That, to me, is what really mattered for her.

I believe that there might be an honest “Man of God” on television somewhere, but I don’t have the time or patience to find him. I would prefer to have a pastor I can talk to and see in person. That way, if I notice him driving a Mercedes in his Tasso Italian suit, sporting a pair of Prada loafers and a TAG watch, I can ask him how much of his lottery winnings went to the church.

R. Wickersham said...

*****Jessica, you really need to lay off the racist comments. The "American People" are all of this country's citizens. That means you too. Believe it or not, not every issue revolves around "black" or "white". Obama's preacher basically thinks that he can use his 15 minutes of fame to advance a message that Christ would gag on. I don't hold Obama responsible for his pastor's words, but you can rest assured that Obama has heard them before and still continued to attend and support that church. If I had a pastor who preached that all the woes of the world were due to black people, I think I might change churches.

Likewise, as a "European American" or "white person" I don't want a President in the White House who believes that white people are to blame for everyone's woes. This was Obama's pastor. He knows the man very well. Your comparison to this situation and one with a Catholic President aren't even applicible. The Catholic church having some of its priests (far less than the "thousands" you claim) commit crimes against children is somewhat different.

Now, if you said that there was one priest who preached to his congregation that raping little boys was a good thing and that priest was the President's personal clergyman and he continued to support that man, then you would have the right comparison.

Face it, that pastor is a racist SOB and it is people like him who are the biggest roadblock for race relations in this country. Any self-proclaimed "man of God" would never make the statement "God damn America!" or anything like it.

R. Wickersham said...

You know, I take it back. This IS a race issue.

It seems that, for many, the only reason to vote for Barak Obama is to get a black man as our president. I would bet you that less than 50% of his backers could give you a legitimate reason why they are voting for him. Something other than "He knows what it is like to be a black man living in a world run by rich, white people." Because I am afraid that there are plenty of people out there who have that same qualification and I am not voting for them either. Ladies and Gentlemen, much like the black community would have a huge issue with a white candidate who was associated with the KKK, the white community doesn't much want a racist, black man in control of the country either.

So I guess this is a "black or white" issue after all.

Deanna Wilson said...

I am on the fence about this one. Personally, I can't tell you if these evangelist are doing the work of God. Only they know if they are really doing the work of God. We can only be responsible for our own salvation. If they are not doing the Word of God and jsut trying to make a profit, they will pay for that. As a child, I had a bad church experience with a man that called hisself an evangelist, and everytime he was on t.v. he was asking for money. After awhile, people started getting the point. And, anyone who didn't agree with what this man was saying would get kicked out of the church. So, I have a bad taste in my mouth for preachers who get on T.V. and ask for money.

I do feel that some of these preachers really know the Lord and are trying to do his work. I do agree with some of the things Joel Olsteen says and I agree with the person that said that non believers dont need to be scared into Christianity. Lots of preachers are preaching fire and brimstone all the time. I don't feel people should be scared into christianity. But, I also don't you should just preach what you think people want to hear; which is what alot of these evangelist do. People need to hear the good with the bad. They need to hear the TRUTH.

I would like to see how much profits would go down for Joel Olsteen if he started preaching on the tough stuff and not all the "Feel Good, God Wants Everyone to be Rich, God Loves Everyone" issues.

EThompson said...

I feel that religion is looked upon in so many different ways. But for myself personally I feel that as long as an individual has a close and personal relationship with GOD it doesn't matter what the pastor of your church does as long as you iive right and do what is right in the eyes of GOD and pay yourr tithes to the church when you are supposed to you will get your b.lessing reguardless of what they do GOD knows, hears and sees all and I really do believe that some of the television ministries are real and that they are only human and not perfect. They make mistakes too. But they are not GOD they are simply the vessel in which GOD uses to spread the good news through. So I am really not worried about what they do as long as I live right and do what is right in the eyes of GOD so that I can be blessed and annointed. And if a person has never tried GOD then how would they know?

Rebecca said...

Today's televangelists believe that they have done an honorable and courageous thing in bringing religion to so many. Their intentions have become cult like, and in bringing religion to so many, they are so spiritually shallow, that they don't even recognize that they have completely changed the word of god for their own meaning. They have not god's intentions in mind, but there own, and they pluck passages from the bible to protect their sin. The issue is that television in fact turns these televangelists into gods. They become blasphemous, and accept no master, no matter how much they claim to be god fearing. They concern themselves with vain trivial matters such as abortion and gay marriage; yet have no problem turning a cold shoulder to the homeless man in the street. They seem to believe that by bringing more supporters into their cult, they are bringing more, closer to god when in fact they are defiling and destroying the Bibles meaning in the process.

As I listen to many of the televangelists speak I can tell from their sermon they have not read the bible; they think they have but they have not. Reading is an art in and of itself; the bible is one of the greatest books of all time weather one is religious or not. Many televangelists find passages and take them from context of the bible and use the book to support their disgusting covetousness, and desire to fulfill their human thirst of recognition, however any one who has read at least one of the gospels of the Old Testament, and I mean truly read can know what a sad joke these people are. It is a joke because we laugh in self-defense. It is quite a baffling development that one of the greatest books of all time has been so un-read by the very people who claim to live by it. Many follow because they like the message and it justifies the feeling of avarice that they already feel in our society, except in god's eyes so they believe. Well according to the book, all of the televangelists who preach the prosperity gospel are in fact dragging Christianity down to new depths than ever before seen in history.

Heather Noble said...

I have a hard time really trusting what televangelists say. Think about it, this is their career and their business. I don't want to put them in the same group as the greasy used car salesman stereotype but some will say whatever they think will appeal to the masses. People believe what they are told to believe. Some have a lot of charisma and charm and its easy to want to believe them. If these televangelists are popular enough people will gravitate to them because their friends trust them, etc.

I was raised in a religious family and something has always left a bad taste in my mouth when it came to churches being treated more like a business than a religion. I have a level of distrust with the televangelists and maybe its because of their past collegues that claimed to heal their followers and had this level of arrogance that shouldn't be present with someone who is preaching about God's work.

Heather Noble said...

I have a hard time really trusting what televangelists say. Think about it, this is their career and their business. I don't want to put them in the same group as the greasy used car salesman stereotype but some will say whatever they think will appeal to the masses. People believe what they are told to believe. Some have a lot of charisma and charm and its easy to want to believe them. If these televangelists are popular enough people will gravitate to them because their friends trust them, etc.

I was raised in a religious family and something has always left a bad taste in my mouth when it came to churches being treated more like a business than a religion. I have a level of distrust with the televangelists and maybe its because of their past collegues that claimed to heal their followers and had this level of arrogance that shouldn't be present with someone who is preaching about God's work.

LaJoyce Roseborough said...

I know we should not judge people, but it doesn't help but make you think that most people in this time and day are in for themselves. It is not for the Lord, but for money and fame. The more publicity you get the more members, which means more money. My father is a Methodist preacher and they have conventions almost every week and the Bishop is mostly always asking for money. His house is better than two or preachers combined in the convention. Most of the preachers in the convention have to work and pastor to make ends meet. While the bishop sit at home and travel on the private jet. It is up to the people to judge for themselves to who is in it for gain and who is for the Lord.

Mari said...

The Church

The church has really changed in my 45+ years on this earth; it has developed into a booming business. I love Joel Osteen; however, I don’t consider him as a minister because if you listen to his speeches or sermons, he presents the information as a motivational speaker. For me, he is more of a psychological minister rather than a traditional minister. He does not discuss sin, but he sincerely tries to uplift his congregation, to be more positive about life. I listen to Pastor Osteen weekly and I feel uplifted and I develop a sense of being more realistic when dealing with the up’s and down’s of life.

When you listen to a lot of these Mega-Church Ministers the subject goes to supporting their ministry by sending money. I believe we should send 10% of our earnings to the church; however, these Mega-Churches could do a lot more for their particular community. It’s hard for me to see a minister ravished in wealth, but there are members in his/her church that are hungry and homeless. If you are severing God, no one in your church or the area where your church is located should be starving or sleeping on the streets. These Mega-Churches should be helping with after school tutoring, daycare, feeding the homeless, or taking care of the widows and orphans.

Rosie said...

First let me say that I believe that God can use anyone for His purposes, the Bible gives many accounts of Him doing that. I also believe that God doesn’t need or want fancy things to prove there is a reason to seek him. I say that to say this when you see these televangelist with Rolls Royce’s and million dollar compounds it has a tendency to obscure or make it harder to hear the Word. I’m not saying that they are all the same, but I do believe the 95% of them are preaching for the money and not for God.

These people pray on the sick, elderly and the poor. Telling them how God has blessed him/her and he will do the same for them. They just have to open up their pockets and give and believe and will come back to them ten fold, maybe not today or tomorrow but it will come. You never hear of any of them giving anything to anybody or organization. These false preachers/teachers get millions of dollars and they don’t have to pay taxes on it because they are tax exempt.

Gunner said...

I do not have cable or satellite but I do see a good bit of preachers and hear different shows on the christian channel when I am at my boyfriends house. His parents religiously watch these programs. I do not know who to believe as far as if they are doing it to make a flashy appearance to get money or if they are really being sincere. I have heard too much about wanting donations to make me come to the conclusion that I do not care to watch preachers on television.

I do not like to judge people so I am not going to say whether they are christians or not. I do know that some are sincere. Maybe I am catching it at the wrong times. I know that my boyfriend and I have discussed how alot of the preachers on the t.v. are talking about the hard times of the world and not focusing on what the world could be. One in particular focuses on the end times. I do not like watching preachers on t.v. also because they are too flashy and some that are watching them may get the idea that they have to be flashy to be a Christian.
heather f.

Lauren said...

I am not really sure what I think about the televangelists. I do know that there are people from all backgrounds who pretend to be doing the work of God. However and whoever a person chooses to worship is their business.

I prefer a more quiet sermon. The flashy clothing does not seem fitting to me for someone who is a preacher of any kind. They should not use such things to draw attention.

Barbara said...

I really don’t know and it is not for me to say if televangelist is during the work of God. God knows whether they are doing the work for him, and they have to answer to God not man. I think that some of the televangelists are during the work of God and some are not. For example, some might tell you how to live, but living a different life style. Personally, I do watch too many televangelists, but occasion I watch Joel Osteen and Bishop Gilbert Earl Patterson. I believe that some of the televangelist is out there for the money. When watching a preacher on television, and he start asking for money I immediately turn the television.
When attending large churches such as Joel Osteen, J.D. Jakes, Creflo Dollar, and Jesse Duplantis how do you get to know your preacher and members. I attended a small church and I think it is very important that you get know your preacher and church members. Because it might come a time when member need to talks with the preacher confidential, and how can member talks him if you attend larger church where there are thousands of members. I don’t even think the preachers know half of their members, and they are just getting money. However, I think televangelist is good for people who cannot attend church and people that are in the hospital and nursing home.

Barbara Carter

krc said...

I believe all preachers start out doing the work of God. As far as TV evangelists go though, once they start getting in front of the cameras, it becomes more about the money than anything else. I think they forget the reason they are up there in the first place.

I don't watch TV evangelists, partly because I don't trust a word they are saying. I believe their motives revolve around money. I'm sure there are some good ones out there, but, sad to say, the ones that come to mind are the bad ones. A person's faith should have nothing to do with money. I believe it's just like any celebrity though. Once they start getting famous, they lose sight of what is really important.

Kimberly Cook

Sidney W. said...

I dont know what that mans deal is! I think know that he is getting some publicity on TV that he is really going to be showing out, nut I know that is not the question. As far as a Christians point of view I agree with Nancy that we are not to judge another man on his believings, but we dont always have to agree with them.
If you are a believer in God you may worship him in what ever way you would like. One may not always agree with the ways that people worship, but they are entitled to worship in what ever way they wish. Some preachers may not always teach the lessons in the way we would like, but if you dont like his message go somewhere else!

c.mcnair said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
c.mcnair said...

What does it mean the work of God? Ask Jesus. He can be found in the Bible. “Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” (John 14:21) The Father indicates God. The work of God, according to this passage, indicates the actual following of the commands of Jesus.

Perhaps if I read the Bible more I would know another way. But, concerning preaching and teaching television personalities, we only see a fraction and cannot decide the outcome for them. The bigger question is “Are we doing the work of God?”. It doesn’t really matter what a person does if he does not know Christ. Jesus explains it this way, “On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”

Caleb McNair

Adam Bullock said...

This has been something, that I have struggled with. Who to trust? Are any of these guys serving God or are they more self- serving? I have to say that I have moved away from listening to some of these folks. I think some of these guys are taking advantage of people. It is very difficult for me to say that. I want to give people the benefit of the doubt. I think you have to be careful what you listen to, what goes in your head and heart. By that process, you eliminate some of these guys. Joel Osteen's dad might be disappointed in how he avoids talking about sin and seems to dance around socially controversial topics. His father was pastored the church before him. Jesse Duplantis is very funny and seems genuine but, I do question how much money he seems to make from his ministry. But, I don't know how much he makes and where all he gets his income. So, I really am not comfortable judging them, but, I understand there must be a higher standard and accountability for ministers. For Osteen his congregation is supposed to keep him in line. For evangelists who don't have a particular church, it depends on the denomination as to who is keeping them accountable. If they are not part of a denomination, I think they need to be very transparent and be very careful. I could not give a blanket statement about all ministers that appear on television because it varies so much. So, I have seen a few that are clearly serving themselves and only in it for financial reasons. If you know theology and/or the Bible you can spot these low lifes. But for many people this isn't the case.

Lawrence said...

Once again, Dr. W. has served one right up my alley. And the comments by Wickersham - come on guys, you can't let that kind of thing just slide by. Oh well, here we go...

First, and to answer the original question, to ask are televangelists doing the work of God is no different than asking if any preacher is doing God's work. There are preachers on TV doing right and preachers off TV doing wrong and vice versa. The issue it seems to me is the problem of pride. Take a young southern gospel preacher, probably the kind Prof. likes to hear - he starts out humble, in a small country church, truly feeling his mission is in response to a call from the Lord. Then as time goes on his/her church gets bigger and they buy the new church and you know what comes next, TV ministry. It was Elijah Muhammad of all people who vehemently warned then Malcolm X about television cameras - something about how they mess your mind up - the fact being most people cannot handle sudden fame particularly the type that lets you see yourself on TV - glorified as if you're Christ himself. To deal with that level of media exposure demands a requisite amount of maturity and self composure that comes through personal growth and unfortunately most people, pastors included, never accomplish that level of growth in their lives. Result? It becomes more about "see me" than "come find God". It becomes "give to MY ministry" rather than "lets pray together and see what does God actually want us to do". The funny thing is that a person who has attained any level of spiritual growth should be immune to such trappings which tells us what? The average televangelist/preacher/pastor is just like the average person walking on earth: there's been no spiritual awakening, no spiritual rebirth, no true growth of the inner man/woman. So we find these preachers not only suseptible but vulneralbe and failing in the same issues that the "world" faces. So if we look at the personal lives of Paula White, Juanita Bynum, Carleton Pearson and many others, we see the failings of man in an undeveloped state. Religion should serve to FIRST help man develop into a greater person for the benefit of mankind. If you're charging big money for people to come to your marriage seminars and you're living in an abusive relationship and not even paying your own bills, your religion hasn't even helped you one bit. Maybe it's time to get down from the pulpit, go into your secret place and ask God for help...for real.

Now as for the "Wickersham thread"...my goodness, where to begin. Let's take the quote:
"Any self-proclaimed "man of God" would never make the statement "God damn America!" or anything like it."
I'm not all together sure that's true. Wasn't it Moses who not only had condemming words to say of the Egyptian government of his day, but he, according to the Bible, used the power of God to bring plague after plague upon the Egyptian Vizier/Pharoah including one plague that killed people and then upon escape utilized the power of God operating in a staff to cause and entire river to collapse on the Egyptian army killing every one of them? . That sounds a LOT worse than some mad black guy going on an emotional rant to me. And I do believe Moses was a man of God according to the Biblical record. Then there's this other guy who had major issues with the Roman form of governance, issues with the financial establishment of the time so much so as to ramsack the money lender's tables due to their horrible dealings - that would be about the equivalent of me rolling up to the closest Fed branch bank (I think it's in Memphis) and just busting up their shop and throwing gold bars all over the place while I proclaim how wrong these OFFICIAL people are in the sight of God. This is the same dude that outright broke the law - by healing people on the Sabbath day he was in fact a law breaker, NOT a law-abiding citizen, oh but that was Jesus... What's my point? That your point is clearly in error - men of God from the beginning have condemned and spoken against the government establishment as well as the existing religious establishment from the beginning of recorded Biblical history. That is not new.

Now, the DOT-DOT-DOT to this is, Reverend Wright was unknown to ALL of you with the exception of a few, until this controversy emerged. And as much as you probably don't want to hear it, I'm going to say it anyway, his comments are not that uncommon in the black community. What you are looking at on these clips the media keeps showing is what one would call "family talk". I'm being really frank here so just stay with me... This is the inner communication that happens within a community that other communities typically never hear and never know about. Think about it: All these news shows keep showing those same clips and no one points out that after he said these inflammatory unbelievable remarks, the crowd went wild! They were with him - they were with him all the way. Not just 2 or 3 people at the barber shop, hundreds if not thousands who were in the congregation that day - clapping and cheering away. Have any of you considered that? He wasn't just speaking out of left field, this was a common sentiment held among the African Americans in his congregation. Now whether you agree or not with his statement is a matter of opinion which we are all entitled to but just realize this guy spoke to an anger, a bitterness, and a PAIN that lies deep within the hearts of the members of his congregation. I will go on to say yes, it is a pain which is incomprehensible to any other so-called race of people on the planet. And I have no issue with the fact that Barack may have been there and sat through it because he knows where Wright is coming from. He knows the origin of the pain. Heck, I teach my kids not to curse and then somebody slams a door shut on their finger and rips the nail right off and my kid lets one bleep out do you honestly think I'm jumping on my little one when I know they're hurt? Heck no. Would you? And the hypocrisy is beyond belief. For all the southern-bred Caucasian Americans on this blog, I don't care how liberal you think you are, every one of you has at least that one relative who makes those off-color statements, one old uncle who still makes 'little nigger' jokes, one sweet old grandma, who still says 'colored boy' and you KNOW you do. But you're not kicking grandma to the curb, you're not disavowing your uncle - you let out your little chuckle and just move on because hey, that' just grandma "ya'll know how she is". But if a black person says something any step out of line with what you think is right oh we've just got to disavow this person outright. So doggone hypocritical its pitiful. And how did we find out about this Wright guy anyway? Who went digging and looking hoping to find some kind of dirt to sprinkle over Obama's overwhelmingly successful campaign? Did this Wright guy invite himself in your front door to have a chat, or was he PLACED in your living room through the use of media which has the unique power to build a person up, or tear them down. If we're doing a pastor check, heck, what is Hillary's pastor like? Is everything he said in line with what Americans believe? Has he ever made an off-color statement among his peers? For that matter, does Hillary even go to church? Does she even believe in God? What do you think George W. Bush's pastor is like? Let's get all archived sermons and see what he has to say about blacks, and Mexicans, and gays? Heck, do these people even GO to church? Do they even believe in God? Who knows??!! Nobody's asking those questions because the media in the style of the old lynch mob has found them a "bad ni**a" and if they can't string him up with a rope, they'll use the power of the press to achieve the same effect. Oh by the way, I do believe Wright is an idiot for not just keeping his mouth shut from the first time he realized a member of his church was running for president, he should have been preaching peaches and cream every since - but PRIDE, once again got in the way. He thought hey, if Obama's running for Pres and the press is all over Obama, I can use this moment as an opportunity to get some fame for myself. Let me say something wild and crazy and all the news cameras will be all over me and people around the world will know who I am. The Bible reminds us in Proverbs 16:18 "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall".
Lawrence

tammyj said...

I do not watch TV evangalists. That is not something that has ever interested me. I want to get my teaching about God from my local church and from my pastor.
Do I think they are doing the work of God? No, not really. But that is my opinion. Some of the TV evanglisht do a great job helpping people in other countries, and some do for the poor in America. I think some of the work is for God, but most of it is for themselves. Who knows.

R. Wickersham said...

Lawrence, you make my point even more clearly. Moses was directly ordained by GOD himself! GOD acted through him directly. Are you saying this charlatan is akin to Moses? I hardly think that GOD picked this instigator of ill-will to represent him. I doubt that Moses wore silk robes and gelled his hair for the popularity of a public willing to accept his hate-mongering as an excuse for their collective problems. Then that OTHER guy, WAS God. So I am pretty sure he has every right to damn any of us to the depths of hell as he sees fit. You see, MEN are not allowed to damn anything or anyone. That is blasphemy. This clown was not just evoking a power he was not given, he was pointing it at every American citizen, not just the government, you see. He was claiming that, since all the evil white people elected this president and his mates, we are all to be damned.

This Al Sharpton wannabe is hardly on the same level as Moses and he sure as hell is not on the level of Jesus!

Now let’s move to “family talk”. It far from shocks me that there are many black people who are racist against white people and I know that those individuals constantly discuss their perceived injustices and commiserate over how awful the world is for black people. Now, I know I just made every black student in this post hate me immediately. Admit it or not, each of you will read this post and reject what I say, yet offer no counter-point that is tenable with any semblance of logic. I find it amusing that I have experienced far more unprovoked racism from that side of this little discussion than I care to mention. Let’s see, I have been threatened with my life for not giving away a pair of shoes from a store I worked in. I have had a gun pulled on me over the $5 in my wallet. I have been told that I should apologize and then forced to my knees by a group of 3 “oppressed” men while they laughed and sneered at me. (Eventually, I did hit one of them, only to get my rear-end beat to hell over it.) and I have been called all manner of names and cute, little words that are the equivalent to “nigger” in the white world. (Don't give me any comments on how there is NO word that eqivocates because that is another cop-out.)I was attacked by two “equality-seeking” young men because I was a “preppy-lookin’ cracker” and they didn’t want me on that side of the sidewalk with them. Funny how all of that is summed up as harassment and not “hate crimes”. Let’s not even get into that though. I don’t want to start foaming at the mouth. I am expected to accept this and move on because a bunch of tribes in Africa sold their brethren to Dutch slavers over two-hundred years ago and now all white people are evil bigots? Well, guess what? Not all white people are willing to become demeaned, spineless, apologetic simps! I have never met a slave in this country and I will bet you that you haven’t either. I have met them in other countries though. I bet you can’t say the same. The difference between most people in the black community and me? I HAVE seen slavery in my lifetime.

No, I refuse to hang my head and ask forgiveness for something that I did not do and likewise, I expect others to take ownership of their actions! Guess how I paid for my education? I joined the military. Last I heard, those guys are looking for a few good men and that is regardless of race or gender. So, unless you wore shackles yourself, the pity party is over. Act for yourself and take responsibility for your own actions. If you have a pulse, two legs, two arms and all your senses, you can get a college education. So better yourself, because no one else will. I worked hard for everything I have in life. My path would have been the same no matter what neighborhood I was born in. I chose my path. Choose yours.

It appears to me that the black community masks their racism as pride and a solidarity of common culture. BET, Ebony Magazine, Black Miss America, and Affirmative Action are all examples of “acceptable” racism that we “southern-bred Caucasians” have to deal with everyday. We won’t go into the Biblical passages on pride, but if you go into my church, we tend to preach the word of God and not the word of culture or politics. Not once did my pastor ever talk about how Affirmative Action was an unfair advantage based on race. Why? Because that is not his place. He was there to preach the word of God, not incite political discontent. The very fact that black churches feel the need to separate themselves with this “family talk” is the biggest problem you can imagine for gaining a world with no color. How can one constantly segregate him/herself and then scream for racial oneness? Hypocrisy indeed, and at the highest level!

Barak Obama, welcome to the race! This is what happens when you run for President of the United States of America. Everyone takes a shot at you. That is not racial, it is political. Bush is receiving a ration of criticism that Obama hopes he never sees. Is that because he is white? No, it is because he is the leader of the free world! That is politics people. Believe me, the Republican party is digging up every awful thing on both Obama and Hillary that they can use to get McCain into the White House. The Democrats are doing the same to McCain. I dare you to try to find more crap on Obama than you do on McCain, should they run against each other in the final election. You will find the mud slung will be the same size and weight and the American people will have to sift through it and decide for themselves.

R. Wickersham said...

If you want to see where your angst should be directed, you can view it in it's entirety in Niger, where it all began and slavery is still legal. Here is an article from the BBC on just that topic. Check the dates here. Not 200 years ago, were talking about 2 years ago or less. Yeah, white people are to blame for all the injustices. Find me one European nation where anyone is subjected to slavery and then come talk to me about how the evil white men destroyed your lives. European societies wised up long ago. African ones are still practicing slavery. Arabic nations have plenty of this as well.


12:27 GMT, Monday, 7 April 2008 13:27 UK
'Ex-slave' takes Niger to court

A former slave is suing Niger's government, accusing it of failing to implement laws against slavery introduced in 2003.

Hadijatou Mani took the case to the Community Court of Justice of Ecowas, the Economic Community of West African States, based in Nigeria.

This is the first such case brought by a former slave in Niger.

The government says it has done all it can to eradicate the practice and says the problem has been exaggerated.

Ms Mani appeared in court with her lawyers, family members and anti-slavery activists.

The government was represented by a high-powered team including the prime minister, justice minister and speaker of parliament.

The case is due to last for five days.

Sold

Ms Mani says the government continues to legitimise the practice of slavery through customary law, which discriminates against women in direct conflict with the constitution and criminal code.

She was sold into slavery for around $500 when she was 12 years old.

She had to carry out domestic and agricultural work but also lived as a sex slave or "Sadaka" to her master who already had four wives and several other "Sadakas".

When she was released and decided to marry a man she had freely chosen, her master insisted she was in fact his wife.

A court later found her guilty of bigamy and sentenced her to six months imprisonment.

In 2003, Niger's parliament passed a bill making slavery a criminal offence with a possible sentence of up to 30 years imprisonment.

Local human rights group, Timidria claims there are still up to 43,000 people living as slaves.

However the government says these figures are exaggerated.

It says there is a caste system in Niger and members of lower castes have been mistaken for slaves.

Human rights groups say slave masters take children from their mothers when they are as young as two years old - to break the family bond as soon as the child is weaned.

The organisations believe this perpetuates slavery from one generation to the next.

The BBC's Idy Baraou in the capital, Niamey says many people in Niger hope the trial will open the way for more law suits, bringing this ancient practice to an end.



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