Saturday, June 28, 2014
I listened to one of those radio preachers where he was talking about the “Preachers of LA ” and other fallen preachers. The title of the sermon should have been “Pimps in the Pulpit”. It sounds bad but is there a hint of truth to that description.
Trust me, I know, talking about religion or the church is never a good idea. Having said that, I’m sure I will be berated with comments for this writing and will be “Damn to hell”, and you know Christians do that well. However, I hope most will understand that my point is this: when will the black church community take an honest look at itself for the benefit of the community, and families who will be better for it.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the “lawd” as much as the next person who claims they do. I also love and can appreciate “The Word” and I respect pastors, and there are “some” good ones out there. Just as there are those who have raised hell all of their lives, gone to prison and worse, sleeping with the ladies and young people of the congregation, who now claim to have been called to deliver the word. So why can’t people see, in many cases, all is not what it seems. Lest be careful and not confuse the man or church with Christianity or Spirituality.
Let’s be real, you know the scenario – I’ll call it the drama. A pastor gets caught in some scandalous behavior like stealing money, committing adultery, having a child by a member or worse. The word spreads; a few fed-up members leave the church. The “incident” is down-played or swept under the rug and eventually the congregation moves on as if nothing ever happened. Black churches are notorious for their unwillingness to shake bad leaders. Even in the face of undeniable evidence of gross sin, some congregations maintain their commitments to shady characters with an almost addictive-like quality.
When this happens, it tends to inflict damage far greater than their collective work. Frankly, it spells disaster for its mission, its people, and its community. The little country church I attended as a child had a preacher I admired because he told the truth. He once said, “The bible has been rewritten 28 times. If the first version was God’s word; Why then would man need to rewrite the order God left for us?” When I got older and saw him outside of the church in his Caddie, he told me, “There is a lot of money in Jesus name”.
I thought then, and do sometimes now, that it is like the wolf guarding the sheep. There was a time when the church was there for the community, and now it seems the people are there for the church. Think about that for a moment. During the Civil Rights era, the church was the foundation that changed the world. Pastors put their lives on the line, and many died for their community and the people of it. Do you know one preacher who would do that today? Probably not!
I went to church a few weeks ago - a mega church. The first thing I saw was an ATM machine. What came to mind was the day Jesus turned over the tables of the money changers in the temple. More outrageous was the preacher was ten years old. I will admit it was a great show but with respect to the ten year old preacher – Negro Please! My point is this; let thee be guarded with respect to the messenger. Some churchgoers believe pastors (even bad ones) are virtually untouchable, or they are all knowing like God speaks through them. They are human, and most have an agenda. Let me add that, in most cases, it’s not you.
People who hold this view will protect a corrupt pastor by immediately denying and dismissing any allegation of misconduct before careful consideration. Sometimes the congregation will blame the victims for their own victimization. For instance, many women find themselves blamed for having been sexually harassed by a corrupt pastor. Should they find the courage to speak out, they are often branded as “trouble makers” and/or demonized as a part of the devil’s scheme to bring down the ministry.
For the record, the Bible does offer human protections for congregations in the form of multiple pastors. It also promotes real pastoral accountability from a group of people who know the day-to-day ins and outs of that particular congregation and who are qualified to recognize and call out pastoral misconduct. I know this is a HUGE paradigm shift but before you prejudge it, check out these biblical references to see if they support a single or a multiple pastor model for local churches. (see Acts 11:30, 14:23, 20:17, Philippians 1:1, Titus 1:5, 1 Timothy 5:17, James 5:14)
The Bible never says that Christians should remain loyal to corrupt leaders. In fact, the Bible clearly forbids churches from clinging to such pastors. 1 Timothy 5:20 says “As for those [pastors] who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear.” There are precious few congregations willing to obey this biblical command. Can you imagine a local Black church publicly reprimanding a corrupt pastor by bringing him before the congregation, calling out his sin, and “sitting him down?” I doubt it!
However, in many cases, this is exactly what God’s word calls us to do. For you haters who will offer negative comments concerning this article. I simply ask that you judge not. This can be done by looking in the mirror. Further, you need look no further than your local or national news to see that there are wolves preying upon their flocks. 1 Timothy 5:21 insists that even pastors should receive no special favors or leniency when it comes to sin. It says, “In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality.”
Pastors aren’t God’s and you so-called Christian’s dishonor what you claim to worship - the Lord himself by acting as if they are. We need to take pastoral integrity very seriously and avoid the physical, psychological, and spiritual devastation to our communities and ourselves, simply by demanding that pastor accountability and not being an accomplice to the “pimp in the pulpit”. If you noticed I stopped short of agreeing with the preachers sermon but “game knows games” and most are playing a game with your soul. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective.
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
The legacy of America is a heritage that is controlled by economics, no matter what, nothing trumps cash, and cash only. We hold it in our hands, but most people probably have no idea there is a subliminal message concealed within what I call “The 41 Cent Secret”. The lure of money is so powerful that you will sell your soul for it. Most people think racism is about the color of your hue, but it’s not.
It is about color true, but the color is green. Therefore, the phrase on money, “In God we trust,” is really a catchphrase suggesting that economic superiority is the cornerstone of this legacy. As we know, slavery and the economic profits derived from it built a capitalistic society and this message speak to the heart of it.
I’m sure you know that a secret is designed to elude observation because it contains information that, if disclosed, could endanger. Therefore, secrets are never to be told or shared. I would like you to take a quarter, nickel, dime, and a penny placing them in a row in that order from left to right. Look at the coins very carefully. What do you see other than the obvious - forty-one cents. Notice the faces on the coins. You will see four presidents - but there is more.
NOW STOP! Look very carefully – what do you think you see?
You should see this: There is President’s Washington, Jefferson, Roosevelt, and Lincoln. Washington was the father of the country who instituted, by law, slavery as an American institution and owned many slaves. Jefferson, well we all know his storied history relating to slaves. Then there was Roosevelt, who had the same philosophy, but live in the era of segregation.
Now notice that Washington, Jefferson, and Roosevelt have turned their backs on Lincoln arguably the most significant of all presidents. Lincoln is on the lowest denomination of all money, and it is made of copper, the cheapest metal. Now, notice that the penny looks like you in color (if you are African American). This was done to scorn Lincoln for all eternity because he freed the slaves. Anytime someone comes along who changes the system, status quo, they will be scorned or destroyed. You have heard of - assassination.
You have carried change in my pockets all of your life but did you know there was a subliminal message. It is important to understand“The system is designed to protect the system.” Now, let me put this into perspective. It takes an act of congress to get a face approved to be put on a postage stamp. This was no accident.
If you can see this and understand it, know that there are other forms of deception perpetrated by the majority people who control the system. In particular, systematic slavery, that continues, and designed to make sure people of a certain races remain a permanent underclass. This is what is meant by the system protecting the system. It is all about wealth, which drives the system. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…
Friday, June 20, 2014
The subject of a black man doing anything positive very polarizing and controversial subject but it is a crucial piece of the African American Diaspora. This is unless you are a sellout, and we know who you are!!! I digress! I can speak to this issue because I was not unlike many African Americans whose been touched by the consequences or aftermath of living in America.
My father abandoned me in the womb while my teenage mother carried me. I did not meet this guy until I was ten and have only been in his presence for maybe two hours in my entire life. However, my grandfather was the man in my life who taught me how to be a man. His teachings resonate profoundly within my every waking moment, which I used to raise my son and teach my grandson to include sharing the same knowledge with others, as I navigate the troubled waters of life. The fact is “you have to see a man to be a man!”
We are a community in crisis. I do not cast blame but there is enough to go around. However, there are men who give of themselves to the benefit of others, raising their children, empowering the community, carry themselves with dignity and respect. It is my view that does not have to be your man but there has to be a man present in the lives of these children. If this were being done with vigor, it would have a ripple effect. The home would be held together; the community would be greater, there would be development in the minds of our youth, and maybe the carnage that is taking place would cease.
Images are and have been projected of black men falsely, most often, glorifying our role in society as thugs, gangstas, criminals, buffoons, clowns, being worthless, and hopeless have permeated far too long. I know that many of you know that is not the case by enlarge. However, when you open your newspaper or watch TV that’s how we are represented. I argue that this assassination of character should now be removed. If for no other reason than, the fact, the most powerful man in the world today looks like us, an African American. Adding to this, he leads a proud, dignified family that is positively on display for the whole world to bear witness to, which says all things are possible.
The absence of the strong, responsible black man holding it down, in the family and community, is destroying us as a people. Having said that, the purpose we live is to continue the species. I was taught a very significant lesson early in life, and reinforced every day of my life, by my Grandfather who said, “I raised you to be a man and as a man you don’t know what you might have to do but when the time comes you do it." We don’t know what challenges are ahead of us. Therefore, my interpretation of that daily message was preparation plus opportunity equals SUCCESS and that the difference between a man and a boy is the lessons he learns.
These platitudes are essential to the survival of our children and, frankly, our existence. There needs to be a man in the lives of these boys, and girls, because the father’s role is to be an example, a role model, to guide, direct, and pass on the wisdom he’s gained. For example, how can you expect your little girl to chose a man if she has no model to base a relationship on?
In addition, ladies, please stop thinking that can make your boy a man – you can’t. You can raise, teach and nurture him – but you cannot make him a man because you are not one. Now, to the ladies that are holding it down, I applaud you, I know what that enormous job is like – my mother did it, and I was no walk in the park. If it had not been for Granddaddy, I would be lost – dead or in jail.
I have formed a Facebook group BLACK EMPOWERED MEN where you are personally invited to join and contribute wisdom to the benefit of others. ALL ARE WELCOME! The purpose of this group is to be a vehicle to communicate with those who agree and can offer feedback, suggestions, ideas, and information meaningful information and knowledge. If not for you, do it for the children. Stand Up Black Men –Reach one Teach one! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…
Sunday, June 15, 2014
In the beginning, so we are told, God created man and a woman, in that order, known as the natural order of life designed to continue the species of mankind. According to God's design and the natural order of the universe, it is necessary for the male of the species to deliver a seed into the womb of a fertile woman to create a human life.
Whereby, for good or bad, the institution of marriage was formed to raise the new life, which is the child. In today’s society, in spite all of the religious teaching, somehow people have lost sight of a very basic principle that is - the only reason we exist is to consider the species through what we call family.
I was thinking about something someone posted on a social media that said, “Happy Father’s Day the other Mothers Day”. I commented on the post - “Really!” To which the woman’s response was “yes, I am my children’s father.” Hmmmm! I thought, Really! Don’t misunderstand me, I do understand there is and always have been “single mothers” raising children alone. It has always been and more than like always will. Although situations do require a mother to raise her child along, it does not make her at father! No disrespect ladies, but you cannot be a man on any level nor know the dynamics of being a man.
A father determines the sex of a child through a sperm cell which either contains an X chromosome (female), or Y chromosome (male) supplied usually through sexual intercourse. There is no debate there. However, because two people engage in said act does not necessarily make either responsible parents. Anyone can make a baby, but everyone cannot be a parent. Just as it is with every rule in nature, the responsibility of parents is derived based on the decisions these two people make.
Regardless of the related terms such as dad, daddy, pa, papa, poppa, pop, pop and so on. All identify the man as a male role-model that children can look up to, sometimes referred to as a father-figure. Traditionally, fathers act in a protective, supportive and responsible for the children they create. Involved fathers offer developmentally specific provisions to their sons and daughters throughout the life cycle and are impacted themselves by doing so. This is an important role of the father who is viewed as the leader with regard to his parental role and critical to the well-rounded development of the offspring.
Active father figures play a role in reducing behavior and psychological problems in young men and women. An increased amount of father–child involvement may help increase a child's social stability, educational achievement, and their potential to have a solid marriage as an adult. Their children may also be more curious about the world around them and develop greater problem solving skills. Children who were raised with fathers perceive themselves to be more cognitively and physically competent than their peers without a father. Mothers raising children together with a father reported less severe disputes with their child.
I hear women say all the time that there are no good men. Well, they were good enough to make a baby with! The question then becomes why is this perceived? Could it be as simply as YOU! This is real talk: there are plenty of real and good men. It is as simple as the choice you make.
So why has the game changed? In today’s society, gay marriage has people of the same sex raising children, government intervention, prison, and some suggest these issues as the moral breakdown of the family, as possible reasons. I am not smart enough to know the answer. However, what I know “man” has no business nor can he change the laws of nature.
To all Father on this day; HAPPY FATHERS DAY and keep up the good work! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Guest Blogger - Erica Edwards
Being single for the past several years, by choice I might add, I have had to withstand the backlash of many relationships gone wrong. I know every break up story has two sides, but I am going to speak from the one I see. Many men have experiences with women who try to pressure them into marriage and children.
There are women who actually talk about these things early in a relationship, before they know if they are compatible. Some meet women who don’t respect them and cheat on them because they are fearful of the possibility of being hurt. A lot of men talk about the strong black woman they meet who is mean and tries to dominate the relationship, making him feel less than a man.
I really don’t get it, or maybe I do.
Our society is one that is completely selfish, where many feel entitled just because they were born. I want to know what makes one feel as though they are entitled to another person’s life, their time, and the things they have worked hard for just because they want it. If you are not enhancing a person’s quality of life, you have no business being part of it. If you are causing drama, arguing, and constantly making demands, those are not attractive qualities and you should seek to make yourself a better person before engaging in a relationship with another. You by yourself should be enough. Being alone does not equal being lonely.
I know Steve Harvey wrote a book for women on how to deal with men. I have seen some of its points and I am not in total agreement with all of them. My philosophy on life is more of an Eastern/Buddhist philosophy where I try to consider the needs and wants of others before my own. I find that I have more peace of mind this way. I try to practice selflessness: the art of putting the feelings of others before yours. In addition to selflessness, there is unconditional love. Unconditional love is when you love others regardless of their situation, what they have done, or what they may have done to you.
The only person you can control in this life is you. There are always going to be situations that arise which are challenging, that is life and that is uncontrollable. People are people, and they will do things that may cause you hurt and pain because of their own life experiences. You have to accept them for who they are and decide if they have a place in your life or not--you cannot change someone who does not want to change.
If you consider how you are making another person feel and also how that other person may be feeling before you act or react, you will find that life becomes easier for you. When someone snaps at you, instead of snapping back and asking what you did to deserve that behavior and using expletives, simply ask “What’s wrong?” Many times other people’s behavior is not about you, so it is wrong to take it personal and allow it to upset you.
Before you enter into any long-term relationship, you have to be happy and love yourself. You have to know what you do and don’t want, be happy with the direction in which your life is headed, and be able to be happy even when your significant other isn’t around. If that means having friends and family to do things with, having hobbies that interest you, or performing some sort of community services then do that. Wanting a man to be around all the time is way too much pressure. Basically, get a life.
Let’s go back to my beginning points. The marriage and children talk. Men are providers. Talking to a man about providing for you and a child, which is what you do when you talk about marriage and children, will be scary to any man within the first few dates. It’s ok to ask a man if he sees being married or having children in his future if that’s what you want but nothing more. As women, we have a tendency to fantasize about what our life will look like when we meet a man. Women have to keep in mind that this is indeed just a fantasy!
You love the idea of him but not him, because you don’t know him yet. He is most likely just trying to have a good time and get to know you. Honestly, I think a lot of black men are waiting to see if you are going to act crazy or not. Try to relax and enjoy the moment. Enjoy your dinner dates and your talks. It may work out and it may not. If not, chances are you will learn something about yourself, your business, or life itself. Chalk it up to experience.
If a man doesn’t want you, let him go. There are plenty of men out there and one who will love you in return. Don’t spend too much time sulking. There is no need to change who you are, especially if you are happy with yourself, to keep a man. Let him find his match and wish him well. Love him so much that you want him to be happy even if it isn’t with you.
A girlfriend of mine actually told me how to get over a broken heart quickly. What she advised was that I write down all the things that made the relationship not a good one and focus on those. We have a tendency to focus on all the good when people are gone. You will remember the good in time but for the sake of sparing others from your moping I recommend the list, it works! Don’t call him, text him, stalk him, or throw a tantrum. It may hurt but as the old adage goes: time heals all wounds.
Let a man be a man. If you make more money than he does, or you own a home and he doesn’t…so what! Those things are material. Don’t remind him of it every time you have an argument. If he is a productive citizen, loves his job, and can take care of basic needs that’s all that should matter. In many areas, especially in the city, it will take both people working to run a household. If you live together, support him however you can. When he is around you he should feel like a king and any worries he has should be left outside. A man that you disrespect and belittle won’t be yours for long. There are plenty of women out there who will make him feel like a man and your relationship will be short-lived.
Don’t cheat; it does nothing for your character. If you’re afraid of commitment just admit it but don’t waste other people’s time and emotions. Giving your all shows people who you really are. If you can’t do that, you aren’t ready for a commitment. If you are cheating because you don’t trust him, and you don’t trust any men…get a therapist. You aren’t ready for a commitment.
Sunday, June 1, 2014
We have witnessed many group emerge with the ilk of Republican ideas in which most would view them as the 21st century version of the old southern Citizens Councils. Actually, this group is simply James E. Crow, Esq. the grown up version of his predecessor. This is a more wretched form of racism then that what we’ve seen before except in disguise. Lest not forget that there remains many vigilant fringe groups out there like the Klan that may go away for a while, but always resurface.
The "Tea Party" is a reference to the Boston Tea Party, a protest by colonists who objected to British tax on tea in 1773 and demonstrated by dumping British tea taken from docked ships into the harbor. Some commentators have referred to the Tea in "Tea Party" as the acronym “Taxed Enough Already”. They have come to infect politics to a degree that is surely unpatriotic bordering on political terrorism!
The Tea Party movement is composed of a loose affiliation of national and local groups that determine their own platforms and agendas without central leadership. The so-called movement has been cited as an example of grassroots political activity, although it has also been described as an example of astroturfing. It is not a national political party but most Tea Partiers consider themselves to be Republicans and the movement's supporters have tended to endorse Republican candidates. Ergo, Klan like in nature!
The purpose of this post is not to educate or empower you on their platform of the extreme right-wing agenda. Rather to ask a poignant question: What if the Tea Party was an organization or group formed by Black people? Or Latino; Or any ethnic group other than those we see participating?
I lived through the 60’s and saw groups protesting for basic human rights destroyed and the leaders killed. There was a plan for their destruction used to infiltrate and destroy such groups as the Black Panthers and other black organization viewed as radical. Do you remember what happened to the group MOVE? They were destroyed when the police on orders of the government were bombed killing men, women, and children. In fact, they blew up and entire city block to do so.
Just imagine the two New Black Panthers showing up anywhere armed as you see the Tea Party folks do? Or, if any group of black people showed up to disagree on any policy or issue en-mass. What do you think the outcome would be. I’ll tell you – they would be met with overwhelming force and for sure COINTELPRO will be resurrected?
Here is something to think about. Wherever types speak of freedom and liberty it is always for them and no one else. So when these radicals, Tea Party types say, they want to take back their country – most of us can hear what they are not saying. The difference is we cannot say we want our country back because the American Negro never had one. And that’s my Thought Provoking Perspective…