A Pastor's Fall From The People's Grace
This morning I was asked about the Bishop Eddie Long situation and I had to truly think about what I was being asked. Then I was asked about Pastor Dollar's response and this is the first thing that came to my mind..."Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ." Galatians. Then I thought about Long taking this thing to court and my mind went to "Settle matters quickly with your adversary who is taking you to court." Matthew. Then my mind went to "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." Matthew Then this came to my mind, "If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him." Now, I for one am precise in my book about how I feel about sexual sins. And expecially when I see the attendees of such sins acting entitled. If you were not raped, you were a willing participant and why should the people care anymore about you, than they do the one whom you performed the act with? I tell my daughters and my son, "If anyone, and I mean anyone proposition you and you know it's wrong, if you don't tell me or your daddy, you were willing to accept the fate of that person's proposition. We are your parents and if we can't insure your safety, who will?" Those boys were not forced, and they could have told someone what was happening. Just like the women receiving Weiners text messages. If you don't like what someone is doing to you, you have an obligation to yourself to run and tell it!!
Unfornately, I've been the mistress of a pastor and I understand the self-pride you feel when you are sleeping with the preacher. You feel your own little sense of entitlement and it overtakes you. So imagine a teenager feeling like this. Now, believe me I am not condemning these young men, I'm just explaining the angles from all sides. Pastors are not exempt from sin, and they say a many days, "Lord, I promise I'm coming out of this." "Lord help me change." And sometimes the only way we can change, is if God pulls the covers from over our undercover operations. Sometimes it takes Him exposing our sins....to whom much is given much is required....in every way! Sometimes it takes an ordeal of this great nature to change our heart and mind. Now as for Dollar, He's right! The very first time he lays his mouth on Long, and excepts his congregation, the devil will lay in wait to tear him alive. See, we have to be careful when we see one another fall. Yes, I can sit back and glean from your fall, but after you've been cleaned up, and restored, then I'll fall and you better believe that the same folks that I gleaned, will be the ones who will become someone else's glean.
God had to teach me this lesson the hard way. I refused to let my husband sit under a preacher who was cheating on his wife. I just felt like, if our leader is a cheater, then what is that teaching you. If you read my book, "His Mistress or God's Daughter?" you'll see exactly what happened to me. God spoke to me one day and said, "If you dig deep in every righteous man's life, you'll find something." I said to God, "Job was a righteous man and you trusted him to live righteously." And God said to me, "But was his wife, who is a part of him." Then I thought about it. What if it were Long's wife who was caught in the same situation? Would the church had expected him to leave his wife, or would they have left the church?
The reality is, people are falling and God is allowing it so we can take people down off of these places of praise. I go to preach at churches and I won't let you whisk me off to the back. If I go to the back it's to change my clothes and then I'm right back to the sanctuary. The people don't have to stand in no lines to come see me. Who am I? This preaching thing has become so commercialized until it's become a circus. And just like at a circus, when the trained animal acts untamed, the people talk, ooohhh, and run. How much longer will the church continue to be like this? And pastors are so trophied that when they have a problem, they won't run to another pastor and ask for help. I don't care who you are, as long as you are in this world, you are going to need a Word for yourself!!!! You can't beat me sending for Bishop Jakes tapes, or Iona Locke tapes when I need a word or running to my pastor's church. I'm not ashamed to bare my sins in books because I understand that if I confess my faults God is faithful and just to forgive me of my sins and to cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I don't owe you no confession...my confession is to God! You can't cleanse me, God can. So as for the people who feel like Long should have talked more, for what. Whether he talked or not, people were going to have their own opinion. Some were going to leave whether he settled or not. Some had already made their minds if he were guilty or not from day one, and in this world you are definitely guilty until proven innocent.
So no matter who you are or how big the sin is, I have no right to lay my mouth on you negatively. I have the right to restore you meekly, but even as I restore you, I have an obligation to watch my mouth, mind, and my heart so I won't fall into the same sin because I got weak. I have an obligation to God to pray you through whatever situation you are in, and then ask God to keep me so I will not sin against Him. So Long might have fallen from your grace, but He hasn't fallen from God's Grace. God is the author and finisher of all our faith...He writes the chapters to our story and makes the timelines fit for His preferences. It's time for the church to pray and for the fathers and mothers of old to start crying out "Repent and Be Holy".
I was studying in my text book today about crime and deviant behavior, and how one crime is considered deviant in one society, but not in another. Then as I kept reading, I read where crime is not weighed the same with people. So as it turned out, my daughter called me in the middle of my studying. She just finished a Criminal Justice course at McNeese State University. We started talking and she said, "Mom, you know they don't even put white folks in jail for some of the same stuff they throw us in jail for, and the text books are teaching us this. Why it is that everyone knows how the system works, but no one is trying to change it."
At this point, I really couldn't answer but I agreed. I think about my baby brother who was thrown back into jail because he tested positive at his probation officer for drugs. Now, I can remember when I worked in a local counseling center and there were these men who worked for GM, and white males who had also tested positive for drugs. Instead of being thrown in jail, they sent them to a counseling center. So, I felt what she was saying because I've experienced it in my own family. Then I began to think about all the young African American attorneys in this world who get into the system to change it, but then conform to exactly the type of people they wanted to change. All in search for a great name, a lot of money, and a reputation before men...forgetting the man who gave them the ability and desire to change the system.
It's strange how if you offer some African Americans status and praise, they soon forget about the mission of people, and start focusing on the mission call "ME". I see why we were admonished in the Word concerning giving men praise. Take for instance a young African American law student, he sees the injustice and inequality of the system and desires to use his or her gift and voice to transform it. Then, he gets in the system and learns the scratch back syndrome....eventually, he forgets what he desired to do because the same system where he's learning the rules of the game, is learning him. Then once the system finds him out, they do just what is necessary to promote him praiseworthy. (Note: If the system knows all you have to do is give a black person some praise, money, and rope to hang himself, isn’t it willing to eagerly hand over all three to you?) Praise sends him out his mind!!!! Just like it did the Devil. I can just imagine that as soon as he started getting praise for being an awesome worship leader, he thought he could take over God's job. And as soon as he set his plan, he convinced a couple of dummies who wanted praise for themselves to follow suit. Don't get caught up in other people's junk, searching for ways to validate yourself!
So then what becomes of the purpose that God spark in him or her to usher change? God sits back and sparks a couple more folks in hopes that they will turn away from the world's way, and allow Him to lead and guide them for the people. Take Moses for instance. He had to turn away from power, money, and fame in order to lead the people out of bondage. And I hear someone saying, "Do black people always need a leader?" My answer is, yes! I feel this way because when God was leading us, we weren't satisfied, we needed a leader and He sat this in place. Until God comes back again, we as a human race are always in need of leadership. So then my question becomes, who is going to step out and declare the injustice of the system and rectify it? Who is going to use what they have, given by God to create a better place for God's people, to help the people, instead of to get what they want.
I watched the news on yesterday and the police department was so happy to announce that they would be setting up in the black neighborhoods and had taken 80 people to jail that had warrants. Now, I don't know if anyone else was thinking what I was thinking, but I said, there are break-ins in Broadmoor and other places where whites live. But instead, we stake out in the poor communities, gather all the blacks and throw them in jail, make their families who are already struggling come up with the money to bail them out, and then we won't have to be faced with crime. Then what sickens me more is when you get a black cop on the news so gong ho on what he's doing, and barely pronouncing words on television just like the folks he's arresting. Who's going to usher change? So if all your cops are in the black neighborhoods, if I were a thief, I'd make plans this summer to robe the white neighborhoods.
Could it be you? Could you be the one who God put on this earth to lead your people to a better place? Could you be the one who was educated to rectify the injustice in our justice system? Could you be the voice that is meant to make people think? Or are you the one that is afraid to speak out about what you see wrong for fear of losing your life? My Bible tells me, that a man that is willing to lose his life will gain his life....so can I get some help out here in this world? And where are all the preachers? My guess, somewhere trying to build a mega-ministry and don't even have a mega word on the inside of them.....to be continued....