Sunday, July 13, 2008

What Does Two Convenient Presidential Endorsements, A Congressional Investigation, & An Earring Have In Common?

2008 is going to go down in history as one of the most pivotal years in terms of politics and Christianity I sincerely believe.

There has not been a year that has produced as much intense controversy, backpedaling, and PR spin at the air-thin heights as 2008 has although there have been some that clearly led us to where we are now.

I am now detecting that there is going to be a highly focused triangulation and clever scrutiny given to a worldwide pastor, televangelist, author, conference host, and multimedia mogul.  I have heard and viewed countless number of sermons from this preacher although somehow I have never been able to see and hear him live.  Now I know why.

I am both shocked, saddened, and realistic enough to know that we all have sinned and come short of the glory of God as well as to recognize that the dots started connecting at the same time as the stars were lining up over the head and over the impeccable ministry of this recognized leader.

The first crack in the esteem that I have had for this fellow laborer of the Gospel came way back in the 2000 presidential campaigns as this pastor had the bold audacity to throw his support openly for W who has more than proven to fulfill the stereotypical role of a prince that felt entitled to become king himself.  The entire nation and world has suffered through W's presidential thievery and administrations.  Yet we still give God the glory for bringing us through this turbulent period and to continue our quest onward and higher.

At the time, the only logic that made sense of the 2000 presidential endorsement was that W and the pastor had the same state of residency and still do.  Maybe there was a state grant provided in Texas to the pastor's growing congregation, but to place such a congregation over the lives of thousands or millions that watched and supported the television ministry, seminars and conferences, and multimedia ministry still has me dumbfounded.  This had to be short term thinking at its finest in order to be willing to sacrifice for some form of 30 pieces of silver not only your own people, but essentially to silence one's voice on anything political going forward.

The 2000 presidential endorsement is only the first star or X placed over this ministry that cannot be refuted because it simply happened and the present and history has proven the result of W becoming president.

The second X to be hung in the rafters like a championship banner comes not its presence but through its absence.

I blogged earlier in 2007 that I felt the congressional investigation of several televangelists and Christian leaders by US Senator Chuck Grassley was highly political and still stand by this opinion.  But what was cemented my opinion was the absence of this same pastor when he clearly had connections to virtually every televangelist who was named in the investigation.

You see, it is not enough to look at who is named or mentioned in such an event that seeks to tarnish one's reputation.  One needs to check to see who was excluded, overlooked, not included, and/or "off that day" when the armed robbery crime takes place to see if there is a connection by disconnection.  Usually law enforcement has the presence of mind to take the confidential informant down to the precinct as well during the police raid, but maybe making a presidential endorsement of a Republican presidential candidate who was your governor and hooked you up on the state level gives one a "stay out of the highly publicized congressional investigation that is clearly not over" free pass card.

My mathematical training whispered to me that it is mathematically impossible to have been excluded from the investigation when the same person was openly named as being an indirect cause and relevant to the investigation of several mentioned.  The probability of being excluded in the court of common sense went to 0 and the percentage that the fix was in skyrocketed straight to 100%.  There was and still is no room for any middle ground within this particular congressional investigation if there is one. 

So the second X flag goes up the flag pole although upon revisiting the named Christian leaders who were named, I have not heard or read anywhere that the now slippery televangelist has preached, counseled, or offered any support to any of the named ministries being investigated.  Somehow I strongly get the feeling that it will be a frigid day in hell when he gets to preach again in their pulpits.  Or at least throw some restitution to them that was passed on to you from W:)

Press forward to today July 13, 2008.  I do not know how I stumbled on the news, but I see that people online at least are now asking questions whether photos of this pastor were "photoshopped" or doctored with by a proficient person using a computer involving a family celebration considered mildly public since the presence of cameras was to be expected.

But let me back up to now say that this same pastor has gone on the record to endorse presidential candidate and US Senator Barack Obama to become President of the United States just as I have and do.  I strongly suggest that Senator Obama keep this endorsement at arm's length and especially upon taking the oath that grants a 4 year residency at the White House because this slippery slope will clearly cost you any hopes of being re-elected in 2012.

Unlike Rev. Jesse Jackson's words, the nationwide animosity that this pastor is going to generate will surely castrate Obama (and won't stop there) worse than Ken Starr's investigation of the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal which not ironically set the stage for W to become president.  Unfortunately, the Secret Service does not protect one's reputation from guilt by association.

Now let us return to the jewelry that the still conservative Black church does not find as appropriate for men especially one on the level of this international evangelist and the ministerial regard in which he is held even as the controversy is no where as high as it will become.

Personally I could never wear an earring because my personal standards are beyond current fads and fashion.  Maybe if I was shown a photo where Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Marcus Garvey, Frederick Douglass, George Washington Carver, NASA Astronaut Dr. Ron McNair, Booker T. Washington, or even Barack Obama were to have their ears pierced or stylishly wear a clip-on earring maybe I would consider getting one:)  Not!!!!

Needless to say, there is going to be a round of heated debates, arguments, and potentially unfortunate church splits over the presence of some bling on this preacher's ear.

Does he have the right to wear an earring?  As far as I know, the US Constitution does not forbid him from wearing one.  But within the realm of the Black Church within these United States, a more perfect union is not the outcome reached by adorning oneself with such a fashion statement.

Since the preacher does not hold public office, there will be no barriers or possible accusations that other preachers will have violated any beliefs or laws separating church and state and/or placing the 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status of their churches and ministries at risk.  As a result, there is no flame retardant apparel available for this preacher to wear.

When will the feces hit the fan?  I now believe that it already has and the whispers that this emperor has no clothes has already begun to spread on some grassroots level.

Only the awful aroma will spread once the individual believers that held this man of faith come into contact with the growing undertrend that should have never taken place.  The damage of this escapade will come in the form of further threatening and expanding a generational gap within the Church where many feel that it is okay for men to wear earrings.

My ministry is now focused in the intermediate terms on preparing Christians for the difficult days ahead that are rapidly approaching and some would say are already here where faith based emotions will be shaken to the core.  Evangelism and ushering others to know Christ is still my primary mission while introducing them to the Christ that I know and worship where one can witness the darkest days unimagined and still rest assured that Christ Jesus has already overcome the world.

The world where this pastor will undoubtedly become just as infamous as W is one where one's soul, reputation, and legacy unfortunately go to the highest bidder among man:(

But Christ Jesus has already paid the price!

As much as hooping has a place in the art gallery of the Black Church, I have still yet to read a mandate for hooping especially to relieve the pains and witnessing of the once-considered fantasy to take place within the next 4 years!  This preacher was considered the absolute best in the US if not the world.  So many will be hurt deeply unfortunately.

Just remember "Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven".  Nothing considered external to this world is able to overthrow the Word of God already written and shared.

The implosion of the unnamed pastor and anything seen and unseen will never invalidate the Word of God.  So keep the faith and move in greater confidence that every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess.

Nothing shall separate us from the love of God.


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