Posts Tagged ‘forgiveness’

Is THIS what's next? Stranger things have happened.

I have heard of the pot calling the kettle black, so what in the world does this newly ordained minister for a COGIC church call his followers?

Meet Johnny Lee Clary, a good ol’ boy from Oklahoma, proud white boy who is a minister for a black denomination… and oh yeah, a former imperial wizard for the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

This should be good.

Bishop [George] McKinney and I both felt like racial reconciliation was needed now more than ever,” said Clary, who befriended McKinney in the early 1990s when the two spoke during a Promise Keepers event. “We feel like it makes a huge statement that the former national imperial wizard of the Ku Klux Klan would join the Church of God in Christ and reach out with the Church of God in Christ to bring racial reconciliation to America.”

In case you haven’t read your bible recently, this is called f-o-r-g-i-v-e-n-e-s-s and r-e-p-e-n-t-a-n-c-e. WOW!

You know God truly had to yank the scales from Clary’s eye sockets for him to see the error of his ways and make good on a promise to God to be “all he could for Jesus Christ.”

The word “kyklos” is Greek for circle and in the reconstruction era of the 1860s, a “circle of friends” decided to cleanse the south and then the only circle they used was the noose placed around 1000s of necks. And yet, they use the Bible for the terrorism.

Bishop McKinney knows this… and still accepted Clary into the fold, with open arms. That’s God.

I know the answer to racial reconciliation, and that’s Jesus Christ,” he said. “They all come to me, even secular people are saying, ‘What changed you?’ I tell them, ‘The only thing that changed me was the Word of God.’ Because when I accepted Christ … I had to get my mind renewed, and that was through God’s Word.”

It’s no secret racial reconciliation still needs to improve, but stories like this really help folk answer the Rodney King rally cry.

Why can’t black men and white men preach the red-stained words of Christ together? The fact that Clary dawned a hood and burned the same cross he professes now is the headline of this story, but the heart of it is a man with a vision [McKinney] who reached out to another man with some victory [Clary].

There is not one scripture in the Bible that says God chose one race over another. People get out of the Bible what they bring to it in the first place. You get a cowardly bigot – black, white or any other hue – reading the Word of God, somehow that filter will let some of that dirt through.

I know for a fact these two brothers-in-arms are reading this one:

Let me give you a new command: Love one another. In the same way I loved you, you love one another. This is how everyone will recognize that you are my disciples—when they see the love you have for each other. (John 13:34-35 MSG).

There’s hope yet, people. And in the words of a dude who can’t decide if he wants to be a white politician or a black civil rights activist, “Keep hope alive!”

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Ted Haggard and his shirt

Courtesy: TallSkinnyKiwi.typepad.com

No, no. I mean starting a new church.

What did you think I meant? You Wall-watching gutter minds. Oy!

Anywhoo, according to the Colorado Springs Gazette, Ted is back with a vengeance and holding a “prayer meeting” on November 12 at… his house.

(Hey, isn’t that how he first got in trouble with his gay-lover-masseuse-meth-dealer-dude in the first place?)

Back to the story:

“We wanted to do something in our house to connect with friends,” said Haggard, whose ties to New Life ended in scandal three years ago with the revelation that he’d been involved with a male prostitute in Denver.

For the record, Haggard began the Colorado megachurch, New Life Church, with 25 people in his basement. The rest is history as he would become a force in ecumenicalism – one of the top pastors in America, voice to the president and leader of the National Association of Evangelicals as his own church surpassed 14,000.

Neither had a comment about Haggard and his new start-up, but suffice to say, I don’t think there is going to be a neighborhood sleep over any time soon.

“For this prayer meeting, I have no goals,” Haggard said. “I have no secret hope that more people will come. I am not driven as I was. Before I focused on the Great Commission. Now I focus on helping other people.”

MEMO to Sweet Teddy: I know you may be a little rusty on the Bible but the “Great Commission” (making disciples and all) is helping other people.

Haggard has been a busy boy since his unceremonious interlude with Mike Jones. He’s been selling insurance, giving “talks” on weekends and, as we posted on the Wall a while back, traipsing his family on national TV to “Divorce Court.”

Still classy after all these months.

And speaking of Mike Jones, the church volunteer Lothario had this to say about Haggard’s interloping with a home church service:

Ted Haggard certainly has the right to do what ever he wants and deserves to be happy in life.  But make no mistake: Ted does nothing by accident. This will be in the press, two months before Gayle’s book is released and then his book to follow.  At this point, publicity is publicity.

 

But to sum it up, if Ted and Gayle were at Disneyland,they would never leave Fantasyland.  But this time they have Oprah as Tinkerbell to spread the fairy dust.

Crazy, not stupid. Of course, this is about public relations. Ted knows how to work the press, just check Google. It hearts Haggard. Dude needs cash, credibility, and above all, cash.

Having a Tupperware party at his house won’t cut it, but get that on national TV and possibly with a TBN cameo, and it’s on like Donkey Kong.

Question to all of us is: Should he be taken seriously?

forgiveness on the wall

Suitable, it being tagged on the Wall

Before we answer with a diatribe laced with vitriol and expletives, remember Capernaum anyone?

Peter decided he could quantify forgiveness because of the acts aginst him by some schlep he knew. He thought seven was a good number, seeing how he took that numerology class in Temple a few weeks back.

Jesus threw Peter a curve ball saying, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven” (Matthew 18:22 NKJV).

Did Jesus wants to give Peter a pop quiz on his times tables, or was that a metaphorical way to say, “Dude, if I had a dollar for every time you screwed up…”

“No one can possibly keep count of such a high number of offenses,” writes John MacArthur in reference to 490 (the result of “seventy times seven”). “But that is precisely the point! Keeping count has nothing to do with true forgiveness. If an offense is sincerely forgiven, it cannot be held against the offender.” (John MacArthur. The Freedom and Power of Forgiveness. Crossway Books, 2009)

I don’t know about you , but I passed 490 years ago. [Shoot, who am I kidding, months ago.] My check would so bounce past food stamps and into welfare. However, God is bigger than that.

Do I think Haggard should be back in charge of a church now? Certainly not. There has got to be work God still has to do in his heart and his family’s life.

Do I think Haggard is forgiven? If he marched up to the throne of Grace – not before he marched up to his wife who is still with him –  and begged for it, you bet.

Do I think this is a great idea? No way… but I do understand. Albeit, a little.

We already know how hard the BarackStar pledged his support to God while courting the hard religious right. (By the way, how’s that commitment card to Christ working out anyway?)

However, there’s been a recent rash of “But I love Jesus too” commentary coming from the really cheap seats. I’m talking about the fools who have soiled their public offices for all the world to see.

God politicsWhy is that every politician wants to hurl their ACLU card in everyone’s faces when litigation shows up, but when scandal comes knocking on their door, they are ready to let us all know how they are a soldier in the army of the Lord?

Thanks to some well-applied masonry by WOW News’ “Bible Belt Blogger,” we have a doltish duo issuing their God card in the press:

In the Washington Times, we see AWOL South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford taking the time to mail in a repentant letter from South America vowing “to fight on for conservative causes and for ‘what God wanted me to do with my life.'”

Yes, Gov. I’m sure shtupping with some dime-store chica you met online is precisely what God wanted for you. And, speaking of Governors who just don’t know when to fish or cut bait:

Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (and his pet hair piece) was once again interviewed and he went all holy saying, “I believe there is a purpose behind all that has happened to us. And maybe God has a plan for me to be an instrument for good. And that the troubles we are facing, the lies, the abandonment, the heartbreak, the pain, are all obstacles in the journey we must make, where like the stories in the Bible, God brings good out of bad.”

After being impeached, failing as your own attorney, parading across the country like a color-blind peacock and later arrested by the FBI, that would be nice to believe. Keep combing it forward… eh, paying it forward, Rod.

And then to make this salt-and-pepper shaker set of dunderheads a nice, sweet troika, should we discuss a former Veep candidate, Former U.S. Senator John Edwards?

Faith was huge on his platform, but his witness kinda went the way of new Coke and the Chia Pet when he decided to cheat on his wife, lie about the paternity of his illegitimate child… and oh yeah, while his wife was fighting for her life with cancer.

Stay classy, holmes.

Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life (Galatians 6:7-8 NIV).

I am all for repentance, getting your life right and – in Blago’s case – jailhouse conversions, but don’t speak it if you can’t sell it. Sure, God is love. Yes, he has a plan for your life. But if you are going to use Jesus to keep your 15 minutes alive and kicking, wait a while…

Trust me, you got caught once. It’ll happen again.

Two million people. A man who would be president. And a nation of millions waiting for his every word.

inaugurationThat was the summary of yesterday’s inaugural sermoner, message. And since that day, I have and read my opinions, concerns and observations. After you heard it, what did you think?

There were no zingers. No “ask not what your country will do” quotables. No rah-rah moments. Just a stoic reminder of where we are as a country and what is to come. And, since you are here interested in what little I have to prattle about, I think it’s precisely what the throng needed to hear.

“In reaffirming the greatness of our nation, we understand that greatness is never a given,” he said. “It must be earned.”

Greatness must be earned, and whether you voted for the dude or not, he earned it; therefore, he must work on his greatness legacy through action, passion and correction. And believe me, this country will keep him true to his word.

However, those who just can’t seem find the objectivity to consider the greatness that just occurred, allow me to help you. That harmonious horde gathered on the Mall was split down the middle – half was there to witness the BarackStar take his oath, and the other half was there to witness the first black POTUS become a reality.

king-and-obamaConsider: Only 40 years ago did the stains of “Colored Only” signs smear across federal buildings, Knights of the KKK were permitted to seek public office openly and racial epithets were common vernacular in Washington D.C. That’s it… 40 years!

Until a courageous man of limitless constitution named Martin Luther King was thrust into the national spotlight to help more than a battered people, but a broken patronage called the U.S.A.

In the shadows of a president who freed the slaves stood a man who would be King to help them realize their freedom. And with steadfast determination, haunting diction and a God-given dream, Dr. King shared a moment when the days of Lincoln would meet the years of the future. That moment was yesterday.

A lot more was happening than 1000s of people freezing their toukas while watching a president make it official. It was a moment in time when other 1000s of people were sharing the same memory hearkening to those glorious words shared only four decades ago, “Free at last.”

What we saw was so much more than a vast collection of dreamers; it was the culmination of a dream.

So, in case you have been buried under a rock somewhere in the middle of the Sahara Desert, under some sand and without a GPS unit, you would have heard Ted Haggard has been in the news.

nancy-pelosiOne day, he is one of the most influential men in Christendom. The next, he is lathered up with baby oil calling some dude name Mike, “Me-chelle, My Belle.”

And while he is out pimping his horrific story to any publisher and TV network with a pulse, he found a new BFF in the world’s least likely place for a Christian – Capitol Hill and its Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, according to WOW News’ and CBN’s David Brody.

Talk about reaching across the aisle! Now here’s an odd pair. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reached out to fallen pastor Ted Haggard through her daughter. Confused?

Very nice. Keep rocking with that big brain, Dave. Next?

In an interview with me this afternoon, Haggard—a onetime friend and former occasional guest at George W. Bush’s White House—says the support from the Pelosi family is one reason he’s much more favorable about Democrats and their agenda today than before his fall. His change of economic circumstances also played a big role in the process.

[Insert your favorite Scooby Doo “ri-ron’t-ro-Raggy” sound here]. This girl probably has a smoking card fresh with ACLU invisible ink in her purse, but she made time to make an appointment for this guy?! Well, not if you ask her personally… namely if your name is David Brody.

Ah well, at least he can add one person to his Christmas list. Whether the card gets to her door is another story all together, but never mind that right now.