Posts Tagged ‘Jesse Jackson’

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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First, it was Ed McMahon. Then, Farrah Fawcett. Now, Michael Jackson.

If I hear Darth Vader and the guy who invented Members Only jackets are gone, and the 80s will officially be over. And for some people, it already is with the passing of the self-entitled “King of Pop.”

Michael Jackson was many things to many people. There wasn’t a single person alive with the ability to speak who didn’t have an opinion on this man. And who was the last person that could say that?

Even Michael looked like this from time to time

Even Michael looked like this from time to time

His music was always there – and so were the harrowing stories – and then in a flash, all we had was his music because the man was gone. But despite the rumor mill spinning like a wheel in the middle of the Daytona 500, let me ask you something:

In the words of the hallowed Maximus Dedimus Meridius, “Were you not entertained?”

When Google crashed – yeah, Google – as a result of people trolling for insight on Michael Jackson’s death, one of quickest things that happened was downloading his music.

Why now?

Folk weren’t searching for latest on pedophilia, homosexuality or really bad outfits looking like Captain Crunch.

No, it was the music, because after the source is gone, what’s left is the legacy.

If you didn’t like “Don’t Stop ‘Till You Get Enough” or “Working Day and Night” while he was alive (and this reporter SHO’ NUFF did), why rush to the Net and flush Amazon.com out of stock now?

It’s because people don’t really appreciate and cherish items while they are in front of their face.

Jesus people, we can learn something from this mayhem. Much was the case with Jesus and if Ridley Scott was around in Gethsemane, perhaps Christ’s words would have been echoed in a gladiatorial coliseum.

Consider the miracles. The feats of mercy. The love shown despite circumstances. Followers of Christ, “Were you not entertained?”

Why wait until it’s too late to appreciate what we have? Why wait until folk can’t discuss different ideas and ruminate opposing views to simply talk facts? Remove said things and that’s when the memories are beholden to those who had them – whether about Jesus or, in this case only, Michael Jackson.

But, as a body of Christ, we understand we are not here to live for self, but for God. We don’t worry about tomorrow, but today. We exist to serve Jesus, not man.

Probably looking for Jesus there too

Probably looking for Jesus there too

And so, to give closure to the countless millions in the Church who still adored Michael Jackson despite the terrible stories, I’ll ask the question out loud that you’re afraid to ask at this week’s Bible study, “Was he a Christian?”

Without question, Jackson was on a quest of “spirituality.” But where did it lead him?

He had a knowledge of the Bible. Listen to the “Man in the Mirror“, read James 1:22-25 and you tell me. But was it a full understanding that Jesus is Lord?

Thanks to Another Brick in the Wall, Get Religion, we read a gripping article about that very thing and Michael’s troubled soul who traipsed through a Kingdom’s Hall and ended up (allegedly) in a Mosque.

And now, thanks to his brother Jermaine, that’s possibly his lasting legacy on the religious map:

If “Allah is with him always,” the King of Pop may have more issues than the debt he left behind.

Late last year, reports were viral and contagious as it was said Michael Jackson took the shahada and was now known as “Mikaeel.”

He would be seen wearing a face-covering burga – for some, it was religious practice and for others, it was plastic surgery run-a-muck.

And all the while, no one seemed to care about his soul… just keep cranking out that legendary music, Michael… or however you are spelling it now.

Some consider a person’s doxology should be as private as his vote, but if you are saved, that commitment should be as public as what color you are. [Yes, there’s a joke there considering the topic, but I’ll reserve that at this time :)]

However, it was painfully obvious to those of us who considered ourselves “fans” that Jackson was not comfortable in his own skin.

Yeah, there’s the vicious self-altering “Before and After” pictures, but that struggle goes to deeper depths than just debates about melanin.

Again, you don’t go from the Watchtower, tour the Bible and end up on a Musallah and not have plaguing questions about God, Jesus and your eternal demise.

Jackson clearly was riddled with those questions, and he like so many before him, had a public life of good works to help him sleep well at night. From “We are the World” to the amazing benefits he did for children with life-threatening disease, but he didn’t take those with him.

Sure, we all talk about them now, but works aren’t enough, as Ephesians 2:8-9 tells us.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.

Who was there to tell him that? Jesse? Al? A day late and a dollar short.

He was 8 years old singing with his brothers on national TV. He lived his life on stage, in front of cameras and under the eye of speculation.

And in a life of zoo animals, little children and corny dogs (otherwise known as Neverland), it’s no surprise there wasn’t someone of a Christ-like mindset to tell him about the Lord.

Back to TMatt and the “Get Religion” piece:

So what does this add up to, in a tragic life that begins with — Jackson said — years of physical abuse as a child, followed by years under the knife of doctors, lawyers, psychologists and paparazzi? There is a religion ghost here, or two. But does that mean that there is a religion thread throughout this troubled life, other than yearning and confusion?

To be seen soon in St. Peter's Basilica?!

To be seen soon in St. Peter's Basilica?!

Candlelight vigils. 24/7 Michael music on local radio. Outstanding tributes on national TV (Shout out to the BET Awards. Very nice). All are necessary for this pop music legend, but it’s not enough if that decision for Christ wasn’t made.

Heck, even the Vatican’s newspaper has dubbed Jackson the “Black Elvis”. Well, not really, but they did call him “IMMORTAL!” The Vatican! Seriously?!

But will he really be dead? It wouldn’t be surprising if, in a few years, he was spotted in a gas station in Memphis, perhaps with his former father-in-law Elvis Presley, another of those myths – like Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Jimi Hendrix or John Lennon – that never die in the imagination of their fans. And Michael Jackson, who died yesterday at the age of fifty, is definitely a pop music legend.”

But the eternal question is “What was the King of Pop to the Prince of Peace and the King of Kings?”

And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment (Hebrews 9:27 NKJV).

Ah well, who knows? But, as you can see to the original opine, he was many things to many people.

And if those aforementioned, his friends or even his own parents didn’t care enough to ask about his relationship with Jesus Christ, I suppose the only question they’re left asking is, “Were they not entertained?”

Until the eternal answer is confirmed – and it won’t be this side of heaven – we will all have his remarkable music and continue to be entertained by the music behind the man… not the other way around.

Despite the ramblings of ordained brain-dead dolts like Shirley Caesar, this past presidential election was historic for several reasons – mainly because there is a black man (well, half black but you infer the reverence) in the White House.

And although I am a premiere oppugnant about pastors discussing their political preference in the pulpit, I understand the private gala affairs black pastors everywhere held in their homes watching the BarackStar accept his nomination before the throngs in Chicago.

obama-hypeYou see, before they were men of the cloth – they were men, black men, many of which can remember the plight of the Civil Rights Movement. All of which are susceptible to believing the hype amidst pomp and circumstance in this election.

So when I read quotes like this in this riveting New York Times story, I empathetically and understandably grant the levity:

“It’s ushered in a new generation of leadership,” said Mr. Brawley, 40, the incoming pastor of Saint Paul Community Baptist Church in Brooklyn. “It symbolizes the Moses generation passing the baton to the Joshua generation. So the Obama presidency presents us with both an opportunity and a challenge.

Of course it’s a challenge because it’s a mass changing of the guard. There are millions of pairs of shoes to fill. Civil rights heroes from the pulpit (affection aside for the most annoying) like Jackson, Sharpton, Calvin Butts and Floyd Flake are about to close a friggin’ thick chapter in a book entitled, “We are still oppressed.”

And now their collection of racially fueled sermons are growing irrelevant, it’s time they give white pastors a shot at reaching across the aisle, so to speak.

“It will open them up for more dialogue with white churches,” he said, “and it will open up white churches for more dialogue with them. You will have a generation of black ministers who want to embrace the reconciliation embodied by Obama. They haven’t been hurt so badly by racial segregation that they can’t reach out with a little more openness and a little less fear than I might have.”

“Generation of black ministers” is code for “old crumudgeons who are not quite bitter to ignore any attempt reputable white pastors may have at serving a colorless, genderless, hate-less God.”

The hate of the 60s cuts deep from some folk, but to generalize all people on account of the sins of a few is just as sinful as committing those sins on account of skin tone in the first place.

Obama being in office will do a lot for – and against – this country depending on who you ask about change. However, the one thing his face will do for future pastors is give hope to many spiritual leaders who believe progress in this country starts and stops by how you look.

“The onus is now on the black church to use the iconic example of President Obama to challenge our own ranks,” he put it. “We have a president who looks like us. The question is, how much do we look like him?”

halo-wed-obamaTonight, was so much more than an election – it was a moment frozen in time, captured in school textbooks for generations to come and a time to tell your kids, “I was there… when…”

It is also the inception of a new “Brickhouse Series” to become the amalgamation of God and Barack Obama (hence, “God & Obama” or “GOBAMA”. Kitschy, huh?)

As much as I would enjoy ranting about his political wiles, I’ll leave that up to my other bricks in the wall, WOW newsers and other blogs I thoroughly enjoy like this one, this one and this one.

But anytime he brings up faith and politics, church and state and all the various and sundry mutterings in between, you will catch it painted on the Wall.

Now then, about what happened this evening… breathtaking.

Regardless of who you voted for, this was historic. Imagine, only 40 years ago… 40!… the man who delivered a rousing speech in front of 125,000 would have been lynched for even thinking such a thing only four decades ago.

Tonight, people of all races and regions were faceted in front of a TV or stood silent in Grant Park and clamoring “Yes we can!” Yet, there was that significant portion of this country who couldn’t say a word or utter a prayer because the memories were too powerful.

vote-thisThoughts of being maligned because they were darker than the average citizen…

Images of dogs shredding the arms of black men and women who chose to lend a helping hand of democracy…

Words echoing in their minds of racial slurs and epithets so heinous they shouldn’t be typed on any blog, anywhere…

For those people who held on to a dream and an address from Gettysburg, I proudly type, “Wake up, and welcome to reality.”

I am attached to that dream only because of a proud organization I call, “Frat” (Side note: Martin Luther King was a Too Cold, Servant of All Alpha Phi Alpha). I only know about the race riots in Selma and Montgomery because of history books and fabled stories I hear from others. However, it all came to a head this evening.

Don’t believe me? Did you see Jesse Jackson?

This man who has become a caricature of himself and a HUGE media whore touting anything from his organizations to others’ causes stood there, buried in a sea of people watching the culmination of a dream he heard orated those 40 years ago.

And although Jesse has done many significant counter racial things to bury that memory in apogee – such as “Hymeytown” and note this fun little story – there he was, a shell of the man he has created since the march on Washington.

the-tears-of-a-clown1Stoic, empty, riddled with emotion and crying… silently.

He remembered the words his close friend bellowed from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and for certain he was thinking about them while president-elect Barack Obama recollected memories of “We Shall Overcome.”

There, in that moment, was a microcosm of remembering the Civil Rights movement, hearkening to the inspiration of the past and emotionally passing the torch for the future.

Jesse, you have had more than 15 minutes… but they are officially up.

And now for those young black kids, this will be the picture of folk who look like them and how politics should be about all people. For those a little more seasoned, it’s a reckoning. Enjoy this moment. Despite his party, his politics or even his former pastor, what happened tonight is worth saving the headlines.

It’s been a long time comin’, but I know a change gonna come. Oh yes, it will!

In a continued effort to get anyone touting the title “REVEREND” to live like, you know, REVERENDs, we follow the ongoing trials of the agape-mouthed Jesse Jackson.

Last week, we posted on the Wall that Jesse has such an issue with Barack Obama’s pseudo faith-based plan that he would like to make the presidential candidate into a high-pitched Soprano with one fatal slice. After he gets apoplectic and begs for forgiveness, MORE GOLD comes out of that tape.

Evidently, the man who marched with Dr. King, has fought for civil rights everywhere and pleads for media exposure anytime a black person is in the news has done the unthinkable. He called ‘Black America’ the N-word. What’s wrong with this picture?

Oh wait, I know. You’re supposed to be a REVEREND! Talk about the pot calling the kettle… well, you get the picture. And for more pictures, here’s the video. Enjoy. I know he didn’t.

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