WARNING: The views and opinions stated here are necessarily the views and opinions of the host of this blog. If you have any problem listening to opinions concerning politics, religion, and racism in America, move to the next post. (I promise I won’t rant too often, so don’t leave us forever.)
I am currently unsure of a more productive way to release this frustration, so I will begin in this forum. This morning, as I was heading to work, I listened to a talk radio show.
Problem #1: Never listen to talk radio unless you need a little frustration in your life.
They were discussing the presedential campaign of Senator Barrack Obama and the recent recordings of his pastor.
Problems # 2 & 3: (2)Really (!!!) never listen to American politics if you wish to remain un-frustrated. (3) Did you hear the sermon (if you can call it that) yet? Frustration abounds!
Then there were the two pastors on the show that were supporting this blasphemy and anti-American sentiment.
Problems #4 & 5: (4) Two pastors were supporting that foul-mouthed blubber? Huh? (5) Though I have been known to criticize American government and its political inadequacies, I have never heard nor said anything as awful as what was said on that recording. America deserved 9-11? Are you kidding? A pastor (or anyone for that matter) using the Lord’s name in vain when speaking of America? What? Why? Huh?
And last, but certainly not least, there were the comments made by the pastors on the show concerning racism in America. One pastor said that “racism is worse now than it was during slavery”. He said that people are oppressed and have no opportunity for education, freedom of speech, or a better way of life. Did I mention that both pastors were 60-70 years old and had their Doctoral degrees? Yet they spoke of people not having opportunity? Ironic, don’t you think? Bill Cosby is also one who seemingly “had no opportunity” I guess. Yet he did well for himself and now “preaches” a whole new message to people to get up and work and make opportunity for themselves. One of the pastors also said that “the church was and still is the only place where ‘his people’ can come to have freedom of speech and the freedom to release frustrations and emotions”. Let me mention again that he said this on a radio program with thousands of people listening. See the irony?
Problems #6 & 7: (6) Racism is worse now than it was during slavery? Are people ripped from their homelands, sold off, beaten and sometimes killed, denied religion, refused a chance to work and make money for themselves, and denied any of the other rights set forth by our Constitution or present lawmakers? (7) The church is the only place where ‘his people’ can have freedom of speech and are able to release their frustrations? Let me start by saying that church is a very good place to come to worship God and have an emotional release. It is a great place to come to tell God what is worrying you or what difficulties you have. It is these things, but is it the place to come and insult another race, speak negatively about your country, and practice blasphemy? What is the definition of blasphemy? What does the Bible say about all this?
Webster’s New World Dictionary: Blasphemy- 1. Irreverent or profane or mocking speech, writing, or action concerning God or anything regarded as sacred. 2. Contempt for God. Any remark deliberately mocking or contemptuous of God or thing regarded as sacred. Syn. Profane or profanity, swearing or cursing-further extends the concept to irreverent remarks, both referring to the utterance of profane oaths or condemnations.
And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he blasphemeth the name of the LORD, shall be put to death. (Leviticus 24:16)
And one of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?” Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is one Lord; and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ “The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:28-31)
Let every person be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. (NAS, Romans 13:1)
Let me say here that I do not believe that God would have us stone that pastor or kill him. The Bible teaches us to love our neighbor and even to love our enemy and also to forgive them. So here is the question: Does it say anywhere in the Bible that a pastor should give a sermon that includes blasphemous statements, name-calling and swearing against another race (his neighbors), and anarchist statements concerning his government? Not in my opinion. Did the pastor’s congregation stand up and figuratively ’stone him’ by leaving and attending another church or by finding a new pastor? Nope. Furthermore, many other pastors and congregations have supported his statements. If it is not mentioned in the Bible, should a preacher be preaching it in God’s church? Not in my opinion. So, is the church the appropriate place (or is anywhere, for that matter) for people to come any say these sorts of things? What is the church for then if not for spewing forth whatever degredations and foul -mouthed bile one wishes? I hope you sense the sarcasm in my previous sentence. It is not a pulpit to press one’s beliefs or political affiliations on people. It is not a place to take advantage of a people searching for a leader and some stability among their own. It is not a place to accuse and degrade a people with whom we must learn to work in order to gain peace and understanding in the United States and in this world. The church is for worship. It is for coming and talking with God, for singing praises to God, and for learning about what He would have us learn. Nothing else. It is not freedom we should search for when we come to church, but submission. Submission to a God who promises to give us the freedom for which we seek. Freedom from the fear of all the world’s pitfalls if we come to Him and believe in His SON and ask for forgiveness. Freedom of speech is such a small thing when you consider the freedom that can be gained through Christ.
Do I feel better now, you ask? I do actually. Much better.