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LET US KNOW YOU ARE STILL THERE!
Good day to all of my Provoke Publications Group!!!!! 😃 It is now the season for all of you to reap the reward of your years of struggle. Begin to now say " The work of my hands will now begin to manifest!"
Let nothing and no one convince you otherwise. We do not walk by sight (circumstances and day to day conditions) We walk by faith!!!! (All that God is and all he has promised)
And faith is the hardcore evidence of things not seen. Therefore we call into existence those things we have hoped for! Post your progress and praise reports! Let us know what. God has done! Shalom!
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Chicago charges officer in black teen's death, releases video of shooting
A white Chicago policeman who shot a black teenager to death was charged with murder on Tuesday in a prosecution hastened in hopes of averting renewed racial turmoil over the use of lethal police force that has shaken the United States for more than a year.
What Would Jesus Say?
Before I address the issue of COGIC Superintendent Earl Carter, I would first like to start this article with a true story. A real experience I had personally during my time as pastor of Agape Christian Ministries. One afternoon while driving through the city heading into downtown Hartford, Connecticut I came upon a stop light near the Hartford Insurance Building. As I waited for the light to change, I heard my name being called. As I looked to my right, a young man approached my vehicle wearing a woman’s overcoat, a wig and very heavy make-up. Looking closer at him, I realized it was an old friend I knew from Jr. High School and from earlier church days. As I rolled down the car window, he began to ask how I was and how great it was to see me doing so well. The light changed and I asked to let me pull over. I then “unashamedly” invited him to get into the car and have a seat. He began to express how crazy his life had been since the last time we saw each other and though he was quite sad about his current life situation, was excited to see me and began to ask questions about my ministry and the church. I then extended and invitation for him to attend our service on Sunday.
Surprisingly, he consented to attend. I told him that one of our old mutual friends who was a deacon at the church would come by and pick him up at his mother’s home Sunday morning. When he arrived that Sunday morning, he was wearing that same overcoat and makeup, but decided not to wear the wig. I was already into the teaching as he sat in the very back of the auditorium. The message that day was on God’s unconditional love and the true meaning of God’s grace. Once I caught a glance of him sitting there, I smiled and waved acknowledging him as he smiled and waved back. After about 30 minutes as I was proceeding to offer prayer and ministry to the people in attendance, he suddenly had disappeared from his seat and left the service. Before ending the service I asked the people to pray with me that God would visit this young man and bring him back into the Kingdom of God and show his mercy and grace to him.
About 1 year later, my eldest son and I were hanging out together having lunch. Suddenly in walks a young man with the sharpest haircut, shirt, tie, slacks and shoes, all of which looked very expensive. He was very well dressed and poised. He walked very confidently over to the counter to place and order as if he owned the place. As I heard him place his order, his voice was very articulate and commanding. He turned around to take his seat and looked over at me. With the same excitement he approached my car the year before, he yelled out my name and ran over to our table. That day, I saw what the miracle of love and grace looked like. He began to share his testimony with me.
He stated that about 2 months after he left our service, he was in a crack house doing drugs. He had been in this house for a couple of weeks. “I didn’t even know what day it was or what time it was most of the time” he said. He continued “on this one particular day, as I was getting high, the Holy Spirit fell upon me and I began to speak in tongues! It was so powerful that the power of God began to pull on me. I began to crawl and drag myself toward the door of the house as I felt this pulling on me as if I was being dragged across the floor. All the time I am speaking in tongues. When I reached the front door, I pulled myself out onto the porch and then pulled myself up to attempt to walk down the stairs. Once I got to the sidewalk I was still speaking in tongues. Someone saw me and figured I needed some help and I managed to get to my mother’s house. I spoke in tongues for 2 days straight. As soon as I woke up I was back at it again. I felt my spirit shifting and pulling me further and further into God’s presence. After the 2 days, I began to change my entire life. God brought me into a new knowledge of Him and His Word and called me into ministry to help others. I was led to a church where the pastor himself was an ex-convict who God had given a strong street ministry to, and I have been working with him and his ministry since that day.”
As my son and I sat there I found it extremely difficult to hold my peace. I wanted to run all over that place. I was so full of excitement and joy to see this brother looking and speaking as if a brand new person had taken residence in his body! What a miracle! I needed to share this story with you all to preface my response to the controversial video of COGIC Superintendent Earl Carter. In this article, I want to address this issue as God has revealed it to me to do so.
Let me start by saying that it is a sad day in Christendom when so much time and attention has been brought to issues of this nature while our communities are suffering. The lack of intelligence and deliberate involvement in the world that we were commissioned to “GO” into, is an embarrassing representation of our Lord that suffers at the hand of our local churches and church organizations. We have so many bigger problems and issues that need to be addressed, yet many still posture themselves to point fingers and through anger and hatred, they aim their aggression at those in “the House” vs. taking that anger and aggression to the streets of our communities to cry out against the injustices that plague us every day. It doesn’t take guts of any kind to stand in a pulpit and boldly cry out against sin and abomination, but it takes real guts to take that passion and need to sound the trumpet to a world in decay and in an expeditious decline. Socially, economically, physically, as well as spiritually. Now is the time for Church leaders to go over to the window of their churches and take a good look outside and see how all of the preaching and shouting has failed to put a dent in the community just within a 2 mile radius of their so-called place of refuge.
Now, speaking strictly from a biblical perspective, the first chapter of Romans is crystal clear on matters of sexual behavior as it relates to homosexuality. It is considered to be an abominable act and in no way can it be justified. However, the scripture is also very clear regarding other sexual sin and behavior. Fornication, adultery, bestiality, and any form of sexual perversion is forbidden. All sin is sin no matter how you cut it. When one chooses to cry out so vehemently against perversion, one can’t choose to discriminate. If you choose to be a fire and brimstone, hate monger, be one indiscriminately! Aside from addressing all sin with such passion, be as forthright and cry out against your own sin as well. Many call this preaching the Gospel. The Gospel is good news! The Gospel says, that no matter what your condition in life, no matter what your sin may be, Jesus has paid the ultimate price for your crime and your sin. Paid in full with his death, his bloodshed and his resurrection. He has provided total exoneration from the penalty that we were worthy of, which was death. He has now provided grace and absolute forgiveness of sin we committed and sin that will be committed. That my friends is the Gospel!
None of you...and I mean none of you are exempt from this reality! No matter how “holy” and “righteous” you may “think” you are! For men and women of God to firmly address issues that are in direct conflict to the Word of God is one thing. But it is a skate on very thin ice when one begins step out of his or her place to do God’s job in the arena of judgment. Fallible human judgment of others is usually based on fear, hatred, ignorance, self-righteousness and an unawareness of one’s true self. This is characteristic of a minimalistic mindset. A sign of sub-standard intelligence and a superficial, surface knowledge of life and God’s Word. It also displays one’s failure and inept ability to be introspective. When we spend more time looking within ourselves and apply ourselves to become more Christ- like, one has no time to point fingers, but the light that radiates from you, will most definitely shine the light of truth in the dark caverns of the souls of men, and will usher them into a life full of love, grace, mercy and truth! Understanding that the path to true correction in matters of fault within a brother or sister, is written in Galatians 6:1-4. 1- Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted. 2- Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. 3- For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. 4 But let each one examine his own work, and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.
Though there were elements of truth to what Superintendent Carter had to say, his approach lacked everything that is and should be associated with Galatians 6:1-4. A few of Superintendent Carter’s remarks in the video where beneath the standard of a man of God skilled in the Word. His choice of words are what I considered to be verbal short cuts and sound-bites. This strongly indicates the inability to speak in wisdom, truth, intelligence and love by the leading of the Holy Spirit, whom might I add, is perfect in all things! These statements were not based on Godly indignation, but his own personal disdain and hatred for those persons he referrers to as sissies, gay worship leaders and punk prophets. Even COGIC Presiding Bishop Charles Blake had to address this issue publicly. (Check it out on YouTube - “Bishop Blake's Official Response To Convocation Incident” ) Now before I speak on these specific comments, I want to address one more very important fact about our Lord during his physical time here on earth as an example. There are only two things that brought the Lord to a place of physical aggression, attack and anger. It was against what is considered to be the equivalent of “Church Folks” of that time in the person of the Pharisaic community or the religious community, the moneychangers and the merchants in the temple, which I will further address in a future article entitled “Money Changers!” (The Deceiving of the Simple)
In all of my many years of study, I have never seen or heard Jesus go on the attack or hate on those who he preached and ministered to. These included, prostitutes, homosexuals, robbers, thieves, adulterers, fornicators, drunkards, crooks and gangsters. Many of which he encountered while dining in the house of Matthew, who happened to be an oppressive tax collector at that time, prior to his discipleship with the Lord.
Let’s take a look at some of the comments made by Superintendent Carter about the gay men in his Church organization. In one breath he states, “I wish God would give you the monthly of a girl!” “ I wish he have you bleeding out of your butt!” Then in the same vehement manner moments later states: “Not only homosexuality, but in Romans 1, you that’s unkind, unforgiving, you that’s sittin’ up here with grudge in your heart, mean as a junkyard dog, you are vile too, and you’re worthy of death! Within the church community, there is a great deal of diversity within the overall framework of sin. Why, because people are people. Where there are people, you will always find troubling issues and problems. These zealous and self-righteous preachers tend to attack the typical and what I call the “usual sins”.
From that perspective, I ask you, in God’s eyes, is the “sissy” man any different from the deacon or pastor that dresses and acts like a pimp and a drug dealer, who happens to be engaged in adulterous heterosexual relations inside, and outside of the Church? Maybe the ministers who attack others have problems with gluttony and don’t have the discipline to know when to back up from the dinner table. Gluttony is a sin of lust. No different than lust for sex. The insatiable desire to act on anything that is based on lust, lack of self- control and discipline brings the same result of inordinate behavior and inordinate affection toward the object of desire. What about the gossipers and sowers of discord among the brethren? How about the women dressed like pole dancers sitting in the pews, some who are even allowed to prance around the Church as a worship leader? What about the people in leadership on the DL having secretive sexual relationships both heterosexual and homosexual? What about the consumers of alcohol and for heaven’s sake, let’s not forget the weed smokers. Oh, let’s not forget about the ministers who hustle the simple minded into believing they are not blessed and favored of God in their lives because they have not sown enough seed (Money).
Folks, we can go on and on and on ‘til the break of dawn with the finger pointing. At the end of the day, what are we doing to promote true authentic change, not only in ourselves and our churches but in our communities? With the same vehement aggression we cry loud against the sin of men and women, we need to apply that same level of passion providing the true love and grace of God toward these individuals. People who want and need change respond to love! You want to see a people change, you want to see individuals delivered and set free from perversion? Have your heart full of God’s true love, true mercy, true grace and an authentic working knowledge of God’s Word as you share your truth. Now I’m one from time to time who enjoys a good church service. However, I strongly believe if we spent a more time informing, educating, training and instructing our people instead of the usual hooping, hollering, articulating the morning messages with crafted eloquence and personal signature styles of rhetorical spewing of slogan hype, dancing and shouting, we would see a transformed people finally come to life out of a long time valley of dry bones! So, let us with pure hearts of love toward all people, leave the job of conclusive judgment to the Lord, and the world WILL know that we are HIS and will be drawn into that marvelous Light!
Romans 2:1-5 1- Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. 2 - But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. 3 - And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 - Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and long-suffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance? 5 - But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,
Remember Proverbs 4:7 Wisdom is the principle thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all thy getting, get an understanding. - Shalom!
We Welcome your comments! Any Pastor or person in leadership that would like to address this issue with me
face to face, I am ready, willing and able to sit with you and continue this discussion!
For more extended commentary email us at [email protected]
Good Morning to all of my Provoke Publications group members! As I prayerful work on the next article regarding the video in question from yesterday, I felt the need to reach out to those of you who have very stressful situations facing you going into this coming week. Choose not to believe the worse. Just take a deep breath, let it out slowly, and say:
"Today I am choosing to be thankful"
"Today I am choosing to be hopeful"
"Today I am choosing to focus on today"
"Today I am choosing to enjoy myself"
"Today I am choosing to make someone else's day a good day"
"Today I am choosing to live, love and forgive"
"Today I am choosing to extract every bit of goodness out of this day because yesterday and tomorrow don't exist. It's all about today!"
"Today I will receive God's favor in knowing that the days ahead are in His hands and my outcome will be a victorious outcome!"
Now go and have a blessed, enjoyable, fun day.....TODAY!
New York, NY
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