Archive for December, 2007

December 31, 2007

AN OPEN LETTER TO JOHN WEECE, SENIOR MINISTER OF THE SOUTHLAND CHRISTIAN CHURCH Why the Public Appeal for Britney Spears is Commendable

by MullOverThis

suicide-risk_460x420.jpg

Dear Jon,

Greetings and God bless you and the entire Southland Christian Church.  As a sister in the Lord, I commend you and thank God for your call to pray for Britney Spears.  I became awakened to this cry for support to pray for Britney from an open letter to you from MoKelly and felt compelled to express another view. In light of all that has happened publicly in the church in 2007, this is refreshing. Do not give up in your prayers.

 

http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/433698/an_open_letter_to_rev_jon_weece_of.html

 

In approximately 2004, I received a personal phone call from the sponsor of an annual service for Whitney Houston to attend a Night of Healing in Manhattan where her mother, Sissy Houston, and a host of other friends and the community focused on praying for Whitney. The objective was to pray for her to come back to her roots and be delivered from drugs and  vices that often plague successful entertainers and to let her know that the church was praying.  Although I was not able to attend that particular service, my local church had been praying for Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey (depression), DMX, and so many other celebrities who had faced the same challenges that many of us do, just in their own “world”.  

I cannot imagine that the media magnet who claims to mentor  interns would not have been aware to review, or sought out to attend because of his so-called “stature”.  Regardless of his personal presence or not, I failed to find any publicized railings by MoKelly against these sponsors for praying for Whitney and not praying for every troubled starlet,  celebrity, or famous athlete while that call  focused on Whitney and others battling drug addiction.  If I am wrong, I invite him to produce record of the same. You see, solipsistic folks tend to have blurred judgment and weighted scales depending upon what matters to them.  No one blasted the African American community for not praying for the Osbournes, Paris Hilton, Little Richard or Colin Ferrell when we prayed for our neighbors who are from our block, so how dare we suggest that you can’t pray for someone you have a burden for from your neck of the woods.     

      

The fact remains that Britney Spears is a troubled young woman who has been devasted by things in her childhood, too much success too fast, a broken marriage, losing custody of her children, and only she and God knows what else.  Her heart and her emotions do not register according to her net worth or celebrity. She is still a young woman who has followed a longstanding Hollywood lifestyle of partying, sex, and drugs.  She and her two beautiful young sons are paying for it.  We can talk about it, judge her, or do what Christians are put here in the earth to do—witness to her and pray.  Each one can reach one.  While you may not have covered the list of people MoKelly threw at you, what is important is that you follow God. If MoKelly had God’s agenda in mind, and would stop thinking that real Christians sit around in board rooms contemplating how to make a name for themselves through other people, he would have thrown a host of “distastefuls” like all the serial killers in jail, the missing Bin Laden and KKK kingpins somewhere on his prayer request list to be  politically and ethnically inclusive, according to his justice and equity pen.  All souls belong to God, not just the ones on the prayer list MoKelly prescribes. He is free to give up some of his bloggossipping time in the guise of journalism and pray for OJ, Vick and the Olsen twins himself for that matter. We all need prayer.

We are in an age where the loudest voices are from people who are more enthralled with their accomplishments which can usually be captured in less than 200 characters including  spaces and punctuation marks, and spend too much of their day attempting to vilify folks whose accomplishments, missions and community presence cannot be captured in a book. God knows what their voices sound like in the heavens, and so do people with discernment in the earth.  My opinion: ignore them and pray that their hearts be changed. Nehemiah did not come down from off of the wall to assuage the cries of a critic with a loud bark and no teeth.  If God is using you to train church people to be different and not buy the gossip rags or subscribe to the blogarbage and act powerless, so be it. Hooray! 

Whether Britney ever sees a letter or knows of your efforts personally does not stop the effectual fervent prayers of the righteous from going forth on her behalf and availing much.  When someone is in the headlines at least 5 days a week, it is fitting for a senior minister to guide the people on how to filter and process what they see and hear, and what God would require true children of God to do. Our job is challenging enough, so I encourage you to continue to minister to the needs of the people God has put in your charge and to speak life and hope to those who will hear and receive it. The truth is that Jesus did not minister to every single sick, poor and desolate person in the earth during his 3 and ½ years of ministry.  He died to pay the price for the sin of the entire world and through this, we have access to a victorious eternal life.  Jesus ministered to, and trained His portion, and equipped His disciples to minister to as many as they were called and sent. When He ascended back to the heavens, He left us with power through the Holy Spirit and a mission to seek and save the lost. Paul went to the Gentiles, and Peter to the Jews (although not exclusively). 

If the African American community can pray for those we feel led to, no other implications should be made when you do the same.  You are not under any obligation to pray for every headline celebrity that is in trouble, or the first or the last ones.  Can you imagine some pious person challenging Jesus to raise every dead person who died before Lazarus and after Lazarus to prove His equitable love for all dead men? “Stop trying to make a name for yourself, Jesus, just healing the woman at the well, who was not the first and won’t be the last troubled soul who needs living water, self-aggrandizer. You know she will go and tell all of her community about you Jesus. Why just focus on her?”  This dangerous mode of thinking wreaks of PRIDE and Phariseeism.  If you are called to pray for Britney, pray for Britney.  Isn’t her momma part of the same community, one among you? Intercession does not respect worldly stratifications or classifications. Sorry folks–the Kingdom of God does not march to the beat of the world or MoKelly’s drum.  Britney and many Hollywood stars need to experience the life that only comes from knowing Jesus Christ through an intimate relationship. God is not just concerned about the orphans in the middle of a desert, He is just as concerned about the rich on a high hill. The lost is lost, and God is NOT partial.

Thank you my brother, and be encouraged. 

For more info click the links below:

http://www.people.com/people/article/0,,627919,00.html

  

http://www.news24.com/News24/Entertainment/Celebrities/0,,2-1225-2108_2210642,00.html                  

 http://www.southlandchristian.org/

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December 20, 2007

The Untouchables-Part 1 Nope, Not A Two-piece But A Bucket, Please

by MullOverThis

Can we talk? One of the greatest displays of what can be safely dubbed a Jerry Springer experience in an actual church setting was when I witnessed a diatribe against “nasty” church folks who were “hoes” and “not saved”.  There were not enough triages or gurneys to aid the sliced, diced and sauteed during these services because this deliverance speaker just threw blades that hit and killed whomever.   The speaker’s apparent mission, based upon the sole concentration in repeated sessions of explicitly addressing sins of perversion, deviant sexual and gender lifestyles, adultery, fornication, masturbation, pornography, bestiality, seductiveness, homosexuality and my all-time favorite, “lesbos”, was to bring those in bondage to these sins and strongholds into a place of liberty and freedom where they could experience true holiness.  If one could receive this type of ministry, there was only one major problem.  The speaker had to be tipping the scale at about 450-500 pounds.  

Herein lies the problem: A health teacher should be the last person on the staff to have halitosis, a pungent odor and dirty clothes on at 7A.M. in the morning,  unless she is really just there for the paycheck.  Likewise, one cannot be so in tune with God to the point where one sees the fornicator as nasty and has to be wheeled into the building to cast out devils because one is too heavy to walk from the airplane, where one paid for two seats, to the luggage carousel.  Lack of temperance and self-control through over-eating, and defiling the body through gluttony to a point of obesity is not pleasing to God. It is sinful to give heed to temptation to the lusts of the flesh and have sex outside of the marital covenant, just as it is to over-indulge in riotous eating while simultaneously defiling the temple of God, to appease our own lust and fleshly desires.   We are to eat and enjoy nourishing and enriching our bodies, but we cannot lick our fingers to the grave.  Gluttony  breeds laziness, slothfulness, procrastination, disobedience, sickness and eventual poverty.  We know that snorting coke, shooting up crack, or injecting heroin defiles and dishonors our body as the temple of God.  So then, over-eating and its resultant effects that in many cases mirror what drug addiction does to our bodies–due to our own choices–is not acceptable.

Gluttony and its consequential partner, obesity,  is an area that must be addressed in our ministry outreaches, educational programs, and through sound teaching from informed pulpits.  Since Christians are motivated in life by what we know pleases God as we grow closer to the Lord and love one another, the growing trends of obesity in the United States should be recognized and curtailed by inspiration through nutritional knowledge, athletic activities and teams, health screenings and practical pursuits tailor-made to the ministry’s vision, mission and needs.  Oh, and of course, if necessary, cast this devil out too.

Please be careful to note that all obesity does not stem from gluttony, or because of a lifestyle of sin.  Some obese people have glandular or other medical issues that impose massive weight gain.  However, over-indulgence and irresponsible eating can lead to medical problems such as hypertension (high blood pressure), high cholesterol, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, some types of cancer, depression and ultimately death.

Gluttony is an area that plagues our churches as so many of our “preachas” that sing-preach with cascading key changes from a skilled organist (and I love this type of presentation), are suffering heart attacks and premature deaths due to compromised health.  God gets greater glory when we are able to live to complete our God-given passions and works for the Kingdom of God.  Because so many of our cultures thrive and take pride in  our own  food–its preparation, its taste, family secret recipes, gatherings–the harmful effects of it are sometimes not as significant when compared to the love and warmth that is often associated with food. A good neighbor brings over a cake or a pie to the newest kid on the block as a welcoming sign, not liquid plumber.  

We cannot continue to ignore or underplay sin within the land that is visibly evident from the pulpit to the backdoor because we honor Bishop Bubba and his anointing. First and primarily, because it grieves God, and also because it is a springboard to diseases that don’t have to be cast out, but can simply be changed through moderation in the content, amount and timing of what we eat and exercise.  Although some things are sensitive, they are not untouchable because of our errant inclination to be more concerned with pleasing people than pleasing God.  Obesity is difficult to deal with especially when we know “its over”, at least stereotypically, when the fat lady takes the mike to sing.  Although many may have been born into families with tendencies towards obesity or even if it became a problem as a result of trauma, or burning in the kitchen, today can be the first day to change one’s life through self-examination and a healthy lifestyle change.  So that I won’t be guilty of being a hypocrite for getting the splinter out of your eye with a beam in mine, it’s time to press the enter button….

See Deut 21:20,21; Prov 23:20,21; Prov 28:7; 1 Cor 3:16-17; 3 John 2; 1 Pet 2:24.

 For a Bible teaching on gluttony, obesity and the purpose of eating click here:

http://www.calvarybiblechurch.org/calvary_review.aspx/2005/03/1

For statistics and facts about Obesity in the US click here:

http://jama.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/abstract/295/13/1549

http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpa/obesity/

December 18, 2007

Nagging WatchDog Groups Lead to Senate Finance Committee Probe of Six Televangelist Ministries

by MullOverThis

The United States Senate Committee on Finance, led by Ranking Member Senator Chuck Grassley, is conducting a probe on six televangelist ministries.  And the nagged are: Randy and Paula White of Without Walls International Church and Paula White Ministries; Benny Hinn of World Healing Center Church Inc. and Benny Hinn Ministries; David and Joyce Meyer of Joyce Meyer Ministries; Kenneth and Gloria Copeland of Kenneth Copeland Ministries; Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church and Bishop Eddie Long Ministries; and Creflo and Taffi Dollar of World Changers Church International and Creflo Dollar Ministries.  Yes, I said “nagged”.  Kudos to Creflo and Long for requiring the Senate Committee to issue subpoenas or give it a rest. Kudos to the twentieth exponential power for Joyce Meyer telling them to click the on-line button because her ministry’s financial reports for the past few years is already public information.

Most of these ministries have already stated that as far as they know, they have complied with IRS Not-for-Profit requirements.  Because we can give our opinions in these types of forums here it is: if the governor of my state came to my front door asking me about why I didn’t report or purchased something I felt I had every right to according to IRS and corporate guidelines, I’d ask him why did he want to get into my business.  Just because some watchdog groups are drunk with fighting a fight that the sovereign God is perfectly capable of checking HIMSELF,  and have plagued the senator’s office with information to silence preachers who have been labeled “prosperity gospel preachers”, does not mean the ministries have to buck and comply. If there is a discrepancy, IRS rules, codes, audits and policing mechanisms need to change.  If these ministries are grossly out of compliance and into thievery, then these leaders won’t have to take the jet or be chauffeured in a Bentley or a Yugo to get to minister to prisoners.  They’ll either roll out of bed in their jumpsuits or write hefty penalty checks that better be holy and filled in the sanctified bank. 

Now, I don’t advocate anything that I know nothing about. I am still not clear what the tenets and doctrines of the prosperity gospel are about.  As a Bible teacher, prosperity is certainly part of the plan of God for all of His creation from Genesis to Revelation.  (This is another couple of blogs.) Urging the Senate to override procedural safeguards through fully empowered agencies because of substantive disagreement with what these ministries teach is not a precedent any religious institution should employ. The concern can’t really just be suspect money handling when Long and Paula White were already harrowed in their local areas and had to be IRS proof.  I submit for consideration that suspect money handling in the church is not a mainstay of the mega-church. These are the ministries with compliance officers and functions.

The real treat in all of this is according to letters issued to the ministries and the press release from Senator Grassley’s office, this  inquiry addresses concerns of abusing tax-exempt status, misappropriating funds given by donors,  whether these family or “back pocket” board members are merely figurative, and reporting of lavish gifts personally and to the ministries.                                              http://grassley.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=CapitolGains.Detail&CapitolGain_id=a21ffd20-d8d5-fbb3-21e5-793073fe92b5.  Yet, the judge and jury is already out with folks referring to this as an embarrassment to the church.  Hold your horses, Tonto!  We haven’t even gotten underway with the “knitty gritty” yet. The same folks who buy tennis shoes at a gazillion percent mark-up because their whining children must have the brand name cannot be griping. The ones who pull up to their humble church where their pastors and leaders are on salary and live off of ten to sixty-five percent of church revenue can’t be the ones either.  None of these probed ministries exhausts revenue for personal sustenance but do have works all over the world. Many communities in Africa have consummable drinking water because Joyce Meyer, and not her critics who have not come into the land and dropped any wells, has appropriated funds from donors and other streams of income to make a difference in the world. Not the type of difference that people who complain, but do nothing to help solve problems, make. I’m talking about a notable difference that meets the needs of people. So do I care that she or her ritzy guests to the ministry headquarters hoists herself on a $23,000.00 commode to engage in excretory bliss?  Absolutely not.  Order pizza while you’re on it Joyce, if you are bringing in 124 million dollars annually and some local pastors live off of six times more of their annual revenues, not profits, than you do and don’t even pay the church bills on time.  I don’t turn up my nose at the high-end commodes at fine restaurants either.  The ambiance of the executive suite of a mid-sized US corporation does not change because Christians run it. I personally wouldn’t suggest a $4.99 early bird plastic lid special at the ministry offices to appease people, most of whom can’t match the works of those they obsessively criticize.  And, finally,  God didn’t ask for the plastic or moderate commode level in anything He designed and asked His people to build for Him.  Everything in the temple was the $23,000.00 commode level, the finest materials.  When Solomon was rewarded by God for asking God for wisdom to rule God’s people, God gave him riches.  The lavish favored King didn’t grieve God and neither does any other steward that is meeting the needs of those who need Jesus.

 The real people who see the poor giving their last and spend it without accountability are the churches with Goofey accounting systems in play-play land, and every person who has a role in finances or is anointed to preach has the same last name which coincidentally matches the Pastor.  I don’t believe that the same Jesus that permitted the costly oil to anoint his feet (that his disciples thought should be sold and the proceeds used for the poor)  would mind that people who have put in over 25 years in ministry world-wide enjoy life at the level of their productivity. So this is one person that will be waiting to see what the end of this is before rushing to judgment.

To see the letter to each ministry, click here: http://grassley.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressReleases.Detail&PressRelease_id=15b0ac11-1321-0e36-ba95-dfc2c00db9c2&Month=11&Year=2007

December 18, 2007

THE FACE OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PAGEANT UPSET: Is Juanita Bynum Qualified?

by MullOverThis

Dr. Juanita BynumAfter perusing so many of the online articles and blogs regarding the allegations that Bishop Thomas Weeks III beat up his televangelist wife, Juanita Bynum, while threatening to kill her, I decided to post a comment to address a recurring incredulous line of thought.  Too many people seem to think that their favorite domestic violence victim who was on Oprah, who was on their hometown newspaper front page, who is their own mama who was pistol whipped, or who are themselves, are the “real” domestic violence victims.  Is there some competition or qualifying factor for domestic abuse survivors to  be “real”?  So the adaptation of the commentary follows, if nothing else, to show how ridiculous this whole concept that outrages too many people–Juanita Bynum as the face of domestic violence–really is. 

“This discussion is like a candy store for psychologists, psychoanalysts, and psychiatrists. Who has earned the trophy for ‘face of domestic violence’ and can rightfully be the ‘voice of domestic violence’? Talk about promoting misery and self-gain, folks. So now we need a run-off for who can speak and further the cause.  Well let’s go get Ms. Bynum who was put in the trunk and the car dumped in the body of water. Oops, she won’t be able to make the MOST ABUSED DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PAGEANT because she is DEAD. Google search this pastor’s wife who died in the black church at the hands of her husband, Melvin Bynum. http://www.wral.com/news/local/story/1123723/. What are credible categories for determining who is worthy to speak for domestic abuse? Goriest burn victims? Woman who outlived the most stab wounds? Woman who believed her husband would change but he gave her brain damage? Woman who raised the most kids in this mess? Woman with the most convincing cries? Woman who didn’t have enough money to leave but stayed blinged out? Woman who really didn’t deserve it because she never talked back, ever? Woman who hid the black eyes and bruises the best? Woman with the most hospital visits? Woman with the most non-effective restraining orders?  Woman with the most 911 calls?  Woman who bled the most? Woman whose husband stomped her, kicked her, and told her he was going to kill her? And the category garnering the most points and empathy: Poorest domestic violence victim, so her pain is really “real” because she has absolutely nothing. The Domestic Violence Hall of Fame inductees will be the ones who have grown up in it, married and repeated the pattern, and still live in it today. The ones who haven’t broken the cycle should be commemorated as they have been through the most to  warrant this position.  Please let your domestic violence agencies put out a campaign with your face, or your favorite candidate’s face on it because you are more deserving and will gain some attention and dollars to really address the issue. What have you done before this “blew up” in the press like this to speak for women like you? For women in the church? For women who are married to clergymen gone wild? When has there been a public debate about it in the black church in your lifetime? And you want to denigrate another sister who already has millions of people who support her for bringing attention to the issue. By all means then, go ahead. I’ll support your campaign but make sure you all have your medications first, because the emphasis should be about domestic violence and not opportunism, cattiness and craziness from all the outspoken non-spokepersons for ‘who is’ and ‘who is not’ what in domestic violence.”

The reality is there is no coveted exclusivity or ownership rights granted to “who can speak for domestic violence”.  Anyone who has passion, opportunity, strength and experience should be busy making something happen for all of the women, children and even men who face this demon in their families. Everyone with enough conviction to jockey for why Juanita should not be representative should re-direct their energies and  join organizations and voices that existed before Thomas allegedly met Juanita in the parking lot.  Better yet, the concerned are free to start their own crusades, forces of concrete influence, intervention and rehabilitation to stop domestic abuse.   Meanwhile prayer and faith in God is probably the most sure-fire essential for change.  Posted on December 17, 2007 at 11:38 pm

December 18, 2007

Hello world!

by MullOverThis

Welcome to WordPress.com. This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!