LeBron, Daryl Morey & Colin Kaepernick & Free Speech

It began with what seemed to be a harmless tweet that read, “Fight for freedom, stand with Hong Kong.”  But upon further investigation it was discovered that the tweet was a known slogan associated with the pro-democracy protesters of Hong Kong seeking justice and freedom from communist China.  The tweet came from Daryl Morey, General Manager of the Houston Rockets, the team of former center and Chinese icon Yao Ming and because of the team’s many connections to China through Ming the tweet seemed misguided and insensitive.  Quickly the owner of the Rockets distanced himself from his general manager’s tweet, stating that the comments did not speak for the organization followed by similar statements from Morey, who made it clear that the tweet was his own and not the organizations. 

What began as a seeming harmless tweet quickly became a national incident with geopolitical implications as the government of China began to pull the plug on scheduled NBA games while several NBA teams were in China for the contests.  With billions of dollars attached to various business ventures in China the implications of such a rift with the government could be quite costly not only for the league but several individual athletes and business industries with lucrative ties in China.  The NBA Commission became flustered going back and forth with statements that seemed to be neutral on the tweets but finally supported the time held principle of free-speech that is honored in America in support of Morey. And then things went sideways when LeBron James was asked to comment on the incident and the tweet of Morey.  LeBron’s comments portrayed a position that suggested he was critical of Morey and his tweet, calling it misinformed and Morey uneducated.  And now the incident has become an opportunity to once again shift the focus from Daryl Morey to another African American male, namely LeBron James.  

Many, particularly conservatives, have castigated James for his unAmerican stance of refusing to support Morey’s tweet of those seeking democracy in Hong Kong and the sacred right of free speech in America.  And here is where I find this criticism of James to be ironic and hypocritical at the same time.  

Have we all forgotten someone named Colin Kaepernick who in the United States exercised his right of free speech by silently and non-violently protesting against the killing of unarmed innocent African Americans?  Where were the chorus of voices supporting his right to free speech from conservatives in his behalf?  Why did they not come forward to support Colin Kaepernick, when he was taking a knee during the national anthem in protest?  Conservatives seem more concerned with the free speech of the democratic freedom fighters in Hong Kong, than an African American who exercises the same right here in America.  No, LeBron James is not the issue, Colin Kaepernick is the issue.  He still is unemployed and still sits at home while quarterbacks with much less talent play for NFL teams in America today.

Whatever you may think about LeBron’s comments, if you truly believe he was wrong and out of line to mischaracterize the tweet of Daryl Morey and fail to support his right o free speech, then you must stand in support of Colin Kaepernick.  To do less is to reveal your own bias and hypocrisy.

“President Twitter”

Of the 25 hardest jobs the world, the position of President of the United States is listed at #20.[i]  But if you ask John Dickerson he would disagree with this ranking. In the May 2018 issue of The Atlantic, Dickerson calls POTUS “the” hardest job in the world.[ii]  With its ever-expanding responsibilities, 327 million citizens to represent, 2.1 million federal employees and four trillion dollar budget can anyone dispute Dickerson’s claim.  And when you add to that the eight major responsibilities of the president as:(1) chief of state, (2) chief executive, (3) chief administrator, (4) chief diplomat, (5) commander in chief, (6) chief legislator, (7) party chief, and (8) chiefcitizen, the President’s plate is pretty full.

And while there may be some disagreement about which job is more difficult, few would argue the fact that no one person has more world influence than the President of the United States. Every decision a president makes, whether they like it or not, will have a ripple effect far beyond themselves and each choice can impact the nation or world socially, economically, politically and morally.  Because of this, it behooves us to be concerned about how the president uses that kind of influence. It raises serious questions about the president, his priorities and the issues that warrant his attention each day. As such, it is reasonable for Americans to expect its president to be extremely judicious, cautious and wise in what will occupy his time.  This raises serious questions about the President’s use of twitter and the content of his tweets.

Personally, I believe President Trump has revolutionized the way that national figures communicate with the American citizens and has completely eliminated the press as the conduit of information between the politician and the people. Whatever you want to call it, with his use of twitter the president has dismantled and undressed the press by reaching the general public directly with his tweets and in so doing, bypassed the news media completely. In my view the press still has not recovered and a significant segment of the population no longer relies upon the 4thEstate as its gatekeeper for information on politics.

With that said, in my humble opinion, the issues that should gain our greatest concern is the frequency and content of the president’s tweets, and what it says about how he uses his time. On an average day the president tweets between 11-12 times.  That averages out to about 4,178 tweets per year.[iii]  During his first year in office, from January 20, 2017, to January 19, 2018 President Trump sent out 2,548 tweets according to the Trump Twitter Archive.

Have you followed the content of the president’s tweets? He has engaged in back and forth jousts with various critics from the news media, the entertainment world, to sports figures and league issues, to politicians, etc., etc. He has given his personal critique of various television programs and/or performers. He has engaged in hurling insults at those whom he deems his “enemies” or “critics.” He has used his tweets to insight racial and immigrant insensitivities. There seems to be no topic that is off limits as subject matter for his tweets from the sublime to the ridiculous.  And every now and then some public policy issue will make his tweets.

His latest attack zeroed in on LeBron James and Don Lemon, and the inauguration of the I-Promise public school that James was instrumental in opening. While some have pointed out the derogatory racist and sexist remarks that the president has consistently directed towards non-whites and women in challenging their intelligence; my focus is somewhat different.

I wonder why it is that few seem to ever question the president’s stewardship. Can anyone justify the amount of time the president spends tweeting about the topics, personal diatribes, conflicts, obsessions and biases that he publicly discusses and what it says about how he does his job? Can anyone at any job, no matter what job it may be, engage in the amount of tweeting that the president engages in, about topics that have nothing to do with his/her job and remain employed?

What does the president’s tweets say about how he spends his day? Who has time to watch interviews with Don Lemon? Do you? Has it cross anyone’s mind to question how President Trump spends his day? Is he in the West-wing with 20 screens watching TV all day? The president has at times called into some television programs to respond to certain issues when his name has been mentioned in the discussion. Is this what we elect a president to do? To spend his day responding to every criticism leveled against him on television or social media?

My final point, think for one moment of what American’s would be doing or saying if Barack Obama spent one scintilla of time tweeting during his presidency about the issues, subjects, people and personal conflicts that President Trump has engaged in. Think of what Fox News, Trumps main cheerleader, would be doing if Obama were doing this amount of tweeting.

I wish I had a job where I could spend my day tweeting all day long…Don’t you…

[i]Zambas, Joanna, Top 25 Hardest Jobs in the World, careeraddict.com., October 25, 2017.

[ii]Dickerson, John, The Hardest Job in the World, theatlantic.com, May 2018.

[iii]Lyons, Joseph D., “How Many Times Does Trump Tweet A Day? The President Basically Lives On Twitter.”

Why The President of the United States and White America Denouncing Unequivocally The KKK, Neo-Nazi’s, The Alt Right Movement & White Supremacy, is so Important to The American Democracy & Why Christians Must Be Unified and Cannot be Silent.

Source: Why The President of the United States and White America Denouncing Unequivocally The KKK, Neo-Nazi’s, The Alt Right Movement & White Supremacy, is so Important to The American Democracy & Why Christians Must Be Unified and Cannot be Silent.


Why The President of the United States and White America Denouncing Unequivocally The KKK, Neo-Nazi’s, The Alt Right Movement & White Supremacy, is so Important to The American Democracy & Why Christians Must Be Unified and Cannot be Silent.

There are two aspects to this important issue that must be addressed and that cannot be overlooked. They overlap and intersect. The first is America and why America must fully address what transpired in Charlottesville, Virginia unequivocally and denounce White racial supremacy. The reason is very clear. The United States from its very inception was founded on the premise of white supremacy. Before America became a nation, its founders owned slaves and wrote into the Constitution of the United States a 3/5th clause that explained why they were not giving citizenship to the slaves they owned. The document in its Declaration of Independence states, “That all men are created equal and are endowed by their creator with the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” It was obvious that they did not consider the slaves they owned to be “men” fully equal to themselves, hence the reason they were not entitled to the rights they were writing for themselves in the Constitution. Instead they created a 3/5th clause in the constitution to explain the status and position of the African American slaves they owned, why they were not entitled to the freedoms they possessed and how they would be calculated in their census and electoral processes.

The American Judicial system further established this notion of white supremacy with two landmark decisions. The first is Dred Scott v. Sandford in 1857. In the Dred Scott case, the Supreme Court ruled that Scott had no standing in the court to sue for an equal position with a White Citizen. The court ruled that a “Black man had no rights that a White was bound to respect.” In other words, because Dred Scott’s ancestors were slaves, he was not considered equal to a white man and no right to even bring a lawsuit against a white man. It was like a horse or a dog trying to sue a human for equal protection under the law.

The Second is Plessy v. Ferguson in 1896. The Plessy case, which was ruled on by the Supreme Court after slavery, established the separate but equal principle in America and solidified Jim Crow in the South, which continued the legal system of White Supremacy after slavery.

The Third and most destructive act was when President Woodrow Wilson screened the movie “Birth of a Nation,” by D W Griffith at the White House in 1915. It was the first screening of any movie in the White House and after watching the film Wilson was quoted as saying, “Like Writing History with Lightning. My only regret is that it is all so terribly true.” This tacit approval by the President of the United States gave credence to the false message portrayed in the movie. Birth of A Nation was one of the most racist movies ever produced in American History.  It depicted Blacks as barbaric, sex-crazed freedmen that terrorized and disenfranchised cowering whites during reconstruction. It showed Black men overtaking South Carolina’s judicial system and legislature, swigging whiskey, eating fried chicken on the floor of the State House and attempting to rape white women. Amidst this backdrop, the Ku Klux Klan was depicted as heroes saving the south from these craze barbaric Black men, riding in their white hoods and terrorizing the African American community. This movie gave carte blanche and legitimacy to the Klan, the Aryan nation and public lynching of African Americans across the nation for decades without the benefit of equal protection under the law.

I could go into the legislative history of the country and how in order to pass New Deal legislation, African Americans’ were systematically excluded from its benefits on the premise of preserving the “Southern Way of Life.” If you are interested you can gather this information from a book by Ira Katz Nelson titled, “When Affirmative Action Was White.” In the book Nelson details the compromises President Roosevelt made with Southern Dixiecrats in order to pass his New Deal legislation and garner their votes.

All of these are just a few, but I believe the most obvious reasons that America, the President of the United States and White America must unequivocally denounce all forms of White Supremacy, the KKK, Neo-Nazism and racial hatred. America’s 350+ year history of systemic white supremacy demands it.

But as Christians there is an even greater reason. The notion that any race, culture or human is greater than another is an offense to God and contradicts creation. God is the one who created humanity. Genesis 1:27 NIV says “God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Then verse 31 says, “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” In God’s creation there is no room for any distinction, rank, notion or position of one human above another. Such ideas are antithetical to the original plan of God. All humans are created in the image of God. There is no such thing as one race, culture or nationality being superior to another and any such notion is an affront to the belief in creation. All of those who fight against evolution and Darwinism should be the greatest opponents to any notions or ideas of racial inequality because of their basic incongruence with creation.

There is a second reason that notions or ideas of racial superiority are so dangerous from a Christian perspective. Psalms 8:5 say humans were created a little lower than the angels, and crowned with glory and honor. A more accurate translation reads, NASB “Yet You have made him a little lower than God, and You crown him with glory and majesty. In other words only God is a greater than humans in the created order. Therefore, when another human claims a position above another human, they are assuming for themselves the position of God, for only God is above humans in the creation order. It is blasphemy for a human to assume a position above another human and believe him or herself superior to another race of humans. No human has the right or authority to assume a position above another human other than God. This is the reason we are warned strongly against assuming the place of God in Revelation 13.

We are all God’s children, created in His image equal to one another. Any notion of human supremacy or superiority is a deception of the devil and must be vigorously opposed and denounced by all Christians as a reprehensible evil that contradicts the creation order and an affront to God. The Apostle Paul said it best in his apology on Mars Hill in Acts 17:24-26 NASB 24—“The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; 25—nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; 26—and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation.”

At a time in earth’s history when humanity seems to be more divided and segmented along every conceivable line there is no more important time for Christians to speak unequivocally with one voice forcefully and morally against any notion of racial, national or cultural superiority. We as humans have nothing to boast in or to be proud of. Our only boast and pride should come from and be in Jesus Christ and Christ alone. It should not be in any race, nationality, culture, color, creed or any human invention or creation.  As Christians the gospel message is our only hope is in Jesus Christ and Christ alone.

May we as Christians come together and with one moral voice and choose divine love, unity and equality and reject all forms of racial superiority and hatred.

“ADAM & ERIC, Something In Common After 40 Years”

On May 1, 2017 during a very ordinary day at Fenway Park, Adam Jones the centerfielder for the Baltimore Orioles, was subjected to a stream of racial epithets from the stands. Vulgar, degrading and demeaning words laced with the N-word came in his direction for no apparent reason other than the color of his skin. Jones could not pinpoint when the barrage of vulgarities began, which included a fan throwing a bag of peanuts in his direction, and though this was not the first time he has been subjected to such treatment by Fenway’s faithful, Jones said this time he was “compelled to speak out.”

Joneses experience is not isolated or unique. According to Chris Young an African American teammate of Jones, “It happens to Latin guys, as well, or anyone who’s different from whatever the norm is considered to be. But it’s very upsetting…that it happens in environments where you’re surrounded by 35,000 other people, you have kids in the stadium. This kind of stuff is passed down. Hate is taught.”[1] When CC Sabathia, of the NY Yankees heard about the Adam Jones incident, he reflected upon his own experiences in Boston. Sabathia said Boston is the only place he has heard the N-word.

When I heard of the Adam Jones incident, I had a similar remembrance about Boston as CC Sabathia. It was not about an experience of my own but of a friend from my youth. His name was Eric (pseudonym) a friend that I grew up with who attended a Christian academy in the mideastern part of America. The incident ironically happened nearly 40 years ago in 1977. He was then a high school student, one of twelve, who was on a class trip to Boston to view some of the historic sights of the city. He and his group of twelve along with their two adult chaperones had just left visiting the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown. As they were waiting for a bus to take them back to their hotel a car with five white males pulled up and assaulted them with golf clubs, hockey sticks and an axe handle. It is ironic and tragic that the Bunker Hill Monument was erected on the site of the first major battle of the American Revolution and on this day my friend and his classmates would be the subjects of a battle with the opposite intent. I was in college at the time when the news came to me. It was very disturbing to hear, but what I did remember was, somehow the public transportation came at about the same time as the attack and my friend Eric heroically pushed several of the young ladies into the bus, away from harm, while he and the other young men took several of the undeserved cowardly blows.

The postscript of the story was the attacked African American academy students were invited back to Boston and wined and dined by the “Black” Deputy Mayor Clarence Jones, who later that evening took them to the Shubert Theater, where they saw “For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide—When The Rainbow Is Enuf,” an all‐black play that moved to Boston from Broadway.[2]

Three of the five white males responsible for the attack were arrested and tried, but as you might imagine an all-white jury acquitted them after deliberating nine hours. And why do you say were they acquitted? While the victims were able to pick out their attackers in line-ups for their arrests, local residents did not corroborate their identifications. According to the reports at the time, “several residents who witnessed the attack testified at the trial, but all of them said they could, not identify any of the assailants.”[3] Sounds familiar doesn’t it. This is a scene that plays and replay throughout African American History in our country. Someone Black is victimized, but no one white seems willing to stand with the Black victim in court and convict a White perpetrator.

When the Adam Jones incident happened, while the person who threw the peanuts at Jones was found and ejected from the ballpark, the fans that hurled the racial slurs were never identified. When the Jones incident was brought to the attention of upper management and the ownership of the Red Sox, there were profuse apologies and renunciations but nothing that would be considered a real deterrent to the actions. The Red Sox President Sam Kennedy said, “We want to make sure that our fans know, and the [Boston] market knows, that offensive language, racial taunts, slurs are unacceptable,” “If you do it, you’re going to be ejected…you’re going to be subject to having your tickets revoked for a year, maybe for life. We’re going to look at that. We haven’t made any firm decisions, but it just can’t happen.” Strong words but as usual, no real definitive decision from Kennedy. Ejected yes, tickets revoked for a year…well okay…lifetime, maybe. We’re going to look into it, no firm decisions. This is how it usually goes. And after the outcries die down and things go back to normal all of the push for change is forgotten and Boston remains Boston.

So what are we to make of Adam and Eric? How are we to handle all of this? When any incident of white racial misbehavior occurs, we in society are quick to isolate the action as a singular moment of one sicko or yahoo who has not developed or matured into a whole or sane human being. We are quick to say the guilty party does not represent the majority of the White community. But if they don’t, then why do the sickos continue to persist with such consistent regularity?

Why is it that forty years later since the late 70s when white racist attacked Eric and the students of that Mid Eastern Academy, that not much has changed? Why is this kind of behavior still tolerated and allowed among those in the white community? Why do the silent majority still remain silent in the face of the persistent, consistent incidents and acts of racial insensitivity such as what Adam Jones experienced at Fenway Park?  Can we truly say, such incidents do not reflect upon the entire community when silent accomplices continue to continence such reprehensible behavior?

When we look at the long history of White racism in America from the early inception of this nation, before America became America, when it was 13 colonies bound by slavery fighting for its liberation from English dominance, can we truly say that America is not a racist nation? What happened in Boston is a microcosm of the country at large.

Racial inequality IS Americas original sin. It defines whom America is and has been etched in the pages of the US Constitution, the nations first official document of record.

For centuries America has soft-pedaled and downplayed its racists history when speaking of the founding fathers that authored articles declaring all men being created equal, while themselves owning slaves. We have tried to excuse this duplicity by calling them products of their time. But there were contemporaries of the founders who during the same time refused to own slaves, spoke out vehemently against slavery and challenged their hypocrisy. Individuals that our history books regularly and conveniently exclude from American history.

There have been several books written about this history that no one ever discusses or reads. Books that detail how slavery and Jim Crow segregation has significantly advantaged and advanced the cause of Whites in America to the extent that we see the gross economic and social disparities that exist today between Blacks and Whites and yet you still hear that somehow Whites are losing ground to Blacks and immigrants. In what century and on what planet is this myth happening. Two books that I will mention and urge you to read are “The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism,” by Edward E. Baptist. The second deals with what happened after slavery, during the New Deal era, when legislators, principally Southern Dixiecrats, systematically legislated African Americans out of almost every New Deal program to preserve what they called the “Southern way of life.” The book is titled, “When Affirmative Action Was White: An Untold History of Racial Inequality in Twentieth-Century America,” by Ira Katznelson.   These two books are must reads in order to gain a more balanced realistic perspective about America.

The real issue at the core of the problem is what these ugly incidents of race allow Whites to have. It allows a comfort zone of racial ugliness that no one is ever responsible for. Neither the perpetrator nor the accomplice is ever held responsible their behavior. The perpetrator feels no shame or retribution for his/her actions, because the White community protects them with a “White Wall of Silence.” No one ever comes forward to hold them accountable for their actions or punish them with ostracism, severe discipline or reprisal of any kind as a deterrent. What is the penalty to a white person for the kind of misbehavior meted out against Adam Jones and my friend Eric? Can anyone tell me?

This is what White privilege affords you. It allows you to live with and retain your most insidious evil racial behavior without any penalty, ostracism, guilty or shame. And in some instances it serves as an enhancement because allowances are always made for incidences of white racism. People are quick not to paint the entire White community with a broad brush and are always defending the honor of the “good” White people. But the time has come to call all Whites into account for the indiscretions of the few, because the many are the reason the few continue to persist and obtain. As long as the “White Wall of Silence “ exists no one can be held guiltless.

Some weeks after the Jones incident when Lebron James’ home in Los Angeles was vandalized by racial epiteths, I was listening to the Michael Kay show podcast; a well-known NYC shorts talk show. Kay voiced his strong consternation for this despicable act. He wondered why someone believed they had the right to do such a dastardly thing to another human being. His co-host Don La Greca gave his point of view sharing his incites that focused on the individual act of a horrible person that for some unknown reason had gone off the deep end. But then their third host, Peter Rosenberg, a younger millennial, brought a different perspective. One that was broader and more comprehensive. He began to talk about the history of racism, how it was systemic and that the action of this person was not as isolated as the older hosts were portraying it. He saw the actions of the vandal as symptomatic of a larger American racial problem that they all were responsible to address. His older co-hosts became somewhat quiet to his angle of the problem. While they were willing to vilify a single white knuckleheaded yahoo, they were slow to see the issue as a corporate systemic community problem. They were unwilling to address the ‘white wall of silence’.

What is the White wall of silence? It is a wall that is erected when all-white grand juries refuse to render an indictment against a fellow white police officer who has been videotaped killing an unarmed African American male, merely because the white, armed trained police officer, who has taken an oath to serve and protect every citizen claims, “he feared for his life,” even when the unarmed African American male is a young child playing in a public park. Or a white juror who can not bring him/her self to convict a white police officer who is videotaped shooting an African American male in the back while running away from him and then afterwards, tries to plant a weapon on the shot Black victim’s person.

For every white yahoo that hurls a racial slur at Adam Jones or attacks and terrorizes my childhood friend Eric and his classmates, there are 10-20 other “normal” fair-minded whites that know them, tolerate them and do nothing to make them feel any sense of disenfranchisement or ostracism. Their indifference and benign neglect becomes an assent.

But there are those who feel no obligation or responsibility to intervene in situations that do not involve them. They take the Cain approach and ask, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” For those who take such a position, I will share two texts of scripture. The first is in Exodus 23:2 NTL, it ways —“You must not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you are called to testify in a dispute, do not be swayed by the crowd to twist justice.” And then for those who try to stand as silent bystanders and do nothing, Proverbs 24:12 says NLT—“Don’t excuse yourself by saying, “Look, we didn’t know.” For God understands all hearts, and he sees you. He who guards your soul knows you knew. He will repay all people as their actions deserve.” The Message is even more emphatic. It says—If you say, “Hey, that’s none of my business,” will that get you off the hook? Someone is watching you closely, you know— Someone not impressed with weak excuses.” There is no such thing as a neutral zone for Christians when it comes to acts of evil perpetrated in our midst. We are expected by God to stand for what is just and right and against sin and evil.

Behavior modification is gradual and subtle. It is much like the adjustment your eyes make when you go from a bright atmosphere into a darker environment. When you enter a darker room at first you cannot see very clearly but eventually yours eyes adjust to the dark and your vision becomes very clear. You can never believe that closing your eyes to evil will not eventually cause you to become the very thing you give assent to.

So the day after Adam Jones revealed his experience in the outfield at Fenway, before his first at bat, the fans gave him a standing ovation. What a nice gesture. Something we’re big on in this country. But has Boston changed? Will the racial intolerance that has been a strong staple in some segments of Boston ever cease or at least be given no quarter of tolerance? Of course not. As long as the White Wall of Silence remains, Boston will still be Boston and Adam and Eric will still be linked, etched in my memory for all times by another horrific senseless unnecessary racist incident that the White community continues to support by its silent appeasement.

On June 12, 1987 as the Cold War was waning, President Ronald Reagan traveled to the Western Berlin Wall to make a historic speech. The Reagan administration was known for staging impeccable events that took advantage of the president’s oratorical skills. Reagan was known as the “Great Communicator.” And regardless of what your political affiliation, President Reagan was a great speechmaker. It was a part of his mystique and influence as an effect leader. Well, President Reagan stood on a podium at the Brandenburg Gate and with crowds before him, waving American and West German flags, he announced to the Soviets, “General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, TEAR DOWN THIS WALL!”

Well I would like to make a similar appeal to all of my Anglo brothers and sisters today who have been supporting the “White Wall of Silence,” that has been erected and maintained for centuries in America…I say to all of you lovingly and passionately, “If you truly seek peace, harmony, unity and racial reconciliation. If you truly want justice to flow like a river and righteousness as a mighty stream, then TEAR DOWN THIS WALL!”

[1] Lauber, Scott, espn.com. May 3, 2017.

[2] Associate Press, Boston, November 16, 1977.

[3] NY Times, 3 Acquitted in Assaults on Blacks, December 7, 1978.

An Apology…Being Like Jesus

About a month ago, I wrote a blog titled, “I Would Be Like Jesus.”  It was written to express my strong position in defense of women in ministry and against those who would demean and defame the calling of women.  In my haste and zeal to do so, I did not think clearly about the best way to do that.  I used the name of a young woman and her personal incident without getting her approval.  I have since learned that this brought her some discomfort and for that I am deeply sorrow.  That was not my intention.  So to Sabine Vatel, a tremendously gifted and talented woman in ministry, one with whom I have great respect, I apologize.  In life school is always in session.  And there is always more for us to learn.  Thank you for being a gracious instructor.  Words are powerful and they should always be used wisely, with discretion and care.


I have been privileged to come in contact with some wonderful young adults in ministry throughout my life. But none have done more to transform my ministry like the young women I have encountered. To speak of it fills me with deep emotions that many times I have had to stop writing.

Some months ago in 2016 after another unfortunate incident of senseless racial violence, I received a text from one of my brothers in ministry who expressed his deep pain for what the nation was experiencing. He expressed his kinship with me in this painful experience that our nation seems unable and unwilling to overcome.

I felt at the time a text response was insufficient and decided it was best to connect personally with him and reflect together about where we are in earths epic journey and what all of this really means. What was God trying to tell us? Having a rare opened Sabbath on my schedule, I decided to visit his church hoping to run into him in person and talk after the service. I thought that was my mission, but God had other plans.

When I arrived I discovered that the speaker was another pastor, a female and a former student who I was privileged to minister with as a Chaplain at Andrews University.

After the service I found her to see how she was doing. While her ministry was going well, I was surprised to learn that her camp meeting experience earlier that summer was not quite as enjoyable. She did not go into details but the incident was so unpleasant and demeaning among her male colleagues in ministry that she did not want to repeat the experience again. It was quite shocking to hear and it was then that I realized this was the reason I was impressed to attend the church I did that day. It was not to connect with my male colleague, but this female pastor. I encouraged and affirmed her but I knew then what I had to do. I had to author this blog. It was time.

What are we doing as a church? Questioning the authority of God and the authenticity of a woman’s calling to ministry. How dare any person, male or female, do that and oppose scripture. If you do, you must oppose Joel 2:27, 28, Acts 2 and Pentecost.

What are we arguing about when we argue about ordination? Ordination is NOT BIBLICAL. So why is a church that claims to be so Bible based so staunchly divided on an issue that is NOT BIBLICAL.

Does anyone know where ordination came from? You don’t need to be a theologian, Bible scholar or historian to unearth this information. You can Google this.

Historically the early church was not hierarchical and in the churches of Asia Minor formed by the Apostle Paul, ministry was not a function of office, but a gift of the Spirit. There was a radical equality of all in Christ, including an equality of gender and the gifts of all were recognized and allowed to flourish. There was no need for ordination – indeed there was no official clergy or priesthood. The brothers and sisters gathered to share a meal, literally and ritually, and to remember the Lord. The entire community celebrated, the entire community prayed, and if there were a presider at all, that person was called from the community to lead it in prayer.[1]

Gradually, especially after Paul’s death, a natural leadership emerged in the communities Paul founded. In Paul’s letters there is mention of elders ‘(presbeteroi), and leaders (episkopoi), though no distinction is drawn between the two, and there is no claim of authority based on a call from the apostle through ‘ordination.’ In fact, there is NO mention of “ordination” in the New Testament…Paul…never asserted an authority of coercion, never attempted to impose uniformity or conformity, or centralized authority (his or anyone else’s) on the communities he founded. Paul was content to trust in the Spirit to guarantee unity, precisely through the diverse gifts of the members of the community, and in particular through the “greatest” of the gifts of the spirit – agapic (selfless) love.[2]

Women, it is clear, played an important role in the early church – Paul addresses women, as well as men, as his synergoi, his “fellow workers.”[3] At the end of his letter to the Romans, Paul acknowledges twenty-nine leading Christians in the Roman community to whom he sends greetings – ten of them were women. He calls Phoebe[4], a “woman active in the Church in Cenchreae, a diakonos, indicating that she was the leader of a home church. He writes of the woman Junia as being “distinguished among the Apostles[5],” suggesting that she was instrumental in spreading the faith, and eminent in the Christian community – in every respect Paul’s equal.[6]

Women in the early church were welcomed to share their gifts as the Spirit gave them; many women were considered prophets, and teachers, both regarded as higher gifts than the gift of leadership. Though cultural biases against women would gradually take root, in the earliest Christian communities Paul in his writings recognized women in ministry as his equal and welcomed their participation in leadership.

Over the course of the first hundred and fifty years of Christianity the function of church leader or bishop slowly developed into a distinct clergy over and against the “laity.” Bishops, at first merely the informal leaders among the many priests in a community, took on increasing authority, especially after the conversion of Constantine, when the monarchic episcopacy began to develop, and bishops emerged as powerful authorities in both civil and ecclesial society. More gradually still, the bishops of the great cities of the Roman Empire, Rome, Antioch, Alexandria, and Constantinople, emerged as the Episcopal powerbrokers and Rome, claiming association with both Peter and Paul, and assuming central authority. What had been born as a gathering of people proclaiming the Lordship of Christ had become the world’s first fully functioning bureaucracy – the Institutional Church.[7]

There are two very clear conclusions to gather from this history. First, clergy ordination is of Catholic origin. How ironic that the Seventh-day Adventist Church has become a champion of a Catholic institution. Second, ordination’s original purpose was hierarchical and political not spiritual. It was intended to elevate the clergy above the laity and was imposed by Pagan Rome when Emperor Constantine joined the Christian church and gave civil authority to Papal Rome.

Jankiewicz, asserts the pagan origins of the word ordination. He writes, “It is well attested historically that pagan Roman society was ranked according to various strictly separated classes, which were called “orders” (from the Latin plural ordines).”[8] The notion of rank and order is a pagan idea that originates in the pagan Roman society of patronage. This concept of rank and succession crept into the church and became church dogma, just as other false teachings of the Roman Church became doctrine. Jankiewicz traces the origins of hierarchy in the church and identifies Ignatius as one of the earliest church leaders who sort to elevate the clergy above the laity. He writes, “Ignatius strived to elevate the authority of the bishop in the congregation.  It is in his writings that we find the prescription that only one bishop is to govern each church (known as mon-episcopate)…He is the first church thinker, thus, who presents a bishop as the undisputed head of the congregation, surrounded by a council of presbyters as well as deacons, who, in Ignatian writings, appear to be at the bottom of the hierarchical ladder.  “Let the bishop preside in the place of God,” he wrote, “and his clergy in place of the Apostolic conclave, and let my special friends the deacons be entrusted with the service of Jesus Christ.” [xii] “Obedience to the bishop was equal to obedience to God, whom the former represented.” Jankiewicz continues, “Building on the Ignatian understanding of ministry, Irenaeus developed the doctrine of Apostolic Succession, a doctrine that continues to lie at the foundations of Roman Catholicism today.”[9]

When we defend ordination and exclude women what is it that we are actually defending? Is it even a system that should be apart of a church that teaches the priesthood of all believers and preaches about the antichrist? Look at the inference of Ignatius, “in the place of God,” really. Christ came to remove every wall of distinction and every system of inequality that humanity created. In Christ there is neither Jew nor Greek, bond nor free, male nor female, but all are ONE in Christ.

Spiritual gifts are supposed to bring unity and harmony to the body of Christ, not create disunity and hierarchy. Its purpose is to build up the church into the perfect “man” Christ Jesus. The ultimate goal is for the gifts to bring the kind of unity that Jesus spoke of in John 17:27. However, ordination was not introduced or created to bring unity but hierarchy and division, to elevate the ministry above laity suggesting that the clergy are on a superior spiritual level above the laity.

So why is the church allowing ordination to be used in the same manner today? It is not Biblical. It is not bringing unity but division and it is being used to suggest that men are on a higher spiritual plane than women. None of this is biblical and all of it contradicts the purpose of spiritual gifts.

I remember at the General Conference session, when the ordination vote was taken and those whose side won the vote began to cheer, I felt that God had left the room. We had reduced the issue to a contest, a sport; a best of seven series. What next a free agent signing to see who wins the vote five years from now?

It is a mockery to God to Christianize and spiritualize something that was originally intended to divide the church without analyzing how it is now being used. Aren’t we using it the same way?

When a female minister is made to feel by men that somehow her call to ministry is less authentic or inferior to theirs then something is very wrong. When the first reaction to the vote, after the GC session, is to question whether women who have been serving in the church for decades as elders and pastors has been revoked, something is very wrong. When derogatory and harassing phone calls are made to women pastor to leave their calling in ministry and return to exclusive motherhood, something is very wrong.

Is this God’s ideal to bring unity and unleash spiritual gifts in the body of Christ? Is this the path God would have us take in uniting the church to build the perfect man Christ Jesus?

There is something to consider about leadership in the church. It represents an inconsistency in our hermeneutic. We often go to creation as the original model for marriage. We especially refer to this when marriage equality is discussed and people argue for the rights of same sex marriage, we are quick to say that when God selected a mate for Adam he created “Eve” not “Steve.” However, the creation account presents not only the original marital relationship that reflects the image of God but also the original leadership paradigm that reflects the Godhead. When God created Adam’s partner for leadership He created “Eve” not “Steve.”

The Bible says God gave “them” dominion of the earth[10]…”THEM” not “HIM.” And God said it was NOT good for the man to be alone. When God made that statement He was not just talking about His physical companionship, He meant His complete co-existence. That alone was not just numerically but alone in gender as well. Every aspect of Adam’s life was to be lived in community, a reflection of the Godhead. While their roles may not have been interchangeable, their status was no less equal. Adam and Eve’s existence was to reflect the relationship of the members of the Godhead fully equal and fully God, while existing in mutual submission to one another.

The leadership paradigm in Eden was completed when Eve was created, not Steve.  So why is it that in the church we preach heterosexual marriage as the original plan of God established in Eden but homosexual pastoral leadership? Man stands alone as sole head with other men, no women allowed. Could there be anything more unbiblical and anti-creationist. How opposed this is, to the plan that God declared as NOT GOOD in the beginning before sin.

Consider for a moment that when Christ ministered on earth he made no distinctions in whom he allowed to be his disciples. Luke’s Gospel tells us that there were a consistent number of women who followed Jesus and who supported Christ and His disciples financially from their own resources.[11] And in Jesus’ most desperate hour when all the  disciples, save John, forsook him, it was women who stayed with Him to the very end at the cross;[12]they attended his body and laid it in the tomb[13]and women were the ones to discover that Christ had risen and announced His resurrection to the world[14]while all of the men were in hiding. So how can men claim some exclusive position as the heralds of the Gospel when they were missing in action during the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus?

So what’s next? Oh it’s the title of my blog. The words of a song came to my mind as I thought about this subject. I could not get it out of my mind. It goes like this,

Earthly pleasures vainly call me; I would be like Jesus;

Nothing worldly shall enthrall me; I would be like Jesus.


Be like Jesus, this my song, In the home and in the throng;

Be like Jesus, all day long! I would be like Jesus.

2 He has broken every fetter, I would be like Jesus;

That my soul may serve Him better, I would be like Jesus.

3 All the way from earth to glory, I would be like Jesus;

Telling o’er and o’er the story, I would be like Jesus.

4 That in Heaven He may meet me, I would be like Jesus;

That His words “Well done” may greet me, I would be like Jesus.

So I dedicate this blog to all of the wonderfully gifted, dedicated, talented and anointed women who have blessed me over my years of ministry…More and more like Jesus…

[1] Rich Hasselbach, “History of Ordination within the Catholic Church: A Selection from: Eucharist and the Church. 2005.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Romans 16:3,6,9,12

[4] Romans 16:1

[5] Romans 16:7

[6] Hasselbach.

[7] Ibid.

[8] Darius Jankiewicz, “A History of Ordination (Part 1), April 5, 2013. Memorymeaningfaith.org.

[9] ibid.

[10] Genesis 1:26

[11] Luke 8:1-3

[12] Matthew 27:55

[13] Luke 23:55

[14] Matthew 28:5-8

“The ‘White’ Louis Farrakhan”

For many years now Louis Farrakhan has been one of the most polarizing figures in America. The leader of the Nation of Islam (NOI) has made many public statements that have been provocative to say the least and has been characterized by some as racist, anti-Semitic, xenophobic and in some cases even misogynistic.

While some may argue that it is all based on ones perspective, there is no doubt that Farrakhan is a polarizing figure. For a politician to be associated with him would almost certainly be political suicide.

However, when you stop to think about it how much different is our president, Donald Trump, from Louis Farrakhan? Has his rhetoric been any different? Need I go through the entire racist[1], anti-Semitic[2], xenophobic[3], and misogynist[4] statements and incidents associated with him? Do I need to recount them in this blog to support my premise?

The vital difference here is that President Trump’s virulent posture has been no impediment to his political aspirations, to the contrary, it has advanced them. Trump’s “Farrakhan-like” posture has propelled him to the highest office in the country and the world, the Presidency of the United States. And his virulent verbiage has been followed by surrounding himself with individuals who are known for their biased and xenophobic histories, namely Steve Bannon and Jeff Sessions.[5] How does one explain a Farrakhan-like figure becoming the President of the United States? Is it simply because of the difference in skin color? Is America that racist or at the very least in denial about its racism. Racism is a loaded term that most people shun. They will quickly and readily deny any association with it when they fail to understand its true meaning.

Compare Donald Trump’s public record with that of Barack Obama for a moment; his speeches, associations, advisors, appointees and members of his cabinet.

To those who would call me a racist for pointing out the things President Trump has said and done, his statements and actions are irrefutable because they are a matter of public record. There is nothing to argue. What argument can be made to explain what he has publicly said and done? If there is an explanation, where were these apologist during the eight years of the Obama presidency when every iota of his words and inferences were analyzed. You may ask, what specifically am I referring to? Let me give two examples.

Let me use one well-known incident. You may recall a circumstance early in the Obama presidency in 2009. It was reported that Dr. Henry Louis “Skip” Gates was arrested for breaking into his own home by the Cambridge police. As the story went, Dr. Gates, a 70-year-old senior citizen, had just returned from an extended trip overseas and was being helped with his luggage by his driver who drove him home from the airport. When they arrived at his home they found the front door jammed shut and with the help of his driver had to force their way into Dr. Gate’s house. That was the gist of the situation. As you might imagine, one of Dr. Gate’s Cambridge neighbors saw a strange “Black male,” that she did not recognize trying to get into the front door of a house in Cambridge and called the police. I will not venture to explore why she did not recognize her neighbor or notice he was a senior citizen, only that he was “Black,” but the police immediately responded to the call and when they arrived, Dr. Gates was already in his house bringing his luggage. To make a long story short, the Cambridge officer, after listening to Dr. Gates explanation still arrested him in his own home for disorderly conduct. When the incident was learned, it made news around the country and began a conversation about racial profiling and the attendant discussions that always accompany such incidents.

Here is where President Obama comes in. At a press conference President Obama was asked what he thought about the incident. In sharing his thoughts, Obama said he thought the Cambridge police officer “acted stupidly,” by arresting Dr. Gates in his own home. I think most of us would agree that the officer used extremely poor judgment in the way he chose to handle the situation and some would even say that to characterize his actions as “acting stupidly” was a mild description to say the least. However, when President Obama’s response hit the airwaves suddenly what the officer did was almost completely forgotten and Obama’s characterization became center stage. The entire story changed.  Many came to the officer’s defense and vilified the president for his choice of words in speaking about the incident and the officer. The controversy became so heated that President Obama had to publicly state that he “regretted his comments,” and ended up inviting the officer in question and Dr. Gates to the White House for what became known as “The Beer Summit.” All of this furor because President Obama said that a police officer, who arrested a senior citizen for breaking into his home, “acted stupidly,”…really?[6]

Contrast this with the plethora of public statements President Trump has made that were not only ill advised, but rude, insensitive, biased, vulgar, misogynistic[7] and yet there has been no public outcry for him to retract his statements or arrange for a “Beer Summit,” with the offended parties. How does one explain this duplicity?

When it was learned that Barack Obama was a member of Trinity United Church of Christ, because some excerpts of the sermons from the pastor Dr. Jeremiah Wright were considered controversial, candidate Obama had to hold a press conference explaining his position on race and his differences with Dr. Wright. Contrast Obama’s connection to Jeremiah Wright with Donald Trump’s relationship to Steve Bannon, the former executive chair of Breitbart News, the far right news site, along with the endorsements Trump has accepted from various white nationalists groups.[8]  In an interview with Sarah Posner Bannon said Breitbart was the platform for the Alt Right Movement, a White Nationalist organization that embraces white identity politics.[9] Alt Right has been associated with racism, antisemitism, Islamophobia and misogyny. Not only was candidate Trump not asked to explain his association with Bannon, the philosophies of Breitbart News and his willingness to receive the endorsement of such movements as a candidate for president; President Trump made Steve Bannon his chief strategist and senior counselor. How does one explain the glaring inconsistencies between the way President Obama was treated and the way the nation is relating to President Trump and his administration when it comes to the extremist racial groups and ideologies that he has associated himself with?

There were many Christians who voted for Donald Trump as president. Statistics say that white evangelicals voted in the 80 percentile[10] for his candidacy. Some of those same evangelicals did not hesitate to characterize President Obama as the anti-christ.[11] Some were predicting before the election that Obama was going to declare marshal law and suspend the election so that he could remain president indefinitely.[12] How do Christians explain these inconsistencies? Are we to look the other way and say nothing, especially when it seems the bias is glaring and obvious?

According to 2 Timothy 3:1,2 in the last days, men (people) shall be lovers of their own selves. Some modern translations say people will love only themselves. The Amplified Bible says people will be narcissistic, self-focused. This phrase, “Love only themselves,” stands as the first and primary descriptor in enunciating the condition of humanity in the last days. It gives one a fuller understanding of the motivation behind the sins that are listed in the succeeding verses. It has been our tendency to individualize such phrases and texts but to do so would be narrow, limiting and simplistic. While there is a personal application, there is also a corporate and communal application as well.

The tendency to be biased, bigoted, xenophobic, misogynist and racists is a sign of a love for self, the communal self. It is a love for the individual and communal self to the exclusion of all other selves. The fact that there is such a tolerance in some, acceptance in others and embracing in still more of Donald Trump and his brand of exclusionary politics is a clear sign that we are living in the last days of earth’s history. And what is more disturbing is when Christians, whom Christ commands to accept, minister and love “the least of these,” embrace and endorse the candidacy of a figure as overtly polarizing and openly divisive as Donald Trump. It suggests that Christians have lost their sense of what it means to reflect the Character of Jesus Christ as a Community.

When you consider that humanity was created in the image of God (a collective noun), we need to think of that image as being more than individual but communal. God exists in community, perfect community and perfect harmony. The longest recorded prayer of Jesus is found in John 17 and its theme emphasizes the importance of community. Jesus stated in John 13:34—35 that His commandment to his disciples was to love one another as he loved us and that love for one another would be the distinguishing mark of His kingdom.

The “White Louis Farrakhan”…I hope it caught your attention. But more than that I hope it caused you to think about what it means to truly exemplify Jesus Christ, not just as an individual but as a community. Where Jesus is, there can be no divisions, no separation, no biases, no bigotry, no xenophobia, no misogyny and no racism. Christians must be better as individuals and as a community and we must be willing to make our position distinctive and distinguishable daring to be different when society says otherwise. I will leave you with this compelling challenge from Martin Luther King Jr.

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. The true neighbor will risk his position, and even his life for the welfare of others. In the dangerous valley and the hazardous pathways, he will lift some bruised and beaten brother to a higher and more noble life.”[13]

[1] Lydia O’Connor, Daniel Marans, “Here are 16 Examples Of Donald Trump Being Racists.” 12/13/2016, updated 2/16/2017, Huff Post..

[2] Gideon Resnick, “Trump Appears to Suggest Bomb Threat Against Jews Are False Flags.” 2/28/2017, Daily Beast,.

[3] Marie Claire, “Yes, The President of the United States really has said this.” May 17, 2017, Marie Claire Co. UK.

[4] Claire Cohen, “Donald Trumpsexism tracker: Every offensive comment in one place.” January 20, 2017, The Telegraph.

[5] Lydia O’Connor, Daniel Marans.

[6] Wikipedia, “Henry Louis Gates arrest controversy.”

[7] Chirs Kirk, Ian Prasad Philbrick, and Gabriel Roth, “230 Things Donald Trump Has Said and Done That Make Him Unfit to Be President.” November 7, 2016. Slate.com.

[8] Mark Potok, “The Year in Hate and Extremism.” February 15, 2017, splcenter.com

[9] Ryan Lizza, “Steve Bannon Will Lead Trump’s White House.” November 14, 2016, The New Yorker.

[10] Sarah Pulliam Bailey, “White Evangelicals voted overwhelming for Donald Trump, exit polls show.” November 9, 2016, Washington Post.

[11] Grace Wyler, “O’Donnell: Here’s Why People Think Obama Is The Anitchrist.” September 28, 2011, businessinsider.com.

[12] Dean James, “Breaking: Obama To Declare Martial Law If Trump Wins Election, Here’s What We Know…” October 20, 2016, americasfreedomfighters.com.

[13]The Words of Martin Luther King Jr. Selected by Coretta Scott King, Barnes & Nobles Inc. New York, NY. 2014, 24.

“Give Us A King”

It has been three weeks since the election of Donald J. Trump and the fall out has been unprecedented and unpredictable. The national protests to his election were almost immediate and yet one must question why? Even though his opponent Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by over two million, everyone was aware of the rules before the election. We elect presidents through the Electoral College for better or worse and until the system is changed through constitutional amendment, that’s what we’re stuck with.

But there is a larger issue to ponder. What does the election of Donald J. Trump tell us about ourselves? What have we learned from this whole ordeal? We have certainly learned not to trust polls and think that their prognostications are an assurance of anything. They are as much a chance endeavor as rolling the dice or pulling a one armed bandit at a Las Vegas Casino. Perhaps that is a bit of an overstatement but you get the idea. There is no substitute for voting for the person you should have voted for instead of throwing your vote away by marking your ballot for an alternative candidate or staying home altogether believing your vote would not matter. There is never an excuse for abdicating your involvement in the election process.  Making a wise, measured, cautious decision when it comes to presidential elections is a must. Four years is too long and too much time to give a novice with crazy, racist, divisive, misogynistic ideas control of the reigns of power of the nation. However, that is not really what I want to reflect upon in this blog. I’d like to look at exactly who elected Trump and what it told us.

Of all the demographic groups that have been analyzed for electing Donald Trump, there is one that is quite disturbing and while unfortunate to admit, not surprising. Donald Trump garnered 81% of the White Evangelical Christian vote. How did this happen and what does it say to us? It is difficult to understand the reasoning behind such overwhelming support from any “Christian” group for Donald Trump when you consider the things that we learned about him during this campaign season. His campaign moniker was his racist, xenophobic, misogynist, divisive, war mongering rhetoric along with his mocking of the physically challenged. His so-called “locker room” comments about how to disrespect and sexually assault women while suggesting committing adultery did not deter White Evangelical Christians from voting for him in overwhelming numbers. The same White Evangelicals who excoriated Bill Clinton for his sexual improprieties with Monica Lewinski were willing to support and vote for Donald Trump. How can one explain this inconsistency?

There is a Biblical story that comes to mind when thinking about this election found in 1 Samuel 8 from the experience of the nation of Israel. Israel was a theocracy; meaning God was their king. He used prophets as His mouthpiece but God was the one who led, guided, protected and directed the affairs of Israel. When Samuel the Priest of Israel grew old and appointed his sons as his successor, Israel grew tired of the theocracy. Admittedly Samuel’s sons were flawed representatives of God, however, they were only human mouthpieces that could be replaced. God was always the one in charge. But something unprecedented happened. The leaders of Israel came to Samuel and made a request found in 1 Samuel 8:5. “…Appoint a king to lead us, such as all the other nations have.”

It was the Jerry Falwell Jr. during the Republican primaries that came out early and endorsed Donald Trump when the field of candidates was still quite numerous. Pat Robertson, who invited Trump to a forum at Regents University, soon joined him and then other prominent leading Evangelical ministers followed. In the same way Israel did, Evangelical Christian leaders jumped on the Trump bandwagon, seeking as it were, a human king to lead them, like the nations around them and rejecting Divine rule.

When Israel requested a king God told Samuel to tell Israel what would happen when they “selected” human rule. He said in 1 Samuel 8:9(NIV), “…Warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over you will claim as his rights.”

God warned in 1 Samuel 8:11(MSG), “This is the way the kind of king you’re talking about operates. He’ll take your sons and make soldiers of them… chariotry, cavalry, infantry, regimented in battalions and squadrons.” On November 12, 2015: This is the Trump theory on war. “But I’m good at war. I’ve had a lot of wars of my own. I’m really good at war. I love war, in a certain way, but only when we win.” Trump has blustered about what he will do to Isis, that he knows more than trained and seasoned military generals and has mentioned his willingness to use nuclear weapons.

1 Samuel 8:13(MSG) “He will take your daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers.” Trump’s lewd indecent conversation about women in 2005 with Billy Bush has already been publicized. It only served to confirm a lifetime of indiscreet misogyny on his part. The Telegraph, November 9, 2016, in an article titled, “Donald Trump sexism tracker: Every offensive comment in one place,” chronicles Trumps history of sexism, misogyny and other vulgarity toward women beginning in 1980 and extending to the present. There is not enough room in this blog to record all of the indecent, belittling, sexist, incest inferring comments, statements and actions Trump has been responsible for over the past several decades.  Having this kind of knowledge about Trump, how can White Evangelical Christians, who claim to be strong advocates of “family values,” explain voting for Donald Trump.

1 Samuel 8:15 & 17—“ He’ll tax your harvests and vintage to support his extensive bureaucracy… He’ll lay a tax on your flocks and you’ll end up no better than slaves.” Not only did Donald Trump never produce his tax returns, like every other modern presidential candidate before him, but it was learned that he wiggled out of paying federal taxes for years using tax loopholes to free him from the responsibility every other citizen is accountable for. Recently it was reported that the cost of protecting the president elect and his family in New York City is over one million dollars a day. It has also been reported that after the presidential inauguration the first lady will remain in New York with her son for the remainder of the 2016-2017 school year until he finishes the school term. The additional cost for taxpayers will be astronomical. But that’s what it costs to support kings.

Some may be wondering why am I using a scripture about a king when in America we elect presidents. Do we really? During this election, did we elect a president or a king?   When Donald Trump campaigned he never explained what he would do to make “America Great,” just that he would. None of his policies were ever cogently crystallized. None of his initiatives were explained. His campaign was always only about himself and his persona. It was about his claims as a successful billionaire businessman. He publicly showed his admiration for Vladimir Putin, Russia’s dictatorial leader and disrespected the President of the United States. So what office was he running for, President or Dictator? Alan Coren says, “Democracy consists of choosing your dictators, after they’ve told you what it is you want to hear.” It seems that Trump was successful in telling people what they wanted to hear, just enough to get their vote and make him their king.

Samuel ended God’s counsel to Israel with this solemn caution, “The day will come when you will cry in desperation because of this king you so much want for yourselves. But don’t expect GOD to answer.” But Israel would respond, 1 Samuel 8:19 & 20 “No!” “We will have a king to rule us! Then we’ll be just like all the other nations. Our king will rule us and lead us and fight our battles.” Does Israel sound familiar to you? Notice their blind unreasoning close-minded loyalty. No matter what someone says to reason with them their minds are made up concerning who they want to lead them. Have you seen this picture recently?

As troubling as the Trump election has been for many, still it is not America’s decision that is most troubling to me. It is the decision of 81% of White Evangelical Christians. What were my fellow Christian brothers and sisters thinking?  When Donald Trump was asked if he ever sought forgiveness from God he responded, “I am not sure I have,” “I just go on and try to do a better job from there. I don’t think so. I think if I do something wrong, I think, I just try and make it right. I don’t bring God into that picture. I don’t.” When asked who Jesus was Trump responded, “Jesus to me is somebody I can think about for security and confidence. Somebody I can revere in terms of bravery and in terms of courage and, because I consider the Christian religion so important, somebody I can totally rely on in my own mind.” A man who does not feel the need to ask God for forgiveness and who sees Jesus as some kind of person to admire, a confidence builder is the person 81% of White Evangelical Christians voted for as their President. Really?

Confession and forgiveness are essential elements to the conversion process. 1 John 1:9 say, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. When David sinned with Bathsheba, it was his ability to admit his sin and ask for forgiveness that made him a great king. His confession and plea for forgiveness in Psalms 51 is one of the great passages in all of scripture that teaches all Christians our great need for humility, to admit our wrong and confess our sins in order to receive the forgiveness, cleansing and righteousness of Jesus Christ. Proverbs 28:13 says “Those who conceal their sins do not prosper, but those who confess and renounce them find mercy.”

Jesus is more than just a security blanket. He is more than a life coach and confidence builder. When Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do men say that I am?” He was not looking for a confidence builder as an answer. Peter said, “Though art the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” There can be no doubt about who Jesus is in the life of the Christian. He is not just another good person or powerful security blanket or inspirational sage who has some good advice to give us. When Peter and John stood before the Sanhedrin Council in Acts 4 and were asked by whose authority they preached, taught and healed Peter responded, “Salvation is found in on one else, for there is no other name given under heaven by which we must be saved.” Philippians 2 says “God has exalted him to the highest place and gave him a name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow…and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.”

In an interview on the Sirius XM Radio Show, Dan Rather’s America, David Frum, a Conservative Republican, and former speechwriter for President George W. Bush, called Donald Trump the most secular president in modern history. Yet 81% of White Evangelicals voted for Donald Trump, knowing everything that is known about him. How do they explain this? Please don’t tell me about Supreme Court appointments. Where in scripture does Jesus ever mention or hint that He has called Christians to use the judiciary, the legislature or any form of government to advance his kingdom? His message was the opposite. When asked this question directly by Pilate Jesus responded in John 18:36—“My kingdom is NOT of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.” So what were White Evangelicals really saying when they voted for Donald Trump? Who were they really voting for and whom were they voting against. Was it Hillary Clinton or was it someone else.

When Israel came to Samuel and requested a king, Samuel mistakenly thought their request to replace his sons, his flawed successors, was a rejection of him. But Samuel’s vision was too nearsighted. God needed to broaden his perspective. And I would suggest that the 81% vote of White Evangelical Christians for Donald Trump was not just a selection between two human candidates. That way of thinking is much too narrow; too limited and secular for Christians, when such important decisions are being made. This is how God saw the decision of Israel. In 1 Samuel 8:7 it says, and the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not YOU they have rejected, but they have rejected ME as their king.”

So when 81% of White Evangelical Christians voted for Donald Trump, whom did they really reject?