One Ebony Voice

The thoughts and views of an African-American...

Preachers are Human Too

Reve' M. Pete, D. T. S.

"Charity…is not easily provoked..."

1 Corinthians 13:4, 5 King James Version

The Bible states that love (charity) is not easily provoked. But it did not say it is impossible. Preachers who are called by God to care for (shepherd) His flock are not inhuman beings without feelings; quite the contrary.

In 2 Corinthians 4:7, Apostle Paul said, "But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us."

The "treasure" referred to is "the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ" (verse 6). In short, the "treasure" is the anointing of the Holy Ghost to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to fulfill His call on one's life. This anointing or "light" is given to individuals who are born again, but still human and therefore vulnerable. The Book of Hebrews also speaks to the humanness of preachers: "For every high priest taken from among men is appointed for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins. He can have compassion on those who are ignorant and going astray, since he himself is also subject to weakness." Hebrews 5:1-2. Because preachers are human, it is possible for them to become outraged by what they see happening in their country and in the world as portrayed through television news media.

Television news shows, although created to be sources of information on what is happening in the United States and abroad, can outrage viewers - even preachers - by what they do. Although television news shows present what they consider to be two sides (and sometimes three with a neutral position) of a story, an issue or a political view, often viewers become frustrated by not being able to respond to what is being said. Viewers may identify any "side" expressed as biased or inadequate to express what they (viewers) believe or know to be true. Even viewer response avenues such as telephone commentary, emails or even television news website blogs may prove to be inadequate response methods to relieve the frustration caused by watching television news shows. Holy men and women of God who are called and anointed to care for His flock can also experience such frustration.

Preachers who watch television news shows to stay abreast of what is going on in the world can become frustrated by what they hear. This frustration can become exacerbated when such shows, under the guise of "news investigations", seek out (or create) dirt on individuals and/or entities for the purpose of advancing their own agendas which may include anything from political leverage to the destruction of churches and ministries. Such frustrated preachers may even be tempted to vent their frustrations in the one place where they know they have a voice - the pulpit.

Freedom of speech and freedom of the press guaranteed in the United States by the Constitution of the United States of America is a BLESSING. However, with that blessing goes responsibility. It is often impossible to make laws that curtail abuses of those freedoms without infringing on those precious rights that are guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States. If no law is adequate to address abuse of such freedoms, what recourse is there?

Everyone should remember that spiritual laws also govern mankind's existence. Spiritual laws are adequate to address what man made laws are inadequate to address. One spiritual law says, "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap." Galatians 6:7

One CNN television show host interviewed a mother whose child was missing. After being interviewed in a manner that treated the mother as if she had done harm to her own child, the mother committed suicide. The CNN television show host who interviewed the mother accepted no responsibility for contributing to the mother's death. Instead, that television show host "reinvented" herself in the eyes of the public as a loving wife and mother of newborn twins. Was this CNN television show host partly responsible for the death of the mother whose child was missing? Viewers and even courts may be inadequate to determine the answer to this question, but God does know. IF this CNN television show host was indeed partly responsible for the woman's suicide because of the manner in which the woman was interviewed concerning her missing child, (with such interviewing, why are police detectives needed), in addition to giving birth to twins, that television show host has also given birth to a terrible chicken that will one day come home to roost. That is spiritual law.

Another spiritual law that concerns offenses is found in Luke 17:1,2. Jesus said, "…It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come! It would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones." The offenses Jesus referred to are stumbling blocks that cause others to fall. Recently, television news shows have been full of reports of a (now) well-known preacher who, from the pulpit said instead of singing "God Bless America", persons should sing, "God Damn America" because of her past "sins". After viewing this repeatedly on television news, my thought is not so much about the validity, appropriateness or rightness/wrongness of what this preacher said, but to question what offended this pastor to the point of saying such a thing. Something offended this pastor to the point that his human vulnerabilities dominated his actions and he used his pulpit to vent his frustration. At the very least, it is safe to conclude that whoever offended this pastor falls into the category of those of whom Jesus said, "it would be better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck, and he were thrown into the sea".

Preachers can become provoked by what they perceive as the evil doings of others. They can also become frustrated by the actions of the news media. Preachers become frustrated because they are human. Fortunately, through modern technology, tools such as personal Internet blogs are available to provide a venue through which the general public, including preachers, can express their thoughts, views and feelings. Through the use of personal Internet blogs, television news viewers who include preachers, can inform members of the news media that they are not "buying" what the news media is "selling". However, use of tools such as personal Internet blogs may not be sufficient to alleviate such frustration. If that is the case, there is another recourse.

In 2 Corinthians 10:3, 4, Apostle Paul says, "For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds". There are some frustrations that blogging will not help. That is because the source of frustration is spiritual. In that case, spiritual weapons such as prayer and fasting are needed to remove the source of frustration. A seven day fast from watching television news, accompanied by prayer can result in a "changing of the guard" in an industry that is doing more to offend than inform. Deploying spiritual weapons can help human preachers avoid falling over stumbling blocks placed by the irresponsible use of a precious right that should be used to inform and not to offend.

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