Me & My Pastor

May 18th, 2008 | By

I can’t remember my age, but I’m guessing 12,13. I was in church one Sunday and my pastor began to preach. He was talking about perception. He asked what was the difference between a businessman that comes home to a bottle of wine and a homeless man with a bottle in his hand. Which had the harder existence?

It’s all in perception. I got really excited for the insight. The he got on the subject of black stars at the time, Martin Lawrence, Eddie Murphy, and somebody else, I forget. He said we shouldn’t support them. They were giving the wrong perception.

I was shocked. I listened with total disagreement and silence. (Mainly because I was sitting by my grandmother)

After service, everyone lines up to greet the pastor. I had done it every Sunday since he was sworn in as the pastor of my church. This was the man that had baptized me, but on this day I couldn’t bring myself to give him my usual hug and update on my school progress. Instead I asked could I talk to him in his office.

He kept candy in his office, so he had to shoo out the little ones for our discussion. I sat there determined to get my point across.

‘I don’t agree with your sermon,’ I stated as calmly as I could. I told him we didn’t know if they prayed and this was their blessing, maybe they were there to help someone who wouldn’t come to you for help. I was ranting a little, but his comments had upset me.

My pastor smiled and held out his hand to shake mine. He congratulated me. He was happy I was listening, and even happier I made up my own opinions. He never tried to change my opinion, nor did his attitude change towards me. That was my Black Pastor, and that’s as controversial as he ever was. He was always inspirational.

You know this is leading to Jeremiah Wright. If I sat in a church with my daughter and he said such things, I used to think I would get up and walk out, but writing this I think I would have stayed. I would want her to hear he say “God damn America”, and “the government invented Aids as a means of genocide”. I would stay and let her listen, so when we left, I could tell her that’s what’s wrong with us as a people today.

Trying to place blame else where. No Personal Responsibility.

What if they did invent Aids? How do you get it? Having sex without a condom or sharing needle. How can we stop it? Use protection, limit the amount of sexual partners you have and get tested often. Simple. This isn’t complicated.

I love my church, though I moved away. I remember my pastor’s words, though God has called him home.

Okay, PERCEPTION. Make sure you think about the other side of things. When someone places blame elsewhere, question what they could have done to change the outcome.

Example: Jeremiah Wright brags about feeding thousands of people a year, because the government doesn’t care. The church bought him a $10 million house. How many more mouths could you have fed, how many more scholarships could have went out, or how many houses could you have helped saved?

It’s all in PERCEPTION.

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