“Confessions of a Bad Christian” – Your Mea Culpa Scorecard

Sorry about the late post today. I had to email Pat Robertson to revoke his speaking privileges.

So far…so good.

Perhaps I need to copy Mayor Ray Nagin on that no speak, no headlines directive. Yesterday the controversial Mayor of New Orleans had to issue an apology for his remarks on Martin Luther King Day. “I apologize to any resident in this city that may have been offended,” the mayor said. “That was not my intention.” Nagin seemed a bit surprised at the uproar over his comments that New Orleans would remain “chocolate” (predominately African-American) as the city rebuilds from Hurricane Katrina. Explaining his remarks today, Nagin said, “Unfortunately, everything I say today is scrutinized to the nth degree.”

I don’t understand how Mr.Nagin or Mr.Robertson or any celebrity can be surprised about their remarks being scrutinized. While I have been more than a little dismayed at some of Pat Robertson’s shoot from the hip comments I do respect that he takes ownership, apologizes, and seeks forgiveness. But I am hoping and praying that Robertson dials down the rhetoric a bit. He seems to have strayed from trying to communicate biblical truth onto the thin ice of interpreting God’s actions and intent. I believe that Pat Robertson means well. But I would remind him (and myself in the process) of the following truth.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
       neither are your ways my ways,”
       declares the LORD.

  “As the heavens are higher than the earth,
       so are my ways higher than your ways
       and my thoughts than your thoughts.

  As the rain and the snow
       come down from heaven,
       and do not return to it
       without watering the earth
       and making it bud and flourish,
       so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,

  so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
       It will not return to me empty,
       but will accomplish what I desire
       and achieve the purpose for which I sent it  (Isaiah 55 NIV)

If I could figure out God then He would be a small God indeed. He is not. So I will be content to dwell on the last part of that passage and attempt to proclaim the Word of God to a hurting world, knowing that it will achieve His purpose.

I also respect Mayor Nagin for immediately stepping up to the plate and seeking forgiveness. It was my contention from day one that such an action from Joel and Victoria Osteen would have tempered the backlash considerably. Mr.Nagin also judged  the intent of the Almighty (see yesterday’s post) and he confessed that was inappropriate. I was mostly saddened by the fact that the comment came on a day when the desire to remain “chocolate” or “vanilla” is most unseemly. Martin Luther King’s famous dream was filling the airwaves even as Nagin made his comments.

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today! I have a dream that one day little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.”

If I may add my dream to the famous words of Dr.King. I have a dream that the body of Christ will someday become the hospital for racial healing. That Sunday mornings will not have “chocolate” houses of worship and “vanilla” houses of worship. I have a dream that we will come to truly understand the words of the Apostle John.

Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent,[c] nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

There won’t be a “chocolate” and “vanilla” section in heaven so we might as well start making the body of Christ a “swirl.” It would be good for us and great for America.