That NEW Adage

A pressure-relief valve about God, and just about everything else.

What’s Been on My Mind


I haven’t written anything here in a couple of weeks for a few reasons. (I thank you kind people for continuing to stop by in the meantime)

Some of the things I have posted in the past have had a slightly negative financial impact on me. No sweat. Christians are made of rubber, and rubber bounces rather than breaks.

The last few posts were getting kind of serious in light of the pending election, and I kind of had to breathe a little bit. There is a lot at stake here, and history is on the verge of happening, one way or the other. Some people hold tightly to their old ways of being.

At the risk of being mis-labeled, I wanted to talk about other tings than race for a minute, but all I saw in the news and around me — this crazy (or drunk, or both) white dude outside of Kroger said to me, “Ni@@er! F**K you, man!!”  I got kids to raise, so rather than kill this defenseless bigot, I called my wife, who told me to just go on into the store. — so I had nothing to write. Someone I know has already called this “An Angry Black Man Blog.” Yes, I am sometimes angry, and ALWAYS black, but I don’t fit the criteria for that tag. So I backed off for a moment.

Also, we went through a series at my church in which the pastors (we have three) took a poll of our most pressing issues and boiled them down to the “Big Ten.” Some of the topics were, God and politics, marriage, the end-times (I diverge on this one in a non-essential sense), and the top two, homosexuality and predestination.

I have my views on the whole Gay Rights issue which I have rarely expressed not wanting to be written off as a hater. I do think they (as an organization) play on this feeling and thereby further empower themselves and shut down debate. I am dead set against gay marriage, and I do not think one is born gay.

But I do not hate them. After the sermon on the subject, I began to think about how my “No Wiggle-Room” stance on gayness looked from the outside, and how I could be effective standing for capital “T” Truth while displaying appropriate compassion without seeming to give the “thumbs up” to the lifestyle. Complicated.

Christians — Evangelicals in particular — have lately been more apt to point the finger than to lend a hand. We are quick to point out errors in doctrine and separate ourselves from “The World” believing it to be a place not to be reached but to be repelled.

We, in our self-righteousness devoid of compassion, have given the non-Christian every reason to keep doing what he is doing while claiming to desire to make more Christians.

We picket and protest and put out warning notices for certain movies with unwholesome content. We keep our children from the slightest chance of interacting with “those” kids. We show not the least measure of the Godly love we claim emanates from Him. Why would a gay person want to come to us for advice on changing?

This blog has been a way for me to shout through what I see as maddening, increasing Godlessness in our society. I have been able to state my position unwaveringly and back it up with Scripture and common sense, the two being not mutually exclusive.

I have railed against crooked preachers, racists, lenient parents, atheists, black miscreants (more to come. Pacman Jones, grab your playbook and come to the office.), rappers, and stupid drivers. But I don’t want to come across as just another fundamentalist Christian close-minded fool. Unjustifiably. Truth without love is a bunch of baking pans falling out of a helicopter onto your driveway at 5 AM.

I have love, and don’t want that to be lost in all my diatribes. I think righteous anger and love can co-exist. Ask my boy, Max. The main reason I do this is that I hate to see people deceived. From withIN or withOUT.

But pastor Loritts’ sermon on how Christians deal with the gay issue — along with conversations with my friend and fellow church member, Kirk Whalum — made me think about how to be truthful yet winsome. It is easy to do face-to-face, harder to do on a computer.

I went to vote Thursday. At a white Church with nothing but pictures of stiff looking white folks on the walls. Not diverse in the least. I stood in line for exactly two-and-a-half hours! And I later found out that that was peanuts compared to other places.

What struck me was that the hundreds of people in that serpentine collective were engaged in dozens of conversations. The area was largely white and overwhelmingly conservative, but there were all races of Americans there. I’m sure assumptions were made as to who was voting for whom, but there was an air of joviality there. People who, moments before, had never seen each other were all of a sudden laughing and sharing life together in the midst of the most potentially explosive event in any of our lives. Events which could potentially put us all at poles even further apart than before. And there was civility, kindness, and even affinity.

Old white ladies who first voted in the fifties were engaged with black men who probably only ever voted once. There were, in those hours, no conservatives or liberals, but Americans. While the principals and their surrogates fought on like stray dogs over a bag of garbage.

I’m not a “flag pinon the lapel” guy. You won’t see a flag waving on my house. I don’t tear up during the National Anthem. Unless the singer is really great, or really bad (Carl Lewis). But as I wound my way through that maze, I was proud of that group of people. I was proud to be American. NotthatI’veneverbeenproudbefore!!!

American people can get along in spite of deeply held differences. I saw that. And, as a Christian, I try to show on this weblog that while I disagree with a whole lot of what I see and hear, I can do so without being hateful. I can state my case or cast my vote and still love my neighbor.

So, yeah, I’ll still rant, and still shout, “WOLF!” when I see one. I’ll still state my position on issues like race and abortion and Affirmative Action and crime and the rest.

But if I don’t love you, I’m wasting my time, and time is like buffalo nickels: There ain’t no more!

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November 3, 2008 - Posted by | Barack Obama, Christ, Christian Life, Elections, Evangelism, False Teachers, Food for Thought, Gay Rights, God, John McCain, McCain, Obama, Politics, Voting

5 Comments »

  1. “Truth without love is a bunch of baking pans falling out of a helicopter onto your driveway at 5 AM.” ~I think that says it all… Thought provoking post Derrick

    HEATHER TEEEEEEEEEE!

    Comment by heatherltrotter | November 3, 2008 | Reply

  2. Heather – I’ll think about the baking pan analogy some more … I’m just not getting it.

    Derrick – I don’t think you are an ‘angry black man’ nor that your blog is “an angry black man blog”. I think that anyone who really thinks that doesn’t know you at all. I find you to be a very reserved and thoughtful person when face-to-face, and a very expressive and articulate person on paper (blog). Nothing wrong with that and nothing to be apologetic for. Guys like me don’t see the same things you see everyday and given our different backgrounds, we could probably see the same exact event and walk away with two totally different perspectives. That’s reality and neither perspective is wrong – so reading about yours helps me understand how insulated mine is.

    Keep writing, keep sharing, keep keeping it real.

    On a personal note – I miss y’all dearly. (Y’all meaning exactly that: y’all: J, Rick, Kirk, David, FM, KW, etc…). It’s like another planet up here.

    As far as the “crazy” man outside of Kroger – my bet is that for every black this guy has called a n*, there are 5 whites who have heard it and said nothing to stop it. I’m probably one of those 5 … I don’t truly love you until I step out and help you. Words are cheap.

    Peace,
    Bones

    Thanx, Marc. So let it be written, so let it be done!
    We miss you too, dude!

    Comment by Bones | November 3, 2008 | Reply

  3. I think Christians struggle with both ends of the spectrum —
    equally. There are a lot of “angry, mean, not-nice” Christians, but there are also a lot of “mamby-pamby”, “non-confrontational”, “don’t wanna rock the boat” Christians too. Both need temperance. Both do damage to the cause of Christ.

    I’m probably closer to the “angry Black Christian” side, and there’s a LOT to be angry about. But the challenge is to be angry, and “sin not”. But when I look at the condition of the world, the people in it, and my OWN spiritual condition in some areas, I do get…angry. I’m not angry all the time, but I usually write when I’m angry —so my blog posts may seem…angry. In person? I’m a barrel of laughs and giggles. Sugar. Really. I’d crack you up, in person. You’d become a “diabetic” in my presence. But maybe not so much so…in cyberspace. Oh well…

    I have never thought that you didn’t love folks — plus, folks need to let people “blog in peace”. I blog for me, primarily, not for everyone else. Meaning, that I can be “me”, hopefully without having folks break into a sweat, because they want to sum me up, based on a blog — that I may only update a couple of times a month. Don’t revoke my “Christian” card, just because I said somebody is a jerk in my blog. I will do that, from time to time. I’m the same person who will give “the jerk” my last dollar, my coat in the cold, and the last piece of pizza. So, what shall we say then?

    My prayer is that we be “balanced” in all things — that we learn what it means to “love the sinner, hate the sin”, and we do just that. We know when to “rebuke” which is not a “feel-good” response, but is rather sharp and biting, AND when to be “gentle”. We depend on the Holy Ghost, to provide wisdom and insight on how to respond to/confront those, who are on the “wrong side” of righteousness — in a spirit of love.

    Much love, Derrick!

    Tracie, you always have the EXACT right thing to say! Perfect! I appreciate the encouragement from you, and from Marc.

    Comment by anappygirl | November 3, 2008 | Reply

  4. … reminds me of a song we used to sing in children’s choir … “… I’m a loud and noisy gong, or a clanging, banging cymbal if I have. not. love. Faith, hope, and love, these three, Lord, won’t you give unto me: faith, hope, and love, these three! But the greatest of these is love.”

    Yep. That’s where I got it. I just re-mixed it, updated it. Like they do with King Kong every few years.

    Comment by WendyLou | November 4, 2008 | Reply

  5. Very thought provoking blog entry. You know, America is at its finest when we pull together. I will never forget that in the aftermath of 9/11, strangers spoke to one another in neighborhoods, in grocery stores….in Memphis, we made eye contact. It was a scary sad time…this should be a happy time when we rejoice as a nation at the privilege of being able to choose and then come together in support of a president and of each other once the dust settles. I hope that it shall be so.

    Comment by Pam | November 5, 2008 | Reply


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