The Trump Syndrome:

trump2Dr. Leonard Lovett

Donald Trump suffers from an incurable disease, and the diagnosis is clear: Diarrhea of the mouth and Constipation of the brain. He does not think before he speaks, therefore the prognosis is bad. We must never trust him with nuclear codes. He has started the “fear tactic” again, by attempting to re-define Islam. His persistent confusion of Islam as a historical faith is all too often confused with the extreme abusers of Islam such as Isis and other extremist who use the religion of Islam as a pretext to exact violence upon peoples of the West.  Islam as a faith has made major contributions to the building and development of civilization. Abuse of religion is at a premium in America.  Does anyone remember Jim Jones who led close to a thousand persons to their death in Guyana by drinking  a mixture  of water laced with a deadly poison and promised them a home in heaven? Banning Muslims from entering the country has the smell of Adolph Hitlerian savagery. Building  walls instead of bridges to keep Mexicans out is far more dangerous than we would like to admit. He may be insulting relatives of the maids, janitors and maintenance workers who keep his real  estate empire afloat by working for low wages.  Is that what the democratic experiment has come to?

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WILL GOD ABANDON A NATION?

Leonard Lovett, PhD

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   Mitt Romney is at the mike again. We best remember him for an astounding and resounding lost in the 2012 presidential election after making an insensitive remark about forty-seven percent of voters he had written off as being non-essential. His assignment has changed. He is at the mike to “clip the wings” of Donald Trump who he perceives as a fake who has deceived Americans and may win the presidency by default if the Republicans do not get their act together. A Harvard neuroscientist, Howard Gardner has indicated that Trump has a mental disorder that fits the parameters of a “certifiable textbook narcissist” that makes him a dangerous world leader. That a “person with this mental disorder has an inflated sense of their own importance and a deep need for admiration and a lack of empathy for others.”

[see Bobby Azarian, Raw Story, Jan 18, 2016] That Trump easily fits into the category of ruthless leaders such as Napoleon Bonaparte, Muammar Gaddafi and Saddam Hussein. Trump has excoriated Mexican immigrants (like his wife) who are in search of a place to thrive and live a meaningful life. Banning Muslims from entering the country has the smell of Adolph Hitlerian savagery. Is that what the democratic experiment has come to? Here we go again, Mitt Romney, a loser has come to fore to bail out a political party that has virtually lost its soul by bashing their front runner. At least Donald Trump leads in the trek toward the Republican Primary as he boasted about his wealth and promises to bring jobs and currency from abroad back to America.

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Muslim Eye Opener

Here is a perspective adapted from Dr. Peter Hammond’s book: Slavery, Terrorism and Islam:

Dr. Hammond was born in Capetown in 1960, grew up in Rhodesia and converted to Christianity.



The Historical Roots and Contemporary Threat:

Islam is not a religion, nor is it a cult. In its fullest form, it is a complete, total, 100% system of life.

Islam has religious, legal, political, economic, social, and military components. The religious component is a beard for all of the other components.

Islamization begins when there are sufficient Muslims in a country to agitate for their religious privileges. When politically correct, tolerant, and culturally diverse societies agree to Muslim demands for their religious privileges, some of the other components tend to creep in as well..

Here’s how it works:

As long as the Muslim population remains around or under 2% in any given country, they will be for the most part be regarded as a peace-loving minority and not as a threat to other citizens. This is the case in:

United States — Muslim 0.6%
Australia — Muslim 1.5%
Canada — Muslim 1.9%
China — Muslim 1.8%
Italy — Muslim 1.5%
Norway — Muslim 1.8%

 
At 2% to 5%, they begin to proselytize from other ethnic minorities and disaffected groups, often with major recruiting from the jails and among street gangs.
This is happening in:…

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Can Leaders Remain Too Long?…When its Time to Say Goodbye

Leonard Lovett, PhD

Time to go copy insertActs 13:36 [LAB] “For after David had served his generation according to the will of God, he died and was buried, and his body decayed.”

 

     On an idyllic Thanksgiving holiday morning I called one of my Philadelphia sons in the Gospel and asked him, how often do you change the oil in your automobile? He was vague with his response and finally admitted that he went by the service sticker info and occasionally the mileage. After convincing him that this was not a gimmick, he remarked that he really did not have exact information to the question. After getting his attention I asked the real question, how often should we change leaders in the church? I had just googled an article on, “When Should You Change Your Oil?” –Ronald Montoya The first thing suggested is to “let the manual guide you.” Secondly, “trust your oil life monitor.” The monitor based on mileage and will switch on a maintenance light when the vehicle reaches a predetermined mileage range. Numerous sensors throughout the car records conditions and habits of the driver. Thirdly, use the time estimate. The Toyota Prius recommended an oil interval of one year or 10,000 miles. Fourthly, get an oil analysis. An oil analysis will tell you the condition of your oil, and can reveal any problems that your engine may be experiencing such as traces of fuel and coolant in the engine oil. The article concluded that the 3,000 mile oil change myth is designed to keep people in the business busy. If this much attention is given to an automobile, what about our church leadership? Who monitors how long leaders remain in office in the church? I believe that we need to devise a system where leaders cannot remain if office indefinitely. This applies to pastors, Bishops and all church leaders including, but not limited to our National Supervisor and Supervisors, Presiding Bishop, General Board, Board of Bishops and Jurisdictional Bishops in the Church of God in Christ.

     I am convinced that my calling is to stand “in defense of the Gospel” according to Philippians 1: 17 and to challenge church leadership. I do not respond to unsigned internet lies and garbage generated by cowards. The only thing I have is “the pen of a ready writer” according to Psalm 45:1. What I say may be offensive to some and liberating to others. I plan to write an open letter to the Church of God in Christ in January and publicly resign as Ecumenical Officer, an appointment by Presiding Bishop G.E. Patterson in 2004. All the details of my Ecumenical journey and much more will be set forth in my forthcoming book scheduled for Winter/Spring 2016, titled, Why COGIC Must Change or Die…Recapturing the Essence of our Holiness-Pentecostal Faith. My book will detail the root of our present crisis and a possible alternative course of action out of this morass. With the eye of an historian and the passion of a theologian who has served the church, God has enabled me to be fully capable of engaging in meaningful discourse about the future of our faith.

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BUT AFTER FURTHER REVIEW…A PASTORAL RESPONSE

Bishop Nathaniel W. Wells,

General Board Member, COGIC

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     In sports a questionable call by a referee must be viewed by camera replay and the ruling can only be challenged by the results…after further review. The letter generated and placed on our website by select people in this administration was designed to deprive an Ordained Elder of his constitutional rights to a fair hearing for what was alleged to be inappropriate behavior directed toward leadership. However, after further review, the letter seeks to circumvent Scripture and by tone and spirit is a gross violation of the Constitution of the Church of God in Christ. The letter appears vindictive in tone and places this Elder in the role of chief offender. It seeks to recruit supporters that resemble a lynch mob and not a body of believers. If the church is a regime, this approach is in place. But after further review… I am compelled by conscience to seek the biblical approach that squares with what we believe historically.

     From earliest times in the Church of God in Christ, Scripture has been our rule for faith and practice. Controversy is not new to our church. Bishop Mason was sued and called names. Controversy comes with the challenges of being a leader.  However, as a leader we must never flagrantly demonstrate our anger through public action. We must not allow those who love us to break the rules by emotional reactions in order to support our position. Justice, love and reason must be the guiding norm for whatever response we make as leaders in a crisis. After further review…we have not followed Scripture to resolve the present conflict. In Matthew 18: 15ff. (MLV) Jesus admonishes, “If your brother should do wrong against you, go and show him his fault privately; in case he does not listen, take one or two along, so that from the testimony of two or three witnesses the whole dispute may be settled.”

Flag referee

     The Pastors and Elders Council, has the responsibility to invoke the Constitution when the rights of a pastor or Elder are violated. Neither approach has been utilized in the case of this Ordained Elder. It is morally and ethically wrong to pressure anyone either directly or indirectly to sign a letter against their will. An injustice to anyone jeopardizes and threatens the freedom of all of us. We must not yield to tyranny. I took a vow as a General Board Member to uphold the doctrine and ordinances of the Church of God in Christ. Let us seek those things that make for peace and unity in the Body of Christ. Repentance, prayer and fasting must be the key to uniting a divided people. After further review… I am bound by those commitments to God, the church and the voting constituency. I can do no other. The prayer of St Francis of Assisi comes to mind.

“Lord make me an instrument of Your peace, Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon, Where there is doubt, faith, Where there is despair, hope, Where there is darkness, light, and where there is sadness, joy…To be loved, as to love; For it is in giving that we receive– It is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.”

if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.http://theagora.net/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/But-After-Further-Review___.pdf

(2 Chronicles 7:14, NKJV)

(But After Further Review…)

Why is Such A Shaking Going On?

Dr. Leonard Lovett

Shaking

 

Isaiah 13:13 Therefore I will shake the heavens and the earth shall remove out of its place in the wrath of the Lord of hosts, and in the day of His fierce anger.

The present crisis we are experiencing is really not about the guilt or innocence of the Presiding Bishop or the credibility of the accusers. Speaking prophetically, this crisis is about whether we are going to risk profaning the name of God throughout the global village by foolish choices as the largest Classical Holiness-Pentecostal body in the world. Heretofore we were revered by ecumenical and cross denominational enclaves. Unfortunately we are losing our voice due to posturing and infighting over worthless positions and plain idolatry within our ranks. Where are the spiritual Fathers and Mothers who were fonts of wisdom, mother wit and plain common sense? Why are we listening to card-carrying, money seeking false prophetic clowns who are merely saying what we want to hear? It has become a fad to call oneself a prophet in our current religious environment. Pastors why are you having a feeding frenzy with this kind of foolishness in your church? Why are you looking for another religious “fix”? Can you imagine Isaiah, Elijah, Ezekiel or Amos being invited to a modern day Prophetic Conference? They would have been averse to a gathering of so-called prophets renting a fancy upscale hotel simply to falsify the truth to each other about their present and future situation. God forbid that we as a church fall victim to this kind of gamesmanship, deception and veiled witchcraft. When are we going to stop playing with God?

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When is Enough, Enough? Greed as Idolatry

Dr. Leonard Lovett

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     I was intuitively urged to explore the biblical notion of greed as a form of idolatry after reading a scathing article in the Washington Post by Michelle Singletary in her The Color of Money column.

The title of the article was engaging: “Where Money Meets Faith, bring Skepticism…Be careful your pastor isn’t fleecing his flock.” She discusses Rev Robert “Dr. Shine” Freeman, a fifty-six (56) year old Maryland minister who was recently sentenced for twenty seven (27) months in prison pleading guilty to obstructing bankrupt court proceeding. That Shine took the command “let us pray” into “let us prey.” He preyed on people. He hid assets to avoid paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in debts. Shine was ordered to pay more than $650,000 in restitution to four (4) church members who took out loans to buy cars and a mansion. What Freeman did comes under the category of “affinity fraud.” Affinity fraud occurs when people use a personal connection such as religion or ethnic status to gain people’s trust and their money.

     Nearly one in four Ponzi schemes involve- affinity group targets according to studies by several reputable consulting firms. The three (3) most common affinity groups targeted by Ponzi schemes, accounting for eighty-five (85) percent of such cases, were the elderly or retired, religious groups and ethnic groups. Whenever a too-good-to-be-true is coming from someone you trust or respect and endorsed such as your pastor, raise the red flag. Freeman used his church members in the name of Jesus, to get what he could not afford, eleven (11) luxury vehicles worth a million dollars, a leased jet, a $1.7 million 9000 square foot house purchased by a member. Recently, a Bishop asked me whether I could recommend a “name” speaker to complete his conference calendar. I replied, do you want someone who can “entertain” or “challenge” the people? Entertaining, “grab your neighbor” false prophetic fundraisers are a “dime a dozen.” To find someone who will “stretch your people” to new levels of maturity and growth requires different search engines. Your ministry is like a tree, when it stops growing it is preparing for inevitable death.

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What is the Purpose of a Convocation?

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Leonard Lovett, Ph. D

Numbers 29:1 “In the seventh month, on the first day of the month, you shall have a holy convocation…”

It is a tradition in the Church of God in Christ to convene annual Convocations within a State Jurisdiction (usually during late Spring and Summer), and the late Fall (November) for our International meeting). My path to COGIC was through an Annual Jurisdictional Convocation held in Miami at Cohen Temple COGIC. There was something attractive about the Sanctified Church that got my attention at age twelve. The late Mother Laura Barber Hall from Black’s Memorial COGIC would talk to us as neighborhood children and invite us to worship at the Sanctified Church. On special days the women wore white and looked sanctified (cleansed and purified). With permission I soon left Big Bethel AME and made the mistake of hanging out with people from the Sanctified Church. There was the usual precaution from the haters to “be careful those people may put goober dust on you and you may come under their spell.” But at the Convocation as a lad, I noticed that the meetings were dominated by focused worship and a deep sense of spirituality and purpose.
Children were not wandering alone as people entered the meetings with a sense of elation as they literally rushed for seats. They were filled with expectation and hope. In those days we were rarely disappointed as various Districts were in charge and the Word of God was preached as though the end times were near.

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Rachel Continues to Weep for Her Children

                       

                                                                                                       Leonard Lovett, Ph. D

 

Jeremiah 31: 15 “The Lord spoke to me saying; In Ramah there is bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children and she cannot be comforted for they are gone.”

     Bruce Jenner, a male announces that he is a woman, makes the cover of Vanity Magazine, and is applauded from the Whitehouse and throughout the global village for his courage in self-disclosure. Rachel Dolezal, a white female announces that she is black, and sets off a debate about race that rivals the beginning of a World War. The underlying myth fueling the debate is that we have a choice about changing our gender, but not our race. Jenner has been hailed as a hero, while Dolezal has been labeled by certain media pundits as a fake imposter for attempting to announce who she claims to be. What drives the debate is American hypocrisy and denial about race. Deep within our psyche most of us are racially prejudiced until proven otherwise. One real incident will trigger our racial xenophobia and before there is resolution we will have chosen sides. If you have chosen sides in this debate it is an indicator that you are more than likely prejudiced. Prejudice means to pre-judge another without having the facts. Prejudice linked with power becomes racism. We tend to confuse bigoted behavior as being racist, but it is not. When such behavior is linked with the power to subjugate others, it becomes racism. The facts about Rachel Dolezal come to us in media bytes and constitute only a partial picture of her life. The late Dr. James Tinney, Pentecostal scholar and activist, holder of a doctorate in political science from Howard University, was genetically white and reared by a black woman he claimed as his grandmother. As a personal friend I noted that he claimed to be black and never connected with his whiteness. Anyone who knew James can attest to the fact that he was candid about being black.

     In my pilgrimage I have met many ebony black skinned people who acted as though they were white and rejected anyone they encountered who was black. They were clearly labeled negro-peans by blacks who could not handle their rejection. If blackness is simply skin color then Dr. James Cone, Charles A Briggs professor of systematic theology at Union Theological Seminary in New York, was wrong. Cone the “Father of Black Theology” emerged in the late sixties and early seventies as a proponent of what was considered a highly controversial theological posture. In his primer, Black Theology and Black Power, he contended that God was on the side of the oppressed and Jesus was indeed black. For Cone blackness was a condition of oppression rather than skin color. For Cone the black experience was the entry point for “ontological blackness.” Ontology is a metaphysical term that deals with “the nature of being.” Within Cone’s theological analysis of Black Theology it is possible for whites to become black if they meet the criteria of oppression. Rachal Dolezal could enter the purview of the black experience if she comes not as an imposter to pimp blackness as a way of “getting over” but with a deep sense of genuine commitment. To enter the black experience any other way would be an insult to black womanhood everywhere and an uneventful troubled existence.

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