Right Church…Wrong Call…An Uncertain Sound

ichabodLeonard Lovett, Ph. D

 

Monday, October 31, 2016 has proven to be momentous in the life of the Church of God in Christ. The Chairman of the General Assembly, Bishop James Hunt transitioned to his eternal reward, an event that has left most of us numb. His unique spirit, voice and contribution will be greatly missed at a time when special leadership is urgently needed. In the meanwhile, an unrelated prayer tele-conference call scheduled by the Chairman of the Board of Bishops, John Sheard was initiated. It was reported that a strange interruption took place and the tele-conference had to be terminated. My tentative conclusion is that the call was made in the right church at a questionable moment.

  Mr. Chairman, I must ask a daunting question. Why did you call a general prayer meeting one week before the Convocation? It appears ironic that you have served three terms (12 years) and has never called a prayer meeting. Has it dawned on you that a general prayer call will not fix our situation. We need massive repentance. You are reputed to be a leader of a large number of Bishops, but guilty of making the wrong call at the right time. Should you be praying for forgiveness for committing malfeasance/misfeasance in the case of the Bishop from New Mexico who was given a pass and is bringing reproach to the name of God and His Church? God cannot be mocked. You have given an uncertain sound through your leadership style. Our church needs stability and trusted leadership.

“If the trumpet gives an uncertain sound, who shall prepare himself to the battle?” (KJV) “And if the army bugler doesn’t play the right notes, how will the soldiers know that they are being called to battle?” (LBV)

     Mr. Chairman, a call for repentance in a church where holiness has been de-railed would bring pleasure to God. Once repentance (Greek metanoia)- “change of heart, change of mind and change of direction” takes place, as leaders you will begin to demand justice. Throughout the Old Testament, the giving of sacrifices-burnt offerings was linked to the doing of justice. If you are praying without meting justice, it is possible that your prayer can become sin. Proverbs 28: 9– “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination.” (KJV) –“God doesn’t listen to the prayers of those who flout the law.” (LBV)  You may not like the mail carrier, but please read the mail. If you indict some people in the Board of Bishops supported by cronies, and allow people who are guilty of flagrant sins that demean and destroy people to walk free for political reasons, you will not escape the wrath of God. Your title, prestige and money means nothing in the face of almighty God. Hear God address this kind of unlawful behavior. Amos 5:21 “I hate your show and pretense…your hypocrisy of honoring me with your religious feasts and solemn assemblies…I will not look at your offerings of peace…away with your hymns of praise, they are mere noise to my ears. I will not listen to your music, no matter how lovely it is…I want to see a mighty flood of justice…a torrent of doing good.”  Apart from justice, you can cancel the next prayer tele-conference.

           The shelf behind the door, The shelf behind the door,
           Tear it down and throw it out, Don’t use it anymore;
           For Jesus wants His Temple clean, From ceiling to the floor;
           He even wants that little shelf, That’s hid behind the door. –Author unknown

Remember, Anyone with charges pending regardless of title, name or rank should not be seeking a national office. We must follow our Constitution.!!!

old-telephone

We Do Not Belong to COGIC…COGIC SHOULD BELONG TO US

October 14, 2016
Leonard Lovett, Ph. D

man-in-bondage_edited-2-1“Be a member of this group or that denomination, but do not belong to it…belong to Christ. The group or denomination belongs to you; you do not belong to it.”  ESJ-  The Way. Brothers and Sisters in the faith the time has come to make this declaration clear without getting it twisted. We should belong to Jesus Christ, the Lord of the church as servants of a “Kingdom that not only will not be shaken, but cannot be shaken.” Hebrews 11: 28. A Bishop recently told me that a Minister from another denomination told him that “they used to look up to us for inspiration and guidance…unfortunately they are now looking at us on the internet with shame.”  The admonition quoted above are the words of the late Eli Stanley Jones, United Methodist Missionary to India for over a half century. Unfortunately, COGIC has become hostage to a leadership that has misled us  for quite sometime.  I am prepared to take the risk of exposing my own struggles and inadequacies in order to rescue us from a denomination that has become increasingly dictatorial and woefully authoritarian. Where are the so-called prophetic voices? They are either bought out, scared, silent or doing fundraisers called Revivals.

    By the way I have been warned to do an Elijah and go hide in a cave until the crisis pass over. In addition to being a child of the King I have too much of my father’s DNA with Cherokee Nation on my mother’s side. A relative told me that whatever my grandfather did to the slave-master they are still looking for him.  I buried cowardice decades ago. I learned from the best. Bishop Richard Eugene Ranger from Ft. Worth Texas was one of my mentors. I recently warned that Armageddon has come to COGIC. Some of our leaders not only have failed to protect us from scandal, but have brought “reproach” upon the name of our God who alone is holy.  Leadership is pre-occupied with getting re-elected for another term. I read somewhere that “we become whatever we worship.”  Idolatry is at the center of our Church. There have been no calls for prayer and fasting for God to intervene.  Traditional calls for prayer will not work at this time.

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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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