By Rev. Dr. Clenard H. Childress, Jr.
Nationwide (BlackNews.com) — I had the privilege of being interviewed by Jonathan Coats, an Elder in Church Of God In Christ, and the host of the radio program, “Inside Politics,” heard in Columbus, Ohio, without being prepped on the question. I was asked to give commentary on the past comments made by Bishop T.D. Jakes when asked by Roland Martin, CNN’s most zealous Obama activist, about the remarks of Rev. Franklin Graham, regarding Barack Obama‘s faith.
I was somewhat stunned simply due to the fact, I had not heard the remarks previously and they were coming form Bishop Jakes, who is one of the most, if not the most profound and consistent Preacher in America. It was quite apparent Roland Martin had previously prepped Bishop Jakes to make sure he would get the appropriate response CNN was looking for. Roland commented first that Rev. Franklin Graham had questioned the faith of Barack Obama and whether or not he was a Christian.
Now, being the son of America’s most recognized Evangelist, I am sure the hotline from Washington, DC to CNN began ringing when Rev. Franklin Graham asserted such doubts and gave the allegoric example for his assertions by saying, “just because you are in a garage doesn’t make you a car, neither does going to church make you a Christian.” Roland Martin accused Rev. Franklin Graham of muddying the waters with such comments. Roland pointed out that Obama had walked down the isle in Jeremiah Wright’s church and gave his life, and that that should be enough. He then asked Bishop Jakes, “What do you say to such remarks, Bishop Jakes?”
Seeing Roland’s excited anticipation of what he already knew would be his desired, vetted, and to some extent, scripted response from the Bishop, I anticipated some sort of rebuke directed toward Rev. Franklin Graham would be forthcoming. While viewing Roland as he asked the question, and seeing the somber and melancholy posture of Bishop Jakes as he listened to the question, you definitely get the impression all of this is being staged, manipulated and orchestrated, for just one look at Bishop Jakes and you know he isn’t going to be talking about… having a positive attitude about life… his new book… a tape series on success… Somewhat baffled with what Bishop Jakes could possibly say to make Roland Martin raring for him to give his response, had me hanging onto my seat. And then the Bishop spoke.
I would like to extrapolate five responses that the Bishop made which are incomprehensible.
Bishop Jakes said: 1) “He was insulted.” 2) “We shouldn’t question someone’s faith.” 3) “We didn’t question George Bush’s Faith.” 4) “Rev. Franklin Graham was being affected by the nuances of politics.” 5) “He should apologize.”
Insulted… Now – just being real here – this is unquestionably a means to invoke the race card, and, shame on Rev. Franklin Graham to dare “question the President.” Remember, this is the same president who has yet to produce an authentic Birth Certificate that has every other nation’s media, but our country’s, doing extensive stories and asking the hard questions our media refuses to ask. Insulted? There probably isn’t a Baptist Preacher, along with their congregation, that has not heard that analogy at least 100 times. In the book of James, the author questioned them (insulted them?) so they would know that, just by saying you have faith, is not sufficient, and they would be deceiving themselves if their works did not reflect their faith. What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith, but does not have works? Can faith alone save him?
We didn’t question George Bush’s Faith… WHAT? If you are referring to the African-American Church then that is unquestionably the most bogus response you could possibly give. Moreover, George Bush was demonized by NAACP, Rainbow Coalition, National Action Committee, and Congressional Black Caucus, and so on and so on. Barack Obama’s Pastor, Jeremiah Wright, called George Bush “a Fool”; Louis Farrakhan called him “a Devil”. We accepted his testimony? That response only leads to another question: Who is the “we” that Bishop Jakes is talking about?
The Bible is clear on Salvation, as Bishop Jakes has stated, but it is also clear, Christians are to question a person’s faith when their works – their fruit – to not align proving otherwise. In Mathew 7:16-18, 20, Jesus takes it further than “question” when He succinctly states,
You will recognize them by their fruit. Grapes are not gathered from thorns or figs from thistles, are they? In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree is not able to bear bad fruit, nor a bad tree to bear good fruit. So then, you will recognize them by their fruit.
Rev. Franklin Graham should not be trapped into the question as to whether or not Barak Obama accepted Christ, and thus has, “Faith”. But instead, the discussion should be about Barack Obama’s “Fruit”. For any Christian, including the Bishop, who has objectively looked upon the fruit of Barack Obama and then not questioned his faith, would be guilty of gross negligence of the worst kind, and denial to what is recognizable.
Rev. Franklin Graham stated that the primary reason for his questioning was Abortion. The Preacher’s Kid probably knows Barack Obama believes, if a baby survives an abortion attempt by an abortionist, and is left alive on the table needing assistance, love, care, and nurturing, that child should be left to die (Christ Hospital, Chicago). That is about as evil a fruit as one can produce, wouldn’t you agree?
Not only that, the president has ordered his judicial staff to ignore the Defense of Marriage Act which upholds the sanctity of marriage as being between one man and one woman. It is not only an impeachable act to order your legislative staff to not acknowledge the law, but to seek to undermine and/or alter the holy estate of matrimony, is abominable as a Christian – another interesting fruit. And ending a voucher program due to fear of the Teachers Union, a program which was elevating, as well as educating inner-city Black children in Washington, DC, and then in the same week, sending the amount of money needed to keep the Voucher Program, to the United Nations Population Control to abort people of color overseas, was absolutely despicable. This list of fruit could go on and on, but I must pose this question: is anyone insulted by this?
Bishop Jakes, the nuances of politicks and being Politically Correct, at all costs, is what led to you being petitioned for the interview with Roland Martin, for Barack Obama knows his numbers are abysmal and doesn’t have the clout in the Black Community this time around, so who better than you, Sir, to summon to give the appearance of your sanctioning his candidacy to continue this madness, for what better iconic religious figure could he retain to distract from the scrutiny or the “trying” of his faith via nuanced phraseology than you?
Apologize… Dr. Martin Luther King would often quote from Edmond Burke’s observation that “all that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Good men, and certainly preachers, must speak out against the evil even if that means “questioning ones faith.” Are you asking for Rev. Franklin Graham to apologize for something a good man is supposed to do? If Rev. Franklin Graham was trying to be Politically Correct, then he must apologize. But if he wants to be commended by Christ, and bear the fruit of a Christian, then he must continue to “question” and cry out about the corrupt works of those who say they are Christian.
The best example I can share, which in these times should be the testimony of every Christian, is taken from the book of Revelation and Jesus’ words to the Church at Ephesus.
Revelation 2:2 states, “I know your industry and activities, laborious toil and trouble, and your patient endurance, and how you cannot tolerate wicked men and have tested and critically appraised those who call themselves apostles – special messengers of Christ – and yet are not, and have found them to be impostors and liars.”
No, we cannot apologize for what Jesus commends and commands us to do.
Rev. Dr. Clenard H. Childress, Jr. is a columnist, and the founder of www.BlackGenocide.org – a website designed to reach the Afro-American community with the truth about abortion.