Thursday, October 21, 2010

The Company We Keep

It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and such sexual immorality as is not even named among the Gentiles—that a man has his father’s wife!  And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he who has done this deed might be taken away from among you. 1 Corinthians 5: 1-2

Ummm… did you read the passage above?


Let’s look at this a minute. A man has his father’s wife. There are a few things that stick out here for me. The first is “father’s wife”. Dude is not sleeping with his mother (wipes sweat off brow), but he’s messing with his stepmother! Yuck. Still gross but only mildly less gross since it is not in the same blood line.

The second thing is “has”. This indicates that this is no one time affair. Not only is dude booed up with his step mother but he’s been bringing her to church like it’s all good and the other members haven’t done anything about it.

And this is where it gets interesting.

We have seen prominent church folks in the news lately who have been accused of doing some pretty sad stuff. Bishop Eddie Long is the most recent example. According to Paul here we gotta throw them out! And you know what… I feel him.

Now of course this doesn’t mean you get thrown out forever. We are supposed to be a forgiving people.  When someone truly repents and displays reconciliatory actions that demonstrate a desire to heal old wounds then we should allow that process to take place over time. But yo man… if you’re running any kind of organization based on some moral values and you’ve got folks in there trampling all up on said values then they got to go.

I think this is why folks have such a hard time with Christians. We tend to be the first to tell other people what they should believe, how they should act, that they are condemned to eternal damnation. Then it seems like every time you look up, the folk screaming loudest in condemnation of others are the ones doing the wildest things. The preachers hollering the most violent anti-gay and lesbian vitriol is the dude hiring male prostitutes. The dude preaching abstinence to the young college aged kids in his congregation is the one accused of trying to have sex with them (and it was young boys… double whammy).

Even as a Christian myself I have been discouraged by these things in the past. Why can’t folk just act decent? Why do the folks screaming the loudest have to be the ones who act the worst? Why don’t they just shut up already?

If you make a mistake and try to right that then cool, I can dig that. But if you decide to live in such a way that not only habitually hurts yourself and others but also affects the faith of those around you…

You got to go.

We gotta be careful about what we allow into our house. In the same way that you would think twice about allowing a thief in your home, even if they were your child, we gotta really think carefully about who we have in our spiritual homes.

Whether we like it or not we are all role models. Regardless of your faith or lack of faith others look to you to be an example of what you say that you believe. Those same silent observers will use their observations to color their perspectives of other people who claim to think like you do or believe in what you believe in.

So if you’re gonna act wild and flaunt it for the world to see… keep that to yourself. Don’t bring it around me. I still love you and wish you the best. But on the real… kinda hard to break bread with you homie if you’re gonna bring your dad’s wife to the dinner table with you.

You are the company you keep. Never forget that.


  1. Hey Clarence,
    First of all, Amen and Amen.

    So basically what you're saying is "sweep around yo own front doe."

    Really, I was very unsettled about all the scandals that are coming out because I know it breaks God's heart. However, these ugly feelings really made me cry out, and then, I began to thank God for His mercy on my life.

    Cause if not for the GRACE of God, there go I.

    Peace and Blessings

  2. "kinda hard to break bread with you homie if you’re gonna bring your dad’s wife to the dinner table with you." - hahahahaha!

    The differences between man and beast, are reason and choice. We can use the world as our guide, it is though our choice to reason which part and what of that guide we want to follow.

    Whether spiritual or devoutly religious, the single can effect the whole. Which means, all are accountable. At the end of the day, I wouldn't want my credit to be effected because you have bad credit. If that were the case, out and away ya go until you can work out what ya need to.

    It is a hardship to have to leave good people behind because of mistakes. Sometimes though, it what needs to be done to prevent their bad credit from effecting yours. The bright side is, after "repair" they can always come back.


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