Do not be deceived: “Bad company ruins good morals.” 1 Corinthian 15:33
Can two walk together, except they be agreed? Amos 3:3
Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 15 And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever? 2 Corinthians 6:14-15
Birds of a feather flock together.
The people you surround yourself with have a huge impact on your life. They can influence your thoughts, emotions, and behaviors in both positive and negative ways. Choose wisely.
(Zero Machina, Social Influencer taken from a random Google search)
First, let me freely confess I know nothing about the spiritual state of Zero Machina, who I quote to begin this foray into today’s blog post. I suspect she is not a professing Evangelical and probably does not believe in God, at least the God of the Bible. Yet, her attribution just affirms the maxim that All Truth is God’s truth, even expressed from time to time by people who do not bend or do not yet bend the knee to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
It further demonstrates that no person who resides in time and space can escape the reach of God. Yes, all of God’s creation is marred by the Fall but never completely. Even while people suppress God's truth, God proclaims that all humanity knows perfectly well that God does exist.
Well, enough about Zero Machina for the moment; let me hurry to what is burning my heart to blog about today, even as a Dear Sister in Christ's tantalizing conversation sidetracked me from musing my thoughts last night. As part of my musical rotation, a song by The Clark Sisters began to play. I believe I was hearing this song for the first time. I am aware of a couple of previous Clark Sisters songs, which I enjoyed well enough. This one immediately caught my ear because the voice of Snoop Dogg invaded my eardrums. The song is entitled “His Love [feat. Snoop Dogg]."
I could not believe my ears. Here was Snoop Dogg, singing with the venerated Christian singing group The Clark Sisters about the majestic ministry of Jesus Christ. I took to Facebook and posted the following sentiment:
Hey, Clark Sisters, you want to know how I come to regard you as someone NOT to listen to going forward. Create a record supposedly praising Jesus Christ with Snoop Dogg. I quit drinking Corona because Corona uses Snoop Dogg as one of its principal spokespersons. God help me if Christ judges me at the Bema, but I seriously doubt He will.
Surprising, yet what should no longer be surprising, I immediately was met with scorn on Facebook. Now, I grant it was from only one objector, but it was not so much the volume of dissent but the location where the objection arose. It arose from a Facebook Group called Alphas on the Right, a supposed collective of men of the esteemed fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. A group that allegedly shares not only a fraternal bond but a bond of Conservative solidarity.
The astute reader readily understands why I chose to place allegedly in italics. Apparently, even Zero Machina understands there is a price to play with the people we freely choose to align ourselves but evidently not with my alleged Alpha brother on the Right. It is most tragic the only understanding most Evangelicals have regarding the biblical admonition not to become unequally yoked is concerning marriage. 2 Corinthians 6:14-15 certainly applies to marriage, but it equally applies to any relationship.
It may be out of place in formulating a cogent argument but let me detour for a moment and speak about a wise man I once knew but did not fully appreciate at the time but have now come to understand and cherish the wisdom of his directive.
This man had a son whose best friend was hosting an eighth-grade graduation party a mere two homes down from where his son lived. Yet, despite this close proximity, along with this man being on very amicable terms with his son's best friend’s parents, this man nonetheless refused to let his son attend said best friend's party. The man's son was devastated and embarrassed beyond description and, for the longest time, resented his father for denying him the chance to celebrate the party of his lifetime [so he foolishly mused at the time] with his friend. I mean, how many times do one graduate from the eighth grade? Once! Right!!!
I suspect you know where this story is heading and whom I am describing. The villainous man was my very own late father. A man who I subsequently came to love and respect deeply. A man who, at the time, only had a fourth-grade education but was wise beyond his years.
Lest you become confused that I am venerating my father too much, I acknowledge my dear father was a flawed man. Like most fathers, including myself, are flawed, I will forever be grateful because I learned from my father what it is to be a man who does not run from the first sign of trouble and desert his family. Sometimes the greatest attribute a father can give his children is his mere presence in the home. It is for this very reason most African Americans can miss me with their tomfoolery talk about systemic racism as the chief reason the African American home is under siege.
I can almost guarantee my father did not have the Bible in mind to ground his reasoning, but he still knew that hanging with that crowd would likely be bad news for his eldest son.
Tears begin to form in my eyes as I reflect on how my father had the God-enabled foresight to protect me for one simple reason. James Earl Kyles loved his son, and he knew his son, Ricky, going to that party would have satisfied him in the short term but would have potentially exposed his son to grave harm in the long term.
If you remember my last post regarding Evangelical's fixation on the need to be nice, you need to understand my father gave no quarter with concerns about being nice. In fact, my father spent the better part of my adolescence not being nice, and I write as one who lived in one of the more challenging neighborhoods in the mean streets of Chicago. My brothers and I did not need a nice father; we needed a father the likes of James Earl Kyles.
In retrospect, I never gave my father the proper thanks he deserved for being such a great dad to my three brothers and me. I long for the reunion he and I will have on the other side of the River Jordan. There, we will have all of eternity to contemplate and reflect. Thank God this Earth is neither our home nor our final destiny.
In the meantime, let me wipe these tears and return to the task at hand. I do not like nor care for Snoop Dog and all the Snoop Doggs of the world. I do not like how he represents himself with his degrading lyrics and boasting of smoking weed. I do not believe his rap glorifies God or edifies man in any shape, form, or fashion.
I could not care less that Snoop Dogg apparently is involved in his son’s life because Jesus Christ makes abundantly clear that loving those who love us is nothing worthy of any commendation. Heck, even the diabolical Adolf Hitler loved Eva Braun.
Nevertheless, my Facebook post was not a polemic against Snoop Dogg, even given my personal angst with him. I fully expect sinners to live their lives consistent with their nature. My polemic was aimed squarely at the venerated Christian singing Group The Clark Sisters. The Clark Sisters purport to bend the knee to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.
Employing the logic of the Apostle Paul as he wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, I ask this question:
For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what accord has Christ with Belial? Or what part has a believer with an unbeliever?
I can easily apply this logic to President Obama (as one example of so, so many in the professing Evangelical Church) and, in turn, ask the same question. Why were Beyonce and Jay-Z such frequent guests at the White House during your administration?
I can better yet ask this question to many of my African American readers: Why do you lionize the lives of the George Floyd and the Jacob Blakes of this world?
Why do you enter into a social and political dalliance with people who do not bend the knee to Jesus Christ?
Back to The Clark Sisters, what message does this send to our young people who intuitively already look for a reason to throw off all moral restraint when you produce a song praising Jesus Christ with the likes of someone as vile as Snoop Dogg?
I trust you do not employ the sophomoric rebuttal I received from my objector. I grant I do not know if any of the Clark Sisters will be in heaven or not. I, too, do not know if Snoop Dogg will be there either. Much remains to be determined, as there is always still hope as long as the blood pumps warm in the human body.
But this much I know for now. Snoop Dogg demonstrates no credible evidence that He is among the Redeemed. Thus, it is mind-boggling The Clark Sisters would align themselves with someone who promotes the moral filth that Snoop Dogg promotes, all without blushing (see Jeremiah 6:15 for those keeping score at home).
We will never escape the reality that the people we choose to enter into relationships speak untold volumes about us. God moved the Psalmist to pen in Psalm One:
Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. For the LORD watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.
To intentionally invoke the ire of my younger brother and a few others, I close by lamenting, I am just a simple ole country boy from Mississippi. This means I try to understand what God says in His Word to guide my thinking in the most simplest of terms.
I thank God He was at work in my life, even when why my father and I did not fully appreciate it back in the day. I did not attend that party that night back in June of 1982, but today I am the better man for it. It is my fervent hope my son, Ricky Jr., will be able to think the same about me as he matures in his manhood.
God help me if I am wrong about The Clark Sisters and Snoop Dogg. I write, as always, with fear and trembling because it is no small thing to miss the mark when speaking for God. I do not post willy-nilly, talking about things that do not matter.
As always, let me know what you think. Until then, keep your hands to the plow and seek to serve for an Audience of One.
I have ceased posting from https://wordpress.com/home/keepingyourhandtotheplow.blog.
My new blog post site is https://www.thinkingcriticallyfromanevangelicalworldview.com/blog
With fear & trembling,
Ricky V Kyles Sr. DEd.Min