Evangelicals & Popularity
You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. (Matthew 5:13)
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)
But let your communication be, Yea, Yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil. (Matthews 5:37)
Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophet. (Luke 6:26)
For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father’s, and of the holy angels (Luke 9:26-27)
Say, whatever you want about Rush Limbaugh, one thing I will forever appreciate about Rush was you knew precisely where he stood on a matter. I confess I did not care that much for Rush. He was not my cup of tea, just as Candace Owens is not my cup of tea. Limbaugh passed this week, and his legacy will live long. He had tremendous conviction in his beliefs, and he did not refrain from voicing those views. As a result, love him or hate him, he had the ability to move the needle. He will be sorely missed by many, and I concede his view will be hard to replace. When I depart, I too want to leave that type of legacy. I want people to say, “Love him or hate him; Ricky always was willing to take a stand on matters he held most dear. I did not always agree with Ricky, but I always appreciated his candor. You always knew where you stood with Ricky. Ricky did not pull any punches. He was a straight shooter.” Limbaugh and Owens are just the type of human beings that I will always have nothing but the most profound respect. The Bible enjoins us to let your yays be yay, and our nays be nay. People unfairly criticize the Apostle Peter for his impulsiveness, but I want him in my foxhole all day, errday, and twice on Sundays. I would submit all of the Disciples, and anyone who had a relationship always knew where they stood with Peter, whether that relationship was good, bad, or indifferent. You are just fooling yourself if you thought Peter was the only Disciple who struggled to grasp all that Jesus Christ sought to teach. Peter was just the dude who dared to speak up. Remember, it was Peter and only Peter with the stones to leave the boat when Jesus showed up. Yeah, we easily remember Peter stumbled when he took his eyes off Jesus, but you never will succeed if you never try; at least Peter took the bold step of faith. In basketball, there is the expression you can never make the shot you are too afraid to take in the first place.
You do not have to always agree with someone to hold them in high regard or at the very least respect them. I refuse to demonize people just because I happen to hold a divergent viewpoint. Some of my closest and dearest friends have views I demure passionately. We go at it hard, and we do not pull punches in our banter. That does not mean I do not respect them as people and thus denigrate their worth.
In this blog post, my issue is the extreme reticent from many professing believers from speaking publicly about matters of grave import. I have had numerous professing believers talk to me on a personal basis but refuse to make their views publicly known. Can someone please send the lost Book of the Bible that commands followers to engage in cloak and dagger operations?
I am committed to leaving it all on the line before I depart. I can give two shakes (I had a more robust term in mind, but I will refrain) if people choose to Cancel me. Fraternity members have told me to lose their number and withdraw their phone numbers from future text conversations. I have been called a coon by numerous fraternity brothers (some I went to school with and one who introduced me to the running community, which I now passionately love).
Surely I must have qualified for such shunning by fraternity brothers because of the violation of fraternal protocol like divulging fraternity rituals. Maybe I shamed the fraternity for some moral failing. Indeed, these brothers who pledged the same fraternity as I did would have a valid reason for subjecting me to Cancel Culture.
You are smart enough, and you probably know me well enough to know such is not to be the case. I am persona non grata because I dare to hold a divergent view. The last time I checked, my political ideology was not a requirement for entrance into the fraternity.
I get the same foolishness from African Americans in general. Evidently, I allowed my subscription to the African American worldview manual to expire and did not get renewed. Who decided that African Americans are required to be monolithic in their thinking? My parents raised me of the need to always think for themselves, and I dutifully listened. I do not give a flying hoot (again, I had a stronger term in mind, but also I refrain) what others think about a matter. I look at the evidence as best I can, and then I seek to follow wherever the data leads.
I am against Affirmative Action, not because I do not care about the disparity in wages but only because the data shows Affirmative Action has been a colossal failure. I am against the calls for Systemic Racism, not because I naively believe racism does not still exist, but I look at the data and know things have never been better for African Americans and other minorities. If you do not make it in this Culture, you must first take a hard look in the mirror.
I am a strong advocate of School Choice, not because I do not want the Public School to fail, but parents should have the tools to make the best decisions they believe give their children a chance to succeed
I will go to my grave astonished at the lack of moral outrage of most Evangelicals for their silence when it comes to the most significant genocide being perpetrated in our generation with nary a word of outrage: Abortion. I see nothing but a collective yawn. Many of my Evangelical brothers and sisters vote for a political party that legalizes the slaughter of life in the womb. I can post a birthday wish or a photo of my adorable grandson and get plenty of response and like but your post something about the travesty of the sin of abortion or same-sex marriage, and you hear nothing but CRICKETS.
I am fallible; all of my suppositions will never be perfect. I am a work in progress, and I am continually learning, but the issues which I hold dear I will shout to the rooftops. I take shots from people all the time, some I know, but many I do not. I had a FB friend who “knew” me from our affinity for running. She was impressed enough to seek my intercession as she was recovering from COVID-19. Yet, when I had the temerity to express my disapproval of Georgia Senatorial candidate Raphael Warnock. She immediately departed my FB Group because, as an Evangelical, I actually hold to orthodox Evangelical belief. Although she asked for prayer, she apparently did not take seriously a significant part of the same Bible that motivates her to seek other believers’ prayers.
What is appalling is Warnock is a Pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. Yet, Warnock, to his credit, proclaimed he is a “Pro-Choice” Pastor. It is only 2020 that allows someone to postulate such irrationality. It makes no difference to me that Warnock is African American or a member of my fraternity. Nothing, and I literally mean nothing, reigns supreme over my fidelity to Jesus Christ. Society can regard me as a Jesus freak or whatever disparaging moniker they choose. Secularists will not silence me. I will not be marginalized or subjugated to secretly or meekly express my view. Society is strategically attempting to frame the narrative that Evangelicals are free to worship but are not free to practice their faith in the marketplace.
Society is attempting to tell Evangelicals we can believe and express whatever we believe in our homes and in our place of worship as long as we do not bring our beliefs into the public fare. Sorry, that dog will not hunt. As long as there remains Freedom of Expression and Freedom of Religion, I will utilize my God-given rights to express my views whenever and wherever I feel the urge. My question to many Evangelicals is why you feel free to post about other things but not your faith. What defines you? Your fraternal affiliation? Your race or political ideology. What defines me is my faith, and I will speak about it as long as I have my mind functioning and in good order (I know many probably doubt if that ever was true, but that can bite it).
You will never wonder, “Where does Ricky stand on this issue?” If you hang around me long enough, I guarantee I will find the ability to tell you.” You will not even have to wait long to ask.
Let me know what you think. Until then, keep your hands to the plow and seek to serve for an Audience of One.