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Commentary

Insurance Companies Crying Wolf to the Churches

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Richard O. Jones
During the 1990s when a disproportionate number of Black churches were being burned to the ground by arsonists, especially in the South, naturally, and opportunistically, the insurance companies increased fire coverage for Black churches in the South. In a frantic rush, insurance companies began to send out agents to lecture the churches on how to detect a potential arsonist within their congregation.  As a result Black church members became paranoid or at least highly suspicious of visitors, especially white ones. Church deacons and ushers were instructed to rush into restrooms and inspect for smoke every time a stranger exited.  Panic grew as the allegedly racist burning of Black churches gradually spread to other areas of America.  Churches were beginning to close their doors because they could no longer afford the rising rates of fire insurance. However, fire investigators began to suspect that many of the fires were not the work of White racists but by Black pastors and other church officers to collect insurance money and rebuild another church. As a result, several Black pastors and church members throughout America were arrested, pled guilty, and convicted of arson upon their own churches.

Today the insurance companies are running fearful and creating a paranoid atmosphere within the churches in America as a result of the wide spread sexual scandals in the Catholic Church. Many insurance companies won’t even insure a Catholic Church. Although sexual misconduct in the church has been a realty since the beginning of churches, as in all other facets of life, insurance companies encouraging all churches to circle the wagons against becoming easy targets for sexual misconduct lawsuits.  A few weeks ago, our church gathered to be lectured to by our insurance company representative about how to reduce the risk of child molestation and financial theft within the church. One of the first things the agent said was that we should do a background check on all members before they are allowed to work with the children. We were further encouraged not to allow a lone adult to drive a child home. It was even suggested that if a parent doesn’t arrive to the church to pickup their own child after church or a church function, church officials should call the police and report the child abandoned rather than transport the child themselves. To add ridiculous to impractical we were asked do a background check on all members working with church funds. And as far as theft is concerned, a large number of Black men with criminal and/or prison records are rehabilitated, bornagain and are now pastors. Should they be barred from trust because of their past? Only a few disciples in the Bible could get insurance by today’s new insurance guidelines.  The insurance representative acknowledged that a close family friend or family member molests most children more often than an outsider. With that being the case, how can the church protect a child from the possibility of a perverted family member driving the child home? Furthermore, very few Catholic Priests, if any, had a criminal record of child molestation.

The Bible says that God is not a respecter of persons; however, that does not apply to the insurance company. If any type person should be scrutinized then everyone should be scrutinized. What about the car thieve? Do we want an ex-car thieve around our church parking lot? Do we want an ex-murderer working in our church kitchen with the opportunity to poison everybody? What about mental patients and former mental patients, should the church begin to screen for them too?

Should we allow an ex-arsonist to light the candles? Insurance companies should stay out of God’s business stop being church doorkeepers.  And the church must not become insurance company vigilantes; however, more vigilant of the responsibility to protect everyone in and outside of the church.

richardojones1@verizon.net

Eyes & Ears of Moreno Valley

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Juanita Barnes
Elder Marquis Boone spoke on unity with the title “Holding On To Something Greater.” Unity means oneness, accord, commitment and unification. It is the ultimate condition of harmony. When I think about unity the book of Ruth comes to mind. In the book you find such a vivid picture of true unity and how unity should be in the body of Christ.

Moreno Valley this coming week is Mother’s Day. Do not forget your mother or whoever raised you. And if your mother is not with you anymore, choose someone that has been in your life and has given you care, love and remember them in the manner of a mother’s LOVE. Also, if things are a little strained with you and your mother, this is the time to get it right. To all of you HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY, may this be your best ever.

A great time was had during The National Council of Negro Women Moreno Valley Section Founder’s Day Celebration. Mrs. Mattie Grant was in town to celebrate with the section. It was the 20th annual celebration.  Here we grow again. Coming to Moreno Valley, The Lord’s Gym, founded by Pastor Ted Collins, Sr.  and Co–Pastor Val Collins of Renewed Life Fellowship, Inc. who were given a vision for at-risk youth. But this venture can only happen with your prayers and your help. This is a public charity and anything you donate is tax exempt.  If you would like to be a part of this wonderful vision for our community e–mail renewedlifefellowship.org or call (760) 900–6432. Your support is needed.

There is a West Coast premier coming to the Grove Theatre, 276 East 9th Street in Upland. Starting May 8th through June 7th, a new musical comedy “Church Basement Ladies” begins. For information visit www.grovetheatre.com or call (909) 920–4343. It is just a few off ramps off the 10 freeway. See you there.

Tanya James wrote: “What Happened To Our Church:” “It’s Sunday morning, and church service will begin in the next 10 minutes.  In walks a young girl, dressed in a super mini – skirt and a cropped shirt with five-inch heels and torn stockings. Instantly, heads turn and PEOPLE start pointing whispering among themselves saying things like, “how dare she wear something like that to church service?” And did she come straight from the club?  What they didn’t know is that this young girl was a call girl who had a dream last night where she was positive.  God reached out His hand and called her back to Him. She rushed to the church building this morning wanting to get her life back on track and turn back to God. However, she sees the PEOPLE (the Church) talking about her and embarrassed she turns and runs back out the door… back to the streets from whence she came. How do you treat people when they come to the Church that isn’t dressed like you?

Be Blessed
JB!

Single Mothers’ Formidable Task of Developing Boys to Men

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Richard O. Jones
On May 8, 1914, President Wilson designated the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day - As significant as political, military, educational, or religious public figures may be, none can compare to the impact made by mothers. There is no more influential or powerful role on earth than a mother’s. Their words are never fully forgotten, and the memory of their presence lasts a lifetime. However, when a single mother lacks the skills of parenting it can play a devastating role in the lives of her son and lead to disrespect for women in general. I witnessed a lack of respect for women in my two nephews that I contribute to the way they were raised by my sister, a single mother.

During the 70’s my baby sister was the single parent of two young sons. Each of the boys has a different absent father. My sister used a ‘Rambo’ type of discipline. She used to sock them with her fists and challenge her frightened sons to a brawl rather than teach them with patient instruction. She would get close up in their face and snatch them in the collar then threaten bodily harm if they didn’t immediately obey. In her mind, my sister was instilling respect through fear.  Although her sons meekly obeyed her commands, the meek compliance only lasted until they were taller than their mother. Then when their mother got upset she would brace herself in her famous boxers’ stance with her fists balled up and challenge them to a fistfight, which they refused but mumbled under their breath as they begrudgingly dragged their feet and very slowly complied with her orders.  During their adolescence, their mother had three live-in boyfriends; two of which were violent towards her.

Today, over twenty years later, my nephews are thirty something and have a deep-seated resentment for their mother. It doesn’t take much before they explode with profanity when they are in the slightest disagreement with her. My sister now lives alone in chronic sorrow and wonders why her sons don’t respect her and seemingly women in general. Both of my nephews have been arrested for domestic violence upon their various girlfriends, nonpayment of child support, and illegal drug use.  My advice to young single mothers with sons is to avoid the habit of being seen by your sons with more than a couple different boyfriends or husbands during their childhood. Also teach your sons with love and wisdom and use as little physical punishment as possible.  Violence teaches violence.

Never put any love interest ahead of your children, and don’t associate with any man who physically abuses you or disrespects you in general.  Boys have a natural instinct to love their mothers and put no one above her. A boy will fight twice as fast and hard if a kid says something bad about his mother than his father. However if he’s raised with little respect for his mother the women that he encounters will feel his wrath.

richardojones1@verizon.net

Eyes & Ears of Moreno Valley

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Juanita Barnes
Bishop Jim Sewilly said “The Power In Us”: Unity is :U – understanding, first of all, that the true “Church” – The Body / Bride of Christ is not some archaic, irrelevant religious system, but is that universal company of called – out ones who are coming into the consummation of the third day in Christ. So read your Bible prayerfully and think. You must also have a great prayer life.

Moreno Valley three informational meetings have been scheduled along with one public hearing.  All meetings will be held in the City Hall Council Chamber located at 14177 Frederick Street. The informational meetings will be held Wednesday, April 29 at 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.; Thursday, April, 30 at 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Tuesday May, 5, at 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.  The public meeting will be May 26, beginning at 6:00 p.m. A public hearing will be held Tuesday, June 9 at 6:30 p.m. These meetings are concerning the balloting about “Residential Streetlights”.

Moreno Valley a new musical comedy will be coming soon called the Church Basement Ladies. This will be its West Coast Premier at the Grove Theatre, 276 East 9th Street Upland, California and run from May 8th – June 7th, Fridays and Saturdays beginning at 7:28 p.m.  Sundays at 2:00 p.m. Saturday Matinee begins at 2:00 p.m. May 9, 16, and 23. Tickets are $25.00 & $30.00. For senior, student & group discount rates that are available, contact (909) 920–4343. See you there.

This past Sunday, Cathedral Of Praise International Ministries celebrated reflection day. The guest Minister of Music was none other than first lady Shervonne Wells, the lovely wife of Bishop Kenneth Wells. As she sung “I Surrender.” I encourage you to get her new CD it truly is a blessing.

This is the conclusion of Maya Angelou from last week: Most of our haters are people who are supposed to be on our side. How do you handle your undercover haters? You can handle those undercover haters by 1) knowing who they are and who your true friends are. (Very Important) 2) having a purpose to your life; purpose does not mean having a job. You can have a job and still be unfulfilled; a purpose is having a clear sense of what God has called you to be. Your purpose is not defined by what others think about you. 3) By remembering what you have is by divine prerogative and not human manipulation.

Fulfill your dreams! You only have one life to live… when it’s your time to leave this earth, you want to be able to say, I’ve lived my life and fulfilled my dreams… Now I’m ready to go home! When God gives you favor, you can tell your haters, don’t look at me… Look at who is in charge of me. A woman’s heart should be hidden in Christ that a man should have to seek Him first to find her.

What a powerful ending. Let us all in the Inland Empire support and love one another. Love is our “GAME” and “UNITY” is our fame we are on the same team.

Be Blessed!
JB

Modern Laws and Wisdom Applied to Ancient Scripture Makes a Better Society: Part 2 of 2

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Richard O. Jones
Numbers 30:3-16 talks about a transfer of authority from the father to the husband when a woman leaves her father’s house and is united with her husband. Although the women of modern society unanimously dismiss this outdated biblical law, there are others that many cling to, which put undue pressure on today’s marital relationships.  Another scripture modern citizens of The United States have abandoned is Ephesians 6:5-9 which instructs slaves to obey and love their masters as they would the Lord.

One of the major misconceptions that is passed along from elder females that is detrimental to modern marriages is 1 Timothy 5:8 –

But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel. According to AARP’s Study on Divorce, marital discord and divorce is on the rise even among Christian seniors because many senior women do not feel that they are adequately provided for as the Bible said a man should provide. However modern times are not like biblical times. In the early 1800s women were not allowed to be educated beyond grammar school or involved in politics because they were considered feebleminded and mentally challenged. A woman needed a man to provide because she was unjustly discriminated against. Until Women’s Liberation of the 1970s, women were an underclass.  However, women now, unlike females of old, are legally equal and highly educated, free to vote, own businesses, and prosper without restraints. Millions of women in the United States are successful professionals, politicians, and business leaders while millions of men are stay-home dads and househusbands.  There are millions of men who are out of work, in low wage jobs, and discriminated against because of their race and/or criminal past.  Many hardworking males lack good marketable skills. Some are entrepreneurs in struggling businesses, and for various other reasons the man is not always the breadwinner.  Many marriages have crumbled when women dogmatically hold on to the antiquated doctrine.

Married elders of empirical wisdom must begin to demonstrate that the concept of ‘providing’ extends beyond food, shelter, and household necessities. The health of a modern marriage is not predicated on which spouse bought the milk or paid the larger portion of the rent. No man should be lazy and refuse to contribute to the household; however, there are essential facets of providing that are too often ignored. Providing, by the standards of today’s society extends to good parenting; commitment; love; integrity; strength; protection; trust; spiritual foundation and many others godly virtues.  However in parts of Asia, Africa, and the Middle East women are not legally or by virtue of their religion equal to men and are subject to male domination and therefore require male provision for their mere survival. But in the United States women have gained their full and equal rights under the law and cannot demand equality and simultaneously to be taken care of by cherry-picking the scriptures; such actions are destroying many marriages.

In order for our marriages to withstand the storms of the world, our elders and family leaders must begin to teach how believers can adapt the scriptures to best serve our reality in the 21st Century while continuing to follow the spirit of the Bible.

richardojones1@verizon.net

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