SOLUTIONS - Days 6-8 - Innovation and Intercession
Solutions - Day 10 - Necessary

Solutions - Day 9 - Obligate and More

My reflections today on Deuteronomy 28 pointed me to the reality of my obligation under covenant with God to be holy, called by His Name, and in leadership for His sake.

With great blessing always comes great responsibility and obligation. The Kennedys and the Rockefellers drilled this into the consciousness of their children and grandchildren. It became a family culture from which few departed. It ought to be a part of the culture of God's people as well.

I identify with Paul in Romans 1:14-16 that I am a debtor of good news. Frank Pollard once said, "Because I know it, I owe it." That means that I am obligated to find a way to share good news so that it really does come out as good news and not condemnation and it is receivable. I cannot determine that it will be received, but I can present it in such a way as not to alienate the hearer for the wrong reasons - namely that I was obnoxious, pushy, or evasive.

Romans 8:12-13 reminds me that I have an obligation to mortify the flesh with its deeds and motive and live by the Spirit with my spirit.

Other Stuff ...

What I saw on Letterman last night was a glimpse of how church ought to work and it was totally from outside the church.

We had seen a comic make an absolute idiot of himself by ranting racial slurs and yelling at the audience. Spouting profanities seems to be tantamount to punctuation marks in the comedy community as evidenced through "Comic Relief" the other night. But this went way over the edge and revealed something deep and troubling about Michael Richards that I am not sure even he understands.

Then we saw the condemnations. They were justified and real. What normally happens is that friends go into hiding or denounce the person. This happens in church as we shoot our wounded soldiers. It happens in government. It is true of both public and private life.

What happened next was uncharacteristic of public discourse. Jerry Seinfeld reached out to his friend without condoning the behavior. In fact, he privately and publicly deplored the behavior. He apparently offered wise counsel throughout the day and urged Michael to openly and publically repent of his words and offer apologies.

Finally, Jerry offered a spot on his own time on Letterman for Michael to do so and even gently rebuked the audience for laughing. He told Letterman that "this is a person I love," and stood by him. Michael's apology was one of the most brutally honest, no-excuses, heartfelt apologies I have ever heard.

The words he used on stage make my skin crawl, but I believed Micahel Richards' apology. More so, I applaud Jerry Seinfeld for being a friend and an example of what Christians ought to be and David Letterman for making the forum available.

We learn from unlikely sources and this was one.

Concerning Comic Relief, I am a bit sad. What a line-up! For one thing, the three hosts are some of the most tallented, good-hearted, responsible, funny individuals in show business. What a tragedy that they and nearly every other entertainer on the show had to be b leeped repeatedly for profanity. I was flipping channels and hoping against hope I could find something funny that wasn't bleeped out - because I love the work these guys do in mainstream media. Beyond that, I loved what they were trying to accomplish that night.

The question is why must they resort to this lowest common denominator of profanity? Is it supposedly more real? I don't know, but it is not the reality I choose.

I won't give up on these guys, but I am disappointed and hope someone will lead the way to a return to clean humor. In the meantime, I'll be praying for Michael Richards as he does what he described as "personal work."