What is the Black Church’s Responsibility?

You’ve probably heard of the latest uproar in our community concerning the black church. Recently, Presidential hopeful Donald Trump hosted a; well let’s not even give it a name. The billionaire who is seeking the Republican Party’s nomination to run for President of the United States in 2016 had chosen few Black Pastors to attend a meeting. The Nov 30th meeting billed as “Donald Trump meets with Coalition of African-American Ministers. It went on to name some of the most media-visible pastors and added, “Live from Trump Towers.” The public was offered several ways to watch this gathering. To keep it fair, I understand those invited were not all Trumps supporters. Some chose to go just to see what this particular candidate had to say or how he would address problems in our communities.

If I’d known about the event beforehand would I have watched on TV? No, because I already know Donald Trump. What I know of him, his politics over the last few years is enough for me to pay no attention to him.

From all I’ve read and surmised Trump was at best seeking an endorsement and at the very least seeking and bringing attention to his campaign. The question on the table was there for the consumption of those watching as well as those in attendance.  Would this event show or make him a viable candidate that could attract the vote of the black community?  A tall order given the rhetoric he has spouted the last few months.

Right after the meeting, a few pastors found the microphones of an eager national media. They wasted no time in stating what a wonderful meeting it was and how they had met a man that was true to his convictions, etc., etc. One of two went so far as to say, we need to take another look at Trump as he is not who he is portrayed to be in the media. At that the black community yawned.

Upset at the entire spectacle, Baltimore Poster, Reverend Jamal Bryant was quoted as stating about those in attendance, “ They are prostituting themselves and, in essence, the black church.”  A couple of ministers who attended were a guest on Roland Martin’s TV1 News One Now show. Martin, who thought the entire meeting was “a waste of time”, asked his guest if there were any relevant substance gained from the meeting. In short the collective answer was no.

Some in social meeting took this incident to ask a potent question. What is the black church responsibility in our community?  As it always is in social media, opinions were all over the place with most upset at the pastors for allowing themselves to be a pawn in Trumps media circus. People posted their opinions on Facebook and other social sites. Most of the comments centered on the role of the church. Again, it’s a question that concerns me as both a community advocate and church member in my little town.

I don’t pretend to speak for anybody but myself in any written matters. But…just for the record, the church is not the police department. In response to some who think the church should do what to the drug dealers and other criminals in the community? The church is made up of community people and as such goes about trying to follow the word of God as noted in the Bible.

The real question for those who always seem to overstate the church’s responsibility is what should the community do about the dealers and criminals in their midst? Whenever and wherever that questions answered, then the community could seek the church’s assistance in developing programs and assistance for those in need of services that are no longer available because of political or financial reasons.

But the bottom line, the church is in the business of saving souls, Hands on Biblespreading the word of God, and providing a place for its members and all who want to worship. I would imagine if you ask any pastor, they would tell you it’s a full-time job just keeping their members entrenched in the word of God. Pastors, Deacons and Ministries are there to assist or provide the tools and interpretation of the Bible parishioners require to be saved and act as a good Cristian. Anything outside of actions that meet those goals is either a bonus from the church or what one would call extra curriculum activities. I have no problem with any pastor advocating his members to exercise their right to vote in all elections. The clergy can implore our cooperation and discussion with city, county, state and even national political offices to facilitate improvement within our community.

There is always going to be a Pastor, Preacher, or Evangelist, who goes outside of what they are supposed to be in the name of God. Every week or so, there are questions in my mind as to how some supposed man of God can justify their belief in Jesus Christ while spouting viewpoints that goes against the word of God. In the end, they are human and have their agenda when it comes to most of their actions and rhetoric.

More importantly to me, is the fact that some in the black community who are so very quick to criticize our churches role don’t belong to a church. Nor do they even attend a church in any community.  Do You want to find out the churches role, get more involved in your community church? All you need to do is attend a church of your choice, join and become involved in the church business.

There is no doubt the church can have a tremendous effect on their community. But also, keep in mind that the church is comprised of members of your community. Your church pastor serves at the members convenience.

Any church will do their members bidding if enough of the members make it a priority. At least, they will do it in the disguise of their mantra. So as for that little performance by Donald Trump or any candidate that is looking for the black vote, the church is a great place to troll for votes.

On the other hand, any prominent clergyman or woman can suggest endorsing a candidate for its members. The vote is still up to each and every member. And just as there are black Republicans and you wonder why given their rhetoric over the years. Some black person will back some idea, cause or individual that makes you wonder if anybody is home in their brain. And you can bet their action will lead off Fox News and all the ultra-conservative media spots. But that is really old news by now. We all know what side our bread’s buttered on as the old folks use to say.

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,


Codis Hampton II

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“In my latest book, Remember Moz, Gracie & John Hampton’s First-Born, I wanted to tell the world about a unique individual. Not because he happened to be my father but to explain who he was, where he came from, and how he evolved into the man he became up until his death. In doing so, I wrote of his ancestor’s roots back to and through the Civil War. The inclusion of his birth and upbringing in the heart of Arkansas, or Jim Crow country, add southern reluctance to learn why our country involved itself in a bloodthirsty four-year exercise in the first place? Then you begin to understand why, our parents behaved the way that they did. See if I captured the essence of this paragraph.” Get the book via the Authors Page at http://outskirtspress.com/webPage/isbn/9781478766056

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Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment

Who Told You That?

Think about it. You call up tech support or an on-line major retail store. The person on the other end of the phone line is quick. They almost solve your problem before you describe it. They give you a meticulous to do list that supposedly will make all your problems go away. You thank the nice person, hang up the phone and take care of another one of your many duties. You are not worried because you wrote down all their instructions. Often asking them to repeat a step to ensure you have correctly interpreted their instructions.

Now it’s late in the evening or early in the morning hours. You have time to correct the error in which you received the instructions. You get past step one but cannot get past step two. You read the instructions again, in fact, several times to ensure you have it right and still no progress. Sadly you realize the nice person did not know what they were talking about and wasted your time. Now you have to call the company back but can’t do that until they are on duty. So you sat there exasperated over wasted time and effort.

How many times have you run into some situation that required correcting and found the person that provided the fix-it-all gave you the wrong information? You know how it goes, as you finally call the company back and get another customer rep. You repeat the instructions provided and the first thing they say is “Who told you that?” The one question you don’t want to hear in your lifetime.

This entire ordeal has put you into confusion mode. Its like the twilight zone of customer service. You begin to wonder if this new rep knows is familiar with the subject. Why didn’t the previous company representative just hang up when they realize they can’t help you with the problem? The solution was obviously not on their script to which the company directed them to use when helping a customer.  You have had that happen to you too. Sometimes they just don’t want to be bothered with you, so they hang up. Or, heaven forbid, you get a hater on the other end that recognizes you are not one of them and disconnect you.  That’s another scenario that gets on your nerve. You take those personally because there is something about their voice or attitude with you that lets you know it’s personal with them.

Or, please God, nooooooo! You never get to talk to the company rep as the website throws you onto a community page. It’s where the company figures if you read someone else problem it may be similar to yours.  Then hopefully you can solve the issue on your own. Each time you try and contact a live person, the website refers you back to the community forum. Is it just me, or is this the norm, especially for some software company’s these days?

I got so frustrated with one worldwide software company the other day; I just canceled the order.  Do you know it took that action actually to get a response from them? Not a voice mind you. They had the nerve to send me an email asking why I was dissatisfied with their product.

At one point last year, I thought customer service was on the rebound. I am no longer sure as small, especially software and portals located in Silicon Valley; companies cut ties with a large number of help-desk workers. Those individuals who would answer a phone and try to help you solve a problem have almost become extinct. For others, you are bound to run into the “Who told you that?” question.

Before I left the rat race and at a time when computers were being introduced to office workforce across this country. I remember one a lady calling me to her desk. She wanted help because she could not get her mouse to work. She was rubbing the mouse across her monitor screen expecting? It was all I could do to hold back the laughter at that time because she was a friend, smart and a very nice lady. She just had no clue about computers.

Then there is the old standard question of ‘My computer won’t work.’ The first troubleshooting answer is to make sure the unit is plugged up. Or ‘Where is my Internet?’ A question asked as they are trying to purchase an item on Amazon.com. They are always surprised when told they are on the internet. Normally their first response, “Is that it? I thought it would be larger. So that’s the World Wide Internet?”

We all have read the stories from “help desk workers” at software or hardware companies. People using the flopping disk drive tray as a coffee cup holder. Lately, they are fielding questions like, “How do I remove a sesame seed from my keyboard, Can I turn on the coffee pot with my computer, or one of my favorites, How do I pirate software?”

Through it all, I still think the worst is to hearing the question “Who told you that?”  Since we  probably didn’t write the persons name down, we can’t really answer the questions. In addition, most will not give you their complete name because of company policy. If you have a name, your answer may be something like Mary or Mike. You can almost hear the company rep laughing at your futility. Their response may be, “Well, I don’t know who that is but here is the right way to solve your issue.” As if you have a choice. You are now to believe they know what they are talking about…because?

Peace, make it a day in which Jesus Christ would be proud of you,

Codis Hampton II

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Copyright 2011 Codis Hampton II, all rights reserved. A bi-weekly blog for your enjoyment.