Expanding the Cause of Love

Services

Sunday - 11AM Worship Service

by: Rev. Johnny N. Golden

07/11/2022

8

“Love,” transcendent and transformative, just may be  the most over-used, misappropriated word in the entire English lexicon - and yet for many it is not practiced nearly enough.

Few prayers, it seems, now petition heaven for "our daily bread," no, for now we are  incessantly  bombarded with the heart-wrenching news of how the streets of the peerless nation are riddled with protests, uprisings, and violence. In the words of the Transformed Pilgrim of Harlem we now want to know if it is to be "the ballot or the bullet?" A different loaf of rye is now our cry.

Where’s the love in this Christian nation? Just as a snake sheds its skin the ecdysis of our true selves is revealed to every eye, and the fig leaves of our declination can no longer conceal nor camouflage our nakedness from the pretense of justice, righteousness, and a people indivisible.

Do we, like the primordial inhabitants of the Garden, now attempt to cloak ourselves from the uncompromising light of truth? Sadly, there is little embarrassment, only shameless immodesty from our exposure. Indeed, for many now is the time to remove all instincts and inhibitions of virue against vice.

Lack of love is not only ugly, but in its most aggressive, starkest form it is demonic – anti Christ.

The church, I fear, is ever more complicit in this menacing menagerie of midnight drear. The melodrama of sheer decadence, debauchery, and defiance which  fills the dank, dark hearts of many is all too often fed and fueled by the once-vaunted keepers and stewards of the faith.

“Double, double toil and trouble fire burn and cauldron bubble.”  And yet the spillage from this billowing hearth spews straight to the hearts of the innocents – and the not so innocent alike.

Our children, the placid, pristine snowfall of every new generation, are disquieted by the pervasive terrorism and pernicious trauma they must endure each day – not just that of the hail and hell of bullets in the streets and classrooms, but of the blatant hatred from our ubiquitous, cacophonous megaphones we  use to discharge the toxic waste of hatred against one another and more particularly “The Other.”

Is there any viability in all of this? Can we allow this to be the zeitgeist of our time? Our defining moment? Can the nation last, can we continue as a united people under such unyielding duress? Concussive bombs which once “burst in air” are now bursting everywhere - all with little to no care of the place, space, face - sacred or secular -  of their far flung destruction.

Is not this the precise time to “wake up" the avouched Jesus in each of us? Or is it that the god of today’s church is not only asleep but awash in populism, consumerism, and nationalism - too frail, too frightened, too fraught to aid us in this monumental crisis? “Ah me.” Like Dagon (1 Samuel 5:3) has he fallen, unable to right himself and now awaits the purveyors of implausible preachments to restore him to his perilous perch?

The iconic cover from the April 8, 1966, issue of Time Magazine (https://timecover) asked the searing question of the day, “Is God Dead?” To wit, today, nearly 60 years later, we must ask, “If so, who killed him?” Who killed Love? Is it I?” (In his missive to the Church concerning partaking at the Lord's Table the Apostle sparing none instructs the Celebrant  to "let (each) man examine himself  (1 Corinthians 11:28).

Saints of yesteryear, such as Sojourner Truth refused to accept such nonsense as to the demise of God. Thus, at every turn she refuted (Frederick) Douglass’ assertion that 'God had abandoned the Negro' and thus she steadfastly refused to abandon her belief in God's power and willingness to save the slaves. Such tenacious, ardent belief today is seen by many of the faithful (sic) as mere foolishness and wishful thinking.

Today’s church must summon the courage, marshal every noble effort, resurrect the deity, supremacy and primacy of the Risen Christ.

Failure to do so is not only to our own peril but that of every future generation awaiting love to guide them to the unassailable truth that Jesus Christ the living Lord yet lives.

In his stirring pamphlet, "Common Sense", the patriot Thomas Paine (1737 – 1809) reminds us that “these are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, soon shrink from the service of their country…;

“Tyranny, like hell,” he intoned, “is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods;”

Beloved, the war yet rages, we mustn’t shrink from the fight. But through it all we must let Love, the supreme virtue, lead the way; for it is it and it alone whch is our greatest security and thus it must remain our highest practice.

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“Love,” transcendent and transformative, just may be  the most over-used, misappropriated word in the entire English lexicon - and yet for many it is not practiced nearly enough.

Few prayers, it seems, now petition heaven for "our daily bread," no, for now we are  incessantly  bombarded with the heart-wrenching news of how the streets of the peerless nation are riddled with protests, uprisings, and violence. In the words of the Transformed Pilgrim of Harlem we now want to know if it is to be "the ballot or the bullet?" A different loaf of rye is now our cry.

Where’s the love in this Christian nation? Just as a snake sheds its skin the ecdysis of our true selves is revealed to every eye, and the fig leaves of our declination can no longer conceal nor camouflage our nakedness from the pretense of justice, righteousness, and a people indivisible.

Do we, like the primordial inhabitants of the Garden, now attempt to cloak ourselves from the uncompromising light of truth? Sadly, there is little embarrassment, only shameless immodesty from our exposure. Indeed, for many now is the time to remove all instincts and inhibitions of virue against vice.

Lack of love is not only ugly, but in its most aggressive, starkest form it is demonic – anti Christ.

The church, I fear, is ever more complicit in this menacing menagerie of midnight drear. The melodrama of sheer decadence, debauchery, and defiance which  fills the dank, dark hearts of many is all too often fed and fueled by the once-vaunted keepers and stewards of the faith.

“Double, double toil and trouble fire burn and cauldron bubble.”  And yet the spillage from this billowing hearth spews straight to the hearts of the innocents – and the not so innocent alike.

Our children, the placid, pristine snowfall of every new generation, are disquieted by the pervasive terrorism and pernicious trauma they must endure each day – not just that of the hail and hell of bullets in the streets and classrooms, but of the blatant hatred from our ubiquitous, cacophonous megaphones we  use to discharge the toxic waste of hatred against one another and more particularly “The Other.”

Is there any viability in all of this? Can we allow this to be the zeitgeist of our time? Our defining moment? Can the nation last, can we continue as a united people under such unyielding duress? Concussive bombs which once “burst in air” are now bursting everywhere - all with little to no care of the place, space, face - sacred or secular -  of their far flung destruction.

Is not this the precise time to “wake up" the avouched Jesus in each of us? Or is it that the god of today’s church is not only asleep but awash in populism, consumerism, and nationalism - too frail, too frightened, too fraught to aid us in this monumental crisis? “Ah me.” Like Dagon (1 Samuel 5:3) has he fallen, unable to right himself and now awaits the purveyors of implausible preachments to restore him to his perilous perch?

The iconic cover from the April 8, 1966, issue of Time Magazine (https://timecover) asked the searing question of the day, “Is God Dead?” To wit, today, nearly 60 years later, we must ask, “If so, who killed him?” Who killed Love? Is it I?” (In his missive to the Church concerning partaking at the Lord's Table the Apostle sparing none instructs the Celebrant  to "let (each) man examine himself  (1 Corinthians 11:28).

Saints of yesteryear, such as Sojourner Truth refused to accept such nonsense as to the demise of God. Thus, at every turn she refuted (Frederick) Douglass’ assertion that 'God had abandoned the Negro' and thus she steadfastly refused to abandon her belief in God's power and willingness to save the slaves. Such tenacious, ardent belief today is seen by many of the faithful (sic) as mere foolishness and wishful thinking.

Today’s church must summon the courage, marshal every noble effort, resurrect the deity, supremacy and primacy of the Risen Christ.

Failure to do so is not only to our own peril but that of every future generation awaiting love to guide them to the unassailable truth that Jesus Christ the living Lord yet lives.

In his stirring pamphlet, "Common Sense", the patriot Thomas Paine (1737 – 1809) reminds us that “these are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, soon shrink from the service of their country…;

“Tyranny, like hell,” he intoned, “is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph. What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly: it is dearness only that gives everything its value. Heaven knows how to put a proper price upon its goods;”

Beloved, the war yet rages, we mustn’t shrink from the fight. But through it all we must let Love, the supreme virtue, lead the way; for it is it and it alone whch is our greatest security and thus it must remain our highest practice.

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8 Comments on this post:

Executive Deacon

Pastor Golden you did again, your presentation and deliverance of the necessaries of life live in your words.
Your writings are worth global attention.
May God continue to use you.

Marion M. Highe

As I read your compelling article Pastor Golden, my mind went to Ms. Tina Turner’s song..”What’s Love Got To Do With It” EVERYTHING!!! God’s word tells us “we are to love one another as He has loved us !This world has forgotten the true meaning of genuine Agape love . A true love ! The kind of love that surpasses the ugliness that has overwhelming taken control of our communities,our nation , our world! Let us continue with intentionality to pray , fast , and show the true meaning of love! To love one another, is to see the peace of God !!

Marion Highe

As I read your compelling article in Pastor Golden my mine went to Ms. Tina Turner’s
“What’s Love Got To Do With It”? EVERYTHING! God’s word tells us “we are to love one another as He has loved us”. This world has forgotten the true meaning of love. We need to return to AGAPE LOVE . An unconditional love for mankind. A love that will wipe away the ugliness in our communities,nation, the world! Let us continue to pray without ceasing, fasting, and show genuine love to each other
.

P Randolph

Indeed Pastor, this is a most stirring word that you have shared with us. We must all have our spirit, mind, and conscious pricked from time to time! Thanks for the reminder. Let GOD arise and His enemies be scattered! Peace & Blessings!

Dixon

I like Dionne Warwick version "What the world needs now is love" thank you for such a compelling article

Larry Young

Wow. Strong commentary. Deep too. Will read again. I will be returning to your church- soon. A special HELLO to your mother

TamR

Thank you Pastor Golden. What an awesome and soul-searching article!
If I drank coffee, I'd sit back, sip n' eat a croissant, and re-read this once again to digest it all over again. I am convicted!
What the world needs now more than ever, is for the Church to SHOW and BE the Love of Jesus!
So many heart-rending points are shared here, I am convicted! Thank you again for waking me/us up! Transcendancy❤❤❤

Millicent Hoover

Bravo Pastor!!
I second that emotion!!
Now abides Faith, Hope, Love,
But the greatest of these is LOVE.

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