A Pastoral Response to the Muslim Ban

As a pastor and a member of the Christian community, I am greatly distressed by the recent declarations and actions of the current president. Here at Turner Memorial AME Church, we continually aspire to create a space that extends reconciliation, liberation and transformation for all persons no matter their background, which is consistent with our Christian faith. I strongly believe that the deplorable executive orders issued by the president over the past week, in particular the ban on Muslims from traveling into the United States, do not exemplify Christian principles and values. As members of the Christian community, we cannot sit idly by and allow the president to defraud the moralities of our faith or use them to wear down the principles of a democratic society.


The United States is a diverse, multicultural nation that was and still is being built by the


hands of immigrants. The reality is unless we are of Native American descent; we are all immigrants in this country. Some, like our ancestors were driven from their homeland and forced into slavery, while others came of their own free will; many seeking religious freedom. At various times throughout history, this nation’s leaders systematically denied our constitutional rights and used the Bible to justify their actions. Even now, there are attempts to infringe upon our rights and those of others, and Christianity is once again being used as an instrument of manipulation. Sadly, we have witnessed some prominent pastors endorse and stand with one has admitted to being a molester of women, and has integrated much of his administration policies with racism, white nationalism, fascism, and demagoguery. As believers, we should not stand by and let this happen.
When one looks at the birth of Jesus we are clearly reminded that Jesus himself was a refugee. Jesus, a Jew born in Bethlehem under the colonial oppression of Rome, along with his family eventually had to flee to Egypt because of King Herod’s “executive order” to have all male children killed. One of the greatest sermons that Jesus ever preached, the Good Samaritan, should inform our views on immigration. In this short story Jesus challenges us to minister beyond the boundaries of our own self-existence. The “neighbor” in Luke’s parable serves as a metaphorical bridge between identity and difference. A hermeneutics of hospitality commands community where care is offered to this “certain man” who is not characterized by race, religion, or region.
So I want to lift the same question found in the Luke’s gospel; “Who is our neighbor?” The current governmental leadership will say to us that the undocumented immigrant, the Muslim refugee, and the Latino/a immigrant are not our neighbors. Nevertheless, the love of God has no bounds. Jesus explains “neighbor” as any person irrespective of race or religion with whom we may come in contact. Jesus turned the issue from the boundary requirement of neighbor to the essential duty of being a neighbor. This parable shatters the stereotypes of social boundaries and class division and destroys any system that hinders one from being hospitable to any sojourner realizing that we too, were once immigrants. Yes, we must extend the ministry of hospitality to Christians, Muslims, Syrians, Sudanese, Libyans, Iranians, Iraqis, Somalians, Yemenis, Mexicans, African Americans, European Americans, non-Americans, democrats, and republicans… “For God so loved the ENTIRE WORLD…”

So what should be the church’s response to immigration and/or reaching out to those multicultural communities? It is impossible to respond lovingly and prophetically to those communities where persons have come seeking refuge and justice without seeing the value and the worth that is within them. They too, were created by the hands of God and the death of Jesus was an act of love not just for America, but for the entire world. The love of God looks beyond race, stereotypes, and prejudices. In no other arena is the possibility for inclusive community more pregnant than among the churches that make up the body of Christ. The church, to be true to Christ and to our faith, must be a visible sign of the “beloved community.” We must recognize that our immigrant brothers and sisters are in search of meaning, care, and love in the same ways that we are.

In closing, as we wrestle with issues of immigration and the actions taken by the president, I invite us to consider this passage of scripture found in Matthew 25:35-40: For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’ “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”

D.K. Kearney






Live, Laugh, Love, Lead

“Live, Laugh, Love & Lead” became my mantra for life almost 3 years ago, after going through a very tough season. I found myself in a battle–one that was more internal than external. Beloved, I tell you, you truly have not fought a real battle until you war with those that are within the confines of your own mind and spirit. Those battles are hardest to fight because most of the time, you are warring within yourself. During that season of my life I felt like giving up on everything and everyone, including God and the ministry that God placed inside of me. It seemed that everywhere I turned, there were issues, problems and pain. I did not feel like going to church; I did not feel like praying; I did not feel like being around myself, much less people. It felt like everyone was against me and I felt like I wasn’t going to make it. At any given moment, I was ready to call it quits. To make matters worse, God spoke to me only once, and never said anything else during that timeframe. That season lasted 1,051,920 minutes, 17,532 hours, 730 days, yet God spoke only once!!! Through all of that, it wasn’t until 2010, after hanging out in my own “pigpen”, that I came to myself, and said, GET UP! God has not only promised life, but He promised an abundant life. It was at that very moment that I began to reevaluate my life.

I’ve discovered two ways I could live in abundance, knowing every day is a non-refundable, precious gift from God. The first way to live in abundance is to seize the day. One of the great patriarchs of the Old Testament, King David, sets an awesome example of how to seize the day. In Psalm 142:1- 4, we find King David held up in a cave, hiding from Saul, running for his life. He was frightened, battered, exasperated and defeated. But in verses 5 – 6 David starts to praise God. What happened? Saul didn’t concede. The cave didn’t turn into a luminous palace. The only thing that transformed was David’s attitude! If you’re waiting for all of your bills to be paid, everything in your life to be perfect, everyone who doesn’t like you to favor you, or a better job, YOU WON’T EVER BE HAPPY!!! David’s prayers didn’t modify his situation for him, his prayers revolutionized him for his situation. When you allow people and problems to determine your happiness, you are giving too much power to external forces that impact your internal peace.

The final way that I learned to live everyday in abundance is to serve the Lord. If Jesus is not your Lord, then who is? And how long are we supposed to serve Him? Every day until the last day! When are we supposed to start? NOW! It is never too late.

Beloved, today is the day that the Lord has made! I admonish you on this day to LIVE in abundance every second of this day! LAUGH all day long! LOVE every hour that you have left! This day will never come again, so let us not waste it. Beloved, LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE, and LEAD!

A soda bottle reads: “No Deposit, No Return.” If you don’t go to the trouble of bringing it back, you don’t get anything back. That’s life!!! The only way you get something out of life is when you bring your life back to where you got it from–to God! God is the giver of life, but not just life, ABUNDANT LIFE! Take what you have been given and give it back to the One who gave it. No deposit, no return! Put your life in God’s hands and “LIVE, LAUGH, LOVE & LEAD”!



If She doesn’t FIT, You must Quit

Every good woman wants a Psalm 1:1 kind of man and every good man wants a Proverbs 31:10-31 kind of woman. In the last few blog postings I have discussed with you about the perfect FIT and how to understand and fulfill your created purpose in a relationship. The Perfect FIT is out there and it is for you! This blog is dedicated to “God’s Man.” I want to restore, revive, and regenerate who God says that you are. A few years ago, the anthem for some women across the nation was, “a good man is hard to find.” I will admit that when I heard sisters say that, I got offended. But now I pose a question. Where are you looking for this good man? Sisters, you can’t expect to find your FIT sitting in your girlfriend’s living room night after night talking about how bad men are. I would go so far to say you can’t find a “good man” at church when all you are looking for is a man that goes to church and not a man that is saved by God’s amazing grace. Everyone that is at church is not in church. Sisters, there are still some “good men” out there and the best place to find him is on your knees. Brothers, your rib is out there but you must seek her out on your knees. She is so hidden in God that you are going to have to go seek God to find her. Check this out, if you look intently at the creation of Eve, notice that Adam did not have to “find her” but God brought Eve to Adam. That just blows the saying, “I’m waiting on my husband to find me.” Find you where? I hope in God. It was through God that Adam saw his “Eve”. Allow God to bring you “your Eve” and once this happens “your Eve” will allow, respect, and love who God purposed you to be- a LEADER. As long as you walk, stand, and sit (Psalm 1:1) in your divine purpose “your Eve” will respect you and look to you with anticipation for your leadership.

In the previous post, I shared specifically with the sisters about submitting to the right FIT. Well, I want to talk to the brothers about loving the right FIT. Paul first says, “For the husband is head of the wife…” “Husbands love your wife as Christ loved the church” (Ephesians 5:23-25). Let’s first deal with this headship. Brothers, it’s real simple. Your leadership is your worship. You are a naturally-born, God-ordained WORSHIP LEADER. It goes back to the creation. God gave you His SPIRIT. He did not blow into the nostrils of Eve; He blew his spirit into you. Let me be clear, I am NOT saying that as a woman you can’t possess the spirit of God. You can and you do; however, in keeping in line with this series, I am discussing the importance of man being entirely all that God has created him to be for YOU. The first act of leadership that God wants you to demonstrate is to lead your partner/wife into the presence of God. Why? Because those who worship God must worship him in SPIRIT and in truth (John 4:24). Guess what? From the beginning, my brother, you possessed the SPIRIT of God. Some brothers feel that it is not manly to lift up your hands to the Lord, to say hallelujah, to kneel, to bow and to worship the Lord. There is not one sissified thing about a man worshiping the Lord, as a matter of fact, it is intriguing to women. You can’t expect your partner/wife to “submit” to you when you are not being led by God. You have the spiritual authority. You have the power to come up against every single attack on your partner/wife and/or family. That power is within you. Remember, after Adam and Eve ate off of the Tree of Knowledge, who did God call first? It wasn’t Eve. It wasn’t even the serpent. God said, “Adam, where are you?” Now, rest assured God knew where Adam was because God is omnipresent; however, God was asking Adam, where is the man that I created you to be? What happened? You did not use the power I blew into you!

Now let’s deal with part two of what Paul says in Ephesians 5:25. “Husbands love your wives as Christ loved the church.” In order for you to do that, it is essential that you know personally about the love of Christ. Her submission and your love work hand in hand. You can’t have one without the other. There are conditions for both the wife and the husband. You can’t do one and omit the other. Here is the tough question. Sisters, why are you submitting to someone who knows nothing about the love of Christ? Brothers, why are you loving someone who doesn’t respect who God created you to be?

In the Greek language, there are four words that explain love:
1. Eros love: It is sensual and sexual love… Makes your palms sweat; affectionate love. It’s the kind of love that makes your heart go pitter-pat. It’s that romantic kind of love. But that’s not the kind of love Paul is talking about, because that kind of love is a fickle love… Why? Sometimes you do and she doesn’t. Sometimes the hustle and bustle of life will cause you not to feel romantic.

2. Phileos love: It is a friendship kind of love, but that’s not the kind of love Paul was talking about either. There are times when friends will fall out of love! You’ve had some friends (or so you thought) that you fell out with or they fell out with you! They’ve moved, left no forwarding address and even changed their number.

3. Surgase love: This is family love. Those with a biological relationship to you. Paul’s not talking about this kind of love either because truth-be-told, you’ve got some kinfolk that if it were up to you, you wouldn’t claim them… You’ve got some cousins that when they show up, you go the other way. But because they’re biologically tied to you, you put up with them. Since we’re being honest, there are some couples still married because they have been going so long they are singing “It’s cheaper to keep her/him.” They’re living in the same house, but sleeping in separate bedrooms; just plain ole miserable. But that’s not what Paul was talking about. Paul is trying to show us that when a man loves a woman, it ought to be an Agape type of love.

4. Agape Love: A love that looks beyond faults and sees needs; a love that gives itself. Why, because Paul articulates, “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us…” God showed His love for us by dying… by sacrifice. I Corinthians 13 gives a true definition of love. LOVE IS REAL. LOVE IS ACTION. The lifeblood of love is SACRIFICE: surrendering your priorities and goals to the service and sacrifice toward your “rib”. Love is spiritual. Did you hear me? LOVE IS SPIRITUAL. Don’t forget, God is love. You must look at and follow the example of God through his son Jesus Christ.

Beloved brothers, you are to give unyieldingly to your “rib”, sacrifice all for your “rib” AND THEN, wash her with the water of God’s word. That is what Jesus did for us. When a man loves a woman, he ought to love her not with an Eros Love, not with Phileos Love, not with Surgase Love because these types of love can fade away. He must love her with Agape Love because this kind of love never fails. When faith is weak, when hope has dashed, LOVE! LOVE YOUR “PERFECT FIT”!

D.K. Kearney
Follow me on Twitter @PastorDKKearney
Friend me on FaceBook @PastorDaryl Kearney


Wow! What a positive response from my latest blog “Does He or She FIT?” Because of the great amount of responses that I received via email etc., I’ve given a great deal of thought about what this week’s message should be about. It seems that people everywhere are searching for the right “FIT”. What do I mean when I say the right “FIT”? Having the right “FIT” means being connected with the man that God put under spiritual anesthesia and removed one of his ribs to create you. When God brings the two of you together something within your soul ought to “leap”. Yes, it’s possible! Having that spiritual connection is the most important thing. Why? Because the physical will fade away!

Well, I want to take it a step further and take a look at what Paul said in the book of Ephesians. As he states in the fifth chapter and twenty-second verse, “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.” One of the most controversial terms to women everywhere is the word, SUBMIT! I’m willing to bet that some of you who may be reading this right now are making a face. My prayer is that after reading this blog, whenever you hear or read that passage of scripture again, it will no longer vex your spirit and you will begin to see that submitting is not a bad thing if you are submitting to the one who “FITS.”

Let me first begin by giving you the definition of the word submit in its original Greek text. The word, submit, means to “identify with, to support, to get under, to lift up.” It does NOT mean to elevate one person over another. We shared in the last post “Does He or She FIT” that it was not God’s intention in the beginning, because He chose to make woman from a bone that He removed from man’s side. The husband and wife are supposed to be a partnership; they are supposed to work together. God gave Adam a partner not a slave or servant but someone who would share the responsibility. Here is the reason why I know that God did not intend for man to rule over woman. If you take a close look at the judgments that were pronounced after Adam and Eve sinned, God said to the woman, “your desire will be for your husband and he will rule over you”(Genesis 3:16). Beloved, that was a punishment for the sin; it was not and is not God’s original intention. The good news is that because Jesus died on the cross for our sins, it nullifies what the first Adam did, and thusly, we are no longer bound by those judgments.

Sisters, I want you to recall from my previous post that you were created from the bone. One of the primary functions of the bones is to support, to uphold. Ephesians 5 makes it very clear that men have a need for respect and women have a need for love! According to the amplified Bible it says “Let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband, that she notices him, honors him, prefers him, and esteems him exceedingly” If she respects him as she should, she shows her love for him. Woman of God, it is okay to tell your man/husband, “I believe in you!” Remember you came from his rib; you are to provide for him inner security and protection. The words that you speak to him are powerful and they affect him greatly. Your words will either bring to him life or death. Calling him names, belittling him, and criticizing him, etc. are not ways to show that you are supportive of your partner/husband. You cannot expect him to love you as Christ loved the church if you don’t support him! I would contend that one of the biggest issues with relationships is not the surface stuff that you argue about, but when two people in a relationship start fulfilling roles that God did not create them to fill. God divinely placed attributes in a husband that He did not place in a wife, and vice versa. You can’t be “the man” while having a man at the same time. If you are in a relationship now and find that things are “out of order” you still have time to get them in order. Sisters, you must stop praying that God will help you to be a good partner/wife and begin to pray that God will make you the partner/wife He needs you to be for your partner/husband. There is a difference! In the first prayer you are just praying to be a good wife, in the second prayer you are asking to be “God’s wife” for your husband.

Lastly, one of the biggest clues we miss when we read this passage in Ephesians, is the fact that Paul was not speaking to the general public. Paul was speaking to those who were a part of the body of Christ. Here is my point: Why are you submitting to someone who knows nothing about the love that Christ has for the church? Understand that your submission is directly connected to his love for you like Christ’s love for the church. He can’t love you like Christ loved the church if he doesn’t personally know about the love of Christ. Thusly, you can’t submit to him. Can I just keep it real for a few more seconds? You’ve read or heard, “What God has joined together, let no man put asunder.” Here is the question: DID GOD JOIN THE TWO OF YOU TOGETHER? You can’t expect God to bless something that He was not a part of, or was not invited to be a part of, in the first place!

Join me next week, as I will continue this discussion on God’s plan for the perfect FIT. I am going to reflect on “IF SHE DOESN’T FIT, YOU MUST QUIT”.

Follow me on twitter @ PastorDKKearney
Friend me on FB @PastorDaryl Kearney