You can look at this picture of Ariana Grande and conclude:
1) All men do this
2) All blacks do this
3) All pastors do this
Whichever you choose says more about your bias than about the bishop because none of them are true. I do not consider this a church service for Jesus or Aretha Franklin. This was a left-wing political fest; color skin, religion, and gender didn’t matter. Look on the stage and you’ll see Bill Clinton, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, Lewis Farrakhan. They are ALL left-wing activists.
THIS is the common thread: left wingers give lip-service to feminism but they exploit young girls, discouraging women to be mothers and dismembering babies in the womb. They treat women and babies as pieces of meat.
Compared to abortion and pedophilia, groping on stage is the least of their vices. They treat Conservative Christians as their enemies because they are anti-feminine and anti-life, whereas true followers of Jesus Christ are pro-feminine and pro-babies. I believe every human is made in the image of God and is a gift of God. That’s my bias.
There are two ways to minimize the shame of this story: put some blame on Ariana and/or forgive the bishop. Let’s take the first one first.
Some have taken to Twitter to say Ariana Grande dressed provocatively at a religious funeral. I am not so sympathetic to this view, and I’ll tell you why. But I do see why someone might make such a point. I have officiated and attended many funerals; I have never seen anyone dressed the way Ariana did. Third-wave feminists would, of course, not see any validity to this partial blame. They cannot see that everyone else on stage is covered up and Ariana is the only one exposing nearly all her legs and much of her skin. Any red-blooded man would look, most women would look, my wife says she would look, Bill Clinton just got photographed looking.
However, I do not blame Ariana. I knew virtually nothing about her until this news broke. I see her as a 25-year-old who’s being used by a hyper-carnal, over-sexualized industry that puts talented young people on a pedestal for which they’re usually not ready. It takes a lot of character to not succumb to the pressures of popularity and temptations of power. Even Christian singers who get worldly fame end up following orders from their handlers about how to dress and what make-up to wear. The rational motivation of Ariana’s persona, dress, make-up, hair-do, and eye-batting is to allure audiences with, “Look at me!” I would hardly expect Ariana as an ex-Catholic Kabbalist drowning in a powerful entertainment industry to dress modestly. If you invite Ariana into church, you should accept her dress. It’s no excuse to grope her.
The second consideration by which we might placate our troubled souls, and the souls of haters who need so little encouragement to pounce on this story (and I saw them all coming out: men-haters, black-haters, and Christian-haters) is to be a bit forgiving of the Bishop. Put yourself on stage and in his shoes. Ariana is a little lady, all of 153cm, and Bishop Charles Ellis III looks like a tall man. When a tall man holds a short lady close, it’s plausible his hand would not reach her waist, or ribs, or whichever part would seem more appropriate. Personally, I lightly touch people on the shoulder or back if I wish to introduce them, but I’m not an entertainer, neither do I introduce many entertainers.
If you watch the whole episode on video [and it’s not easy to find an unedited one], it transpires in a few seconds. Ariana did not look uncomfortable with the Bishop (she laughed when she looked away from him and some Google photos capture that still-frame as though she were looking at her breast) and the Bishop did not look overly-conscious of his hands. When I’m on stage, I am hardly conscious of my body, I am totally focused on God’s Spirit and the audience. In his apology, the Bishop claims he hugged every male and female on stage. This could be a one-off mistake and if so, it should not define his life or ministry.
But the question lingers: how in the world is a grown man not aware of his 4 fingers pressing into a young woman’s side breast? I’m not sure. Perhaps it really was sinister, sexual, or subconscious. My theory is that it is all too common in a political environment, especially one which demeans life, babies and feminity. But unless you can get Ariana to ask the Bishop directly, we won’t know for sure. That’s a mystery for the Bishop to answer to the LORD whose Name is on the pulpit… and whose Name should not suffer anymore because of this Bishop’s mistake. The embarrassment he has undergone may be price enough for him to pay, and we should get back to focusing on Aretha’s memory and praying for Ariana’s salvation.
UPDATE on 4 September 2018 from readers’ comments:
- A woman’s perspective:
Sherry Huibers Kuhn “Let’s looks at it from another side….this is the same woman that recorded herself licking donuts in a donut shop and this is the same woman that said how much she hated America. Now what I see is a case of bad judgement on the ministers part by putting his arm around her and the comment was uncalled for, however, it’s my belief this is just another attempt at publicity for her. It’s apparent she needs the EXTREME attention such as the first two incidents. She likes the drama her actions cause such as the dress she’s wearing which she knows is not appropriate but gets her attention hence more drama. She wears drama like a badge of honor. So don’t make the mistake of believing this is all one-sided.“
“…life is not black and white but a lot of greys. There are a lot of people who thrive on drama and attention…. its an addiction for them especially celebrities. Then they fail to take responsibility for their personal choices… Some, like this little girl, likes the path that gets the most attention and that’s not my opinion that is based on her actions. So here she is again, in the middle of more drama.”
As marketers are fond of saying, “Any publicity is good publicity.” Free advertising is not something people who thrive in the limelight shy away from.
2. A conspiratorial perspective:
Matthew Thomas “Thanks Pastor Steve for highlighting this…The ”Taco Bell” reference itself was an illuminati give-away reference.”
I missed the sexual innuendo of this. Why the Bishop thought of taco during a funeral service is beyond me. It was exposed during the 2016 Election that Internet pedophiles use food as code for sexual organs. Hence the name “Pizzagate”, a Left-wing pedophile/ child sex ring which the Left denies is linked to John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign manager. These people’s minds are very sick.
“Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.” Titus 1:15
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