Surviving R. Kelly Documentary

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The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned.” (Isaiah 9:2)

The Surviving R. Kelly six-part documentary was aired this weekend on Lifetime detailing sex abuse allegations against the R & B singer for more than two decades.  R. Kelly has consistently denied allegations of sexual misconduct with women and young teenagers, even as he has settled many lawsuits. Initially, I was hesitant to watch it because I knew it was dark but decided on Saturday to watch.  After watching my soul was extremely grieved by the betrayal of trust, hurt, and pain both individuals and families are experiencing.  The darkness emanating from the documentary was overwhelming.

The series includes testimony from several women who accuse the singer of abuse, as well as commentary from his critics, including the founder of the #MeToo movement, Tarana Burke, radio host Tom Joyner, the singer John Legend, music journalists, and psychologists.

Something is very wrong here and has been for quite some time. Women are continuing to boldly tell the stories of domestic and sexual abuse at the hands of selfish people.  My earnest prayer is Lord how does the church and community fit to bring healing amidst all this pain and suffering being exposed on many levels. Do we continue to sit back and watch, or do we step forward to speak truth to light? These are all hurting people, including the perpetrators.

I was saddened that so many in the black community were doubtful to believe it was possible for such evil to be taking place by someone they loved and respected.  What I saw are hurt and broken people created in the image of God loved by their Creator, who’s hope and trust has been placed in other flawed and broken people. People, no matter what race or skin color are seeking someone to look up to, someone they can trust and put their hope in.  As well-meaning as many celebrities, singers, rap artists, sports players, business people, educators, church leaders and government leaders may be, they are not the one’s we should be looking to. Our hope is found in Jesus Christ alone!

There is freedom in knowing the truth. Jesus said, “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” George Washington once said, “Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light.” I believe that without this exposure the status quo will remain in place.  It is a painful process, yet a necessary none the less. To dispel the darkness that hovers over many nations it will be mandatory for the church to arise and shine not just in word only, but in our actions. This is not an option, but a mandate, a charge given in Matthew 28:19.  The church has been given the authority to “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” This is more than having church on Sunday and Bible Study on Tuesday or Wednesday.

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This is not just about the R. Kelly’s, the Harvey Weinstein’s or others who have committed such acts of offense against women and children. It’s about the many faces of evil that’s prevalent within our society such as domestic and sexual abuse, violence, racism, sex trafficking, homelessness, poverty, drug addiction, corruption, etc and how these evils are overshadowing society. Isaiah 60 says, “darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples,”

The church has been tight lipped for too long.  Satan is a deceiver.  He comes to “kill, steal, and destroy.” If he can influence the church to remain silent what good is the church. People are exiting the church.  Why, because there is a lot of noise, but no light.  It’s not supposed to be this way. That is not to say all churches are missing the mark.  There are many that are striving to bring the gospel message.  Yet this is a collective effort given to all of God’s people.

I don’t find it strange that God is exposing what’s in men’s hearts. Many of these evils are being exposed so that old structures and belief systems can be torn down. So that we can began to rebuild the ancient paths, restore places that have been devastated long ago, renew ruined cities devastated for generations, and establish a just and righteous society in the name of the Lord. Much of the work may not happen in our lifetime, yet we are the generation to push forward and bring change and transformation not only to the church, but also society.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness only the love of God overflowing and pour out in the hearts of His people through the Holy Spirit can do that.  It’s time for the church to arise in righteousness as the light of God created in His image sharing the glorious gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.  Yet, if our gospel continues to be hidden, it is hidden from the lost.  The God of this world has blinded the mind of unbelievers to prevent the light of the glorious gospel of Christ from shining on them (2 Cor. 4:3-12). What good is being the light if it is hidden under a bushel.  It was meant to be placed on a candlestick so that those living in darkness will see and be drawn to the light.

The people who walk in darkness will see a great light!

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Blessings,

Dr. Francine

Note: All Scriptures are taken from the New International Version unless otherwise noted.

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