Thursday, June 27, 2013

The Excommunication of Deen

 If you don’t know who Paula Deen is then this is how I would describe her, she’s a cross between your grandmother, a southern belle and a stick of butter. She is known for her fattening southern comfort food and has been a popular chef on the Food Network. This last week the world of foodies became aware that Paula Deen used the n-word when she stated in a court deposition that she had used the word, but that it had been a very long time. Little did Deen know, but that admission would topple the Deen Empire.

Paula Deen issued an apology video and within an hour, the Food Network dumped her two shows and basically said they don’t want to work with a racist. A few days after that Smithfield Food dumped her, Walmart, Target and it looks like QVC and others will jump on the dump Deen bandwagon. If you stick with Deen now, you’re condoning racism.

Wow! Have you noticed that forgiveness is not on the table for Mrs. Deen? Maybe you feel her actions are unforgiveable. In her video apology, Deen admitted her past wrongs and begged for forgiveness but all she got was canned. I have to wonder, is this issue really about the past mistakes of Paula Deen or could this be a result of politically covering their backside?

Either way, it makes me think of the people within the church that do wrong. The pastor that get caught viewing porn, the affair between the deacon and the secretary, the outburst of anger in the business meeting or other “sinful” actions. Are we to kick them out or is there a place for reconciliation or restoration. God gives us some simple instruction.

1.       Admit your fault (James 5:16)
2.       Be forgiven (Matthew 18:21-22)
3.       Be restored (Galatians 6:1)

Nowhere does it say to kick them out, though there is a provision for this if the person is unrepentant and does not see their actions as sin. So what about Paula? Does she deserve forgiveness and restoration? Is she repentant or is she just sorry she got caught? Does she deserve restoration or amputation? I guess the one without sin should pick up the first stone. For the rest of us, we are all in trouble. None of us can claim that we have any right to righteousness because we all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glorious standard.

When in doubt I have to lean toward forgiveness. I need others to lean toward forgiveness for me so I had better do the same for them. Jesus forgave me and I didn’t deserve it so I better freely forgive others. Matthew 6:15 always haunts me when I want to condemn someone:

“But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. “

Chew on that…

1 comment:

Queen Cindy said...

I think it's ridiculous the extent this has been taken to. Totally agree that forgiveness is truly the one way through any type of mistake, like Deen readily admitted making. Part of me wonders if they were looking for any kind of flub up on her part in order to get rid of her because it was came off as so impulsive and quick on the networks and different stores parts. I can think of various people in the public spotlight who have said much worse and never apologized and still got by with it. And that Matthew verse....yeah, something to chew on forever.