Let’s say you were a young black man, trying to fight your way out of a decaying American inner city neighborhood by selling drugs. You might find the criminal justice system incompetent, but you probably wouldn’t find the system very forgiving.

With mandatory minimum sentencing guidelines for drug-related violations and get-tough-on-crime policies, there’s a very good chance you would end up in jail. In fact, an amazingly high percentage of young American black men are in jail or dead before middle age.

On the other hand, let’s say you sought higher moral ground in the House of the Lord — then your transgressions are treated entirely differently. Instead of being held to a higher moral standard, as befits one whom judges others, you will find forgiveness without end.

The Reverend Henry Lyons is the leader of the largest black church in the U.S. Lyons has been accused of using church funds to buy cars, clothes, and jewelry for his mistresses. Other Baptist leaders forgave him, and he was not removed from his job.

Lyons not only knows how to receive forgiveness, but apparently how to forgive others. Not only did Lyons hire a convicted embezzler, Bernice Edwards, as the Baptist Convention’s public relations director, he also bought a $700,000 house with Ms. Edwards.

Lyons’ wife did not seem to be in a spirit of forgiveness toward the Reverend or his mistress when she went to their jointly owned house, ransacked it, and set it on fire.

But, of course, Judge Douglas Baird is a forgiving man. After Mrs. Lyons admitted her guilt to a crime that carries a prison term of up to 30 years, Judge Baird slapped her wrist. She was sentenced to probation, with no time in jail. Despite the fact that she admitted to arson, a felony, the judge technically withheld a judgment of guilt, so Mrs. Lyons will not have a criminal record.

Like all good stories, this one has a moral. It’s okay to steal, cheat, and destroy — just make sure you’re a member of the church when you do it.

(Source: Trib.com.)

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0 thoughts on “IN THE HOUSE OF THE LORD!

  1. Whatever happened to good, old fashioned consequences to our actions?
    It seems to me that forgiveness is something we should all do, no matter how deep the offense, but there are always consequences to our actions … good or bad.
    It just plain $@#!% me off when people think that we should just forgive and let people just go on as if nothing has happened.
    The last I read, “to whom much is given … much will be required” – and that means consequences, too !!!
    I’m thankful that others have forgiven me when I’ve messed up and I’m also thankful God has forgiven me, too. BUT, there are always consequences.
    Just something to be reminded of before we make our everyday decisions – we will ALWAYS reap what we sow … 🙂

    Time: 11/24/97 (18:9:50)

    How MEAN-SPIRITED of you!! Once the good Rev has forgiven and brought closure, the healing can begin. (can you read the sarcasm?)

    Time: 11/24/97 (2:41:35)

    I hope you have by now perceived the moral: set your word processor to flag any story with the word “church” in it…. for “kid gloves” handling…

    Time: 11/23/97 (23:44:19)


    Time: 11/22/97 (8:35:21)

    I’d like to respond to the comment made by Frank Manske (fjmanske@value.net), concerning Rev. Henry Lyon’s wife setting fire to his house. Manske asks why should it be a crime to set fire to your own property. And, “why get the rest of us involved?”.

    There’s a couple of things he doesn’t know. First, Mrs. Lyons did not own that property. Her husband had bought it without her knowledge with another woman. Other people could have had part ownership also, she didn’t know whose property it was. Second, what about the firefighters who have to try to put out the fire? Could they be hurt? And what about the cost of the equipment? And lastly, I’m hoping that the neighbors of Manske never attempt their “legal right” to burn their houses because we wouldn’t want the wind to spread the fire to Manske’s home would we?

    Of course it would be his fault for not protecting his home, since we have the right to burn our own property. To sum it up…what a stupid comment!!

    Time: 10/23/97 (14:43:19)

    Thanks for the apology guys. I believe the wording of the DO article said that IF you want to cheat,……, then… So I only think its fair that you change it to “make sure you’re a member of THIS church”. After all if the founder/leader is getting away with it, what’s to stop the “innocent” members of the church. If there are still any members of that church, they’re going to have a very rocky and untrusting road ahead of them. They’d be better off following leaders who are faithful to the Word.

    Time: 10/23/97 (12:22:58)

    Thank you for the apology.. but I feel that you need to go a step further. Once again you are making generalizations about a church/congregation based on a slect few in the leadership. In most other forums this would be called prejudice. Do not hold the many innocent congregation members accountable for the misdirection of these individuals.

    Time: 10/23/97 (8:18:28)

    In regard to some of the comments below, and others that we received, we have to admit that we worded this
    badly. What we should have said in the last paragraph is “make sure you’re a member of THIS church”, rather than “make sure you’re a member of THE church”.

    Hey, sometimes we goof.

    Time: 10/23/97 (7:0:5)

    As someone who grew up atheist, and against religion, I can see where the narrow-minded comment in the last paragraph comes from. However, as a new Christian, I am offended by the remark. If you want to say its OK to “steal, cheat, and destroy” as a part of the Lyon’s church, then great. But to generalize is totally wrong and immoral. I belong to a church that’s never had a money scandal (or any other) since its creation some 25 years ago. The scandals of the Lyon’s church has nothing to do with religion, and especially Chritianity, and everything to do with corrupt people. Please keep up the great job you guys at DO usually do, but remember that generalizations will kill your good reputation.

    Time: 10/22/97 (22:53:54)

    This story was OK up until the last paragraph. The moral that you cited is completely obtuse and ruined an otherwise interesting story. Your inferrence that you can commit a crime if you are a member of a church, specifically inferring a Christian Church, by virtue of the story itself, is nothing short of blasphemy. Before you decide to conferr generalizations on Christians, through citing actions of persons who are, by essence of their actions, far from Christ, open up your Bible and read what God has to say. It won’t take long to see the falacy of your conclusions.

    Time: 10/22/97 (19:10:43)

    Ahhhh,,, Another crony of the Rev. Farakon (Pardon the spelling if wrong) Need we say anything else zzzzzzzzzzzz.

    Time: 10/22/97 (17:54:22)

    I like the judge’s ruling. Why should it be a crime to set fire to your own property? Its a stupid thing to do, but why make it criminal and get the rest of us involved in her situation?

    Time: 10/22/97 (15:13:32)

    This has little to do with religion and everything to do with racism.

    Had this been Tammy Faye she would rot in jail.

    Black Baptists have intentionally segregated themselves from the larger congregation over these productive post-civil-rights years in order to better beg from their “poverty pulpits”.

    The fact that Lyons is a crook and a womanizer is not the defining issue; what counts is that he got caught.

    The insulating veneer of PC is thin even now; His “old lady” scraped him bare and the world can now see beneath the skin.

    Time: 10/22/97 (15:6:51)

    Sure you got the correct moral to this story. It appears that if you are a black female, ABUSED by your husband, any criminal acts are forgiven. As we all know, all men are abusers and all women are victims.

    Time: 10/22/97 (15:1:51)

    I am out raged at the last paragraph in todays outrage. You said…

    “Like all good stories, this one has a moral. It’s okay to steal, cheat, and destroy — just make sure you’re a member of the church when you do it.”

    Thanks for the story, but it had nothing to do with church. but rather with the individuals involved. They all did wrong.

    I’ll make you a deal Don’t judge all people that go to church by these few, and I won’t judge you by all of the other inaccurate news sources on the WWW.

    Stay Outraged, however.
    So There.
    Jack Crosby

    Time: 10/22/97 (13:5:29)

    Your quote of the day sounds like a discription of Clinton (and company)

    Time: 10/22/97 (13:1:18)

    Is it Nieve or Naive? The gentleman seems to be the naive one. Most of these people are victims of their own reaction to the reality of life and society, and their lack of moral compass.

    Time: 10/22/97 (12:21:48)

    Regarding the comment below, we’d much prefer to be in Disneyland.

    On a factual note, the prison population of the US is at an all-time high, and higher than any other country in the world.

    Time: 10/22/97 (11:17:2)

    I read todays aricle and it seems to me that the D.O. is getting a little nieve these days. You act surprised that the preachers would bilk the congregation or that he would set up house with a women other than his wife. I though that your office was in D.C. not Disneyland. Another comment was the idiotic one about ” In fact, an amazingly high percentage of young black men are in jail or dead before middle age” I am telling you that the Disney life that you lead is amazing. Now what do you think is the main cause for them to be dead or in jail. It certainly wouldn’t be the judicial system because they don’t believe in jailing anyone.

    Time: 10/23/97 (13:31:13)

    You lumped all Christians in the same boat. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! Should I lump ‘The Outrage’ together with all the crap I read on the net? Don’t judge a class of people by the actions of a few hypocrites and I wont judge you by all the idiot stuff I see on the net.

  2. A Reverend a man of God embezzles money and no one does anything to him. What is going on here. Although I do believe that no mattere what he gets away with here on earth the lord well make him pay for it when he dies. He doens’t have to worry he thinks he getting away with something but GOD IS WATCHING and I’ll tell you he’s not amused. People like him make our lord sad. All I can say is the lord knows!

  3. Don’t put all churches in the same category as “Rev.” Lyons’. What you really should have said is “belong to a politically correct, left-wing church (that supports ultra-liberal causes).

  4. I am indeed outraged by the actions of Henry Lyons and your article is pretty much on target. BUT, did you have to use a depiction of Dr. Martin Luther King for the article??? I consider that an outrage because there is no comparison between these two men. I pray that it was an oversight on your part. A mistake of the head and not the heart.

  5. The funny thing about this situation that no one seems to realize is that all chruches, in all denominations, are in existance for one sole purpose and that is profit. Anyone who is ignorant enough to believe otherwise should just look at the history of the Catholic chruch. This is an entire history of coruption and profit, and if other chruches were examined as closely as the Catholic chruch I suspect we would see the same kinds of coruption.

  6. If someone can make money off the weak-willed herd’s need for supplication and submission to a cruel, petty and unjust deity, more power to them.

  7. When the Apostle John was still alive in his advanced age he warned of the growing apostacy he could already see forming and called it “The Falling Away”.
    By 325CE all that he said was in the works was already a full reality. The so called Christian Emperor of Rome was involved and welded the apostate sects into his new government controlled religion.
    Constantine has been called by at least in historian a member of the Roman Cult of the Cross in his youth as a pagan.
    Little wonder that the Babylonian’s emblem of the pagan messiah, Nimrod is found on top of every church in Christendom thus marking them as part of the oraginal apostacy.
    Even the doctrines of the Babylonian cults survived, Nimrod was worshiped as his own father and his own son while the central figure of the babylonian Trinity was his mother Semiramis, the queen mother .
    Even the idea of going to heaven as a dead warior was the output of the Homosexual priesthood that were and are sworn enemies of the True God.
    Islam added the seventy seven virgins 3700 years later to the old political lie.

  8. I think we should bring back mid-evil torcher like impalement and crucifixion. Take this preacher and execute him and his mistress in public, just like Moses and Joshua would have done. Do it in the name of the lord, and reap vengeance for the people!

  9. http://www.africanamerica.org/6/ubb.x?a=tpc&s=60260642&f=79160213&m=61770559


    Nothing surprises me these days, as it applies to many of Black America’s no good poverty pimping jack leg preachers, using false pretenses to elected office no good Black elected officials, and/or the some of the Black middle class who help to finance, give praise to, make heroes of, truly worthless individuals!

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