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Sunday, July 23, 2017

Introspection is needed

By Thornton Crowe

Yesterday, here on Salisbury News, many people from both perspectives weighed in on a young man named Jaquan Griffin and his death on Sunday morning at an area Denny's. He died because his alleged cousin shot him. Today, Griffin was due in court for illegal firearm charges (among other things) and yet, many in the area sought to vilify anyone who pointed out this inconvenient fact; leaving hate comments by the hundreds, largely due to their personal pain for their loss.

It may be a bitter pill to swallow but Griffin, like so many youth in our culture, has not had a pristine past with the law. His open case is an example of a wayward soul who didn't stay out of trouble. Many can speculate anything from his parents onward as to the reason he was in the wrong place at the wrong time on Sunday morning, but really, all conjecture is meaningless.

In the many rejected comments, people claimed he was a child of God and is interesting because in spite of this 'zen,' the rest of their comments were littered with hate/threat-filled profanity and racism as if somehow white people were the reason for his plight. Now, those claiming to be 'religious' and believing in a higher power, they seem to forget one thing:


If it was Jaquan Griffin's time, it was his time. If it weren't, he'd still be here. 

The circumstances were unimportant because when it's a person's time, nothing can keep him here.  That's what true spiritualism is all about! Faith. Faith in a higher power also means faith in a greater plan. A divine plan. Therefore, his death, while tragic, is part of that plan or else he'd still be alive.

We've all seen this plan in action throughout our history. People have survived horrific circumstances in order to live on and prosper. The Holocaust victims whom have lived well into the nineties are prime examples of this divine plan in play. They were starved, beaten, subjected to heinous medical experiments and forced into hard labored but they continue to persevere when many of their fellow prisoners perished. This is not a coincidence or happenstance. If one genuinely has faith in a higher being, then these survivors had some reason for being here - to continue on and perhaps remind us what true horror is instead of the everyday banter we so often engage.

I'm often stunned that people with supposed faith forget this bit in their church teachings. They want to go to church and get forgiveness but when push comes to shove, they hide behind their dogma or forget it altogether when horrific events occur; blaming everyone for their loss rather than accepting it was the person's time to leave this level. It never occurs to them that perhaps Griffin had finished what he was here to do and went on to better pastures. Surely, he's not screaming profanities from the heavens about all the racism and injustice. Hardly. His spirit isn't concerned about such nonsense.

And for those not related, seeing him as a menace to society, doesn't the church also preach, "Judge not lest ye be judged?" Or has that bit gone by the wayside in our social media, digital world where anonymous is key to speaking one's mind without fear of consequence?  It would seem so as the comments from the detractors were just as vile as those whom knew the victim lashing out of grief and offense.

Maybe it's time for everyone to step back and find their inner guidance system, realizing that everyone has the right grieve but while grieving, blaming is fruitless and useless. Stop using religion as a hat trick and really practice what you preach for a change. Anything short of this is just nonsensical rubbish. 

While for some, Griffin will be missed; for others who grapple with the high crime in Salisbury, there is a relief that one less gun-toting person is not here to threaten people anymore. Either way, it was all a part of that divine plan and who are we to question it?

Perhaps now it's time to move on and just let it be, but taking the lessons from it for everyone. There's always two sides -- and both equal in importance. Maybe it's time to remember what civility really is and practice it rather than just yammer on and on about it.

Talk is cheap. Actions are golden. Faith should be endless and unwavering.

50 comments:

Anonymous said...

Faith - is the reason given for believing something without evidence.

Anything, without evidence, can be believed by faith.

It is not special, nor is it something to be revered.

It is to the contrary a worthless thing, faith. No one has need for it, and it is used to dupe people into taking action in the real world based on no evidence at all.

We would all be better without it.

Anonymous said...

Two thumbs up and 5 stars, Thornton!

Anonymous said...

Jaquan was a victim-but a victim due solely to his poor choices he made in life. To deny is only serves to dismiss the truth of so many of these types of murders. Deny the truth and just keep on digging the graves is the only option. The fact is when you live a life of poor choices like he did you will either end up dying a violent death or end up being reduced to nothing more then a number within the prison system. That is all you will amount to in life.

Thornton Crowe said...

ANONS 7:53AM & 7:57AM

You have missed the whole point of this article. Get out of the armchair lawyering and re-read if you dare.

This isn't about what Jaquan did or didn't do, it's about finding solace post death. Death is a part of life and no one can determine when it will knock on your door. No amount of blaming or claiming will delay it.

Thanks for the stars, ANON 7:56AM, you have made my day!

Carry on!

Anonymous said...

In the end, what will be taken away from this all too often repeated death scenario? Will anyone learn from it, or come away a better person for it?

Thornton Crowe said...

ANON 8:05AM

You've asked a brilliant question, but one that I'm afraid only individuals can ascertain through their own inner Truth.

Anonymous said...

A MISUNDERSTANDING OF MATTHEW 7:1--“DO NOT JUDGE LEST YOU BE JUDGED.”

This is one of the most misapplied verses in the Bible. We see another believer engaging in sin or heading in a wrong direction and we say, “Well, the Bible says, ‘Judge not,’ so I can’t judge what he’s doing. It’s none of my business.”

If that’s what Jesus meant, it would be impossible to shepherd anyone! To minister to people, you must honestly evaluate where they’re at in their walk with Christ and do whatever you can to help them move more toward where they ought to be.

Jesus was talking about hypocritically condemning others for their sins, while you ignore major sins in your own life. He didn’t say that we aren’t to remove specks from our brother’s eye. He did say that we are to deal with the log in our own eye first. That leads to another hindrance:

Anonymous said...

This article is so error filled. What makes you think he is in the heavens? You can't claim to know that unless you know he had a personal relationship with Jesus. Faith.....in what? Not everyone goes to heaven. Also, as Christians we are to call out sinful behavior. First privately to the person and then publicly if there is not a change.

Anonymous said...

1 Timothy 5:20

As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear.

Anonymous said...

My mamma always said " Those that live by the sword , will die by the sword."
I don't know if that's in the bible , but it certainly makes sense .

Anonymous said...

So am I reading that it was Gods plan for this shootout? Gods plan that millions of innocents died in the holocaust, but a few were tough and they made it and prospered? It seems to attribute evil to God, which besides their being no scriptural evidence I've seen that God has predetermined our fate, which flys in the face of James 1:13, God doesn't cause the evil we deal with.
I think the intent of this article was good, and I appreciate the attempt at a healing sentiment, but it unfortunately promotes flawed religious tradition instead of actual Bible teachings which is regrettable.

Anonymous said...

We were given free will by our creator and this young mans free will put him in this position.

Anonymous said...

I have always wondered, being a 24 hour restaurant, how many times a Denny's has something like this happen across the country. I'n not going to be there at 2 am ever!

Anonymous said...

Has crime or instances been so bad at Denny's that they needed to hire two security guards?

Anonymous said...

Probably - the best article you have ever written Joe, No matter what anyone says - well put. I think the biggest problem on this was allowing comments at all. I was just as guilty as anyone else. I am re-thinking my opinions. It is hard, adn I am really tired of the system and seeing these kids die.

Anonymous said...

9:26, respectfully I couldn't disagree more with your statement or the article.

You can not change what you do not acknowledge. By washing away every death caused by crime with a misquoted religious quote is giving them a pass, and nothing will every change.

I viewed several posts by the black community, in relation to the sbynews articles, and they all blamed whitey. We hate them. We are the KKK.

Not once did anyone take responsibility for their role in their culture of accepting killing, drugs, gangs, and crime as a way of life. They all washed it away with a shoulder shrug and blamed the whites. And these quotes came from black men, all off which have been in jail for breaking the law.

I can not hate someone I do not know, but I can hate the violence and lawlessness their culture brings to the community. There is a difference and I am sorry they are too wrapped up in justifying their lawless lives instead of reviewing their lives.

Anonymous said...

Free will? How is it free will when if I don't believe in god I burn in hell? That is NOT free will and never was.

Anonymous said...

God is omnipotent and knows all. However, we do have free will. If we didn't we would just be a bunch of robots roaming around. So yes only God knows when our time on earth is up. But it is our own choices that can create the circumstances of how it happens. This boy obviously made bad choices and created the circumstances of how his death occurred. So you cannot blame God in such cases. It is our own sin that causes all of these terrible things that are happening today. This is what happens when you choose sin instead of obeying God's will for your life.

Anonymous said...

Faith today has turned into nothing more than a career, a scam, abuse of 501c3 status. Its a mere popularity contest let me tell you what you want to hear draw as many in through our doors as possible to show growth and revenue. There are some very poor examples of so called faith leaders right here in wicomico county, ones that merely use it for status in the community

Anonymous said...

I'm astonished how many ppl don't remember the SAME EXACT ISSUES happening at the Denny's that used to be in Court Plaza in the 80s/90s! Even officer presence couldn't stop it. They stopped 24 hrs, and eventually shut down. As Todd Christley said "There ain't nothing open after midnight except legs and the ER .....". I guess truckers take care of the riff-raff at truck stops.

Anonymous said...

2 things are certain every day:

(1) the sun will rise in the east;
(2) the sun will set in the west.

The rest we do the best we can, until we no longer can!!

Anonymous said...

Comments reflect the pulse of the community. We don't have to agree with them, but as shown in this article, they CAN make you think and not just react. I think it's high time we come together as a community to fight the epidemics we face! Have community meetings where all are welcome and where open communication can start to solve problems. Eliminate the race and just call them "community youth". Until we can stop defining everything by color or socioeconomic status, the community and people will remain divided into opposing factions. I would LOVE to offer my support at the vigils but won't for a few reasons: I would be targeted because I'm white; couldn't ask the hard questions or offer solutions or help without being dismissed "because I'm white and don't understand the black community", the rampant use of color to define makes me nauseous. There are white children on the east side of town who are in just as much danger of failing Life 101. They do not have access to the benefits urban areas provide because they can't walk there and there's no transportation. There's drug dealers, addicts, drunks, and abusers there too! This community MUST TRULY set aside division, quit teaching it to our children, and focus on "youth" being the ONLY word we use to describe young people. Only then will you see change. Not until. Time for the blame game to stop and proper mentoring to begin.

Anonymous said...

The Bible does NOT teach for anyone NOT to judge. That is a common misconception. We are indeed commanded to judge each other and ourselves. The elders of the church, for example, were prime examples of this.

What the Bible does say is that be careful HOW you judge. The same measures and means you use to judge will be used to judge you. Hence the saying, judge not lest ye be judged.

It doesn't say not to judge, it says when you judge and what you judge with, will be used against you in judgement.

Anonymous said...

1024 what gives you the right to judge anyone else? Who died and left you in charge of being life's hall monitor? Maybe if everyone worried about their own issues and quit assessing everyone else's their own lives would be a better place to be. Busy bodies, nosey parkers are idiots.

Anonymous said...

Most Christians mistake judging when it should be discernment. Learning to discern is much different because you always keep yourself in the equation and it has nothing to do with judging others. If you want to know why others persecute Christians, this judgement you talk of 1024 is exactly the reason why. You have no business judging others. I've often found that while other religions are aware and understand Christianity, Christians don't know beans about other religions. This is another big problem. Maybe you guys need to rethink your dogma and start being citizens of the world instead of trying so hard to cut yourselves off from it. There's no gold passes handed out to any one religion after the big judgement day.

Anonymous said...

Nothing like a cup of coffee and God speak in the morning to start a person's day off in a sour way. Thanks a lot, Thorn.

Anonymous said...

People can survive gun shots. This article is exactly right. Jaquan is gone because it's his time. Case closed.

Anonymous said...

I find about 90 % of the comments about this shooting incident to be stupid, hateful, or both.

As human beings, we are the product of genetics, luck of birth circumstances, and choices we make. Please take a moment to consider these factors before shooting off.

I'm an agnostic, but the world would be a better place if we all tried to live by the golden rule.

Anonymous said...

Very well said!

Anonymous said...

@10:55 no such thing as product of genetics, luck of birth circumstances, PERIOD!! Life IS however about the choices we make plain and simple. It makes me sick to gear people comment on how its not you're fault you were born into bad circumstances and you didn't have a chance. I've pretty much been on my own in the streets since the age of 12-13, guess what I'm now middle aged, retired and quite comfortable. The one choice I never made was pull a pistol out and shoot someone down right in front of an off duty MSP causing him to respond.

Anonymous said...

10:19 is willing to have a meeting. Now that sounds like a great idea, put your steel on the table and talk it out. Lol

Anonymous said...

People aren't judging this Thug! He died by his own actions and choices! Stop making excuses for his poor behavior and lifestyle. He will never again be a burden on the courts and society; his choice. Don't feel sorry or sad, just someone who reaped what they sowed.

Anonymous said...

What really sucks here is there has been NO response from local government leaders, OR civil leaders, there needs to be something formed by both white and black church leaders, a real committee if you will mayor Day not another bogus committee formed to try and pad your portfolio of accomplishments and photo opportunities and start some sort of intervention while these gathetings at Denny's and the like are going on. To all you so called leaders MANUP grow a pair get out there in the middle of the real life's issues and make a difference not all this protected agenda you try and take credit for. Right now you're merely providing a glorified church day care

Anonymous said...

Fact 2 parents are now burying their children. Doesn't matter what they did or didn't do!! Two human beings lost their lives and now two families are hurting. As a community we need to be more tolerant of each other,our churches need to be more active on saving lives and helping our youth see a different life. God bless those families as they now have to bury their children. As for me and my house we are praying for them.

Anonymous said...

Predestination it is called but I too find this post misleading. Our days on earth are determined but God tells us in 1 Kings to walk in obedience to Him, keep His commandments and you will live longer. So in other words you are in control somewhat and if you live a God filled life chances are you won't get gunned down in the streets. Or die from an overdoes. Or die after driving drunk and slamming into a tree. There are more verses on this topic BTW.

Anonymous said...

“See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction. For I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in obedience to him, and to keep his commands, decrees and laws; then you will live and increase, and the Lord your God will bless you in the land you are entering to possess. But if your heart turns away and you are not obedient, and if you are drawn away to bow down to other gods and worship them, I declare to you this day that you will certainly be destroyed. You will not live long in the land you are crossing the Jordan to enter and possess. This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live”


Anonymous said...

I know his mom and dad. Good, God fearing, church going folk.
Shame.

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous said...

1024 what gives you the right to judge anyone else? Who died and left you in charge of being life's hall monitor? Maybe if everyone worried about their own issues and quit assessing everyone else's their own lives would be a better place to be. Busy bodies, nosey parkers are idiots.

July 10, 2017 at 10:28 AM"

God gives us the right to judge. The Bible clearly and without any doubts says to judge just so long as you aren't doing the same thing. REAL Christians call others out on their sins and their bad actions and decisions. It's only the fake christian who lie and say do not judge. Real Christians know the Bible says to judge so others will too experience Heaven when they take their last breath. So please please if you are going to a church it is a fake one and you need to get to a real church. One that doesn't lie to you and sets you on a righteous path so you will go to Heaven.

Anonymous said...

Man can only judge the actions of a fellow man.
God (the Father of Jesus Christ) will judge our hearts.

All of us have sinned against one another, unless there is one among us who is perfect?
I doubt it.

Jesus Christ encouraged us to forgive each other and to do unto others as we would have them do unto us.
That is the golden rule. It replaced the Law of Moses. It fulfilled the Law of Moses.
None of us can abide by the Law of Moses - that is what we learned from the law.
We are all sinners (against each other).

Jesus Christ claimed that he died in order to save ALL OF OUR SOULS.
We will ALL acknowledge he is the Lord and Savior at the Judgement.
Then we will ALL enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.
Not as rich men. Not as sinners. But as children.

Yes, that young man will enter into Heaven as will all of us one day.
That my friends is the Good News of Jesus Christ.
He died for us whether we want him to or not.
He died for us whether we believe it or not.

In the meanwhile, what are we to do?
Katalagete!

Be Reconciled to one another, as we are reconciled to Jesus Christ.

Thank you

Anonymous said...

6:12 You are lying! You are deceiving. I guess the hell that is mentioned in the Bible doesn't exist.

Anonymous said...

You are wrong 6:12! God does not promise we will all enter into heaven. Only that we will have eternal life and that could be heaven or hell. Please please please if you are going to try and spread The Word then know what you are talking about or keep it to yourself. Your inaccuracies do no one any good and only cause harm with your false statements. And if you learned or heard this nonsense at "church" run like hell from that place. It's a fake church which is worse then not attending church at all.

Anonymous said...

6:12 You post nonsense. Jesus was clear that “no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again” (John 3:3). He was also clear that hell is an eternal punishment for those who do not obey Him (Matthew 25:46). Second Thessalonians 1:8–9 says that in the end God “will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might.”
For you to say that we will ALL enter into Heaven is not being truthful as according to the Bible.

bayman said...

Always someone defending these thugs after they get their self blown away. How about going to these punks while they are still alive and put an end to their preying on good people. Most of these young scum have a weapon on them. They have no parenting at home by their lousy, lazy good for nothing welfare momma's. Go to the neighborhoods and teach them some morals. No more crying for this garbage.

Anonymous said...

"If it was Jaquan Griffin's time, it was his time. If it weren't, he'd still be here."
Same deal with Brooke Mumford?

Anonymous said...

There is a lot of soul searching that needs to be done at the church levels both in white and black communities. Faith is and never was meant for today's interpretation of prosperity business religion. Its merely what needed to be done here pull a lost soul out of the darkness and renew the right spirit and ways of thinking,

Anonymous said...

Yes. Brooke left behind a legacy of love and kindness, of smiles and being self-less, of being a warrior in all the RIGHT ways! You can NOT say the same about Griffin. Sorry, not sorry.

Anonymous said...

The fact is if the parents raised them correctly and held them accountable for there actions we would not be talking about this!!!

Anonymous said...

What will happen at the Judgement Day?

Every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

It will be at that time, that every soul will enter into the Kingdom of God.

We will ALL enter into the Kingdom of God.

The Christians know this truth, the non-Christians simply do not know it yet.
Many of you appear to write here as Jews, and do not know the truth of Jesus Christ.
You have been deceived by Satan, for whom Hell was created.

Thank you

Anonymous said...

12:10
The voice of one crying in the wilderness.
Thank you my friend.
You have spoken the truth of Jesus Christ.

We are ALL SAVED by his sacrifice on the Cross of Calvary.
Blessed be his Name.

Anonymous said...

Hey, the butthead asked for whatever he got. No need to bless his are.