January 2019   
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Ignorance Is No Excuse
As a boy, growing up in Basile, I was privileged to have several good pastors, but one was "special"…Bro. Joe Kite.  You probably know him because he pastored Parkview Baptist Church in Alexandria for many years and after retirement, has become a chaplain at St. Francis Cabrini Hospital.  Bro. Joe, Mrs. Ela and their children were all a large part of my years of growing up.  But, as wonderful a pastor as he was, I learned two lessons by his mistake on one particular day.  One Saturday, my brothers and I were working in the front yard with Dad when Bro. Joe drove up in his car.  He seemed, both excited and worried at the same time.  He had a problem and I guess he knew Dad would have the answer.  It seems, Bro. Joe had gone hunting that morning… as we had done also, but fortune had come his way… or so he hoped.  He was actually hunting squirrels, when he came upon a flock of ducks on the bayou.  According to him, he pointed that old single shot long- tom 12 gauge and fired.  He was here asking Dad, what the limit was on Wood Ducks.  Dad told him "one".  I will never forget the dropped jaw of my pastor… and the look of "OH, OH" on his face.  Dad then asked how many did he get?  Rather than answer, he opened the trunk and there was a pile of ducks! With a little comforting and congratulations going on at the same time, it was decided since he did this in ignorance of the law, he should go home and start plucking.  Now for the two lessons I learned from the mistakes of this wonderful Man of God.  First, through my Dad, I learned to be kind and understanding when someone you know fails in some test in their life. Though Bro. Kite had broken the law, Dad did not scold him for not knowing the law, instead, he encouraged a friend who was feeling mighty guilty for doing wrong even though it was done without intent.  (I'll bet Dad knew Jesus' story of the man with a log in his eye accusing a man with a speck in his eye).  I also learned from Bro. Joe that it doesn't matter how godly you are, you can still fall when temptation presents itself.  I know I would have taken the shot too, but, in truth "ignorance of the law is no excuse".  Paul declared himself the "chief of all sinners" (1 Tim. 1:15) because of how he persecuted the church before his was saved.  He said grace was given to him because it was done "ignorantly"… but it was still sin.  You and I have an obligation to read the "Rules", as well as the "Love Letters", that are contained in God's Word—this way we stand "approved to God… not ashamed"  (2 Tim. 2:14).