Today’s post is social, political, religious, and Christian in nature.
This past Sunday I was sitting in front of the TV. After some channel surfing I came across one of the several religious channels that exist now days. There was a live church service being shown. A Baptist minister was preaching a sermon. He was from Louisiana and was white in race, and was preaching to what appeared to be a 100% black congregation in Chicago. His message was that good things can’t be said enough. If it’s good, it should be repeated over and over. I had to think about that, but eventually I kind of said…..I guess so. Seems to sound right. As he went on, I began to realize that he was preaching about what has happened recently in Virginia, and the aftermath, and what that means in the big picture.
The pastor told a story about how he was recently in an ice cream parlor near home. After he got his ice cream, he turned to go out, he noticed that there was a black man in line in back of him. The pastor had to adjust his ice cream cone and a cane in order to shake this strangers hand, He told the congregation that he now wished he would have thought quicker and paid for whatever the stranger was going to purchase. Why? Because he (the pastor) was white and the stranger was black. His point was that slavery was so terrible that every white person should apologize to every black person just because we are white, and they are black. I agree that slavery is so horrible that it can never be forgotten, but the pastor’s premise is flawed and inherently racist at its core.
The idea that because he or I was born white, and someone else is born black, keeping in mind that I have never been a slave owner, and assuming that the black person has never been a slave, I should go through life apologizing to them, and they should expect it, is indeed racist in every way. It is shocking just how often those who claim to deplore racism, have racist remedies to the problem.
Now understand, of all the black people I have know in my life, I’ve never met anyone who ever suggested anything so ridiculous. It might be the era I came from, but my black co-workers and friends, have always seemed to want to be treated like everyone else. I guess times change.
Maybe what the good pastor might have suggested, is we could deal with today’s racism, white on black, and black on white, immediately rather than remaking a large segment of America back into slaves, so they could get an “I’m sorry” from white Americans, most of who have never harmed them in any way, much less their ancestors.
The only slavery (I said slavery not racism) in America, since those horrific Jim Crow laws were gotten rid of, has been Lyndon Johnson’s so-called Great Society welfare system. It was designed from the outset, as confirmed by members of the Johnson administration in later years, to keep black Americans in need of assistance from Democrats. It rewarded the act of having lots of fatherless children, and kept inner city blacks needing, and therefore voting for his party. The aftermath lives on and can be seen by the slaughter going on in our cities every day. They are “enslaved” and harbored in places like Chicago, Baltimore and Milwaukee.
Of course it certainly occurred to me, that the “good preacher” might have been pandering to his audience. I think he may be nine parts entertainer, one part preacher of the Gospel. I would imagine the church was paying him a tidy sum to preach, and who knows, maybe they’ll have him back again.
He also used a Bible story (Cain & Abel) in a way that was not the intent of its inclusion in the Bible, except for his recognitions of Cain’s hatred of his brother.
Pastors like this, do more harm than good. He doesn’t promote harmony and good will, only animosity and a “you owe me” mentality. His message isn’t about God’s Word and how it relates to us today, it is about how can I “use” the Bible to say what I want to say.
Please your audience, and come back and make more money? Don’t judge your pastor by how good of an entertainer he/she is.
This one should be ashamed of himself and retire to the farm.
The world as we know it, is speeding up while we watch. Much like a snowball rolling downhill, getting bigger every few feet, and moving faster all the time. It is collecting and destroying people along the way. There are a lot of choices that have to be made. The bad is growing faster than the good, and that’s not unexpected news. Separating good from bad is always a difficult chore. I have found that sticking with the basic premises of decency, freedom, and Biblical right and wrong, serves me well.
12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood (Our immediate foes may be human, but they carry out the work of Satan), but against principalities (evil beyond the human understanding), against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. (The hard part to understand can be that God wars against that evil, but he also uses unlikely people to aid him in His Message. The Lord has used sinners to move His Message and His Plan forward, almost since the beginning.)
15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the Gospel of Peace. (Ultimately, peace will come through the Cross of Christ and the Gospel that shows us the way).
16. Above all, taking the Shield of Faith (Christ and what He did on the Cross), wherewith you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked, (Temptations from Satan and his human representatives on Earth).
Sections like the one above, are the sort of Bible sharing that will cause many who say they believe in the Bible, to label the one who brings it to you, as being nutty or not understanding the “symbolism” of the Bible. The Bible does let you know when symbolism is being used. People who are embarrassed to share all of God’s Word, it would seem to me, are those who don’t really believe the Word in the first place. Actually, when I share with you what God says in His letter (The Bible) to us, and when some pronounced Christians say I should only share what makes people feel good, and not take the whole Bible so literally, I then know I am doing the right thing. It has become a sort of gauge for me to know when I am at least on the right tract. Usually, when I do the opposite of those sorts of “Christians”, I am on the course of truth.
Faith is always the key. Remember, in the entire first Covenant (Testament), only His Son Jesus Christ, kept that Covenant and His Commandments. Only those in the Old Testament who had faith in the sacrifice, which was a snapshot of what Christ would do for us, were saved and sent to Heaven (Then only after Christ rose).
There are many doctrines out there and most of what I share on these pages is at odds with one or more of them. That’s true even though, this is the most believed interpretation of the Bible throughout its existence. From the Calvinist doctrine of predestination which implies (or just states) that it was all decided before time began, who will be graced with a trip to Heaven and who will not, has nothing to do with us, to much of the modern “Christian” teaching which states that none of it (the Bible), except of course our worldly duty to treat one another well and do good deeds, really matters because we’re all going to heaven whether we have personally accepted Christ or not, and on and on. There will always be somebody who disagrees either because of heartfelt convictions through what they were taught, or the quest for personal power. Believe the Bible (an honest edition) before you believe people, including me.
Anybody can share what they find in the Bible. The only courage it takes, is to stand up to whatever ridicule one might receive from our fellow humans. Most of that will not be aimed directly at you, but will be found in a more general criticism, of all who dare to share God’s Word. Considering what’s at stake, that’s really nothing at all to deal with.
We are in the time of the Church of Laodicea. The lukewarm church. Humanistic rather than truly Godly, and full of false doctrine. That title and those definitions come from the Bible itself, and they are meant to describe the overall composition of the self described Christian Church. There are and will be however, some churches that preach the truth, and carry God’s message, right to the very end.
Even though I have studied various denominations as well as independent ministries, some more than others, I rarely ever criticize them by name because there are always roses in the middle of thorns. I am sure there are great churches in “most” denominations. In many cases it means that particular church, will be breaking from the parent denomination in one way or another. The last thing any Christian should want, is to discourage people from great churches. If you find the truth, stay with it.
God Bless, keep the faith, and watch out for snowballs,
As a photographic aside, I was thrilled to see all of the great images of the recent solar eclipse, that were shared in my Flickr group Earth Images. I would imagine, there are more to come.