In light of black history month-
We can say anything we like about division and ignorantly ignore or talk about transcending uniqueness, differences between race, ethnicity and the like. And it would be very much like saying in the United States there are no liberals or conservatives, no Republicans, Democrats, Independents or Libertarians.
You might add “Nobody’s wealthy and nobody’s poor, nobody’s imprisoned and nobody’s free out on the streets. Really? Truth? Or “Hey you are CAUSING division by stating myths!” I’d say you’re either ignorant, lying to yourself, or have faith in nonsense because it suits you.
We can deny there is a sky at all, or that it’s typically blue and ok with us, makes no difference, that the weather doesn’t matter. Then comes a hurricane, tornado, earthquake, blizzard or polar vortex and the loss or potential loss of life, etc., and all of a sudden we’ve become our own worst enemy.
I speak as a pastor, evangelist and a Bible-reading, believing and seeking-to-live-it-out Christian (flawed, sinful right through my walk) for all but the first 18 of my 66 years. I could be partially or fully wrong.
What I don’t agree with is the logic of pretense because we feel better telling ourselves myths are reality.
Sure, some think Jesus Himself was/is a myth, or that the Gospels, the other writers of the New Testament, Old Testament, all the stories in them are essentially just a stitched-together mythology. Some surely consider core Bible concepts of heaven, hell, judgment and moral writ mere human constructs to help explain some of the miseries of life and mysteries of any possible afterlife, various morality narratives and not much else.
Some folks think as they do based on what they judge as illogical and immoral amongst professing Christ-followers who seem to do everything they can to either gain or keep control of their “slice of the pie” regardless of how others (“not like us”) are kicked to the curb as a result.
There are those who either have decided all are simply reaping what THEY’VE sown, we have zero responsibility for their situation. There are some who believe God predestined the down-and-out to BE down-and-out in their miserable lifetimes on the planet. Some folks believe both of these at once. I don’t believe either.
I’m convinced all of us are responsible to essentially do two things: Love God and love our neighbor regardless of the change, loss or even pain it may bring us. Nobody, certainly not me -does this perfectly and in all relationships at all times. And yet this is the call of Jesus specifically to those of us who claim saving faith in Him.
If this is divisive, I’d say what God the Holy Spirit is doing in our lives is working to divide us from:
Self-interest and harsh judgment to the point of ignoring His commands to love WHOMEVER THEY MAY BE by looking for an exit to this call
Converting us to treating those we don’t like or value as equals with THE SAME VALUE WE ASCRIBE TO THOSE WE LIKE.
IF as the Book of Genesis account says, we are ALL created in the image of God… and IF He commands throughout The Bible (He does) that we are to love one another without preference, how is it we so quickly prefer one individual to another and break His clear commands by deeming them of less value by our very attitude and lack of respect and care for them? The mission, the witness of the Gospel has in history at various times and places been left in the dust at this very point.
Here are two solid English New Testament translations that speak via apostle Paul to the Philippian church and all of us today- (Philippians 2.3,4)
“In humility, value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others.” (NIV)
“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.” (NAS)
Neither God nor His Word are bound. We cannot say this is also true of all professing Christians. Often it is our own anger, fear and lack of maturing in the love of Jesus toward others which both blinds and binds us.
Racism exists and sometimes “people of faith” have propagated it. You can of course deny history past and present but that won’t make Holocaust/s “go away”.
I cannot find a loophole to all this -but perhaps as a noose was once preferable for those we thought unworthy of our respect and valuing, that is the “loop” we credit ourselves with?
May God have mercy and may we learn to actually sow the mercy we seek to reap.
As always, thanks for stopping by! -Glenn