Most reading this already realize our personal perspectives about you-name-it aren’t somehow automatically Truth and I mean truth as God thinks of, proclaims it and as Jesus Himself IS TRUTH.
My most recent post here “Evaluation” was written and re-edited several days before I heard an address that I believe to be super important to share.
I was born in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin (U.S.A.) in conservative farm country and after my parent’s divorce when I was 9 years old, visited my Dad for two weeks each summer. Dad had been a trucker for years, then terminal manager in Chicago for more years, eventually worked on road-building with a large road-construction company who plied that trade all over Wisconsin.
I learned to LOVE radio, and as he never missed a newscast on our very local WBEV in (then) appx. 10, 000 person populated B.D. which was surrounded by farming and also contained what was then basically a military academy for college prep, etc.. At one point he began adding a second even smaller-town station to the daily menu. Dad also never missed a Paul Harvey News broadcast and so each visit I heard things daily from largely a very local, small town perspective. Only P. H. gave a wider, more national viewpoint.
Returning to the Milwaukee area after those visits (appx. 2 million metro population) and listening to a wide range of radio from my Mom’s conservative station, my fave rock stations and also using my own up on the roof antenna work to hear tiny local stations that were mostly day-time only and lower power as well as early on becoming addicted to shortwave and Canadian broadcasts via several radios I owned brought me wide and wider perspectives on “the news”. In all this I’m convinced God set me up to be a missionary when I eventually came to follow Jesus.
Our individual, shared or fully disagreed-with (between ourselves and others) perspectives are sometimes flat wrong, solidly right or on a spectrum between those, perhaps a “slice” of truth, a part of what’s true re. any given topic. Humility and patience which are so very key to a legit witness to Jesus as well as our own growth are an essential I think we are often tempted to just dump, sad as that is.
So IF it is possible to put aside our political cementedness, perhaps even idolatries long enough, we may well be able to wrestle with the following questions-
Aren’t we all tempted to judge people and information that hits us as offensive as lies, untruth and even personal attacks on us?
Have we given up listening to people we don’t like, strongly disagree with and whose comments and beliefs are offensive to us?
How is it we who profess to follow Jesus so quickly close our ears? Do our hearts then follow closing to people also?
I think there are many solid and understandable answers to all this, and there is a time to back away, shut down, not put ourselves in a scenario to be “triggered”, I really do get that.
One more question: did not God continually send -in both Testaments- prophets to the nation of Israel, also directly to the kings of Israel and pagan kings of other nations alike- out of love to warn, correct, call them out for repentance and change? The poor, widows and orphans, migrants and immigrants and indeed the gentiles in Bible texts were often specifically mentioned in the strong words God sent. Why? To reveal His character as well as toward setting things right that had been amiss by HIS judgment.
In some cases the practices that God called/calls out for change had been going on for generations. Don’t miss that reality.
If I could, I’d call the entire church in the U.S. to pray deeply, open our hearts and ears and have a watch/listen to the following. It would mean we are listening to people outside our own kingdom and I believe would glorify God and indeed we professing followers of Jesus would begin to understand our own need to repent even as we call others to do so.
I do indeed believe what is presented here is full-on reality WE in the American churches are in need of.
Note: this is not an attack on my white brothers and sisters but an invitation to examine our ways and follow the Biblical Jesus. May our ears hear and hearts truly grow!
As always, thanks for stopping by. -Glenn
[Please go directly to 19:27 to see/hear Dr. Emerson’s address]