Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Justification by Slavery Alone
I argue with my mother a lot. Not in a way that I break the fifth commandment; but we do go at it. Most of our arguments are over (you guessed it): politics and religion. You see, Mom was raised in the south (Augusta, Georgia) came up through segregation and the civil rights era. Yes, she had to ride on the back of the bus and she had to drink from the "colored only" water fountain. She was called "nigger" and MacDonald's would only serve her if she went to the back door of the restaurant. So she feels that since I was spared all of these dehumanizing events I have no clue as to why we black folk can't just forgive and forget.
I know it doesn't compare in magnitude; but I have to remind her that I have had a taste of racism in my life also. I grew up in the Bronx during the 70's and 80's. My friends and I were physically attacked by white boys for riding our bikes through the Castle Hill area while being black. I've been called "nigger" while walking on the street minding my own business. I remember ambulances taking their sweet time to respond to calls from black neighborhoods (911 is a Joke! Thanks, Public Enemy). I remember Crown Heights and Bensonhurst. I can't claim the levels Mom has seen; but I'm not totally unstained by dehumanizing events.
My point here is not so much how my Mom still holds a grudge about these things. It's about how she and so many of her generation (and some of mine) have tricked themselves into believing that having experienced these events,the evils of slavery and racial discrimination are somehow salvific. It's this mindset that fuels the Jeremiah Wrights, Al Sharptons and James Cones of the world. And that is a source of great discomfort for me. Contrary to what my Mom sometimes states, I love my people a great deal. It would be tragic for vast numbers of us to experience the eternal weeping and gnashing of teeth only because we thought we had some sort of "get out of hell free" card because of slavery.
Oddly enough, Mom easily dismisses the facts that we too enslaved people in our history. She forgives the Africans who sold other Africans to the "white man" cheap for slave labor. I guess since all that happened so long ago that makes it okay. I guess it's like us calling each other "nigga". We can do it to each other; but it's off limits to you "white man"!
What Mom and many of us black folk fail to realize is that God is not particularly enamored with us. Yes, black is beautiful, but even "black" shows the stain of sin. You can try soaking it out, you can try scrubbing it out; but it won't come out until the blood of Jesus is applied.
My friend Alex Compere emailed me a very powerful video by Pastor Paul Washer. After viewing it, I watched more of Washer's videos and I thought these two, in particular, spoke to what I'm trying to convey here. The bottom line here is that all of us (black, white, yellow and chartreuse) are sinners from birth. The total depravity of man is a fact that has enabled all the atrocities of history . . . those blacks have committed also! The balancing factor and the only remedy for our sin is the love of God shown through the sacrifice of His son, Jesus. Being black and having survived slavery and racial discrimination may prove our endurance, tenacity and more likely God's grace; but it doesn't guarantee our salvation.
In his epic work "The Institutes of the Christian Religion" John Calvin stated that "without knowledge of self there is no knowledge of God". He also stated, "without knowledge of God there is no knowledge of self". Please watch the following videos . . . in some small way, I hope the first will be seed for a more Scriptural view of ourselves and the second for a more glorifying view of our Great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Be Like the Bereans, Baby!!!(Acts 17:11)
Friday, May 23, 2008
Same-Sex Anti-Marriage and Other Signs of the Apocalypse
Well, it is certainly good to be back! However, I now know how Moses felt. I go up to the mountains for a few weeks and when I come back all hell has broken loose! As I am sure you all know, our wacky neighbors on the "left coast" have decided that their state should recognize the homosexual's "right to choose" to become wedded (I can no longer bring myself to say "married" because that was God's invention and He did not design it for homosexuals). I guess I can't honestly blame everyone in Cali for this decision; after all it was just a bunch of "U.S. Constitutionally-challenged" justices who made the decision. Fret not, they will meet the Righteous Judge one day.
Again, politics is certainly not the warp and woof of this blog; however, a couple of items have come to my attention that simply must be shared. Short of a master stroke of "Bill-like" ingenuity on Hillary's part, the presumptive candidates for president this year will be: Barack Obama and John McCain. This places Christians on the proverbial horns of a dilema. Now, I would not dare attempt to use my blog to attempt to tell anyone who to vote for. I will, however, attempt to influence the reason for your vote.
My position is plain: Christians should not be beholden to ANY political party. As Christians we are to be informed about the candidates and support those whom we have determined (as best as we can) have taken a biblical stand for the issues that confront our country and communities.
I am very familiar with brothers and sisters in Christ who propose that we cannot disqualify a candidate because of his/her position on any one particular issue (it seems uncanny to me that that one issue is always abortion). Frankly, I think they are deceived. If the issue is "life", that is the one issue on which every other conceivable issue is founded upon. God evidently thinks that "life" is so important that He put a pretty strong fence around it . . .
"Whoever sheds the blood of man,
by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image"(Genesis 9:6).
Then of course comes the dishonest and ill-informed question: "duh, whose to say when 'life' actually begins?" As always, our gracious Father gives the definitive answer . . .
"For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb"
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you . . . (Jeremiah 1:5a)".
Can you handle the truth? A candidate who can't get the "life" issue right can't, from a godly perspective, get any issue right. Then of course comes the defense: "duh, well, you're never gonna find a perfect candidate". How about this, I'll take an imperfect candidate whose imperfection does not include being on the wrong side of the "life" issue!
You might now be thinking, " hey, this is a back door endorsement of John McCain!" Well, you are wrong. I personally think John McCain is like Miller Lite. Call him "Democrat Lite": Same taste as a regular democrat, but with half the guts to actually say so.
The last deception that I want to address is the the deception that "we must support someone who can actually win". Here, again, is where the "American" and the pragmatism is showing up in our Christianity. Whatever happened to being faithful? Why is "winning" the end all be all? Please define "win". Does "win" mean that the guy we voted for got the office or does "win" mean that despite the actual outcome of the election we were true to our God and to our Christian convictions? Is God less apt to complete His agenda because the guy we should be supporting can't "win"? Should we not vote for the more Christ-like candidate regardless of who "wins"? If Satan, himself, "won" the presidency of the United States would not God still be in control? Or is "God is in control" just a cliche'?
It's obvious that God is getting a lot of props during this campaign. Every candidate has made a point of reassuring us of his/her faith in God. Interestingly enough, neither Hillary nor Obama can force themselves to say that a woman carries a living child in her womb from conception. Even when the Bible which they quote and claim to believe teaches that she does. Even when cold science demonstrates this fact. Obama has famously stated that he wouldn't want his daughter to be "punished" with a baby should she accidentally become pregnant. And ol' Johnny Mac once stated that if he learned that his daughter were pregnant and wanted to have an abortion to ease her burden; he would have a family meeting with her and hope she would make the right decision. As Alan Keyes(McCain's opponent during the 2000 primaries)astutely challenged him, "what would you do if your daughter told you she was thinking about killing off grandma to ease the burden on the family"? You see, someone who is authentically "pro-life" will resolutely renounce the taking of innocent life no matter who it is.
That brings me to the real "back door" reason for this blog. There is a candidate currently running for the presidency of the United States of America who is consistently and unabashedly Christian in his stance on all the issues (most importantly "life") facing this country. I invite you to listen to this recent statement that he made and decide for yourself: have you heard this type of absolute Christian conviction from any other candidate you have observed? If you haven't, then why aren't you supporting him also?
Keyes' remarks to supporters following Constitution Party Roll call
Can Alan Keyes actually "win" the presidency of the USA? I'll put it this way: on Tuesday, November 4, 2008 both Alan Keyes and myself will have zero electoral votes. I'm not even running and I will almost beat him. The better question is: should Alan Keyes "win" the votes of Christians? My answer is "yes", what is yours? I will be writing in the name Alan Keyes on November 4, 2008. God will take care of the mess everybody else makes of this place.
Be Like the Bereans, Baby!!! (Acts 17:11)
Oh, by the way . . . Keyes is black too! Alan Keyes: America's Revival