No Ethnicities In Christ!

“Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator. Here there is no Gentile or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.” (Colossians 3:9-11 NIV)

“Liar, liar pants on fire.” Remember that one? Usually the target of this phrase had just been caught in a lie, but what does one say to self when we lie to ourselves? Is there a voice telling us, “liar, liar, pants on fire” or are we just deceiving ourselves into believing a lie? If the enemy is telling us that God doesn’t have a problem with sin–ANY SIN–then we need to remind him, that he’s a liar, the father of liars and there is no truth in him.

For if we have put off–literally shed the skin and practices of the old man–the one who didn’t know any better before receiving Christ into our lives, then we are brand new–with a new attitude and a new wisdom regarding the attributes of Christ. We can walk in our newness by facing the fact that God is color-blind, has no respect of persons, and LOVES US ALL THE SAME! When we sin–after knowing how He wants us to live right before Him–He still loves us, but He’s not happy with our choices.

When children disobey their parents, most parents–at least those with a little common sense and love of Christ in them, don’t kill or maim their children because they’re upset. They don’t like the disobedience and there is usually an unpleasant consequence the children have to deal with. Since God is our heavenly Father, Jesus our Lord and Savior, and Holy Spirit our counselor and comforter, we have no excuse.  We cannot claim not to know–when we have received Him into our lives, giving Him reign over our lives and allowing Holy Spirit to do His job. He never stops loving us, but there is a consequence for our actions for He has said, “the wages (the payment/the penalty) of sin is death” and for some a spiritual death is worse than a natural death. For if we die naturally, then sin has no more authority over us; however if we die spiritually, we continue in our sin and eventually see no wrong with what we do.

Now, the real problem for many is that they like to make distinctions between who is in Christ or who is not based upon one’s proclivity to categorize people–in an effort to be superior to them. I’ve heard so much garbage lately, that it is really sickening and saddening to know just how much racism and bigotry there is yet in the world. God knows no distinctions between any people–we are all the same in Him–so why must we use misrepresented information to try to make others feel inferior? Ham’s curse–as related in Genesis–was not about his descendants being black! That is a misconception taught by those who think they are superior to others. The first man–Adam–was a person of color–his origin of creation on the continent of Africa. People did not begin to “pale” until they started migration into colder climates.

Really? Can this be true? Don’t take my word for it–check out the history of man’s migration from Africa–Asia–and other parts of the world. None of us are superior to others–by race, gender, ethnicity, or education. In Christ we are all one blood, one world of human beings and we need to start acting like it!

None of us has ever walked this journey in life in perfection. All of us have fallen short–sinned in some manner and many who claim to know Christ are still living in sin. It’s time we stopped lying to ourselves and realize we all need the Risen Savior, Jesus Christ and Holy Spirit guiding us in all we do–according to God’s Word–not according to our own limited knowledge of anything. There are no distinctions between people in Christ; we are all one–loved by Him who is Love, saved by Him who is the Savior, and guided by Him who is–the guiding Spirit of Christ.

Now that we know we are one–let’s love one another–casting away our old nature and walking in the new with Christ Jesus!

Cultural Ignorance! Part I

The diversity of people should be celebrated instead of being used as a benchmark to divide and segregate. What happens when people are ignorant—have no knowledge of anything—is that we create even greater divides—an ever-widening gap—between people when we should be coming together as one race—the human race. And then we wonder why we can’t get along with one another.

If we took the time—and it will take time—to review history and to cultivate our knowledge of each other and the ills of the past in order to keep them from resurfacing, then and only then will we understand the need to stop blaming one group of people for the demise of things and get ourselves together to build instead of tearing down. When we think that the world’s ills are because of one group of people, we deceive ourselves. The problems of our world are not problems caused by White people, Black people, Red people, Brown people or Yellow people. The problems in our world are caused by greedy, needy, and lazy people. And many of the greedy, needy, and lazy use religious banners to justify what they do—in error—or they use what they think is their superiority over others.

Here’s a newsflash—there is no superior race or religion—there are simply people who have chosen to think they are superior by the very nature of their birth or affiliation with others who think they are superior. And while there is no superior group of people, there is also no inferior group of people. We are all in the same boat—living on planet earth—an environment that desperately needs to be overhauled so this planet—the only one in which know has life—can continue to support life for future generations.

Instead of hating one another because of skin color or religious beliefs or nonbelief, why can’t we take the time to get to know one another, share what we know and help one another to grow—increasing awareness of need and perspective based upon how we all view life through the lenses that have been a part of our growth?

For the most part—many Black people do not understand how to amass wealth because we are too busy spending money rather than investing money—in our children and in our futures. We’d rather spend two hundred dollars for a pair of gym shoes than ten dollars for a book. We’d rather look good—spending tons of money beyond our means—than in reading and expanding our knowledge on how the world really works. We’d rather complain about minimum wage jobs than to continue our education in order to obtain the skills we need to live the lives we want. We know nothing about volunteerism because we think we should be paid for every little thing we do. We have our children grow up thinking that someone owes them something, when the reality is no one other than their parents owe them anything, but the parents haven’t figured that out yet and we know this by those who still think, everything they want—should be handed to them.

We complain about White people and how they do things, but we don’t understand that it’s not about how White people do things to accomplish goals, but about people understanding that without goals and purposes and work to accomplish them, nothing ever happens or changes. A quality education makes a huge difference in the perspectives people have in life—knowing that nothing worthwhile is ever simply handed to anyone, but must be earned.

On the other hand—many White people think that Black people are lazy, good-for-nothing, trouble-makers. There are just as many white people who are lazy and good-for-nothing trouble makers as any other group of people. The problem is the perception of any group of people is colored by media coverage—the news, the movies, and the music. If we bothered to take the time to get to know one another, we might discover that underneath the surface lies the same color blood, bone, tissue, marrow, and muscle. Our hearts have the same rhythm (for the most part) and the blood flows in the same direction, carrying oxygen to our brains—allowing us to “think” before we act. We simply choose to have differing opinions and likes and dislikes which should be respected, not abhorred or demeaned. If God had wanted clones—He could have managed that, but He chose to create us uniquely, wonderful, individuals with a purpose designed by Him, not people.

Part II–coming soon!

Truth Causes Divisions?

“Thus the people were divided because of Jesus” (John 7:43 NIV). PLEASE READ THE ENTIRE CHAPTER FOR CONTEXT!

Whenever there is misunderstanding of history, usually because of the varied lenses by which all view history, there is of necessity a difference of opinion. In this passage of scripture we see several things happening that are worth deep thought (beyond surface level).

First of all, the Pharisees and the chief priests (the church leadership) were not really thrilled with the reaction of the people (they felt their authority was being threatened) when they heard Jesus speaking. They all knew about the promise of the Messiah from “the scriptures” (scrolls about the prophets), but because they were looking for someone to lead them into “battle” in order to obtain freedom, they overlooked “The Truth” and what Truth was saying.

Because they could not agree about who Jesus was (murmuring to themselves), especially after He told them about the Holy Spirit, they became divided factions of “religious” folks; not knowing that The Truth was standing among them. The leaders became so incensed with Jesus teaching truth and not trying to fleece people or to bind them to traditional rules and regulations that they planned to arrest Him (they could not stand the competition). They thought their knowledge of “The Prophets” was so superior to anyone else that they rejected the idea that Jesus could be anything other than a deceiver of the people.

Now, if our relationship with God is right, we can look at this passage of scripture and understand that the enemy had already influenced the leadership into believing a lie. Because they believed the lie (arrogance will lead to being deceived), they lost an opportunity to have a relationship with Truth. Then the people, because of their varied expectations, became divided because they did not recognize Truth speaking when they heard Him.

Jesus is The Truth, and The Light, The Lamb, Bright Morning Star, Our Deliverer, Our Savior, Our Lord, The Way into the presence of The Father. If we understand John’s relationship with Jesus–that they were very close since they were related biologically, we can see how John’s insight should bring us all into relationship with God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit. We cannot have a right relationship with one, without all.

Perhaps, we can grasp this line of thought better when we look at all of the various denominations and factions of Christians who all believe they know the truth. But if they all know The Truth, would there be a need for the divisions of Christianity? If all believers had a relationship with God, Jesus, and Holy Spirit, wouldn’t we be united by the relationship with them?  If we all had the same type of relationship with Them (Trinity) that we have with close family members, would we need different denominations proclaiming to be Christian in nature?

We are where we are because those in leadership positions, choose to maintain barriers and obstacles that divide rather than unite. Arrogance and superiority (influenced by the enemy) has led to the great divide of those who say they Believe in Jesus. Until we can see Truth for who He is and develop a right relationship with Him, we will remain a divided body of believers who are more concerned with promoting religion than relationship with God. The verse of scripture referenced at the beginning would provide greater clarity if it had continued with--they were divided because of Jesus and their perception of who He was.