“ . . . For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,”
–Ephesians 2:14 NIV
With the increase of immigrants–legal and illegal–into our nation, with the spread of Neo-Nazism, vigilantism, and the rise of separatist churches, the body of Christ needs to address racism. Not that there is anything wrong with having national borders. God himself established nations and borders.
“When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when he divided mankind, he fixed the borders of the peoples according to the number of the sons of God.” (Deuteronomy 32:8, ESV)
But the discerning see Satan moving–in the upswing of Neo-Nazis and skinhead racist activities and in the south in black churches where white people are not welcome and in white churches where black believers are unwelcome. We see him at work spitting in the face of a Mexican migrant in Texas. As a result, we must be thoughtful about how WE–the Family of God–will respond, when Puerto Ricans, Chinese, Mexicans, Liberians, or African-Americans begin to attend our lifegroups, worship, and Celebrations.
Have you come to realize that, as believers, we no longer are to consider Hispanic, Latino, African-American, or Caucasian blood? Instead, we see only the blood of Jesus that has reconciled our lives through His blood shed for us and has joined us to one another through salvation, symbolized as we partake together at the Lord’s Table. So that we are of one blood in the body of Christ. The wall of partition has been broken down. What a profound thought.
The text above tells us that Christ has “destroyed the barrier.” That is, the barrier in our hearts against others.
When we of many colors and backgrounds gather around the cup of the Lord, we proclaim His death for us all and “drink His blood” (symbolically). In that blood, the nations have been reconciled into ONE family, ONE nation, ONE household in Christ Jesus. You and I are no longer separated by blood. We belong to Him and to one another. Here is no room for prejudice or retribution, anger or vengeance, only thanks-giving.
Zero Toleration In the Churches
In the churches, Father-God wants to bring people from all the Nations into our midst. We must not tolerate racism or regionalism in ourselves. Your growth in spiritual life requires that you begin to see from God’s perspective (2 Cor. 5:15-16). You are not your own, you’ve been joined to a new community, a new family (Eph. 2:19-22), a family of the nations.
God wants you to see other born-again Christians as a part of your very own body (1 Cor. 12), no matter what their color or national origin. As for our enemies, we are to learn to love those who oppose us. As a matter of fact, who do you have more in common with: your white, Anglo-Saxon Protestant neighbor, who bullies his wife and kids, drinks until drunk, and shouts profanities out his window until 2am, or a born-again, Spirit-filled Iraqi or Iranian? In Christ, there is no room for racism.
Are You Connected to Him?
Let’s remember that the precious shedding of Jesus’ blood, connected you to God and to His children . . . ALL His children. Your future is a life in community, not as white or black or yellow, but as an obedient disciple and a child of a multicultural Family. Blood counts, but only the Blood of Jesus. Join me in creating a welcoming, Kingdom-fellowship, the Oikos (household) of God to the Nations (Eph.2:19).
“If every beginning minister were given a start-up kit when they began, David Alves’ book, would be an essential. It contains the indispensable fundamentals for a long and fruitful ministry. Providing step-by-step guidance, this book could save many from premature erosion that takes place beneath the surface in ministry. I highly recommend this primer for every new and veteran minister who cares about his or her future vitality!”
Dr. Wayne Cordeiro, author ofLeading on Empty: Refilling Your Tank and
Renewing Your Passion and Senior Pastor of New Hope, Oahu
A Sudanese court ruled last week that the marriage of Meriam Ibrahim (27) was invalid and sentenced her to 100 lashes for adultery as well as death by hanging for rejecting Islam. Ibrahim was turned into law enforcement by her own brother for her 2011 marriage to Daniel Wani, a Christian American man. Ibrahim has their 20-month-old son with her in prison while her husband appeals the court’s decision.
The friendly face of Islam. Need I say more? This is true, Koranic Islam–not just “radical” Islam. This is an example of a NATION that practices Sharia Law--the totalitarian law of Islam. This totalitarian political system has its attached religious wing–Islam–which devotes its energy to capturing and killing those who disagree or speak truth regarding its true nature.
When you support Islam and Sharia Law, you support everything God (Yahweh) is opposed to. The god of Islam is the god of DEATH. The God of Christianity is LIFE in the resurrected Son of God–Jesus Christ–Israel’s Messiah. Christians don’t hunt, torture, behead or kill those who don’t follow Christ. Only Satan murders, lies, robs, and destroys those who value religious liberty and toleration.
Religious toleration is about everyone free to practice peacefully their own religion free of harrassment AS LONG AS THAT FAITH DOESN’T HARM OR COERCE OTHERS TO BELIEVE.
QUESTION: Does it make any sense at all to allow Islam to flourish in the United States (or anywhere in the world for that matter?).
Who can guess what tomorrow will bring? Every day awakens new challenges. Your future depends upon you. You must face the future boldly. Don’t cling to the past. Don’t fear the next obstacle. Don’t try to avoid the next encounter with people who make you uncomfortable or insecure. You can be a person of peace and joy. Simply walk each day, each moment expecting that grace will be yours. Envision what you want to see in your life. Be gently bold. Give the benefit of the doubt to those you’d usually attribute negative motives to. Remember, you don’t know anyone’s motives. Give grace. Give generously of your favor and time.
NO SKIN IN THE GAME
Consider others better than you. Remember this: If you get your needs met by God, you will never have to use people to meet them. Then you can be truly generous to all without using them. Try to have no skin in the game when it comes to relating to people and you will be free. No skin in the game means there’s no hidden expectations you have on others. There’s nothing you’re trying to “get” from them. That way you’re free to commit and be “all-in” without being hurt or used. Can you think of anything better than being the kind of person this post describes? That would be peace of mind and freedom of conscience. You’d be FREE.
YOUR LIFE IS ABOUT TO CHANGE . . . DRASTICALLY
Every blessing as you apply what seems good to you from what you’ve just read. But . . . be prepared for life to change drastically for the better. Oh, and remember . . . it may get somewhat worse before it gets better. But you will press through that to the freedom and victory that comes from being courageously creative. You will be a rarity in our declining culture–a person of influence for good.
QUESTION: Why not take a second and share this post with a friend–that would be an act of grace and generosity. Please . . . Let us know how things turn out for you.
©2014, David C Alves All rights reserved.