In a recent podcast we looked at the parables of the Lost Sheep and the Lost Coin, both found in Luke 15. While these parables are hard to understand Jesus said his followers would be able to. The clear message? God’s love for humanity is genuine, preplanned and eternal! How do these parables help spell out this plan? Watch this short vlog then listen to the full podcast of the same name for more details.
It was just a few weeks ago the events in Charlottesville, Virginia, sparked a firestorm of vitriol and reaction throughout our country. What happened, what didn’t happen, who reacted and how - all of these things became the fuel for more protests and more protests against the protests and reaction of a very negative kind everywhere you looked. Let us be abundantly clear on one point – those who would paint themselves as any form of supremacist, white or otherwise, are servants of a deep and destructive darkness. Period. Those who take the law into their own hands and use violence and threats as their primary tools to eradicate all whom they consider supremacists are also choosing to borough down that dark hole as well. NONE of this is good! All of this provokes hatred, and rightfully so. Shouldn’t we as Christians hate such evil? Yes we should. The bigger question here, however, is HOW do we engage our hatred for evil in a Christlike manner?
Last week we began our conversation by saying that pride can be a tricky thing and prejudice can be an awful thing. We focused our attention on the pride side of the matter and its insidious way of taking over our lives. Now it’s time to talk about prejudice, and this is a hard conversation to have. For most of us, we can observe what we think is prejudice in others. We see a skewed view on some group or approach and we think about how unfortunate it is and wonder why they cannot see a bigger picture. Well, the bigger picture begins with these questions: How prejudiced am I in my view of the world and of others approach? Am I willing and able to recognize prejudice in my own thinking, and when I see it am I willing to attack it with the same passion that I feel about the prejudice of others? Prejudice needs attention and eradication, no matter where it’s found. How do we do that?
A few weeks ago we began a conversation about racism and its origins. We talked about the mythical “Curse of Ham” which led to a mythical subduing of the black race. All of that said, we also looked at some history and effects of racism over the last 1500 years and asked plainly, does God show any kind of a racist approach to humanity? This week we want to continue looking at this difficult and sensitive subject through the lens of scriptural understanding and truth.
Racism – it is one of the hardest, most emotional and divisive subjects in our present culture. Understanding what it means, where it came from and how to deal with it are some of the many pressing questions that surround this issue. One of the utterly false reasonings that helped to provoke our modern day racial experience is “The Curse of Ham." What does it mean, where did it come from and how do we know that it is wrong? Let's find out!
"Trayvon Martin"...mention that name and you unleash a flood of emotion and turmoil. This young man was tragically shot to death at age 17 and his death has raised a firestorm of controversy. Was it self-defense? Was it racially motivated? Should his killer have been arrested immediately? Will there be justice? These are all questions that we have no answers for – sorry! What we do want to discuss though, is the emotion, reaction and desire by some for vengeance. Is vengeance ever appropriate for us to take? What if justice is NOT served? Does vengeance give closure? What does it really mean to leave things like this in God’s hands? Are the Old and New Testament different on this? Stay with us as we look into this important question.