Saturday, June 20, 2015

It's Not a Black and White Thing

The following “Note to Readers” was posted by the Baltimore Sun earlier this month in response to an email scam that falsely attributes a race baiting article entitled, "The Black Dilemma," to them and their columnist, Ian Duncan. It first started circulating online in September 2014, when the American Rennaissance blogazine first posted the article written by Anthony Bryan on the 23rd of that month.

June 11, 2015
An essay posted on the Internet titled "The Black Dilemma" includes incorrect attribution suggesting it came from The Baltimore Sun. The Sun did not write, publish or have any other association with it.
Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun*  
In addition to the false attribution of this article to the Baltimore Sun and its columnist, please note that the original source of “The Black Dilemma” article, American Rennaissance, is devoted to the philosophy of racism and unique cultures based upon race that pits said races against one another as incompatible at best.    

I certainly appreciate and share the concern about the civil unrest that is being stirred up by the folks in Washington and elsewhere who want us to believe that all men were not created equal, as per our Declaration of Independence; in the image of God, as per Genesis 1:26-27; and have taken it upon themselves to fan the flames of racism for political gain and earthly wealth—all in the name of altruism and pursuit of a perfect society.

But, dear reader, please don’t buy into the idolatry that has created this golden calf of racism. Two wrongs do not make anything right, they only exacerbate each other and carry us deeper into falsehood and further separate us from the God who not only created us but has redeemed us in Christ Jesus, His only Son, our Lord.
There is only one race, born of Adam, created by God in His image. Though we have lost that image in Adam’s fall, still (according to Paul, the apostle of our Lord) God desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:4).”  

Neither you nor I are any different than any other person on earth—past, present, or future—in regard to virtue, morality, or godliness no matter the color of skin, nation or continent of origin, or culture of upbringing in the eyes and heart of the One True God, as Paul again tells us in Romans 3:22b-25a.

“For there is no distinction: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.” 

Furthermore, as Baptized children of God and members of His body the Church, we and “as many of [us] as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave] nor free, there is no male and female, [neither Black nor White], for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” [Galatians 3:27-28] 

The dilemma the United States of America faces today is not that it has mixed a bad culture with a good culture, or black with white, but that its people as a whole and across cultures have become godless with everyone doing whatever is right in his own eyes.“ [Deuteronomy 12:8. See also Judges 17:6, 21:25; Proverbs 21:22, et al.] Or more to the point, once again in Paul’s inspired words: “they [have] exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.” [Romans 1:25] As a result, God has given “us (as a nation) up to dishonorable passions.” And as you can see from the rest of this portion of Paul’s letter to the Christians at Rome, while it is a black and white matter of right and wrong, truth v. lies, it is most definitely not a black and white matter of race. While the depth and breadth and severity of the matter might well differ from culture to culture, Paul’s list of depravity and debasement is hardly limited to one skin color or another. He writes in Romans 1:26-32:    

“For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

“And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God's righteous decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” 

Need I mention this week's Charlotte massacre suspect, Timothy McVeigh, Charles Manson, Ted Bundy, Peter Singer, Margaret Sanger, Brigham Young, etc.? Or on the other side of the coin, Herman Cain, Lt. Col. Allan West, Thomas Sowell, Walter Williams, Condoleeza Rice, Clarence Thomas, the Tuskegee Airmen, George Washington Carver, Booker T. Washington, e.g.?

But all historical and anecdotal evidence aside, as I preached to the saints here in the southwest corner of Kansas two weeks ago Sunday, each of us has enough of our sin that we best not become like the Pharisee of Jesus’ parable thanking God we are “not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like [that Bruce Jenner guy/gal, or those inner city rioters and looters].” There is no sin but our own than can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus—and that only if we do not acknowledge and confess it as our own most miserable fault and condition.

So, my dear reader, as I also preached on that Sunday:

“Let’s not forget those words of this crazy savior of ours who really is the Son of God that tells us all:
‘For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.’” [John 3:17]

“The world includes Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner, and all those around us [again, no matter the color of skin, nation or continent of origin, or culture of upbringing] whose vanity we [like Adam and the Pharisee of Jesus’ parable] often use to hide from God, and thus keep God hidden from us. God has not only called us on our sin and called us out from it to know and believe in Him, He has called us out to go and reveal Him, His love, and His salvation to those we know who are still in hiding and therefore are hidden from the love that God has for them in Christ Jesus; the love that forgives the sins that it has uncovered, the love that calls sinners out of hiding to deliver them out of that sin and leave it behind, the love that gives eternal life to you, the love that desires to give that forgiveness and life not just to you, but to every sinner so that they with you might no longer be lost and hidden in the crazy blasphemy and vanity of sin. 

“Dear Baptized of Christ & Faith, go therefore back into the vanity and craziness of the world in which we all live as God ‘s forgiven children, not hiding any longer, but to forgive others as we have been forgiven to deliver us from the vanity and craziness of sin and into the sanity and blessed peace of eternal life—in the name of the Father and of the + Son and of the Holy Spirit.” 

Please don’t let the hatred of this depraved and fallen world drag you back out of your Baptism and into its pit of competitive cultures and mistaken identities. You are God’s beloved child. You are being born again--along with all those Baptized into the body of Christ that is His holy Christian Church on earth--to live in His love now and forever. As a member of the body of Christ here on earth, you are also sent back into your world to extend that love of God in Christ Jesus to those who have yet to hear and know of His love and His deliverance from the depravity of this world and its various cultures, all of which lead inevitably to death.

Yes indeed, dear Baptized, as a child of our Father in heaven, Christ lives in you and fills you with His Holy Spirit in order to continue to bring you with all His elect out of the blackness of our (that is, every man’s) sin and into the marvelous light of His truth that brings salvation from the culture of death and deliverance into His kingdom of eternal life.


Graphic: "Adam and Christ," a composite by the author of two paintings by Hans Bauldung Grien (Austrian painter, 1484/85-1545), "Adam" (1520-23, left),  Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest (Szepmuveseti Muzeum); and "Crucifixion" (1512, right), Linden panel, 152 x 104 cm, Staatliche Museen, Berlin.  

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