Thursday, October 25, 2018

The HIGH PRICE of Ignorance!

My people are destroyed for
lack if knowledge: (Hosea 4:6a)
Here we go again, another case of foot in mouth disease. News commentator, Megyn Kelly joins a long list of high profile individuals (black and white) who unwittingly made comments offensive to ethnic, racial, or particular people groups.

In Ms. Kelly's case, she felt comfortable bringing back blackface as part of any costume. (Blackface is the painting of one's body and face to emulate a stereotype of black people during the mid-1800s Minstrel show period).  Costuming involves creating over sized white or red lips; wearing kinky hair wigs and accentuating the whites of the eyes).  Her demotion from a prominent television role, if not firing is surely on the way!

Will America ever find peace living in a diverse country? One that is not homogeneous but made up ethnically and culturally of people who do not always look like each other.  I wonder because I still feel the sting from Roseanne Barr's tweet referring to Valerie Jarrett as the spawn of the Muslim Brotherhood and Planet of the Apes.  And, popular chefs, Paula Deen and John Schnatter's (Papa John's Pizza) free use of the "N" word in conversations. (I refuse to patronize either!)

They paid some pretty high costs for their freedom of speech! Roseanne lost her job and suffered a big hit to a lucrative acting career.  Papa John Schnatter was forced to resign from the company and his reputation in Indiana is in the tank.  Purdue University even took his name off a building and offered to return a multi-million dollar donation!  Money, reputation, and fame mean a lot in the good Ole USA.  But they lost something even opportunity to foster respect and good will among all people!  In this present political climate we can't get enough of that! 

 The defense, at least for some of these offenders has been that they just didn't know their comments were offensive!  I'll buy that!  By and large, I believe we are in the midst of prevailing cultural and biblical ignorance.  So I guess we shouldn't be surprised when supposedly intelligent people say stupid things!  I threw biblical ignorance in there because a simple look at Genesis, the very first book of the bible proves that all mankind originated from the same parents (Adam and Eve) and are created in the image of God: intelligent, decisive, with sensibilities that decry any notion of a superior race. 

Hey folks, whether you like it or not we're all brothers and sisters! Born in sin with attitudes, proclivities, faults and failures common to us all (Romans 3:23).  To hate and disparage any race or ethnicity is to throw shade on yourself!  It is self-hate at its saddest. 

Speaking of that, on yesterday's broadcast (October 24, 2018) of the Dr. Phil show I witnessed what ignorance and self-hatred looks like from an impressionable youth.  Raised privileged by an African American mother and Caucasian step-father, they kept her ignorant of her ethnic history.  When the step-father died the mother had to return to her black roots. The teenage daughter suffered an identity crisis when she was forced to live a typical black teen's life. 

 Click on the link below and meet Treasure:

16 Year Old Treasure

The Prophet Hosea, says that God's people perish for lack of knowledge (4:6). He was referring to the willful ignorance and disobedience of God's Word by the Israelites who sought cultural pleasures over a covenant relationship with Him.   But I say, both Christians and non-Christians who ignore biblical and cultural history regarding ethnicities are also guilty of denying a covenant that causes death.  A human relations covenant that says all humans have value and significance and are deserving of respect. 

 It is the duty and responsibility of each of us to take a moment to learn something about a person before flippantly making comments that could cause them pain. To do as James 1:19 says, to be quick to listen and slow to speak.  We should not assume we know what is offensive or not until we've humbled ourselves enough to do some research or at least ask someone who knows!  Racism, white privilege, fear, and bias are all symptoms of an ignorance that we can no longer afford.  It is killing the spirit of people in this present generation and destroying the hopes of those in future ones. 


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Friday, October 12, 2018

WHAT'S Going On In This World Today?

"Mark this: there will be terrible
times in the last days..
(2 Timothy 3:1 NIV)
"Mother, mother,
  there's too many of you crying.
  Brother, brother, brother,
 there's far too many of you dying.
You know we've got to find a way.
to bring some loving here today,
What's Going on?"
(Song by Marvin Gaye -What's Going On? Lyrics by:
Alfred Cleveland, Marvin Gaye, Renaldo Benson)

Never has this song been more relevant than it is today!  I'm not just talking about the general chaos in the political arena, but in the world at large.  Every morning it seems there's a new level of ethical dysfunction we have to deal with. Hurricanes of historic proportion have been pounding our shores. Wildfires are occurring in unusual places like the one this year north of the Arctic circle.   California continues to burn (approximately 6,906 this year and counting) causing the Northern portion of the state to be declared a national disaster. And let's not even talk about the rise in violence and murder in every major city!

If you have any doubt that we're living in the last days, all I have to say is just open your eyes! 
Here's how the Amplified Bible translates 2 Timothy 3:1

"But understand this, that in the last days there
will set in perilous times of great stress  and 
trouble - hard to deal with and hard to bear."

In eschatology (the study of last things and end of time for humans), the Last Days chronicles the time period beginning with Jesus Christ's resurrection and ends at His Second Coming!

How easy it would be to just shake our heads and bemoan these tragedies, but instead of tearing our hair out why not use these now frequent occurrences as spiritual opportunities.  Professional Spin doctors are skilled in turning bad news into good.  As Christians, there's no better news to share than what we have...God's Word.  Here's an excerpt from an article published on Christianity Today's website in 2005.  I came across it in my files and because it is Family and Friends Month at my church decided to pass it along to you.  Read it prayerfully and be discerning as to when to introduce these thought provoking questions.  Feel free to adapt it to fit your individual conversation's focal point.  With things the way they are, it is only a matter of time before someone asks you:  What's going on this world today?

20 Questions to Help You Share Your Faith
(Transitions you can use to turn a conversation to spiritual things by Worldwide Challenge.

1.  People invest time and energy into developing their career, their bodies and relationships, but often neglect the spiritual dimension of their lives.  How do you actively pursue spiritual growth?

2.  Do you think much about spiritual things? (This usually leads to conversations about what spiritual means, i.e., religion vs. relationship).

3.  How has this experience affected the way you look at God?

4.  We've never had a chance to talk about your religious background.  Where would you say you are in your spiritual pilgrimage?

5. I'd like to tell you how I established a personal relationship with God (Tell your personal testimony)

6. What is your concept of God?  Do you view Him positively or negatively?

7.  Have you come to a point in your life where you have trusted Jesus as your personal Savior or do you think that is something you're still moving toward?

8.  Do you find that faith and spiritual values play a role in your work, marriage, perspective on life?

9. Do you go church? Why or why not?

10.  We've been friends for quite some time now, and I've never really talked to you about the most important thing in my life.  May I take a few moments and do so?

**I've only given you ten of the twenty. To learn more go to the following website:


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