The Racial Millstone

When I write about culture or current events, always in the back of my mind is what the Apostle Paul told the folks in Corinth: “It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church…” I understand that as the Body of Christ we do speak prophetically into the world. We also desire justice and to see liberation brought to those who are oppressed. But as followers of Jesus, our understanding of these concepts and the means by which they are achieved differ greatly with the world. And so, when I speak of these things, knowing that those who are “outside” are of a different spirit and mind-set altogether, my conversation is primarily with those who claim to be believers. In other words, I don’t expect unbelievers to behave nor see the world as those who are in fellowship with Jesus. But when I see those who call themselves Christians carnally provoked, divided and at odds with one another I am more often than not moved to speak.

It would seem that American Christians have either forgotten or simply do not believe that “we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” A war involves strategy, and one of the strategies being employed by the Enemy at this time is to entrap believers in racial conflict. So many American Christians  are being deceived as the Enemy stirs up strife and inundates the media with coverage of racial issues/tensions. His goal is to distract, discourage, and “defile” followers of Jesus by soliciting strong, carnal, emotional responses. He knows how easy it is to push the “pride & anger button.”

Jesus turned around and looked at his disciples…. “Get away from me, Satan!” he said. “You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.”

Racial conflict within the Church is always due to seeing and responding to things according to the basic principles of this world rather than by the Spirit of God. And the strategy of the Enemy is to bring about that kind of response in the believer. Answer honestly, when you watch the news and read the content so abundantly supplied by social-media, how many times have you become irate and thought, “Man, I can’t stand those ___ people.” How often have you as a Christian thought of your brothers and sisters in Christ as one of those ___ people instead of as a member of the Body of Christ? How often do you think of yourself as one of those ___ people instead of as a son or daughter of the living God? This type of mind-set is fleshly, of this world, and contrary to the Kingdom of God.

But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to have a large millstone tied around your neck and be drowned in the depths of the sea.

Finally, a word of caution to you who teach and have leadership positions within the Body of Christ. If you are using your affluence to influence others to adopt your carnal mind-set you will receive a more severe judgment. You would do well to remember the warning of the Apostle James, “Dear brothers and sister, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly.” Jesus takes very seriously the way you feed his sheep, the way you molest his bride. Repent and allow God to heal you of the racism within your own heart, and then you will see more effectively how to minister and care for his people.

[Jesus,] you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God
    from every tribe and language and people and nation,
 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God,
    and they shall reign on the earth.









Racial Deception and The Church

 “But now you have been united with Christ Jesus…For Christ himself has brought peace to us… that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility…”

For most of us today, the centuries old issue regarding Jew & Gentile holds no relevance. But as I was reading in Ephesians this morning, I realized that our culture has a very similar problem. And  it occurred to me that we who call ourselves Christians apparently believe very little of what the Apostle Paul had to say about such matters. How do I know this? I can tell you with one word: Racism.

How sad it is today that the body of Christ is divided along racial lines. The Spirit is surely grieved as he witnesses, especially among those who call themselves “leaders,” the carnal pride and strife that is on display as we mistakenly derive and assert our identity according to the flesh. We publish articles and post “tweets” biting and devouring one another in the name of justice and equality not understanding that such behavior reveals that we are not being led by God’s Spirit, nor in possession of his wisdom. Arrogantly, we are instead operating in the realm of fleshly, even demonically inspired influences. Woe to you self-proclaimed leaders and ministers who cause even one of these little ones to stumble, following after and imitating you as you serve the god of your appetite.

The reason for the racism we see on display in the Body of Christ is due to the fact that we neither believe, understand, nor appreciate the fact that in the man Jesus God has broken down the barriers of race. He has dissolved the carnal hostility between the races in the body of Jesus. In Christ, God has created one new man. We all are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works. We simply don’t believe that together we are being built up as a dwelling place for God by the Spirit, the Church on display so that the manifold wisdom of God might be revealed to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. Instead of being a fragrance of life, our fleshly indulgence is a stench of death that gives birth to nothing but more separation and division.

The answer to our problem is really very simple. It’s called repentance. It is when we are willing to turn from our sin. We must allow the Spirit of God to change our perspective from a carnal one into a spiritual one. And it is then, as we are strengthened by his Spirit, that we will comprehend the full dimensions of the love of Jesus and be filled with the fullness of God. Then, we will walk in a manner worthy of our calling, with a humble heart and gentleness and patience, bearing with one another in love, passionately maintaining the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.