The Sin of Racism

The following is my Sunday article in The News Tribune (Tacoma). To God be the glory!


In these recent weeks, we have seen an uptick of drastic measures being taken with the hope of eradicating racism. Statues of historical figures have been pulled down because they were slave owners. Nancy Pelosi ordered the removal of portraits of four speakers who served the Confederacy. My hometown Minnesota Twins removed a statue of former owner, Calvin Griffith, from outside their stadium. He moved the team from Washington D.C. to Minnesota in 1961 and then made some racist comments about why he moved the team in 1978. And now I am hearing people say on social media that Christianity is steeped in white supremacy. I get the pain that has bubbled over since George Floyd was killed in Minneapolis on May 25, but the measures that are being taken will not solve our problems – it will only exacerbate the true underlining issue.

Do not get me wrong, I am not suggesting that we glorify people who were/are racist, but when we start censoring our past, we risk becoming victims, once again, of the sins of our past. And if we can remove all images of our racist past, what next? What past sin will we go after next? Erasing our past is not the way to healing but rather remembering who we are and whose we are. And here lies the underlining issue – one that we all must accept before any healing can happen. What is the issue? We are all sinners. Tucker Carlson said recently that “No child is born evil. Sin cannot be inherited”. Umm, excuse me Mr Carlson, you are wrong. We are ALL born sinful – you included. The only one born with no sin is Jesus Christ. Period. End of debate.

But now here comes the hope for healing. This sinless One, Jesus, died on the cross and rose from the grave that your sins could be forgiven. Yes, yours too, Mr Carlson. Our hope for healing is admitting that we are born sinful and that we continue to live in sin. Our hope for healing is confessing that we cannot save ourselves. Our hope for life is reaching out to God in faith and throwing ourselves at His feet. We are sinners, and that is a past we must never forget – for when we forget who we are as sinners, we forget about our need for the awesome grace of God through Jesus Christ.

Yes, racism is a sin for we are all made in the image of God – black, white, yellow, or whatever color you are. You were wonderfully and beautifully made by our Father and Creator God. To treat someone as something less than human is to slap God in the face and insult Him. We must deal with this issue, but it all starts with Jesus. Until we do that, all of our worldly efforts will fail miserably as people scramble for power. Submit yourselves to God’s incredible mercy and know the healing that only comes through Christ Jesus our Lord. You are sinner, Never forget that; but also know the love and grace of God through His sinless Son, Jesus Christ. To God be the glory. Amen.

Prayer for the Unborn

This prayer comes from a grieving heart. There’s more that can be prayed and more that should be prayed and more that should/needs to be done, but this is a start. Let us not forget the innocent and may we never cease to fight…

Holy God,
Author of life,
Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer of life;
You are Holy and Awesome,
and greatly to be worshiped.

Oh God,
I am grieved,
as I reflect and mourn the slaughter of the innocent.
How can this be?
How can anyone conceive of such an evil?
How can anyone savagely kill?
I am grieved and horrified.
Oh God, help us…

May we remember the unborn;
precious children known, woven together and formed by You.
It pains me, oh God, that many take these children for granted;
saying they don’t matter.
Some contend that they have no rights;
that life is something that is in the hands of man.
But You are clear in scripture that life is of You;
that You know us from the moment of conception;
and that life is precious to You.
Oh God, may You convict such people,
who think and believe otherwise,
and lead them to repentance.

For the women who feel that their only choice is to end the life of their child, please reveal to them the preciousness of the one they carry.
Help them to see that all life is valuable,
and if they aren’t called to parent their child,
lead them to adoption resources
so another couple may parent this precious life.
Oh God, have mercy and reveal Yourself.

For those who choose silence over action;
give them a voice.
Give them courage and boldness.
Raise up in them a holy desire to speak and make noise.
Lead them via Your Holy Spirit and proclaim Your love.
Guide them in ways of justice for those who cannot speak for themselves.

For those who feel helpless;
overwhelm them with Your presence.
Overwhelm them, so much so, that they may not feel alone.
May they know You as their Fortress,
and thus not be afraid;
choosing action over silence and complacency;
choosing life over death.

And finally,
Father God,
if I may be permitted to speak just one more time on this matter:
Have mercy on this land;
a country that slaughters the innocent.
But if it is Your judgment to punish this land,
(and I could hardly blame You),
I beg that You may save the faithful remnant as You did Lot and his family, but not before You give people one more chance to repent.

Have mercy, oh God, and heal this land.
May we not sacrifice our children on the altar of Satan.
May we not take them for granted.
May we see life precious and valuable.
May we stop the slaughter of the innocent.
May the little ones be allowed to live.
May we choose action over complacency.
In Jesus name I pray,
Amen.

Share and pass this on as you feel so move. To God be the glory.

The Pastor -|—

Another One

Another school shooting 😦

In Freeman, WA yesterday, (about 5 hours to my east) someone opened fire at Freeman High School. As I know now, one student died and three are hospitalized in Spokane, WA and many more people have been affected.

Later on that day, I heard that the middle school in the town I live in was in shutdown mode for awhile because of gun shots that were heard nearby, but off campus. Nothing has come of that as of now and the school was back in normal operation later that day. Happy to hear that the school took swift action to ensure the safety of the kids, even if nothing came of the perceived threat.

And now this morning, schools in northwest Montana are closed due to threats that were texted messaged to officials. I don’t know the nature of the threats, but scary all the same.

How long long, oh Lord!

Please be in prayer for Freeman, WA. I am praying for the family of the deceased student, the three that were hospitalized, the professionals in town caring for survivors, families, students, teachers, staff, etc. I am also praying for the shooter (who is in custody). Yes, pray for them. It is easy to be angry with this person but they need prayers as well. I don’t condone their actions and they need to be punished, but I pray they may confess and repent of their actions. This shooter needs healing. I pray that God changes their heart.

Oh God, we live in evil; sinful times; we always have, but it just seems to be intensifying. Send Your Spirit that we may live our lives out loud that proclaims the life-giving message of Jesus Christ. May we seek peace, not hate. Make we seek reconciliation, not division. May we seek Your glory. Oh God, bring healing to this land. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Raining

As the rain drops fall upon my head,
that are way too many to count,
I am quickly chased inside,
but maybe I need to stay out instead.

For as the countless drops of rain,
fall upon the ground,
I remember Your varied blessings,
that bring healing to my pain.

For the sting of death is beaten away,
the joy of life is given,
and even though Satan still roams free,
I can live with hope today.

For the ultimate blessing is Jesus my Lord,
who crowns me with glory and honor,
and therefore I rest assured with peace and joy,
that I am set free from Satan’s hordes.

And so I listen to the falling drops of rain,
as I hold tightly to Your promises,
and remember with all joy and peace,
that Jesus will forever and always reign.

The Pastor -|—

Amazing compassion

A man with leprosy came to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” Filled with compassion, Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am will,” Jesus said. “Be clean!” Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cured. (Mark 1:40-42)

Wow…is anyone else blown any by this?  It can’t be just me.  I mean…this is awesome.  This is amazing.  This is incredible.  Wow!

I never tire of reading these stories of Jesus “crossing the line” to show a love like no other.  I mean ~ this man had leprosy; he was an outcast; he was unclean; he wasn’t even supposed to approach Jesus.

 

The law dictated that this man announce his presence “Unclean! Unclean!”
…but nothing.

The law dictated that Jesus not associate with him or touch him
…but he did.

The law was clear
…but…well…it’s Jesus.

Filled with compassion” ~ that right there says it all.  Jesus was filled with compassion at how this man was separated from society.  Jesus could feel his pain.  And Jesus was willing to “cross the line” in order to restore him.

This story is more than just Jesus giving this man new flesh.  This is a story of restoration, renewal and new life.  It actually is a precursor to what Jesus is going to do for all of humanity.

Because of Jesus’ amazing love, grace and compassion for us, he went to the cross.

Suffered
Humiliated
Died

…and then three days later rose from the gave…

FOR YOU!

For you see, we too were outcasts; unclean; alienated from God because of sin.  But through Jesus’ compassion; his death and resurrection, we are restored to community through faith.  We are restored to life. But more importantly we are reconciled to God.  That is pretty awesome 🙂

So I guess that’s why I never tire of these leprosy stories for in them I am reminded of Jesus restoring this sinful man (me) to new life.

Wow…now that’s amazing! Praise be to God!

edh -|—