“Keep Yourselves Safe In God’s Love” (Jude 21, NLT)
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all ONE in Christ Jesus” (Gal.3:28, ESV).
“Love your neighbor as yourself” (Luk.10:27)
We Must Look to Jesus For Inspiration, Not Human Leaders. His Sacrifice is The Ultimate Expression of Love (By Carl Bloch – Wiki Commons)
In light of the recent violent racial tensions in the US, I would like to pause and offer a prayer of reconciliation with my readers:
“Our loving Father in heaven, as you look down upon your creation You have made in Your image, we implore Your forgiveness for our failures to use the freedoms you conferred upon us to reflect your image of Love, grace, conciliation and peace. Thank you for giving us the ministry of reconciliation through your Son, thank You for each and every human you have given life whatever their race, color, belief, nationality, or station in life. We pray that you will give us the strength and heart to extend a hand of conciliation to all regardless of their race, beliefs, and whatever purports to divide us. We praise You and pray in Jesus name, Amen.”
Let me begin by saying that the ministry of reconciliation was given to mankind so we can use our God-given freedoms in a way that identifies with His Love, for we were made in His image and likeness. (2 Cor.5:18-19; Gen.1:26-27; 1 John 4:8) We are all made immutably different racially and giftedly. None has a choice of being one or the other, racially or in every other way. We all have one blood flowing in our veins which gives birth to the same human life. (see Act.17:26, KJV) In other words, the one blood which produce human life does not determine our racial differences. (Lev.17:11) We come from the same humanity united by the one blood which gives life to all. Thereby, racism is a manufactured idea of the fallen human mind. There is a difference between race (color) and racism. Racism means prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race based on the belief that one’s own race is superior. (You may wish to read an essay in the NewsWeek magazine from the “The Myth of Race” at: http://www.newsweek.com/there-no-such-thing-race-283123)
Protesters at White Nationalist March in Charlottesville, Virginia (Chip Somodevilla/Getty) Images)
God is diverse in His Triune Being (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), so everything He created is a simulation of Himself in His Tri-Personal Being. By the same measure, everything He continues to do has diversity reflecting His trinitarian nature. The magnificent creation all around us trumpets this beautiful truth of diversity we cannot refute. Mankind is no different. Mankind was created into three predominant color (racial) grouping, making color (race) a fact of life. God made us different not to divide us but to find reason to celebrate and unite us. There can be no unity without diversity, just as freedom has no meaning without bondage. If we are all identical and born unified in every way then unity would be an empty word.
So, we are all different by race, culture, nationality, and beliefs. We are different in our political leanings. We pursue different goals and vocations. We even have preferences in the way we eat and dress. Everywhere we look we see this principle of ‘unity in diversity’ in all creation. However, only in man we see that to be united in our diversity requires a deliberate choice on our part as free moral persons. And sadly, not every choice we make is in line with God’s Love. Man was not created like animals with preset instincts to regulate every act, he is given a mind like God so he may exercise freedom in all he does. (Gal.5:1; 1 Pet.2:16) But freedom comes with the responsibility to use it in line with our preordained destiny in God’s Love. (Gal.5:13-14; Gen.1:26-27)
Members of Ku Klux Klan at Rally in Charlottesville, Virginia (Chet Strange/Getty Images)
We must constantly look into the face of the Creator to help remind us of the true heritage of our diversity in the divine. It is when we forget to do so that we look inward, and when we do we have no moral compass to guide our relationships, but what the “self” dictates. Self-centeredness gives rise to narrow-mindedness and prejudice which spirals into intolerance, bigotry and racism. When we truly look into the face of God we will see nothing but Love, for “God is Love” (1 John 4:8). Love is about relationships and becomes our moral compass.
The non-profit Southern Poverty Law Center based in Alabama said recently there are 917 active hate groups in the U.S. It defines hate groups as organizations with “beliefs and practices which attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.” It is an astounding statistic to assimilate. The beautiful truth is no one was born with hatred in his/her heart. It’s a learned behavior. So, a racist is made, not born. Racism is artificial because it is man-made
Man was made in the image of God so he may live by the way of His Love. (1 John 4:21; Matt.22:37-39) However, Love was replaced by fear when man disobeyed God, looked into the face of the devil, and ate the forbidden fruit. (Gen.2:16-17; Gen.3) Fear entered the heart of man for the very first time. Fear is the foundation of self-centeredness instead of God’s other-centered Love. Fear makes us look inward and leads us on a path which produces intolerant behaviors. Why? Because fear produces torment, and torment produces undue anxiety and tension, and the end-product is utter moral bankruptcy ending in death. This is what God warned Adam if he ate the forbidden fruit, “You must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die” (Gen.2:17). It does not mean man will just drop dead when he’s disobedient, it means he will live a way of life (fear) that will ultimately end in depression and death. However, God encourages us by saying, “There is no fear in (His) Love. But perfect Love drives out fear” (1 John 4:18, emphasis added).
Tending the Injured in Charlottesville , Virginia (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Fear accentuate our differences and gives us reason to be intolerant. But the Bible tells us this when we look into the face of God, “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal.3:28, ESV). In other words, what Paul says is people’s internal character is what really counts, not their external differences. God is telling us that if Love is truly guiding our hearts, then we are given every reason to celebrate our diversity like God does in His Tri-unity.
Theologian Reinhold Nienhold penned this well-recognized prayer, God “Grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” We cannot change God who is One (united) in His Tri-Personal Being. But we can change who we are and be like Him (Love) in His Tri-Unity and accept our diversity as natural and worthy of celebration. His command for us is plain and unequivocal, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Luk.10:27). May He grant us the wisdom to understand and the courage to change. I hope we will turn from ourselves and look into the face of our God and allow His Love to change us and make us a force for reconciliation.
(You may read more about God’s Love and how man can participate in His Love-nature: Go to – http://bulamanriver.net/10401)
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to write me in the space provided below, or you may email me on bulamanriver.com. Thank you for visiting.
Until we meet again in my next post, may the blessings of the God who ceaselessly expresses Himself in His dependable Triune Love, be with you always. May the Spirit enliven your spirit and make all things concerning you possible as you live the “Triune Life”* in the person of Jesus’ “Immanuel humanity.” Be strong in the Lord’s joy.
Kiang, (Your Servant In Christ)
* Triune Life: means a life lived according to the image and likeness of God. (Gen.1:26-27) It means a believer who lives the 3-dimensional life with the Triune God, as opposed to the ‘solitary’ 1-dimensional life in himself (“Adamic humanity”). It means God, as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, lives and walks in you (“Immanuel humanity”). Man’s union with the Triune God, or “Triune Living,” is made possible by Jesus, who Himself, is one in substance and reality with the Triune God, who took our humanity into the very Being of the Triune Godhead. To live the “Triune Life” is the miraculous expression of the Spirit in us. The miraculous life is the promise of the New Covenant, “I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you shall keep My ordinances, and do them” (Ezek.36:27) You can read more at: http://bulamanriver.net/?p=8036
Mission Statement: Read the Triune Life Mission, Vision, and Value statements at: http://bulamanriver.net/8664
All scriptures are taken from the NIV Version 2011, unless stated otherwise.