“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).
Greetings once more my Friends! By now, most of you have heard of the name of George Floyd. I am not going to rehash his sad and utterly tragic death. (If you wish, you can go to the following Youtube link and see the story for yourself: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fWQ6_BQii_U. Today, I will share the topic of racism with you. Since, the subject is topical and current, I thought it would be relevant to share God’s perspective about racism.
Following the appalling death of George Floyd at the hands of the Police, a huge protest march emerged all over US cities, and internationally in other cities of the world like London, Paris, and many more. Leading the charge in this protest against racism was the Black Lives Matter movement. Black Lives Matter is an organized movement advocating for non-violent civil disobedience in protest against incidents of police brutality against Afro-American people. (Wikipedia)
From the outset, let me quote the words of the Bible so that we are clear on what it says about this affliction of racism, “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). That statement is so overarching against racism, inequality, and discrimination that we often miss the point it attempts to address. Basically, what it is saying is racism does not exist, for God sees every human person of whatever background, color, religion, or ethnicity as ONE HUMANITY. The Bible makes very clear that this plague of racism is not real by saying, “And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth” (Act.17:26). That’s to say, the one blood which flows in our veins and produce human life does not determine our racial differences, instead, it determines our one common human species. Your blood gives life (‘lifeism’) not racism. (Lev.17:11)
The United Nations in a statement asserted that all humans belong to the same species and that “race” is not a biological reality but a myth. This was a summary of the findings of an international panel of anthropologists, geneticists, sociologists, and psychologists. You can read that report which appeared in the Newsweek magazine at: https://www.newsweek.com/there-no-such-thing-race-283123. So where did racism come from? Where did it originate?
The belief in human races, carrying along with it the prejudice and hatred of “racism,” is so embedded in our culture and has been an integral part of our worldview for so long that many of us assume that it just must be true. Racism not real but is an invention of the fallen human mind, and is not of God. God is Love, and is the Creator of human variation and color. 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. Just as there are three distinct Persons in the Godhead united in Love, He has also made variation in humans to reflect His own Triune image. (Gen.1:26-27). God showed us once for all He is against slavery and racism when the Bible recorded the story of God freeing Israel from slavery in Egypt. (Exo.1:1-13:6)
Is it possible God created variation in the human species so we will learn to accept the variation of His one divine Triune nature in the Person of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit? Appreciation and acceptance of our differences essentially begins in the family unit. It is in such family environment where we first encounter and learn to respect human uniqueness in personalities and responsibilities. After Jesus was resurrected from the dead, He commissioned His disciples to ‘baptize’ – it means to ‘induct’ humans into the communal family life (a relationship of Love) of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Matt. 28:18-20). That’s to say, humanity consist of one species in the likeness of God in His one (united) Triune ‘Love Species.’ (1 John 4:8)
There are many issues that evoke human prejudice in humans, but chief among them is the curse of racism, inequality, and discrimination. As I said, it has become so ingrained in our worldview that we look at it as normal and even true. May be now is a good time as ever to change our views and attitudes on the subject, and embrace the divine message of oneness and unity, with prejudice toward none. The parting message Jesus gave His followers was one of Love. He said, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have Loved you, so you must Love one another” (John 13:34). Love must become the cornerstone of our relationship within the human species. The Bible gives a peek into God’s divine Love, and its power, “Above all, Love each other deeply, because Love covers over a multitude of sins” (1 Pet.4:8). Yes, Love carries the power to appreciate and respect all our differences and and uniqueness.
Author Jon Tal Murphree gives a succinct depiction of how this divine Love is supposed to influence us just as it does in the divine pattern within the Tri-Personal nature of God, “Each Person of the Trinity transposes Himself into the others without confusing His own personality with the others…the Father, Son, and Spirit do not exist as persons alongside each other as much as they exist in and through each other.” (Pg.29, ‘The Trinity and Human Personality’). Humans were created to exist in like fashion as the divine, and I emphasize the words, “They exist in and through each other,” to mean that as humans we are given to enjoy a relationship of oneness of “being” in each other as God does in His triunity, describing unity of species through the divine Love…regardless of whatever purported myriads of division we wish to conjure up like racism. (Gen.1:26-27)
The definition of Love is freedom, likewise freedom is defined as finding genuine Love. This is the manner in which God has existed from eternity, and He made us in His Tri-Personal image to prepare us for eternity in Love and freedom in His Love-nature and Being. God wants us to get along with one another for eternity – in Love and in freedom. God has given us the vision to look into His divine nature and teach us how to assume and take on His unified Love-nature and image in the manner we live our own human lives today.
Freedom comes with the responsibility to Love so that whatever circumstance will always work out to produce a peaceful outcome. For people, the Bible upholds the principle of respect for authority and this goes with peaceful protest, should we be persuaded to carry out our constitutional obligation for whatever reason and purpose. (Rom.13:1) The Bible states, “All authority comes from God, and those in positions of authority have been placed there by God” (Rom.13:1). When non-violent protest and violent acts face up to each other, non-violent protests always wins out. Peaceful protest acts as a means of conciliation which protects people from all forms of violence which destroys lives and property. Without the governing authority we would slide into anarchy which generically serves the enemy of all humanity. We are to “Overcome evil with good, and not be overcome by evil” (Rom.12:21).
The Bible speaks of a time in future when people from every nation and color will come together and seek God’s way of Love, “People from many nations will come and say, “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of Jacob’s God. There He will teach us His ways, and we will walk in His paths” (Mic.4:2).
Here are examples of placards at the recent people’s Protest against racism, brutality, and for freedom. We can see that the undercurrent of the slogans on the placards is a cry for freedom:-
Racism is a Disease, Not a Color + My Skin Is Not a Sin + I’m Not Black But I’ll Stand With You + Break This Generational Curse + For Our Children’s Future -BLM End Brutality + Don’t Shoot It’s Not A Gun, I’m Just Black + We’re Not Trying To Start A Race War We’re Trying To End One + I Can’t Breathe + It Could Have Been My Son + All Lives Can’t Matter Until Black Lives Matter + The Most Violent Element In Society Is Ignorance + I Should Be Writing My College Essay Not My Will + When Injustice Becomes Law Resistance Becomes Duty + We Are For Rights Not Riots + Am I Next? + Silence Is Not An Option + No Justice No Peace + Together We Will Defeat Racism +
Of course, God knows that as humans we will face this seeming impenetrable racial hurdle because we have been conditioned to live in sin, not His Love. God created variation and color in our humanity, man created racism. One is based upon reality, while the other is fabricated and artificial. Racism is sin for the very reason it is not grounded in the eternal truth of God’s reality. Hence, racism blinds us to the uniqueness and commonality in God’s likeness that uplifts us more than our differences. God sacrificed His one and only Son, Jesus, to rescue humanity from sin and all things delusionary, divisive, and transient which can never exist in His eternal realm and dominion. Racism originates in humans because of the sin-condition which has invaded and taken over our humanity since Eden. The sin-condition under which we exist began with the fall of Adam and Eve at the hands of the devil in Eden and has continued since. (Gen.3:1-6)
But in His unfathomable Love God finds the answers to restore humanity to His Love. Jesus came to usher in a spiritual rebirth so humanity can have lives where Love becomes our predominant nature. John tells us this, “He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world (the evil one, Satan)” (1 John 4:4, italics for emphasis). The devil is the author and instigator of racism in humans. Let us be absolutely clear what we are up against, Paul lays it out, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Eph.6:12). Yes, the crafty evil enemy has pitted us against each other with the aim of destroying humanity, but he has failed miserably, because God sent His Son, so that through Him He fulfills His promise “to destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8; John 16:11; 1 John 3:5). We live with the assurance of God’s promise to protect us from Satan, “But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one” (2 Thess.3:3).
Jesus explains how a person is reincarnated from one life into the next, from one old life into the new, from the former world of sin into God’s world of Love. He said, “You must be born again” (John 3:7b; also read V.3-8). Peter tells us, “For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring Word of God (Jesus)” (1 Pet.1:23). This reincarnation process enables one to undergo a spiritual death and rebirth into a totally new person in Christ’s glorified divine/human Person. Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24). The term to “bear much fruit” relates to the divine way of life where the ‘fruits of the Spirit’ defines everything we do. (You can read about the Love-fruits at: http://bulamanriver.net/9199, and 1 Cor.13)
Jesus calls people to a changed life, He said, “You must be born again” (John 3:7). We were born of the flesh with its self-centered way of life, conditioned by sin. Now, Jesus calls us to undergo a new birth in the Spirit in God’s other-centered Triune way of life, conditioned by the Spirit (Love). (John 3:8; Rom.5:5) Paul says, “God is faithful, through whom you were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Cor.1:9). God our Father has called us to live the reborn Triune Life* through His Son thus forsaking the “solitary life” in the fallen self from Adam. Yes, humanity is being called to forsake the fallen ‘solitary life’ where we do what seems right in our own eyes, and turn to God and live the collaborative Loving ‘Triune Life’* in Christ. (You may read what being spiritually regenerated through the new birth means at: http://bulamanriver.net/17978)
Unless humans are empowered by the divine nature of Love, we cannot defeat racism. We can install all kinds of man-made programs, which can go only so far, but they are essentially superficial and shallow for they don’t reach down to the primordial level of the human heart where meaningful change unfolds. Humanity was created in God’s Love-likeness. (Gen.1:26-27). Deep in a person’s heart of hearts he/she cannot deny this primordial truth. Jesus gave us a picture of our embryonic self, fashioned in God’s Love-nature when He said, “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you” (Luk.17:21, NLT). You and I were created to be a temple for the Spirit’s (Love) dwelling. Without the Love the Spirit engenders in us, we will experience an empty life that’s unfulfilled, hollow, and disastrously leave humans open to the devil’s evil manipulation.
Before returning to His Father in heaven, Jesus told the disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the promise of the Father. (Act.1:4-5; Luk.24:49) What was that promise? It was the gift of the Holy Spirit. When the Spirit was poured out upon them at Pentecost, the disciples and followers were filled with the power of God’s Love, and they performed many acts of wonder like being miraculously speaking in the foreign languages of many people gathered in Jerusalem from far-flung parts of the known world during the harvest season. (Act.2:1-4) Paul said this, “God’s Love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us” (Rom.5:5). Here is God’s answer to racism – the power of the Holy Spirit to change and fill the human heart with God’s Love. Paul goes further and explains how the Spirit relates with each human, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (individually and collectively) (1 Cor.3:16). Paul further asked, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit?” (1 Cor.6:19). If you had not known or doubted, then now you know the astounding truth. Without God’s Love we will continue to live in our fallen state of existence (sin) from which the scourge of racism is born and takes root.
The Southern Poverty Law Center says that in 2019 they tracked 940 hate groups across the United States. All are biased towards others for reasons of race, faith, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, etc. How does humanity defeat racism, or for that matter other hate philosophies? The Bible reveals a vital resource which is part of God’s Love. I have explained the divine Love earlier. We saw how God gives a person the Spirit to enter the human heart and make a person God’s Love temple. (1 Cor.3:16). The presence of the Spirit is what empower humans with God’s Love. (Rom.5:5) The Spirit is not just some incomprehensible sentiment or sensation. The Bible reveals He is the “living waters” which flows in the heart of humans. (John 7:37-39) ‘Water’ is the metaphor for the Spirit’s activity. What does water do? It cleanses, rejuvenates, renews, and to use the given biblical term, sanctifies humans before God. (1 Pet.1:2; Rom.15:16) Humanity is being sanctified by the Spirit and through Jesus’ High Priestly Office presented to God the Father holy and blessed.
However, how exactly does this work of sanctification through reconciliation is accomplished in the lives of humans before Jesus so the Father may dispense His blessing upon us? It depends upon the particular issue a person may be facing at the time. It can be a pressing need, a clear and present danger, and in this instance, with racism, or more rightly ‘human variation.’ God has equipped us with the fruit of the Spirit’s Love to bring to bear upon what we may consider our external difference and how to face it objectively and Lovingly. The fruits of Love are laid out in 1 Corinthians 13.
On human variation and color, or as it has come to been disparagingly called, racism, God has given humanity the ‘ministry of reconciliation’ as the fruit to help us in our human journey on this earth. The Bible presents this vital fruit in this way, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to Himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation” (2 Cor.5:17-19). This ‘ministry of reconciliation’ is the tool (fruit) of Love the Spirit uses which deals with human relationships as we encounter our different human variation, culture, and color. Earlier, we read Jesus’ parting command to His disciples and friends to, “Love one another” (John 13:34). Love and its fruits does not just happen, it has to be cultivated, preserved, and kept alive. This is no different with the ‘ministry of reconciliation.’ It has to be cultivated and perfected. (You can read about the Love-fruits at: http://bulamanriver.net/9199).
Just as God’s fullness in His Triune Love cannot be fully known apart from the unique variation in His Tri-Personal Godhead, mankind cannot come around to fully grasp the true depth of our humanity without appreciating our variation and extending the Loving hand to remain united in Love. Our uniqueness in our different variation, color, and uplifting culture was intended to magnify and enhance our universal humanity, not devalue it. When we would have allowed the kaleidoscope of our common humanity to shine through our experiences and appreciate each of our uniqueness and effort and contribution, and realize our differences will enhance and complete us individually and collectively, we could not say we have begun to take this journey of true humans that our Creator desires for each of us to take in life and ultimately lead us to Him in His Tri-Personal Godhead. As the Bible says, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a disgrace to any people” (Pro.14:34). Love is all our universal destiny, it is what will define us and our variation and the color of our skin is intended to magnify our humanity. Universally, we are all equals under God, just as God is equal in His Tri-Personal Being and Godhead.
Jesus said, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matt.5:9). A peacemaker is a conciliator, a pacifier, a mediator and adjudicator. He or she is applying the tool of reconciliation. Metaphorically, God saw the virus (sin) of racism in humans and applied the tool of reconciliation by surrendering His Son for us. Listen to what compelled God to act, “For God so Loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). Yes, it is His Love that motivated Him to act. Throughout the Bible, God our Father, speaks eloquently of His tender mercies for humanity and its effect upon us, here’s one, “Because of God’s tender mercy, the morning light from heaven is about to break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide us to the path of peace” (Luk. 1:78-79). Yes, He touches us with His light through His Son and leads us in the ‘path of peace.’ And so we are blessed of the Father when it comes to our relationship with all humanity in their diversity, for God has gifted humanity with His Love through His Spirit to become His ‘peacemaker’ children. (Rom.5:5; 1 John 4:16)
Martine Luther King, the great civil rights leader, said in his famed “I Have A Dream Speech”: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” (https://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/) God’s nature and character is Love. (1 John 4:8) He created humanity so we will universally live by His Love-image. In the end, it is God’s Love that draws us to become better humans for each other and bring unity to make us all equal in one whole humanity.
Petition: Friends, as I have closed my post in the past, I customarily give our readers the opportunity to give their lives to our Maker. I thank you for investing your precious time with me in the sharing of the good news of Jesus who has enabled us to live the Triune Life.* Jesus is alive today as our High Priest in heaven seated at His Father’s side, and ceaselessly mediating for us. I hope that in your heart of heart you will receive Him as your personal Savior, receive God’s Spirit, and be part of living this glorious humanity made children of God forever. You can privately and quietly pray the prayer below in your heart. I am asking you to pray this prayer as a human being Christ died for, regardless of your background. All are inducted into the one mankind Jesus saved, not into any religious sect or denomination – into the glorious humanity that Christ is preparing as the holy temple for God’s dwelling:
Prayer: “Almighty God, Father of all humanity, forgive me of all my sins and particularly where we have not held each other in equal and Loving regard and respect. Forgive me for any and all racist inclination of my heart. I receive Your Son, Jesus, as my personal Savior from my sins. In Your incalculable grace, grant Your promised celestial life in Your Son through Your Holy Spirit, and open my eyes to the wondrous gifts you have conferred upon me and all humanity. Bring healing to our nation and the whole world. May Your Love guide and protect me and my Loved ones always, and bring us all into Your beloved and divine Kingdom. I praise and thank You, Amen.”
Welcome to the celestial life of Love in God’s holy, eternal Family. (1 Tim.6:19) Then keep in touch with God’s Word for you by reading and studying your Bible, and visiting this blog and website and look at various subjects that may be relevant for your situation – go to: http://bulamanriver.net. You can email me with your questions at the address shown below.
Blessing: 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 and your Loved ones always. May the Spirit enliven your spirit and make all things concerning you in God’s Promises possible as you live the Triune Life.* Be strong in the Lord’s joy, and Love Him completely.
Farewell for now,
Kiang P. Lee, (Your Servant In Christ)
*Triune Life: “Triune Life” speaks of the process of theosis or deification of humanity. What is theosis or deification? “It refers to apotheosis, meaning “making divine.” Theosis or deification is a transformative process whose aim is likeness to or union with God (as taught by the Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Church).” (Wikipedia.org) The belief in the process of ‘deification’ is understood in accordance with Jesus’ teaching, when He said, “Is it not written in your Law, ‘I have said you are “gods” ’? If He called them ‘gods,’ to whom the Word of God came—and Scripture cannot be set aside (cannot be broken)” (John 10:34-35; Psa.82:6). (You can read about the Triune Life at: http://bulamanriver.net/9199, and other posts)
I have written about this subject of ‘deification’ in my blogs under the theme ‘substitution’ and ‘attribution’ (see, http://bulamanriver.net/564), where I showed how Jesus came as God incarnate (Immanuel) to assume our sinful humanity in order to save mankind from sin and death for the express purpose of human deification. (Matt.1:23; Rom.3:10-12, 18, 23; John 3:16; 1 Cor.15:50-55; Rom.8:29) Further, we read the following, “As a process of transformation, theosis is brought about by the effects of catharsis (purification of mind and body) and theoria (‘illumination’ with the ‘vision’ of God). According to Eastern Christian teaching, theosis is very much the purpose of human life. It is considered achievable only through a synergy (or cooperation) between human activity and God’s uncreated energies.” (Wikipedia.org)
So, the “Triune Life” reveals the intersection of human life and activity and the uncreated divine energy flowing from the Tri-Personal Being of God of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. It is a way of life which explains that process of theosis whereby humans are transformed in body, mind, and spirit by the Love of God. God’s uncreated energy is His Love. So, the foundational tenet of the “Triune Life” is based upon the Love of God, for “God is Love” (1 John 4:8, 16). Thereby, it can also be called aptly, the “Triune Love.”
I had coined the term “Triune Love” and “Triune Life,” to refer to a person who lives the three-dimensional life within the Tri-Personal Godhead of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. (Matt.28:19) This is opposed to the one-dimensional human way of life influenced by the devil. We see God’s Tri-Personal Love move in an inward, outward, and upward trajectory, in this process of theosis which I have called the ‘three ascents.’ The three ascents are three steps which dovetails into one another showing how all three Persons of the Godhead are in the relationship of Love with humanity – where God reveals the fullness of Himself to humanity, both individually and collectively. (2 Cor.13:14; 1 Pet.1:1-2) That’s to say, the act of one is the act of all three, and the act of three is the act of one, making them unified in Love. (Mar.12:29; Deut.6:4)
Every aspect of human living follows this three-step format revealing the three-dimensional aspect of how the Tri-Personal Being of God in the Father, Son, and Spirit, directly and collectively involved in the life of human believers, individually and collectively to bring humanity to salvation. These three steps move in an ascending order, so I will call them ‘ascents.’ Each ‘ascent’ dovetails into the next and finally reveals the ‘manifestation’ of the topic, which we will call the fourth step, in this case, Love!
Hence, all my articles are framed within this three-step format, or ascents. The subject of the article dovetails into each ascent and spontaneously lead to the manifestation of the divine Love and reveals how humanity is enlightened by God, and cleansed in mind, body, and spirit. The ascents reveal three doors one must enter to attain the manifestation of God’s Love relationship with humanity. The ascents are not to be misconstrued as some ‘secret knowledge’ or mystical activity. Rather, each ascent represents the relationship of Love a human enjoys with the Triune God in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, throughout a person’s life. In fact, the ascents are actually three Love relationships the believer encounters with the Tri-Personal God. This three-way relationship is what I have called by the term, “Triune Life” or “Triune Love.” These ascents represent the movement of God’s Love in an inward, outward, and upward, trajectory to bring God’s enlightenment in a person. The fourth step reveals how the article is made to manifest in the life of the person, both individually and then collectively in humanity.
Man’s union with the Triune God, or “Triune Living/Loving,” is made possible by Jesus, who Himself, is one in substance and reality with the Triune Godhead. (John 1:1-2) He took our humanity into the very Being of the Triune Godhead by cleansing it of all sin and rebellion. To live the “Triune Love (Life)” is the miraculous expression of the Spirit (Love) in humans. (Rom.5:5) 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). The Bible states, “He (God) does great things that we cannot understand and miracles that we cannot count” (Job 5:9). The three-dimensional Triune Life/Love is opposed to living the one-dimensional solitary life of the fallen humanity inherited from Satan through Adam’s rebellion. For additional information about the Triune Life: http://bulamanriver.net/?p=8036. Also at: http://bulamanriver.net/9092.
**Bulamanriver: To read the different facets of the life of the Bulamanriver, you may obtain a copy of my book, “Bula” Man-River, from Amazon.com; xulonpress.com, barnesandnoble.com, and other online book stores. All proceeds will go towards furthering the work of Gospel of Jesus Christ around the world.
Mission Statement: Read the Triune Love Mission, Vision, and Value statements at: http://bulamanriver.net/8664
All scriptures are taken from the NIV Version 2011, unless stated otherwise.
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