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Archive for March, 2010

Racism among us

You see this constantly–a social liberal charging racism against social conservatives. Because American Tea Party activists are mostly white and because they are angry at the increased pace in incremental socialism being imposed upon them, social liberals line up to assault them as racists.

We need to recognize that the charge of racism cuts both ways. A solid case can be made that liberal activists who are ever ready to denigrate their opponents with epithets of racism are themselves racists and incite racism. For instance, today’s Washington Post carries this op-ed: “In the face of Tea Party shouters, images of hate and history.” Colbert I. King begins his column:

The angry faces at Tea Party rallies are eerily familiar. They resemble faces of protesters lining the street at the University of Alabama in 1956 as Autherine Lucy, the school’s first black student, bravely tried to walk to class.

Those same jeering faces could be seen gathered around the Arkansas National Guard troopers who blocked nine black children from entering Little Rock’s Central High School in 1957.

“They moved closer and closer,” recalled Elizabeth Eckford, one of the Little Rock Nine. “Somebody started yelling, ‘Lynch her! Lynch her!’ I tried to see a friendly face somewhere in the crowd — someone who maybe could help. I looked into the face of an old woman and it seemed a kind face, but when I looked at her again, she spat on me.”

The column continues in like manner till it comes mercifully to an end.

Schoolhouse doors were blocked, and little children were demeaned. Yet the bigots didn’t get the last word. Justice rolled down like a mighty river, sweeping them aside.

They insulted, abused, lied and vandalized. Still, President Obama fulfilled his promise to sign historic health-care reform into law by the end of his first term.

Those angry faces won’t go away. But neither can they stand in the way of progress.

The mobs of yesteryear were on the wrong side of history. Tea Party supporters and their right-wing fellow travelers are on the wrong side now. It shows up in their faces.

And there you have it. The bottom line is that these people are racists because we have a black President. No facts, no substance, illegitimately and conveniently associating contemporary events with those of the past. I contend that Mr. King, who stands ever vigilant to make the charge of racism, is himself the inciter of racism.

Racism, whether it is white against black or black against white or black against Hispanic or wherever one ethnic group denigrates another simply because they “look different” is evil and is sin. Unfortunately, it will not be eradicated in this life because it is a matter of the heart. The heart of man is “deceitful above all things and desperately sick” (Jeremiah 17:9). A person “speaks out of the abundance of his heart” (Luke 6:45). Racism will be eradicated only when the Lord returns to establish his eternal kingdom, when all wickedness and evil are cast into the lake of fire, and not before. Unfortunately, the David Dukes and the Colbert Kings will continue their wickedness unless God graciously grants them repentance and faith.

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According to the Associate Press, “South Carolina legislators Wednesday [3-17-10] rejected plans to ban abortions in the state’s health insurance plan in cases of rape or incest or when they’re needed to protect a mother’s health.” The debate was heated and the vote was close: 57-54. My understanding is that the provisions of rape and incest were later included in the ban, while the mother’s life was the only exception allowing abortion in the state’s health insurance plan. What struck me, though, was this quote attributed to Representative Bakari Sellers as he railed against the proposed ban:

When you are that person that is pinned down in the back alley and raped; when you are that person that is actually assaulted sexually by your father–this is not a time for us to play political games. This is not the time for me to say my God is better than yours. This is a time to do what is right.

The self-righteousness of Mr. Sellers’ comment is palpable. “This is not a time for us to play political games” charges his pro-life opponents with unconcern for women while he and his pro-“choice” comrades alone really care about women who have been victimized. I cannot help but wonder how many tears Mr. Sellers sheds for the baby who had no part in the crime but who is condemned to death because of the sin of his biological father. Incredibly, the heinous crime of rape is compounded by the legal murder of the innocent child.

Mr. Sellers, the politician, turned theologian: “This is not the time for me to say my God is better than yours. This is a time to do what is right.” Unfortunately, pro-choice politicians and theologians ceased caring about God and what is right when they decided that women could women usurp the role of God in deciding which child should live and which child should die.

My question for Mr. Sellers is simply this, “How do you determine what is right?” Putting it another way: “By what standard do you choose what is right?” Never mind. We know the standard. Political correctness. The spirit of this age.

My unsought advice to Mr. Sellers and his fellow legislators is this: Stop playing politics with the lives of the unborn. Stop ingratiating yourselves to radical feminists who see children as an impediment to a woman’s self-seeking pleasure and personal advancement. If you really care about women who have been raped, make sure their attacker never is allowed back into society. And I suggest that we all be careful about cavalierly invoking the name of God.

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Often persons think that being a member of a local assembly of Christians makes them right with God individually. If that were true, the apostle Paul would not have admonished: “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” (2 Corinthians 13:5, ESV). Just because we are associated with others who are following Christ does not necessarily mean that each one of us is following Christ individually.

The Bible clearly tells us to “repent and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15). If anyone in an evangelical church is asked whether he has repented of his sins and believes the gospel, he is likely to answer in the affirmative. One cannot help but question the sincerity of a person’s repentance and belief if that person is known to sin without concern. Far too many professing Christians miss worship on Sunday because they had rather hunt or fish or even do work that is not required to be done. Church members make ungodly statements on Facebook, fail to return things borrowed, fail to acknowledge all their income when paying taxes. In these and many other ways, professing believers reveal the insincerity of their repentance.

Thomas Manton (1620-1677) gave us this warning: “If an unregenerate man should leave off sin under fear of death or hell, it would not be out of hatred to sin, but out of the fear of the punishment, as the bird is kept from the bait by the scarecrow.” Similarly, William Gurnall (1617-1679) wrote: “Take heed thou prayest not with a reservation, be sure thou renounces what thou wouldst have God remit. God will never remove the guilt as long as thou entertains the sin. . . . It is desperate folly to desire God to forgive what thou intends to commit. Thou hadst as good speak out, and ask leave to sin with impunity, for God knows the language of thy heart, and needs not thy tongue to be an interpreter. . . . Hypocrisy is too thin a veil to blind the eyes of the Almighty. Thou mayest put thy own eyes out, so as not to see Him; but thou canst never blind His eyes that He should not see thee.”

Someone may immediately protest: “You have no right to question the genuineness of my repentance and faith in Christ just because I attend worship irregularly or because I make some comments you disapprove.” The purpose here is not for any of us to examine anyone else. The purpose before us is to examine ourselves. Paul wrote: “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith.” We need to ask ourselves: “Do I truly repent of my sins? Am I really trusting in Christ? If I am, what does my life say about my profession?”

Matthew Henry (1662-1714) provides counsel as applicable today as when he penned his thoughts: “By repentance we must lament and forsake our sins, and by faith we must receive the forgiveness of them. By repentance we must give glory to our Creator whom we have offended; by faith we must give glory to our Redeemer who came to save us from our sins. Both these must go together; we must not think either that reforming our lives will save us without trusting in the righteousness and grace of Christ, or that trusting in Christ will save us without the reformation of our hearts and lives. Christ hath joined these two together, and let no man think to put them asunder. They will mutually assist and befriend each other. Repentance will quicken faith, and faith will make repentance evangelical; and the sincerity of both together must be evidenced by a diligent conscientious obedience to all God’s commandments. Thus the preaching of the gospel began, and thus it continues; still the call is, Repent, and believe, and live a life of repentance and a life of faith.”

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