Flawless is coming soon...

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Time to Kill - A Real Life Scenario

The best selling book, A Time to Kill, by John Grisham, which was later adapted as a movie, is the story about a father’s trial for the premeditated murder of the two men who violently raped his 10 year old daughter and dumped her in a nearby river. If I stopped here, many of you would probably agree that the rapists earned that unauthorized death sentence from Carl Lee Haily, the father character in the book. However, in Grisham’s masterful way of storytelling, this is not an open-shut case: the rapists were white supremacists, the little girl and her father were black and the crime took place in Canton, Mississippi, one of the most racist cities in America. I won’t spoil it for those who have not read the book or seen the movie, but of all the book titles that I have seen, this may be the most perfect – A Time to Kill.

Most civilized people will agree that there are certain crimes that defy justification. In other words, society will sympathize with a man who steals a sandwich because he is hungry, but will have no sympathy for a child molester, a murderer or someone who brutally assaults a senior citizen. I remember abruptly turning off an Oprah program during a show about a man who raped a beautiful 10 year old girl and then poured acid on her face. Although she survived, the acid tore the flesh from her face and not only left the little girl emotionally impaired but physically scarred as well. After the numerous plastic surgeries to repair the damage, the best description that I can give is that her face looked like that of a cabbage patch doll.

For the first time in my life, I felt the urge to murder.

There is no crime that is more vile than sexually molesting a little child, except for the possible exception of genocide, and if genocide is worse, it is only worse by an ounce or two. Sexually molesting a young child has got to be close to what the Catholics call a mortal sin. In fact, it may be closer to an unforgivable sin: Jesus remarked once when referring to offending little children - But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea (Matthew 18:6). This is a heavy judgement coming from the man whose mercy endures to all generations.

My motivation for this article stems from a conversation with a good friend last week who told me that he was horrified to discover that the live-in boyfriend of a friend of his and his wife was arrested on charges of aggravate indecent assault, two counts of aggravated assault and two counts of corruption of minors in connection with the assault of two young girls in his home. I understand that this alleged pedophile has two children by his girlfriend, but it is unclear if the girls that were molested are his. However, it does not matter if the children are his or not, whether a man molests his own daughters or a neighbor’s, it is still a despicable crime that warrants a severe penalty.

There are certain human activities that I cannot fathom; and if this suggests a self righteous attitude, then I do not apologize. But I cannot imagine a grown man lying with a little girl as he would a grown woman. The only thing I can consider is that he struggles with his own sense of manhood and never allowed himself to grow-up. And I’ve often wondered if such men suffer from an infantile sex organ. However, even if there is some Freudian explanation for a pedophile, it is still beyond my comprehension and does not minimize society's disdain for such activity.

These cases confirm the need to talk with one’s children about child molesters. However, I believe that we live in a sick world anytime you have to introduce such mature subjects to children. As the father of a 12 year old boy, I go to the Family Watchdog website every so often to make sure I am aware of any pedophiles that may be near my home and my son's school. And I urge all families to visit this site at least once per month. A friend of mine had a pedophile move in right next to him years ago, and he put his house up for sale a few days after he discovered it. That was an extreme decision, but how comfortable would you be knowing that a convicted child rapist lived next door?

It is the world that we live in, and the only thing that will make it better, is prayer. I solicit your prayers for the young lady and her children who I spoke of earlier.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Book Reveiw - The Final Move Beyond Iraq

I am often charged with being too critical on preachers/teachers, and perhaps I am, but I am cautious about the critiques that I render, because the Bible holds me to the same standard that I apply to others when being judgmental:

1. Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4. Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5. Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye (Matthew 7:1-5).

Clearly, the Bible does not expect us to judge anyone; however, we are admonished to study the Scriptures for ourselves to make certain that our faith is founded on the Word of Almighty God. We have a great example of this systematic Bible study with the saints at Berea who studied consistently to make sure that what they were taught was in fact the truth – These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so (Acts 17:11).

In our modern era, there is simply no excuse for ignorance. We have research tools today that would not have been conceived 50 years ago. One can purchase an audio version of the Bible; one can do research on the Internet or at the local library; one can obtain documentaries from thousands of titles to enhance one’s studies; one can order DVD copies (CD, MP3, audiotape) of sermons for further study; and one can enroll in any of dozens of Bible schools in a large urban center. Although these modern methods of study have become commonplace, studying God's word through the bible with his Spirit as our guide is still the best way to touch the mind of God. Apostle Paul said, 10. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. 11. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God (I Corinthians 2:10-11).

I recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of my new birth – March 12, 1978. During that period, I have tried to discover the mysteries of God’s Word, and I can joyfully say that He has given me some very powerful revelations. Although there are some biblical subjects that I feel inadequate addressing, God has revealed things to me through his Word that still blows my mind when I consider them. One of the subjects that I believe He has given me a gifted understanding is regarding the end-time and the structure of the anti-Christic system, which is why I was so disappointed when I read Mike Evans’s The Final Move Beyond Iraq, The Final Solution While the World Sleeps.

The Final Move Beyond Iraq is a very popular book with nearly 700 comments on Amazon.com. This book is a failed effort to place the Iraq War in its proper end-time perspective, and it makes the disastrous attempt to lend biblical support to the worst foreign policy decision in American history. As a highly regarded evangelical, what troubles me most about what Evans writes, is that he uses a faulty foundation to build his argument on why America must preemptively strike Iran before she acquires nuclear weapons.

This lunacy is a prescription for the end of days!

Unless Evans is suggesting that the United States nuke Iran and its population off the planet, which he doesn’t appear to be saying to his credit, then a preemptive strike against her would set off a string of terrorist attacks against America that would paralyze our country. Fear would be so pervasive that we would be afraid to drive across bridges; fly; ride trains or buses; shop in malls, grocery stores and other retail establishments; send our children to school; or go to work. The result of an ill-advised preemptive attack against Saddam Hussein, is that America is embroiled in a war that it simply cannot win that will cost trillions of dollars, more than four thousand America lives and at least 60,000 Iraqi lives (they count too).

I’ll give three examples of the fundamental errors in Evans’s book:

First, he discounts the Arab grievances that led to the bombing of 9/11. He claims that nothing America could have done in the Middle East, could justify killing nearly 3,000 innocent people on 9/11. This position has some merit; however, the United States has a history of intervening in Middle Eastern affairs in ways that have injured Arabs and other citizens in that region. I’ll give a few quick examples:

  • We support Israel, which I address separately below.
  • After the overthrow of the Shah in 1979, the US helped engineer the takeover by Saudi Arabia of hundreds of millions of gallons of oil production that belonged to Iran during the Shah’s dictatorship.

One may not agree with Arab grievances, but they’re grievances nonetheless, and in a civilized world, nations should attempt to resolve most of their differences the same way that they charge their citizens to resolve theirs – non-violently.

Second, Evans sees no inconsistencies with American policies that support Israel in spite of the Arab-Israeli conflicts over the last 60 years. One may support our country's policies toward Israel, as I do, but we must concede that that support does not come without a price or an adverse consequence. Almost like serving Jesus and getting your head cut off during times of persecution. There are negative consequences to some decisions we make, and it is dishonest for Evans not to admit this point.

Finally, Evans believes that George Bush’s decision to invade Iraq was absolutely correct, despite overwhelming evidence, even among conservatives, that it is the worst foreign policy disaster in American history. There are dozens of books that have been published over the last 5 years which are very critical of the Bush Administration’s campaign in Iraq, and not so surprisingly, some have been published by conservatives who once worked in the administration.

Evans or any of the other evangelical, prophecy teachers could not possibly defend the basis of his book on its merits. It simply cannot be supported by the facts, and unfortunately, the Evanses of the country are influencing the way that many evangelical, fundamentalists see the world and the end times. And the scary part is that those who embrace Evans’s theology in The Final Move Beyond Iraq, may not recognize the anti-Christ until he gives them his poisoned embrace.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Resurrection!

While hundreds of millions of people around the world are celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ on this Easter morning, I believe it would be fair to say that most of us, me included, do not know what transpired during his three-day and three-night descent into the earth. Jesus had an enormous task between the death of his physical body and his resurrection. He had to redeem the Old Testament saints who were in Paradise, and he had to seize the keys of hell and death from Lucifer. However, the scripture does not appear to give us a detailed account of Jesus' post-crucifixion rescue mission, but I have often wondered how the drama unfolded. Since I am not aware of any scriptural account of Jesus' activity during the three-day period after his crucifixion, I have taken the liberty of providing a short fictional account of what may have occurred:

Since the fall of Adam and Eve, those who lived righteously were sent to a place called Paradise upon death. The name conjures imaginations of people walking barefooted in the sands of exotic beaches, with not a care in world, sipping refreshing beverages. This, however, was far from it: This Paradise was a paradox of sorts. God created it as a holding place to temporarily house those righteous individuals upon their deaths.

Paradise was created in close proximity to hell; that dreadful place of torment. Hell could be seen smoldering beyond the great gulf fixed between the two places. The echoes from the screams for mercy always filled the air, which carried the stale smell of ash. Since the first patriarch, Abel, was sent to Paradise, there has been a constant vigil, waiting for news that the savior was in the earth. But for the past four thousand years, no such news arrived.

Time in Paradise surprisingly passed fairly quickly. There was always a story to recount for newcomers, or a tale to be told by them. The story of the Exodus has always been the most popular, especially when Moses describes his reaction to the parting of the Red Sea, and the subsequent drowning of the mightiest army in the earth. Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah's experience in Nebuchadnezzar's fiery furnace, eclipsed the Exodus for about 10 years, and then it became the third most popular story behind Elijah's translation by the flaming chariot. Actually, Elisha told the story since Elijah was not around to tell it.

As each year passed, the mood became more anxious as the saints became impatient in their anticipation of the deliverer. The arrival of a prophet always seemed to create an upbeat atmosphere as they shared the revelations concerning the Savior. When Simeon died and came to Paradise, he told the saints that he had seen the Savior. He was an old man who claimed that the Holy Ghost revealed to him that he would not die until he saw the consolation of Israel. And he swore that he held the infant Savior in his arms only a few days earlier.

Simeon's story was corroborated by a prophetess named Anna one year later. Their claims brought excitement and uncertainty to Paradise, but over the next 30 years, numerous people would come and claim to have met this peculiar man named Jesus. Two shepherds spoke of the night of his birth when they heard a host of angels singing, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."

During the last three and one half years, there have been hundreds of testimonies of people who claimed to have come in direct contact with the Savior and witnessed numerous miracles that he performed.

"He healed me of an issue of blood that I had for twelve years," exclaimed one women.

"This Jesus, who I believe is the Savior, brought my daughter back from the dead," declared the wife of Jairus, the ruler of the synagogue.

Paradise was abuzz with excitement. The doubt that persisted for thousands of years had now turned into enthusiasm.

"Father Abraham! Father Abraham!" yelled one man in the throng. "You must hear this man," he said breathlessly as he brought the newest comer to the rock that Abraham sat upon.

As Abraham leaned his ear to listen to the man who had just arrived, there was a curious commotion taken place across the great gulf divide. Lightening and thunder gave way to unusual screams of panic. But these screams were not human. They sounded more like the sound of an audio tape that was dragging badly; deep, powerful groans, accompanied by eruptions of fire.

After the man told his story to Abraham, the father of the faith lifted his tear streamed eyes beyond the great gulf fix towards hell and whispered to himself, "Our long wait is over. Please!" boomed Abraham's voice, as he spoke directly into the stream that flowed through the country side. "I must have your attention. God has finally visited us, and this man," Abraham said as he clasped the young man's hand and lifted it towards Heaven, "is the witness."

Abraham was so overcome with joy that he wept uncontrollably, causing Isaac to whisper something in the young man's ear, who also had tears streaming from his eyes. After a few anxious minutes, the young man began to speak.

"I," his voice cracked, "am or should I say was the son of a Levite, raised under strict adherence to the Law of Moses. But after I became an adult, I became a thief, reaping where I did not sow. Charges were brought before me in the temple on three occasions, but I got off each time, because of deals that my father made with the Pharisees. Well, my life of crime finally caught up with me."

A loud crack of thunder across the great divide interrupted the young man, as many in Paradise instinctively ducked.

"That funnel looks like the pillar of fire," Moses whispered to Aaron as he pointed toward hell.

The young man continued to look up as he spoke. "To my dismay, I was sentenced to death. But I still did not worry, because I believed that my father would work his magic again. But this time, he couldn’t. Less than twenty-four hours ago, I stood in the judgement hall with my accomplice in crime, a murderer, and a prophet named Jesus.

"His fame had spread throughout the land as he performed miracles wherever he went. I never witnessed any of his services, but I did hear that he could raise the dead, heal the sick and deliver those who were vexed by evil spirits."

The number of people in the enormous crowd began to shout, "Glory to God! This must be the Redeemer!"

Abraham was met with another crack of thunder as he waved for silence.

"I was told that the Roman Governor was going to release one of us prisoners, but the crowd had to vote on it. My father assured me that the crowd would seek my release. The other thief had a much worse record than mine, and the people would not feel safe calling for the release of a murderer. I was assured that this Jesus was a blasphemer, who was destroying the Law. I was shocked when Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, only gave the people a choice between the murderer and Jesus. Much to my dismay and horror, the religious leaders persuaded the people to demand the release of the murderer named Barabbas.

"The three of us were led to a hill where we were crucified. The other thief said to Jesus while we hung on separate crosses, 'If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.' When I heard those words, a spirit of repentance came over me, and I rebuked him. I said, 'Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.' Then I screamed to Jesus out of fear of losing my soul, 'Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom!' Jesus said unto me, 'Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.'"

The voice of the young man was drowned out by the cheers which erupted over by the river where King David led a group in a triumphant dance. Then like a spreading ripple through a pond, the entire cast of Old Testament saints were singing, and shouting praises to God. After about a quarter of an hour of delirious singing, A bolt of lightening pierced the evening sky, startling everyone, then like the refreshing dew falling on a summer night, a sense of profound peace blanketed Paradise.

Those who did not drop to the ground shielded their eyes from the radiant figure that descended from the sky. Only Moses could look directly upon Jesus as he touched down next to him. Then slowly, the eyes of the people beheld their Redeemer.

His voice did not boom; it was not deep and demanding. It was a voice full of compassion. He looked around momentarily at the Old Testament believers and said, "I am he who the prophets said would come."

His words triggered another round of singing and shouting, and for the next two and one half days the people praised the name of Jesus. He walked through the crowd not spending more than a moment chatting with anyone, except John the Baptist. Then recognizing that he had a prophecy to fulfill, he came back to the river and started to talk again.

"My Father and your Father designed a spectacular plan to destroy the works of Lucifer. I was his invention to redeem you back to himself.

"I was sent to this world," he said as he smiled at Sarah, Abraham’s wife, "to offer my body as a sacrifice for the sins of humanity. As Joel told you," he said referring to the young man who hung along side him on the cross, "I was crucified as part of God's plan. While I hung on the cross, suspended between Heaven and earth, God placed the sins of every man, woman boy and girl on my exhausted body. Once he tattooed me with the iniquity of humanity, I went through the door of death into hell."

"But why did you have to go to hell," asked Abraham.

"I had to take the keys of hell and death from Lucifer. There is only one way into hell and that is through death, but there was no way out. By going to hell and coming out, I made a way of escape for all men and women. But my mission is not yet finished. I must now take the keys of death by raising my dead body from the grave. Those of you who were raised from the dead while on the earth, still came back as a mortal being. Unlike you, within the next hour, I will raise my body as an incorruptible, immortal being."

Lucifer stood fuming on the outer fringes of hell at the great divide, carefully listening to every word of Christ. "I have one more opportunity to stop this Jesus," he snarled to himself with clinched fists. He took one legion of demon spirits with him, and they ascended back to earth.

Jesus finished his words and congratulated everyone for their righteous living, then he was translated out of their midst.

The tomb reeked of mildew, but had a hint of frankincense. When Jesus appeared, he was met in the grave by Lucifer.

"You cannot enter this body," Lucifer said triumphantly with his foot perched on top of the head.

Jesus chuckled, and then said, "Why?"

"I heard you down there bragging about the perfect plan of your heavenly father," he mocked as he said heavenly father. "You forgot one thing redeemer boy. Your heavenly laws will not allow you to dwell in an unclean temple. I heard you say that your body became sin," Lucifer growled as he slipped his foot onto the throat of the corpse.

"Have you been away from me for so long that you forgot that my planning is perfect?" Lucifer's gaze of triumph turned into a look of dismay. He wondered if he missed it. "Noooo," he said. "I'm the cleverest fox of them all. You can't fool me. You missed it Jesus. You took the keys of hell, only to leave them in the grave with your rotting carcass," Lucifer grunted to the cheers of his demon followers.

"Don't celebrate yet," Jesus said calmly. "Let me show you and your deceived followers something."

Jesus spoke a series of unintelligible words and miraculously the scene of his baptism with John in the Jordan River was cast on the humid air in the tomb.

"Do you see that?" Jesus demanded. Then he replayed the scene three more times before Lucifer recognized the significance of the words that John recited as he immersed Jesus into the Jordan: "I now baptize you Jesus Christ unto repentance for the remission of your sins."

"The baptism of John had been established for this moment Satan. I was baptized in the Jordan River for the remission of the sins of humanity that God placed on this body," and with a quick flip of his arm, Jesus pushed Lucifer away.

While the scene of the baptism was playing for the final time, Jesus disappeared, then suddenly the body of Jesus Christ stood erect, but the grave clothes lay on the floor still neatly wrapped.

Like a switch that was turned on, Jesus' translation out of his grave-clothes seemed to cause a great earthquake. And the keepers of the tomb shook as dead men after an angel rolled back the stone of the grave that once held the deceased body of Jesus. While the stone was being rolled away, small slits of light from the crystal-clear sky cut through the tomb. Lucifer and his band of demon spirits watched in amazement as Jesus walked triumphantly from the bowels of the earth. The centuries shielded their eyes from a light that was as bright as the sun.

After Jesus crossed the threshold of his temporary grave, he turned back and shouted in the direction of Lucifer, "O death, where is thy sting?! O grave, where is thy victory?!" After gazing momentarily into the tomb, as if waiting for a response, Jesus disappeared.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Black Presence in the Bible - Part V

As I submit this final article on the black presence in the Bible and how Western theologians have muffled their presence, there may be some who are asking if the issue of color in the Bible merits such attention. My response to such queries is if it is in the Bible, it is vital to someone’s salvation. Most Americans take for granted that the Gospel – Christ’s virgin birth, death and resurrection – is enough to draw most people to the cross. Although the Gospel is the ultimate message that all must accept to receive redemption, the majority of the world’s population will not embrace it unless God is drawing them by his Spirit. Jesus’ sacrifice does not translate into a one size fits salvation.

The message that drew me to the cross is not the message that will draw another to the cross, and it certainly is not the message that will draw a hardened Muslim, Hindu or atheist to the Cross. The Scripture tells us that All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 17. That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

There are thousands upon thousands of scriptures in the Bible, and each one has the potential of pricking someone’s heart and sending them running to the foot of the cross saying, “What must I do to be saved?” However, if the man of God has been trained with Western theology, then according to 2 Timothy 3:17, there is a high degree of certainty that he may not be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

According to Acts 21, there was a band of men that wanted to kill Apostle Paul for teaching against the Law of Moses, and when the chief captain discovered the uproar, he apprehended him. During his initial interrogation of Paul, he mistook him for an African:

37. And as Paul was to be led into the castle, he said unto the chief captain, May I speak unto thee? Who said, Canst thou speak Greek? 38. Art not thou that Egyptian, which before these days madest an uproar, and leddest out into the wilderness four thousand men that were murderers? 39. But Paul said, I am a man which am a Jew of Tarsus, a city in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city: and, I beseech thee, suffer me to speak unto the people (Acts 21:37-39).

Paul’s physical features resembled the African bandit, and although Paul admits to being Jewish, the chief captain initially believed that he was an Egyptian. Based on the images and biblical teachings that the Western theologians have churned regarding the ethnicity of the Apostles, many Western Christians take for granted that these men were European. Now this propaganda would probably be of no consequence to an American who is seeking salvation. However, if the man of God has access to this tool – that Paul had African features – while ministering in the Middle East, this minute piece of truth may plant a seed or water one that has already been sown into the heart of a lost soul.

Solomon told us that [e]very word of God is pure (Proverbs 30:5a). And despite the Western theologians’ effort to limit the role of the people of color in the Bible, it is not God’s word that has been injured, but the understanding has been tainted of those who have been taught this fabricated message.

The Western theologians’ tampering with the Word of God goes way beyond simply censoring the idea that people of color hold a prominent role in the Scriptures. In an unprecedented display of audacity, the Western world has hijacked the New Testament, by taking custody of this Hebrew book and making it their own. Why is it that most ministers will refer to the “original Greek” when doing a word analysis in the Scripture? This is extraordinary that the Western scholar has conditioned much of the world to believe that the original tongue of the New Testament was Greek; when in fact Jesus and his apostles spoke Aramaic. Therefore if we wanted to look up a New Testament word in its original form, we would need an Aramaic lexicon; however, most students of the Bible have a trusty Greek lexicon sitting on the book shelf.

Although I am not suggesting that the Western theologian has corrupted God’s Word, it is clear to those who know and understand the truth that he has interfered with our understanding of the Scripture. This has been no egotistical effort by him to make it appear that he is the custodian of the oracles of God – this is about controlling the destiny of human civilization.* The irony of this clever deception is that the Saviour of the world was born out of a Jewish genealogy that intersected the lineage of the Hamitic tribe, permitting the dark skinned family to contribute to the genetic disposition of Jesus Christ.

The first genetic intersect point in the lineage of Christ occurred with Judah, Jacob’s son who was promised the royal throne - The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be (Genesis 49:10). Although Judah was married to a black woman, Shuah who was a Canaanite, it was his daughter-in-law, Tamar, another Canaanite, who Judah slept with that produced an heir to the royal lineage. This act of adultery on Judah’s part and prostitution on Tamar’s to extend the lineage of Jesus has been described in detail in the book of Genesis (see chapter 38 for the full account).

The next intersect point came in Jericho after the Jewish family was released from bondage in Egypt. When the nation of Israel sent spies into Jericho to search out the country, Rahab, who the Bible calls a harlot, protected them. According to the hall of faith in Hebrews, she was spared because of her faith when God brought destruction upon the city – By faith the harlot Rahab perished not with them that believed not, when she had received the spies with peace (Hebrews 11:31). Her act of faith also caused her entry into the lineage of Jesus after marrying Salmon and giving birth to King David’s great-grandfather Boaz (also known as Booz) - 5. And Salmon begat Booz of Rachab; and Booz begat Obed of Ruth; and Obed begat Jesse; 6. And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias (Matthew 1:5-6).

The third Hamitic woman to contribute her genes to the anthropology of Jesus was Ruth. The book of Ruth is a wonderful story of love and redemption. It describes the plight of a woman whose husband died and her mother-in-law urged her to return to her people. With one of the most poetic recitals in the Bible, she responds to Naomi as follows:

14. And they lifted up their voice, and wept again: and Orpah kissed her mother in law; but Ruth clave unto her. 15. And she said, Behold, thy sister in law is gone back unto her people, and unto her gods: return thou after thy sister in law. 16. And Ruth said, Intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people, and thy God my God: 17. Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried: the Lord do so to me, and more also, if ought but death part thee and me (Ruth 1:14-17).

Ruth married Boaz, the son of Rahab, in a beautiful story that resembles redemption as Boaz redeems her for a life of plenty and a place in the genealogy of Jesus (see the book of Ruth for the story).

The final contribution of the Hamitic tribe came during the reign of King David. While walking upon the roof of his castle, he noticed Bathsheba washing herself, and called for her to sleep with him. After she got pregnant, the king had her husband killed so he could marry her, and she gave birth to Solomon, the wisest man to ever live – And Jesse begat David the king; and David the king begat Solomon of her that had been the wife of Urias (Matthew 1:6, also see I Samuel 11 for the entire account).

The lineage of Jesus is characterized with blood contributed from the Hamitic family. The dark skinned people of the earth have found, within the pages of God’s holy word, reason to celebrate its family heritage, because God in his divine wisdom included their genetic material in the royal lineage of Jesus Christ.

* Although this is beyond the scope of this article, I may expound upon it in a subsequent teaching.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Black Presence in the Bible - Part IV

The Bible describes a time when the earth was inhabited by giants, and during that period, women gave birth to children who became mighty men, who were renowned in knowledge, wisdom and understanding – 4. There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown (Genesis 6:4). This advanced civilization of people was lost in the flood. However, their story survives, not only in the scripture, but in the legend of Atlantis, the highly developed civilization that allegedly descended to the floor of the Atlantic Ocean after a flood.

The legend of Atlantis gains traction when we consider the biblical account of the renowned men in Genesis 6. This early civilization of people were scattered abroad in North Africa and the Middle East. Although all of these men were lost in the flood, the flame of their great genius survived. We witnessed it in Noah, who possessed a spontaneous ability to apply engineering standards as he built an ocean-going vessel after receiving limited instructions from God on the dimensions and types of material to use.

To appreciate the magnitude of Noah’s accomplishment and ability, consider how many modern day geniuses could build a ship capable of surviving the torrents of 40-days of rain after being told to make it with Gopher wood and seal it with pitch, along with being given the dimensions? This is in addition to the fact that the ship had to carry thousands of animals and provisions to last for about 9 months.

Noah’s building of the ark was a remarkable feat for a man who never took a course in engineering; however, he possessed the genetic material of Adam and Eve, who was made in the image and likeness of God. The genetic makeup of man evidently provided God-like characteristics for the human family, and one of those characteristics was what I call spontaneous-knowledge – the ability to learn something without being previously taught. Now although I believe that Noah was a person of color, I also believe that spontaneous knowledge is accessible to all men and women regardless of color. This ability to learn without a teacher is a lost art in our modern world; however, I believe that in the right circumstance, God will still open up our imagination to discover, invent or develop incredible things that we had no prior knowledge of.

For we are made in the image and likeness of God Almighty!

If we study the scripture closely, we will discover that it talks about breathtaking advances in the sciences. One such breakthrough was accomplished by the man who is vilified more by Western theologians than any other character in the Bible. His name is Nimrod, and he discovered the physics secret for space/time travel or what I call the Law of Space Penetration. No man that has ever walked this earth, with the exception of Jesus, can produce a resume with the technical accomplishments of Nimrod.

It has been traditionally taught that Nimrod was motivated to build a ziggurat in order to escape another flood. This has been interpreted to mean that he attempted to bypass God in an effort to save himself from a future, divine judgement similar to the flood. This doctrine cannot be supported by scripture and is another vivid example of how the Western world has used theology to remove accomplishments of the people of color in the Bible. In fact, in the classic work on the origins of the Church at Rome titled The Two Babylons, by Alexander Hislop, he described Nimrod as “none other than Satan himself.”

If we use the Scripture as its own commentary, the only conclusion we can draw regarding the identity of Nimrod, is that he was a mighty man before the Lord:

8. And Cush begat Nimrod: he began to be a mighty one in the earth. 9. He was a mighty hunter before the Lord: wherefore it is said, Even as Nimrod the mighty hunter before the Lord. 10. And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar (Genesis 10:8-11, emphasis mine).

Whenever the scripture uses the principle of repetition, there is an emphatic declaration that God does not want the reader to miss. In the above verses, we see that God calls Nimrod ‘mighty’ three times and a ‘mighty hunter’ twice. This is significant, because He wants us to realize the greatness of Nimrod, and to understand that he is not the depraved individual that would eventually find its way into the schools of Western theology. A careful examination of the Scripture demonstrates that if God had not stopped him, Nimrod would have accomplished the greatest scientific discovery of all time – entering into Heaven through the laws of physics:

4. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. 5. And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. 6. And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do (Genesis 11:4-6).

According to God’s own testimony, if he had allowed Nimrod to complete his tower, he would have not only entered into Heaven, but he would have unlocked a secret that would have allowed him to achieve anything that he imagined. Consequently, the decision by God to confuse the tongues was not a punishment for Nimrod’s disobedience, but a roadblock to prevent flesh and blood from entering into Heaven. In fact, Genesis 10:8-11 seems to suggest that God held Nimrod in very high esteem for his accomplishment.

I once thought that the architects of the Western world demonized Nimrod because he was from the family of Ham, the progenitor of the African nations. However, I am now more subdued, and although I still believe that this is true, I also see that the purveyors of Western society would also be concerned that anyone, regardless of color, would aspire to be like Nimrod. Imagine how the balance of social power would be altered if a Nimrod inspired black researcher or white researcher discovered a method to cause an internal combustion engine to run on water. Since water conducts electricity, I would suspect that it would burn as a fuel if we understood the process of its combustion. This ingenious discovery would significantly limit the revenue of all of the oil companies and motor companies on the planet.

The reason that many of these false, theological teachings continue to exist is that too many Christians are inclined to allow the commentaries to explain the Scripture and not the other way around. We as people of God should never allow a man’s book to prove the Bible. We should use the Bible to prove the man’s book. Hislop’s The Two Babylons and many other Western commentaries could never survive the scrutiny of God’s Holy Word.

…to be continued

The Black Presence in the Bible - Part III

Race is a divisive, synthetic invention that has permitted many types of social horrors, ranging from discrimination to genocide. In a wicked world, it should come as no surprise that the Third Reich passed legislation that encouraged Germans of Aryan descent to dehumanized Germans of Jewish descent. Neither should one be surprised that the antebellum South sanctioned the cruel treatment of black slaves by white landowners. What is surprising, however, is that this type of racial gerrymandering has found a permanent home in the schools of Western theology, which has effectively white-washed the Bible.

The Western world’s interpretation of the Scriptures is vital to its existence and expansion, because it has used the Bible and the cross of Christ as its coat of arms as it has conquered vast stretches of the earth. The Roman emperor Constantine claimed to have had a vision from God that authorized him to march under the authority of the Cross during his battle at the Milvian Bridge. This alleged vision was his motivation to initiate an orgy of murder, where he massacred soldiers, innocent men and women, along with children, until he reunited the Roman Empire.

The invasion of Christopher Columbus to the Americas was the direct result of the Roman Empire’s lust for expansion. However, because “his-story” allows the victor to publish the story, Columbus’s voyage to South America is taught in most American public schools as a discovery, when in fact he was sent by King Ferdinand, the Catholic Monarch of Castile, to “[conquer] some islands and continent in the ocean.”

The following excerpt from Columbus’s charter, Privileges And Prerogatives Granted By Their Catholic Majesties To Christopher Columbus—1492, demonstrates that his voyage is unmistakably an act of aggression to bring the continents of North and South America under the colonial powers of Europe:

For as much as you, Christopher Columbus, are going by our command, with some of our vessels and men, to discover and subdue some Islands and Continent in the ocean, and it is hoped that by God’s assistance, some of the said Islands and Continents in the ocean will be discovered and conquered by your means and conduct, therefore it is but just and reasonable, that since you expose yourself to such danger to serve us, you should be rewarded or it. And we be willing to honor and [favour] you for the reasons aforesaid...(Ferdinand and Elizabeth, King and Queen of Castile)

Columbus’s journey had a duality of purpose: first, it expanded Western Civilization; and second it transplanted the Inquisition to America; a brutal form of Christian conversion, where the subjects were often tortured until they accepted the Catholic version of Christianity. This was done with the sanction of the Church and in the name of God. It lasted from the 12th century through the early 19th century. The reason the Inquisition prospered as long as it did, was because the perpetrators of this godless method of conversion had been conditioned that the God they served favored them over the dark skinned people of the world and that he authorized their form of conversion. This would have been difficult to achieve if those erroneously acting under the authority of the Bible, understood that most of its characters were people of color and that the main character of the book, Jesus Christ, probably had brown skin and wooly hair.

The biblical archives do not classify people by race. It classifies them by family and nation as can be seen in the genealogy of nations in Genesis 10:

15. And Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn, and Heth, 16. And the Jebusite, and the Amorite, and the Girgasite, 17. And the Hivite, and the Arkite, and the Sinite, 18. And the Arvadite, and the Zemarite, and the Hamathite: and afterward were the families of the Canaanites spread abroad. 19. And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto gaza; as thou goest, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha. 20. These are the sons of Ham, after their families, after their tongues, in their countries, and in their nations…32. These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood (Genesis 10:15-20, 32).

Genesis 10 demonstrates how the families of the earth were divided after the flood. While verses 15-20 is the lineage of the family of Canaan, who was the grandson of Noah, Noah had 16 grandchildren that were identified in the genealogy of nations. His grandchildren were the offspring of his three sons, Japheth, Ham and Shem. All the families of the earth came from Noah’s three sons; therefore, if we are to properly divide human civilization, it must be classified as Japhethite, Hamite, or Shemite. Coming out of the flood, the Japhethites migrated to Europe, the Hamites migrated to the Middle East and Africa, and the Shemites migrated to the Middle East and other parts of Asia.

The Bible, in its simplest terms, is a story about how God brought redemption to the human family. This story predominantly follows the Shemite division of humanity and how God selected them to be his spokesman, the custodian of his word and the lineage where Christ would be born. If you know this much, then you understand that the Bible is a book of color. Interestingly enough, the word ‘human’ means color man or hue-man, and since Adam was made from the dust of the earth, I would suspect that God created him with a tint. Obviously all of the other colors of the earth evolved from him and Eve.

The invention of race as a broad classification of people, has on one hand robbed people of color of a rich heritage that goes back to the Garden of Eden, and on the other hand does not give true credit to the technological advancements of the great colored civilizations of the past. As advanced as Western Civilization is today, it still has no idea how the ancient Egyptians built the pyramids with such precision. One cannot truly appreciate the genius that went into the construction of these great edifices, until you consider the skill of the ancient Egyptians.

The pyramids were the equivalent of an ancient computer. The Egyptians used them to measure the distance between the earth and the sun; they measured the distance between the earth and moon; they used them to measure the circumference of the earth; they used them to create topographical maps; they used them to determine the moment that the earth crossed an equinox or solstice; they created them using mathematics that had not been discovered by the Greeks for more than 2,000 years later; the builders placed casing stones, some weighing as much as 16 tons, with such accuracy, one could not place a razor between two of them; and they were able to lift these enormous stones to heights exceeding 300 feet.

On a rocky plateau of Giza, 10 miles southwest of Cairo, stands The Great Pyramid of Kufu; “the most majestic and most mysterious monument ever erected by the hand of man. The Great Pyramid is the largest stone building on earth, and the last surviving wonder of the ancient world. Its base covers just over 13 acres, and it is composed of some 2.3 million blocks of granite and limestone, weighing from 2.5 to 70 tons apiece, which rise in 203 layers to the height of a forty-story building.

“The Pyramid is an unrivaled feat of engineering and craftsmanship. It is aligned with the four cardinal points more accurately than any contemporary structure, including the Meridian Building at Greenwich Observatory in London. The 350-foot-long descending passage is so straight that it deviates from a central axis by less than a quarter of an inch from side to side and only one tenth of an inch up and down -- comparable with the best laser-controlled drilling being done today. [According to some researchers, this was because the Egyptians took into consideration the curvature of the earth.] The casing stones, some of which weighed over 16 tons, are so perfectly shaped and squared that the mortar-filled joint between them is just one-fiftieth of an inch -- the thickness of a human nail (from The Great Pyramid by David Pratt - http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/dp5/pyramid.htm.).”

Western researchers are still making discoveries of the ancient’s use of the Great Pyramid. Another structure that challenges the limits of human imagination is discussed in the Bible. It is the Tower of Babel.

…to be continued

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Black Presence in the Bible - Part II

It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. Assuming that this is true, then the Western world has sabotaged the Bible with images that distort its truth. As an example, consider Leonardo da Vinci’s painting titled The Last Supper; supposedly of Jesus and his apostles, which represents them as Europeans. Da Vinci was not the only European artist to portray the face of Jesus. Other artists captured an image of Jesus in various situations: Michelangelo portrayed him at the Last Judgement; Caravaggo portrayed him revealing himself after the resurrection to his apostles; and he also painted what is called The Doubting of Thomas, where Thomas thrusts his finger in Christ’s wound from the spear during the crucifixion.

The classic book on suggestive selling, Subliminal Seduction by Wilson Brian Key, describes how the advertising industry manipulates our buying habits on one level, and on another level it demonstrates how society can control our tastes, habits and thinking by the images that we see. The images of Christ have conditioned many to believe that he was European; however, Jesus' genetic makeup defies classification: His mother was Jewish and God is his father, which would make him all human and all divine at the same time. And if we examine the scripture, we would see that in order for him to have redeemed humanity, he would have had to be related to all the families of the earth. Leviticus 25 describes the Law of Redemption and part of the qualification of the redeemer was that he had to be a close relative:

47. And if a sojourner or stranger wax rich by thee, and thy brother that dwelleth by him wax poor, and sell himself unto the stranger or sojourner by thee, or to the stock of the stranger's family: 48. After that he is sold he may be redeemed again; one of his brethren may redeem him: 49. Either his uncle, or his uncle's son, may redeem him, or any that is nigh of kin unto him of his family may redeem him; or if he be able, he may redeem himself (Leviticus 25:47-49).

If we could have examined Jesus’ DNA, we would have seen that he was simultaneously related to all the families of the earth.

The Bible doesn’t seem to give us a description of Jesus’ pre-resurrected body; however, it does tell us that when John saw him on the Isle of Patmos, his feet were the color of fine brass and his hair was wooly - 14. His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire; 15. And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters (Revelation 1:14-15). Notwithstanding John’s description of him, I believe that it would be difficult to establish a doctrine on his physical characteristics during his life on the earth. However, we do know for certain that when Herod had threatened to assassinate him while he was an infant, the angel of the Lord admonished Joseph to take him to Africa:

7. Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. 8. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also…12. And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. 13. And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, Arise, and take the young child and his mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young child to destroy him. 14. When he arose, he took the young child and his mother by night, and departed into Egypt: 15. And was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my son (Matthew 2:7-8, 12-15).

I do not claim to know what Jesus’ physical characteristics were during his time on earth; however, it would appear to be difficult to hide a blond-haired, blue-eyed, white-skinned child in Africa. I think it is significant that God had ordained to call his son out of the dark continent. It would seem based on just a casual reading of the scripture that Jesus and his family had physical characteristics that allowed them to assimilate among the brown-skinned people of Egypt.

Dozens of artists have depicted Jesus as a European; however, Michelangelo exceeded all of the renaissance masters in audacity with his depiction of God as a European in the painting God Creates Adam. These artistic images of God and Christ have had an enduring affect on how people personify them.

Not only has art been used to transform Jesus and God into Europeans, it has also been cleverly used to rob Jesus of his Jewishness. The first paintings of Jesus being associated with the cross displayed a cross with a white lamb next to it in the fifth-century. It was not until late in the sixth-century that artists dared to paint Jesus hanging on the cross, but these first paintings were images of triumph; not images that we’re familiar with of pain and humiliation. In these sixth-century versions of the crucifixion, Jesus wore a long tunic and only had his hands and feet bare to show him being nailed to the cross.

According to former Jesuit Priest, Peter De Rosa, the first 10th century Greek representation of Jesus suffering on the cross was condemned by Rome as blasphemy; however, the Church of Rome soon yielded to its fascination. And although art coming out of Rome removed the tunic, it replaced it with the loin cloth. The scripture is clear that Christ’s tormentors, in an effort to deny him a single shred of dignity, crucified him while he stood naked before them; an act that imposed total humiliation upon our saviour:

28. And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe…31. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him…35. And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots (Matthew 27:28, 31, 35).

23. Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. 24. They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did (Luke 19:23-24).

Modesty was not the artists's motivation when they affixed the loin cloth to the crucified body of Jesus. With a few strokes of the brush, in what DeRosa called the great cover-up, the artists concealed Jesus’ sex organ so the world would not be constantly reminded of his Jewishness. An accurate portrayal of Jesus on the cross would confirm that he was circumcised according to the Law of Moses, and by placing the veil over his loins, the Roman artists made Jesus an honorary member of the Gentile family. Had the artists down through the ages depicted Christ in all of his shame and humiliation on the cross, with his Jewish ethnicity visible for all to see, would Caesar and Hitler been able to institute pogroms against the Jews in the name of the cross? (Peter De Rosa, Vicars of Christ the Dark side of the Papacy, New York, Crown Publishers, Inc., 1988, p. 3.)

There has been a concerted effort over the last millennium to rob the Bible of its ethnic purity through art and theology. The urgent question is not so much how was it done, but why was it done.

…to be continued

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Black Presence in the Bible - Part I

During my studies, I’m always reminded of the saying that those who forget their past are doomed to repeat it. The past 500 years of world history is littered with colonization, slavery, rape and every imaginable injustice towards people of color. I’m just one small voice, echoing the past in an effort to ward it off as a repeat offender. My passion for educating people about the horrors of the past, the anxiety of the present and the uncertainty of the future is one of my driving motivations in life. For people of color, I am not sure that we can fully appreciate what it means to be black (or African America), because the historical accounts, that could give us a sense of pride and accomplishment, have gaps in them.

History books that have been published by Western scholars have removed or depreciated the contributions of blacks to civilization, and Western Bible commentaries have white-washed the black presence in the Bible. However, a study of black history burns a trail back to the cradle of human civilization in Africa and Asia, and a study of the black presence in the Bible is a study of the Bible itself. Genesis, chapter two gives us a short description of the birthplace of humanity; the Garden of Eden.

Theologians have debated the location of the Garden of Eden, and although most will concede that no one really knows its exact location, most Western, biblical scholars have agreed that it was somewhere between Saudi Arabia and Iraq. I take exception to that conclusion on two fronts: first, most of the area that is outlined to be possible locations have arid climates and are sand deserts. Second and more importantly, the Bible describes a river that flowed from Eden and explains that it was parted and became four rivers. The second river, Gihon, compassed the entire land of Ethiopia:

10. And a river went out of Eden to water the garden; and from thence it was parted, and became into four heads. 11. The name of the first is Pison: that is it which compasseth the whole land of Havilah, where there is gold; 12. And the gold of that land is good: there is bdellium and the onyx stone. 13. And the name of the second river is Gihon: the same is it that compasseth the whole land of Ethiopia (Genesis 2:10-13).

I am not an archeologist or a geologist, but it would seem unlikely that a river originating in Saudi Arabia or Iraq could encompass the entire land of Ethiopia, and it’s doubtful that the deserts of Iraq or Saudi Arabia could produce the fertile ecology of the Garden of Eden. Consequently, I believe that it would be difficult to deny that the Garden of Eden was somewhere north of Ethiopia on the African continent. The apparent misplacement of the Garden of Eden, I believe is one of many examples of how Western scholars/theologians distort the historical significance of people of color and places occupied by people of color. In fact, I don’t like the word ‘history,’ because it is just that…his-story; consequently, his-story may not accurately reflect the truth of the past.

The historical record is dominated by those who control the media and the publishing apparatus in a society, and in the Western world the large Christian and secular publishing houses are not inclined to promote significant black presence in history or the Bible. Therefore many people take for granted that people of color have fulfilled the historical role of the laborer who hews wood and draws water. However, this is very, very far from the truth. Not only does the past reflect a technological genius that thrived in ancient Africa and in the Middle East that Western researchers have yet to comprehend, but the Bible depicts people of color in prominent roles from Genesis through the book of Revelation.

Is a discussion about the contributions of the people of color important from a biblical perspective? I would have to give that question a two-pronged response: Obviously to God, the idea of race plays no role in his word or in the plan of redemption. However, it is vitally important to those who have sanitized the color out of the Bible and has marginalized the historical contributions of the colored people of the world. The job of white-washing the Bible has been so effective, that if asked to meditate on Jesus hanging on the cross, most of us will conjure an imagination of a blond-haired, blue-eyed, white-skinned savoir. And if asked to name a dozen people of color in the Bible, most of us would have trouble doing so.

To understand why Western historians and theologians have removed the color from the Bible is the key to understand the world we live. Civilizations have been divided by race; wars have been fought because of race; country clubs have refused admission because of race; genocide exists because one race believe that they are superior to another; and the antichrist will use race as the dividing line to impose his fury on the human family. Race has been the line of demarcation between those who have lived free from harassment in society and those who have had to confront the brutality from a prejudiced society.

There is no easy way to discuss race in America. To the average citizen, race means the division of humanity based on skin color; to a politician, race is a campaign for public office; to an athlete, race is a contest in speed; and to a Western trained theologian, constrained by rigid primeval commentaries, race means only three alternatives: Hamitic, Semitic, and Japhethitic. The many uses of the word do not diminish its potency when applied to skin color. It is not unusual for discussions on race to initiate passions of rage, hatred, anger, resentment, indignation, arrogance, shame, pride, love, hope, admiration and dozens of other emotions.

If race is not relevant to God, then where did the notion of dividing people by color and physical characteristics originate? The concept of race has no basis in science and is not a matter that is addressed by the Bible. In fact, America’s 19th and 20th century concepts of race did not exist in the 17th century. Race is a social invention in the United States that was developed to permit slavery without trampling upon the Declaration of Independence. The preamble of this document begins with these magnificent words:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

To promote the Declaration of Independence as the driving force behind the creation of the United States while embracing slavery would demonstrate the hypocrisy of the country’s forefathers. Consequently, hundreds of laws were passed in the South that brought a new form of servitude between slaves and their owners. The first African slaves that were brought to America during the 17th century were actually indentured servants, who worked under contract, usually for four to seven years, and then they were granted their freedom. However, by the early 18th century, racial laws had reduced Africans to permanent slaves and owners were prohibited from freeing them.

America’s antebellum psychology has had a lasting and perhaps a permanent effect on the thinking of many Americans – some blacks still suffer from a slave mentality, which prevents them of thinking that they are equal to all men, while some whites suffer from a superiority complex that makes them believe they are superior to others.

Andrew Hacker, in his book Two Nations, Black and White, Separate, Hostile and Unequal, describes the inequity and misfortunes of the black community better than any author that I have read. He asserts that

“[A]all of us [white people] have set up barriers to avoid facing an unpleasant sensation. At one time or another, all of us have refused to admit certain truths about ourselves. By engaging in what Psychology 101 calls “denial,” we seek to convince others and ourselves of our innocence of blame. All white Americans regardless of their political persuasions, are well aware of how black people have suffered due to the inequalities imposed upon them by white America. As has been emphasized, whites differ in how they handle that knowledge. Yet white people who disavow responsibility deny an everyday reality: that to be black is to be consigned to the margins of American life. It is because of this that no white American, including those who insist that opportunities exist for persons of every race, would change places with even the most successful black American. All white Americans realize that their skin comprises an inestimable asset. It opens doors and facilitates freedom of movement. It serves as a shield from insult and harassment. Indeed having been born white can be taken as a sign: your preferment is both ordained and deserved. Its value persists not because a white appearance automatically brings success and status, since there are no such guarantees. What it does ensure is that you will not be regarded as black, a security which is worth so much that no one who has it has ever given it away. This helps explain why white conservatives so vehemently oppose programs like affirmative action. They simply do not want to admit to themselves that the value imputed to being white has injured people who are black” (Andrew Hacker, Two Nations Black and White, Separate, Hostile, Unequal, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York, 1992 p. 60.)

According to Hacker, we can see why white conservatives oppose affirmative action, but how do we explain why Western theologians have abridged the black presence in the Bible?

…to be continued

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Jesus and the Jews - Part III

In Part I of this series, I addressed the Pope’s decision to alter a traditional Catholic prayer for Good Friday that speaks of the blindness of the Jews. Part II dealt with how that blindness came about, and Part III will demonstrate why the blindness was necessary and why God chose Rome to reveal this mystery to.

The Apostle Paul first addressed the blindness of Israel in his letter to the Church at Rome. This letter is significant, because it confronts the ethnic bias that the Jews in Rome experienced. While Rome was embracing its own brand of Apartheid, the letter from Apostle Paul was written as a handbook against Antisemitism. Roman-Jewish relations had gotten so bad in Acts 18, that Caesar forced the Jewish residents out of the city – 1. After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to Corinth; 2. And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla; (because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from Rome:) and came unto them (Acts 18:1-2).

It was no coincidence that God gave the great revelation of Romans 11 to a church which was grappling with its own perceived superiority over the Jews. He chose Rome to unfold one of the great secrets of redemption – that blindness in part has happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all of Israel shall be saved. Apostle Paul used the book of Romans to demonstrate the position of honor given to the Jews by God:

  • For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek (Romans 1:16);
  • But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile (Romans 2:10); and,

  • 28. For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 29. But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God (Romans 2:28-29).[1]

Romans 11 provides us with a springboard to understand why the Jews rejected Christ and called for his crucifixion; however, we must dig a little deeper to discover why the plan of redemption required the blindness of the Jews.

The blindness of Israel goes beyond God creating a fertile environment to have Christ crucified, although that was one of the consequences. Hypothetically speaking, if we could have examined a summary of the redemption plan in advance of Christ's death, we would have recognized a potential problem: Jesus was married to Israel in the Old Testament - 14. Turn, O backsliding children, saith the Lord; for I am married unto you (Jeremiah 3:14a) – but he intended to marry the Gentile Church in the New Testament. Without legally separating himself from his marriage, he could not have married another woman, without being considered an adulterer. He was bound by the oath of marriage that had been the tradition of men and women since the beginning – “for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, until death do us part,” or some similar variation.

When organizing his first evangelistic campaign, Jesus cautioned his disciples to steer clear of the Gentiles – 5. These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel (Matthew 10: 5,6). This directive was not because the Gentiles were unrighteous, given the fact that Jesus came to redeem lost souls. It was because he was married and could not demonstrate affection towards another woman.

Interestingly enough, Paul described the power that the Law held over marriages in the same letter that he described how God blinded his bride –1. Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? 2. For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband (Romans 7:1-2).

In the case of Jesus, when he hung his head and yielded up the ghost, not only did his death change time to AD; not only did it give him the legal authority to go into hell and take the keys of death and hell from Satan; but it legally severed his marriage to Israel. After his death and subsequent resurrection and ascension, Jesus was entitled to marry his New Testament bride without being a polygamist and being charged with adultery.

Praise God for his wonderful plan of salvation!

[1] See Romans chapters 4 and 9-11 for more on the blessed position of the Jew.