As a farmer, I stood in admiration of mama hens. Anyone who threatened her chicks was in for a rude awakening. She would attack anything or anyone who posed a threat, even inadvertently, to her babies. Once I saw a hen soar suddenly into the air to take on a hawk who was plunging down to take one of her chicks. I was left profoundly moved.
I am just a typical male - not very giving, not very loving, but I am terribly jealous for the welfare of Christ's children, the Body of Christ. I ache when I see the disunity within this Body, and I am tormented when I am its cause.
Here's what I am getting at. I grieve to see the growing racial divisions in our society and perhaps also in our Church. I grieve to see race hucksters drawing my Black brethren into hatred, racism, and unforgiveness.
I was at the commemoration dinner at Union Theological Seminary to honor the admitted racist Professor James Cone, who had taught at Union for 46 years.
To justify his very obvious racist remarks, he claimed that "Black blood is crying out to me" [for revenge]. Cone didn't appeal to Scripture to justify his rage - he couldn't. But instead, he appealed to the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas:
· VERSE 70-- Jesus said, "If you bring forth what is within you, what you bring forth will save you. If you do not bring forth what is within you, what you do not bring forth will destroy you."
In this, he found support for his racist agenda. Since bitterness was in him, it would save him if he brought it forth. And he did. He cried out for the Black church to rid themselves of White theologians like Calvin and Luther, and then adopt Black ones.
Meanwhile, the hundreds who had gathered to hear his racist diatribe included many Black pastors. They slow-pitched him a sea of encouraging "amens."
How could I sit still! Last year I experienced something similar. I went ballistic reading a favorable book review. A Messianic Jew who defended himself for no longer calling himself a Christian because of what "Christians" had done to the Jews.
I was angered that the author of the book would divide the Body of Christ over these past sins. The perpetrators were all gone, but still he retained his unforgiveness against them and also the present-day church.
I hastily wrote a protest and sent it around to all the Messianic Jewish ministers I knew. I burned some bridges in the process, but I needed to contest this unbiblical stance, this betrayal of the Gospel.
I felt the same way about James Cone. He had rejected Dr. King's dream to no longer judge by skin color but instead by character. Meanwhile, there was no end to the applause Cone was receiving.
Even worse, Cone was betraying Jesus' dream and prayer:
· “That they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me...I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.” (John 17:21, 23; ESV)
Cone's dream was one of division and not oneness and love. During the question and answer session, I told him so and was booed down.
When I entered Germany for the first time - and I was not a Christian at the time - the blood of my Jewish brethren had been calling out to me. I thought seriously about settling the score.
However, now the blood of my Savior calls out to me, and my deepest desire is to honor Him who died for me. I now deeply cherish my German brethren.
I am jealous for you, my Black brethren, and will fight to expose the race-baiters who want to make you their own, children of hatred and bitterness. I will scream and cry out to our God. You might be offended by me. I will not always agree with you, but I pray you will still value me as your brother.
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