(MOODY AL USA)
It's hard out there. Oftentimes it feels as if the world is being ripped apart at the seams. Nonetheless, no matter what the world throws at us, we have a choice of how to respond to whatever comes our way.
We can either throw in our faith-based gospel towel or live the life God has promised. You see, it’s easy to say we choose the road of victory, but can we endure its temptations and bumps in the road? (John 16:33)
The Holy Scripture tells that there is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9) Discrimination is nothing new. Christianity has always had its pros and cons as far as the public is concerned. Only now, race discrimination seems to be more pronounced within today’s progressive culture.
As an example of this culture change, we now see America’s long-standing religious, charitable organization, the Salvation Army, seemingly being in the line of fire of America’s modern-day progressivism with the posting of -certain allegations of various forms of racial discrimination.
For some unknown purpose, the Salvation Army seems to be one of the latest news media's attack victims. Having been born and reared within the ranks of the Salvation Army, as a Salvation Army officer’s preachers’ kid, I can truthfully testify from personal experience as to the Army’s Christian integration among all mankind.
Life at times can be difficult, especially in the Christian realm of faith-based entities, be they established church’s, charities, and the like. However, it takes valleys to make mountains. Yes, there will be trials. And yes, there is a solution to these trials, in the person of Jesus Christ. (Psalm 66:10) So, let us climb those mountains. Let us not stay in the valleys
Like my Old Time Religion Preacher Daddy, a lifelong officer of the Salvation Army holding the highest field ranking of Brigadier, often lamented, " If you find a perfect church, don't join it. For, you will ruin it".
Yes, life at times, even for a Salvation Army comrade, may seem difficult. The burdens of published adversity can feel too overwhelming to bear. In spite of this, trials have a refining effect on our lives, and in the end are always for our good. (Jeremiah 29:11)
So, please consider reading this blog entitled IS CHRISTIAN DISCRIMINATION REAL? published in 2017, which is just as true today, as when it was penned.
"For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? (James 2:2-4)
Discrimination! This word seems to be running rampant in today's society, and it seems to have been insinuated into vocabularies from kinder garden through college and into the work place. And our Christian circles are certainly no exception. What causes this phenomenon? Could it be a form of bias, preconceived prejudice, or simply just plain bigotry?
According to the dictionary "discrimination" is defined as "the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age."
And within this definition we have two factors, those being secular and religious. For the purpose of this blog, we will be dealing with the religious discrimination factor.
Religious discrimination is basically treating a person or group differently because of what they believe. In other words, it’s when adherents of different religions or denominations are treated unequally, due to doctrinal differences and the differences of scriptural interpretation. (2 Timothy 3:16)
So how does this definition fit into your Christian circles, and into our churches? And how may this evil behavior be handled? It is an evil you know. For the believers’ enemies are the demonic host of Satan, always assembled for mortal spiritual combat. (Ephesians 6:12)
In the twenty-fifth Chapter of Matthew's gospel, Jesus teaches that as we do to His brethren, we do the same to Him. In other words, the way we treat others is as if we are disrespecting God through Him. Again, all people are equally important to the realm of God. (Genesis 1:26-27)
What then if you have happened to be a victim of religious discrimination? Bottom line, you must forgive those who have hurt you, be they family, friends or fellow church members. (Ephesians 4:32) We must pray that God heals our hearts by forgiving others. Not exercising the practice of forgiveness (1 John 1:9), will certainly hinder your Christian testimony. (Romans 6:13)
Growing up as a church youth, we used to sing this chorus. Can you sing it and mean it?
Jesus loves the little children,
All the children of the world.
Red and yellow, black and whit
All are precious in His sight
Jesus loves the little children of the world.
Yes, our Lord does love everybody. (Galatians 3:28) He lived and died for the whole world. (John 3:16) And guess what, He bled "red, not white, not black, not brown, not yellow, but red to redeem all mankind from the bonds of our inherited sin. (Genesis 3:1-7)
You see, Jesus was a Jew, but he died for the Jew and Gentile alike, and we should love others as Jesus does. (John 13:34)
So, what about it, Christian friend, do you need to repent regarding religious discrimination? The easiest remedy for this forgiveness is to simply to learn to love the diversity of your fellow believers, and non-believers alike. (James 2:1-9)
The first church, located in Jerusalem, is a prime example of true believers, spiritual living, and non-discrimination. (Acts 2:41-47) And why is this? Simply because this first church was founded by and nurtured by God's Holy Spirit.
We see that those who believed were baptized and joined the church. (Acts 2:41) They continued devoting themselves to the Apostles’ doctrine, and the breaking of bread. (Acts 2:42) They saw many wonders take place. (Acts 2:43) They were all of one accord. (Acts 2:44) They shared their wealth as needed. (Acts 2:45) They continued to worship and have Christian fellowship. (Acts 2:46) And the church grew, as the Lord allowed. (Acts 2:47) Yes, no discrimination with this church or its people.
So, let us take notice. (Ephesians 6:23-24)
I trust you enjoyed the above blog addressing Christian discrimination, which seems to stand true today, as when it was written in 2017. The Salvation, Army, the object of much recent publications, which prompted this blog, in my opinion, is the same today as it was in its beginning. Standing true to its famous motto being, “Heart to God, Hand to Man”.
I conclude this blog with an excerpt from the Salvation Army's founding General’s last public appearance message. William Booth, founding General of the Army made his last public appearance at Royal Albert Hall in London in 1912. The 83-year-old founder of The Salvation Army, in front of a crowd of 7,000, gave his farewell sermon, closing with these words:
“While women weep as they do now, I’ll fight.
while little children go hungry as they do now, I’ll fight.
while men go to prison, in and out, in and out, as they do now, I’ll fight.
while there is a drunkard left, while there is a poor lost girl on the streets, while there remains one dark soul without the light of God, I’ll fight - I’ll fight to the very end.”
To this great General of mankind, I give a hearty salute. Amen!
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