| A New Race that God Calls us to Embrace...|
Recently, through Ancestry.com and other sources, my mother uncovered a great secret in our family history: my great great great great grandfather was black. Isaac Slaughter was my 4th grandfather's name, and he fought in the Civil War as a soldier in the 5th Regiment Calvary, a colored group of soldiers in the Union army. The 5th Regiment Calvary suffered a horrible massacre in the battle of Saltville, of which my grandfather narrowly managed to survive.
My grandfather at some point in time married a white woman, and had children together. So far as I understand it, one of their sons would eventually go on to marry a white woman as well. But being that it was scandalous (not to mention illegal) for a interracial couple to be married in the United States at this time, at some point in time my great great great grandfather started to deny he was a mixture of white and black races, but rather, started to say he was white and Native American. Apparently some relatives in the family continued to know the truth of the matter though, for my great great great grandfather had a son named James, whom some called "ol' blackie." This in part was due to him working in the coal mines of Virginia. But, such seems to carry with it some racial undertones from relatives who knew the truth behind the family tree.
Needless to say, such is a rather shocking thing to some members of my extended family. It's almost quite humorous to some degree. Especially since a few of my uncles, who at one point of their lives went through a mid-life crisis, attempted to join a Cherokee Indian group, convinced they were getting back to their family roots!!! Other members of the family, such as my grandfather, due to prejudices he carries, would probably have a heart attack at the thought of being to a small degree of measure, black.
There has been a great identity crisis in this country for some time regarding race. You can see such especially in the larger cities such as Chicago or New York, where one is sure to find parts of town that are almost entirely Asian, Black, White, Latino, etc. People often even pride themselves on what race they are. Sadly, these racial attitudes so prevail in the American church
that one commentator once said something to the effect that 11 am on Sunday mornings are the most segregated hour in America!
Yet, this mindset is not in keeping with the Scriptures. In the eyes of the Scriptures, there are only three races in this world that matter:
1. The Jew
2. The Greek
3. The Church of God!
We see this mindset behind the apostle Paul's statement in 1 Corinthians 10:32, where Paul exhorts his readers to do nothing that would offend either Jews, Greeks, or the Church of God. To briefly explain, the Jewish people are the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, with whom God entered into a unique covenant with, promising to one day give them and their descendants the land of Palestine. The Greek is considered by Paul to be anybody else who God did not enter into this covenant with. But more important is a new breed and race of people with whom God has relation with: the Church of God.
But how can the Church be a new race of people? According to Scripture, God's ultimate plan is to one day create a new heavens and a new earth, to take the place of the one destroyed by man in his fall. But before doing that, God created a new race of people who will one day occupy the new creation. It began with Christ, who is called "the firstborn from the dead" (Colossians 1:18) by virtue of His resurrection. Revelation 3:14 further says of Christ that He is, "the Beginning of the creation of God."
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, serves as a prototype for all those who through faith in Him would become sons of God. Paul says presently that through the renewing work of God's Spirit in us now, we have become "new creatures" (2 Corinthians 5:17). For we have been "born again," not by flesh and blood, but by the Spirit of God. And through this new birth we have experienced spiritually, we have become a new race of people in Christ. We simply await the day when we, like Christ, will resurrected from the dead, and enter into that new creation.
Therefore, whatever race we might be through our natural birth, whether Jew or Greek, white or black, ultimately doesn't matter. And those who would continue to identify themselves as being either race, and pride themselves on their race and "heritage," are doing a great disservice to God and are corrupting the gospel. There should be no "black churches." There should be no "white churches." Instead of wrapping our identity around who we are by virtue of our first birth, we should wrap our identity around who we are by virtue of our second birth!
Many a preacher has pointed out that there will be no Baptists in heaven! no Methodists! no Presbyterians!... just Christians! If I might be at liberty to modify this statement: As there will be no denominations in heaven, so will there be no whites in heaven! no blacks in heaven! no latinos in heaven!... just Christ-ians! A new race of people that transcends all races, that is what the Church of God is called to be. Therefore, let us cast off our prejudices and racists attitudes, and embrace the mindset that God has called us to have, and be the people He has called us to be.
| 2008/4/25 23:19||Profile|
| Re: A New Race that God Calls us to Embrace...|
9 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain,[b] and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;[/b]
10 And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.
| 2008/4/25 23:29|
I like that verse. God has redeemed us "out of" every kindred, tongue, people and nation. I think one can use that verse to say something more is happening that God just merely saving people who happen to be in all these groups. Of course it is that. However, I think if we are not redeemed "out of" these things by which we identify ourselves, then a certain prideful idolatry will assert itself. Thus, Germans believed they were the master race, or Arabs believing their language was the most beautiful of all languages. But God wants to save us from all that.
| 2008/4/25 23:35||Profile|
It is like music - the combination of all of the different notes and chords - a coming together, a blending - harmony . . .
1. Psalm 33:3 - Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.
2. Psalm 40:3 - And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.
3. Psalm 96:1 - O sing unto the LORD a new song: sing unto the LORD, all the earth.
4. Psalm 98:1 - O sing unto the LORD a new song; for he hath done marvellous things: his right hand, and his holy arm, hath gotten him the victory.
5. Psalm 144:9 - I will sing a new song unto thee, O God: upon a psaltery and an instrument of ten strings will I sing praises unto thee.
6. Psalm 149:1 - Praise ye the LORD. Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints.
7. Isaiah 42:10 - Sing unto the LORD a new song, and his praise from the end of the earth, ye that go down to the sea, and all that is therein; the isles, and the inhabitants thereof.
8. Revelation 5:9 - And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;
9. Revelation 14:3 - And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.
| 2008/4/26 0:36||Profile|