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Discussion Forum : Articles and Sermons : Scott Hynds " Should The Church Align Itself With The Black Lives Matter Movement "

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JFW
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Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1409
Dothan, Alabama

 Re: Scripturally speaking

And not pile on but to afford the Scripture it’s proper place... when a group seeks admission without intention of assimilation we get this prescription from our Lord-

2 Mercy unto you, and peace, and love, be multiplied.
3 Beloved, when I gave all diligence to write unto you of the common salvation, it was needful for me to write unto you, and exhort you that ye should earnestly contend for the faith which was once delivered unto the saints.
4 For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness, and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ.
5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
6 And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.
7 Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
8 Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities.
9 Yet Michael the archangel, when contending with the devil he disputed about the body of Moses, durst not bring against him a railing accusation, but said, The Lord rebuke thee.
10 But these speak evil of those things which they know not: but what they know naturally, as brute beasts, in those things they corrupt themselves.
11 Woe unto them! for they have gone in the way of Cain, and ran greedily after the error of Balaam for reward, and perished in the gainsaying of Core.
12 These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;
13 Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever.
14 And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints,
15 To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him.
16 These are murmurers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaketh great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage.
17 But, beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ;
18 How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts.
19 These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.
20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:
23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,
25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.


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Fletcher

 2020/6/18 14:44Profile
MichaelLiao
Member



Joined: 2011/4/24
Posts: 194
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

 Re: Fletcher and Todd

Hello Todd and Fletcher,

Thank you both for your kind words. I really appreciate that though we may differ on these issues, I'm glad we can flesh these ideas out. One thing I will say before I continue is that I don't know everything. I don't have all the answers. I'm simply a 29-year-old kid who is still trying to figure out this messed up world with all its complexities. In fact, as you've mentioned Fletcher about how the majority of black people do not support BLM - that's new to me. So thank you for letting me know. I hope in this post I would be able to address everything. If I'm not able to, then please forgive me as I am still educating myself with these matters.

So, Fletcher - you had mentioned about how a segment of the Black population feels that they are being hijacked for political means because of BLM. I do acknowledge there is some truth to that. I think there are extreme elements within the movement that steer from its original message by race-baiting. Personally, I am not a fan of Rev. Al Sharpton as he has a history of using the issue of race for his own gain. Not to mention the fact that he has made Anti-Semitic remarks against Jewish people in the past. Or the Tawana Brawley rape case where she claimed she was allegedly assaulted by 4 white men, only to find that the evidence didn't support that claim - Sharpton and two others accused everyone working in the system up to the state government of a cover-up because they were all White, which clearly is unfair and quite racist in and of itself. The only person that I would look up to as a civil rights leader is Martin Luther King, Jr. who pursued racial justice in the spirit of peace and nonviolence. I think the concern of some Black Americans is that what if movements like BLM create race-baiting, and therefore enforce a victim-mentality in the Black community where there is no responsibility involved on their end and all they do is blame the White man for all their problems (in the extreme sense of course)? That I would believe is wrong. As much as I do believe in systemic racism, I also believe that racial reconciliation must take both parties to be responsible for their own sins. The sins of one's community and the sins of one's system. If one person always constantly believes him/herself to be a victim, that person never moves forward or grows. If the Black community does not own their problems of fatherlessness and gang violence, then the cycle continues into the next generation. Having said that, I don't believe that steers away from what I had said earlier (the original message of BLM) about the systemic targeting of Blacks that have marginalized them to the point where they are barely surviving. Redlining from the 1930s still affects Black communities financially in a negative sense. In a more recent phenomenon, Wells Fargo had targeted Black churches with "so-called" wealth-building seminars where they sold black people subprime loans back in 2008. When the Housing Bubble burst, Black Americans lost 53% of their wealth, thus increasing the racial wealth gap.

Which brings me to your point, Todd - You are right to point out the Black-on-Black crime in Chicago. I mean the numbers of black men killing other black men are staggering. However, we also have to realize that poverty in many cases contributes to crime. Remember what I had said about wealth being intergenerational? Well for every dollar a Black-Median family has, a White family has 13. And this poverty experienced by blacks goes back to slavery. Of course, I do not want to negate the responsibility of a Black man for killing someone. I don't care if you're White, Black, Latino, Asian - if you killed someone, you better be going to jail. But, there are also socioeconomic factors to consider when it comes to Black-on-Black crime (Here's a study that reveals people who live below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) are more than twice as likely to commit crimes than high-income households: https://www.bjs.gov/content/pub/pdf/hpnvv0812.pdf - Adding to the fact that gun laws in the US are loose, Chicago may say they have strict gun laws, but the guns are pouring in from the surrounding States where guns seem to have more free reign. Also, I think when we are asking "what about Black on Black crime?" it seems to be a diversion from the actual problem being addressed (what-aboutism or tu-quoque fallacy), which is police brutality against Black people. Especially after the multiple instances of black individuals complying, not resisting arrest, putting their hands up, and then still getting killed for it. Philando Castille was a registered law-abiding gun owner, wanted to let the cop know he is a licensed carrier, and still, he gets killed for it. He wanted to abide by the law, and the law didn't help him. Therefore, these are not isolated incidents. They are systemic across the country. Whites are more likely to be killed by other whites, but no one cries out "what about White on White crime?" As one article put it best, ["When someone commits an act of terrorism against the United States, which rightfully leads to anger and sadness, no one asks, “Well what about how many Americans kill other Americans each year?” Because that would crazy, now wouldn’t it?"] - https://www.cleveland.com/news/2020/06/stop-using-black-on-black-crime-to-deflect-away-from-police-brutality.html

The recent stat shows that Black Americans are 2.5 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than Whites (https://www.statista.com/chart/21872/map-of-police-violence-against-black-americans/). That's really scary if you ask me. It's not just about the numbers of black people being killed by police in the general sense. It's HOW they are killed.

Fletcher - You had mentioned, "The USA is a nation of laws. So the motto “protect and serve” is to say the police protect the law-abiding population from the lawless population... this motto does not now nor ever (in any society) mean to suggest that those whom are lawless are being protected or served in a civil context but rather are being made subject to the laws governing the country they choose to live in. How does this fact fit into your narrative?" I would disagree with that statement simply because George Floyd was killed over a counterfeit $20 bill. He didn't resist any arrest. If a cop was being shot at by a criminal, then yes I think at that point the cop should fire back. But, if we are to go by the logic that those who are lawless are not being served and protected for the protection and service of law-abiding citizens, then why should there be any due process or a court of law in the first place? If we cannot treat or arrest a criminal properly in order to preserve that person to face justice, why not just kill them? I mean since there is no need to serve or protect these individuals due to their "lawless behaviour", then there's no point in keeping them around. "I don't need to serve these people; they're criminals. I can treat them however I want without any regard for human rights/dignity." George Floyd didn't act lawlessly when he chose not to resist arrest and he still wasn't protected. Even if the counterfeit 20 was a lawless act, does that deserve a knee to his neck for 8 MINUTES AND 46 SECONDS?

Fletcher, another point you had mentioned, "This is not the way of the Lord, nor is it the way of Government. This is not to say that people don’t have a voice, but if that voice is primary complaining (a sin) and throwing tantrums about the agreed upon operations of that group they are free to leave and seek community elsewhere- is this not the way to preserve and protect the freedom and liberty of those whom are in agreement regarding their church fellowship or nation? Because you see, to capitulate to those whom seek to undermine the rule of the people (government) is to forgo any basis of freedom for anyone." The only question I would ask would be this: Was Martin Luther King, Jr., therefore, infringing on the freedoms and liberties of other Americans when he was doing the Selma marches? When he gave his infamous "I Have a Dream" speech, was he ruffling the freedoms and liberties of white people? Is creating awareness of racial injustice violating the freedom of others? Because if the opposite had happened, the Civil Rights Act would not have been enacted, and in the name of freedom and liberty for White Americans, Black Americans would've lost their own. The fact of the matter is the Civil Rights Act of 1964 increased the freedom and liberties of all people - that no one should be discriminated based on race, colour, religion, sex, or nationality. In other words, protesting is not complaining. On a social/government level, protesting actually brings the awareness that things can be better and that our freedoms can actually increase. Protesting brings change into a society where there are major blindspots. If there were no protests historically, we wouldn't have labour laws that protect workers from being exploited by corporations. Now, in a church setting, I see your point. You don't want to come in complaining and try to make everything fit your mold. However, since the Church is not perfect, there are always going to be blindspots to be addressed. Of course in a Church context, you want to address those issues with gentleness and respect. If I were a pastor of a Church, I would want someone to point out things that I am not doing right in the Church. Otherwise, the sanctification within myself and my flock would be stifled. I would not want to say, "If you don't like it, then just leave." That would be pride and dismissive. And God forbid we should have this attitude towards those who are of colour and we say, "If you don't like it here, go back to your country."

The only reason I seemed to focus more on the pain of the Black community in the previous post (which may have made me sound unbalanced in terms of barely addressing the problems within the Black community) is that I simply wanted us as Christians to empathize with the pain that they go through. As much as I believe in the responsibility of the Black community to sort their own mess out, I know that when there is a system in place that keeps them down no matter how hard they try to be responsible, there's a major problem that needs to be addressed. When a black man wants to be a responsible citizen, doesn't commit crimes, but then faces racial profiling, racial discrimination in terms of hiring practices, financial instability due to generational poverty going back to slavery, police brutality, redlining - you begin to see that the wounds are deep. A black man wants to get hired, but statistically speaking a white person with a criminal record is more likely to get a job than a black person without a criminal record (https://scholar.harvard.edu/files/pager/files/pager_ajs.pdf). So the Black Community does try hard to be good, but society still deems them as not good enough. So, without a stable job, without being able to survive, they turn to selling drugs. They turn to crime because they feel trapped and that this seems like their only way to survive. So, it's not a simple matter to deal with - "Black people just need to be responsible. Slavery was a long time ago. Get over it." It's much more complex than we realize. As a Hip-Hop guy who does rap music (despite being Asian), I have been fairly exposed towards Black culture. Is there foolishness in the Black community? Yes. No doubt about it. I've seen it! Would I want to address their issue of fatherlessness in the near future? Absolutely! But, I've also seen the unaddressed pain that so often gets conveniently swept under the rug by our North American society.

I know I haven't given perfect answers here as I feel I did not address some of your points adequately. And quite frankly it's 4:10 AM here, so I need to get some sleep. But I hope what I have said here would help us all reconsider what we say about BLM and the awareness they are trying to bring against systemic racism. I don't have to agree with every point BLM puts out in order to stand in solidarity with them. The beauty of living in a democracy is that compromise is allowed in civil discourse. I understand some black folks concern about BLM, and there is some legitimacy to their concerns. But, I think after listing out the data and factual information with regards to systemic racism, I think it's a sin that needs to be called out on the public square in order for change to happen, whether you support BLM as an organization or not. Again, there are human lives at stake and we ought to be wary of making quick judgments towards those who are genuinely marginalized. Jesus came for the marginalized of society. And I pray that through His Spirit we can come alongside the marginalized, so that the Spirit of the Good Samaritan who dwells within us would be glorified and shed the hope the Black Community so desires. "Free At Last! Free At Last! Thank God Almighty, We Are Free At Last!" May this cry of Martin Luther King, Jr. be finally fulfilled in the Black Lives that do matter in the eyes of our King - Our Lord Jesus Christ.


Your Servant in Jesus' Name,

- Michael Barnabas Hoy-Kuen Liao


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Michael Liao

 2020/6/19 4:14Profile
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Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5502
NC, USA

 Re:

Hey Michael- I wasn’t sure if you knew that one of the official platforms of BLM is the eradication of the nuclear family

There is no intention whatsoever of even recognizing that fatherless homes is the cause of so much distress, even when it is grossly and plainly obvious.

ADD: “ We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable.” https://blacklivesmatter.com/what-we-believe/


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Todd

 2020/6/19 8:16Profile
JFW
Member



Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1409
Dothan, Alabama

 Re: brother Michael

Firstly I love you! Your heart is on full display and it’s a joy to read the words and sentiments flowing from it 🙏🏻

So regarding “protect and serve” - “nation of laws” ,... no one and I do mean no one (I’ve heard or read) has in any way at all sought to justify what happened to George Floyd. Everyone everywhere believes it was wrong and the officers involved should be treated as criminal.
Having said that, just as in the Bible, laws are for the lawless... when someone is arrested they do still enjoy rights afforded by the Constitution. Tho in order to fully benefit from those rights one must submit to the authority being enforced, otherwise by ones own choice the rights are being forfeited in the since that additional charges are accumulating with each increasing the potential penalty. It’s honestly more of a cultural issue than a racial one... when a person is placed under arrest and they resist they are electing to have a greater force of the law applied to themselves. Police officers are conscripted to enforce the law and everyone knows this,... so why resist ?
Yes I’m aware GF wasn’t resisting and again that was a criminal act not an enforcement of the laws of this nation. Justice should and will be served to those whom participated in his death.

Regarding protesting, that is a fundamental right in America:)
And most of not all Americans support it wholeheartedly!
However even and especially these are also subject to the laws of the land.
MLK acted and encouraged compliance with these laws, and as such was able to achieve a level of success in the objectives that most wouldn’t have imagined at that time.
Interesting we totally agree there is a system in place that serves to enslave minorities and the irony is that this system is promulgated by the very people promoting BLM 😳
You see dear brother our enemy IS RACIST tho wears a mask of
Anti-racism - if one only looks at the surface and listens to the propaganda then it remains concealed. Tho when one cares enough to peel even just a few layers back to investigate then the truth is readily apparent.
“It’s easier to fool people than to convince people they have been fooled” Mark Twain

Have to get to work but I hope to pick up later and am truly thankful for the correspondence you offer dear brother 🙏🏻😇


_________________
Fletcher

 2020/6/19 10:02Profile
JFW
Member



Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1409
Dothan, Alabama

 Re: brother Michael

Hope you had time to rest and recoup :)
Also hoping we could pick back up in our dialogue and having looked back over this thread there is a wealth of information that seems to suggest that BLM would be considered anti-Christian in most every aspect.... how does standing in solidarity with them square with your standing in Christ?
Since this thread began, I have refreshed my understanding of BLM updating as it were with current reports and statements... interestingly they currently seem to be primarily focused on getting Trump out of office (as opposed to advancing the prospects of black peoples) .... do you agree and stand in solidarity with these types of objectives or more just a “general disposition” for the marginalized?
Also in what nation on earth do brown or black peoples enjoy more freedom, prosperity, opportunity than in the United States of America ?
If we look at income inequality then the US is way ahead than most other countries in that America has more black millionaires and billionaires and black celebrities and black national figures than any place on planet earth and I have never met a white or “light skinned” person who was mad or in any way upset about that ... but instead celebrated the realized opportunities wether they were in sports, academics, tech, entertainment or government :)))

So in saying this, what or where do Black Lives not matter what n America?
Frankly it’s quite offensive to suggest that we don’t care and haven’t gone out of our way as a nation to do more for all people, not that we can’t be better at it - but who has done more over the past century anywhere in the world for human rights (including and especially blacks) than the USA???
So where are the stands of solidarity for underserved people in China?
Where is the criticism of their recent take over (RAPE) of Hong Kong ?
Let me be very C L E A R dear brother Michael.... ask yourself this and answer honestly -
Would you rather be a black man in America where you may become a victim or an international super star (that is largely determined by choices not just opportunities)-or would you rather be a native Chinese currently living in Hong Kong where all your rights and privileges were just usurped by a communist regime while the world watched and didnt care... what about HONG KONG lives matter??
Do they? To you? because I haven’t heard a word on this forum about them?
So how can the world be critical of the place where people of all colors and creeds enjoy liberty and the pursuit of happiness more than anywhere else ever in history... while these same critics ignore the atrocities currently taking place in other countries? 🧐 there’s a word for that in the Bible ....


What I have observed over the years that gets called “racism” is actually more cultural and economic than skin color....
I’ve seen wealthy white people treat poor white people in ways a black or brown person would never think too... likewise I have witnessed wealthy black people treat other black persons in ways a white would never consider doing.... 🤷🏽‍♂️
But we can’t legislate morality... people have to choose it for themselves and teach it to their children- what I’ve witnessed is mostly a demoralization of an entire generation of people who have been fed propaganda just like BLM - which seeks to undermine not build.

Edit to add;
BLM serves as a front for a political takeover by misleading their “donors” to believe the monies (literally Billions) are being utilized to serve black communities but is in fact funneled directly into Democratic political campaigns- just this year alone over $458,000,000 given to BLM for the purpose of helping black communities and businesses has been directed by ACTBLUE to exclusively democratic political campaigns, which incidentally are the very people who installed and support the “systematic exploitation” of black peoples all while claiming compassion??!!!
The facts just don’t stand on their side.
And when protesters become rioters & looters destroying and threatening other peoples homes, businesses and communities, trampling on their rights, then it is indeed unlawful and sinful - full stop.

There really isn’t a middle ground on this and most American communities enjoy healthy participation in the pursuit of freedom and liberty by all races, religions and creeds- which is why come Nov 3rd this deceptive attempt to overthrow a duly elected administration will be put down yet again, and this will happen by people of all races coming together and voting for (consenting to) being governed by an administration that seeks the best for all citizens under the law :)

Perhaps a quick search of BLM activities online will reveal how this “group” only seems to pop up during election cycles 🧐



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Fletcher

 2020/6/21 10:08Profile
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Joined: 2012/2/8
Posts: 5502
NC, USA

 Re:

“Christians who participate in deception should rethink their loyalties. If they cannot bring themselves to distance themselves from positions built on disinformation, then we may hope they will at least fear God enough to distance themselves from Christ, lest they take His name in vain. Jesus despises all lies, and He said that those who are liars have a different Father than He has. We must choose our loyalties (and our father) and then live and speak consistently with our decision.” ~~Steve Gregg


_________________
Todd

 2020/6/21 17:39Profile
MichaelLiao
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Joined: 2011/4/24
Posts: 194
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

 Re:

Brother Fletcher,

Thank you once again for writing. I must admit that it's been a very tiring time for me spiritually, emotionally, and physically. Spiritually in the sense that there's a constant attack from the enemy. Emotional in the sense that I'm working through many painful emotions, which is why I'm seeing a therapist. And physically because I have an autoimmune disease. These are frustrating times for me. Therefore, I may not write as much here, as writing does take a toll on me. So I might not type as much in terms of a response. But this is probably going to be my last response here. I don't think I can drag this issue on for long. The only thing I can do is share from the heart that Christ has given me, and hopefully, the God of all comfort who comforts me in my afflictions can also be expressed through my life to others on this forum. Therefore, I can only plant the seed. I believe God has a heart for all people. And knowing Christ, He goes for those who are marginalized in society. I also feel that I have answered adequately in my previous posts in terms of the data and scholarly research that has been provided.

So the first thing that you had mentioned is how Black Lives Matter seems to have an agenda to get rid of Donald Trump, and therefore not genuinely caring for the building up of Black folks. Also, you had mentioned how BLM support things that don't sound "Christian." I appreciate your concern in that you want to honour the Lord in how you want to approach this issue. You don't want to succumb to anything that looks anti-God because you want to stand with God. However, I think this is where you and I may look at this situation differently in terms of how we honour Christ in standing with those who are suffering. Every organization or movement has its flaws when it comes to the positions held. Does everything have to sound entirely "Evangelical" or "Christian" before we can support it? If I were to give the many brothers and sisters on this forum the benefit of the doubt that BLM is a Marxist/Socialist organization (which I do not believe it is), then OK, it sounds unChristian. But, I would then have to ask:

1) Every time a group of people are asking to be treated fairly in society so that they can co-exist with others with liberty and life (whether black, white, Chinese, Native, straight, gay, trans), is it always Marxist? Because if that is the case, then everything is Marxist. However, from what I understand, the US Declaration of Independence says that the American people have "unalienable rights" endowed by their Creator - Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness. The Black community are simply saying, "We have a right to this self-evident Truth as well. This applies to all of us, not just White people." Therefore, it's not a Marxist thing, it's an American right. That all citizens have the right to enjoy regardless of race, sex, gender, nationality, and colour (Civil Rights Act, 1964). And the fact that it's pointing to the Creator seems to have some element of biblical emphasis. The appeal is to God, not a political ideology.

2) Is Capitalism a better alternative or anymore Christian? I mean Jesus called us to abandon this world, not get richer off the backs of poor people. And if we read American history, this nation was built on the back of Black slaves which produced much of the White wealth today. Personally, I do not see anything Christian about that.

3) What is so Christian about Donald Trump? I've seen some Evangelicals say they don't support BLM because there are some stances they have that don't sound "Christian," yet at the same time, 80% of White Evangelicals voted for a man who clearly doesn't seem to bear any fruit that is described in Galatians 5:22-23. I do not see the humility in this president. The humility which is evidence of the Spirit working in a human soul. When Colin Kaepernick took a knee to protest police brutality, the current president called him a Son of a B----. "Get that SOB off the field..." Whether one believes it is right to kneel during the national anthem in protest is not the issue. The issue is the response from the leader of the country. The arrogance, the narcissism, the racism. These are all grievous sins in God's book, but some Evangelical ministers will give him a mulligan and say he's God's man. When he ordered the streets to be cleared through the use of teargas and excessive force in order to get a photo-op with a Bible, I must admit I was awfully disturbed by that. Because he did that to play to his Evangelical base. He was using Christianity for his own personal gain, which I believe is a grave sin, but no one is talking about that. I understand why Evangelicals had voted for him because of their views against homosexuality and abortion. But, then that becomes a problem when the Church in America becomes the "two-issue voter." It would ignore the other policies a party or candidate puts out that could be potentially harmful/sinful to the country. An example would be one party is against abortion and homosexuality, but then they are for Trickle-Down Economics where tax breaks are given to large corporations and billionaires, and the people at the bottom suffer. The sin of greed at the top wreaks havoc on those who are barely making it. If BLM wants to vote Donald Trump out, to me it is logical because they feel he doesn't have the interest of the Black Community at heart. I mean I'm sure if there's a politician out there who you feel does not meet your interests, then you want him/her out and have another person in office. There's no conspiracy about that. That's just how humans roll.

I do not believe that God is a Republican or Democrat. Human beings have made it that way. I believe that God gives us the freedom to choose a party that fits our ideas. And we have to realize that we won't always get what we want in this world. There is no political party that is perfect. There is no movement that is perfect. If we were honest, the Democratic Party started the KKK. I often hear some conservatives say, "The Democrats are the racist party because they started the KKK. Abraham Lincoln (The Republican President) was the one who ended slavery through the civil war." Historically that is true. The Blue States used to be in the South. However, the one thing I would respond with is that the past is not indicative of where we are now. The Democratic Party became the party for civil rights, while the Republican Party, unfortunately, went backwards. The Red States are in the South now, and this was due to the "Southern Strategy" that Richard Nixon implemented. Basically using racist means to appeal to White Southerners in order for them to turn Red. So then the issue is the party's platform, but also the people who vote for these parties. As much as I am not a fan of Donald Trump, the fault ultimately lies in the American people who voted for him. I mean without the votes, he wouldn't be in power. And I think there are some people who are having "buyers-remorse" at this point. All I can say is clearly God is not a Republican at this point. Of course, I would not be surprised if the Democratic Party today are using the language of civil rights to gain votes from Black people. Politics is a very dirty game regardless of where you stand (Liberal or Conservative). If the Church aligns itself with a political party over one or two issues and ignores the rest, then I am afraid we may be engaging in idolatry. I'm not calling for people to vote Democrat or Republican. But, vote however your conscience leads you. To me, this is a Romans 14 issue and it is between you and the Lord Jesus Himself. For me, standing with BLM is a Romans 14 issue. I stand with them because their main goal is to fight for the rights of Black people in order for them to live in harmony with everyone else. For them to not live in fear and to enjoy the benefits that the U.S. Constitution provides for them. Now, if you do not want to support BLM "as an organization", then still stand with the Black community and believe that their lives do matter regardless of the organization. Living in a democracy allows for compromises. You don't have to agree with everything in order to stand with them. If I believe Black people are created in the Image of God and I do not wish to see their communities being ripped up by police violence and systemic racism (both of which are sins), isn't that enough? If we want to go by the logic that "this party supports this sin, this organization has this sin, this candidate is promoting sin on his/her platform," then we might as well not vote or stand with anyone because no movement or political party is free from sin. And thank God we don't live in a Theonomy.

Now, with regards to what you said about Black excellence in terms of the success stories - celebrities, billionaires, national figures, yes I will agree with you on that point. I think living in a democracy can give those opportunities, and therefore as you have said, "What have we not done as a nation to increase those freedoms and opportunities for black people?" But, Brother Fletcher, even though there are black billionaires and celebrities (high-profiled individuals), I do not believe they speak for the rest of Black America. Not only is the racial wealth gap between White and Black huge, but even the poverty rate also has a huge discrepancy. If you look at each State on this list, you'll find the poverty gap between Whites and Blacks to be pretty significant - https://www.kff.org/other/state-indicator/poverty-rate-by-raceethnicity/?currentTimeframe=0&selectedDistributions=white--black--american-indianalaska-native&sortModel=%7B%22colId%22:%22Location%22,%22sort%22:%22asc%22%7D And even the Native Indians are almost on par with the Black Community.

This is due to the fact that systemic racism historically still has effects on these communities today. When Native Indians had their land taken away and went through genocide. That's why when you go into Native Reserves today whether in Canada or the US, you'll see a lot of brokenness within these communities - alcohol, abuse, suicide, poverty - because the pain inflicted is not simply on a group of people. The wounds have generational effects. My country (Canada) was built on Native Indians being slaughtered. If you want to know about systemic racism in Canada, you can check out the countless records of genocidal behaviour that White professing Christians have been responsible for against the Native Indians in my country. If you were to look up "Residential Schools Canada," you will find how Native children were separated from their parents and forced into these Residential Schools where Priests, Nuns, Reverends (Catholic and Protestant) systematically abused them physically, emotionally, and sexually. Many of these children died. I remember once cringing at an interview where this Native man told the reporter of how a Nun used to rape him, "When she raped me, she told me that all I was good for is f***ing." The Natives lost their people, their identity, and their land - and that sense of brokenness runs deep to this day. When Blacks endured slavery and built White people's wealth; when Jim Crow laws determined what jobs black people could take, where they are allowed to go, or where they live - they were prevented to build wealth for the next generation. They didn't have as much leeway as White people did. That's why for every dollar a Black Median household has in terms of income, a White family has 13 today (I've mentioned this in my previous 2 posts). So, as much as these Black billionaires and celebrities have "made it", they are the minority compared to the rest of the Black population. Not every black person in America is a Jay-Z, Beyonce, Kanye West, or Thomas Sowell. I'm not saying that Black people don't have the ability to reach new heights. I mean God forbid I should enforce a victim mentality in the Black community. At the same time, when there is a system in place where it's easier for a White person to get a job with a criminal record than a Black person WITHOUT a criminal record (which is in my previous post with a link to the study), then clearly it makes the journey much harder for the Black person. Sure, there are people who make it big, but that journey is so much harder because of either conscious or unconscious bias that is directed towards to Black Community.

The U.S. is not the only country to give opportunities to people of colour. Yes, your country has made strides, but it's not the only country. In Canada, we've had our Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms since 1982. Pierre Elliott Trudeau (Our Former Prime Minister) brought about multiculturalism in our country where many can co-exist with each other. And the Canadian government would do its best to enforce those Constitutional rights based on Section 15: "(1) Every individual is equal before and under the law and has the right to the equal protection and equal benefit of the law without discrimination and, in particular, without discrimination based on race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability. (2) Subsection (1) does not preclude any law, program or activity that has as its object the amelioration of conditions of disadvantaged individuals or groups including those that are disadvantaged because of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, sex, age or mental or physical disability. (84)"

This brings me to your point about how we cannot legislate morality and people just have to teach their children to make the right choices. And as you said, there are rich white people who demonize poor white folks and rich black folks treating their own with disdain. However, I would disagree with that statement because every country has legislated morality in the past. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 legislates against discrimination based on race (which is a sin), thereby creating consequences for those who choose to discriminate. And we teach these societal reforms to our children. The Fair Housing Act of 1968 prevents discrimination in selling or renting homes. Or the Voting Rights Act which finally protects Black people's rights to vote. [Although the problem is that today there is Voter Suppression against Blacks, which is another way for politicians to curb the Black vote. Gerrymandering, moving polls away from low-income neighbourhoods - these are the ways in which the Republican Party are trying to hijack the elections for their own gain. There's nothing godly or Christian about that.] The point is both the parents and societal reforms work together in order for changes to be effective on a larger scale. Of course, we should teach our kids not to hurt someone. But, it's more powerful when there is a joint effort. We teach our children that racism is wrong, and also there are societal laws that back that up. There are laws that punish domestic violence and abuse. I mean most laws are passed because there are moral reasons attached to it. I do find it ironic when I hear some Christians say that we can't legislate morality, but all the while they want to legislate morality when it comes to abortion or same-sex marriage. Why are those the only two sins in the minds of the Evangelical Church to legislate against?

Hong Kong - I do have my concerns about Hong Kong. Being Chinese myself, having parents who come from the Mainland, while living in a democracy makes me feel awfully confused about this situation. However, I do not want to engage in a discussion based on "what-aboutism" or a "tu-quoque fallacy." "What about Hong Kong? What about this place? Or what about that atrocity." It's a diversionary tactic because it takes the attention away from the actual topic being discussed. I think before the US should point out human rights abuses in other countries, they should examine their own record of human rights abuses (Guantanamo Bay, Systemic Racism, Police Brutality). I find it ironic when they point to China's Tiananmen Square Massacre as a human rights abuse, while American police just recently used teargas and excessive force in order to drive protestors away for a Presidential Photo-Op. The Chinese are no different as they engage in their own form of "what-aboutism." "What about the Americans and their problems? What about the Japanese during World-War 2? What about the US Military hanging around in the South China sea?" It's a form of propaganda which prevents everyone to examine their own flaws and the issues at hand. Not to diminish the issues within other countries, it is necessary to discuss those. But, God forbid we become so fixated on the hypocrisy of others so deeply that we miss our own. Hong Kong is an extremely complicated matter, and as someone who understands Chinese history and culture, it is not as simple as the West would like to make it out to be. I understand that for 5000 years, the Chinese people have been divided against itself. The Chinese sentiment is that we've been divided against ourselves for so long, let's stay united and not hurt each other. Yes, Hong Kong's democracy is a concern for me - they have their free speech and free access to the internet. They have access to the Tiananmen Square Massacre tapes through YouTube. At the same time, because Hong Kong is a tax haven, you have corrupt Chinese officials in the Mainland funneling billions through Hong Kong and out of the country, and China is trying to fight corruption. Therefore, I do not take sides in the Hong Kong matter. It's much more complex than what we see on the news. I'm not saying that Hong Kong Lives don't matter. They do. However, we're talking about BLM in the US, so let's not steer the conversation away.

ActBlue and the Democratic Party - As someone who is trained/educated for the journalism field, this is not a story that I can take seriously. For one, this story originated from an Instagram post claiming that BLM through ActBlue funnels money to the Democratic Party. Citizen journalism does have its strengths, but there are major flaws in the practice as well if a person doesn't have proper sources or connections to back up their claim. By law, if BLM were to donate even a nickel to the Democratic Party, they would lose their charity status immediately. [According to the IRS, “all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity.” - https://www.factcheck.org/2020/06/donations-to-black-lives-matter-group-dont-go-to-dnc/ ] I'm aware that when the person who raised the alarm about BLM and ActBlue, the person used a website called OpenSecrets.org and showed the millions being contributed to Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. The problem is that OpenSecrets themselves responded to Candace Owens saying that donations that go to BLM stay with BLM. ActBlue is simply a payment platform like PayPal - a middleman. It's not any different than the payment platform "WinRed", which is for the Republican Party (launched in 2019). BLM, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren - they all have separate accounts. You can't cross from one account to another. Therefore, this story which is being promoted by those on far-right blogs and social media is completely misleading.

Boy, I wrote a lot. I didn't expect to write this much. But, I think this will be the last time I will participate in this discussion. It does take a toll on me to write all this. I do pray that the Spirit will guide us into all truth. Not just truth in His Word, but also truth in terms of the reality that we live in. Truth in terms of the data being presented. And the truth that the marginalized need the compassion of Christ. To stand with them in the midst of oppression and pain. Weep with those who weep. I hope this helps us all.

Your Servant in Jesus' Name,

- Michael Barnabas Hoy-Kuen Liao


_________________
Michael Liao

 2020/6/23 16:11Profile
MichaelLiao
Member



Joined: 2011/4/24
Posts: 194
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

 Re:

P.S. - One last thing I wanted to post is this message by Reverend Timothy Keller where he discusses corporate/systemic evil and how the Gospel intersects us corporately in bringing about change. The Gospel is not an individual call to salvation, but a corporate call. I pray this blesses you all. Amen and Amen!

https://youtu.be/EhJJcTKTVGo

Your Servant in Jesus' Name,

- Michael Barnabas Hoy-Kuen Liao


_________________
Michael Liao

 2020/6/23 17:06Profile
JFW
Member



Joined: 2011/10/21
Posts: 1409
Dothan, Alabama

 Re: brother Michael

Dear brother I am indeed sorry to hear of your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual condition- rest assured I will def pray that the Lord refreshes & restores you as you turn to Him 😇🙏🏻

It’s does seem we have incompatible perspectives on a host of the issues being discussed, tho with that being said I do appreciate your willingness and the spirit with which you engage, it is reflective of your heart :)

It’s understandable that people want to avoid “what-aboutism” because it debases their attempt to put things in a vacuum in order to criticize and fault-find. Actually it’s just plain old cynicism... because unless I’ve somehow misread you or BLM I haven’t really heard or read any literal proposals but instead mostly if not exclusively complaints 🤷🏽‍♂️
Regarding your assessment of Jesus being “for the marginalized”... I don’t see Him to be that way at all as Jesus is not a humanist but most of what I’m reading here is .
(For me) Jesus was about one thing and one thing alone... obedience to His Father at all cost.

Hong Kong is indeed complicated just like the USA, but neither needs or even has to be.
Having studied Chinese history for over 20yrs I suppose I am somewhat of an anomaly in that Yao, Yu & Shun, the Yellow Emperor Fu Tsi, Emperor Xin, the warring states period, etc... are all quite familiar to me as is the scientific and cultural contributions to humanity as well as the indigenous & imported religions.
I hold a great appreciation for the Chinese people apart from the communist regime that subjugated them.

Not all people seeking equality are Marxist... but BLM undeniably is so as much as China is communist. I do understand you see this and other things differently. Tho what requires me to say so is Marxism seeks (like BLM) an equality of outcome not opportunities and that is patently un-American -
If BLM wanted to grow the presence of prosperity for black peoples the opportunities are obviously there, but to not acknowledge the efforts and sacrifices of millions of people to that end and only seeking to point out perceived inequalities based on an un-American ideology isn’t going to bring people together for real change and will only serve to further divide people groups ... history itself proves this. Further this group only pops up during election cycles.

Regarding polling stations... IDK where you got that info but it’s misinformed at best- Over the past few decades there has been a concerted effort by Democrats to “import” voters as they lost control over their lying narrative used to sequester the black population and BLM seeks to regain a stronghold in this regards as historic polling shows that as people in America increase their personal wealth they tend to vote republican, whereas when in an economically challenged position people tend towards democrats. As such the Democratic Party has a vested interest in keeping people poor to secure their votes based on a dependence of government subsidies. It’s actually pretty sick -
President Trump raised the wealth of most all Americans and that presented an existential problem for them that required them to take the extreme measures we are currently experiencing.

If you need me to tell you how President Trump is a Christian then it would be like throwing mud on your head,... like Jesus said, “they have eyes yet they see not” meaning it’s there if you choose to see it .
Act blue bypasses the IRS by leaving the monies “unclaimed” until the required period has passed before directing the funds to there intended parties which are never impoverished black peoples .

In any case, I’ll stop here and say that I love you and have enjoyed our discussion and also very much appreciate your research of the topics being discussed even and especially when we come to different conclusions :)

Mercy, peace, wholeness and holiness to you dear brother 🙏🏻😇


_________________
Fletcher

 2020/6/23 18:51Profile
MichaelLiao
Member



Joined: 2011/4/24
Posts: 194
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

 Re:

Thank you, Brother Fletcher, for engaging with me in discussing this. At the end of the day, we are both in Christ and therefore I see you as my brother! My first and foremost goal is to see the brethren before the ideology. The Supremacy and Centrality of Christ is what truly matters. I do want to be honest though in that I still felt my approach had a mixture of motives. Knowing that I am a young man, I struggle with pride, and I was aware that there was pride in my heart as I had addressed you. As someone who is an aspiring journalist, I know that knowledge puffs up easily for me. I know there are motives in me that "desire to win arguments" and it's not conducive to proper discussion. I'm beginning to be aware of how when I write, I try to make my points as robust as possible in order to win. The BLM subject matter has been a frustrating point for me, and I felt that I did not address you as gently as I thought. That's why being behind a computer screen, no one really sees the motives. Therefore, I wanted to be honest and apologize for not addressing you as graciously as I thought I did. I do ask for your forgiveness, brother. I just want to acknowledge that though I want to communicate in a way that expresses love, there are mixtures within me between the flesh and the Spirit. Lord willing when my spirit becomes more humble, I would be able to discuss these things in a way that bears more of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. May Christ be glorified in you, Brother Fletcher, and please be safe during this pandemic.

Your Servant in Jesus' Name,

- Michael Barnabas Hoy-Kuen Liao


_________________
Michael Liao

 2020/6/23 22:02Profile





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