Recently this handsome young couple, she a Master’s degree candidate in Indiana and he, an immigrant from Zimbabwe, site of some of the world’s worst examples of racial bigotry and violence in this, and the last, century came to her lifelong church home, a Freewill Baptist church in Kentucky to worship with about 50 other people.
Shortly after that, a man named Thompson, identified in news articles as the former pastor of this small church (one need not look hard to see why) decided that for the sake of “unity in the church” and for the “community we serve”, interracial couples should be barred from membership, and any position of service or leadership in the church, including choir participation. He introduced this motion to the members to bring it up to a vote.
In a resounding display of “unity”, about half the church left, apparently never to return, and 21 stayed to vote. The result? The motion carried 9 to 6, with 6 not voting. I don’t know who I am most ashamed of in this, the ones who spinelessly abstained or the ones who voted to carry the motion! There seems to be a large speck to be removed here, in any case.
Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:3-5
That this story has now gone viral from Main Street, U.S.A. to points all over God’s creation as an example of Christian behavior, along the same lines as Koran burnings and the like, is another black eye on the face of Our Lord and us, in a world in which the truth of God’s love for us, exemplified in the death of His Son Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of all our sins, is stopped in its tracks by the unwise behaviors of a few, like Thompson and his disciples.
Plainly, this sort of hateful thinking and behavior should NEVER enter the mind of a Christian, much less be vocalized and justified as Christian behavior. James, half-brother of Jesus may have said it best:
My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. James 2:1
I am a Christian. I was raised to believe that my salvation was the most important thing and that God and my Savior Jesus Christ looked at my heart, not the level of melanin in my pigmentation. Regrettably, thoughts like these have entered my mind in the past, as I am sure they have many of us.
This same kind of thinking was condemned by Jesus Himself when he condemned the Pharisees, wasn’t it? He called them blind guides and told them, as He told everyone, “love thy neighbor as thyself”. Indeed, I have not seen a greater example of the opposite of this cornerstone of Christian behavior in a long time, much less from a church.
Would that all church pastors, and other leaders bring their flocks to repentance of thoughts that lead to this kind of sinful speech and behavior and forge ahead with what God put all of us here to do. To glorify Him and display the fruit of the Spirit that God planted in us through His Son: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.
Have a wonderfully blessed week dear readers!