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September 27, 2020 1:56 am
In this episode, both James and Willis simply share their own experiences and what they’ve learned along the way. It’s our prayer that simple, beautiful conversations like this could become more frequent.
Hi this is breathing welcome to the Salvation Army's words of life. Welcome back the words of life and hello to you Cheryl good morning Bernie how are you I'm doing great and I trust you are to last week we started a three week series on unity and for some of our longtime listeners. You may have heard a familiar voice.
We talked about this last week Commissioner how used to be an announcer. I actually took his job, while not because he was doing bad but he went on to the New Zealand and Fiji territory they had taken on additional assignments or overseas assignments and they loved it while they were there, but now that they're back. It's exciting because here in the USA South for the Salvation Army.
We think of will, some Barbara's friends. They there are leaders they are the CEOs or presidents of of the Salvation Army's organization, but there's no separation really there very personable in the way that they train their officers and the expectations they put on relationship. Ryan is is refreshing to me absolutely in this episode of the beauty of this conversation is that it's just too officers simply sharing their stories in their hearts and their experiences together and you know it's our prayer that we can have more of these type of conversations. I think relationship is one of the strongest weapons we have against racism and author named Meg Wheatley once said, you can't hate someone whose story you know absolutely know that doesn't mean we have to agree with something that someone's telling us.
I think we have to measure what's being said against what we know as truth in the word of God's Christian people. People who subscribe to the Scriptures of the old and New Testament, but that ability to come alongside them and and be relational. I think will help build a lot of bridges I did to you and I think it's about right. Listening more and not being so quick to judge and to speak into something and really coming on common ground in regards to our own stories and stories look alike but being able to listen and to hear and to to allow some some of that to penetrate our own hearts will will solve a lot of things we hope that as you listen to Commissioner and the tenant talk about their own stories. You will be encouraged to do similar things with people in your neighborhood where here today then speaking about unity, but what it looks like in our story how the lack of unity has impacted us in a negative way and how we've learned how to bring unity through Jesus in our lives. I'd be interested in starting with your story first start off by saying I am going to sue indigenous and I am African-American so these two cultures that I live in is absolutely beautiful. I think that there are amazing and I've gotten to see the impact of both cultures and how it looks like in our American experience. Most of my ideas about what racism is through experience.
At 15 I was placed in handcuffs, going to the mailbox. I was devastated and the police officer said it was a brown man around your height. I was being racially profiled, and didn't ask questions. They just put me in the car and I remember my father coming outside of the house and say I'm just going to get the mail was going on.
Now you are you doing and that brought me to tears because I had to deal with is my skin color curse is something that I want to pass on to my children or should I even have children you know and those were questions that women went on in my mind from around 15 to 17 was has been cursed with Milliman as this is is a bad thing has my culture curse me in my existence and I had to have deep conversations with my dad about it now, and he had told me about his experience because him growing up. He grew up in a bit of the late 40s and 50s, and he had conversations with me about how going to school walking 2 1/2 miles like kids with the rocks at him and called him the N-word and that right there said it made him not want to go to school and not go and get his education so every time I see him struggle with the word on the page I'm reminded that racism because that is really caused them to not even pursue his education. He preferred has deeply impacted me in ways that maybe I don't even know what I'm so compelled to actually bring unity because that needs to stop.
To say that we are in the era of civil unrest or time of civil unrest is not.
It is just simply we are placing the camera at the problem now like people have their cell phones on them they can literally record it everywhere and I will being able to see what is happening but is been there on the surface and it's it still goes back to what my dad said he said racism is not in the past is here now and how do we tackle as long as there are people who have differences. The door is wide open for one or the other to save my differences in some way, shape, manner or form, make me better than superior to a cut above you and so that's that's the nature of pride which is we talked about last time is at the core of sin. One of the main jobs of the church is to model the unity that Christ came to help deliver to us and I want to reference us just for a moment in our discussion to Ephesians chapter 4 where Paul stresses under the under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. He's leaning into this telling believers listen folks be completely humble well that's the antithesis of pride is to be completely humble and gentle. Be patient, bearing with one another in love. And then he says this in verse three. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit.
The idea behind it.
It's not going to be out. We just agree so it's just going to talk about know we gotta work at it.
We got to keep. We got a protected we got to watch over. We got to guarded, because it's precious in the church we don't do a good job about modeling what oneness looks like you will never build unity just around the idea of unity in the church we will only build unity when we build around in center on Christ himself. What does division look like in the church and how has the church been divided by Satan's plot schemes but also own flesh you hit on something there.
This is part of Satan strategy, unconvinced, and if I can look at our own group of Christians for a moment that offer a bit of an indictment. I think that we have more than our share. Certainly more than our quota of lazy Christians who do not recognize that we are engaged in spiritual warfare and we have an enemy who works to exactly as you're saying to divide to separate us off anytime you see that the nature shows on TV with with the predator in the herd of whatever it is that the predators are looking to get one often to cause division amongst the herd as long as they stay together. Another route used earlier as long as they are cohesive as long as they have in the good sense the herd mentality not on the mindless sense, but as long as they have the herd mentality where I watch out for you. You watch out for me. I got your back, you got my back. We are standing back to back.
In fact, ready any and all comers, because I know that James is going to handle things there, and James. I'm hoping would know that on the handle any attack. This way we often times think that church is just this nice sentimental thing that we do just to get our blessing and feel good about ourselves know it's meant to help equip us in this battle that is spiritual warfare and the enemy is doing a very fine job of dividing us in order that we might be conquered. Just how do we feel about the state of race in America right now and I know we are speaking to a broad audience, but we have to address this feeling that only of America but also in in our churches that we've allowed Satan to dipper date the hearts and minds about people in heaven equip them to get out of their comfort zones and connect with people. So how do you feel about race in America right now. I know that I can answer the broad question about race in America because people are different and they do have different views they do have different ideologies and unless and until they are in a relationship with Christ. They have no reason to look for common ground will actions that have no reason they don't have as much reason as believers do is my opinion and so if they are outside of a relationship with Christ. There is nothing in their job description says we should find common ground. If the church could do a better job of modeling unity, oneness and cohesion to the point that causes the world to sit up and say this doesn't make sense. I'm seeing these people who are so different but they get along.
I want to know about that because I'd like some of that. I think the I think the weight is on our shoulders.
I would say I would answer the question by saying what happens when the world is a better job showing diversity than we are in our own steeples.
We have to be intentional as the church to set the example, the president that we are going to follow Jesus first and foremost, and as such, make disciples of all nations. Every nation, tribe and tongue not being inhibited by our own ideologies. I will own personal views or or even people who look like us.
It has to be a pursuit that were taking every single day to share the love of Jesus, regardless of somebody's political party, regardless of somebody's melanin content regardless of somebody's ideologies.
We have to make sure that we simplify Jesus we go back into the woman at the well right if you you see this the shouldn't of been the conversation that happened but Jesus disciples in the divide right where this lady is he is right where she's in her meds and the shame and all of these type of things. He is meeting her where she is and saying you know what will give you a drink of water. That's everlasting will not run out.
We have to do that. That's our calling it is. That's why it is a co-mission. Yeah yeah has to go beyond because I believe Christians were so content with just kind interactions rather than deep in intentional discipleship and when we are just okay with you. I smiled at a person. I gave them a tip and I just said hello. You know these things are relational. It's not we have to pause in the pain with individuals and I believe this with the church has to do right now is to say to their black brothers and sisters that we pause in the pain we weep with you. But understand that that's not enough is going to require action is going to be require walking alongside you being more than just a stat line but a chance to share each other's hearts and lives.
That's how we create true unity. The Salvation Army's mission doing the most good means helping people with material and spiritual needs to become a part of this mission every time you give to the Salvation Army visit Salvation Army USA.org to offer your support and love to hear from you.
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