Junteenth

Juneteenth flag

As we celebrate and reflect on Juneteenth (aka Freedom Day and Emancipation Day), I am thankful for all those who risked their relationships, their employment, their reputation, and even their lives to fight for abolition long before it was popular.

I am grateful for preachers, such as Quaker Benjamin Lay, who bucked the status quo to preach the true message of the Bible, that slavery is sin. I am inspired by their action of ex-communicating slave-traders, and slave owners, from their churches. I am saddened by their all-too-frequent disappointment with those churches and self-described Christians who refused to hear and obey the truth.

I am inspired by businessmen similar to Matthias Baldwin who sacrificed popularity and wealth to make a moral and political stand against slavery. Baldwin hired black workers in his locomotive factory and fought for the African American vote as early as 1837 even though it cost him business in the South.

My creative nature stands in awe of Harriet Beecher-Stowe – daughter of Rev. Lyman Beecher – and how she used her extensive Biblical knowledge and deep passion for the oppressed to weave the tale of Uncle Tom’s Cabin into the most provocative and mind-changing story ever produced in America. The 1852 book and subsequent stage play did more to change the hearts and minds of Americans than any other single action or event.

In the same manner, I am stirred by John Sullivan Dwight, who translated the timeless work “O Holy Night” into English in 1858. He added a verse which pricked the conscience of our nation and called us to righteousness:

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is Love and His gospel is Peace;
Chains shall he break, for the slave is our brother,
And in his name all oppression shall cease,
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful Chorus raise we;
Let all within us praise his Holy name!

I feel blessed by those involved in our national founding, such as Physician and Statesman Benjamin Rush, who–though they could not persuade the majority at the time–planted the early seeds for abolition which were to grow up into freedom and equality for all.

I am astounded by early African American leaders such as Booker T. Washington, George Washington Carver, and Frederick Douglass who leveraged God’s amazing transforming power of grace and forgiveness to create critical positive change not only for the black community but the entire world and all its people. My admiration of them, all they overcame, and all they achieved can not be overstated. They amaze me! I will consider my life successful, if I accomplish just a little of what they did.

Closer to today, I am grateful to have learned from Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. who taught us that love, not hate, is the only thing that will bring lasting change. As I reflect on all these heroes today, one thing in particular fits so perfectly into Pastor King’s worldview. It was not the color of their skin that mattered, it was the content of their character.

May the content of our characters fare as well in our generation.

Happy Juneteenth!

National Prayer Breakfast 2020: Was Trump Acting Christian? Part 2

In my last blog, I addressed some of President Trump’s less-than-Christian remarks at this year’s National Prayer Breakfast. It amazes me how the press, who often disdain everything Christian, quickly judges the worthiness of those who refer to themselves as a believer.

While I agree with the President’s critics that he failed to live up to the high standards called for by Scripture, I also pointed out that all of us fall short of these aspirations. Trump himself acknowledged that he often makes things difficult for believers who support him. The audience laughed with understanding. God is still working on all of us. Thankfully, He doesn’t disown us every time we fail.

Continue reading “National Prayer Breakfast 2020: Was Trump Acting Christian? Part 2”

National Prayer Breakfast 2020: Was Trump Acting Christian? Part 1

When I saw the headlines in my newsfeed last evening, I sighed. President Trump’s remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast were the talk of the airways, and they were not ideal. Less than two days after what was arguably his most presidential speech yet, the president was jumping back in the mud. While the State of the Union Address was controversial, it was missing the petty digs and character assassinations that all too often emerge from Trump’s twitter feeds and off-the-cuff remarks. The Prayer Breakfast seemed to return to business as usual–or so the headlines implied.

Continue reading “National Prayer Breakfast 2020: Was Trump Acting Christian? Part 1”

How the Progressive Left Proves Christianity True

justice-2060093_1920Over the past several years rhetoric against American history, white privilege, gender inequality, Christianity, and more has been championed by secular organizations, college professors, and politicians. The fervor has become increasingly intense. Students violently protest speeches that haven’t even been given yet. Average citizens assault politicians in public restaurants and elevators. Police officers are shot while sitting in their car, and celebrities rant on the nightly news. Continue reading “How the Progressive Left Proves Christianity True”

The First Witness is Always Right… Until – BONUS ARTICLE

Dr. Christine Ford

Can I Get a Witness?

As I watched the trial of the century (albeit not an actual trial) I reflected on Proverbs 18:17; “The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.” (ESV)

Folk Should Know Better

More disconcerting than the actual testimony was the almost giddy speculations coming from people in the news media. You would think that the years of seasoning – necessary to reach the heights of national and international news – they would know better. Are they really that naïve, or are they pushing a carefully crafted narrative on the American people in order to influence them? As frightening as the naiveté scenario is, the narrative one is even worse.

Continue reading “The First Witness is Always Right… Until – BONUS ARTICLE”

Kavanaugh & Ford: Truthful Fiction?

nerve-cell-2213009_1920Is it possible that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford is both lying AND telling the truth? Sound ridiculous? Read on.

While there have been too many theories flying around the past few weeks to keep track, I am surprised by what I haven’t heard. Is it possible that Judge Kavanaugh’s accuser may be honestly lying? Continue reading “Kavanaugh & Ford: Truthful Fiction?”

Prophets and Pharisees Part 5 of 5: Is it About Me or Them?

discussion-2884020_1920The Golden Rule in Scripture teaches us to treat others as we would have them treat us (Matthew 7:12). Unfortunately, the contemporary refrain seems to be either “Do to others before they can do to me,” or “Treat others as they treat me.” We often justify our actions like kindergartners, “He touched me first,” or “She did it too.” Continue reading “Prophets and Pharisees Part 5 of 5: Is it About Me or Them?”

Prophets and Pharisees Part 2 of 5: Is this Kingdom or is this personal?

architecture-3171675_1920In Part 1, “Is it About God or is it About Me?”, we looked at how true prophets must always be concerned that their message is in line with God’s heart and purposes. As people of God, it is incumbent upon us to put God and His Kingdom first instead of ourselves. What does He want? How does it want it accomplished? To be truly effective, we need to die to ourselves, so that Jesus can come alive through us. Continue reading “Prophets and Pharisees Part 2 of 5: Is this Kingdom or is this personal?”