As missionaries, we view the story of the Samaritan woman at the well in John Chapter 4 as a wisdom treasure trove and a template for ministry and missions especially within the context of racial prejudice.
As is the case with pretty much every ethnic conflict, 1st century Samaritans and Jews were diametrically opposed to each other on the basis of race and heritage. The Samaritans lived by Jacob’s well and believed they were God’s righteous people. The Jews in Jerusalem believed the exact opposite. The Samaritans worshiped on Mount Gerizim. The Jews worshiped on Mount Moriah.
Both groups were focused on the fleshy constructs in the name of the kingdom.
Samaria was regarded by the Jews as a racial no go zone kind of like the old “wrong side of the tracks” or “skid row” in the US. In fact, Jews would walk several extra miles around Samaria when journeying between Judea and Galilee just to avoid walking through it.
John 4 says Jesus “needed to go through Samaria.”
Upon arrival, He encountered a disenfranchised adulterous woman at the community well and asked her for a drink. Community wells were a focal point for village social life among women. The same practice can be seen throughout the third world today. That the Samaritan woman was there alone in the heat of the day is an indication of just how ostracized and shame-based she must have been. Not only did Jesus violate the rule that Jews did not talk to Samaritans. But Jewish men, and especially Rabbis did not talk to women at all let alone known serial adulteresses. While both the woman and the disciples were incredulous that Jesus would even acknowledge her presence, He turned around and drank Samaritan water from a Samaritan cup. Anyone involved in third world missions will be familiar with the thoughts that run through one’s mind when handed a cup of potentially bacteria-ridden water to drink. It always comes down to a question of personal well being versus honoring your host.
Honor is the foundational key to opening doors in missions and reconciliation.
Racism, be it rooted in ideas of racial supremacy, purity, or systemic power, is anti-relational at its core in that it denies an individual or group their inherent, God-given dignity in order to dominate them. That Critical Race Theorists and Social Justice Warriors do so for the sake of achieving dominance over those whom they regard as abusively dominant still qualifies as racism. As in the case of any sin, the devil doesn’t care if one is obsessed with continuing to sin or obsessed with not doing it. He just needs sin, not God to be the main focus.
The same applies to the sin of racism.
Jesus repeatedly ignored man’s interpretations of identity, value, culture, and morality. He never debated because He knew what was in man, namely a constant vying for personal prosperity, privilege, and power. Neither did He debate the devil when he tried to tempt Him with power and privilege. That’s not just white people. That’s all people and is a result of the Fall. Sometimes he exposed and firmly rebuked those like Peter, who should have known better than to judge according to the standards of fallen man. More often He simply short-circuited false and or disingenuous arguments with parables and scripture then left people alone to wrestle with the truth before God.
The story of the Samaritan woman is poignant in regard to race and racism because Jesus modeled the correct approach. He honored her in spite of her sin and in the presence of those who normally would not have. He didn’t embark on a long diatribe about inequity or misogyny. He did not engage in a long philosophical and historic apologetic analysis of systemic issues. Neither did He ignore the woman’s sin. He called it out in a very matter of fact way and then directed her attention to Himself.
The end result was a flipped script among everyone present and the transformation of a shame-based and marginalized woman into the first recorded evangelist in the Gospel.
There are so very many lessons and prophetic implications contained within this story. The moral as it relates to racism is that racism is best countered by ignoring all its fleshy social constructs and short-circuiting it with honor in the presence of others. Healing comes with an intense focus on Truth. Jesus was clear.
True worshipers will worship in spirit and in truth. John 4:24
Flesh based socially constructed racism is not possible within that context.
There istherefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.Romans 8:1
Today the gospel and the very definition of truth are under attack within society and the church.
Most people don’t even know it.
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. 2 Cor 10:4-5
There is a false gospel among us hiding under a veil of empathy and compassion.
“But I fear, lest byany means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.” 2 Cor 11:3-4
“I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:” Gal 1
Paul was constantly addressing heresy throughout the course of his ministry. For example, he rebuked the Galatians because as a result of ‘some that troubled them‘, the gospel of Christ was being perverted. He makes it clear that it doesn’t matter who does it, be it a person or an angel from heaven; preaching a false gospel will result in a curse.
“Accommodate means to adapt, to make suitable and acceptable, to make convenient, to adjust to the desires of others to placate, to appease and attract sinners.”
There are well-meaning people twisting the gospel because they allow truth to be determined according to “lived experiences” instead of interpreting lived experiences according to the gospel. Today we are witnessing a perversion of the Gospel in the name of Social Justice.
“Social Justice” is another term for Neo Marxism.
Blessed is he who understands the hidden causes of things.
According to Marxist theory, the proletariat or working class is unfairly dominated or oppressed by the power-wielding bourgeoisie or the wealthy capitalist class. Marx saw these divisions as solely economic. He assumed that the alleged economic repression of the working class would naturally result in their eventual revolt against the capitalist class. He did not take into account that while the rich get richer within capitalism, the poor get richer too. Long story short those adhering to Marxist philosophy realized they needed a different strategy for tearing down the status quo in order to usher in a Marxist utopia. The 1930s saw the advent of “critical theory” developed by a group of sociologists and philosophers known as the Frankfurt School.
Instead of working-class versus capitalist class, contemporary critical theory a.k.a. Critical Race Theory states that society is divided into oppressor versus oppressed groups along lines of race, class, gender, sexuality, etc. Sexism, racism, classism, ageism, heterosexism… are the main forms of oppression. While oppression was traditionally defined along the lines of cruelty, neglect, and violence, etc. Critical Race theory focuses on ways in which the dominant social group, namely older white Christian males, imposes its values and standards, on others for the sake of its own interests. Injustice results from everyday practices of society at large via its normalized language, habits, cultural traditions, and symbols.
Hence the underlying thought process that validates the recent destruction of monuments and statues to include Francis Scott Key and Ulysees S Grant across the United States.
Concepts like objective truth especially objective moral truth which is foundational to Biblical truth, are viewed as Western ways of thinking created and maintained by older white Christian men to preserve their “white privilege”. Critical Race Theory assumes that people never seek truth for truth’s sake. Instead, every social interaction amounts to a vying for power. If someone asserts a truth claim the first question is not “is this claim true?” and “are there data and facts that support this argument?” but rather “what incentive does this person have in making this claim?” Hence the abject futility of confronting a committed Critical Race Theorist / Social Justice Warrior with data and facts. Their response will invariably be along the lines of
“IFEELlike you are saying, think, mean…. etc.”
While you are trying to identify the truth. Their entire world view is rooted in POWER.
Critical Race Theory has so many layers, terms, and concepts like Interest Convergence, Positional Epistemology, Standpoint Epistemology, Grievance Justice, Research Justice, Deconstruction, Intersectionality, and the most recent Cancel Culture movement.
As Christians, we should familiarize ourselves with these things because thanks to postmodern theory, reality itself is now viewed as being completely subjective such that we can’t even assume that we are speaking the same language.
As missionaries, we understand the three primary cultural paradigms
Now we have a fourth that seeks to twist all three, namely “Privileged and Oppressed” forming right under our noses. As Stuart Greaves, the leader of IHOP’s Twenty Four Hour prayer room and author of False Justice said, this generation of Social Justice warriors are being prepared to usher in the antichrist.
For example, while equity in society traditionally refers to equity of treatment particularly in regard to “opportunity” where individual outcomes are primarily determined by competence, Critical Race Theory is focused on the equity of outcomes. Competence models are viewed as being rooted in privilege and are therefore a form of oppression.
Suppose an average white male from a middle-class family whose nonminority status precludes him from certain types of financial aid works three part-time jobs, sleeps an hour a day, and eats Ramen noodles for eight years while putting himself through medical school. We used to call people like this inspiring role models. According to modern Critical Race Theorists, he only succeeded as a result of his inherent white privilege. Therefore he needs to do his anti-racism work, atone for his privilege, and become an ally committed to equity. What this amounts to is the monetization of a “victim status” and the obliteration of resilience.
That is Marxism.
Any committed Critical Race Theorist who tells you otherwise is deceived or they are lying.
Of course, being that there is no objective truth or objective moral law this statement will only confirm your guilt.
I could go on unraveling the subtly twisted, constantly morphing nuances of critical race theory. It’s a never-ending, journey down a rabbit hole to what looks to me like hell. If you want to read more on the history of Critical race theory I recommend starting with the Derrick Bell Reader. That said, rather than subject you to another 1500 words in an attempt to narrow it all down, I made a two and half minute animated summary of the most relevant epistemological concerns for the church.
Trauma is real. It happens to individuals. It is healed in the context of individual relationships, counseling, therapy, and ultimately by God. As a former counselor, I am definitely supportive of helping individuals heal. I do not deny that racism is real. It is a sin for which repentance is required. The fact remains that the contemporary Critical Race Theory of Derrick Bell was birthed out of very real trauma stemming from the horrendous and unjust history of American slavery along with the absolutely valid concerns regarding racial injustice and systemic inequality for people of color and women during the late 1950s into the 1970s. Many of Bell’s concerns were valid especially at the time when he was a black professor of law at Harvard. He even made a decent case for slavery reparations based on the fact that the descendants of slaves were robbed of the inheritance they might have received had slaves been paid for their labor.
This is blog is not about pointing fingers at people or groups. It‘s about epistemology.
The problem for the Church today begins with modern Critical Race Theory’s approach and doctrinal emphasis on the collective rather than the individual. It focuses on deconstruction rather than construction. Instead of solving problems by improving the existing system, it seeks to throw the proverbial baby out with the bathwater by canceling culture, reinterpreting scripture, and eliminating the status quo a.k.a “the patriarchy”. Unfortunately for them, Christianity is patriarchy. Its author and ruler is our Father in Heaven. The biblically aligned marriage and its patriarchal structure is a model for Christ’s relationship with His church. While Critical Race Theory ignores the fact that the chronic absence of fathers in inner-city homes is at the root of problems like gangs and black on black murder. The solution is not the abolition of the patriarchy but for men to fulfill their God-given calling and authority in the family and society at large.
I know that probably ticks some people off.
Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.Col 2:8
The gospel rooted in Critical Race Theory otherwise known as the social justice gospel is a false gospel.
It is as subtle as it is pervasive in that it rarely overtly opposes the true gospel on scriptural and, epistemological grounds. Instead, it relies on appeals to emotion.
Please try and suspend your emotions and think logically as you read this next part.
The recent death of George Floyd at the hands of the police is a good example. The method of restraint was clearly unjust, and Floyd did not deserve to die. The actions of the White, Black, Asian, and Hispanic officers now charged with murder may have been driven by race. But at the time of this writing, it has yet to be proven in a court of law. Given that they didn’t flinch at being filmed by multiple people they obviously believed they were acting within their rights and scope of authority. As it turns out Floyd may have had multiple illegal drugs in his system and it has not been confirmed in a court of law that his death was caused by the officer rather than a drug-induced heart attack. This is why we have the Sixth Amendment of the Constitution.
However, the officers have already been tried and convicted in the media and court of public opinion. The sentence is being carried out on police and property across the nation. Meanwhile, much of the church has enshrined Floyd as a role model for youth and memorialized him with the likes of Martin Luther King as a godly Christian man martyred at the hands of systemic racism and white privilege.
In this case the exact opposite is being played out.
The content of George Floyd’s character is being ignored because of the color of his skin.
Meanwhile, gutless accommodating purveyors of a false gospel are taking a knee before the image of Floyd and repenting for their white privilege while supporting a narrative based on a lie that black people are being genocidally murdered by police every day. They are not. Last year 48 police officers were feloniously killed in the line of duty as compared with 9 unarmed blacks and 20 unarmed whites who were shot and killed by police. The true gospel says truth matters.
Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them. Eph 5:6
The first indication that you are dealing with an accomodating false gospel is a leader who caters to people’s feelings and accommodates falshood.
Jesus was clear.
The knowledge of the truth is what setsus free. John 8:32
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.” Rom 3:10-18
Another common indication is the overwhelming emphasis on the word “justice”. While racism is sin and justice is certainly part of God’s plan, the false Justice Gospel emphasizes justice within the context of society and society’s standards while excluding personal righteousness before God. Their idea of righteousness is synonymized with justice brought about by the will of man.
That is Critical Race Theory
Biblical righteousness is the righteousness of Jesus Christ that we walk in because we are grafted in John 15:5 and are then granted supernatural power to be obedient to His word. Rom 8:1-5
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of Your throne; Mercy and truth go before Your face. Psalm 89:14
Righteousness precedes justice. There is no justice apart from righteousness. This is where we see Critical Race Theory seeping into the church in the form of misinterpreted and misapplied grace. The overwhelming focus is on perceived, often factually invalid, injustice toward what the new religion of Intersectionality identifies as oppressed groups. Calling so-called oppressed people to repent or face eternity in hell is viewed as legalistic, insensitive “and probably some form of ‘ist’ or “istic” when “grace” is what is required.
Meanwhile, the definition of grace has shifted to align with the world’s definition. While the true gospel understands grace to mean the undeserved gift made available to us as a result of Jesus’s propitiation for the sin of all mankind on the cross, grace within the social justice movement means tolerance for or even the condoning of sin. The Bible is clear regarding those who do not repent.
Now the works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. Gal 5:19 -21
Another subtle indicator is the politicization of Jesus is rooted in the belief that Jesus was unjustly crucified. They say Jesus conquered IN SPITE of the cross as they correlate His suffering with some Intersectional oppressed group today. In truth, He was born to die on the cross as a final sacrifice in fulfillment of prophecy and the law. Jesus conquered THROUGH the cross as a result of His submission to it. We often wonder how today’s Christian SJWs would have reacted had they been present when Jesus was crucified. Today we have allegedly spirit-filled Christians in the streets acting as the hands and feet of Jesus while preaching “a new gospel narrative”. In reality, they are deceived by Leaven of Herod which is a political spirit Mk 8:15.
The false social justice gospel always looks to worldly solutions in the name of Jesus as they politize His name. All one needs to do is read publications like “Sojourners”, Jim Wallaces Progressive Christianity magazine, to see that progressive Christianity is a political monster financed and driven by organizations like the Open Societies Foundations.
But that’s a subject for another time.
The bible says Jesus “was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin” Heb 4:15 I can only imagine the thoughts and temptations that Jesus wrestled with before God in the Garden of Gethsemane while sweating His own blood and begging His Father to remove the cup of suffering from Him. After all, He could have fulfilled the hopes of the apostles and conquered the Roman Empire, with a single word. Yet he was submissive and obedient unto death. Isaiah 53:10 He is our example in the midst of oppression and injustice.
If I am correct and we have entered into the beginning of sorrows Mat 24:8 then the next step in the process is that we are to be delivered up to be killed. Of course, I don’t have a timeline. My point is that it will most certainly represent a clear violation of our constitutional rights. The Social Justice gospel has us demanding and perhaps fighting for global worldly justice. The true gospel has us preaching repentance, the coming Kingdom, and being led like lambs to slaughter for doing so.
Jesus was a Refugee
False justice gospel exegesis is forever correlating Jesus with refugees, “Jesus was a refugee” they say because Joseph and Mary had to flee to Egypt. Mat 2 or that He had no place to lay His head. Luke 9:58 But Mat 2 is the story of God’s supernatural intervention and preservation of Jesus, not His victimhood and His intersection with an oppressed class. Jesus’s reference to Daniel 7 in Luke 9:58 was a proclaimtion of His deity, humility and rejection of worldly methods and comforts.
Jesus was a man of color
The false justice gospel is forever obsessed with Jesus’s ethnicity. “Jesus was a man of color”, or “Jesus was a black man!” they say as they compare and correlate Him with the racial conflicts of today. While we might surmise that Jesus was olive-skinned based on His Palestinian geographical origins, the Bible says very little about what He looked like.
He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him. He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. Isaiah 53:2-3
Jesus was the Word that became flesh and dwelt among us. John 1:14 He didn’t intersect with an oppressed class. He was God who intersected with all of mankind who stand equally guilty of oppressing Him through the voluntary rejection of Himself and His law. That’s a hard pill for some to swallow.
There is no wisdom or understanding Or counsel against the LORD. Pro 21:30
Social Justice is obsessed with “isms” and “ists”
When you see one, beware! For example, the false justice gospel calls Jesus a feminist because He honored women. Of course, He did. They bear his image. But Jesus came for all of mankind. As I explained in the above video, Intersectionality is the offspring of radical feminist ideology that seeks dominance and power rather than equality with their fellow image-bearers Gen 1:26. Image bearers who stand equally guilty as God’s enemies until they turn to Him, repent and live according to His word. Rom 5:10.
The false social justice gospel is the “yeah but” gospel. “Yeah I know what scripture says but…” These people are often on fire with regard to things like healing, prosperity, and prophetic words. But trusting God with their lives and especially their families by remaining obedient to His word amidst the possibility of persecution and death is an entirely different thing. The true gospel is clear,
“all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” 2 Tim 3:12
The false gospel places personal opinion and revelation above the word of God. It says I am made in the image of God, I am filled with His spirit, his laws are written on my heart. I hear His voice. If what I hear and think appears to conflict with His word it’s only because you don’t see and hear and therefore do not understand as I do. My lived experience as a black, brown, female, ist, ism …child of God informs my righteousness. What I feel is right; is right. What I feel is wrong; is wrong. It is my job as a Christian to make the wrongs I see right.
That is Critical Race Theory.
There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.
The Bible says “…lean not on your own understanding In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths. Do not be wise in your own eyes.”Prov 3:5-7
Wise in our own eyes results in a “yeah but” gospel that embraces almost everything except obedience.
Obedience comes with a cost. Romans 13 is an example.
“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.”
Yeah but what? There are avenues to petition the courts and government. There are ways to effect changes in-laws. There are laws that already address certain issues that are not enforced. We elected a black president twice. Killing police, looting and burning businesses are inexcusable. Sympathizing with the criminals who do it while supporting a false persecution narrative based on an intentional and culturally programmed belief in oppression while ignoring the sin that has them on a fast track to hell is neither loving nor Biblical. The false gospel says it is the church’s job to comfort and appease people even if they are lying to themselves and others. The true gospel says they need to repent and that it is the church’s job to call it out. Is that an unpopular message? You’d better believe it is. It got Jesus killed. The bible says it is going to kill a lot of us who remain faithful.
And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Rev 12:11
The Social Justice gospel only points the finger and is devoid of gratitude.
Two of our friends in Cabo Delgado Mozambique where we previously served have been crying out to us for prayer because people are being tortured and murdered by Muslim extremists. One of thier friends was just killed in the fighting. Forgive us if we feel a bit angry at what is clearly a twisted and manipulative bid for power masquerading as caring for Black Lives.
The fact is that no SJW ever acknowledges the blessings of being born in America. They are entitled brats masquerading as victims. But not to worry. Jesus declared a principle that mainly applies to knowledge of the Kingdom. But I think it applies to other principles as well.
Principles like, gratitude.
“For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him.” Mat 13:12
Grateful people usually end up with more to be grateful for. Those without gratitude usually lose what they have.
I get the sense that a lot of entitled people are about to lose what they didn’t realize they had.
The false gospel is consumed with the here and now. Its adherents are consumed with free economic benefits and politics. It always demands immediate justice. But rarely calls its adherents to immediate repentance before God for their own sins. Rather it points the finger outward and demands eternal penance from others for their privilege. The Bible says
If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory. Col 3:1-4
False gospel messages may allude to biblical principles and cite misinterpreted scriptures but the exegesis itself does not refer to, nor is it supported by actual scripture. Instead, it relies on personal experience, personal revelation, politics, and Appeals to Emotion. The true gospel insists on an Acts 17:11 verification of truth according to scripture because
AllScripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness. 2 Timothy 3:16
These are just a few of the subtle roots and signs that you are dealing with a false gospel. There many others. In fact, more are being generated every day. That said the most profound and overt indication that you have come face to face with a false Gospel is a movement that is growing by leaps and bounds. It is a movement that calls itself
The WOKE Church.
While there is an attempted Eph 5:14 true gospel rebuttal underway on the part of people like Erich Mason and Voddie Baucham, “Woke” is a term straight out of Critical Race Theory. A Woke Christian is a person who identifies and owns the inherent sin of racism within themselves and their church and is willing to do their life long “anti-racism work” in the name of diversity. On the surface, it sounds almost reasonable and embracing of Psalms 139:23-24,
Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
However, it’s purpose is to appeal to the inner shame of the Carnal man regarding God’s blessings that SJWs claim are the sole result of one’s privilege. The true gospel says that one of God’s purposes in blessing us is that our thanksgiving(should)abound to the glory of God. 2 Cor 4:14-15 Gratitude to God for His blessings is a form of worship. But the social Justice gospel demands we atone for God’s blessings.
This cultist indoctrination that is pervading academia, the workplace and now the church, glues people and their identities to a victim group instead of “in Christ” Eph 2:6. It is a satanic Rev 12:10katēgoréō (categorization) that manipulates people into feeling guilty for things they never did. It is a method for corraling and controlling people in the name of Godly justice.
It is neither Godly nor just. It is a lie from the pit of Hell cloaked in pseudo loving charismania.
Its extreme end game looks like this this.
Now more than ever we must “study to shew (ourselves) approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Tim 2:15
Of course, Psalm 139 always applies. If you are a racist than you darn well better repent. That said, my inner man keeps saying “objection your honor!” each time I am accused of white privilege etc. Then I realized I should be yelling “PROJECTION!” We Bible-believing Christians need to employ a favorite apologetic tactic known as “apply the claim to itself”.
If you encounter a person primed and ready to accuse you of some unwarranted “ist” or “ism” simply tell them,
“Own your own ism.”
You have no knowledge or authority when it comes to my “lived experience.”
We were with South Sudanese Refugees in the Rhino Refugee camp in Northern Uganda when our team was asked to address leaders from multiple tribes several of whom had previously fought one another in the ongoing civil war. Unity was the theme. We were all assigned a time slot in which to teach. I felt completely inept and I don’t remember anything said by our team only one South Sudanese leader, a former child soldier and “Lost Boy” who stood up at the end and proclaimed,
“There is no good tribe! There are no good people!There is only one who is good! That one is Jesus!” He went on to say, “We must forgive. We must turn the other cheek. We must love our enemy!”
After praying with a woman whose child had just died Cathy asked the man with whom she was walking. “How do you cope with all this pain?”“We have nothing…” He smiled as he continued,
“…but we have Jesus!”
These doctors, nurses, lawyers engineers, teachers, professors, and preachers in the camp never imagined they’d end up living in the dust with their children in scorching heat without food or water for days at a time. They never imagined that at least one of their children would die every day due to starvation or a lack of medical care. Now they understood the futility of human resolutions and justice. Now they were on fire for God in the spirit of 2 Chron 7:14.
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
I can not even describe how much we loved these people.
If there is any other place we would most like to serve as missionaries it would be there in the dust with Jesus.
I recently wrote a blog about the Fourth Turning by two historians who observed an Ecclesiastes 1:9 and Chapter 3 cycle in American history. They identified a pattern where a new era, a season, or “Turning” emerges every 20 -25 years. Four turns or seasons amount to a Saeculum or the length of a long lifetime. If you are unfamiliar with the Fourth Turning you can get the breakdown here Character.
Here are a few highlights.
“Sometime before the year 2025, America will pass through a great gate in history, commensurate with the American Revolution, Civil War, and twin emergencies of the Great Depression and World War II.”
“…The risk of catastrophe will be very high. The nation could erupt into insurrection or civil violence, crack up geographically, or succumb to authoritarian rule…”
“ …Through much of the Third Turning, we have managed to postpone the reckoning. But history warns that we can’t defer it beyond the next bend in time…”
The Reckoning is Here
We were in the beginning stages of the Corona crisis when I said I believed we are in another 4th Turn Crisis that will ultimately culminate in another 1st Turn High.
I want to scream every time I read things like the over 74 people shot one of whom was a 5-year-old in Chicago on, and immediately following Memorial Day weekend. What happened to George Floyd was dead wrong. But where is the logic? Where is BLM when scores of black people are being killed by black people in inner cities every day?!
Why do black lives only matter when a white person takes a black life?
I don’t see how we move forward without first identifying the truth regarding all the bogus agendas. Lately, I’ve been battling a temptation to make another appeal to critical thinking on social media. I wrote about cognitive dissonance in The Devil Went Down to Georgia. The problem is that the agendas of man are at the center of everything and emotion in King. Suffice it to say that given the reactions I received, things probably would not have gone well for me if I were saying all this in the street. Luckily I am safe in Honduras. How’s that for irony?
the problme is that too many refuse to see, hear, and be confronted with facts.
Either you agree and “virtue signal” your approval or you are regarded as the enemy.
I was living on my own by the age of 14. I understand the temptation to hate, to succumb to fear, and the trauma that arises out of violence. I’ve been robbed at gunpoint and beaten down by a mob. I’ve had my nose broken, jaw broken and my neck fractured. As a young adult, I lived in a neighborhood full of crack houses and nightly gunfire. My ex-wife was raped by a gang of black men and our house was burned to the ground. The difference is that I never once blamed it on the perpetrators being black. Instead, I blamed it on crack!
Besides, most people said we deserved it. After all, I was a drunk and my ex-wife was a heroin addict.
My healing came years later when I surrendered to Jesus, repented before God and forgave man.
Now I’m supposed to get on my knees and repent to man for being created white?!
Then the Lord spoke to my heart.
This is exactly what the enemy wants; everyone acting like donkeys instead of horses. When threatened, donkeys look outward to focus on an enemy and then proceed to kick each other. Horses look inward and do the opposite.
I’ll let you decide which one applies.
Like a lot of people I was getting sucked into a world over which I have no control, and of which I am not supposed to be a part.
Even so, I am human and it can hard to avoid. That’s why God gave us His Word. I don’t know about you but Cathy and I are in a season of Sola Scriptura because
sound doctrine is being sacrificed on an altar of secular humanism masquerading as love and Holy Spirit.
Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.Mat 24:4-5
It seems like this fits the definition of a contemporary secular social justice warrior, more than some poor nut job claiming to be God.
“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows.”Mat 24:6-8
Ethnos is the Greek word for nation.
Ethnos means people group. It is the word from which we derive the English word ethnicity.
For Ethnos will rise against Ethnos
And there will be famines, pestilences…
Global deaths due to hunger are predicted to double this year thanks to “wars and rumors of wars“, and ongoing pestilences like Ebola, COVID, and locusts in Africa and Eurasia to name a few.
and earthquakes in various places.
According to the NOAA and the National Disaster Database there has been a 400% percent increase in yearly natural disasters since 1970.
As for the character of people; Paul nailed it again.
“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves,
lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away! For of this sort are those who creep into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins, led away by various lusts, always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith; but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.” 2 Timothy 3:1-9
Furthermore, Jesus warned us to avoid the leaven of Herod which is the politicization of a spiritual issue.Mk 8:15
There is a whole lot of rebellion and Herodic leavening going on today.
“For the time is coming when people will not endure sound doctrine, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions.”2 Tim 4:3
There is a famine of sound doctrine.
To paraphrase a comment on a recent blog that I read,
“The problem started when we stopped teaching our children right from wrong and began discussing it instead”
Today there are growing numbers of Christians who pursue Jesus but seek identity in everything but Him. There is lip service to the Word. But individual actions demonstrate an identity and faith more rooted in worldly things like psychology, the enneagram, and postmodern political solutions to spiritual problems. There is a celebration of God’s power when He heals a headache, but a deference to the world’s methods the moment God doesn’t come through as expected. There is a cherry-picking of scripture to fit an unbiblical narrative supporting a path to justice in a Postmillennial kingdom of heaven on earth. Most are sincere and not even aware that they are in error. Still, others are blinded by resentment and pride. This latter group is growing fast.
The error is rooted in an interpretation of reality according to experience instead of experiences according to the Word of God.
Jesus has become a social justice warrior within instead of the substitutionary, propitiation for sin. This movement is obsessed with worldly justice. As a result, it has become a friend of the world James 4:1-4 in unwitting opposition to the scheduled fulfillment of biblical prophecy regarding God’s redemption of man and the reestablishment of His Kingdom on earth as it is in Heaven. Its priests and prophets are the likes of Antifa and Black Lives Matter. The media is their pulpit and smartphones their sanctuary. It is fraught with anxiety, and a false understanding of John 13:35Koinonia. This movement emphasizes fellowship with the body at the expense of Truth. It pursues consensus, comfort, and validation in lieu of conviction. It’s adherents expect to be seen, heard, and pursued. Questioning them is regarded as harsh, intolerant and unloving, sexist, or racist. While the outward compassion of this group may manifest “a form of godliness, it denies its power”. 2 Tim 3:5 The growing Deconstructionist movement and the subsequent abandonment of the faith by so many should be no surprise as self-centered, worldly expectations of a narcissistic generation become impossible for a headless body to fulfill.
Paul was clear that this must happen as well.
“Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first…” 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3
As for the current chapter in the ethnos versus ethnos conflict…
Even TD Jakes recently admitted “we are in the last days” and said “this is not about black and white. It’s about right and wrong.”
He also said, “We need truth”.
We do need truth.
“Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, has been cast down.” Rev 12:10
The Greek word for ACCUSER in this verse is katēgoréō. It is the word from which we get the English word
Satan literally categorizes us before our God day and night.
His minions in the media and the streets are doing the same.
Black and White are categories.
They are not identities.
Not Godly ones anyway.
If you are really a Christian then your identity is in Christ. Eph 2:4-6
The job of those in Christ is to preach the Gospel to every Ethnos and invite them in.
Judgment and the sword of justice will come with Jesus when He returns. And for the record, Isaiah 61 isn’t talking about narcissistic Christians anointed to bring forth justice on their own.
Its a prophecy about the anointing and justice of Jesus.
In the meantime…
It doesn’t matter if its the cop who killed George Floyd, George Floyd, Ahmad Arbery, or the father and son who killed him. It doesn’t matter if its an abusive black cop, white cop, Hispanic cop, Asian cop, or a BLM member shooting at cops in the streets. It could be a SJW repenting for white privilege, the thug beating up the SJW, or the Antifa methhead throwing Molotov cocktails at SJWs in a suburb. They could be looting a home or defending a store. Jesus said we will all spend eternity in hell unless we repent to God.
“Do you suppose that these Galileans were worse sinners than all other Galileans because they suffered such things? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Luke 13:1-5
The desire to repent and power to forgive is a true sign and wonder that follows the preaching of the Gospel.
All our empathy, virtue signaling, inner healing, and understanding of enneagrams isn’t going to change a thing. All the repentance for being created white won’t help either. It just perpetuates a false worldly narrative. All the protesting and demands for reparations, all the secular counseling, committees, political parties, and political solutions in the world will never bring an end to racism and true social justice to fruition. That’s because secular justice is of the world and according to the flesh.
In case you didn’t know or forgot, it was the myth of Jewishprivilege that justified the Holocaust in the minds of German Nazis.
Secular justice simply tips the scales in the opposite direction.
Biblical justice is the ministry of reconciliation.
Reconciliation is not appeasement.
“From now on, therefore, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we once regarded Christ according to the flesh, we regard him thus no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”2 Cor 5:11-21
One thing is certain. God is no respecter of individual differences or the ways in which we categorize each other. His only categories are those who love Him and obey His commandments versus those who don’t. Acts 10:34-35
For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
As for us, we are on our knees with broken hearts. This is a season of Lamentation. We need to learn to sit in the dust and lament instead of taking to the streets in protest, to pursue the knowledge of Christ and Him crucified so that we may do our best, incompetent as we are, to disciple the Ethnos God puts in our path. Mat 28:19
Even so, the only prayer we seem to be able to pray is
Well it’s been a long time coming but it should come as no surprise to those who know us well that we are giving all to become full time missionaries.
Granted we’ve been short term missionaries in Honduras since 2008, however this different.
We have also run a faith based transitional home and lived with furloughed inmates since 2005 which probably seems crazy enough to most, however we’ve always had financial security, and a place to lay our heads in a paradise that most people only dream of visiting. In a word we have lived the proverbial American dream.
Giving everything up now in hopes of serving the poorest of the poor in the most impoverished and worn torn corners of the world might sound like foolishness to some. However this has been our dream since before we were married. In fact we have both known since we were children that we were made for this day.
As Christians we are called to live and walk by faith. There’s really nothing in the bible that even hints that we should play it safe. In fact Jesus gave us the formula for success. Those who will lose their lives for His sake will gain true life. And so we are going. We are going with a goal of loving the lost and unloved in hopes of one day becoming love ourselves. This is our theory. This our plan. To be perfectly honest we don’t really know what that looks like or even means at this point. We are simply stepping out with child like faith, knowing only that we know nothing especially in terms of what lies ahead. We are only certain that God has called us to a deeper place, a place of knowing Him more, a place of acquaintance with His sorrows and with those sorrows, an unspeakable joy that we know will be our inheritance if we remain obedient to His call.
We will be departing Kauai to attend the IRIS Global Harvest School of Missions in Pemba Mozambique on Oct 4th. This is a turning point and not just an event. God willing we will eventually be in places like South Sudan, Honduras and wherever the Lord calls us from here on out.
Follow us here if you’d like periodic updates as we journey deeper into the heart of God and endeavor to love Him by loving His children here on earth.