A Letter To Us, Grace Midtown Church

To Grace Midtown Church, to my beloved brothers and sisters who I care for tremendously. From Housefires worship night to CONNECT Team to softball games, we are family now and forever. I write to you with a heavy heart that has been increasing in weight for two years now. It is important to note that this letter comes after talking with the three main church pastors (two of whom I met with twice) and ultimately informing them that I will be telling others.

There is no perfect church or person. My fear of the Lord causes me to love the people of Grace, the pastors of Grace, and the LGBTQ community so much that I cannot be selfishly silent on this any longer. It does not bring me joy to write this letter about what is occurring in our church. The tearful wrestle to write this comes after continual unfortunate instances of sin and false teaching from some of our church people.

I do not write this while pridefully standing on a mountaintop, but I write this while kneeling in a valley crying next to a cross.

This is not a letter of judgment or condemnation. It is an informative, cautionary letter to us all. Let us remember James 5:16, 1 Corinthians 5:12, Proverbs 27:17, and especially Luke 17:1-4. God doesn’t want modified behavior. He wants to transform the heart so that the out-coming behavior is different. He does this via the Holy Spirit AND Gospel community.

 

What is happening?

For summation sake this will focus on homosexuality (although sexual sin, drunkenness, universalism, and a lack of qualified leadership are all serious worries that have been brought up to the church staff by myself and others over time).

Note: The universalism piece is huge but will not be addressed. However, we have several people in church claiming that Jesus is not the only way. Some others claiming that there isn’t a Hell. But I digress. 

As we may or may not know, our church, for various reasons, has no “official stated stance” on homosexuality. But silence alone can be enabling. For example, to not speak against racism is indeed allowing racism. It is sin from omission. This passive avoidance on the topic (coupled with sexual sin and a lack of accountability) has caused many damaged hearts and frustrated souls over the years. With there being silence on this topic you’d assume the pendulum to be in the middle “neutral” zone. To the contrary, there are MANY examples where people in our church aired on the side of embracing acts of homosexuality and same-sex relationships. Here is a major one:

  • There was an unofficial Housechurch formed months ago that calls themselves “Open Table Housechurch”. It is explicitly stated to be open to gay, lesbian, transgender, straight people, married and singles. At one point the gatherings were held at a pastor’s house. At surface level, it is may seem innocent. I mean, how great is it for people to get together who share a similar struggle and form community together to overcome it? Unfortunately, this is far from the case. There is a strong, unbiblical agenda being pushed.

One of its leaders is an openly gay male who is a staunch advocate for the acceptance of the active homosexual lifestyle in the Church. He is both a blogger and podcaster on the matter. He has, to quote him directly, “been blogging for over three years, with an emphasis on the intersections of faith, sexuality, and American Culture”.

This “Open Table Housechurch” has people that volunteer at Grace Midtown events AND are involved in other “official” Housechurches with an intent to invite others to come check out theirs. Or simply just believe what they believe … in some ways it is working. They are recruiting. The goal of this Housechurch is not to unify under Christ to conquer sin. No, there is no wrestle with whether practicing a homosexual lifestyle is a sin. Instead, there is strong advocacy on an emotional and intellectual level that embraces these lifestyles. That is drastically different. As the Apostle Paul would say, ‘they have plausible sounding arguments’ that are leading our potential/current brothers and sisters astray.

This is not analogous to the biblical practice of repentance of what the Bible clearly lists as sin. Is this really our millennial generation? Would we rather be deceived and think well of ourselves? An essential part of the Gospel is repentance – without it, it is an incomplete Gospel. Sometimes repentance isn’t just repenting of things I know are wrong. Sometimes it is also repenting of things I thought were my virtue.

What have been some of the outcomes?

Acts of heresy and false teaching are repeatedly warned against in scripture. In my two years at Grace Midtown I have watched spiritually mature Christians leave most times due to either the lack of addressed sin or the skewed leanings of the biblical understanding of homosexual sin. This past summer some of them saw online two women get engaged to one another. At the engagement celebration one of Grace Midtown’s pastors was seen/tagged in multiple photos on Facebook and Instagram joyously celebrating with them. They have seen or heard as a few Housechurches have said that homosexuality is not a sin. They saw many things over time until it was too much to handle.

I know a solid chunk of people who have left. These are warm-hearted, doctrinally/spiritually sharp believers who now must find community somewhere else. This makes things tougher for us at Grace Midtown because we could have used them for discipling others and in leadership roles. They had awesome communities at Grace but, at the same time, had deep, biblical convictions that begrudgingly caused them to leave. And this is continuing – even people in my own Housechurch because of this ongoing matter in our church. This directly makes it hard for me to lead my own people.

Something I have noticed in the culture of Atlanta churches, including our church, is the awareness of sin and accountability being a somewhat foreign concept when it comes to living out. Hence, the increasing occurrences of sexual sin, lack of Biblical accountability, and allowing of heretic teaching. This will cause various types of backsliding for our church as this continues to gain momentum … unless we act. (This is one of the reasons the average age at Grace Midtown may likely remain predominantly young.)

Image result for open door to field

There is a stark difference between having an open door church policy versus an open philosophically/theologically subjective church policy. Interesting how the latter ends up forcing some people out.

Aren’t the pastors supposed to correct this, not us?

That is a complex question with complex answers. It’s funny, in today’s churches the role preachers are expected to play for their congregation is teacher, babysitter, spiritual EMT, Holy Spirit, and chef all-in-one. Though the church staff is required to play a major role in shepherding the flock & equipping us (Ephesians 4:12-16, 1 Peter 5:2), they cannot physically do everything for us. We play a part. Biblically speaking church is a group of people walking together, coveting with one another to do life together for the glory of God, for the sanctification of their souls, and the fullness of Him. The involved communion, worship, teaching, sometimes discipline and sometimes rebuke (both receiving and giving). Churches are sometimes a joke because we live like the world. We are to be counter-cultural when it comes to our approach to money, power, and sex.

What does the Bible say would happen if we do not act?

We must act against false teaching (unknowingly or knowingly) of any kind or, as Revelation 2 would forecast, our church could be in danger of having its lampstand removed (i.e. The Holy Spirit).  We must learn from one another and be honest with where we are. Our great church staff are truthfully a busy bunch. But what the church staff has shown through the course of time is that their concern for the matters of sin is partly reactionary. What they care about consequently depends on how much we care about those matters (ex. porn addiction, letting anyone become Housechurch leaders without vetting in the past, etc.). They tend to be more reactive than proactive.

Thus, the foundation of our church is on emotion. Unfortunately, reason is increasingly losing ground and emotion happens to also be the primary weapon being used in the world in favor of homosexuality. Emotion is the familiar language in both camps. No one wants to be viewed as hateful or a bigot. To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, “The heart never takes the place of the head: but it can, and should, obey it. Once emotion is the controlling factor over reason, societal chaos ensues.” 

How did this happen in our Church?

Image result for pendulumEvery church has different niches. One of ours is that we are openly organic. An issue which arises from a very organic methodology of church is that it opens the door for anything thing to come inside without the ability to push people toward correction or truth. Now on the opposite far side of the pendulum you have some overly structured churches that shut the door people who don’t initially follow their rules. Both are wickedly damming and unbiblical. The answer is in the middle. 

Why write this letter?

A primary goal of this writing is not only to inform people but to also make you aware enough to talk to one another and the church in the context of biblical truth. Please be watchful. Be on guard. We will always be at war with Satan and our flesh. Fight for our brothers and sisters. Fight for the souls of those teaching falsely because we ALL need grace. What we do not only matters today and next year, but we are to always operate with reality of eternity in mind. We can say some of the right things in church but not act on them. “For many on the final day will say Lord Lord and he will say ‘depart from me for I never knew you’ (Matthew 7).

In life when we air toward passivity we give family, church, city, and life over to destruction. Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duty. Let this one day be one of our finest hours.

So I say what the Apostle Paul says, in Acts 20:26-31, that my heart and conscience are innocent by telling you; that I have done my part. I have nothing to personally gain from writing this letter. I risk being vilified, accused of causing disunity, or being misinterpreted. In the end those possibilities are light and momentary in comparison to the eternal weight of God.

I love you, I love you, I love you all.

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Bye-Bye Christianity Hello Atheism (Part two)

I-Quit

Those crazy Christians.

I cannot sit through another ridiculous worship song – simply repeating the same words over and over and over again. How can I continue to associate myself with a people who rely on faith in a god they have never seen? The same god who is allowing the evil from Syria to North Korea to Chicago. These same people who cannot decide whether they love Donald Trump or hate him. The same people who have more denominational sects than the number of likes on a Kim Kardashian Instagram photo. Christians are too fickle to trust and their god is a borderline tyrant. Those crazy, delusional Christians. I am Team Atheist now!

I know what you’re thinking. “How do you know the atheists are right?” Well, good question. Off the top of my head I can give 3 reasons:

1.  I could jump on the giant shipload of people with the plausible claim that the Bible was tampered with by the Roman emperor Constantine and/or by King James for their respective political reasons. Now to be fair to Christians lets admit that the Bible is a collection of documents written in 3 different languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek), written on 3 different continents (Asia, Africa, and Europe), by 40 different authors over the span of 1500 years. Any tampering is extremely complex to pull off.

Not only that but if the Bible was tampered with then they did a terrible job. A good Bible tamper wanting to make Christianity more attractive would remove the part about John The Baptist getting his head chopped off. Also, why not omit the part about God lighting people on fire and killing evil rulers?

Strange thing is that all the older translations validate the accuracy of the King James version (because all translations are done by going back to the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek manuscripts and creating the translation from there). In order for The Bible to be secretly doctored then the doctoring must be taken place multiple times over the span of 1500 years on 3 different continents in 3 different languages…all the while not getting caught. Did King James’ staff use their Delta Skymiles to secretly travel from Europe to Africa so quickly?

Ok even though the tampering argument doesn’t hold up I’m going keep faith that it is possible. Hence, Team Atheist!

 

2.  Many Christians today prefer to dodge “unnecessary” conflict by avoiding any discussion on whether Genesis is history or not. On the topic of the validity of the Creation Story, I’ll admit, being an engineer and an atheist simultanouesly would be a little tough for me to believe the Atheists. It’s a dilemma because there is contradiction there. Secular science claims that Genesis is a myth but then cannot explain how some things occurred otherwise.

For example, I have undergraduate/graduate studies in geotechnical engineering and coastal engineering – including erosion, scouring, and sediment transport. If you look at the remarkable layering of the Grand Canyon you will see that it is sharply cut out. Basic engineering law would say it is impossible for the Colorado River to have done this feat over the span of millions of years. Many geologists have finally abandoned this once agreed upon secular theory.

The soil layering upon the sides of the Grand Canyon would simply collapse as the soil and rocks slowly erode over time. Our beautiful world wonder would simply not be as majestic. The only way it is possible to explain is with the short time frame in the aftermath of The Great Flood in the Bible. But wait I keep forgetting, I’m on the Atheist Team now. Lets change the subject.

grand-canyon-02

 

3.  Before I get to Number Three I must admit that I am now laughing in my head. What is funny is that if the God of the Bible is not real, if macro-evolution is true, if the Big Bang is true and we’re all chemical reactions…then everything I think and feel is only matter in motion. Therefore there is no way for me to develop the reasoning needed to conclude which of my competing thoughts are true and which are not.

You see, the Big Bang developed an instinct in me. If I have Instinct A vs Instinct B, how can there be a third Instinct that tells how to pick better the two options? My fellow Atheists, I’m on your team but that is not how things work. The Big Bang cannot create a conscience out of meaninglessness to dictate our thoughts. 

bigbang

Not only that, but if we are meaningless matter floating in the air then we are predetermined in every way. Everything becomes subjective. The moment I make a truth claim (i.e. there is no God) then I am rising above the rules of subjectivity. Once this happens I directly violate that determinism. The entire thing is a made-up mind game that goes in an endless, backwards circle.

Ooooh forget it. Why am I trying to kid myself? I will quit being an Atheist now. At least I fought the good fight for a solid 2 hours. Being an atheist would be far too much mental denial for me. Atheism is an uncomfortable faith. Secularists assume the current scientific paradigm is true when historically we have always had scientific paradigms collapse. Science constantly changes on itself. But hey, maybe our known science today is 100% true for the first time in human history. That is a risky gamble to trust my life with though.

Ok I’m back on Team Christianity! You can call this sudden return an epiphany. Or…or maybe what it is is belief in something which my soul knew was true all along. Maybe this is Truth.

I’d rather go back to church and sing worship songs with my hands raised. As the great philosopher Brad Paisley once put it, “What if they’re wrong what if they’re right? Those Crazy Christians.”

On a similar note, there is an extremely great question we tend to ask – “How could an all-powerful, all-loving God allow evil and suffering in this world?” Well, that is a discussion for a latter post. What a great God we have who allows us to search the mysterious wonders of his ways. As Ecclesiastes 4 and Hebrews 11 put it: Mystery is a prerequisite to Faith. And without Faith it is impossible to please Him.

 

 

A Man, Drugs, & Penn State Revivals

[The following is a true story based on events that occurred at Penn State during their Christian Revivals of 1980-1983. If you don’t believe me, look the revival up. This story was once told to me from the person who experienced it.]

fire 3

Yesterday was cocaine. Today is weed. Just an ordinary Spring day at Penn State when Mark and his friends would skip class to get high. They sat around the sofa stoned, laughing hysterically at the stories they’d tell of their latest escapades. Freshman year was a blast and sophomore year for Mark and his friends was a breeze.

One by one the guys left Mark’s dorm room as they wrapped things up. Mark remained on the sofa –  his eyes glazed, shoulders slumped, his head barely upright on his body. Somehow the drugs hadn’t reflected in his college grades. Mark was a decent engineering student to the point where it would be impossible to guess what was going on behind closed doors – or so you would expect. The year is 1981 and drugs are a normal recurrence with many students on campus. Buying a bag of marijuana was almost easier than buying box of pencils.

As Mark’s high eventually began to calm down, he realized that he’d soon have a choice to make. Up to this point Mark had done (and enjoyed) practically every drug except heroine. His friend Ashley was able to buy some heroine earlier that day and they planned on doing it together. They say, as Mark thought to himself, “Once you start heroine there is no going back.”  Nevertheless, he settled on joining her that evening. Since Mark could handle all the other drugs he concluded that he could handle heroine just fine.

Just before evening time there was a knock on his door. As he opened it he barely recognized who it was, but he’d seen them around campus before. They were two preppy-looking Freshmen guys inviting him out to a Christian gathering for later that evening. They added that there would be food and the opportunity to meet some new people as well.

[The odd thing about this occurrence was the rarity that someone would even come to Mark’s door about this. Percentage-wise, Christianity was not a big thing at Penn State at the time.]

Mark, extremely reluctant because he didn’t know much about religion, heard his conscious urge him to go so that he could get out of his heroine date later. After little debate, Mark decided to take a chance and go to the Christian gathering instead.

At the Christian event that very night, Jesus saved Mark and he began to believe.

In the days following, Mark went cold-turkey from all his drugs. He would still hang out with his normal crew of friends and just not partake in the usage. His friends didn’t mind. Sure, they thought it was strange, but it just meant more enjoyment for them.

When Mark wasn’t in class or hanging with his old friends, Mark now spent all his time swimming in the scriptures and going to the Christian events of that small campus ministry.

After about a month of being saved Mark and his two closest old friends took a weekend camping trip. That night his two friends pulled out some Crystal meth to use. They begged and pleaded Mark to join them. Mark initially refrained.

They reasoned with Mark, “Come on man, just this once like old times. It’s not fun if you don’t join us. You’ve gone a month without a high anyways.”

Mark eventually gave in. The three of them got started and immediately the high kicked in for each of them. Mark could feel the familiarity from the high that he used to feel, but something was different this time. It was as if his heart wasn’t for it. He began to feel his face melting, which is a typical reaction to meth. Mark glanced over at the flames from the fire pit and heard a distinct high-pitched, demonic laugh come out from the fire.

[To this day Mark believes that was Satan’s demons laughing at him as they realized they’d gotten one of God’s chosen to slip.]

Without delay Mark fell to his knees after hearing the demonic laugh. He began to cry out loud to God that he was sorry. All the while his friends stood enjoying their own highs. Mark cried continually asking that Jesus take away the high. After repeatedly praying aloud for healing…. suddenly…. the impossible happened…. Mark’s high vanished. Not only that, but Mark’s friends had their high abruptly taken away as well.

[You see, a Crystal meth high doesn’t just abruptly end after a few minutes. A Crystal meth high literally lasts anywhere between 8 to 24 hours and has a gradual decline of its effects.]

Knowing this from their past experience, Mark’s friends freaked out. They frantically asked Mark what just happened. Before Mark could respond his friends tearfully got on their knees and asked Mark to tell them about this Jesus he’d been following the past month. This same Jesus who Mark just prayed to who impossibly took away their high. What a miracle, what a God. Mark’s friends got saved and accepted Jesus Christ as Lord that night.

What happened the rest of the school year at Penn State was nothing short of a miracle. revivalMany other of Mark’s drug friends also became believers. There began to be a Christian revival on campus that year and subsequent years. Numerous campus ministries formed and each experienced drastic growth in numbers.

But for Mark, how long did it last? Was it just a little phase or spiritual high that Mark went through?

There are other spiritual stories to tell of Mark and his obedience to Christ. However, I’ll end with this: Today, Mark is pressing harder than ever into Christ as he wrestles for more faith as his wife of many years is now struggling with ALS. Both having a life lived well for the Lord, are now living life well through suffering. But still, the fight goes on. “It is the worst time and it is also the best time,” Mark says encouragingly.

Mark and his wife were asked, “If you knew what your life would hold, would you still choose it?”

Their reply – a resounding ‘Yes’.

Oh to have such remarkable faith.  The angels rejoice over Mark and his wife. For all eternity, we will celebrate.

“I’m a pilgrim passing through. We’re just passing through on this journey. I’m blessed that I’ve had such a wonderful wife all these years. Whatever God gives us today will be wonderful. So what about the dreams we had, heaven is so much better. It is said that it is better than anything I can hope for or imagine. And I have a pretty good imagination.” – Mark

Till We Have Love

This is my complaint:

Every beautiful strength has a hideous weakness. My brother, Mufasa, is truly a trendsetter of that adage.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my brother. I have always wanted the best for him. However, the kingdom of the Pride Lands was turning into a nation bound for doom due to his weak incompetence. That said, I refused to call him King Mufasa as the rest of the nation does. I love him far more than any political title can represent.

My name is Scar; the younger sibling to Mufasa and frequently seen as the Ghost of Christmas Past in his shadow. Mufasa was always the “good” one in the eyes of others. He foolishly relied on his Faith. Even through it all, I was never jealous of Mufasa – to the contrary I loved him but simply disagreed with his ways of doing things.

Mufasa and I were inseparable growing up. Mother used to say that we counted on one another from birth. There has always been a joy-filled pride in me when it comes to my brother. I looked up to him. He was the fastest in the pack, he had the 2nd best looking mane (second to myself of course), and his leadership presence was quite satiable. Rafiki, who serves as shaman of the Pride Lands, spoke of Mufasa as, “Having a temperament rivaled only by the angels.”  But a boring temperament if you ask me. He’d always waste many hours a day staring at the distant mountain gorge. Foolish.

We had plans to rule Pride Rock together, but the political tradition of our nation put my brother as the sole heir to the throne. Before his crowning, I pleaded with him three times to instead fight with me so that we could rule together. This was for the good of him, me, and the kingdom itself. I failed miserably in my attempts.

Things worsened when his son was born. Whatever piece of intimacy our relationship had left was forfeited over to his investment in Simba, the next heir to the throne. That was the real day I lost my brother – not today.  I love Simba, but Mufasa needed a brother in arms not a little kid in waiting. See, Mufasa cannot sustain this nation without me. We are best when we have each other which, in turn, benefits society.

Therefore, I am writing this letter to you, Lord, with my fist raised. My complaint comes against you. Even though I have done nothing but serve and honor my family their entire life, they have given nothing in return but pain, grief, and destruction toward me. Even more scary is that it can affect the Pride Lands. You are a cruel God who must be blind to the needs of this world. I recognize that I am powerless before you, but if there is one thing I can do against you, it is to make my complaint known by speaking it to the nation.  

Before Mufasa fell to his death, I tried once more to reason with him. The plan was not for
him to die. To the contrary, you know that it was simply scarto scare him into submission. No one is at grief more than I. It was the hardest decision of my life. Even then you could have saved him but you failed.  What do you have to say for yourself?  You have no answer.


Dear Scar,

my name is Leo. I am a head angel in Heaven writing this letter to you on behalf of our Father God, our Savior Jesus, and The Holy Spirit.

We have heard your complaint in Heaven and watched your life long before receiving your letter. The Father watched your life even before there was a second of it. You are worse than you think you are, but you are more loved than you can ever imagine you are. There are many things that you will not understand, but I will try:

In one way or another everyone on earth is just like you. You are the bitter cynic who cannot possibly understand the love between God and his creation. None of you understand. Your perspective of the very love that you claim to have for your brother is infected by your fallen heart. We know you loved your brother. No one “on Earth” loved Mufasa as much as you loved him. You loved him overbearingly so.

The feeling that you call love has ended in the death of your only brother and the estrangement of your nephew. And now you put God on the judgement seat?

Mufasa used to wake up in the mornings and stare at nature. He’d think to himself, “The sweetest thing in all my life has been the longing – to reach the Mountain, to find the place where all the beauty came from – the place where I ought to have been born.” Do you think it all meant nothing, all that longing

What do you long for, Scar?

The Mountain that Mufasa longed for was The Kingdom of God. The Mountain you long for is one of yourself. Without the Divine Love which comes from God, any other love become corrupted. Any other type of love turns in on itself and becomes narcissistic. For example, without the presence of selfless divine love, the beautiful gift of erotic love becomes lust-based and power-based. This is when so marriages break down. fourLoves

The “joy-filled pride” for your brother turned in idolatry. It grew to the point of wanting him to be at a height of perfection that is unachievable on earth. Mufasa was always destined to be crippled in your eyes, no matter what philosophy he followed or action he implemented. Your love of the Pride Lands and every living creature in it drove your fear into manipulation and control.

Instead of following the God that Mufasa follows, you created your own version of God that only saw life how you see it. You have a wicked heart. The nature of sin isn’t always the obvious bad thing. Sin can also be the internal twisting of good things by the heart. You would rather kill your brother than have him attain joy apart from you.


Dear beloved Leo,

Had I known before how the Angels watch earth, I would’ve shuttered at the very thought of an audience to my humiliation. I now see that it was not they who treated me so wrongly, but me who treated others wrongly. I am my worst enemy – Not anyone else and certainly not God.

All my life I doubted the validity of the love which comes from Faith. For now all I can tell, the only difference [between our love and God’s love] is that what many on earth “feel” we call a real thing, and what only one feels we call a myth. But things that many feel may have no taste or moment in them at all, and things that are felt only to one may be waterspouts of truth from the very depth of Truth.

Now I see well why God did not speak to me and used you instead. Till the true understanding of love can be dug out of us, why should He listen to the babble that we think we mean? How can He talk to me about love till he gives me His love?

God is the answer to my question. In front of His love, all questions die away. What other answer would suffice?

How was Political Correctness Born in America?

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[The following takes place in Hell among a classroom of young demons. The timing occurs directly after a previous blog post was written. The Dean of Demonic Warfare, Wormwood, had just finished giving his presentation on his effects in America.]

After the final PowerPoint slide ended, Dean Wormwood then paused and slowly turned his head to the left. There was a picture of Satan on the wall. It partially covered a medium-sized crack that ran from the floor up to the roof. The young demons watched as Wormwood steadily walked over to the crack and delicately ran his palm over it.

For the entire class period Wormwood spoke with such confidence to the fellow demons, but now his demeanor was different. Wormwood, in a suddenly defeated voice speaks, “the Enemy Jesus somehow has always seemed to be many steps ahead of us. Just look at the Cross and the Resurrection. Never never never forget that the Enemy Jesus has already won. The Enemy creates life where we constantly claim death … But that does not mean we cannot still try.  Class dismissed.”

“WA-WAIT”, Cupid, one of the freshmen demons, hesitantly exclaimed, “I do not understand. You keep saying that you slowly had the Americans to believe in individualism and Universalism. How exactly does that benefit us?”

The freshman demon grew more confident as he spoke – his chest sticking out as if he caught the Dean’s flaw, proving to be the smartest demon in class. The freshman continued, “Last class you spoke on today’s American political correctness and how it ties into individualism. However, would not the Enemy Jesus want those things? Humans enjoy independence and would want to join The Enemy if He seems to accept all things, right?”

Dean Wormwood, still looking at the picture of Satan, does not move in the slightest. It is as if he never heard Cupid’s question. His glare resolute. Wormwood’s eyes glowing as red as the pit of Hell itself. His demeanor switched back from defeat to assurance. An assurance spurred on by the curious freshman demon wanting to learn…but apparently still lacking faith in Father Satan’s plan.

Wormwood finally turns toward the class. He answers:

“Do not be so foolishly narrow-minded, Cupid. Of course individualism itself is not evil. Even political correctness has solid merit. Political correctness has the ability to stop humans from being marginalized or insulted by other humans. The Enemy Jesus enjoys that result when the human’s heart is involved.

All that said, that is NOT our end goal. If we stopped there we’d be defeated for sure. Our end goal is to pervert human thought process as to make it impossible for humans to truly guide one another toward the Enemy Jesus.

At the start of western America…we set in a subtle 300 year long plan of moral and sexual liberty that would destroy the effect of the Gospel. It is a free speech apocalypse. The Bible requires repentance on some level – but a human cannot tell another human to follow the Enemy Jesus without simultaneously calling that person to walk away from something else.

When individualism is coupled with political correctness that “something else” now doesn’t have to be walked away from anymore. Hence, true repentance in order to follow the Enemy Jesus cannot be achieved. Therefore, over time with our successful plan, the humans naturally become anti-repentant. You see, the bloody Gospel is not only a Gospel of repenting from sins that they KNOW are WRONG – it is also repenting from things that they THOUGHT were a VIRTUE

nomomnodadSexual sin is not immoral because it is or isn’t distasteful. Not at all. Sexual sin is immoral because God prohibits it.

You are probably wondering how we did this over the span of 300 years. During the late 1700s the founding fathers of The United States still had the bitter taste in their mouths from how the British used religious authority. Part of the reason of the numerous wars in Europe was because of church denominations (Anglicans, Catholics, Protestants etc). It would make sense for the founding fathers to avoid the Europeans’ ways in not having a single denominational “Church of the United States” at the federal level. Doing so would naturally lead to conflict against states that may have had primarily different denominations. Hence the 1st Amendment of the Constitution.

After that was achieved, it all became a gradual game of words. Semantics. Equivocation. Sure, we demons were not initially happy when humans settled on Christian denominations being neutrally equal in law. It greatly hindered religious wars in America. We demons do love human wars, but we patiently waited for something better.political-correctness-language-thoguht-control

Listen very closely young ones… we got the Americans to start with denominational neutrality. After a little over 100 years, when humans stopped paying attention, that moved to religious neutrality. That eventually shifted to worldview neutrality. Now, it has turned into morality neutrality. So that everything today has reduced to “anything goes”. What the humans meant for good we twisted for evil.

As my demon teacher once told me, ‘It is funny how mortals always picture us as putting things into their minds: in reality our best work is done by keeping things out!’

The American founding fathers were not being malicious in their thought process. Their conscience was doing something good at the time for the betterment of their country. However, we have successfully twisted that thought and slipped it all the way down to subjective morality. Now, Christians must shut up otherwise they are doing something wrong against others. Now, no one has authority or the ability to tell anyone else that they are doing wrong. Emotion controls reason.”

Dean Wormwood quiets as he finally finishes. His massive robe drags the floor as he slowly approaches Cupid. Wormwood pats the top of his head saying, “Your curiosity shows much promise. I have high hopes for you, Cupid. Praise be to Satan.”

“Class dismissed.”

the-road

The Answer: Why do Black People Tend to Think Whites Are Racist Or Hateful Toward Blacks?

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First things first, the goal in answering is NOT to bring about anyone’s emotion. This isn’t about morality therefore in this discussion it doesn’t matter if anyone thinks a particular treatment is tragic or justified. A psychologist or economist limits their emotion and opinion in their analyses. Yes, they consider it in their notes. But in order for them to see more clearly and objectively they leave as much out as possible. Too much emotion may cloud and control our reasoning, as C.S. Lewis once framed it. So this “answer” is not about justification of riots, protests, cop killing, slavery, buying candy, or talking back to parents.

How am I somewhat objective and qualified?

If you follow me on social media you may notice that I have never talked about race issues. This is because (1) I’d rather write about Jesus; (2) honestly, I’ve grown to feel ashamed and embarrassed that I am black (something that applies to this topic but may be elaborated on in a future post) and (3) it always seemed pointless coming from me. That is, people would think I’m biased because I am black. I would NOT get upset at that either. I can’t really blame others for that natural reaction. If a Boston resident tries to tell me how great Tom Brady is…I’m naturally going to be skeptical because of course that guy loves Brady and The Patriots. However, I am opening up now because I realize much of the stuff I know isn’t known by many whites and what I can say isn’t being articulated by many blacks.

In today’s world, many people on both sides are not good with listening and being OBJECTIVE. In my experience black people get too emotional inside their bubble that they can’t have an objective discussion with white people. There has grown an innate level of distrust. Many whites, whether they care or not, have a hard time as well because they have natural blinders and historical privileges that prevent them from seeing objective as well. There is nothing inherently wrong with either side in their reasons because it’s not really a conscious effort. It’s naturally subconscious. For the past 50 years, most of this is due to the economic and sociological effects of our society.

What do I mean by sociological and economic effects? I’ll explain. This answer will be in 5 different phases: Micro, Macro, Familiarity of Stereotypes, Indifference, and Dr. King’s Frustration.

We’ve got to do a little ground work before we start though:

My professional career is in community and economic development. This is the process and policies by which a nation, state, county or city improves the economic, political, and social well-being of its people. So what my company does is try to bring companies, large and small, to our state. Jobs, capital investment, and revenue are the goal. And darnit we will sell this state the best we can. With statistics, innovation, and persuasion, and more.

Various KEY factors come into play, such as transportation, quality of life, location, money, branding, etc. If you look it up, you’ll see that your own city and county has its own economic development department, chamber of commerce, and other affiliates that are focused on this initiative together. Economic development directly affects the current generation AND the generations long after it. 

Ok now, do we understand that? If so, we can move on.

1. The Micro

Now let’s begin to answer the question of why many black people see whites as responsible AND what is the reason of how much of the black community is where it is today.

We’ve got to go to history of course.

Set race aside and just view it in an Economic development lens. Let’s go back to Tulsa – however, not 2016, but 1921. There was an area in Tulsa that was booming! It was a black community. It was rare because of course the odds weren’t in their favor but they just luckily rolled a 7 with the dice multiple times. As one of the most successful and wealthiest black communities in the United States during the early 20th Century, it was popularly known as America’s “Black Wall Street” until the Tulsa race riot of 1921. They had black lawyers, doctors, teachers, black-owners, entertainment, oil, etc. (Now again, ignore the race factor for now…it doesn’t matter for this analysis piece). Then one night the outside white people grew too jealous, came in and killed many of the successful people and burned down their businesses and streets. It was horrific. They even punished the few white people around for not doing it sooner.

Then the white political and business leaders proactively prevented that community from reconstruction or picking themselves up. This wasn’t hard because due to rights back then black people didn’t have much of that ability anyways.

So think economic development: They are SCREWED for about the next 100 YEARS. For the next 60 years those blacks won’t know about diving into the community and economic development process. How could they? Their schools are IMMEDIATELY affected. Their job structure is shattered. Their families destroyed. They are currently crippled as a society. Not only that but also their kids’, kids’, kids’ are also now crippled. It becomes a generational snowball effect due to that initial occurrence and the laws established for years to come. There was no hope for them and it becomes too hard to thrive. Therefore, poverty in Tulsa. Therefore, violence because that’s all you have and know due to having to survive from being poor and having no good education or possibly/knowledge of escaping. (Although, poverty doesn’t correlate to violence). What happened doesn’t just end in a year…..it resonates within the fabric of a society for years to come in the form of both emotional distress AND economic instability (incorporating education, companies, businesses, families, crime, etc).

In my job, bringing in 1 company positively affects that entire community – their family benefit, the nearby retail and restaurants benefits, the schools benefit, tourism boosts, more companies follow suit, and more. This occurs positively for the next generations in that area as well. Black Wall Street had the opposite case. And it was not a single company. It was ALL of it.

That is  an objective analysis of cause and effect. Again, it doesn’t matter if what happened was bad or good in this analysis. FYI, this happened in other places as well. We must understand this “momentum effect” in this micro example in order to understand the answer in its fullness.

2. The Macro

To keep low with word-count I’m going to bypass the macro. It has similar cadence to the micro piece but without the violence and is, of course, on a larger scale. Please ask me in person or on Facebook if you want that piece as well.

3. Familiarity Of Stereotypes

I grew up around Blacks and Hispanics, but over the past 10 years of my life at least 95% of my friends and acquaintances are white. So it is extremely hard for me to stereotype people in either group because I have lived life with so many different types and I know their souls and hearts. The way society is laid out (because of white flight, economic structure, convenience, and family history) black people have been left to live amongst one another. So those black people naturally HAVE to CATEGORIZE all whites into the same group. That is how a human brain works.  This doesn’t happen to me because I have lived among others.

White people can easily get categorized by what is seen on television, social media, oImage result for racismr in stories told by the older generations. For example, I’m sure none of us know any native Cambodians personally because we don’t live around them. So we naturally group Cambodians into one category of people. Now we know people in Cambodia are all different with various opinions, personalities, languages, and subcultures. However, in our minds we have tendencies to group them together don’t we?

4. Indifference

The disbelief from much of the black community that a shooting or possible wrong-doing will gather positive help from the white community is from past years of “neglect” from that side and their current state of “emotionlessness”. That continual reaction from many white people makes it hard for many black people to listen/trust simply one white person with good intentions, when numerous other whites have failed that quota.
Let me explain.

If my mom had cancer and a stranger had cancer I’d show much more sympathy for my mother than the stranger. I naturally have a different level of connectivity and value for my mom.

One group continues to uniformly state “we should wait for the facts after these shootings before doing anything”. I agree, in theory. In a perfect world we should always wait and diagnose a situation. However, this isn’t a perfect world. Those same people flip-flop depending on what the crime is and who did the crime.

There is no objectivity in our reactions. We all react different and with different poise depending on what it is. The less subjective empathy I have, the more ability I have to refrain and diagnose the situation and wait for the facts. But when it’s my mom or a friend it becomes tough to control.

For the bomber “suspect” at the Boston Marathon – we wanted his head immediately. With a man “accused” of child molestation we want to give him the death penalty once he’s caught. When a college athlete is “accused” of rape we want him immediately kicked off the team before the trial begins. All the while, many in the black people continually watch a black person killed (justifiably or not) and those same people show unwavering objectivity and poise the entire time. That shows a different level of respect and love.

Black people see the immediate reaction of emotionlessness and interpret it as white people not caring.

In Romans 1 we see that God’s indifference is a very scary form of wrath; different from violence. Hate is NOT just someone spitting on another person. Hate isn’t only the KKK hanging someone. Hate can also be passive. Even Satan knows that. Indifference OVER TIME can be interpreted as unloving and hatred. That’s what happens psychologically in the minds of a people. So we can’t blame them that much, can we?

5. When Dr. King was Frustrated

MLK Jr. led protests in a manner that would “shame” those who were discriminating. People like to say his method was non-violence. Not really –  his method was shame and he used nonviolence to achieve it. His tactic was that if he could have people feel ashamed for how they thought and acted, it’ll force them to change. Read his writings.

What’s interesting is that in his later years when King went to Chicago, he tried his same tactics but the white people beating them didn’t feel ashamed at all. It was different from the South. And it scared MLK. When a people aren’t aware enough to have the ability or respect to feel shame toward the treatment of someone else, then that is when something is off. Which begs the question of what the next step would be.

One friend I debated correctly claimed that ‘King’s tactic did work in the South though, because it was more saturated with Christians’. If that is true then it still proves my point: We, as a nation, are less Christian today. Therefore, King’s tactics of shame won’t work as effectively here anymore. That said, our nation is more like Chicago in that King was scared because it was seemingly and hopelessly in a state of chaotic reasoning that shocked him. It left Martin Luther King afraid and scrabbling for a new tactic. That’s where many in the black society would say we have been growing in subconsciously [through the eyes of blacks and whites]. Even in the past 50 years, before social media.

As scripture says, in the last days nations will turn their backs from Christ. America is doing that. Hence my friend’s point flows into this – shame isn’t working here anymore. hat’s why there are frustrated protests (good or bad) and riots (good or bad). That’s the only next step people can think of on the fly. We all have the same natural tendencies when trapped into a corner for so long.

In conclusion, we cannot just look at “today’s” knee jerk reaction of the black community. We must look holistically. This is similar to chaos theory. It’s ALL connected. This isn’t about black on black crime BUT black on black crime is a subset of the results of history. It’s not about Charlotte. Charlotte can be 99% wrong…but it doesn’t matter. The deep damage was already done.

This isn’t out of the blue. It’s a past 300-400 years thing. It’s a 1920s and 1980s thing. Look at old Richard Pryor or Dave Chappelle stand-up and old low budget black films from the 1970s-1990s. They are screaming and crying about the same killings. And no one cared. Listen to R&B songs from that time period. They were constantly crying about it and asking for help and America turned it’s head. They didn’t have Facebook Live to make it public. I’m not making this stuff up. So little by little day by day that people group grew to a particular view of white people. Skepticism. Distrust.

The solution is another story, but when a black person tells a white person they don’t understand or aren’t qualified – They are really saying that you don’t know how they got there and why. Therefore they are not truly known and loved. But if the black person knows that the white person objectively knows this stuff and still wants to love on them…..goodness gracious the effect that will have.

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