Know - People

Getting to the root of racism and pulling it out.

getting-to-the-root-of-racism

Truth is Balanced.  For us to truly prosper is not the absence of problems. True prosperity is determined by how your soul prospers in the midst of trials and persecution.  The Message of the Gospel contains many opposites and paradox.

We see the unseen. We subdue by submitting. We win by losing. We are made grand by making ourselves little. We come in first by becoming last. We are honored by being humble. We fill up with God by emptying out ourselves. We become wise by being fools. We possess all things by having nothing. We wax strong by being weak. We find life by losing ourselves in others. We live by dying. Leonard Sweet, Beautiful.

The same applies to the Race issue. God has set boundaries for Nations, yet He wants us to respect and love all mankind, showing no partiality as if there is no boundaries.  He divided the languages at Babel, yet wants us to find a Divine Love language in Christ.  We need to overcome our race issues because there is ONE heaven, ONE Father to us all in Christ.

In an interview with Neels Jackson, the infamous Beyers Naudes says the following: “Ek hóóp ek het ’n boodskap,” sê hy en praat dan met dieselfde drif wat ek oor jare leer ken het. “Dis absoluut noodsaaklik dat ons leer om saam te leef, om mekaar te verdra – ook mense van verskillende godsdienste. Ons moet leer om met liefde en toegeneentheid saam te leef met mense en godsdienste wat geweldig van ons verskil,” sê hy. “Ook verskillende kleure,” voeg tannie Ilse by. Oom Bey beaam dit. “Ek kan nie sien waarom dit nie kan gebeur nie. Die Woord van God sê julle moet mekaar liefhê en verstaan en vergewe,” en hy beklemtoon dat dit teenoor álle mense geld, nie net teenoor Christene nie. Die Here het dit ook nie só bedoel dat die rykes ryker word, terwyl die armes armer word nie. Almal moet hande vat en kyk hoe hulle ’n regverdiger bedeling kan bewerkstellig. Excerpt From: “Ek kies steeds die kerk” by Neels Jackson. Scribd.

Most people have an immediate defensive reaction when they hear the word racism, or touching the wealth issue.  The fact that some become immediately emotional and defensive is a dead give away.  The truth is: we all have certain prejudices and pre-conceived ideas. Belief systems based on a subjective one-sided perspective of the truth.  These prejudices are also mostly subconscious.

Malcolm Gladwell’s book Blink provides an anecdotal account of how split-second decisions called “rapid cognition” or “thin-slicing” assist us in decision making. Gladwell distinguishes this type of rapid cognition from intuition, which he claims has a more emotional source. Rapid cognition is a distinctly rational process, a thinking process that moves a little faster than ordinary conscious and deliberate decision-making. One of the most interesting parts of the book deals with first impressions about race, particularly those that happen at a subconscious level. In the chapter entitled “The Warren Harding Error: Why We Fall for Dark, Handsome Men,” Gladwell describes the Implicit Association Test (IAT). The IAT, developed by Anthony G. Greenwald, Mahzarin Banaji and Brian Nosek, measures a person’s attitude on an unconscious level and the immediate, and automatic associations a person makes before that person has time to think. The IAT test is designed to examine automatic associations with race. A tested individual is timed to see how quickly they associate categories of good and bad adjectives with black and white faces. The test results reveal that the 80% of Americans more quickly pair words like “love, peace” and “joy” with white faces and words like “terrible, evil” and “failure” with black faces. The level of difference is a matter of microseconds, yet is still statistically significant. What the IAT most significantly reveals is that unconscious attitudes and the behaviors which those attitudes give rise to may be completely incompatible with a person’s conscious values. Even those who consider themselves very enlightened in matters of race still overwhelmingly tend to have an implicit preference for whites.  https://everydaythomist.wordpress.com/2010/01/25/what-malcolm-gladwells-blink-teaches-about-virtue/

Let us all thus reverently allow the Holy Spirit and the Word to convict us of the division and alienation in us we do not see ourselves. Be our mirror Lord, show us the spots in our feasts. Study 1 Cor 11:17-34Ecclesiastes 7: 10 Don’t always be asking, “Where are the good old days?” Wise folks don’t ask questions like that. “Moenie sê: “Waarom was die ou dae beter as die huidige?” nie. Dit is nie uit wysheid dat jy daaroor vra nie. PREDIKER‬ 7:10‬ NLV‬‬ It is common for people to romanticize the old days, and consequently skip the responsibility of doing what is right in the present. Racism is relevant in every age. People will continue to offend another even without knowing it, because we do not see another in the spirit. It is in reality part of our sinful nature. See Mike Woods notes on sin = missing the mark. In other words “mistaken identity”. Mistaken identity is a ‘seeing’ problem. Eventually, you will mistake the character of everything around you. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single (whole), thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil (disease), thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness Mat 6:22-23 David’s brothers did not see him in the spirit, Joseph’s brothers tried to kill him, the Jews did not recognize Jesus as the Messiah. Prejudice is an ancient human problem. ‬‬There is not a race in this world that does not have some embedded prejudices against a particular group.

Racism is taught. Racism is a faulty false belief system. nelson-mandela-quote

Scientifically, humanity is comprised of exactly one race. Although the world has different ethnicities, geographies, citizenships, and cultures, all human beings are nearly identical genetically. The genetic differences that reflect variation in physical appearance across all humankind involve 0.01% of our genes. And all humans are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27), brought to life by His breath (Genesis 2:7), and imbued with an immaterial and immortal soul.

All men have the same struggle with Sin. Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God therefor God’s heart is for all to be saved. Yet God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:4. No Racial group in the world is free from jealousy, rage, contempt, offense, resentment and hatred. We all have a common struggle with sinfulness.

According to an article by Institute of Relations in South Africa, our tolerance of different races are actually sound. Click Here to Read Article. The Media and specific parties are painting a gloomy picture of South Africa’s rainbow nation.  The professional culture of the workplace demands tolerance and acceptance. Out quest of survival seems to surpass our need for separation.  Like the openly racist farmer who invited the black business man for supper, when the price for selling his farm was agreed.

Unfortunately, the most prominent places on earth where racism is most evident is often the most Christianized areas. The struggle I believe for most Christians is to remain holy and pure, while reaching and loving the lost, broken and dirty. Usually, we either become so holy we hardly ever see anyone get saved, or we try so hard to win the lost that we begin to compromise biblical values. Loving God and loving people!

God was clear in His rules to the Israelites regarding those from different nations. In Deuteronomy 10:17-18, Moses asserts God’s love of the foreigner and then exhorts the Israelites to love them as well (verse 19). God did make a distinction between aliens who desired to follow Him and/or blessed His people and those who didn’t. In 1 Kings 8:41-43, Solomon acknowledges that immigrants will pray to God, and God will hear them. Nations that respected God’s will were to be blessed (Genesis 12:2-3). However, nations that practiced widespread child sacrifice and temple prostitution were to be destroyed (Deuteronomy 20:17-18). The call for separation was not a racial issue. It was God protecting His people from sinful influences. We should never abandon the great commission.

He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation. Acts 17:26 God gave the boundaries, and we ARE different, WE ARE NOT INSTRUCTED TO BECOME COLORBLIND, BUT COLOR SHOULD NOT EFFECT THE WAY WE TREAT/FAVOR/LOVE PEOPLE. Opening his mouth, Peter said: “I most certainly understand now that God is not one to show partiality, but in every nation, the man who fears Him and does what is right is welcome to Him. Acts 10:34-35

The Greek word “prosopolemptes” literally means ‘a receptor of the face or person’. It is part of a larger group of similar words which combine to form an idiom which refers to the principle of non-discrimination, one being not a respecter of persons, and the like. Jesus applied this principle very clearly in his interactions with the Samaritans and His teaching on the subject, to even love your enemies. (Luk 6:27-36) Jesus underlines God’s mercy on Heathen (Luke 4:26-27) He rebukes the disciples when they want to pray for God’s judgment on a town that would not receive them. (Luk 9:51-56) The story of the good Samaritan also deals with religious prejudices. (Luk 10:33)

Is it not an interesting fact that the gifts of the Spirit are much more evident in the mission context than ministering to those within your family or social circle? More people get healed in the outreach mission context than in the local church. “Go and make contact” (Mat 28:19) and treat every person with respect. (1 Pet 2:17)

NO PARTIALITY WITH GOD

Romans 2:11 For there is no partiality with God.  1 Timothy 5:21 I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, DOING NOTHING IN A SPIRIT OF PARTIALITY.

NO DISTINCTION MADE AN ACCOUNT OF YOUR EARNINGS

Proverbs 22:2 The RICH AND THE POOR have a common bond, The LORD is the maker of them all. No partiality according to salary level: John 13:16 “Truly, truly, I say to you, A SLAVE IS NOT GREATER THAN HIS MASTER, nor is one who is sent greater than the one who sent him. From prison, Paul wrote to a friend whose slave had run away, had met Paul, and had come to faith. Paul appealed to his friend on the basis of their relationship to welcome the slave back not as a slave but as a brother. He offered to repay any loss from his own pocket. The letter survives in the New Testament as the book of “Philemon” and is a touching example of a dedicated believer seeking to motivate a slaveholder internally to change his attitudes and behavior. Philemon 1-25. The point is clear, do not treat rich people differently because they are rich, the same applies to the poor. Treat everyone the same – LOVE THEM!

At this moment Social Integration is a National Government drive.  Should it not be the church leading society towards what is right? See these drone photos taken of areas in the Western Cape showing the segregation and division made between the rich and the poor.  This is certainly a worldwide phenomenon, and not a Western Cape issue.  Click Here to View Photos  This division is justified, for economic reasons. But when God looks at it, what are we preaching to the World?

SHOW NO PERSONAL FAVORITISM

James 2:1 My brethren, do not hold your faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ with an attitude of personal favoritism. James 2:2-4 For if a man comes into your assembly with a gold ring and dressed in fine clothes, and there also comes in a poor man in dirty clothes, and you pay special attention to the one who is wearing the fine clothes, and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and you say to the poor man, “You stand over there, or sit down by my footstool,” have you not made distinctions among yourselves, and become judges with evil motives?

NO NATIONAL CULTURAL FAVORITISM

Romans 10:12-13 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “WHOEVER WILL CALL ON THE NAME OF THE LORD WILL BE SAVED.” See  Colossians 3:11

NO PARTIALITY ACCORDING TO TITLE AND POSITION:

Matthew 23:8 “But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers.

NO GENDER INEQUALITY

Galatians 3:28

EQUAL RIGHT TO INCOME:

1 Samuel 30:24 “And who will listen to you in this matter? For as his share is who goes down to the battle, so shall his share be who stays by the baggage; they shall share alike.”

Ephesians 6:9 And masters, do the same things to them, and give up threatening, knowing that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him.

THE UNITING FACTOR IS OUR FAITH IN CHRIST.

Jesus openly showed a bias to this women. See the story of Racial Slurs of Jesus towards the Syrophoenician Woman Mark 7:24-37 Apparently she is “a Greek, born in Syrian Phoenicia” — a Gentile considered to be spiritually and racially inferior to a Jew. The story of Jesus’ encounter with the Syro-Phoenician woman illustrates the way that none of us can come out of a broken society unscathed by its deceptions and injustices. We had no control over the race, social class, into which we were born, but moral choice enters the picture at the moment that we are confronted by the people whose humanity we have overlooked. This story is balanced with the story In John 4, He had a long conversation with a Samaritan woman, although the Samaritans were an ethnic group the Jews despised.  It is her faith that saved these women.  I find that amongst all kind of churches and ministries, this to be the ONE uniting factor above all. Many proclaim Christ, but they show no faith through their actions.  Call it a frequency, a way of speaking and living, but you cannot hide real faith! it is in the open, and it challenges you, to either reject or get doing the Word too.

GROW IN TOLERANCE

We all need the grow in Tolerance.  Disunity is a sign of our immaturity.  Mature children or people have no problem playing with small children.  But children fighting amongst themselves are usually only because of this lack of maturity and godly character. Grow up in wisdom on how to handle each person differently (Jud 22-23) Overcome evil with good. (Rom 12:21) And look after your witness among the people. (Jam 3:13) And let your conduct be honorable among the Gentiles. (1 Pet 2:12)

NO RIGHT TO SEPARATE

As a Christian you are not alone, and cannot operate in isolation, you are part of a family. Your suffering and honor have an effect on the people around you. (1 Cor 12:26) Paul kept himself blameless not to have preached to others and he himself is disqualified. (1 Cor 9:27) There are different vessels in house, some for glory, some for dishonour. Paul instructs us to cleanse ourselves from the latter to all become vessels of honour. (2 Tim 2:20-21) Like in any family, the conduct of one member has an effect on the others. The actions of white believers have an effect on our black brothers in the squatter camp close by. What the labor force do in town, has an effect on the Farm’s productivity.

God sees us as a whole, and whether we acknowledge the diversity or not, our lives affect each other. We need each other!

UNITED ONLY UNDER HEADSHIP OF CHRIST

Equality is only possible IN CHRIST! The biggest divide in Humanity is different Values.  Pursuing Christlike values and character is the best way to live life.

In Christ we possess His nature and the fruit of the Holy Spirit. This unity is already established for us in Christ. We do not have to fight for it or seek it. We are taught to protect and maintain this Divine Unity though, (Eph 4:1-4). Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

The former Minister of defense during the Apartheid era has begun a journey of reconciliation. First his confessions before the Truth & Reconciliation Committee, then God spoke to Him to wash Frank Shikane’s feet, the President of the AFM Africa church. Later he would also wash the feet of some victims in Mamelodi. He discovered the root of Apartheid being, that he loved himself more than he loved his neighbor.

Vlok sê hy het God toegelaat om hom te lei. Hy was nie self regstreeks betrokke by die dood van dié vroue se geliefdes nie, maar hy het hom afgevra wat die grondliggende sonde van apartheid was. Hy het tot die gevolgtrekking gekom dat dit is dat hy homself baie meer liefgehad het as sy naaste. Dit het gegroei tot trots, die gedagte dat jy beter as “hulle” is.  Excerpt From: “Ek kies steeds die kerk” by Neels Jackson. Scribd.

Lastly, who helped Jesus carry his cross, in the end when he could no longer carry it?  Simon of Cyrene, most likely was a black man. What we do know about Simon called Niger is his name.  Simon is a Jewish name and Niger comes from the Latin word for “black”.  Research shows that Simon of Cyrene was from a country in ancient northern Africa (bordering Egypt) called Libya.

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Jan Oosthuizen

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