BRIDGING THE RACIAL DIVIDE IN THE CHURCH

John the Apostle writes in Revelation 7:9, “After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb.” That gives us a clue about how God wants His worship services on earth to look like every Sunday. However, it has been said that Sunday is the most segregated day in America. For the most part, Caucasians worship with Caucasians. African Americans worship with African Americans. Latinos worship with Latinos. Asians worship with Asians, and so on.  I don’t believe that God is pleased with segregated worship.

WHY THINGS ARE THE WAY THEY ARE

Unfortunately, there is an ugly reason why there is a “black church” and a “white church” in America. In the days of slavery and in the Jim Crow era, blacks were not allowed to worship in white churches. Therefore, African Americans chose to start their own churches where they knew that they would be welcome. Sadly, this divide has not been overcome and, by and large, still exists today.

THE BODY OF CHRIST NEEDS TO LEAD THE WAY

2 Chronicles 7:14 says,  “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.”I believe that the reason that systemic racism still exists in our country is due to the fact that we have not addressed racism in the church and healed the division in the body of Christ FIRST. The land will not be healed until we ourselves get it right in the body of Christ. The healing of the land begins with US! We have got to lead the way. If we as the body of Christ cannot bridge the racial divide in the church, and we have the Holy Spirit available to us, how can we expect America to bridge the racial divide?

ADOPTING A MULTICULTURAL MINDSET

The body of Christ needs to ponder on Revelation 7:9 and decide how we will proceed forward to implement God’s vision for His church. This may require that we as individual believers step out of our comfort zones and visit, and maybe eventually join, churches that have people attending the service that are a different race than we are. It may mean that churches of different races will agree to merge. We have to adopt a multicultural mindset and develop multicultural fellowships as we move forward into the future.  

What will it take for that to successfully happen?  We as people of different races have to get to know one another by having fruitful conversations that will help us to break down walls and get past the stereotypes. We have to pray and be able to apply the Word to bridge the gap between our differences and overcome the conflict that may result from those differences. Only then will we become the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ that we were predestined to become. Only then will we be able to operate at maximum capacity because where there is unity, God commands the blessing. Only then will the bride of Christ be ready to be presented to her bridegroom without the spot of racism and the wrinkle of segregation.

What do you feel you can do to help bridge the gap between the races in the body of Christ?

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A CONVERSATION ABOUT CONDEMNATION

The other day, I made a mistake. I hate making mistakes, but I guess the positive outcome is that every time my humanity manifests, God gives me the opportunity to reflect and get a deeper revelation and a clearer view of how He sees things. That means I learn new lessons. Unfortunately, during that incident, it took me hours to learn the lesson and get out of the condemnation. But I can say I have come a long way because I got out of it in less than a day. I use to take days, sometimes weeks back in the early days of my life. Thank God, for spiritual growth!

Below I have listed some things God has shown me or reinforced in my thinking during this bout with condemnation. My goal is just to remind you of some things that will help in the time of testing. We all will be tested in this area, and we need to keep the following in the forefront of our minds if we are going to win the battle:

  1. The Origin.  We may call it “self-condemnation,” but we should remember it’s actually “satanic-condemnation” because as you well know, it originates from the devil. He injects negative thoughts into our minds and fools us into thinking they’re our thoughts so we will not wage a counter-attack. Therefore, the first step to nullifying condemnation is to fully recognize its origin.
  2. The Idolatry. We must also recognize when we accept the enemy’s condemnation and accept it as our own by agreeing with him, we have slipped into IDOLATRY. Condemnation is a form of idolatry because it’s an attempt to punish ourselves for our own sins or pay the penalty for our own sin apart from Jesus’ death on the cross. It’s an attempt to appropriate our own righteousness.
  3. The Consequences. There are unfortunate consequences that come with condemnation that should motivate us to fight against it with all we have. Condemnation pollutes our spirit with negative emotions. We fail to receive God’s best when we lose faith because we don’t think we deserve anything from God. We try to hide from God unless we deliberately make an effort to overcome this human tendency. Finally, the anointing of the Holy Spirit is shut down in our lives. Accepting satan’s condemnation is simply not worth it.
  4. The Remedy. Since condemnation is a renegade thought from the devil run amok, we must cast down condemning thoughts, bringing them into captivity to the obedience of Christ as stated in 2 Corinthians 10:5. Furthermore, we must deliberately think thoughts about our righteousness which are clearly stated in the Word of God (2 Corinthians 5:21) and speak these thoughts out of our mouth. If we have to say “I am the righteousness of God” a hundred times before the condemnation loses its grip, then that is what we must do.

Therefore, when condemnation comes, we must recognize where it’s coming from, and make a conscious decision to refuse to engage in idolatry. We must keep in mind the negative consequences that will ensue if we don’t deal with it effectively and rebuke the devil. Finally, we need to take the thoughts of condemnation captive, replacing them with the Word of God, speaking the Word out of our mouths, and plead the blood over our minds. We have got to learn to forgive ourselves quickly and keep it movin’. Joyce Meyer put it this way: “Climb out of the pit and skip the guilt trip.” That’s truly God’s desire is for us.

How do you combat condemnation? Please leave a comment below.

I’d love your help in spreading the word about my books, Oasis for My Soul: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual and Personal Growth. Click here to find out ways you can help.

Would you like to receive your FREE e-chapbook entitled, Your Faith Has Made You Whole: Poems and Inspirational Writings for Spiritual Transformation, by Tracey L. Moore? Go to www.traceylmoore.com and subscribe to the email list.

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