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Monthly Archives: October 2011

Prejudice & Racism: A Rejection of God

Lloyd W. Duncan

I had the opportunity the other day, could say I took it, to express, in brief, my opinion about certain prejudices. A young man I knew when he was a child, now in Bible College, posed a question on his Facebook page. “Would a human clone have a soul?” Fair question, I suppose. Some of the responses were what any reader might expect, while others, from a biblical point of view, seemed totally lacking in spiritual understanding. It wasn’t until I read those responses that I felt compelled to put in my two cents worth. And since, I feel, my guidance comes from the Lord on things that I’ve studied and prayed about, and barring error on my part, I would suggest its worth a lot more.

One response I want to discuss in particular simply stated that a soul would be automatic if there were life in the clone. I agree. But, then they dropped the bomb. “How would a man-made soul react with all the God made souls?” Duh…WHAT?? Now, I would ask that you not try the childish challenges and ask me, “Oh! So you’ve studied and prayed about human clones?!?” Of, course not. But, I have very much done so toward prejudices, relating to Gods’ creations and people He has given life to. That would be all of them. What I hope to show is that if there were a “deeper, core understanding” of the one, you would know how to respond to the other.

You need to know that this is not a subject I take lightly. This post will be extremely brief compared to the space this topic deserves and, indeed, commands. I am only going to give you what was revealed to me by the Lord during a particular time deep prayer and Bible study, therefore I can’t offer book references other than the couple of scriptures you’ll see. After you have an understanding that all this racial prejudice doesn’t come from God, you’ll realize it does come from man. For an in-depth study of all the lies that have been perpetrated on people of color, ANY color, I would highly recommend the well prepared book by Dr. Frederick K.C. Price: Race, Religion, and Racism. There are many others, but I reference this one as a means of bringing some attention to his work.

Let’s start with my personal experience with racism. I was raised in a southern extended family that tried their best to raise me and my generational equals to be racially prejudiced. Somewhere along the way, thank the Lord, the teachings began to break down at their foundation. During my life the family stance started being hidden from the kids. This was due to, among other things, a desire to avoid confrontations that came up because the kids did not comprehend, and therefore could not exercise, discretion. I recall an incident or two where one of us blurted out racial phrases in public, without restraint and simply because it was the language of the home(s). There was no embarrassment, nor malice, on our part, for neither was there any connection between these phrases and any black person. They were just words. We had little else to “contend” with in our area. So, those kinds of remarks began to disappear from the adults but, it wasn’t a change of heart or new-found enlightenment, it was to protect us from conflict in the now “ruined” school system.

I started first grade in 1968. The national demand for desegregation had been law for a while but, it was rejected, fought and just ignored in our part of the world. They, the southern establishment, did the same thing when the slaves were freed. They simply did not tell the slaves, or “owners”, that by law of the Emancipation Proclamation, they were free, and/or had no slaves. As a result, we have a holiday in the south that, though it should be celebratory for all, is mostly observed by the black population; Juneteenth, June 19, 1865, the recognized freedom date a full two and a half years after the fact. So, when I started school, there was an all-black school in town. All other schools were all white or, at least, had no blacks. Each year on the first day of school, and occasionally a few days during the year, a black kid would be seen walking to the office of my school to enroll, because they had moved into “this side” of town. Those attempts never succeeded. It took a lot of giving in, acceptance of defeat, to get the schools desegregated. I was in 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th grades during this time and certainly not privy to the details but, most certainly affected by the conversations that were not discreet; “If they close the black school I’m takin my kids outta school!”, “They can’t learn regular school work, why are we mixing with them?”

It came to pass that in my fourth year, the state decided that the desegregation efforts were still not enough, as there was still an all-white school in town, mine. It became the reverse “token”, the place to hold on to the white supremacy ideology. And even their attempts at projecting a segregated picture by letting in a few “not completely black” Mexicans would not help them prevail against social demands for unity. Among us students, who had never seen a black kid in school, we didn’t know how to act. Now, read that again. I want you to see the underlying pressure that was upon us kids. We didn’t know how to act, but we somehow knew, whether assumed or told, that we were supposed to act different. But, that’s the point, we knew something was expected of us and we had no idea how to answer those expectations.

As for myself, I tried not to bring it up much. I could go to school and come home and the whole matter wouldn’t have much effect on me in the immediate. As to how we were supposed to act, that came out at home, from those we had to answer to. It was the same things I’ve heard now ongoing for many years; “You have to go to school with them, but you will not play with them, and do not bring them home with you.” “We have to work with them, but don’t tell them where we gather after work.” I was during this year that, due to my parents’ divorce, I transferred to a much bigger school in the Dallas area. There were kids of all colors there and you wouldn’t believe what we had to do there! Every day we went to school, we did just plain old school work. Imagine that.

All during this time my family was failing miserably in their racist training efforts. When I look back, I can now say their actions show that their heart couldn’t really have been in it. In fact, their heart told another story all together. It told us that their actions, at least from some of them, were due to a peer pressure of their own. Fortunately, I never saw any negative actions except those statements of “us” being better than “them”. The old and very true saying “your actions speak louder than your words” was already at work removing the vail that their peer pressure had put in place.

My dad was, of course, to be the example in our upbringing. He was also trying to follow his examples and gain approval from them, his elders in the family. But, there was a clash between two separate sets of examples we were all supposed to follow. The second set came from the elder women and was based in a deep desire to follow and please the Lord! This resulted in both beliefs showing up on the surface, but one got lip service while the other got the action. “We are just not going to have anything to do with blacks, but… well, we need to help those babies, I mean it’s not their fault, right?” “You kids move over.” And with that the rear door of our car flew open in a blinding rain storm and a young black mother and her three very little children piled into the backseat with us. “We can take where ever you need to go.” Most racist thing I ever saw. Then, I was home on leave one time, my Dad and I were about to enter a local store, “Mr. Duncan” we heard. An older black man came up to us, shook hands with us both, and handed my dad $600. The man thanked my dad profusely and apologized for taking so long. My dad asked him was he sure he could do this all at one time. The man said no, but he would not keep his money any longer. Dad only accepted half the money and told him not to worry about the rest. I was told later that the man’s wife was a woman that we had talked to for years out at the lake where we lived. She would come to fish on the banks near our house with her long cane poles. She had been diagnosed with cancer, which took her rather quickly but, there was a period of great pain, and no medicine. What a racist thing to do, Dad.

These stories far outnumber the real episodes of racism that I saw from any of my family, extended or otherwise. But, these happenings were separated instances and without much weight in my life for a long time. I never took up being actively racially prejudice, it was just something I wanted to leave alone. So, I avoided the subject because I didn’t really understand it, its meaning or its purpose. But, just like all things, there came the time when I found myself in the middle of it and both sides asking me choose. The first few times that happened, I managed to skate by without losing too many friends on either side. Hope you caught that. And I held in my mind, that someday I was going to have to formulate a response to this situation that I could really stand on, one way or the other. I had agreed with the whites, when needed. WHEN NEEDED! I didn’t need to be the victim of a racist beating when all I had to do was – ” oh yea, you right, well see you fella’s later.” And I agreed with the blacks… …fill in all the same stuff here.

And then that day came. It was the Lord that flashed the truth of the whole situation right in front of my face! The formulated response that I could stand on had begun to take shape and, as I had always leaned toward, it was not going to be the side of prejudice!

I spent a large segment of my life in the field of law enforcement. I know that might get a gasp from some of you who think you know me, but you do not. It was during this segment of time that the Lord gave me something I had wanted for a long time. I had no idea it would come from Him, which shows how close I had previously not been to Him. I had carried in my mind, for a long time, some unfinished business that would lend itself to defining who I was, what I would believe, and what stand I would take on this issue of racism and prejudice. The formulated answer that I would come to stand on, and now do, would not come for another couple of years, but this was definitely the jumping off point, as it were. This stuck with me so strongly, for years, just hanging there, demanding attention.

One day, I found myself in a nearby police station conducting business with an older, fellow officer. From where we were we could see thru a tinted plate-glass window out to the entrance to station lobby. And in thru the front doors walked a young couple, and their two kids. One of the couple was white, the other was black. I seriously don’t remember which was which, and probably wouldn’t mention it anyway. Pardon my southerners language, but…it don’t matter. I saw this, as did the other fellow, and simply continued waiting for him to finish up whatever he was doing. He, apparently, couldn’t resist the opportunity to let out something that would define him, and seek to define me.

The other officer sort of grunted, shook his head, “Uhm, mm, mm.” as he stared at the family. My immediate thought was he must have come from a family background like mine! I knew he wanted a response from me, from the ensuing look I got. So, I simply smiled, and stated “You have feelings about that.” He proceeded to tell me that he did, that he didn’t agree with mixing races and then, as most racist do, tried to leave himself an exit while providing an air tight justification for his position. He said , “You know, I don’t agree with the mixed marriage, I think it’s wrong but, those people are adults, they don’t live with me and if they choose go thru the trouble they’ll have for being in a mixed marriage, well, it’s their choice, it’s all on them.” And then he paused, I thought he was done and that his statement was one of truth and fact. And then, “But, you know what’s really wrong?…is that those kids did not get to choose, they had no say in being born half-breed, and they have to go thru their lives with the trouble that’s going to bring to them. Maybe the white half will step up to the plate.”

Being totally honest, I had to think about that for a while; a long while. Not to change the subject, but, I later figured out that at that very moment, Satan had won a victory. It was a small victory in the very large war of racism. He had once again taken a seemingly true statement and used it to deceive and hide the real truth, which we will get to in a bit. I, for some reason (Gods Intervention), could not come up with a response, for or against. I mean to say that the only thing I took from that meet was a crystal clear “Mind Tube video” of what happened, and I knew I wouldn’t forget it. His statement had drawn out of me a real feeling of sympathy for those kids, but it seemed so very out-of-place in this racial “half-breed” picture he had painted. Now, remember, this was before my lesson from God on this subject. So, I left there feeling that his observation and statements were very wrong, I was not comfortable at all with it. That was the frustrating delimma I suffered; because, for the life of me, I did not know why. I had nothing to support my feelings, or to rebuke his statement. This case of ignorance was not bliss!

Ignorance, I later found, was exactly the problem. I did have the answer in my head, as I had read my Bible, and it was in there. But, I did not have the understanding it took to bring Bible knowledge and life situation together. Remember, I had not yet had my first revelations of understanding, had not been to the place of deep prayer and seeking His wisdom. And the Bible says clearly, wisdom comes from God. So, now, let me jump ahead to exactly that time.

A time came when I found I had a great opportunity to sit back and do absolutely nothing! I was free to enjoy life for a change all by myself. What a deal. So, one of the things I decided to do, read a book. I didn’t read much, really. I was good at it, though not fast at all. I always had been greatly satisfied with what I got out of the reading, rather than how fast I could do it. That being said, I also knew that was not a true statement when it came to the Bible. Not at all. Now, I had read the Bible, or out of it, for years. I could read the words and even understand the short story on top but, I always knew there was an underneath, and I couldn’t see it! Talk about frustrating. And wouldn’t you know it, lying to the side of all the books I had to choose from, just roping my attention…. Well, ok, I may just have enough time to at least “say” all the words as my eyes pass over them.

So, I began, page one. Now, my interest in reading the Bible was genuine, but my earlier attempts had disillusioned any vision of success. But, here I was. I read for quite a while, happy with my progress, not with my comprehension. Again, I got the story, but knew as sure as I was breathing, there was MORE. Then, the answer came, right out of the Bible, imagine that. Don’t ask me where, but I came to a passage that said, in my words, “when you study your Bible, pray while you do it! Pray for God to give you the knowledge of His word and understanding for the attainment of wisdom, which only comes from Him.” Of course, I used the first person in my new-found prayer. The next thing that surprised me, and I said “I can’t believe I’m doing this”, was – I closed the Book, and started all over again.

I know that I’m getting rather lengthy in the personal side of this story, but I feel it important that you understand the background of my knowledge, opinions, feelings… So, I began to pray every few passages. I would read a short section over and over, pray and pray. The Lord began to open the pages to me as I had never even heard of. And that fact scared me. I’ll let you figure that one out. But, here I was, on my bed, having visions of what I was reading. To give you a clue as to how in tune I was, and that not of myself, I would stop reading, stare into the airspace in the center of the room and begin to imagine the characters there; acting out the scene I was studying. After a while I would catch myself, and come back to reality, knowing that I had let my imagination stray far from what was on the page. And, to my shock, I mean shock!, when I read on in the story, every word I read…I had already heard, right there in front of me in my room. When that happened, I felt compelled to pray all the more, and I did. I thanked Him profusely for what He was doing with me.

Anyway, that continued until I had read That Book, The Bible, no less than eight times! It took about two and half weeks. Think what you will, I was there. At least one time I read it thru with two other Bibles at the same time, to compare versions, side by side. (It’s KJV for me, by the way.) And now, finally, here it comes. During one day of revelational reading, I read the story, again, of Jeremiah:

Jeremiah 1:4 Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

I stopped, I prayed, I read again, “Before I formed thee in the belly” and as I said “I knew thee”, I saw that family in the lobby of the station, as clear as if I were there, again. I said those words to those kids, and right then I knew all I could do was hold on and watch.

“I knew you before you were formed in the belly, before you were in the womb. I didn’t form you out of the miry clay into the womb, I chose you from those in heaven with me, already formed of My Spirit, to be formed of the flesh! ‘Those children didn’t get to choose’? They most certainly did, they chose to answer My call from the throne, and I chose among them who should go forth as this child or that. I shall not burden them, or you, with a yoke too heavy.”

And that really was what I heard, and even more understanding followed. Out of that lesson, that true revelation of understanding, I was finally able to formulate that heart-felt, emotional and righteous stand that I would take on the subject of racial prejudice. When I was done, the Lord, in my mind, put me in front of that officer, once again.

 Your right about them not choosing, but only partially. They chose to go whereever God would send them, and He chose who would go where, according to the work He wants accomplished. He knew you before you were in the womb, and He sent you to be the person you are. He didn’t MAKE you the person you are, he sent you to BE the person you are. They didn’t get to choose? What about you? You mean to tell me when the Lord called you in heaven, and you obviously answered, that you told Him, ‘Now, Lord, I’m going down as a white American male, middle class, or I’m not going!’ ARE YOU KIDDING ME!!! No, you did not. Oh, but lucky you! Must have been luck that brought you here, to that position, right? This same God also said He would never put a yoke on you that you could not carry. So, tell me, was it luck – that you weren’t a slave, was it luck – you weren’t a half-breed (your word)!? No, I think it was because YOU could not bear it! I think slavery was something that took a lot of greater men than you to get through, and get over!! Get over the racial issue in your head and get on with whatever it was He called you for, because in spite of all the deception Satan’s got you living in, YOU WERE CALLED! So, hey, step up to the plate.

One last note, for Josh and his friends; your subject was cloning. If a clone lives, God willed it so! Man will NEVER create a soul but, if there is life, God has called another soul, to come and BE that person. And, oh, how we should admire the strength of that one, to be chosen of God, to go through …whatever awaits him, even if it’s just a brief visit to planet earth. I suspect, if it ever happens, he may need all the strength God gives him. I will make clear my stance on the subject, it is absolutely wrong; no way, for no reason should we ever do it! But, this post isn’t about that, it’s about the soul; yours, mine and everyone you ever lay eyes on.

I hope you stop by for of my Lessons from God!.  Thank you bery much.

 

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What did Jesus write on the ground?

I was sitting here at the desk, commenting on a post at another blog by an obviously very troubled young woman.  During my writing, I had refered to my righteousness post and, it occurred to me, with a clear picture of Jesus knelt down, but rising, that the Hebrews of the day, probably did have the deeper, core understanding of righteousness.  I blinked my eyes and mumbled “what?”  I mean, where did this picture come from, why is it here with this thought?

This happens  often, actually.  Less, now, than before, but that’s my fault.  Haven’t stayed active in talking with the Lord.  I’m trying to improve that, now.  Anyway, before I recognized His being the source of this, mere seconds mind you, I saw Him rise and face a small group of men.  They were looking at the ground, at writing; and I knew then what story I was watching.  Righteousness.  That very well may have been what He wrote on the ground.  I don’t know what the word looks like in Aramaic, but still.  If they had the full understanding of the word, or at least the understanding I will share in the near future, see the inaugural post, it makes complete sense.  They were acting in unrighteousness, in sin.  “Let him who is without sin,” or wishes to commit one thru this unrighteous act, “throw the first stone!”  It doesn’t matter if it was the actual word, it is a great confirmation of the meaning and understanding I have chosen to stand on.  Thank you Jesus for all your teaching, as always. In Jesus Name.

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2011 in Notes from God

 

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I went to the website for First United Methodist Church at 315 E. Elm St., Hillsboro

Which is http://hillsborofumc.com/

While I was there I clicked on the Bible Study link, because that’s what we’re doing on this site.  The current subject was The Gospels, a general overall look at the books as a group.   It was a fine post for that level of reader, but, here, I want to stay on the “deeper, core understanding” side of things.  I’m simply going repost their entry, it belongs to them, I have not altered it.  And following is the response I posted in their comments form.

Sorry I missed last week. Short week and I was out of town but here is the latest offering.

Let’s move out of the Old Testament into the new. Let’s look at the four Gospels as a whole. The four are Matthew, Mark< Luke and John. What are Gospels as opposed to the Epistles? The Gospels are accounts of the Ministry of Jesus. Even with that, they are almost as wide in their scope as any four books could be if you consider they are retelling the ministry and the death and resurrection of God Himself.

There are other books that claim to be Gospels like the Gospel of Thomas and others. However, the church felt that these were the be canonized. The cannon means that there are certain measurements that have to be met to be included in and a part of the Scriptures. The four Gospels met the data to qualify.

Later, as we go back through the books more in depth, we will get into the authorship, date and particular passages. For now, we will only take them up as a collection.

Of the four Gospels, Mark is perhaps the oldest and most original. Without getting into the details, Matthew and Like borrow from Mark but Mark doesn’t seem to us others. So if Matthew and Luke uses Mark but Mark doesn’t use them, then they know and probably read Mark.

John’s Gospel stands alone.

Matthew and Luke include the Birth narrative but the Mark and John do not. Even with that, Luke was probably wrote his narrative later depending not on first hand knowledge or eye witnessing. He seems to have collected stories of Jesus and wrote his Gospel.

Mark is the shortest of the books. It is because for him the most important thing was the Crucifixion and Resurrection.

John on the other hand wrote independently and uses the language of the Greeks or Romans. His is a book with soaring language and includes some influence of other worldly theology. His of the best written source that enables us to soar.

The Gospels were written after the writers realized that Christ would come again but His return was still some time away. They wanted to create a story that could be read by people all over the world and learn and become indeed Christians. For the first 20 to 50 or so years the church depended on oral traditions. It became evident that in order for the stories to be told consistently and over a wide spread area, they needed to be written.

I suggest that a good Gospel to read to get a foundation, Mark is your guy. His is focus on the ministry of Christ and gets you quickly to the days before the Cross but then he slows down the story to a crawl. Notice how often he uses the work “immediately” until the last few chapters. If helps us to realize that even the miracles, parables, etc were not as important as the events of the last week.

That is true but let’s remember that it is in the richness of the other parts in the other Gospels that makes the soul soar and the stories we love so. After all, who want to miss out on the Birth Narratives?

Peace and Peace. Reed.

And my reply:

Well, praise the Lord!

I read this entry, enjoyed this entry, and recognize the generality of the passage.  I say this so you won’t take this as negative toward your post.  It’s simply another point or perspective on the Gospels.

Have you ever watched a line of sharp dressed marines during some rifle drills.  Every toe is in line, every crease in the clothing is exactly the same and every rifle turns and spins in perfect unison.  Even outside this special drill team the military members are just as dedicated to their other duties; being punctual, knowing and doing whats required without question and, probably most relative here, doing it with a diligent consistency you can count on.  All of this is defined as military discipline and it’s laid out in manuals, training and experience. Discipline, in Websters, is the orderly or prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior.

And that is what I want to express to people about the Gospels, as a group.  Yes, they contain “Good News” and they certainly recount the ministry and teachings of Jesus.  However, it is acting on those teachings that is vitally important.  You see, discipline is a verb, an action!  It comes from the word disciple.  The disciples had training from Jesus, experience from walking with Him and they wrote  the manual.  The Gospels are more than good news, they are the Discipline Manual we should live by.

Next subject: I am making an attempt at a new blog and it just so happens this subject will be one of topics for a later date.  In the mean time I would like all interested parties to stop by and give their feedback on the inaugural post.  Please pass this on to your pastor as I am specifically looking for comments from leadership levels, but want them from everyone.

May the Lord bless you, thank you.

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2011 in Guess where I went?

 

What is your deeper, core understanding of _______________?

Hello everyone and Welcome to Messages from God!

I hope the title of this post gives you some idea of what I want to accomplish on a somewhat ongoing basis.  I will insert a word or phrase or question for you to express your thoughts on, answer or disregard, but please don’t.  Any response you send me will be handled as you wish; private between us, passed to the public or just opened for discussion.  I am asking you to take part if you have any knowledge, input or opinion, or if you want to gain such things about the topic at hand.

Please, respond either in the comments, or by the e-mail link, which I would prefer.  You can send a note, page or full lesson/sermon or whatever you want to share.  When I have reviewed all the responses and closed the window, I will post my response.  Then following, we will exchange reviews of each other and I will do my best to supply a summary.  Don’t forget, from the Who Am I page above, I am here to teach and spread the understanding of Bible topics as the Lord has given them to me.  However, He did not call me to be the Doctrinal Police.  If we disagree when we’re done, well, that’s just where we’ll be.  I wish to express our thoughts side by side for whoever wishes to see.  Through prayer and study of the word each visitor shall have to develop his/her own understanding and thereto their own relationship with God Himself.

So, todays word,  RIGHTEOUSNESS!  Put it in the title sentence, develop your response and email me, PLEASE!

One more thing, the window for this inaugural post and exchange will open for a while because I don’t have all the contact information for some people I wish to hear from specifically; like clergy, dedicated community christians, or anyone YOU may want to hear from.  So to help me, please send this to them in some way and ask them to join in. If I have enough comments I will try move to the next subject come each new month, with this one probably going through Nov. 2011.

THANK YOU!!

 
 
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