Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Growing Up Black, With God..

You met my good friend John Allmond in a recent AMEN Corner: “Critical Race Theory and the Bible.” John is a strong man of God, a registered nurse who is an Operating Room Director, and who is also currently developing a Christian Film Project. After last week’s AMEN Corner on Pastor Miles McPherson, John wrote me the following response. John is a bold, outspoken witness for God and has some things to say that I wanted you to read... 

GUEST POST by: John Allmond
Racism is such an uncomfortable and controversial topic these days and my hat’s off to any brave soul that desires to even broach the subject. Pastor Miles is one of my favorite people. I sat under his teaching at his church and it was at one of his sermon conferences that I felt prompted by the Holy Spirit to pursue the woman who became my wife. I’m planning on attending one of his conferences this summer. I believe Pastor Miles to be a true follower of Christ and he and I share several similarities. 

I didn’t play professional football, but like Pastor Miles, I was born Black with a bi-racial heritage. My grandmother was half Cherokee Indian – half Caucasian. Her mother was a Native American slave and was raped by her White slave owner. My great-grandfather was a Black slave. Pastor Miles and I both grew up in Black neighborhoods but were educated in White neighborhoods. I was rejected by both Whites and Blacks and repeatedly called the N word both as a child and up throughout adulthood. As a Christian and a Black man who has experienced racism all his life, I know that the antidote to the poison of racism is the love of others that Jesus calls us to in His second greatest commandment. Matthew 22:37-39 Love not as a platitude or a nice thought, but an authentic Christ-like love that is intrinsic to who we are and governs our thoughts and actions towards others. 1 John 3:18 Loving others is the litmus test of a follower of Christ. 

Loving others is the second greatest commandment for a reason. It’s the only way to move our focus from self and truly put ourselves in someone else’s shoes. All this division we see today is the work of Satan. The Bible says that in the last days, “..the love of many will grow cold.” Matthew 24:12 Regardless of what side of the political spectrum you’re on, that prophecy is being fulfilled today, and a pop song from the sixties says it well, “What the world needs now is love, sweet love.” Our ability to truly love others is the only thing that the world will use to identify us as Christians. Remember, “They’ll know we are Christians by our love”. John 13:34-35 If you call yourself a Christian and don’t possess love in your heart, then God doesn’t dwell within you. Full stop. He says it in His Word. 1 John 4:7-16 

I know that’s a tough pill to swallow, but if you want to get well and heal any sin of racism, you have to swallow the pill of truth and ask Jesus to fill your heart with love, not only for Him, but mankind. I’m not preaching as though I’ve mastered love. I haven’t. I think that we all innately possess some form of the sin of prejudice in our hearts. However, the difference between the non-believer and true believer in Christ is that the believer recognizes and identifies these sinful feelings in juxtaposition to the Holy Spirit and the Word of God and allows love to overshadow our carnal nature. 

I believe that just like love, hate is both learned and is a choice. Once we see every individual as one who is uniquely created in God’s image and we understand that we all belong to the same race, it becomes a lot easier to allow the Holy Spirit to activate love in our heart. Based on my experiences, it would be very easy for me to harbor hatred for the White man in my heart. But the thing that gave me encouragement and brought healing was the knowledge that God was much bigger than what it was that others had perpetrated against me. Because He had brought millions of my ancestors through literally hell on earth, then He is big enough to bring me through these small afflictions. I learned early on that I couldn’t look to man to influence my heart and actions and make right the wrongs. 

My influence was in the person of Jesus Christ. Sometimes you have to walk alone on this righteous path, but God alone gives us the strength needed for each step. The Bible says that God places the awareness of His existence in the heart of every man Romans 1:18-20 and even as a child I had felt the presence of God in my life. As I experienced the difficulties growing up Black, it was His presence that kept me strong. When faced with life’s difficulties, it’s a simple matter of focusing our attention on Him and allowing Him to flood our hearts and minds with His presence. 

As a Nation of people, we must realize that there are consequences for our actions. Throughout the pages of scripture, there are countless accounts of people and nations that committed sin and they reaped consequences, sometimes generations later. Israel not excluded. I believe that’s what’s happening in America today. The turmoil that we’ve been experiencing over the last few decades regarding race wars is a direct consequence of America’s foundation being established with the stain of the blood, sweat and tears from her African brothers and sisters. 

As a Nation, we are just now coming to a greater awareness and acknowledgment of our shared heritage and pain-filled history. This is a necessary but bitter pill that has to be swallowed if we are ever to mount up with wings of eagles and rise above the stench of hatred and inequality.

“If My people who are called by My name
will humble themselves,
and pray and seek My face,
and turn from their wicked ways,
then I will hear from heaven,
and will forgive their sin
and heal their land.”
2 Chronicles 7:14

No comments:

Post a Comment