This book could have been titled CHRISTIANITY AND POLITICS but the premise was looking at contemporary politics through a Christian Pauline lens.What if the apostle Paul were living in America today? If he wrote to today’s churches, what would he say?IF PAUL WROTE TO TODAY’S CHURCH, looks at worldly flaws that have infiltrated the church of today and imagines what someone like Paul would say if given the opportunity. Egocentricism, elitism, hypocrisy, money, and politics have tarnished the churches of today. Christian organizations and some of their leaders support policies that go against the teachings of Jesus and do not provide help and support for those in need. Immigration, racism, arguments among believers, and staying focused on God’s message of love will continue to erode authentic Christianity in our world unless Christians take a stand and actually live their lives according to the teachings of Jesus.
This book could be used as a devotional study or a discussion study for an Adult group or Sunday School class.
This comes from pages 42-46.
Racism perpetuated by “Christian” organizations or by people claiming to be Christian is repulsive. The worst kind of racism is racist acts from someone that believes that they are not racist. Treating anyone or any group of people differently because of their characteristics or biological traits is unjust. Believing that some types of people are less than other types is unchristian.
Supporting leaders, politicians, and policies that are racist, is racism. Telling or enjoying jokes at the expense of other ethnic groups of people is racism. Being a silent bystander to racism is racism.
You cannot be racist and be a Christian. Racism is antithetical to everything that Christ-like behavior should be. Jesus called us to love, accept, embrace, and include all people. Separating some groups of people as less worthy or unqualified to be equally present in life is a disqualifying action for Christianity.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations.
Jesus did not
In the parable of the good Samaritan, Jesus related to the people that preconceived notions about types of people were unfair. The assumption was that a good Samaritan was an unexpected find among a group of people they considered all bad. In fact, the Jews’ contempt for the Samaritans led them to avoid contact with the Jews and the misconception was perpetuated. Segregation based on racism breeds prejudice.
At the time of Jesus, the Jews were racist towards Samaritans. In the story of Jesus at the well, asking a Samaritan woman for a drink, the woman was shocked because a Jew spoke to her and asked for a drink. The Jews considered Samaritans unclean and would never drink from something they touched. Jesus modeled overcoming stereotypes and ridiculous racist prejudices.
Here there is no Greek or Jew, circumcised or uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave or free, but Christ is all, and is in all.
There are no racial or ethnic distinctions in God’s eyes. People are people and any human trait or characteristic is irrelevant to God and must be irrelevant to Christians.
Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism.
Race is not relevant to God.
My brothers, as believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ, don’t show favoritism.
God does not show favoritism and neither can we. We must love, accept, embrace, and include all people.
The story in Genesis relates to us that God created mankind, male and female he created them. The creation of the human race included diversity. The creation story in Genesis must be a portion of the creation story. God must have created multiple males and females that populated Earth.
I John 3:15
Anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life in him.
To hate someone is equal in God’s eyes to actually murdering them. We are called to love and hate is the opposite of love. We must be careful in our actions, words, politics, policies, and support of leaders, that we in no way align with hate. Supporting policies that hurt someone is hate. Treating a group of people differently in ways that squash their existence, is hate. According to John, hate equates to murder in the eyes of God.
I Corinthians 13:4-7
Love is patient, love is kind, it does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
Racism is not love. In fact, much of the description in first Corinthians, defining love, is obliterated when racism demonstrates the lack of these qualities.
For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility.
As Christians, followers of Christ, our mission from God by its very definition must break down the walls and eliminate all forms and resemblances to racism.
Love your neighbor as yourself.
Everyone is our neighbor. Your neighbors are not all people just like you. Jesus did not say to love all our neighbors we know and understand and only those with which we agree. Jesus called us to love, accept, embrace, and include ALL of our neighbors.
So… Christians, do not treat people differently based on their race or ethnicity. Do not participate in ethnic or racially based jokes. Do not discriminate or support segregation in your towns or churches.
This book may be purchased at www.amazon.com/author/larryponder in paperback, e-book, or audiblebook formats.