I recently wrote that without judgement, there can be no justice, and without justice there can be no righteousness. Where there is no righteousness, death will reign. Here is my expanded edition of a statement written by James Baldwin which resonated with me regarding establishing justice and righteousness in our communities, “While you may not be able to right everything you face, it is certain you will never right the things you refuse to face.” Baldwin wrote this to identify a prerequisite to racial reconciliation in America. In my efforts to facilitate reconciliation and unity within the body of Christ, I have encountered people’s unwillingness to face the realities of today’s racism and rampant implicit bias. The stronghold of denial and avoidance has taken the place of heart surgery, so many contaminants remained lodged in the hearts of those who should be providing living waters to the nations. Instead, many Christians still circulate the same foul waters that perpetuate the reign of death. If Christians will not surrender their hearts to the scapula of truth, they will remain captive to the lies and miseducation of this current world system.
“If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” (John 8:31-32 NKJV)
This quote of liberation from the Savior of the world, YESHUA HAMASHIACH, is an essential truth for all who would be free. Christ is not talking about free to eat at any restaurant, or free to have any job you want, or free to be president. He is talking about free to love, free to live righteously, free to become mature humans, free to know Him. If people get the freedom He is speaking of, then all those other social freedoms are a given. The arrested moral development in America and the rest of the world is due to the suppression and avoidance of Truth. If you are looking for somewhere to hide from truth, your confirmation bias can lead you to many dark corners of the false. The wide availability of misinformation comes to us from a robust information highway with offramps to everyone’s personal electronic devices. Instead of abiding in the Word of GOD, many Christians abide more in their news feeds and social media threads. Since these sources are often driven by financial profit, they are often financed and influenced by those who are the very perpetrators of exploitation.
Many people today feel like the truth cannot be known because there is so much bias everywhere. The great deceiver would have all to give up on the hope of knowing truth, but the truth is a light that cannot be extinguished. YAHWEH, in His foreknowledge, gave us foods for nourishment which require peeling and only eating certain parts. I’m sure everyone has eaten a fruit which required peeling back the exterior part and discarding the seeds in order to consume the nutritious part. Seeking truth, knowledge, and wisdom is the same way. I don’t see anyone declaring that there is no nutritional fruit.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.” (Matthew 5:6 NKJV)
The Lord has also provided us a means to deal with programmed biases. It is called the cross. We are called to deny ourselves that the will of the spirit can be manifest in us. Another way to look at cleaving to our biases is seeking our own life or seeking what keeps us comfortable.
“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 16:25 NKJV)
Carrying the cross is our daily commitment to yield in obedience to the revelation of truth. When the spirit identifies something in our thinking or behavior not inline with the revealed will of GOD, we have to lose it in order to lay hold on the life that is in Christ. We have to seek the truth with our whole heart, or we will be tempted to compromise for the comfort of the programmed biases.
34 “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. 35 For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; 36 and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ 37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.” (Matthew 10:34-38 NKJV)
Walking in truth will set you apart from others. It will change you and thereby change how others relate to you. This separation is called sanctification. The Lord sanctifies us and makes us pure to use us as vessels to pour revelation through, to bring life to others. When you speak light, they will call you judgmental, and that will be true, because the spirit judges between good and evil, light and darkness, and life and death. The world values comfort over virtue, and pleasure over life, selfish gain over the wellbeing of all. For these reasons they will persecute you as they persecuted Christ. Embrace it. This is part of your heritage as an image bearer of GOD.
18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. 25 But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’ 26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. 27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.” (John 15:18-27 NKJV)
GOD is not calling us to leave this world physically. He is calling us to move our affections, our hope, and our trust to the eternal realm of His spirit. He is calling us to shift our allegiance from the powers of this world to the power and authority of His kingdom. Though you may be willing to dwell with friends and family in your enlightenment, their flesh may strive against you because you do not conform. Your loyalty and uncompromising stand with Christ for truth and righteousness will be as an alarm with a call to awake. Those who love their slumber will resent the alarm. Those who accept that the slumber is but the precursor of death from the effect of poisonous lies will open their heart to the balm of truth.
“19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” (John 3:19-21 NKJV)
Condemnation does not come from the light of truth or judgement; condemnation comes from remaining in darkness once the path of righteousness has been revealed. The bliss of darkness is the revelry of fools unto destruction. The tribulation of those who walk in the light is the holy gardening which leads to an eternal feast of peace and joy. Face the truth now in this season of grace and mercy while there is still an invitation to the feast.
“13 And leaving Nazareth, He went and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the country of Zebulun and Naphtali. 14 This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah:
15 “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee [in the district] of the Gentiles—
16 “The people who were sitting (living) in [spiritual] darkness have seen a great Light, And for those who were sitting (living) in the land and shadow of [spiritual and moral] death, Upon them a Light has dawned.”
17 From that time Jesus began to preach and say, “Repent [change your inner self—your old way of thinking, regret past sins, live your life in a way that proves repentance; seek God’s purpose for your life], for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4:13-17 AMP)
Very insightful, thoughtful and true. It’s a shame our lust for comfort and self righteousness blinds us to those truths most easily seen.