A good brother of mine shared a podcast with me recently that has a focus on the work of racial reconciliation. As Christians, the message we have been called to share is the redeeming message of reconciliation to the Father through the Son. It is in the context of that reconciliation that we are reconciled one to another. If we shift the conversation of reconciliation to a focus on one another without emphasizing the dependency of being transformed into the likeness of the only begotten Son of the Father, then we deviate from the gospel of Christ. There were some good points made on the podcast, hosted by Josh Clemmons, featuring his guest, Dr. Michelle Reyes. I love how Dr. Reyes touched on the point that just because you may have participated in a mission trip to Africa doesn’t mean you have expelled all of your racist and prejudiced ideologies from western conditioning. I liked Josh’s analogy of what white privilege looks like in America. A great deal of what I heard I have written about as well. I am placing a link below to the podcast so you can check it out yourself.
There are some things that I hope Josh and Michelle will take a closer look at in scripture concerning the BIG role of the cross in facilitating the reconciliation called for by our Heavenly Father. As you nail your former life to the cross, ALL things become new. ALL things become new because the Lord expects you to nail ALL things to the cross.
14 For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; 15 and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again. 16 Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. ( 2 Corinthians 5:14-19)
The spiritual rebirth in Christ the Savior is disruptive to our former lives. That which is divinely spiritual opposes the carnal and the carnal is in opposition to the divinely spiritual. This makes the preaching of the cross offensive to those who are carnally minded and any attempts to accommodate the carnal will result in the dilution of the gospel. Christ said He didn’t come to bring peace but a sword and anyone looking to serve Him needs to understand and embrace that.
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)
This new life in Christ is disruptive to the traditions and cultures of families because it changes the values and beliefs of those born again. For instance, many born again Christians today shun singing about Santa Claus, Easter eggs and Easter bunnies, and dressing up like evil characters for Halloween. Many of the cultures and customs that people follow before coming to Christ are based on pagan beliefs.
Here is the definition of culture:
“The customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group, the set of values, conventions or social practices.”
We have to recognize that there is a new culture based on the knowledge and revelation of GOD that prevails in the Kingdom of GOD based on His values and eternal heritage. Those born again in Christ receive the mind of Christ so that GOD’s ways can become their ways, whereas when they were carnal minded, His ways were alien to them. Historically, most western missionaries have been focused on building the kingdoms of the west not the kingdom of GOD, so they have looked to make people what suits their purposes. The need for compliance with the western agenda and xenophobia accounts for the white washing Josh and Michelle are referring to in the podcast, however we have to be careful not to over-correct the mistakes of those missionaries. It is written that whatever we do should be done to the glory of GOD.
13 “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)
Dr. Michelle Reyes said there is no requirement in the New Testament church for a monolith. Well, let us look at what a monolith is:
“An organized whole that acts as a single unified powerful or influential force.”
That sounds a lot like the body of Christ being powered by the Holy Spirit. The verses in Revelations Dr. Reyes referred to in her talk speaks to great multitudes of people who are saved and redeemed out of or from every tribe, nation, and tongue. We have to go to the cross without the camp.
12 Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered outside the gate. 13 Therefore let us go forth to Him, outside the camp, bearing His reproach. 14 For here we have no continuing city, but we seek the one to come. (Hebrews 13:12-14 NKJV)
Our affections must shift to the new Kingdom of GOD. YAHWEH wants to give us a new identity in Him. The information in the podcast is correct in that we don’t have to look the same, dress the same, or eat the same, but if we have taken up the cross and been born again, we will definitely have the same values, the same priorities, and the same love one for another, and the same hope and desire to leave all this behind because we seek a place. A place not of this world. Amen!