Sunday, November 08, 2009

When Men Become Expendable - Part Three


"[The God who made the world and all things in it] made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation." Acts 17:26

"Do we not all have one father? Has not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously each against his brother so as to profane the covenant of our fathers?" Malachi 2:10

Oh boy, you talk about a touchy topic. Let's get right to it. We likely all have relatives, friends and acquaintances that seem to be hung up on this issue, I know that I do. In an unintentional pun, it really is a black and white issue. You either see all men created in the image of God or you think you are somehow elevated above another – period. I could stop here and my point would be adequately made. Again, the issue is the same - each person creates classes and sects with levels of value and importance. I'll turn the spotlight on myself. I recently had the opportunity to spend a small amount of time with some guys that were of different nationality than me. They barely spoke any English and would be what I would deem as poor. They were beyond kind. They were servant-minded. They were likely as helpful as any persons that I've ever met. But, I felt like I saw them as different than me. I talked to the LORD and my wife about it. I didn't like how I viewed them. Why would I see them as any lesser than me? Because they live and work in dirty, run down conditions? Does that somehow define one's value and importance?

What I'm discovering more and more as I grow in the LORD is the simple fact that we are absolutely all the same. Whether you're an Asian field laborer, an Iraqi brick maker, an American CEO, it is all completely irrelevant in the eyes of my Father. It is we who place labels and status on others, not Him! In reference to bigoted comments, racist attitudes or slurs, I often hear, "oh well that's how he was raised" or "well they come from a different generation". While these may be completely accurate statements, they are sad excuses, especially if one claims to be a Believer. Perhaps we could analyze the depth of this issue by how many people would hang out with a dark-skinned Man that sat around talking with hookers and demoniacs after He denounced the religious order of His day. As an adult, I'm responsible for who I am, not my parents, grandparents or what part of the country I grew up in.

No matter the color of skin, geographic location or social upbringing, all are created in the beautiful image of the LORD. All are equal in His sight and should be in ours as well. All have value and purpose. None are expendable.

NEXT: Part Four - War


NINA said...

Good blog. We are taught from a very young age the whole 'separation" thing. I was raised in a predominately black community and though prejudice against other races was never an issue, there was always the "over extend" yourself when another race comes in to play thing. My mom had this thing where she would say things like "be on your best behavior. cause all of these 'white' people are around","don't emberrass me in front of the 'white' people", or " a white man is coming by to fix ... or you don't want 'them' to think...etc.I think you get the point. (I never really got the point because my mom didn't want us to emberass her in front of ANYONE and either way the same rules applied.)And though it was rare, if a white family moved in, the entire neighborhood went out of their way to welcome them. I won't lie, by the time I reached teen years I began to resent 'them'. I avoided 'them' as much as possible.I went to a predominately black college and most people there had the 'power to the people' attitude. It wasn't until I went out into the workforce that I realized that we are all the same.And it wasn't always the black people that I got along with.It became very much more evident when I became a true Christian and I often found a comradship and shared like views with my white brothers and sisters, even more so than those people who looked like me. We cared for each other, laughed together and cried together. So I have come to a strong conclusion that my father, my mother, my sister, and my brothers are those who do the will of my father. So if that makes me prejudice, I can live with that.I am so happy that I realized this before I got a chance to impart the same ignorance into my son.When he talks about his friends he calls them by name instead of saying the white boy in my class like I used to. If you ask for a description, he says yellow,beige, or brown or dark brown or kinda orange. :)However I am pretty eager to finally see this 'kinda orange' kid. LOL But when he does it, I cant help but smile, and I feel proud that I have succeeded in shattering the tradition of ignorance.

Daughter of Wisdom said...

Amen and amen to this post.

God is a God of diversity. A many-membered, diverse body, that is still one body. We are all one bread - one loaf. Many different ingredients go into making bread, but the end product is one bread.

Joel Spencer said...

Nina: Thanks for sharing your personal experiences. What you've described are great real-life looks into reality. Kudos for breaking the cycle with your son. We all have one Father.

Daughter: Well said. If we could all level the playing field - whether it be race, gender, positions, whatever - the Body of Christ would be alot better off for it.