Category Archives: African-American

Black Mothers: Choose Life for Your Sons (Part 14)

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Not counting the Bible, I’ve read Tramp for the Lord by Corrie ten Boom more times than any other book. The memoir contains stories from her worldwide travels. A particular one seemed appropriate right now.

In it, Corrie ten Boom related how she traveled to a church in Munich, Germany, in 1947, to proclaim the message of God’s forgiveness to the defeated and bombed-out German people. She stated to them:

“When we confess our sins, God casts them into the deepest ocean, gone forever.  And even though I cannot find a Scripture for it, I believe God then places a sign out there that says, ‘NO FISHING ALLOWED.'”

Afterward, the German crowd stood up and filed out, few daring to believe the message’s truth. None approached, except for one heavyset man who moved toward her.

Ten Boom recognized him as one of the cruelest guards at Ravensbruck, the concentration camp where she and her sister were imprisoned. She survived, but her sister died because of the guards’ cruelty.

The man stood in front of her and offered his hand. She fumbled in her purse, not wanting to shake it. Her message sounded glib to her ears at that moment.

He admitted to being a guard and then said, “But since that time, I have become a Christian.  I know that God has forgiven me for the cruel things I did there, but I would like to hear it from your lips as well, Fraulein. Will you forgive me?”

Corrie ten Boom ignored the man’s hand, not being able to forgive because of painful memories. It was too big a hurdle, even though she knew she had to do it. So, she prayed:

“Jesus, help me! I can lift my hand. I can do that much.  You supply the feeling.”

When their hands finally touched, God’s love flooded ten Boom. “I forgive you, brother, with all my heart,” she cried. Then she finished the story by adding:

I had never known God’s love so intensely as I did then.  But even so, I realized it was not my love.  I had tried, and did not have the power.  It was the power of the Holy Spirit…

The love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” (Romans 5:5)

(Excerpt from Tramp for the Lord by Corrie Ten Boom with Jamie Buckingham, Jove Books, © 1978.)

This story communicates what God expects to happen when He squeezes inner cities and how forgiveness of white Americans will come by the power of the Holy Spirit.

(Continued in Part 15…the full series to date can be seen here.)

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Black Mothers: Choose Life for Your Sons (Part 13)

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Do not judge others, and you will not be judged. For you will be treated as you treat others. The standard you use in judging is the standard by which you will be judged. And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own? How can you think of saying to your friend, “Let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,” when you can’t see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye. (Matthew 7:1-4 NLT)

Thank God for Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the other Civil Rights leaders who pointed at America’s log in its eyes − institutional racism − so that changes in our laws were passed. Was it a peaceful stroll in the park? No, it was messy, but with rare exceptions, institutional racism is now a horror of the past.

Rev. King and the other leaders deserve honor and gratitude because they were types of Moses, sent by God to deliver America from this horrible sin.

Does racism still exist in America? Yes, and as long as pride, envy, and fear exist, the sin of racism may rear its ugly head from time to time under the best of conditions.

Who has more racism − whites or blacks? This question is irrelevant because both races struggle with the sin of racism, with one big difference right now: God and His plans.

You see, God’s plan for America includes having a black river flowing out of our nation’s inner cities, filled with apostles and prophets, who will help deliver the rest of the country from racism and religion. They, in turn, will also be deliverers, much like Moses.

Yet to be deliverers, God will squeeze racism and sin out of these black apostles and prophets. The squeezing will resemble a hand squishing a tube of toothpaste to wring every bit of gel out of it. As with the toothpaste tube, the first bit of squeezing to remove racism and sin will be rather easy, but as it continues, it will be more and more painful.

To many, the painful squeezing may seem unfair, since the inner city blacks have suffered through almost 400 years of anguish in America. But for God, He’s looking forward to the finished products: brilliant diamonds reflecting Jesus to all.

(Continued in Part 14…the full series to date can be seen here.)

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Black Mothers: Choose Life for Your Sons (Part 12)

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Let’s say that my favorite son, Edward, was gunned down by a man, for no other reason, than he wanted a target for his hatred. If I then hunted the murderer down and killed him with my own gun, that would be vengeance.

If instead of killing the murderer, I captured him and turned him over to the police who then put him on trial for Edward’s murder. If he was found guilty, that would be justice.

If I showed up at the penalty phase of the trial and pleaded that the murderer should not be executed for murdering my son and if the jury agreed with my pleas, that would be mercy.

But if after all this, I walked up to the murderer who had been judged guilty and already had received mercy, and I grabbed his hand, took him home, sat him at my dining table, and said, “From now on, you shall take the place of my son. You will have all his benefits and will be an heir to all my wealth. I will love you just like I loved Edward.”

That is grace, which God freely offers us each day of our lives.

Now, if I were a black American, it would be almost impossible to overlook the words of Malcolm X and not seek vengeance for the four hundred years of horrendous treatment by white Americans, which have helped create who I am today. It would take a miracle not to avenge myself.

It would even be harder to go along with the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and accept simple justice, and then extend mercy to white Americans for all of their transgressions, wiping the slate forever clean of the harshest reparations against them.

Yet, to rise to the next level where I would reach out, hold white Americans’ hands, and say, “You’re my brothers. I will lay down my life for you and if you need something, just let me know and I will do my best to get it. My heart is always open to your needs because I love you,” − this would be beyond any grace or love I could ever bring forth.

And yet, this is exactly what I believe the Lord is going to soon ask from black Americans.

Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. (1 John 3:18)

(Continued in Part 13…the full series to date can be seen here.)

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Black Mothers: Choose Life for Your Sons (Part 10)

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In the mid 1990’s, while a member of an inner city ministry, I prophesied: “I hear a voice crying out in the inner cities of America, saying, ‘I want to be free. I want to be free.'”

I soon had a vision, which revealed a black river flowing out of America’s inner cities, filled with black apostles and prophets. Their moral characters were at a level never before witnessed in America. No longer did believers have to gaze back at the John Wesleys, Jonathan Edwards, Charles Finneys, D. L. Moodys, or whomever for examples of godly men because these black apostles and prophets raised the bar of godliness to a level approaching the character of Jesus. Filled with love, compassion, boldness, and walking in holiness, these black men had one goal: to do the will of God for their generation.

All had walked out of Egypt: the furnaces of the inner cities. Many had spent years in prisons for murder, robbery, rape, and other crimes. All seemed fatherless and raised by a mother caught up in the cruel, never-ending welfare cycles, which has enslaved generations of inner city children.

Yet, the grace of God had delivered these men from the spirit of slavery so that the spirit of adoption had captured their hearts. (Romans 8:15) Their fatherlessness now ended at the feet of the Abba Father, who they knew intimately in a way few − outside of Jesus − had ever known.

This is the generation of men that all of America is now awaiting, but it will not come forth without groaning and suffering pains of childbirth. (Romans 8:22)

So, what price will the groaning and suffering pains of childbirth cost the inner cities and the rest of the Body of Christ?

(Continued in Part 11…the full series to date can be seen here.)

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Black Mothers: Choose Life for Your Sons (Part 9)

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Until the last few months of his life, Malcolm X was a harsh critic of Martin Luther King’s civil rights efforts. Over and over again, Malcolm X said, “Nonviolence is the philosophy of a fool” and also “While King was having a dream, the rest of us Negroes are having a nightmare.”

How did Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. view Malcolm X?

“I know that I have often wished that he would talk less of violence, because violence is not going to solve our problem. And, in his litany of articulating the despair of the Negro without offering any positive, creative alternative, I feel that Malcolm has done himself and our people a great disservice. Fiery, demagogic oratory in the black ghettos, urging Negroes to arm themselves and prepare to engage in violence, as he has done, can reap nothing but grief.

“In the event of a violent revolution, we would be sorely outnumbered. And when it was all over, the Negro would face the same unchanged conditions, the same squalor and deprivation − the only difference being that his bitterness would be even more intense, his disenchantment even more abject. Thus, in purely practical, as well as moral terms, the American Negro has no rational alternative to nonviolence.”

“I think there is a lesson that we can all learn from this: that violence is impractical and that now, more than ever before, we must pursue the course of nonviolence to achieve a reign of justice and a rule of love in our society, and that hatred and violence must be cast into the unending limbo if we are to survive.”

“I always contended that we as a race must not seek to rise from a position of disadvantage to one of advantage, but to create a moral balance in society where democracy and brotherhood would be a reality for all men.”

(The Autobiography of Martin Luther King, Jr., Edited by Clayborne Carson, Warner Books, © 1998.

It is my contention that two powerful prophets − Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X − proclaimed messages to America’s inner cities during the Civil Rights struggles of the 1950’s and 60’s. Both of the prophets’ words are still echoing throughout the inner cities.  One prophesied the words of life while the other spoke the words of death.

(Continued in Part 10…the full series to date can be seen here.)

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Black Mothers: Choose Life for Your Sons (Part 8)

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Malcolm X (1925 – 1965) burst onto the American Civil Rights landscape in July, 1959, because of a 5-part documentary series entitled, “The Hate That Hate Produced,” produced by Mike Wallace and Louis Lomax. The subject of the series was the Nation of Islam, with key interviews of Elijah Muhammad, Malcolm X, and Louis X (now known as Louis Farrakhan).

Lomax asked if all white people were evil. “History is best qualified to reward all research, and we don’t have any historic example where we have found that they have, collectively, as a people, done good,” replied Malcolm X.

With that reply and others, the son of a murdered Baptist preacher became the most visible spokesman for the Nation of Islam. Unlike Martin Luther King, Jr. who attended well-known universities, Malcolm X studied library books while serving a ten-year sentence in a Massachusetts prison. It was there he became a convert to the Nation of Islam.

 

The contrast between the messages proclaimed by Martin Luther King, Jr. and Malcolm X could not have been greater, especially for that time period. King emphasized integration, equality, nonviolence, and Christian values while Malcolm X preached black supremacy, a separation of black and white Americans, violence when needed, and Islam.

Quotes by Malcolm X:

“Be peaceful, be courteous, obey the law, respect everyone; but if someone puts his hand on you, send him to the cemetery.”

“Christianity is the white man’s religion.”

“Brothers and sisters, the white man has brainwashed us black people to fasten our gaze upon a blond-haired, blue-eyed Jesus.”

“The ‘long hot summer’ of 1964 in Harlem, in Rochester, and in other cities, has given an idea of what could happen… For all of those riots were kept contained within where the Negro lived. You let any of these bitter, seething ghettoes all over America receive the right igniting incident, and become really inflamed, and explode, and burst out of their boundaries into where whites live…Black social dynamite is in Cleveland, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Los Angeles…the black man’s anger is there, fermenting.”

“Our enemy is the white man.”

“My black brothers and sisters − no one will know who we are…until we know who we are…The Honorable Elijah Muhammad is giving us a true identity, and a true position − the first time they have ever been known to the American black man…”

“I am the angriest black man in America.”

(All quotes from The Autobiography of Malcolm X as told to Alex Haley, Random House Publishing, © 1964)

Most certainly Malcolm X was a prophet of Islam whose messages shook white Americans and revealed the bitterness, anger, and frustration black Americans felt from their second-class status. At the same time, Malcolm X changed how black Americans thought of themselves.

(Continued in Part 9…the full series to date can be seen here.)

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Black Mothers: Choose Life for Your Sons (Part 7)

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 God provides occasions for His prophets to speak, but few have ever had a door of opportunity opened like Martin Luther King, Jr. did on August 28, 1963. It was the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom at which 250,000 people attended and millions more watched on TV.

King was scheduled to be the last speaker that day, behind other speakers and singers, such as Bobby Dylan, Joan Baez, Harry Belafonte, and Mahalia Jackson. King was allocated five to seven minutes to speak.

During the day, King was concerned about the short amount of time for his speech and wondered what he should say. As the time approached, Mahalia Jackson whispered, “Tell them about the dream, Martin. Tell them about the dream.”

You see, King started working on his “I Have A Dream” speech months earlier and had used parts of it at various settings. Many of his colleagues knew about it, but none had ever heard it spoken like that day. It electrified the crowd and America.

Now, if Martin Luther King, Jr. was truly a prophet sent by God to speak His message to America, then there is a part of King’s message, which needs to be reviewed again:

“But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds. Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.

“We must forever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force. The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny and their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.” (I Have A Dream, Martin Luther King Jr, September 28, 1963)

I truly believe Martin Luther King, Jr. was a prophet of God, whose words should be followed to obtain the fullness of blessings from God.

Yet, there was another prophet in that time period, too.

(Continued in Part 8…the full series to date can be seen here.)

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