#S3-038: Why Diversity Empowers Us Actually to Overcome Racism [Podcast]

Overcoming the Spirit of Division

I heard this story this week from a good friend who has been following this series on ‘How to Overcome Racism’ in the church. And his story illustrates the reason why we need to teach and are teaching on the subject of racism. As it turns out, he was attending a church in Phoenix Arizona and volunteered to work with the Pastor in building up the work of God there. The Pastor was African-American as was most of the congregation. The volunteer was Caucasian. As it turns out, he was passing out fliers in the neighborhood with a young lady from the church who was all working for God. So both of them are going house to house. After a while, they decide to take a break from their labors. They hadn’t eaten anything, so they decide to go to a restaurant. Now mind you, he was not romantically interested in this lady. They were just hungry and wanted to replenish themselves. While they are in the restaurant, he notices someone staring at them to the point where it got to be uncomfortable. He didn’t think about it. He didn’t really put the pieces together. A few months after this, the pastor calls him into his office and tells him he has to leave the church.’Leave the church, why?’, he asks. The pastor tells him, ‘Because, you are demon possessed.’ So this man begins to quote the Word of God all the while confessing the Lordship of Jesus. So he says to the pastor, ‘Does this sound like I’m demon possessed?’ ‘No’, says the pastor but you’re still going to have to leave the church. The church, apparently, didn’t approve of anything interracial. Months later when judgment fell on that church this pastor reconnected with this man and apologized. He had gotten pressure from his deacons and constituents in the church and had caved into their demands. Racism in the church. It exists. There’s no need to hide from it. There’s no need to act like it’s not there. It shouldn’t be there but is there and that’s why we’re doing this series on ‘How to Overcome Racism in the Church’. We’re continuing on with it in this week’s Light on Life.

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#S3-037: Yet More of How to Overcome Racism in the Church [Podcast]

Overcoming the Spirit of Division

Once the Devil was walking along with one of his cohorts. They saw a man ahead of them pick up something shiny. What did he find? asked the cohort. A piece of the truth, the Devil replied. Doesn’t it bother you that he found a piece of the truth? asked the cohort. No, said the Devil, I will see to it that he makes a religion out of it. 1 There has always been religion on the world. A shiny piece of the truth, not the whole truth just a piece of it. A piece of a truth can lead to a whole lie. Israel had descended from the truth of God’s Word into a miry pit of ‘piece religion.’ They had pieces of the truth but not the whole truth.

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#S3-036: Even More of How to Overcome Racism in the Church [Podcast]

Overcoming the Spirit of Division

Vivian Malone, a young black woman, enrolled as a student at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa in 1963. Federal troops helped ensure her entrance into the school, but Governor George Wallace tried to block her way. When he failed, Malone became the first African-American student ever to graduate from the University of Alabama. Years later, Governor Wallace was taken in his wheelchair to Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, where he asked black people to forgive him for his racism, bigotry, and specifically his ill-treatment of Vivian Malone. He asked Malone for forgiveness. Malone said she had forgiven the governor years before. When asked why she had done that, Malone said, “I’m a Christian, and I grew up in the church. I was taught that we are all equal in the eyes of God. I was also taught that you forgive people, no matter what. And that was why I had to do it. I didn’t feel as if I had a choice.” 1 Vivian Malone had it right. All are equal in the eyes of the Lord. We don’t have a choice about walking in love and forgiveness. Obeying the Bible; believing the Word of God just like it says; rising up against the spirit of division with the love of God, is the only real cure to racism.

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#S3-035: More of How to Overcome Racism in the Church [Podcast]

Overcoming the Spirit of Division

A visitor to a mental hospital was astonished to note that there were only three guards watching over a hundred dangerous inmates. He asked his guide, “Don’t you fear that these people will overpower the guards and escape?” “No,” was the reply. “Lunatics never unite.” 1 Lunatics never unite, did you hear that? Racism is strife. Racism is lunacy. Lunatics never unite. In last week’s podcast, we drilled down into the word strife and we looked at some of the companions of strife. One of these companions is the word ‘disorder’ in 2 Corinthians 12:20. We are going to take a look at that and more as we continue looking at overcoming racism in the church in this week’s Light on Life.

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#S3:034: How to Overcome Racism in the Church [Podcast]

Overcoming the Spirit of Division

In the 1960’s the church deacon board mobilized lookout squads, and on Sundays, these took turns patrolling the entrances lest any black “troublemakers” try to integrate us. I still have one of the cards the deacons printed up to give to any civil rights demonstrators who might appear: Believing the motives of your group to be ulterior and foreign to the teaching of God’s word, we cannot extend a welcome to you and respectfully request you to leave the premises quietly. Scripture does NOT teach “the brotherhood of man and the fatherhood of God.” He is the Creator of all, but only the Father of those who have been regenerated. If any one of you is here with a sincere desire to know Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord, we shall be glad to deal individually with you from the Word of God. (Unanimous Statement of Pastor and Deacons, August 1960) When Congress passed the Civil Rights Acts, our church founded a private school as a haven for whites, expressly barring all black students. A few “liberal” members left the church in protest when the kindergarten turned down the daughter of a black Bible professor, but most of us approved of the decision. A year later the church board rejected a Carver Bible Institute student for membership (his name was Tony Evans).1. What is racism and how can we overcome it? We’ll be taking a look at this in this new series.

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#S3-033: How to Pray Practically for Presidents and Kings [Podcast]

How to Increase the Presence of God in Your Everyday Life

Someone once said these words concerning prayer. “Prayer should be the breath of our breathing. The thought of our thinking. The soul of our feeling. The life of our living. The sound of our hearing. The growth of our growing. Prayer in its magnitude is length without end. Width without bounds. Height without top. Depth without bottom. It is unlimited in its breadth. Exhaust-less in height. Fathomless in depths and infinite in extension.” How can we pray practically for those who are over us politically? We’ll take a look at the subject of prayer and praying and how it applies to our walk with God.

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Why You Should Be Best Friends with Books [Encore]

God believes in books. He believes in you reading them. That should not be a ‘wow’ statement to you. He is the author of the most extraordinary book ever written, the Bible. It is the number one seller on planet earth! He wants you to read it often, even daily. It is your contact with Him and your gateway to freedom. The Bible details the way to God, the way to heaven, and the way to success in life. Many books have been written about the Bible. They are aids to help you understand this most exceptional book. Here are some thoughts to help you engage this material in your everyday life.

#S3-032: Why It’s Important to Pray for Government [Podcast]

How to Increase the Presence of God in Your Everyday Life

Tony Campolo, in his book ‘Stories that Feed the Soul’ says these words about the will of God. “Each of us is here by divine appointment. God looks upon each and every person as a parent looks on a growing child, and is filled with specific hopes and plans for each of us. Every person is viewed by God as a unique creation with a special calling. There is something special that God wants to do through you. There is some specific good that God wills for each person who is brought into the world, and if you do not do the good that you were ordained to do, something wonderful will be left undone. Your calling may not be to do something great in the eyes of the world, but what the world calls little is great if God is in it. 1 It’s our part to flow with the will of God. And one of these areas of His will concerns the church praying for government according to 1 Timothy 2:1-4.

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#S3:031: How to Ask Questions and Stay in Humility [Podcast]

How to Increase the Presence of God in Your Everyday Life

Today, we are picking back up with the series on increasing the Presence of God in your everyday life. The series is about adjustments, adjustments you can make in your heart. We’ve spent some time looking at this prayer adjustment as we look at the believer’s role in praying for kings and presidents and God-ordained authority. We left off talking about a second king, Nebuchadnezzar whom God set-up but then brought down because he refused to acknowledge that it was God who sets men up and takes them down when they don’t act right. Nebuchadnezzar, as we saw, was not acting right. he got over into pride and God took his mind from him for a seven-year period. We looked at Job who also got over into some areas he shouldn’t have gotten into over the trial he experienced. We saw how God mercifully positioned Job into a place of humility so the grace of God could resurrect him from his tragedy. We’re going to pick up right where we left off, with Job, Nebuchadnezzar, and a new king that you would never have guessed that God would anoint to be king. All this and more on this week’s Light on Life.

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#S3-030: Do You Believe in the Resurrection of Jesus? [Podcast]

One of my favorite shows from long ago was Get Smart. It was a show about a goofy secret agent. One of the popular catch phrases for the show was ‘would you believe.’ Maxwell Smart would say when he got caught by the bad guys ‘would you believe.’ Here’s some of the dialogue. “I happen to know that at this very’ moment eight Coast Guard cutters are converging on this boat. Would you believe seven? Six? How about two cops in a rowboat?” Or, At this very minute, 25 Control agents are converging on this building. Would you believe two squad cars and a motorcycle cop? How about a vicious street cleaner and a toothless police dog? Or, I once trained a girl to swim across the English Channel five times. Would you believe four times? Would you believe three times across the Mississippi? How about twice around the bathtub? Once around the bathtub? Or, in a short while, General Crawford and a hundred of his crack paratroopers will come crashing into this landing. Would you believe J. Edgar Hoover and I0 of his G-men? How about Tarzan and a couple of apes? Bomba, the Jungle Boy? Or, at this very moment 100 highway patrolmen with Doberman pinschers are surrounding this entire area. Would you believe four deputies and a bloodhound? How about a Boy Scout with rabies? The question arises ‘do you believe in the Resurrection of Jesus? Do you believe it just like the Bible says it or are you believing a watered down ‘Maxwell Smart’ version of the events surrounding Jesus death?

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#S3-029: Why God Sets Up the Lowest of Men as Authority [Podcast]

How to Increase the Presence of God in Your Everyday Life

In the last podcast in this series, ‘How Do You Pray for A President You Don’t Agree With?‘ we referenced Cyrus, an ungodly leader, whom God allowed to ascend the throne. Cyrus was a man full of pride. He was a false god worshiper. He was not a lover of the only true Father God in heaven. He treated Him just like any of the other gods of the nations he conquered. God used his religious tolerance policies to His own advantage bringing Israel back to Jerusalem from Babylonian captivity. In this week’s podcast, we begin to take a look at a second king whom God allowed to come to power, Nebuchadnezzar.

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Encore Post: How to Be Up In A Down World

The world is a negative place. Just turn on the nightly news if you doubt it. I very rarely tune into the news because of this. You can protect yourself from all the gloominess but it takes some work. If you aren’t proactive, it’s easy to be swept away in the tidal wave of negativity around you. Jack Nicholson said, “In my last year of school, I was voted Class Optimist and Class Pessimist. Looking back, I realize I was only half right.1 No matter which half are you, you can grow. You can be an up person in a down world.