#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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Why is the Gold Fingered Man in the Book of James Important?

The Epistle of James

The entire second chapter of James addresses two areas: the hypocrisy of partiality or prejudice (James 2:1-13) and the life-altering alliance between faith and works  (James 2:14-26). In the first area, using a real-life incident between a rich and poor man, James disassembles the sin of prejudice, as it existed among the congregation. In today’s post, we are going to answer several questions from the early part of James chapter 2. Among these questions, who is the gold-fingered man?

Why Should You Embrace Patience to Overcome Trials? – [James 1:2-4]

The great believers have been the unwearied waiters 1. They have stood in the face of delay and denial. They have stayed with their eyes fixed on Jesus. Their heart set on His mission. And, their faith grounded in His love. They have come forth as witnesses that you too can become a mature believer and inherit God’s promises (Heb. 6:12). In his letter, James gives us the secret to real growth in God (James 1:2-4).

The Bridge Commentary consists of four sections: Definitions, Background, Comments and Questions. The Definitions section explains all significant Greek words found in all the verses of this passage. The Background section contains material which will help to frame the passage in it’s 1st century setting. The Questions section includes queries you may want to ask of the text. Finally, the Comments section contains observations of the verses sorted in word or phrase order.

This is a revision of the original post published in April of last year. It was rewritten to make the writing clearer and the flow of the document smoother. It was sectioned off so you may skip a section, like Definitions, if you wish. A block flow diagram was (click on the link right below) also added to help give clarity to the thoughts expressed. 

 Click on this link for a flow diagram of this passage.

What Does A Spiritually Mature Believer Look Like? – [James 1:1]

We often hear discussed in church circles the concept of growing spiritually. What does that mean exactly? What does a spiritually mature believer look like? The first verse of the first chapter of James contains some powerful truths which help us build an understanding of this question.

The Bridge Commentary consists of four sections: Definitions, Background, Comments and Questions. The Definitions section explains all significant Greek words found in all the verses of this passage. The Background section contains material which will help to frame the passage in it’s 1st century setting. The Questions section includes queries you may want to ask of the text. Finally, the Comments section contains observations of the verses sorted in word or phrase order.

This is a revision of the original post published in February of last year. It was rewritten to make the writing clearer and the flow of the document smoother. It was sectioned off so you may skip a section, like Definitions, if you wish. A block flow diagram was (click on the link right below) also added to help give clarity to the thoughts expressed. 

 Click on this link for a flow diagram of this passage.

The Importance of Doing the Word of God; The Epistle of James 1:22-25

I have come to the conclusion that it is impossible to have a moral community or nation without faith in God, because without it everything rapidly comes down to “me,” and “me” alone is meaningless.  Today Americans have stopped acting in terms of their own moral, ethical and religious beliefs and principles.  They’ve stopped acting on what they knew was right—and the “me” has become the measure of everything. 1. Taking God at His Word solves all of our problems along this line. Putting the Word of God into use in your everyday life is the heart and soul of the growing Christian.

Enduring Tests and Trials: Stripping Away Sin; The Epistle of James 1:19-21

Swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath, the three musketeers of competent communication personally and increasing development spiritually. How much human misfortune spawns from the neglect of these wise words. How much ignorance results from inverting these words? In 1870  a bishop visited the president of a small denominational college. He blurted out his biblical conviction. “Inventions are a past affair.” The educator, of course, disagreed. “Why, in 50 years I believe it may be possible for men to soar through the air like birds!” The bishop in shock said “Only angels can fly.” Ironically, that mistaken bishop was none other than Milton Wright, the father of Orville and Wilbur. Thirty Three years later, Orville and Wilbur proved the folly of their fathers words. 1.

Enduring Tests and Trials: Rich and Poor Alike; James 1:9-11

The trials of life mows everybody’s lawn the same height on planet earth. People’s money and social connections won’t spare stewing time in life’s great crock pot. From the penthouse to the basement, all tenants stomach hard times. Do you remember the mark of the beast in Revelation thirteen? Did you notice how all classes get the same stamp?  The assets and  connections of the rich won’t keep them from the branding. Full bodied bank accounts will get you a designer version of the mark but not much else. And the poor? Do they get a pass since they have no money to control anyway? No, the poor line up to receive the mark just like government cheese (Rev. 13:16).  666 is an equal opportunity intrusion into life. Compliance is compulsory. Resistance is futile.  Tests are like taxes, you can’t avoid them. James starts this paragraph on tests by addressing the subject with rich and poor.