Confederate-flag

I was a young guy in Flagler County in southern Florida when I grew up.  Rebel Flags were …..well cool.  I went through school de-segration in the 60’s and I remember the fights and the dissension and the…..well…..division between black and white.  It was not pretty.  I was young and confused.  I did not understand the black vs. white thing. I was 8 years old.  I did not judge by color….yet… because many of my friends were….black and were white….  An old lady….Armeila Hall….a black lady was always at my house….and she was in charge until my parents came home at 5pm.

I am driving home tonight and on the road to our subdivision, and I am 55 years old,…I see a truck with a brand new Rebel Flag….Confederate Flag….the stars and bars…fresh…red and blue…13 stars…..2 bars….and I think of what it means to me now….  It is no longer cool.  It is no longer “southern pride” to me.  It speaks of  division.

Then I think of Jesus.  What would he want in my life….not yours….but mine….  Jesus wants unity in my life….Jesus wants to be all to all.  He wants us to love one another….despite our color, our differences,  out divisions.    This Rebel Flag….well, woke me up today.

I think that is what we all need… Some RESPECT.

A white senator stands up and berates a black president prime time TV.

A black tennis player berates a white judge.

A black musician berated a white musician MTV awards.

I posted on Racism earlier…. but this goes much deeper than racism.  I really don’t think,….well, maybe to some degree, racism played in these cases.  It is just respect.

Shoot, we can disagree with each other and not be combative.  We can not agree on things and still treat each other in a civil manner. I know health care is a big issue facing our country but over 50 percent of the people in this country voted for Obama.  Lets work the process.   I can see that tennis is a big deal….to some people but who gives the right to treat each other like the Williams girl did?  And just because Kanye West slops down a bunch of alcohol before the awards….does not give him the right to disrespect the Swift girl.

I think Aretha Franklin had it right.. Just a little respect.  Philippians 2:3 says we should not act out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than ourselves. 

My mother would have slapped me for such things above.  Matter of fact, she did a time or two.  I have learned to keep my mouth shut and humble myself.  Thanks Mom.  We need more of you around. 

louie

racism_is_taught

I thought we were sort of over this racism thing in America.  But I guess I am just fooling myself. 

I was at a Pop Warner football game this past Saturday and I was on the side of the team that had predominantly white players, coaches and parents.  Predominantly.  Not exclusively.  The other team was predominantly African-American players, coaches and parents.  Predominantly.  Not exclusively.  Both great teams, great coaches, great parents.

A big white guy from the predominantly white side was yelling at the referees.  He was making some veiled, or at least I took it as veiled comments to the African-American referees about the color of their calls….it irritated me.  Shortly thereafter, he was ejected from the field.  Good decision. 

 So, I began to think about this and why this sort of thing still occurs.  I thought about the Van Jones,…Obama Green Jobs Czar comments and how racism is not just a white thing or a black thing.  Racism is a bad thing. 

Then I thought about our churches across America.  The richest country in the world.  A country built on religious freedom.  A nation….One Nation….Under God….indivisible…..or are we.  I thought about my friend Eric Porter….godly man….my friend.  He goes to a predominantly black church.  He is black.  I go to a predominantly white church.  Iam white.  We are both good people. 

Then I thought about what the scriptures say in Galatians 3:28,  ….  that we are all the same.  It says that we are not one or the other…. I will take liberty to say or add to the scripture….in context here I do believe…. that we are not black or white either…. Racism in church today?  Surely not.

 anger

So me and a buddy were shopping in a grocery store this afternoon.  He actually was shopping and needed a ride so I went with him.  He shopped and I hung around the store.  When it was time to check out, he forgot something……ever been there?  Well, I started unloading the cart for him and he ran back to get the Tide he forgot.  In the interim, someone else got in line behind me.  I was unloading my buddy’s stuff while this man behind me was waiting.  My buddy then reappeared and jumped in line right behind me to put his stuff on the conveyor belt.  Now, to add fuel to the fire…..I am white and my buddy is black.  We have this ebony and ivory sort of gig going on.  He is my buddy first….and a different color second. 

So, the guy behind me challenges my buddy about him jumping in line and sort of gives him some bunk…. like road rage but sort of a shopping cart rage sort of thing.  I stopped and looked, the cahsier stopped and looked, the folks nearby stopped and looked….I mean this black guy certainly could not be with this white guy….could he?  He could and was..and will be again.  Now my buddy is a godly man who teaches me a lot about life…..he did today too!

The man finally challenged him about jumping in line…and my friend,…with a calm, deliberate, soothing voice said, “I would never cut in front of you and I am sorry if I offended you, please go ahead but this is my order and my friend is only unloading it for me.”  I felt the air come back in the room and the Shopping Cart Rager…..unraged. 

The scriptures say that a soft answer turns away wrath but a harsh word stirs up anger and  the scriptures also say that he who is slow to wrath has great understanding.  This bible stuff works!

Pastor Louie

 racism

Racism is alive and well in America.  Just take a look around.  I am white.  Ok Big deal.  I read an article today in the Daytona Beach News Journal about a program where college professors at Daytona State College are trying to help African American males succeed in college.  Success in education is needed…no matter who you are, but this program is targeted at folks that have statistically not performed well in academic settings.  So helping them is good. I think.  I had problems with math and really needed help.  I read some of the posts about the program and could not believe my eyes.  I am a white, conservative, very southern, Republican,…but I just looked at the posts and was disapointed.  Check out the article.

But this reminded me of a racist in the bible.  His name was Haman.  Funny how things don’t change much over a few thousand years.  Haman was a bible racist in the book of Esther.  He wanted to kill the Jews just because they were Jews.  It is listed in Esther 3.  He was a hateful man.  We have a lot of hate in our country. You don’t have to look too far.  We need to root this out as sin.  OK we may not want to think of it as sin, but it is sin.  The white hats of the KKK are clearly hate.  But how about the hate, the racism that does not have a white hat on it.  It may have some dockers covering it or a suit, maybe a pretty  building (or a church).  It may be how we talk to our kids or our buddies.  However it is packaged, we need to get rid of racism,…sin….  Root it out of our churches….which can be white or black churches,…out of our businesses…..our of our self.  What do you think about racism….?

We normally associate racism with slavery and color but the bible does not see color.  It says in Colossions 3:11 that Christ is all and in all….free or slave.

Fight racism in  your own heart….like I do often.

Pastor Louie