Wednesday, April 20, 2016


I Was Just Thinking About - - -

Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary defines Polar Opposites as: “That which is conspicuously different in most important respects.” In Yahoo Answers, the following was given as the Best Answer: “It means that they are completely different whether in looks, personalities, etc. Think of the earth's two poles. They can't be any further from each other. They say that about people or things when they have absolutely nothing in common.” We live in a day and time where polarization between ethnic groups and the races is reaching epic proportions.

Within the Political Correctness climate, Church groups attempt to address the problem with resolutions and challenges for equanimity to prevail in the delicate matter of ethnic and racial considerations. It is not as simple as it appears. One group is urged to assuage another group in order to overcome diversity. It tends to fragment when Group A formulates the cause of diversity is due to Group B’s status of privilege (better schools, better income, better living conditions, better opportunities, etc.). Group B responds that Group A has become oriented to entitlements that are defined as “a type of government program that provides individuals with personal financial benefits (or sometimes special government-provided goods or services) to which an indefinite (but usually rather large) number of potential beneficiaries have a legal right.” How should the Biblical Church consider the obvious ethnic and racial diversity? It would be helpful if in the discussion and proposals regarding ministry attempts to build bridges toward and into those places where ethnic and racial diversity are present, certain words should be avoided. One of them is the term “Hatred” which is defined as: “intense dislike or extreme aversion, enmity or hostility.” Easton’s Bible Dictionary (1897) addresses the subject of Hatred as being: “among the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:20). Altogether different is the meaning in Deuteronomy 21:1-5, Matthew 6:24, Luke 14:26, Romans 9:13, where it denotes only a less degree of love.”

Focus Papers and Power Points can be helpful. However, there are always other points of view that will be raised and with which there is also validity. Over the years, I have read several commentaries that present different interpretations for a statement by the Lord in Malachi 1:2-3 (Repeated in Romans 9), “I have loved you, says the Lord. But you ask: How have you loved us? Was not Esau Jacob’s brother? declares the Lord Yet I have loved Jacob, but Esau I have hated, and I have turned his hill country into a wasteland and left his inheritance to the desert jackals.” Underlying the text is the fact that the purpose of God will be carried out in God’s time and in God’s way. It is sometimes argued that God is a God of love and incapable of hatred! This sounds like a compelling argument unless or until one reads a passage such as Proverbs 6:16-19, “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.”

One should spend reflective time in study and meditation on expected Christian Behavior in The Book of James. A starting point – James 1:22, “Prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.” James 2:14, “What good is it, brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds?” James 4:17, "Therefore to him that knows to do good, and does not do it, to him it is sin." It is difficult to change mindsets and established behaviors. There needs to be a broader application of “prove yourselves doers of the Word and not merely hearers.” A place to begin is with temperate language, enlarged hearts of compassion and openness to God’s will and purpose for His people in the culture where we exist. He wants us to be engaged! Are we? Specifically and actually, what are we doing? Consider these things with me!

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