South Carolina has become the focus of the news again for a hate crime. Many experts predicted with summer upon us, riots will be increasing, and news outlets would have you believe a mountain of racism exist in the south or as some call it, the Bible Belt. But I have a bigger and better promise for those that have faith.
Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Mark 11:23
Through love, faith and prayer, the mountain of racism can be thrown into the sea. And if you know your bible, you know what happens to things thrown into the sea. They are forgotten and that includes our sin! But, we have to be vigilant about what we repeat or speak as truth. Scientific research, current events, and even historical facts are all too often decorated with opinion to lead an audience to come to an intended conclusion.
Writers and journalist are comparable to ambulance chasers (injury lawyers). They are opportunist that will exploit crisis', war, and riots to increase their readership. They have a small chance of standing out, and catching an audiences eye without some intentional effort put into the wording of a title, content description, and tantalizing photos. We as consumers of information have to be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. If we are not, we can become part of a problem instead of helpers in a time of need to our neighbor.
And the tongue is a fire, the very world of iniquity; the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell. James 3:6
My son, if sinful men entice you, do not give in to them. Proverbs 1:10
With their mouths the godless destroy their neighbors, but through knowledge the righteous escape. Proverbs 11:9
A man of violence entices his neighbor and leads him in a way that is not good. Proverbs 16:29
As Christians, we have been asked by our Savior, "who is your neighbor?" We answer the one near us. The one in need. It is not the one we want to help, or the one who loves us and is on our side. We are admonished to seek peace with all men as best we can.
If you have read American History, The Boston Massacre is probably floating around in the annals of memory somewhere, although, it was more of a street fight sensationalized by the media. Antagonist were portrayed as victims and heroes and it contributed to the desire for revolution. The media was just as convincing in 1770 as it is today.
Fact #1 South Carolina was the first state to secede from the nation in 1860.
But, it is not currently a backwoods toothless community filled with KuKlux Klan members running around beating gays and blacks over the head with bibles and waving the confederate flag.
Fact#2 It is embarrassing that the flag still has a presence in South Carolina. (I added some decorative opinion)
Fact#3 Charleston SC was recently under fire for an officer shooting an unarmed black man. The officer was arrested, and the state moved forward with a law requiring body cameras. The family of the victim asked for peace, and the community reached out. No riots occurred.
Fact#4 Charlestion SC hosted a statewide prayer on June 13, 2015. It was multi-ethnic, and cross denominational.
Fact#5 Four days after the prayer, nine people were murdered at a Church in Charleston. Law enforcement came together, and the murderer was apprehended in Shelby North Carolina.
Nikki Haley said "This state has a whole lot of prayer."
I heard a radio announcer commenting on this hate crime, apologize for what many deem as a pat answer, as he said "the only thing we can do is pray." He was sorry he didn't have something better.
Mark 9:29 gives Jesus' answer to why some things, such as a mountain of racism doesn't seem to budge. The disciples had attempted to cast a demon out of a boy, and they couldn't. They wanted to know why.
And he said to them, 'This kind is able to come forth with nothing except with prayer and fasting.'
In the other Gospels, another answer is given, and it is related to their unbelief. Some things are so atrocious in life, we seem to give in to the lies of no hope.When the same thing happens over and over again, or does not seem to get better, we become bitter that the only thing we can do is pray. Yet as believers, we are given the ability to practice our faith with our works. We can deny ourselves in fasting and seek God for direction in how we can reach out to our neighbors. It is God himself that desires reconciliation. He will guide us. He will hear us. Prayer moves mountains. The media and their decorative opinions will divide us quickly.
We see in the book of Acts, a group of believers, men and women gathered and were all in one accord, and received the promise of God's Holy Spirit. This blessing was so amazing that people from many different nations and languages, heard the Good News of Jesus in the vernacular, spoken by people that had never spoken a foreign language. We might not be sociologist, or civil rights experts, but we have the Holy Spirit that can use our dependence and faith in him to bring healing and Good news.
- Don't repeat curses over any community or people (if they don't bring solutions and just point out problems, don't listen)
- Speak blessings (it builds your faith)
- Pray (if it can cast out demons and take down mountains, its pretty powerful)
- Believe (if God could use the cross to bring peace between you and him, he can use you to be a light to the world and come against racism)
- Work (faith without works is dead, so put your faith into action and work towards being a bridge through service and charity in your community)
***at the time of this writing, there have been no riots. There have been prayer vigils, and a community that has expressed grief but begged for love to rule***
Oh Lord Jesus. help us be our brother's keeper and help us make peace. Forgive us for turning a blind eye to countries that are wracked with civil unrest. Forgive us for believing in stereotypes, and not seeking to understand. Don't let fear have its way in our country. Lord help us bind up the wounded and set the captives free. Help us overcome darkness and depression through the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. Help us offer solutions and not cause more problems by using hateful words. Lord forgive us for going our own way. Heal our Land.