This morning I woke up and felt led to open one of my journals. As I read it, I laughed at a few of my foolish request, and I smiled at my growth as a human trying to learn how to live this life. Since it is Throw back Thursday, I will share an entry of Introspection from September 9, 2015:
I believe one of the hardest thing for a person to admit,especially a Christian, is he or she is a racist. No one who claims to love God wants to admit they have a problem with His creation; but it is part of the Church’s reality. It took me roughly 25 years, six years ago, to admit racism lived in my heart. It was something I tried to ignore, but, living in the South and becoming more aware of the injustices of my tribe, I found myself HATING white people. I found it difficult to admit my racism because I had friends I genuinely cared about although I could care less about their kind. To my credit, I did not hate my friends just all of the “other” white people smh… I figured, if I refrained from watching slave movies that it would go away. I thought, if I tried harder to befriend them that it would go away. I assumed, if I tried to replace negative thoughts about them with good ones my problem would be fixed. Oh how I assumed incorrectly! The more I attempted to fix a heart issue with my logic, I despised them more. Finally, I had a moment of truth with God because the hate in my heart was conflicting with the cry of my heart to love him and his people. I poured my heart out to Him concerning the matter. I confessed that I was in fact a racist, and I held deep hate in my heart towards Caucasians. I confessed that my knowledge of how their ancestors treated my tribe and how some treat us today makes it difficult to forgive and love them. I even admitted that I felt I had both the right and plenty of reasons to stay angry with them. I repented for claiming to love God and hate his creation. I knew I could not be an effective dispenser of God’s love to the world with this kind of hate in my heart towards people. I asked God to change my heart and teach me how to gather knowledge without hate being attached to it. When I decided to be honest about the condition of my heart, God did an amazing work in it. I no longer carry that Hate I did towards my lighter brothers and sisters. I stopped accusing them all of being one way based on the actions of a few. I truly make a conscious effort to judge a person by the content of their character and not the color of their skin. Life has truly been much sweeter with hate out of my heart. Thank you God for helping me!-Charity
For those who will read this, particularly those who claim to be Christians, please consider your ways. Take the time to tell God how you truly feel about certain groups of people. 1 John 4:20 says, “If someone says, “I love God,” but hates a Christian brother or sister, that person is a liar; for if we don’t love people we can see, how can we love God, whom we cannot see?” My encouragement to each of us is to be honest about who we are in God’s presence so that we can love as God commands us. We as believers cannot expect the condition of the world to change when we refuse to change and deal with the hate in our hearts. I am praying for each us that we would truly allow the love of God to permeate our hearts and be the change this world needs. Thanks for reading!-Charity Israel
For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved!”-Romans 10:13
Before you freak out, this is not my Coming Out Speech in support of The Gospel of Inclusion. This is my little exhaustive list of what the Apostle Paul meant by the word “everyone” in Romans 10:13. I believe this scripture reveals the love, equality, and mercy of God to mankind. Everyone is welcomed to receive salvation if they so desire it. There are no prerequisites. There are no background or credit checks. Your I.Q is not taken into consideration. Your family history does not keep you from it. Your past is not held against you. Everyone means EVERYONE.
It does not matter if you are liberal or conservative. It does not matter if you are a democrat or republican. It does not matter if you are voting for Trump or Clinton. It does not matter if you watch Fox News or CNN. Salvation is yours if you call on the name of the Lord.
It does not matter if you were once a Satanist. It does not matter if you grew up in a Muslim home. It does not matter if you were once a Buddhist. It does not matter if you were once a Five Percenter. It does not matter if you were a Voodoo priest or priestess. It does not matter if you were Wiccan or you worship St. Lucia. Salvation is yours if you call on the name of the Lord.
It does not matter if you enjoy telling little white lies or large white lies. It does not matter if you have found yourself to be a thief, gossiper, and a cheater. It does not matter if you have had an abortion. It does not matter if you have a proclivity towards pedophilia, pornography, homosexuality, or bestiality. It does not matter if you are murderer, rapist, or what most consider to be the lowest of humanity. Salvation is yours if you call on the name of the Lord.
I will admit it took me a while to be comfortable with the idea that everyone can receive salvation. It was only a problem because in my humanity I considered some sins greater than others; but in His divinity, God sees them all the same. He provides the same remedy for every sin we will find ourselves entangled in, and that is SALVATION! God never intended salvation to be so complicated. It has always been a matter of simply confessing Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life; and anyone who believes and confess is a recipient of this wonderful Salvation. It is available to “EVERYONE WHO CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD!” Let us stop making Jesus so unattainable to people. Let us keep the Gospel message as simple as Jesus made it in John 3:16, “For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”(New Living Translation) It really is as simple as believing in Christ and confessing him as our Savior. I pray that will be the Gospel we share with others. It is really the only one worth sharing!-Charity Israel
Photo Credit: http://billypenn.com/2015/08/04/the-pope-in-philly-how-many-people-could-actually-fit-on-the-ben-franklin-parkway/
For the last few days, I have made an attempt to remain silent on the events in Ferguson, Missouri. I assumed if I stayed logged off and ignored the news, I would some how be able to bypass the responsibility of exploring my feelings. Then it happened. I googled the name Michael Brown, and I saw the young black man that was gunned down and left to die by a police officer. I saw his picture and began to have flashbacks of my old neighborhood in Little Rock, Arkansas. I started to remember how cops would randomly stop the guys in my neighborhood and harass them for absolutely NO REASON. I had flashbacks of the terror in my male friends’ eyes when a cop would pull his baton to “question” them about where they were headed. I remember cutting through the alley when we saw a particular cop riding through because he was notorious for provoking people and arresting them. My naivety would suggest “it was always a coincidence that the white cops were patrolling the Black neighborhoods,” but history would prove that not to be the case. Seeing this young man’s picture reminded me of the past I tried to forget about, and I wept for him and all the others whose stories are similar.
I rarely speak on issues that involve Racism publically, but my heart is too heavy to hold it inside of me. I have been considered a sellout, as I have sided with the Others instead of my “brother/sister.” I have used my Christianity to keep me from being the Pro Black extremist. I have made every effort to make people feel comfortable in their skin all the while neglecting mine. And today I had to feel my Blackness! I had to wrestle with what it means and what it entails. I had to become reacquainted with the hurt of being in a country that values the life of a dog over yours. I felt the lashes. I heard the chains. I smelled the burning flesh of those before me whose color made them candidates for a hanging. I felt the pressure of the water hoses, and I heard the sounds of the batons on black bodies who would sit in and boycott inequality. I saw the dogs. Now, I hear the shots fired at the unarmed by those who are paid and have sworn to protect us. I see the legislation that is written to keep us prisoner or free our murderer. I read the comments that cowards behind screen names post explaining their disgust with people of color and their desire for our extinction. Today I felt Black and Unarmed.
I wrestled with the idea of allowing hate to consume my heart, but love won possession of it. I considered being bitter, but holding on to the joy of our future was far more appealing. I pondered on revenge, but being spiteful makes for a lousy human being. I thought about being angry, but that does not fix anything. The death of Michael Brown resurrected some feelings about my people and our experience in this country. This even broke my silence and revealed the deception of the world I created. Truth is Racism is here to stay and being Black will remain a crime in certain places of the United States. We do humanity an injustice when we downplay it and deny its existence. The mature response to Racism is exposing it and loving people beyond it.
This ordeal has made me search my soul and ask God for help so that I do not become guilty of hating someone because of their color or occupation. His story is merely a reminder of how our ancestors came and how we will leave, Black and Unarmed. I can only hope our deaths are not caused by an officer’s bullet. #prayingforAmerica