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Crippling the Gospel: How Racism Hurts the Work of the Church

Eric Walsh
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Eric Walsh

Pastor and Physician

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  • June 3, 2020
    7:15 PM
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Evening greeting once again from the 3 Angels Church here in New inten. Connecticut. We come. With a message tonight. 92 messages will be done addressing some of the. Racial turmoil. And injustice that our country is dealing with in some ways dealing with very well in some ways not so well. We'll get right into this as 1st messages untitled crippling the gospel the scripture readings taken from Numbers Chapter 12 starting at verse 15 and I says in Merriam was shut out from the camp 7 days and the people journeyed not till Merriam was brought in again a message again crippling the docile how racism hurts the work of the church let us pray Father God we thank you for this opportunity to study a word Lord more than ever I really asked now to make me a nail upon the wall Lord I need to be hidden by your face Oh hang your portrait upon that nail Lord now I ask in a special way that you speak through me desire prayer in Jesus precious and holy name Amen when I go to the Book of Numbers Chapter 12 starting in verse one the Bible says and Merriam and Aaron spake against Moses' because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married for he had married and Ethiopian woman. When I was in Israel I was able to spend a couple months late in high school studying Jewish history I did 2 months college level Jewish history was nice was I got to travel around Israel and see much of Israel and learn the Bible and Jewish history firsthand looking at things that archaeologists have discovered. That point back to the not just the relevance but the authenticity of the Scriptures one of the things my Jewish teacher. Discussed with us was this story and it stuck with me I was the only African-American in the group of our little group there were several groups of us that were there studying from the States in Israel at the time and he brought up this story and it stuck with me a story that speaks to how God sees prejudice and bigotry Bible says that Mary am an errant spake against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman whom he had married for he had married an Ethiopian woman the Bible Ethiopia and the connotation that goes along with it is that a dark skin in the Greek it literally means like black skinned people. Some would argue that she wasn't she wasn't black like African Americans which would be Western African but clearly she was different from them and I think that's the point of the story and because of that Marian Aaron specifically more Marion it seems was a bit upset with Moses' for making this decision how dare he marry someone outside of what they expected. The Bible does not say that she believed any different we have to assume that Moses married someone who believed as he did and as a lot I could get into that with if we step back and look at the life of Moses but for right now I think what's most important is that we dive into this text and really begin to look at what's going on numbers 12 and verse 2 says and they said have the lord indeed spoken only by Moses has he not spoken also by us and the Lord heard it now the man Moses was very meek above all the men which were upon the face of the earth and so they were jealous also not only are they upset that he married someone different they were also upset. That he seemed to be the one that was in a leadership position that God spoke to him but when they Marmot against God's servant Moses' God heard it that's what the Bible says at the end of verse 2 and number 12 in verse 3 describes most of his character why was Moses someone who had been 40 years trained in Egypt walked in the palaces of pharaohs educated to probably be a general at the least maybe even Pharaoh one day taken from that he spent 40 years minding sheep in the wilderness outside of Egypt after he had fled and somewhere in that process you got to get this of going from being the privileged to being the servant in a sense to being the shepherd Moses characters transformed so much so that Moses called meek above all men which were upon the face of the earth in order to have racial harmony humility must be what leads not pride. Pride is one of the things that will destroy harmony and unity inside the church and outside numbers 12 in verse force of the Lord spake suddenly and to Moses and on to Aaron and Merriam come out the 3 under the tabernacle of the congregation and the 3 of them came out the Lord came down in the pillar of fire in the pillar of the cloud and stood in the door of the tabernacle and called Erin and Merriam and they both came forth it was like who's in troubles of the 3 of them step out God comes down in the pillar of the clouds and he calls Aaron and Mary and further and Moses allowed to stay back you kind of want to be the one that wasn't called like like going to the principal's office and so Merriam and Aaron are called forward and one Aaron and Mary a are called forward. You can tell that there is real trouble that is brewing for 6 and he said Here now my words if there be a prophet among you I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision and will speak unto him in a dream my servant Moses is not so who is faithful in my house and so he begins to talk to them as they listen I speak to Moses so you gotta get this he speaks to Moses so he would have spoken to Moses about who Moses married he says he talks to Moses in a way that he talks to no one else he says Moses was faithful about as I was a verse 7 in verse 8 he says with who in him will I speak mouth to mouth even apparently and not in dark speeches and the civil suit of the Lord shall he behold wherefore then we're not afraid to speak against my servant Moses In other words not only are you upset that I speak to Moses but I don't think you understand Moses got pre-marital counseling from me. When he chose who he chose to marry I signed off on it don't attack him because you don't like who he chose and here's the thing the the strong not just connotation but even the denotation in the story is that it was because she didn't look like them or sound like them or was not one of them it was a bigotry that caused this division yang of the Lord was kindled against them and he departed the cloud departed from off the top and I call and behold Marian became leprous white as snow and Erin looked upon Mary and behold she was leprous so interesting is she was very upset that Moses had married a woman that was probably darker than they were we might be able to make that assumption but isn't it interesting that her punishment is a disease that made her whiter the scripture says in fact the leprosy made her white as snow when Aaron saw this he panicked and Aaron said to Moses numbers to oversee 11 Alas my lord I beseech the lady not to sin upon us when we have done foolishly and when we have sinned let not let her not be as one dead of whom the flesh is half consumed when he comes out of his mother's womb In other words. They start to panic Aaron said listen don't let her friends you know have leprosy works literally she was conceived it seems as if she was concerned with the skin of Moses his wife now they're concerned with her skin that her skin would not be as one dead in other words it is a message being pushed that what matters is that the person is alive and healthy that they are able to function that you know harmonious with us in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I'm talking to the church now that's what matters if skin is what matters and you get leprosy then you are of the worst. It's almost as if trying to give a message numbers 2 and verse 13 and Moses cried unto the Lord saying heal her now oh God I beseech thee let me stop and talk a little bit about what's going on in America right now we know that there were multiple cases in the last few weeks of African-Americans one in Brunswick Georgia who was shot and killed. While taking a jog There's another gentleman and a police kneeled on his neck. The latest autopsy report I read deemed that he was it was it was homicide and that he was killed by asphyxia the pressure of the nd the police officers knee on that gentleman's neck. Would have cut off his ability to breathe in fact on the video he is crying out that he can't breathe or some cruel people say if you can say you can't breathe you can breathe but you don't understand respiratory physiology he can breathe for a while but he would become eventually you would become exhausted the lungs and the muscles would become exhausted trying to breathe or growing in such a force and eventually he is in this case is trickier would collapse and he would not be able to breathe or his pharynx would collapse the putting a where the knee was and so we've had these horrible deaths and there are others in fact we could go back many years to all of the deaths that have been caused but of by against unarmed African-Americans I could throw in Latinos as well going back many years in fact when I was a kid I know to at least 2 of my friends that were killed by the police. When I was in Miami and so this isn't something new what is different now are people have cell phones and are able to videotape these events. And so this thing has a cause a stir in anger and let me say it was as if Satan created the perfect storm. Coming out of a pandemic where so many people have lost their jobs millions I remember as a 40000000 people sitting at home without jobs a young people not in school no summer programs no even the colleges had shut down for this last quarter and everybody was at home so all of a sudden like my Jamaican grandmother would say the sometimes the An idle mind is the devil's workshop and I'm not saying that the people who protest peacefully are in this group but all of a sudden you have all of these people who have nothing to do being hold hurled into the streets and I would say that there are many who are legitimately protesting and asking for a redress of their grievances against the powers that be because such things ought not happen in a civilized country it should be no difference based on color as to the likelihood that one would die in the hands of police custody than another but there is a per capita dis difference and it is really disheartening because again it's like a perfect storm lots of people out this happens there is legitimate anger legitimate protest and now what we're beginning to see is riots and violence just read the story of a young lady and I was protesting at a Wal-Mart shopping center and she felt like the protest was going bad shot through a back and killed I don't know I'm no idea whose sponsor. But you start to hear more and more of the violence of stores being looted and burned and and and I don't believe that these are the peaceful protesters who literally legitimately want legitimately want a reformation of the criminal justice system I don't think it's those individuals but I do believe that the enemy of our souls has seen a wedge here with the coming out of the pandemic and looking at the economic conditions of the United States also understanding her history and the pain that some in this country feel and knowing that there are some who are simply agitators who have never even felt the pain because many of the people that have been caught on camera vandalizing and looting aren't even black or brown they're from outside of those neighborhoods and so it's a strange mix but I want to submit to the Christian that it is interesting that although Merriam spoke in a way that would harm oses Moses goes to God on her behalf that's the way the church ought to work even one that we are harmed by others we still ought to take them to God We ought to pray for even our enemies the Lord said unto Moses for father had but spit in her face should she not be ashamed 7 days let her be shut out from the camp 7 days and after that let her be received again and marry him was shut out from the camp 7 days and the people journeyed not till Marion was brought in again all of that in the church the nation of Israel was no unable to function for 7 days a purpose of this message is for Christians any the nomination any group of Christians so civilly brought a nomination however and this message is basically saying that if racism is allowed in the camp of Israel Israel cannot move forward. The entire campaign to stop they had to wait the 7 days Merriam had to be healed 1st before they could move forward I challenge you that if racism is allowed inside the body of Christ the church cannot move forward I mean if you listen to my sermons you know I talk a lot about my past when I was in high school moved from Connecticut to Miami Florida and moved to a high school that had a group of probably not a very large group but there were certain kids who were at least sympathetic as neo nazis or school is very Jewish as well hence the reason I visited Israel I went to law what one of the chip scripts designed for Jewish students the neo nazi students or those who sympathize I doubt they were real neo nazis who knows. I remember I'm sure I put more swastikas on the synagogue across the street from my high school when it was built brand new synagogue and I remember them putting up racial epithets in the bathrooms and words go back to Africa they would take the time to draw blood are pictures of apes and put nooses around a neck I was called the n. word so much in school yelling and people yelling and screaming at me and it was very painful for me and if you hear me talk about this in some other messages one of the things that happens is that racism and hatred like violence is contagious and eventually I began to dig deeper and deeper into being black and look and black and study more my black history which was a good thing but I got to a point where my anger was so much that I began to look for ways to be more of a revolution minded individual and and really began to become so pro black so into blackness that that that I began to even study false theories and even false doctrines and and play with these ideas as if somehow. Being black might make you better than someone else tell you all about to tell you that racism and bigotry can be contagious those who suffer from it can often develop the hatred against the other the only anecdote to these things is the pure gospel of Jesus Christ in fact in the last few days I've been crying some of the violence that has happened in retaliation or in response to these horrific injustices against African-Americans here in the United States I've had friends that have called me out and said I'm I'm no longer in touch because I don't sympathize with the rioters that I'm not Ok with them burning down police stations or or or burning up police cars that the violence against the police the police officers is warranted. Or at least it almost sounds like that's what's being supported and as I listen to them talk they're upset with me and say listen it's because you're successful it's because you're not educated you're not that same person from when we were in college and my response is It is not education but conversion The reason I don't believe that way the reason I don't want those who you might describe as my enemy to be harm is because like Moses I understand that we are all in this together and I also understand what the Scripture says the scripture says that we wrestle not against flesh and blood we fight against spiritual wickedness in high places it is something who is behind all of this is the devil himself. And as the he knows the Bible says and Revelation Chapter 12 will enter the earth and under the sea and to the inhabitants thereof for the devil is coming down upon you having great wrath Why does he have great raft the Bible says of Revelation Chapter 12 it says because he knows he has bought up short time if the devil is going to destroy his world and he is on his way to trying to wipe out countless souls one of the ways he's going to do that is to turn people against people to make us think that race and ethnicity are the end all be all when God is looking at the character These are tough times the Church of God must have a response and it ought not be a response that in a moment is easy for the churches now to go out and start marching and protesting but I challenge the churches to think about what are you doing all the rest of the time when there is no no national uproar are we to during children who are struggling in schools that are 2nd rate in parts of this country who are going on a picture jet Taree towards educational failure and becoming a part of the school to prison pipeline are we are we to touring and and helping those students the neighborhoods that that do not are have not accepted our health message and we would love to tell them all or stop eating meat are we growing community gardens to make sure that they have access to fresh fruits and vegetables. Are we in our churches when a child is born in our neighborhood and and maybe the parents aren't together maybe it's a single mother maybe they're just not together are we doing family counseling for young couples in inner cities where maybe they're not married and again and if they are married are we given the marital counseling so those marriages will last Are we giving them help in how to raise a child in a very difficult time of the world are we stepping in to be of interest to it to seed on behalf of those who are suffering are we actually trying to build better neighborhoods are we simply going to react when we're angry Jesus didn't do that Roman soldiers were horrible they were terrible you think we are pressed here in America and some of us are oppressed and America can you imagine was it was like to be under the grip of the mighty Roman Empire Empire when when men like. Somebody emperors of Rome were leading. Claudius or narrow most of these people were absolutely out of their minds and when they put people to lead and rule over Israel and over Jerusalem during the time of Christ like men like Herod the Great or Herod Antipas all of these people were were pretty strong on people so Jesus says listen they ask you to carry a coat to carry a coat to cloak all so they actually to go a mile it and go to Miles that's why he says if they slap you on the cheek turn the other one Jesus says we can decide on their nature it through love and service. Not was the civil rights movement a movement born out of the church ironically a movement born out of the idiology is not of Jesus just of Jesus Christ but he a modern day effective movement of Mahatma Gandhi in India as he brought the mighty British Empire to his knees and never shot a bullet this it was the power of these things and yet now we live in a time when when we are more and more seen maybe I maybe we're wrong here but more and more seem to think that a violent answer is going to work violence just begets violence and at the end of the day the one of the most power is going to win a violent struggle present a united states is already threatened to bring out the military to put these. Uprisings and protests and riots down that's not a path forward the Church of the Living God ought to be working all the time to empower doing things to connect law enforcement to the community I have many close friends and even read close relatives who are in law enforcement so I understand the difficulties and challenges of being in law enforcement but if law enforcement does not know their community if they are not acquainted with the people there that they have that if sworn an oath to protect and serve they can become more like an occupying force then like an assisting and serving force the church can do this work all year every year we can be involved in elevating the minds of the people in our community so that we don't have these types of incidents or at least one if we do have them the church has leverage in the community to try and pull things back and to speak out against injustice but if the church itself is not dealt with it's race problems from the pulpits of the churches black ministers speak against white people and white ministers speaking against black people if politics is the rule of the day the church like when Marion was struck with leprosy the church will not move forward. You know otherwise as I don't like says in the book 7 work a book I recommend everyone read in these times of racial or racial difficulty and I Why says walls of separation have been built up between the whites and blacks these walls of prejudice will tumble down of themselves as that the walls of Jericho when Christians obey the Word of God which enjoins on them supreme love to their maker and impartial love to their neighbors she says speaking of Minneapolis where this whole thing just started I want you to read what Ellen White says this is one of the only times in all of their lives writings she ever speaks as if she would move away from the organized 7 they have been a church that's how powerful and and charge the Sister White was when she was dealing with this issue watch this she says I was confirmed in all I had stated in Minneapolis the same Minneapolis that started this whole thing now that a reformation must go through the churches reforms must be made for spiritual weakness and blindness or upon the people who have been blessed with great light and precious opportunities and privileges look at this as reformers they have come out of the denominational churches but they now I'll act a part similar to what the church is what that to that which the church has acted she says We hoped that there would not be the necessity for another coming out literally threatening to leave the church while we endeavor to keep the unity of the spirit in the bonds of peace we will not with we will not with pen or voice ceased to protest against bigotry and whites that is an $888.00 about 13 years after the end of the Civil War when African-Americans for the most part was still stuck absolutely stuck. Sharecropping and the rise of the soon coming Jim Crow laws it went from one form of slavery to another and the and many of the white brother in the church were not keen to go and serve in the south and when these precious souls to Christ and so she spoke out against it in fact she threatened to leave the denomination if bigotry was allowed to remain why is that so powerful because one of the one of the one of the things that administers can can speak highly to itself of is the fact that of all the denominations America is the one that started on an anti-slavery footing and never changed it is unique in that way the administers Why does that make sense because the Bible tells us by this men will know that you are my disciples that you have love one for another but it gets even deeper look at as you well know the impact of her over fight to to to make sure that these things are rooted out Malcolm x. and 70 have been as Malcolm x. one probably the greatest black nationalist in American history definitely one of the probably the greatest orator of of summarizing the emotional feelings of black America here he is sitting what Muhammad Ali was at at that time was a member of the Nation of Islam now run by Louis Farrakhan the great orator himself you may not I don't agree with obviously most of what they say but these were our leaders that have for a long time stood it and been very highly respected in the black community Malcolm x. Louis Farrakhan and look at Malcolm X.'s autobiography of Malcolm x. page 21 he says Before long my mother spent much time with the Adventists we began to go with my mother to the administers meetings that were held further out in the country for us children I know it was the good food they served the Adventists felt we were living at the end of time that the world soon was coming to an end. But they were the friendliest white people I had ever seen the Gospel was able to move forward I believe that my mouth I'm xs mother became a 70 Adventist and he at least was properly exposed to the truth because the people that he met there treated him with dignity and respect and I sez in a southern work page 12 the day is coming when the Kings and the lordly men of Earth would be glad to exchange places with the humblest African was laid hold on the hope of the Gospel we see all these differences but God doesn't man looks at the outward appearing God looks at the heart and I says this The Southern work if they believe on Him His cleansing blood is applied to them the black man's name is written in the book of life beside the white man's All are one in Christ birth station nationality or color cannot elevate or degrade men the character makes the man biases and validations 326 and 27 for your all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus for as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ neither is there Jew or Greek there is not the bond nor free there is neither male nor female for you all want to Christ Jesus there is the divine differences that exist to the secular. Carnal mind when you are brought into the light of the Holy Spirit and into the truth of the Gospel the difference is evaporate as to when he is 9 of Galle sions 3 says and if he be Christ's then are you Abraham's seed ears according to the promise you don't have to join the Black Hebrew Israel lights. When you become a Christian and accept Jesus Christ as your Savior you become adopted into the very royal family of God wherefore we cry Ob-La father you become Abraham's seed and all of the promises Abraham was able to be given become yours Revelation 7 in verse 9 after this I beheld and lo a great multitude which no man can could number one nations and kindreds and peoples and tongues stood before the throne before the lamb clothed with white rules and palms in their hands and cried with a loud voice saying salvation to our God set of upon the throne and on to the Lamb let me take something when I see the things that are going on it pains me pains me to see man's inhumanity to man to see the injustice based on something as fragile and really nonexistent as race is really only one race the human race the human genome project Project has pretty much proven that it is the differences we see are our very miniscule and only on the surface inside we look exactly the same but has been prophesied church just as in Matthew 24 in verse 7 nations shall rise against nation and kingdom against kingdom the word for nation in the Greek is the word ethnos which is the word from which we do we get the word from which is the ride our word ethnicity Jesus tells us that these racial tensions will continue all the way till the end of time then in Matthew 24 and verse 8 prices all these are the Beginning of Sorrows just let me tell you something as horrific as these are worse times are coming to that you read verse 9 and on. All of the anger at a world is pointing at each other right now will one day be pointed at those who are believers in Christ Jesus and in his word who keep His law and are faithful to his cause one day we will be the enemies of society and we ought to be preparing for that not by dividing ourselves up by race but by bringing ourselves the government together under the banner the blood stained banner of Jesus Christ we need to work every day to stamp out injustice we need to be empowering neighborhoods churches out in the suburbs that are predominantly white on a partner with churches in the city that are predominantly black or Latino and we ought to be working together to improve the lives and empower the people and we ought not even ask anything in return we're to do that just because that's what the church does when I learn to trust us they want to know our gospel but it can't simply be because we want to evangelize that we do these things we do these things because they are right thing to do as a church because when we have fed clothed and helped education families have been strengthened they want to know about our Jesus and evangelism will no longer be an effort it will be done with. This Gospel shall be preached in all the world as a witness and then shall the end come let us pray Father God we thank you Lord for these words from the scripture and the spirit of prophecy when I just ask you take this message Lord and allow our hearts to be settled in the fact that you are in control Lord for each one of us removed from us any spot or stain of prejudice or bigotry against our fellow man and Larry to give us the wisdom and opportunity to move against injustice and racism in our society Father God as we move in that direction. There's always a knowing that we are 1st citizens of the kingdom of heaven and the Lord we have short time on this earth Father God help your people to be preparing for us and coming. Even as we work. To serve our fellow man here on. This is a prayer Jesus is precious. This media was brought to you by audio 1st a website dedicated to spreading God's word through free sermon audio and much more if you would like to know more about audio verse or if you would like to listen to more sermon leader visit w w w audio verse or.

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