God Will Win At the End….

God Will Win At the End….

The biggest problem with humanity in relation to God is not natural sin per se, but the control and pursue of sovereignty. God has an intended plan for everyone and humanity as a whole; therefore, he desires all individuals and all people to walk humbly before him and under his sovereign control.

On the other hand, man and woman have their own desires and plans that are somewhat autonomous and more often contrary to those of God. They want to pursue their own desires and objectives without any divine interference or external constraint. The desire for man and woman to live in isolation of God’s sovereign grace and sovereign will belittles the glory and majesty of God in the world. It is an act of dehumanization and human pride that challenges the authority of God and questions God’s loving-kindness.

The crisis between God and humanity is the passion to be (totally) autonomous and sovereign. Human sovereignty apart from God’s tutelage is one of the gravest transgressions committed against God the Sovereign Lord and most Loving King. While we human beings may act autonomously or long for sovereignty, which defies the pedagogy of God’s sacredness, God will ultimately win at the end.

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“The Legacy of Jesus the Palestinian-Jewish Peasant and the Meaning of Biblical Christianity for Today”

“The Legacy of Jesus the Palestinian-Jewish Peasant and the Meaning of Biblical Christianity for Today”

Christianity is a religion of the poor as its founder-Savior was a poor Palestinian-Jewish peasant who had no where to lay his head because he was born to an economically-disavantaged class and family.

This poor Messiah from the ancient Region of Galilee, located in Northern Israel, lived in an environment that was crushed by abject poverty and hunger, and terrible living conditions. The people of his surroundings were subject to all kinds of social ills and political woes. Socially, like him they experienced dire poverty and hunger; they suffered all kinds of illnesses including end-of-life diseases; the well-to-do and power-seeking religious class and leaders humiliated them and isolated them from religious fellowship and social interactions; and these poor Galileans constituted a large pool of individuals who lived on the margins of society including prostitutes, addicts, underclass fishermen, beggars, the intellectually and mentally-challenged, the crippled, the physically-handicapped, the disabled, those with speech problems, etc. He taught them that God was on their side and for their liberation and welfare.

He became their friends while other individuals in society did not want to associate with them. He hanged out with them, ate (tablefellowshiped) with them, fed them, and cured their illnesses. As a custom, he spent his entire day teaching them about a God who loved them and cared about their daily needs and life necessities including the food they had to eat to sustain them physically and the clothes they had to wear to look presentable in society. He also taught these underclass peasants and oppressed individuals how to be good to other poor people like them and be compassionate to all people. He offered to them good moral and ethical principles to live by and persuaded them to imitate his character and religious life pattern. He taught them deep things about God their Creator and Sustainer. Through his teachings, he used figures of speech and metaphors to reveal to them about the character and virtues of God, which they also must covet and teach to others. He told them to pursue what makes God happy, to do what God likes, and oppose what God dislikes such as injustice, oppression, abuse, and all kinds of human sin and transgressions. He also inferred in his teachings that God was the God of the poor and oppressed people.

This poor Galilean Messiah also instructed his followers and friends to love and practice justice where they lived and to take a stand for what is right, honorable, and moral in their community. He charged them to be a community of conviction and correspondingly to be a people who are known in society for their righteous actions and love of justice just like God their Father and Creator.

He also taught them to care for other poor and oppressed people like them in society by attending to their needs and life necessities: giving food to the hungry; clothing the naked; assisting the sick; visiting the prisoner; supporting the economically-disavantaged; caring for the orphan and the widow; showing hospitality and love to the stranger and the visitor among them; and loving and treating all people equally, equitably, and indiscriminately.

Although those colonized (they lived under the political yoke and the colonial burden of Roman Empire.) and uneducated peasants suffered all kinds of abuse, injustice, and exploitation (i.e. class, gender, social, religious, political) from those in seats of power and influence, he instructed them not to worry about their living conditions because God will make provisions for them; not to retaliate against their oppressors and exploiters because God will give them justice and punish their oppressors; not to be troublemakers because God has called them to be peacemakers and ambassadors of justice and reconciliation; and not to be a power-hungry-and-seeking community because God will humble the pride and raise the weak.

Yet this poor Galilean Messiah convinced his followers to go change society and the world by living his legacy and teaching all things he had taught them to all people: to love all people, to tell all people to repent of their evil ways and turn to God for liberation, to practice justice and forgiveness, to oppose in society what is unjust and anti-human, and to imitate his ways and his ethic. His followers believed that he practically embodied in his life and his teachings what God is like in character and nature. In fact, they believed Jesus of Nazareth was not only the Savior of the world, but the most terrifying truth about this poor Palestinian-Jewish peasant is this: God existed in the person and actions of Jesus. In Him, God experienced full humanity and what it meant to be weak, vulnerable, economically poor, politically oppressed and subjugated, morally dehumanized and demonized, and socially isolated and abandoned.

God is not the God of the philosopher or the bourgeois-theologian or the arrogant rich who trusts in his wealth for comfort and stability, but the God of the poor and the most vulnerable people in society who have no cultural status, political power, or any constructive human resources to offer to God, but a humble heart and submissive will.

The Dangers of Social Justice?

“Going to the #SBC19? Don’t miss this opportunity to hear from @tomascol @JoshBuice @TomBuck @PreacherMiller and Tom Nettles as they discuss the issues of social justice. https://t.co/T5qGXMDDnQ #WokeChurch #SBC #SocialJustice https://t.co/2Bo9fIfY5F””

A bunch of white guys, including a retired SBTS Professor, getting together to talk about social justice in the church? Are you serious? What a shame!

This is a clear example of how white privilege and white supremacy operate in today’s American Evangelicalism and Christian circles.

It would have been a much better & Gospel-centered choice for these gentlemen to meet to discuss what the Church in the twenty-first century can do to end police brutality, mass incarceration, anti-immigrant laws, sex slave & trafficking in America, poverty and gun violence in the hood and the ghetto, improving our broken education system in our dysfunctional schools, attending to the needs of the poor widow and the single mother of four children who can’t afford healthcare and pay for their overdue medical bills, etc. These are Gospel issues, folks!

***Did you notice the “Black Power” Fist on the social justice’s graphic?

#Unbelievable!

These are the same individuals who believe they have authority and cultural credentials to tutor people on racial reconciliation and unity in the church!

How shall one pursue unity and improve interracial relations in the church and society in that context?

***The Gospel is also about justice of God in society and his plan to create a new humanity, created order, and a new government that are socially and politically just and equitable– in Jesus Christ. The promise of total and global justice is the promise of the Gospel and it is not just a future or eschatological event. Justice including its divine, biblical, social, economic, political, judicial, legal (i.e food justice, water justice, education justice, healthcare justice) etc., aspects are all embedded in the content and message of the Gospel. God the Creator of all people and the Sustainer of the world, through the Gospel of Christ, has called both men and women, both government and society, both christian and non-christian, and both religious and non-religious, not only to repent of their sins to find hope in Jesus alone, but also to practice and pursue justice and compassion in all spheres of life and areas of the social order.

The Gospel is about the justice of God in society and in the world, and one of those “justices” has a social component. The Word of God always calls men and women in both civil and political societies not just to make a spiritual decision for Christ; correspondingly, the Gospel has called men and women to make moral decisions and ethical choices and to orchestra and live by moral principles and political structures that are just and godly, which could contribute to a transformed society and human flourishing in the present. Hence, public policies (i.e.state, county, local) and Federal laws should be democratically just and equitable; they should not disenfranchise the most vulnerable and economically-disavantaged populations in our society nor place their lives on the margins.

The Gospel is not just what one just believes theologically and affirms intellectually. It is also the ethical and moral principles that one inhabits and lives out in the world and in relation to other individuals. The Gospel is not just a set of theological beliefs one embraces; It is also a set of practical convictional actions one performs. The Gospel is about identifying with Christ, imitaring his gracious and redeeming character, and demonstrating in public his liberative teachings and actions for the transformation of both spiritial condition and living conditions of human beings.

“Serve God and Serve People”

“Serve God and Serve People”

God is not impressed by your “head knowlege theology” about him or your academic acumen. He delights in you and is praised when you honor him fully with your mind and actions; he is glorified in you when you use what you know about God and the people in your community and city to change their living conditions and help them reach their human potential.

Use the same knowlege, both of God and human beings, to foster forgiveness, peace, unity, healing, reconciliation, and human flourishing in your community and city!

Knowledge about God and humanity is about your willingness to effect practical transformation in people’s lives and the disposition of your heart and resources to improve both society and human relationships.

“The Future of SBC in Four Paragraphs”

“The Future of SBC in Four Paragraphs”

SBC is a denomination in peril. Its redemption will not come from its current leadership and regime of power, but from “ethnic/immigrant Christian churches” and “minority leaders” who have gone through the fire of hell, dehumanization, and common suffering in this weary land, and from the racialized disciples of Jesus Christ who share a collective history of exclusion and alienation from the life and power of SBC leadership, institutions, and churches.

In all of their trouble and collective history of suffering and rejection, they have learned to abide in Jesus, remain faithful to SBC while SBC has not been faithful to them, and trust in God’s transformative power and healing presence to boost up their self-esteem and shape their Christian identity and character to those of Jesus Christ. They have borne the mark of the Christian cross and experienced the calvary of the American culture.

The good news is this: God is not done with SBC nor has he abandoned SBC churches. There’s redemptive hope that could foster institutional transformation within the SBC leadership and life. This hope is not cheap grace; it demands a radical renunciation of the political gods and cultural demons that have poisoned SBC leadership, churches, and institutions. This liberative hope also makes urgent demands from the people of God in the SBC to become a people of justice and zealous ambassadors of reconciliation and unity.

Finally, six ethically paired words of action–which are also moral imperatives–are required toward this denominational restructuring, shifting, and rebuilding: repentance and forgiveness, self-denial and humility, inclusion and diversity, Christian fellowship and relationality, racial sensitivity and multicultural partnership, and submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ and living out the liberating message of the Gospel.

“Let Them Speak: On Rape, Incest, and Abortion”

“Let Them Speak: On Rape, Incest, and Abortion”

A. If you have never been raped as a woman/man, how would you ever know how it feels to be sexually violated & raped? Consider the bodily shame and degradation closely connected to the identity, experience, and future of the rape victim?

B. If you have never been a victim of a sexual incest (i.e. from a father, uncle, cousin, brother), how would you ever know about the unspeakable and terrified experience of this individual/victim?

C. What gives you (i.e. man) the right, credential, & conviction to pretend that you have personal knowledge and experience and that you can speak with authority on behalf of those who have been raped/ are victims of rape?

Can we allow these women to tell their own story?

I am just inviting you friends to have a candid and honest conversation about this sensitive issue. No cursing, please!. No Disrespect, please!. Let’s talk with civility and cordiality about this important matter.

“On Christian Patriarchal Arrogance and Women in Christian and Pastoral Ministry”

“On Christian Patriarchal Arrogance and Women in Christian and Pastoral Ministry”

A. Women of God: Don’t pay attention to some Evangelical thinkers and Christian theologians who are telling you that you are not worthy enough, because you are not a man, but a woman, to use your gifts of preaching, teaching, and leadership to serve and lead the people of God in the Church.

B. Tell them Christian ministry has to do with gifting not male leadership, mutual submission not male hierarchy, interdependence not individualism, service not masculine power, humility not patriarchal triumphalism or pride.

C. Don’t let the so-called guardians of the faith fool you, undermine your gifts, or the integrity of your calling to Christian leadership and Pastoral ministry. Evangelical Theologians and Christian Biblical Scholars across various denominational expressions have held two views in regard to the role of women in Christian ministry: complementarianism and egalitarianism.

*** Always remember that theological hermeneutics has a political side to it, and male theological patriarchs have used Scriptures to deny women of their rights, silence their voice in the church, and erase their stories, histories, and contributions to the birth and advancement of Christianity in the world. Male-centered biblical interpretation is toxic to the future of the Christian church and Christianity in the world. It has not always been the best redemptive tool to liberate women from male oppression and masculine demand for submission nor has it always been an empowering rhetoric and project to promote the equal dignity and humanity of women with men. Rather, a Christocentric biblical hermeneutics always points women to the path of emancipation and eccesiastical participation and rescues them from christian patriarchal arrogance and triumphalism.

Finally, women of God, always remember that both male and female ministers and Christians “have in common” one Boss, Jesus Christ, and they “share in unity” one supreme Lord of the Church to whom they must submit and bow, Jesus Christ the Head of the Church.