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What Fathers and Mothers Need to Know About Ferguson

Psalm 78:5-7

By William Dwight McKissic, Sr.

On Saturday, August 9, about 2:15 p.m., a shooting took place in Ferguson, Missouri, that will forever be etched on the collective psyches of all Americans. Ferguson, Missouri, was not on the radar screen of most Americans until the news begin to circulate over the past several days, that yet another young African American male had been shot and killed by a police officer. Complete facts and details surrounding the young man’s death are still largely unknown. But what is known has triggered protests, looting, rioting and a police response that is reminiscent of the civil rights rallies and police responses in the 60’s. Ferguson is indeed a powder keg, and America and the world are watching.

What should fathers say to their families about Ferguson? What should pastors say to their congregations about Ferguson? What would Christ, through His preachers—Black, White, Asian and Hispanic—say to America about Ferguson?

The Bible is clear that it becomes the responsibility of fathers to interpret history for their children and to provide for them lessons that lead to hope in God.

“Remember the days of old, Consider the years of many generations. Ask your father, and he will show you; Your elders, and they will tell you:” (Deuteronomy 32:7)

5For He established a testimony in Jacob, And appointed a law in Israel, Which He commanded our fathers, That they should make them known to their children;

That the generation to come might know them,The children who would be born,

That they may arise and declare them to their children,

That they may set their hope in God, And not forget the works of God,

But keep His commandments; (Psalm 78:5-7)

“1Hear, my children, the instruction of a father, And give attention to know understanding…

When I was my father’s son, Tender and the only one in the sight of my mother,

He also taught me, and said to me: “Let your heart retain my words;

Keep my commands, and live.” (Proverbs 4:1, 3, 4)

The Bible commands fathers to instruct their children and to specifically instruct them concerning historical matters, in a manner that they “may set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep His commandments.” What fathers need to know about Ferguson is what is it that they should teach their children as a result of what took place there.

The lesson that every child needs to learn from Ferguson is this:  I cannot control what the policeman can do toward me, but I can control how I will respond to him or her. Therefore, my response should be respectful, submissive and strategic toward protecting my best interest and Kingdom concerns.

I. Ferguson Reminds Us that We live in A Fallen World

The Bible portrays heaven as a place of total tranquility, racial inclusion, peace and harmony.

And they sang a new song, saying:

“You are worthy to take the scroll, And to open its seals; For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,

10 And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.”  (Revelation 5:9-10)

Everybody in heaven is redeemed. Everybody on earth is not. There is no racial strife, mistrust, bickering and rioting in heaven. There is division, disunity, distrust and disfavor that often characterize race relations on earth. Men are separated from each other, because they are separated from God.

The first murder recorded in Scripture was between two brothers. Even among people of the same family and race there is confusion, disunity, and bickering, because we live in a fallen world. The first fight in the early church was among members of the same church at Jerusalem, but one group (Greeks) leveled charges of inequitable distribution against another group (Jews) in Acts 6:1-7. Because we live in a fallen world tainted by sin, we see the fall-out in our families and in the church. Consequently, we inevitably will see it in our society.

Ferguson, Missouri, is symbolic and symptomatic of the fallen nature of mankind that’s evident universally. As Black families moved into Ferguson beginning in the 70’s, Whites began to flee. In 1980 the town was 85% White and 14 % Black; by 2010 it was 29% White and 69% Black. However, the Ferguson Police Department consists of 53 officers, of which only three are Black. The largely White police force stops Black residents far out of proportion to their population, according to statistics kept by the state’s Attorney General. Blacks account for 86% of the traffic stops in the city, and 93% of the arrests after those stops. In St. Louis County there have been allegations of widespread racial profiling. Ferguson reminds us that racism is still a reality in our world in hiring practices and in police patrol—racial profiling.

The consequences of this profiling can be deadly for many. A BLACK MAN IS KILLED IN THE U.S. EVERY 28 HOURS BY POLICE is the title of an article written by Adam Houston. Houston maintains that police officers, security guards or self-appointed vigilantes extra-judicially killed at least 313 African Americans in 2012. Ferguson hosted the most recent high profile case of such killing. Ferguson reminds us that we live in a fallen world. Jesus said in this world, ye shall have trials and tribulations (John 16:33). Jesus wept over Jerusalem because of their propensity toward violence. The Black-on-Black crime in Chicago, Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Detroit, Dallas, and New Orleans is equally indicative of the fact that we live in a fallen world. Cain is still slaying Abel. How unfortunate!

II.  Ferguson Reminds Us That Obeying God Is Crucial. The Redeemed Ought To Live Like The Redeemed.

The 18-year-old, 6’4”, 292 pound African American male who was headed to college but whose life abruptly ended, name was Michael Brown. The policeman who shot and killed him was named Darren Wilson. I have no knowledge of the spiritual condition of either. But what I do know is that the death of Michael Brown could have and should have been avoided.

We certainly grieve with Michael Brown’s family. The Wilson family is also in a state of befuddlement. I hope that both men were redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, but I simply don’t know. What I do know is that Brown’s family and the Wilson’s family lives have been radically and inalterably changed. Neither family is pleased with the state they are currently in. Both families, no doubt, point the finger at the other for causing their disruption and pain.

The truth is that there was wrong on both sides of this table. The battle is now over who shares the lion share of the blame for the killing—Brown or Wilson.

Without taking sides in this issue, while awaiting more facts to evolve, it appears to me that if news reports are accurate, that Wilson shot Brown, multiple times, from a distance of 35 feet while he was in a surrender posture, Wilson should and could have exercised restraint, inasmuch, at the time Wilson did not view Brown as a suspect. Hindsight is always 20-20. But I’m sure Wilson regrets not having exercised restraint and patience.

As for Brown, if it’s true that he was walking in the middle of the street and blocking traffic that was/is nonsensical, in addition to being against the law. Additionally, he handed his critics a stick to fight him with by robbing a store of some cheap cigars. Yes, we all have made some youthful mistakes, and perhaps committed some crimes during our tender years that we wish we could recall. Yet, unfortunately, in the minds of many, this somehow renders Brown complicit in his own death. There is no connection between the robbery and the shooting. Yet, in the court of public opinion, Brown is somehow being held liable as a result; and he has only himself to blame for that.

Because we do live in a fallen world, my mother use to tell her children, “make sure that you don’t hand the devil the stick to hit you with, because he will sure use it.” May all young men, regardless of color, learn a lesson from Brown’s failure!

If reports of Brown assaulting Wilson are true, and attempting to take his pistol, may the lesson learned be: (1) respect authority, (2) obey authority, (3) submit to authority, and (4) honor authority. (Romans 17:1). He who lives by the sword, may also die by the sword. Violence, robbery, and disrespect toward authority are surefire ways to create problems with parents, police and peers. These things should be avoided at all cost.

Justice is wrapped up in the Kingdom package (Amos 5:24; Micah 5:6). While seeking justice, I should not engage in unjust activities. I must disassociate myself from evil (Psalm 1:1-2). While combating racism, I should not practice racism (Malachi 2:10). God will bless the person who honors authority (Ephesians 6:4). God will bless the person who is meek (Matthew 5:5). God will bless the person who honors His laws (Proverb 28:7). A man that doeth violence will suffer (Acts 28:17). The key to longevity and a peaceable life are submission to authority and to run from evil (I Peter 3:10-14).

May the life of Michael Brown be redeemed by posthumously teaching lessons to parents and children that might lead to better outcomes! May the life of Darren Wilson be redeemed by teaching lessons to authority figures that a nation and an entire race of people can be put ill at ease through one act of intemperance!

Ultimately, Ferguson teaches us that true justice, equality, love, brotherhood and peace will not be found in this world but through the blood of Jesus (Ephesians 2:13-14)…for truly it is at the foot of the Cross where true brotherhood is found. If America gathers at the Cross, we can find healing, help and hope for our present predicament.

ANSWERS TO REPORTERS’ QUESTIONS REGARDING THE BALTIMORE SBC
By Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr.
June 2014

1. Why did you nominate Pastor Kim for SBC president?

Dr. Kim is bilingual; he has conducted 40 international mission trips; the IMB has appointed 50 missionaries from his congregation. Dr. Kim has successfully planted five multicultural churches; the church he has pastored over the past 23 years—although predominately Korean—has a healthy admixture of Hispanics, Africans, African Americans and Asians. His church represents the highest percentage CP giving of the three candidates. For these reasons we need to elect Dr. Kim, the most qualified candidate, to help us lead the Great Commission Resurgence.

2. What kind of message do you think his election would send about the SBC’s commitment to diversity?

On the heels of the Luter election, Dr. Kim’s election will say to the SBC constituency and to the entire world that the SBC has turned the corner and is willing to include people from all nations of the earth as leaders in our Convention so that we can reach all the people of the earth. As it relates to carrying out the Great Commission and increasing Cooperate Program giving, there is no better person to elect than Dr. Kim.

During the 2012 SBC Presidential election, Dr. Fred Luter stated in a post-election news conference:

“If we stop appointing African-Americans, Asians, and Hispanics to leadership positions after this, we’ve failed.” (http://www.thenewamerican.com/culture/faith-and-morals/item/11792-southern-baptist-convention-elects-first-black-national-leader)

3. What kind of message would Pastor Floyd’s election send?

Dr. Floyd is a good man and has a strong track record; However, we have a candidate who is equally qualified, who is from a region of the country we seek to reach with the Gospel, who has been effective in that region, and who represents the very diversity to which we aspire.

4. Also, do you expect a lot of discussion at the meeting about the New Heart Community Church’s decision to stop condemning homosexuality and seek a “third way” where members agree to disagree?

The focus of our message is not homosexuality. It is God revealing Himself fully and finally in the person of Jesus Christ. Jesus’ Lordship is over every area of one’s life, including one’s sexuality; and God has spoken with abundant clarity to those issues—so when a church diverts from that clear teaching, Southern Baptists are under obligation to respond. But my hope is that our main message—even in the midst of this discussion—will continue to be focused on Jesus, who gave His life so that anyone who believes can be redeemed.

5. Are you planning to introduce any resolutions from the floor this year?

Yes, I’ve submitted three resolutions to the Resolution Committee, and they will be considered alongside many more.

 

 

WHY PASTOR DENNIS MANPOONG KIM, TH.D, NEEDS TO BE THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE SOUTHERN BAPTIST CONVENTION

by
WILLIAM DWIGHT MCKISSIC, SR.
MAY 20, 2014

If God wanted something other than a family, He would have had us to call Him something other than Father. The first recorded words of God’s Son make it crystal clear that the Father’s business is the temple business; and the temple business is discipleship. While searching for their Son for three days, Joseph and Mary found Him in the temple being discipled and asking questions. When Jesus’ parents asked Him to give an account for His absence, His reply was: “Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?” (Luke 2:49) At 12 years of age, Jesus understood His mission, and He also set the agenda for His church: “The Father’s Business.”

Jesus declared His relationship to His heavenly Father as preeminent over His relationship to His earthly father and mother, yet He subjected Himself to them, as an example to us (Luke 2:51). Jesus also declared His desire to please His heavenly Father was the driving passion of His life. The heartbeat of God was for His temple—the place where God and man meet. The heartbeat of God’s Son was for the business of His Father, which was the temple business; and the temple business was, and is, a discipleship business.

While seated in the temple, Jesus understood that in a few years the very building that He was seated in would be destroyed (Mark 13:1-2). He knew, ultimately, His body would have to fulfill the purpose of the temple—and that is to be a meeting place for God and man (John 2:21). Jesus also understood that man’s body would become the temple of God’s Spirit (I Corinthians 6:19).

It was of utmost importance to Jesus—being our example—that He related to God as Father. It is of utmost importance to Jesus that we relate to Him as God’s Son. It is of utmost importance to Jesus that we receive God’s Spirit in order to be born again into God’s Kingdom family. Even the Trinity operates as a family. The Father’s business is the temple business. By relating to God as Father in the temple, Jesus is making it clear that the temple business is a family business. And according to Jesus, His family consist of those who “do the will of God, the same is His brother, sister, and mother” (Mark 3:35). The temple business is a family enterprise.

God is looking for a family to conduct His Kingdom business. The Kingdom business is to build a family of disciples. He sent Jesus to earth to gather His family. He prayed for future family members, which would include the SBC (John 17:20). Jesus prayed to His Father that His Kingdom family would be “one…that the world may believe that thou has sent me” (John 17:21). According to Jesus, unless the world sees His family as “one” they may not believe in His incarnation. That’s why it’s so important that the SBC becomes a unified family, that reflect in her leadership and followship, people from “every kindred, tongue, tribe, and nation” (Revelation 5:8-9). God’s plan from the beginning of redemptive history has been global. According to Paul, God Himself preached the gospel to Abraham; and at the heart of His gospel was the seed of Abraham, Jesus Christ, and the “families of the earth” (Galatians 3:8; Genesis 12:1-3).

The Southern Baptist Convention must be about our Father’s business. The Southern Baptist Convention must represent and look like all the families of the earth. The Southern Baptist Convention must have as her leader, someone who has a passion for the Father’s business—which is the discipleship business.

Therefore, it is my intention to nominate Dr. Dennis Manpoong Kim as the next President of the Southern Baptist Convention. Dr. Kim’s heartbeat is evangelism and discipleship. He serves as the senior pastor of Global Mission Church of Greater Washington. He has been faithfully serving as the senior pastor of this church for 23 years with a great passion for evangelism, discipleship and world missions. Fulfilling the Great Commission is the all-consuming passion of his ministry. He has devoted his life in training believers as true Disciples of Christ. He has traveled to more than 40 different countries to witness the gospel, serve in various evangelistic ministries, and give lectures for local pastors and seminary students. He is fully bilingual in Korean and English with a keen understanding of multicultural world views. If elected, he will be an ambassador for the Kingdom and Southern Baptists that’s well qualified.

The Global Mission Church, under Dr. Kim’s leadership, has been faithfully partnering and collaborating with the Southern Baptist Convention in all areas of Christian ministry including cooperative program, world missions, local outreach, relief efforts, community service, and pastors’ fellowship. The Church has produced more than 50 career missionaries working for the International Mission Board. It has also planted five churches in various locations in America.

Either of the announced nominees for President, thus far, are fine men. But, our Convention will be better served if Dr. Kim wins the election. By virtue of training, experience, missions travel, Kingdom expansion, cooperation, church development and discipleship ministries, Dr. Kim is by far the most qualified, announced candidate for the Office of President of the Southern Baptist Convention. Dr. Kim’s church gave 4.5% of their church budget to the Cooperative Program last year, while engaged in local, state, national, and global missions as a church family.

Dr. Fred Luter, our current illustrious President, was quoted in a June 2012 Christianity Today article on the heels of his historic election, regarding future leadership in the SBC:

“I have no doubt you will see more change in having more ethnics in positions of authority. And eventually I have no doubt you’ll see one of us leading one of the entities.”

The election of Dr. Luter was an eye-opener, a wake-up call, that this was no longer “our daddy’s SBC.” Dr. Luter expressed faith that “ethnics” would assume positions of authority in the SBC—not just a solo African American—but “ethnics.” Dr. Kim will lead us to continue our growing ministry to a rapidly diversifying America with a strong and faithful gospel witness.

At the current time, all SBC entity heads are comprised of the majority, historic SBC ethnic group—Anglos. Thank God for the Anglos! The SBC would not be poised to be the only evangelical denomination in my judgment with the potential to become thoroughly inter-racial if it were not for the inclusiveness and Kingdom-minded hearts of Anglo SBC persons. Fred Luter certainly did not become President of the SBC with only ethnic minority votes. But, as America grows, we are becoming a more ethnically diverse nation every year. We need leadership that will help the SBC grow in that way as well. Dr. Kim will do a great job of leading us in our mission to bring the gospel to the people of America who are now from every nation, tribe, people, and tongue so that our churches will continue to look more and more like Heaven (Rev. 7:9).

Dr. Kim is, without a doubt, qualified. Dr. Kim pastors the largest SBC church in the state of Maryland, irrespective of race. The SBC will not have to compromise integrity, leadership, sound doctrine, CP support, missions/evangelism/discipleship commitment, or any expectation of an SBC President by electing Dr. Kim. His leadership among Maryland Baptists is significant in how he has grown a strong, vibrant ministry outside of the South and he is equipped and uniquely positioned to lead the Southern Baptist Convention in growing in areas and among cultures where we have not traditionally had a strong impact. We need the kind of leadership, expertise, and experience that Dr. Kim has gained from ministering outside of the South in a rapidly changing cultural situation.

Dr. Kim caught my eye at the Orlando SBC meeting, when he stood on the floor and made an appeal for ethnic minorities to be included and play a greater role in SBC Life. I resonated with his plea. I resonated with his pain. I resonated with the potential and promise that his plea represented. It is now time for the SBC to move to the next level and continue to fulfill the prayer of Jesus, that we might be one, so that the world would know that He is Immanuel, God with us (Matthew 1:23). The next step in becoming a Kingdom Family of One is to plant multicultural churches. Who better has role modeled and can cast a vision for discipleship-driven multicultural church planting than Dr. Kim?

Michael Brady was a stuntman for Universal Studios. Michael Brady’s specialty was diving from a helicopter to jump onto a moving train. On one occasion he climbed up a stairway to a train to check out what he was going to be doing. Michael Brady slipped, fell and instantly died. Michael Brady was an organ donor. Bill Wohl was hospitalized for 159 days with an artificial heart waiting on a heart transplant. Bill Wohl was 57 years old, waiting on a heart, after 159 days of living with an artificial heart. Michael Brady was 37 years old and in tip-top physical shape when he suddenly died. And Bill Wohl was blessed to receive Michael Brady’s 37-year-old heart.

Bill Wohl started exercising vigorously and running marathons. He wanted to honor the life and legacy of Michael Brady by keeping his heart in good condition. On one occasion, Bill Wohl had the opportunity to meet Michael Brady’s family. His mother, father, brother and sister were all there. Michael Brady’s father had a stethoscope with him. And he requested permission of Bill Wohl to listen to his heart, because he wanted to hear the heartbeat of his son. Bill Wohl granted Michael Brady’s dad permission. He then placed the stethoscope to Bill Wohl’s heart and listened to the heartbeat of his son.

Suppose, God the Father wanted to listen to the heartbeat of the SBC. If God placed a stethoscope on the heart of the SBC, what would He hear? Would God hear the heartbeat of His Son? Dr. Kim’s heartbeat is discipleship, just as Jesus’ heartbeat was discipleship (Matthew 28:19).

We want to continue the great legacy of the SBC with regard to missions, evangelism and discipleship. We want to continue with the Luter evolution. Will you please join me in supporting Dr. Dennis Manpoong Kim as the next President of the Southern Baptist Convention?

Here is a link to an excellent article by Shannon Baker on the nomination. It has a lot of good background information.  http://www.baptistlifeonline.org/2014/05/dwight-mckissic-nominates-korean-pastor-for-sbc-president/

RESOLUTIONS ON:

  1. The NFL Same-Sex Kiss and Their Failure to Recognize Kenny Washington;
  2. The Washington “Redskins” Racially Insensitive and Racist Mascot;
  3. Amending “Stand Your Ground Laws” In States That Have Such Laws.

By William Dwight McKissic, Sr.

Cornerstone Baptist Church, Arlington, TX

Whereas, the God of the Bible who is “the same, yesterday, today and forever more” is omnipotent and omniscient, therefore, keenly aware and concerned about the affairs of mankind (Hebrews 13:8, Malachi 3:6, Matthew 6:24-34),

Whereas, “the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” is assigned the task of representing the Kingdom of God on earth and to be His voice (I Timothy 3:14, Matthew 16:18-20, Romans 10:14-17),

Whereas, the Church of the living God is to be the light of the world, the salt of the earth, and a city upon a hill, in order to exalt righteousness, brotherhood, justice, and redemptive history (Matthew 5:13-14),

Whereas, the Bible commands believers to prophetically address righteous, justice, and racial issues (Amos 5:24, Malachi 2:10, Matthew 28:19-20),

Whereas Jesus warned His disciples concerning the dangers of adversely impacting the lives of children (Matthew 18:6),

Be it resolved that we believe that it is inappropriate for children to be subjected to having to watch same-sex couples engage in public displays of affection while watching a sports-related event on allegedly family-friendly channels. We discourage any further televising of such events. While there is a missing airplane somewhere in the Far East, over 200 kidnapped girls from Nigeria, and high unemployment in America, we respectfully request the President of the United States to refrain from congratulating and extending well wishes to any future homosexual professional sports players, unless simultaneously he is going to make celebratory and well wishes calls to the likes of Tim Tebow, Prince Amukamara—the “Black Tim Tebow,” and AC Green, professional athletes committed to sexual purity.

Be it further resolved that whereas, the NFL has not celebrated and heralded Kenny Washington, who broke the color barrier in the modern era of the NFL (1946), the Southern Baptist Convention wishes to acknowledge and celebrate the significance of Kenny Washington for paving the way for the NFL to be a diverse and inclusive sports league for players of all colors, just as Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in professional baseball,

Be it resolved that the Southern Baptist Convention deplore and denounce racism in any form or expression by professional sports league management, as was recently expressed by Donald Sterling, the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers,

Be it further resolved that the Southern Baptist Convention view the mascot of the Washington “Redskins” as racist and disrespectful in its origin and the mindset of George Preston Marshall, owner of the Boston Braves football team in 1932, which relocated the team to Washington, DC in 1937, and renamed the Boston Braves, the Washington “Redskins.”

Time Magazine reported in 1940, “Considered by West Coast fans the most brilliant player in the US last year, [Kenny] Washington cannot play major league pro football because he is a Negro.” When the Cleveland Rams moved to Los Angeles in 1946, the commissioners of the Los Angeles Coliseum stipulated as part of the agreement that the team be integrated. Kenny Washington then signed the first NFL contract to play for the Los Angeles Rams as a Black man in the modern era. When Kenny Washington finished college at UCLA, having led the nation in the total offense, he caught the eye of legendary Bears Coach George Halas, who coached him in the College All Star Game in 1939. Halas kept Washington in Chicago for three weeks on his own dime as he tried to lobby the NFL to integrate the league, but he didn’t succeed, with Redskins owner, George Preston Marshall, the lone holdout.

George Preston Marshall, who named the “Redskins” and whose players in 1946 held Kenny Marshall down, piled on top of him and poured chalk in his eyes, was without a doubt a racist, as evidenced by him denying Kenny Washington a chance to play in the NFL until 1946, along with other NFL owners, and allowing his players to pour chalk into the eyes of an African American player without any repercussions.

Can you imagine Louis Farrakhan having owned the Dallas Cowboys in the ‘60’s, and having named them the Dallas “Whiteboys”? And having no intent to ever allow anyone who was White to play on the team? The man who named the “Redskins” did not allow a “Black-skinned” or truly “Redskin” player on his team until forced to by the Federal Government in 1962. The Washington “Redskins” were the last NFL team to integrate. Louis Farrakhan would be making a mockery of the name “Whiteboys” if he had no intent to place “Whiteboys” on his team; and this is exactly what George Preston Marshall did to the Washington “Redskins.” We plead and appeal to the current owner of the Washington team, Daniel Sayder, to change this racially insensitive and racist name.

It is racist to make reference to a racial group (Native Americans) as a mascot. It trivializes the racial group to be referenced as a mascot. Again, the man who assigned this name was a documented racist. Donald Sterling would look like Branch Rickey, compared to George Preston Marshall. The Southern Baptist Convention denounce the mascot of the Washington Redskins as racist, based on the documented racism of its owner of the time—George Preston Marshall. “Redskins” was a colloquial, not so respectful reference to Native Americans during the period in which Marshall gave his team that racially repugnant name.

Be it resolved that the Southern Baptist Convention views it as an unfit analogy that the St. Louis Rams—having recently drafted the first openly homosexual player and the Los Angeles Rams in 1946, having signed the first African American to an NFL contract in the modern era, is indicative of social progress or advancement. To compare the advent of a same-sex attraction player, to an African American player is to compare one man’s skin—to another man’s sin. The Southern Baptist Convention completely, absolutely, and unequivocally rejects the comparison. One’s racial identity is a by-product of biology. One’s sexual identity is a by-product of one’s preference or choice. Therefore, it is intellectually dishonest to compare skin color, with same-sex relational desires. It is also offensive and racist.

Finally, be it resolved that the Southern Baptist Convention encourage State Legislatures who have adopted “Stand Your Ground Laws” to revisit those laws. The Southern Baptist Convention is requesting states to consider amending such laws to reflect the notion that one cannot be the aggressor in an altercation and then plead “Stand your Ground” as a defense.

Because our God is a God of righteousness, justice and equality the Southern Baptist Convention meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, June 10-11, 2014, resolve the aforementioned resolutions.

“NEVER WASTE A CRISIS”

Did Donald Sterling’s Adultery Expose His Racism?

By Wm. Dwight McKissic, Sr.

Donald Sterling’s racism is well documented and has been appropriately redressed by Adam Silver, the NBA Commissioner. But his adultery has gone largely unaddressed.  No one of stature has related the impact of his adultery to this crisis.

Wasn’t Sterling’s adultery the precursor to him receiving the death penalty, as a result of his racist rant? Wasn’t it a recorded conversation with a female friend—that his wife was suing for having interfered with her marriage—the conversation that resulted in his life-time banishment from the NBA? Would he have been punished for his racism, had his racism not been revealed by his adultery? Would we even know about his racist views, if it were not for his adultery? At the root of this racial crisis is an adulterous affair.

A practical lesson that could and should be learned from the Sterling fiasco is that not only is racism unacceptable in American Society, but adultery is also damaging, destructive, and deadly to American families, and consequently society.  Those of us who are married need to steer clear of adultery. When we fail to do so, a host of other issues often surface—that are often irreversible—as a result of our willful disobedience to the laws of God, the dishonoring of our marital vows, and the disloyalty to our spouses. Sterling’s adultery is just as evil as his racism.

The decision to commit adultery has far-reaching consequences beyond the moment in time that one makes that decision. It is not just the racism that America is reeling and rocking from, that fell from the lips of Donald Sterling; but the adultery that preceded the racist rant, is also what America is now having to collectively process in our national psyche. Their private affair has caused a public nightmare. It is time for the healing to begin.

While viewing the “Jackie Robinson” recent movie, I was awestruck by the fact that Branch Ricky fired one of his team managers—Leo Durocher—for engaging in serial adultery in the 1947 era. The Catholic Church supplied pressure on Branch Ricky to dismiss Durocher because he was viewed as a poor role model.

Why is it that we had a high tolerance for racism in ’47, but a low tolerance for adultery? And, now we have a high tolerance for adultery, but a low tolerance for overt, blatant, in-your-face racism? Could it be that while we are judging the racism in the Sterling case, God is judging the adultery? Could the plight of Sterling be the plight of America if we don’t repent before it is everlasting too late?

During the Jackie Robinson era, Donald Sterling’s racism would have been accepted without much controversy. Sterling’s racism is rightfully judged as intolerable today, by many. But his adultery is accepted, or ignored, as if it is a non-issue. America and the NBA have judged his racism and rendered a verdict. But God may be judging his unrepentant adultery, in addition to his racism. The Bible says, “Be sure that your sins will find you out.”

Sterling’s sin of adultery exposed his sin of racism. America accepts Sterling’s sin of adultery, while rejecting his sin of racism. God rejects Sterling’s sins of adultery and racism.

Richard Land, Ann Coulter, and several Fox News Commentators have argued that racism is a myth. Land later apologized for his racial remarks. Sterling should do the same.

Clearly, Donald Sterling’s remarks reveal that racism in America is not a myth. Racism is alive and well. Donald Sterling, Paula Deen, and Cliven Bundy—the infamous Nevada Rancher—have painfully reminded us of this. Paula Deen also repented of her racist remarks, for which she is to be commended.

“Never waste a crisis,” is a quote often attributed to Rahm Emanuel , who served as Chief of Staff in President Obama’s first term, and currently serves as Mayor of Chicago. There are lessons to be learned about adultery from this crisis, as well as the obvious racism. If we don’t learn lesson(s) about adultery from this crisis; and if we continue to believe that racism is a myth, this could prove to be a wasted crisis.

Sterling’s adultery is equally as reprehensible as his racism. God pulled the covers off of Sterling’s racism, because Sterling would not repent of his adultery. He flaunted his adultery, and God has now judged it.

America applauds Michael Sam’s homosexuality. America gives silent approval to Donald Sterling’s adultery. Yet, we deplore Sterling’s racism.

God stands against adultery, racism, and homosexuality. Although, we give Sterling a pass on his adultery, God does not. The Sterling Case reveals the fact that America has an increasing lower tolerance for systemic racism, but a high tolerance for sexual sin. If we are going to see a change in America for the betterment of society, we are going to have to start abhorring adultery and sexual sins as much as we do racism.

Perhaps and prayerfully, Sterling will go back home to his wife, where he belongs. Had he been there all along, we would have been spared this crisis? But, Rahn Emmanuel is right: Now that we have it, we shouldn’t waste it. Everybody involved can seek and receive forgiveness, and go their way and sin no more.

Starting with me, it would do us all well to remember the words of Proverbs 6:25, 27, 28, 32, 33:

”25Do not lust after her beauty in your heart,
Nor let her allure you with her eyelids.
27 Can a man take fire to his bosom,
And his clothes not be burned?
28 Can one walk on hot coals,
And his feet not be seared?
32 Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding;
He who does so destroys his own soul.
33 Wounds and dishonor he will get,
And his reproach will not be wiped away.”

May God forgive, help, cleanse and deliver all of us who struggle and sometimes fail to live lives that are morally and mentally pure! May God help us to practice sexual restraint and to relate to and view others racially righteously and without any hint of racism!

THE KINGDOM FAMILY GATHERING, 2014; A Gathering for a New Millennium

BY WILLIAM DWIGHT MCKISSIC, SR.

Waiting in the baggage claim area at the Washington, DC, Airport, I made eye contact with a gentleman who paused, looked at me, then looked at a picture that he was holding in his hand, looked at me again, and then he continued to walk pass me. He made his way around to me again and repeated the previous actions; only this time before proceeding without speaking, he paused to ask—“Are you Rev. Dwight McKissic?” I said, “Yes!” He then said, “You don’t look like your picture.” My assistant had mailed Pastor T.L. Rogers an outdated picture. Therefore, he was having a difficult time recognizing me based on the differences between my then current look and the outdated picture.

When the world visits today’s church and pause to compare today’s church with the church in the Bible, the world could easily say, “the church today does not look like her biblical picture.” In this post I want to examine three angles of one picture of the early church and compare and contrast it with today’s church. I also want to notify and invite Kingdom citizens from throughout America to come and spend 3-4 days at the Cornerstone Church, Arlington, TX, March 13-16, 2014, for a Kingdom Family Gathering, co-hosted and co-sponsored by Jack Taylor Ministries and the Cornerstone Church, Arlington, TX. During these four days we believe that we will experience a picture of the church as she was during the day of Scripture.

Today’s church is divided denominationally. The biblical picture of the church is a church that’s unified as “one body” (Ephesian 4:3).

Today’s church is divided over the doctrine of the Holy Spirit. The biblical picture of the church is a church unified by “one Spirit” (Ephesian 4:4).

Today’s church is divided into various theological camps and affinity groups. The biblical picture of the church is unified around, “One Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all” (Ephesians 4:5-6).

Today’s church is divided by race. The biblical picture of the church consisted of people gathered from every nation (Acts 2:5; 13:1).

Today’s church battles and debates over the Holy Spirit. The biblical picture of the church shows people worshipping, praying, guided by, preaching, serving and giving in the Spirit (Acts 2, Acts 4:31-35, Acts 13:2).

Today’s church is often under the illusion and impression that God has ceased operating in all the gifts of the Spirit mentioned in the Bible. The biblical picture of the church shows that the Kingdom of God has come upon His church when we see the power, manifestation, and activity of God among His people (Matthew 12:27; Mark 9:1; I Corinthians 1:7, I Corinthians 12-14).

Today’s church has conferences to announce and boldly proclaim that the activity of God in the operation of the gifts of the Spirit have ceased among His people. The picture of the biblical church was to gather and pray to God on one accord, at one time and to ask God to:

29 “…grant to Your [His] servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, 30 by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.” 31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.” (Acts 4:29-31)

Jack Taylor, an 80-year-old Spirit-filled Southern Baptist Preacher; Bill Johnson, a non-denominational Redding, CA, pastor; Dwight Mckissic, a Kingdom-centered Baptist pastor; and Wayne Chaney, a younger generation, African American, Southern Baptist who pastors a dynamic church in Southern California, are coming together to host, “The Kingdom Family Gathering” in a few days. We are praying that the auditorium with a seating capacity of 1600 to be filled with people of every kindred, tribe, tongue, and nation. We are also praying that the people will be filled with the Spirit of the Living God.

When the Kingdom Family gathers we expect a vital unity that’s empowered by God’s Spirit as it was on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1). We expect the life and vitality of God in our midst to be the hallmark of this gathering.

When the Kingdom Family gathers, we expect a visual unity of God’s people. If no other miracle takes place, if we can gather for our evening services a healthy inter-racial mix and balance of Whites, Blacks, Asians, and Hispanics, surely the Kingdom of God has come in our midst. We expect as was on the day of Pentecost a visual unity that’s Holy Spirit orchestrated in our midst (Acts 2:2-3).

When the Kingdom Family gathers, we expect a verbal unity that’s Holy-Spirit anointed to be manifest in our midst. We expect glorious praise, powerful preaching, words of exhortation, wisdom and knowledge and the glory of the Lord in our midst. We are believing God to show up in our midst as He promised He would, and join us in our sacrifice of praise to Him.

God called out a people, later named Israel, so that He could introduce His people to His Kingdom. The theme of the Bible is about a King, His Kingdom, and His royal offspring. God called out His Kingdom Family, in order to bestow blessings of abundant and eternal life, on His people, through the gift of His Son. God wanted a family that He might receive worship in Spirit and Truth, from all the people of the earth. God wanted a family, that’s why He told us to call Him, Father.

God is not color blind. He made the colors, because He loved them. God even made His people different colors, because He loves them, and considers all of His people beautiful. God is pleased when people of all colors come together and worship Him. There is a special dynamic in the atmosphere when worship crosses all color lines. This will be a taste of Heaven on earth.

At the beginning of the first millennium, God gathered His Family in Noah’s Ark, in order to preserve the human family, so that He might bless them.  “And God blessed Noah and his sons” (Genesis 9: 1). Genesis 9: 19, says that all mankind—regardless of color—emanated from the sons of Noah. In the loins of Noah’s sons, and their wives, was every race known to man. “And God blessed Noah and his sons.”  God blessed His family gathered. He even wanted to bless them in unity scattered.

After disembarking from the ark, God told His Kingdom family—Noah and Mrs. Noah, their sons and wives—that He wanted them to scatter, multiply, and fill the earth (Genesis 9: 1, 7). They indeed multiplied, but they didn’t scatter and they did not fill the earth.

Instead they gathered at the Tower of Babel, against the will of God, and God then, sovereignly chose to scatter them (Genesis 11: 1-9). But even then, God kept the family theme intact. They gathered at the Tower as one people, speaking one language (Genesis 11: 1).

They scattered from the tower, speaking different languages, and divided into three different human families, and settling and separating themselves from each other in three different lands, based on how they  traced their family blood lines or lineage, back to one of Noah’s three sons(Genesis 10: 5, 20, 31, 32).

Rather than scattering across the world interracially,  cross culturally, cross pollinated, and fill the earth, as God had instructed them (Genesis 9), they scattered exclusively based on family blood lines traced back to Noah’s three sons. The world has been divided by race and language ever since.

Chronologically speaking, we know that the historical event in Genesis 11 (the Tower of Babel incident) occurred before the census bureau-cataloging event of Genesis 10, the Table of the Nations.

In Genesis 12, God told Abraham that He wanted to bless the families of the earth through him. The theme of Genesis 9, 10, 11, and 12 is family and family blessing.  God wanted to bless the families of the earth so that they would bless Him back, and bless His Kingdom.

After thousands of years of living scattered and separated from each other, God brought His Kingdom Family from all over the earth together again at Pentecost (Acts 2: 5). They came from every nation under the sun. They came from Africa, Asia, and Europe.

They gathered at Babel in pride; they gathered at Pentecost in humility. They gathered at Babel prayer-less; they gathered at Pentecost prayerful. They gathered at Babel and God confused their language; they gathered at Pentecost and they understood each other’s language. They scattered from Babel in disunity; they gathered at Pentecost with all on one accord, and they left on one accord (Acts 2: 1). They gathered at Babel in a building made by man’s hands,   against the will of God. They gathered at Pentecost in a building orchestrated by the hand of God.

Will you please come and join us in these days of seeking God’s face. If the world ever needed to see the church in vital unity, visual unity, and verbal unity, it is right now. Please visit www.kingdomfamilygathering.org for more information concerning registration for the conference, schedule, and speakers:

  1. BILL JOHNSON, pastor of Bethel Church in Redding, California.
  2. LEIF HETLAND, founder and president of Global Mission Awareness.
  3. DWIGHT MCKISSIC, senior pastor of Cornerstone Baptist Church in Arlington, TX.
  4. WAYNE CHANEY, the senior pastor of Antioch Church in Los Angeles, California.
  5. BOB PHILLIPS, the father to many spiritual sons and God’s Kingdom emissary to the Body of Christ
  6. PAUL YADAO, the lead pastor of Destiny Ministries International in Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines.
  7. DENNIS JERNIGAN, an inspiring worship leader and gifted songwriter whose focus in ministry has been to help the spiritually captive get set free.
  8. TOM DAVIS,  a gifted worship leader and founder of Amber Rose Ministries through which he produces live worship recordings and worship albums that bring healing and life.
  9. KEITH LUKER, and his wife, Sanna, are prophetic psalmist revivalists and the founders of FreeWind, a prophetic worship ministry dedicated to seeing the tabernacle of David restored in this generation.

THE FORGOTTEN “N” WORD IN THE BIBLE

By William Dwight McKissic, Sr.

The NFL is currently discussing penalizing players who use the “N” word during a game. Two White NFL players, Riley Cooper and Incognito, have been recorded using the “N” word as a slur directed toward African American males. Black NFL players reportedly commonly use the term during games in a myriad of context, some affirmative and some pejorative. Recently, an Anglo female student at the high school in Texas where my daughter teaches—at a school-wide sanctioned event, across a microphone—made reference to all the “high yellow ‘N’s,’” in the audience. The mixed-race audience, predominately Black, screamed with laughter and approval at her remark.

The word “Christian” was originated by non-Christians, and used initially as a term of derision. However, Christians adopted the term and transformed it into a term of identification with our Lord, and as a testimony.

The “N” word had a similar transformative history. This word was originally used by White persons as a term of derision and disrespect toward Blacks. Blacks adopted the term and transformed it into a term of endearment; a term of respect; and a term of brotherhood. One of the highest compliments one Black Male can give to another Black Male is to call him a “Big N.”  The “N” word was and is also used toward Blacks as a term of derision and disrespect. Context determines meaning. It is seldom, if ever, misunderstood when talking Black to Black. But, until recently, it was always a closeted term, never used in mixed company.

The hip-hop rap generation over the past 20-25 years have radically, and perhaps, irreversibly, changed the use of the “N” word, from private use to public use. They started using the term on public air waves 25 or so years ago.  They sold records by the millions; yes, to White persons as well, where the “N” word was used prominently. The lyrics of their songs, including and featuring the “N” word were printed in the record label jackets. This, in a sense, gave permission to Whites and others to use the term. How could Whites attend the same rap concert; listen to the same rap lyrics; buy the same rap music; read the same rap lyrics; and not be allowed to say, read, sing, etc., the same “N” word? It is unfortunate that the church has not had this kind of inter-racial and inter-cultural impact on the fusion of Black and White culture as the rappers have had.

The public use and cross racial use of the “N” word has caused a generational divide in the Black community. Ray Lewis disapproves of Incognito’s use of the “N” word. I attended and spoke at a Men’s conference in Maryland last year where Lewis said, that would not have been tolerated in his locker room. Yet, Mike Pouncey, an African-American Center for the Dolphins, approves of Incognito’s use of the “N” word. The difference between how Ray Lewis and Mike Pouncey, both African Americans, view this differently has everything to do with their ages—about a 15-year difference.

I am 57 years old. There were two times you were expected to physically fight when I was a boy. (1) If someone talked about your mother. It was called for some reason—“playing the dozens.” If that took place, a fight was on. (2) If a White person called you the “N” word. If you didn’t fight in those two instances, you lost any and all respect among your peers. You may have even lost your parents respect, if you didn’t fight in this scenario. Most parents did not approve of fighting for “playing the dozen,” but, they were quietly supportive or understanding if you fought a White person for calling you the “N” word.

Fast forward to today and we have a generation that’s allowing White persons to call them by some derivative of the “N” word, or the “N” word itself. This is quite disgusting.

The changing use and acceptance of the “N” word documents the fact that the “N” word has a complex, convoluted, controversial and ever-changing history.

We will discover that because the “N” word has historically been misconstrued and mis-associated with other words that begin with the letter “N,” it has caused us to overlook, under emphasize or downright ignore another “N” word, that’s actually recorded in the Bible—the word “Niger” (Acts 13:1).

The word “Niger” has absolutely no etymological or social relationship to the “N” word that’s commonly used today. Yet, in a Bible study class that I was conducting recently, I discovered that several persons viewed the biblical Acts 13:1 “N” word, as synonymous with the controversial “N” word. They even pronounced it the same.

Therefore, I felt inspired to write this article on the “N” word in the Bible, and to clarify and distinguish between these two unrelated terms. Furthermore, I want to discuss the word “Negro,” a derivative of the word “Niger” and its non-association with the controversial “N” word. The “N” word in the Bible is a positive and affirming word that connects descendants of Africa with prominence, productivity, and a place at the welcome table in the Father’s Kingdom.

The Biblical “N” word Provides, Proof Positive that God loves persons of African Descent and He included us in His plan of redemption. Acts 13:1 reads:

“Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.”

“Simeon who was called Niger” was a prophet, teacher, and leader in the church at Antioch. The church at Antioch was the first Gentile congregation in history. The disciples were first called Christians at Antioch (Acts 11:26). Luke found it necessary to place it in the inerrant, infallible, and eternal word of God that two men of African descent were leaders in the early church. “Lucius of Cyrene” was also mentioned by name and country of origin. Cyrene was located in North Africa. According to David Adamo, Ph.D. in OT, Baylor University, in his book Africa and Africans in the New Testament (P.52), “The city of Cyrene was in the area where Libya is today and was originally populated by black people in history before the advent and the domination of European people.”

“The word Niger occurs only once in the New Testament, namely in Acts 13:1. Adamo argues that Niger is a Latin word, which means ‘black.’ In the New Testament, the words Ethiopia and Niger were used as the equivalent of the Old Testament word Cush. The Hebrew word, Cush, in the Old Testament means black, and in the Septuagint it was translated Ethiopia, and that also means black. Roman literature described swarthy, or dark-skinned people as Niger among the various terms employed. The people in this category are Africans, including the Egyptians, Libyans, Moors, some Indians and certain persons of mixed parentage with black and white. In Latin, the adjective most frequently used for the Ethiopians who are of black skinned is Niger as equivalence of Ethiopia,” according to Adamo (p. 32) .

“The legendary Ethiopian king called Memnon (600 BCE) who fought in the Trojan War of Troy was referred to sometimes as Memnon aethiops, and other times as Memnon Niger” (Adamo, p. 33).

“In the New Testament, the Greek word Niger was transliterated “Niger” respectively by The King James Version. The Revised Standard Version, The American Standard Version, the New International, and Jerusalem Bible Versions also translated it “Niger.” The Good News Bible, The New American Standard Version, The Living Bible and the New Living Translation, translated it “the black person.” This is highly commendable” (Adamo, p. 33).

According to J.A. Rogers, a distinguished Black scholar, the term “Negro” is a derivative of the word “Niger,” and simply means “black.” Rogers further maintains that contrary to popular scholarly opinion, the word Niger was not originally a Latin or European term, but an African term originating from a native African language. There is a Niger River in Africa and countries called Niger and Nigeria. Adewunni Williams, a native Nigerian that I’m acquainted with reports that in his native Nigerian tongue, the word “Inago” is somewhat similar in spelling and sound to the word “Negro,” and is identical in meaning—“Black Man.” According to Rogers, there was nothing inherently negative with reference to Black people within the etymology or original usage of the words “Niger” or “Negro.” The Europeans borrowed these terms from Africans. The terms “Niger,” “Negro,” “Black,” and “African,” are etymologically the same—originating from African language and meaning “Black” or “dark.”

There is absolutely no etymological connection between the African words “Niger” and “Negro” and the English words “niggard” or “nigger.” Unfortunately, these words have been misconstrued and mis-pronounced. The Ethiopians and the Egyptians used the word “Negus” to refer to kings and royalty. The English words “niggard” and “nigger” have absolutely nothing to do with race. These words described a stingy person regardless of their race.

So what is the proper name designation for persons of African descent here in America? In the final analysis, each person must decide for him­self or herself. One must choose the term that is least offensive to his or her sensibilities. There is a context in which I proudly answer to all of these terms (African-American, Black and Negro). Psychologically and emotionally, I am extremely proud of my African descent. Nationally and culturally, I am proud to be an American. The word “Black” etymo­logically and ethnically connects me with the ancient Cushites (Ethiopi­ans), Sumerians (Blackheads) and Hamites (Egyptians), who were the prominent people of ancient history. My complexion is literally “black”, of which I’m also proud.

I also proudly answer to the term “Negro.” Why? Because I under­stand the historicity and etymology of the term. The appellation Negro (Niger) encompasses my African roots and biblical roots (Acts 13:1) and ethnologically links me with dark-skinned persons throughout the globe who do not necessarily trace their roots back to Africa. Finally, if the word Negro was good enough for Dr. WE.B. Du Bois, the first Black to graduate with a Ph.D. in history from Harvard University; and the word Negro was good enough for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who used the term often and proudly; and if the word Niger or Negro was good enough for the pages of Scripture (Acts 13:1), then the word Negro is good enough for me. Historically and ethnically, I am proud to be a Negro. However, I repeat: There is a context in which I proudly answer to all of these terms. An older Negro preacher in Arkansas was known for saying that Black is an adjective and Negro is a noun; and he would rather be a noun than an adjective.

The biblical “N” word provides positive proof that persons of African descent were committed to the triune God, before Mohammed and Islam had come into existence. The “N” word in history was an English term that originally had absolutely nothing to do with one’s race, but with one’s attitude and disposition—regardless of race. This word was transformed into a racial insult directed toward Black people. It is now time that all people, including, Blacks of all ages, in all context consider the disallowance and non-use of this word. Now that society is integrated in ways that it was not when this word was a popular closeted term, we must accept the fact that there cannot be a word that is off limits to one set of people, but can be used by another and they are all together at the same place. The time has come to have a funeral and bury the English “N” word while maintaining the Biblical “N” word. The pronunciation, spelling and the definition of those two words are different and should not be confused. Our young people should immediately stop affirming the abuse and misuse of the English “N” word.

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