Thursday, August 28, 2008

August 28th


When all is said and done in this election season one thing is sure. August 28th will once again be a historic day not only for African-Americans but for the United States of America. Forty-five years ago today Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave one of the most stirring and moving speeches in American history. His speech voiced the hope of some 20 million black people along with millions of other Americans who genuinely wished to live in a country where one’s ethnicity didn’t determines one’s fate from cradle to grave.

Now another African-American will give a historic speech but this time to accept his party’s nomination for president. And he’ll do so just one generation removed from the time when this country prevented many of his people from even casting a vote. Indeed we’ve come a long way baby. For most black people this will be the most significant political event we’ve ever witnessed. Millions of African-Americans will sit down with their children and watch a black man call the country to rise to its potential to live as one unified nation. And these millions will relish the possibility of seeing a black man, his wife and their children occupy the signature symbol of power of this country.

Does that mean that black folks believe that Senator Obama’s nomination has ushered the country into some kind of new racial utopia? No it doesn’t. But I believe there is a hope that successive Obama administrations can go along way to changing the racial climate of this country. Here’s what I mean. While most African-Americans deny that ethnicity is the single greatest impediment toward opportunity in America, we nonetheless still believe that it carries some weight. There is still the belief that you always start out as a suspect until you prove yourself otherwise. There persist the belief within much of black America that the mainstream society feels much more comfortable with us on the ball field than the boardroom. To this day many of us still shake our heads and wonder when someone from the mainstream society notes with surprise how ‘articulate’ a particular black person is. (if you don’t believe me just ask your best buddy black reformed cat how many times someone remarked how articulate he was)

And it’s my view that this belief has become so persistent among so many within the black community that many of us give up without even trying.
Far too many of us seem to think that there’s little or no chance that the mainstream society will view us as little more than either potential ball players or criminals. Perhaps at one time there was the hope that America’s collective consciousness would change, that she’d open her arms wide to those whose ancestors built the country and we would indeed live as one nation, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. But that ship has sailed. While it would be nice to live in a land without racial prejudice that just ain’t going to happen.

And if we need any more proof then the reality that some life-long democrats will refuse to vote for Senator Obama just because he’s black confirms it.
His nomination proves however that we no longer have to wait for the collective acceptance of the white community to do what is needed to address the issues of ourselves, our families and our communities. Just like Barack and Michelle Obama we too can focus on obtaining an education so that we increase our chances to climb out of cyclical poverty. Just like Barack and Michelle Obama we too can see the value of using our education and abilities to work on the behalf of others and not just ourselves. And just like Barack and Michelle Obama we too can approach life with a sense of confidence, a desire to make a difference and a genuine hope that the world of our children can be better than ours.

The Lord’s Peace
Pastor lance

12 comments:

Lionel Woods said...

Man believe it or not. I walk into my cafeteria/break room and a dude (who always says something border line) says "Barrack should get a rapper or something to run with him as Vice President, because that is all he is". I said to myself wow. I didn't want to lose a chance for the Gospel with this cat so I refrained. Let me tell you it took a sudden move of the Spirit for me not to give him my "black conscieness" speech. I was going to give him every quote from "Before the Mayflower" to the "Isis Papers" I am almost in sin thinking about it.

ltbp said...

Where the Gospel spreads, racial divides are conquered. Politics will not change a man's heart to accept his pale skinned or colored brother. What will change that heart is the Word of Faith planted by God into a broken spirit of repentance and trust in Christ. I, being a young 32 year old white male, believe this with all my heart. I believe both ethnic groups will follow suit as the Jews and Gentiles needed to learn to become unified under Jesus, so must we. My question for us all is, who do we vote for? Do we vote as MLK wanted us to, by the content of character, or do we vote for the color of skin. Mr. Obama is not a man of Orthodox Christian Values... he supports abortion and homosexual marriage. Is this something Christian's want? Mr. Obama is a man, who needs Jesus. My prayers are for him. I do believe he will be the next president of the U.S. My hope is, he will abandon unBiblical philosophies of the age and cling to the sole source of Truth - Jesus the Nazarene and the Redemption He provides.

With all this said, my hope does not fly in on Air Force One, it is in Christ. So whoever becomes President, McCain, Obama, Chuck Baldwin, etc. I will rest my assurance that they are there with the power that is given to them by God alone, just as Pilate was given his power. And God will either bless our nation or curse it... May God help us.

RAP
ltpalculict.wordpress.com

Pastor Lance said...

mercy Lionel, that cat almost had you laying down your religion (lol). now that the race is on for real though we should expect more of this. people will begin to show their true colors (forgive the pun)

thanks for your input brother itbp. of course we agree that the gospel conquers racial division. the problem is that the church in America has yet to live out this reality and i just don't think the world will listen to us or take us seriously until we do.

you're certainly right in recognizing that God's kingdom is not dependent on who occupies the white house. and even if God removes america from being a superpower His kingdom will still roll on.

peace
lance

Anonymous said...

Itbp, I have no problem with your belief that Obama is a man who needs Jesus. The problem I have is how you so conveniently left out the fact that his opponent does, too. The way you portrayed it (whether that was your intent) seems to suggest that if one is a Christian he/she shouldn't vote for Obama. The implication is that his rival is a Chrisitan. My question is, "Do you REALLY believe that? If not, then there must be other factors that ALL believers should consider when deciding on the candidate for whom to vote. And although abortion is something we must consider, let's not be naive enough to let that be the only factor. So let's use the same evaluation standards for each candidate, let's make the list longer than 1 or 2 hobby horses.

Marlon

Anonymous said...

Itbp, I have one last point to say/write: AMEN! AMEN! AMEN! to your statement, "I will rest my assurance that they are there with the power that is given to them by God alone."


Marlon

Pastor Lance said...

allow me too add another AMEN to that brother Marlon and thanks for those words itbp.

peace
LL

Graham said...

One phrase caught my eye: "While most African-Americans deny that ethnicity is the single greatest impediment toward opportunity in America, we nonetheless still believe that it carries some weight."

What is the greatest impediment (or greatest impediments)? And how can it/they be addressed? To my mind, those are the questions.

Once we've answered those, then we must ask: (1) How can a president (whomever it may be, including the current president) use that position to influence change? and (2) What responsibility lies with the populace?

Pastor Lance said...

excellent question brother Graham. in my view (and this is only one man's opinion) the key to addressing the multitude of social challenges we face lies with us. that's not a denial of my belief that we still live in a racialized society. rather it speaks to the best way to approach such a society. and the way I see it black folks can no longer craft social strategies that depend on the cooperation of the mainstream culture.

what place can a president play in this? on the one hand i believe the president can play an important role in this through legislation and example. for instance I agree with Senator Obama when he said that programs can't replace parents, government can't turn off the t.v. and make children do their homework and that fathers must take more responsibility to love and guide their children.

however, i don't think it's wise to pin all or even much of our hope on a single man no matter how sincere and effective he might prove to be.

peace
LL

Graham said...

Thanks, Pastor Lance. I think your very wise not to pin our hopes on one man regardless of who he is.

However, I want to pose the question again: What is the greatest impediment to change?

I agree that there are a "multitude of social challenges." (I live in Harlem and experience them on a daily basis.) The magnitude of those challenges can make it overwhelming. But if we can identify the greatest impediment, we can start to prayerfully doing something about it.

So, if I pressed you for one impediment, what would you say it is?

Pastor Lance said...

hey brother Graham, if pressed i would have to say that our greatest impediment is a lack of faith in God. now that would take alot of unpacking but to sum it up i believe that the one thing that would make a definitive difference in the lives of black folk in the here and now would be to focus our hopes on the yet to come. doing that would free us to find total satisfaction in a vibrant, covenantal relationship with God through Jesus Christ and not with achieving the American dream. hope this helps but if not please feel free to shoot me another question.

peace
LL

Graham said...

Thanks for answering. I think you're right. That faith in Christ that hopes in things yet to come is, I believe, what made the abolition and civil rights movements so powerful. The spirituals capture that very real longing for a heavenly home. And Dr. King's vision (at its best) was that of Isaiah, where every mountain is laid low, every valley is raised up, and the glory of the Lord is revealed.

ltpalculict said...

Marlon,

Is McCain a born again believer? I am not sure. But he definitely defends the unborn. I am not voting for either... I am voting for the Constitution Party, Baldwin for President. Do I think he will win? No, but he stands for strong conservative, Biblical ideals which both major parties have abandoned. My intent was not to single out Obama and leave McCain looking precious and secure... My intent was to focus on the racial divide that is in our nation... McCain needs Christ, Obama needs Christ, I need Christ, you need Christ... Only Jesus can bring about an ethnic reconcialiatory revoltuion in this Darwinian Culture we find ourselves in... Brothers of our Lord Jesus, there is only one race and that is the Human Race.

My intent was not to command a certain vote, my intent was for us to vote according to the Bible and what God wants us to embrace. Will we find that perfect candidate? I do not think so... McCain has done what God hates by divorcing his wife, although he is committed to his spouse now. I hope he is in right standing with the Lord. However, Obama has not recanted or repented of his beliefs in Abortion and Homosexual Marriage... There are things that the Lord hates. I cannot vote for that as a Christian. My hope is, that you too being a Christian, will not vote for him as well. This is not based on what he looks like, but what he stands for. Plain and Simple.

Marlon, you said that we should not get on one or two hobby horses when deciding on a candidate. Hypothetically, if you found a candidate that you agreed with everything on, but he wanted to make sure that congress passed a law which reinstituted slavery, I am sure that neither you or I would vote for such a person.

The murder of children is not a hobby horse! It is a grievous act against the image of the living God. We either fight for God or we do not. How we treat our babes and our elderly reflects how we are as a culture. Our culture is going down... and as Pastor said above, whether or not this nation stands or falls, the Kingdom of God and His Son, the Lord Jesus, will keep rolling on. Amen!

In Christ,
RAP
ltpalculict.wordpress.com