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What Distinguishes a Racist Christian From One Who Is Not? | Melvin Otey, Glenn Colley, Ben Giselbach and Hiram Kemp

What distinguishes a racist Christian from one who is not?

To what extent can Christians be involved in social activism?…in civil disobedience?

What is systemic racism? What is white privilege? What role should these terms play in Christian discussions about race relations in the church?

What is systemic racism?

The general meaning the thrust of the term is that uh some of the systems and we’re talking about america’s context some of the systems that we have in our country were created to either perpetuate or reinforce uh racist ideals and so if you were to sort of go back in time and uh of course our country we had uh forced uh servitude slavery in this country and so when you start there and you come forward the idea is that the systems were built by people who either had or wanted to perpetuate racist ideals and that we still deal with the vestiges of that today and of course you know when you turn on the news or you see the things that are happening on the internet um you know people would say well this is still vestiges of things that have happened in the past these are not new things and so the idea that it’s systemic is that a an individual doesn’t necessarily have to have racist ideals uh to potentially participate in something that is perpetuating racist ideals okay very well said you are a very well-spoken individual i appreciate that and uh we also have brother hiram kemp here with us hiram it is good to have you join us tonight glad to be here the first time i heard you speak was that polishing the pulpit a few years ago and the very first time i was blown away i said this guy is just fantastic and i have appreciated you every time since because you are consistently a good speaker i want to ask you this question the world is very fired up about racism right now would you say that that is also true of the lord’s church um i don’t know if the lord’s church i wouldn’t say so as far as fired up i think and this is part of the need for the book people in the church are interested in it and how we should go about it what’s going on in the world does seep into the church i think a lot of what we see in the church is people responding to what’s going on in the world if you mean is there a extravagant amount of racism in the church i would say no that’s not true but i think people in the church are searching for how do we deal with the issue of racism in general as it takes place in the world and it does affect our relationships in the church and so in the church i would say racism is not just spewing out of the pews but there are issues going on in the world right now that are turning people toward this issue and so to that extent christians are discussing it on social media or face to face in public as people try to figure out what does the bible say about this and what voices should we be listening to and that’s the purpose of this book to draw people back to the right voice which is ultimately the word of god okay i completely agree with that statement i want to ask this question as kind of an introductory statement and uh it’s kind of essential that we define this if we’re going to have this discussion tonight what is race sometimes people mean different things by that i’m going to ask this question to you glenn but any of you guys would like to chime in and answer this so please feel free to but in fact this is one of the questions that’s dealt with in the book what is race glenn before i talk about that i want to make this observation that in the beginning time of writing the book one of the questions that we had to deal with as a group was about systemic racism and and it probably it would probably be good to say this at the beginning and by the way i haven’t gotten to say hi to these guys okay uh so hi hiram hi melvin we haven’t had a chance to talk today but anyway i’m sure glad to see them and uh i know that it goes without saying that i have great respect for all three of these men and it’s because i could interrupt you one minute sure i saw a picture from the time i guess y’all were writing this book the four of you were together you were posing and the picture is ben looks like he’s doubled over laughing and it looks like melvin is maybe saying something funny to him and it came across to me like you four guys had a really fun time writing this book as i recall that moment was melvin’s fault i think that melvin said something really uh i don’t even know what it was but it it kind of interrupted our serious one of the things that we had to answer early on uh that we felt compelled to answer was about systemic racism uh so so there’s a lot of talk about systemic racism in the in the world of the country and and so there’s a couple of things i want to say right now and and one is that we agreed that that there that systemic racism did not exist in the church and and that’s really critical i’m going to talk some more about that but we do but um it is true that that there is there are pockets of racism in the church in some places but you have to hasten to say that there are also pockets of other kinds of sins we don’t become perfect when we become members of the church of course and so one sin with which we would deal sometimes is racism but you talk about four different men and and it’s a lot of preaching in these four different men around the country and so i think that collectively we have a pretty good handle on on the church in the country at least we go to a number of congregations each year and you know what what i’m seeing is not racism what i’m seeing abundantly is elderships where you have black brothers and white brothers serving side by side i’m seeing potlucks where christians are enjoying each other and they’re eating together what i’m seeing is is church lobbies where christians that are black and white are hugging each other and loving each other and they’re worshiping side by side that’s what i’m seeing now you know people could say well you just aren’t watching for it i don’t think that’s true i believe that that what we have are occasions of racism but the question of systemic racism and melvin stated it very well of course is that it has to do with the systems and and that a person could be racist and and not even know it because he’s part of that now some would say in the church today that that if you grew up in a racist atmosphere in america then you became a christian that you naturally brought racism with you and that the church is systemically racist because of that i just simply reject that that is just not true and the problem is that people who are pressing that uh notion into the church are creating what they want to defeat and that’s a very sad thing it cannot happen and so we need to push it back against that right um and and the way that you you see it is social media yeah like you’re saying a while ago i mean you social media is as in alabama we would say is eat up with it yeah and and so there’s a great danger race has to do i think in the common terminology with with people of different nationalities and colors and cultures and we define ourselves in that way of course this book is not about how to fix the country’s problems and it’s probably good to say that now too yeah we agreed from the start um that you know we we’re not about fixing the the country i i suppose that uh we’re not we’re not equipped to fix the country you know the i don’t have a much hope in america as far as this topic is concerned i don’t have i don’t have all the answers and i’m so glad that i’m not in a position to fix it because i i don’t have all the answers and and that that wasn’t the purpose of this book uh the purpose of the book was to speak to this issue in the church what about what about christians what what about the church and what about the kingdom of god and and do are we really called out of the the the greater culture uh that we find ourselves in and this and does the scripture which we’ve been preaching since the first century that completely furnishes us to every good work does it address this i mean i mean so is it sufficient to deal with with racism and and i say of course it is and so when you start with that then that that’s where the book comes from is that then it’s just a matter of going to the applicable passages and saying here’s here’s the passage that relates to this question i like what y’all just said uh i grew up in south carolina in the 1970s early 80s i saw a lot of racism in the world and i can remember seeing some ugly racism even in the church i’m ashamed to say but in recent years i’ve seen a whole lot less than that during the time that i was in the hospital i remember people of black and white and other races that traveled hundreds of miles to come and see me and it just exemplified what christianity is melvin i’d like to ask you this question and hiram too melvin you’re a very educated man you have a law degree you’re a professor what about the difference you’ve seen in racism in the world and in academia versus the church surely it’s been two totally different things would you agree with that well i don’t know if i i don’t know that i’d say totally different i want to double back to something real quick though just because glenn had commented on what i said about systemic racism i would and this is part of what we had to do over the course of the year we were talking about these things i would parse it just a little differently because um systemic racism isn’t the idea that a person can be a racist and have no uh you know no problems in their own heart just because they’re part of a system that’s that’s not actually what’s going on there it’s more that systems and circumstances can be set into motion that would produce desperate results intentionally reproduce disparate results um and so there’s there is a separation there and as i said sometimes when people talk about these things they’re not meaning the same thing but i think that what i was describing there sort of the is the classical meaning of the term and not everybody uses it the same way um but but i would say to you well listen i’ve seen race problems in the church i use these words and we spend a lot of time parsing through these terms i use words like racism very carefully i don’t see very much racism at all in the church that doesn’t mean there never has been any but i don’t see very much racism in the church but a person can have heart troubles concerning matters of race without being a racist and not everyone who has heart troubles concerning matters of race is a racist racism is like the most extreme term in these in the spectrum of terms that you can use for these matters and i don’t think that we have uh you know really big problems with racism now there obviously are some issues though but i don’t think that racism is is how i would describe uh very many of them at all you know you made me think about something and that is my sister-in-law is white she married a brother who is black and i think in the lord’s church there are people that would have been okay in a primarily white congregation with a black brother attending there but when the marriage took place it did bring out some bad feelings with some people and it wasn’t right we saw some problems with that early on but it has seemed in the last 10 or 15 years we’ve seen less of that in fact my brother-in-law is serving as an elder in the lord’s church now and i don’t think that would have been allowed years ago so it seems like there have been maybe some great progress made in the last several years would you agree with that statement well i would i think things have definitely improved and i think that’s in some situations the current climate is making it’s you know we’re regressing a little bit uh with the the current climate but i think generally speaking though things are moving they have moved in a good direction because obviously 2020 is not 1960 right i mean that’s obvious to everybody and you gotta everybody needs to acknowledge that you know the question becomes are we where we should be and the truth is we’re not where we should be on a host of things and this is one of them and so it deserves some attention but it would be wrong to say this is the biggest thing the biggest problem that’s ever existed and it’d also be wrong to suggest that this is not a problem at all we should we should approach it the way we would approach any issue that impedes the maturity of the church amen yeah i think that’s well spoken uh hiram let me ask you this question it’s very interesting at the beginning of the book because uh y’all chose to list a bio of each man and i thought that was very interesting to show that all four authors came from extremely diverse backgrounds especially with regard to race and i thought that was a very good introduction hiram one of the things that i read about you was prior to becoming a christian you had seen some strong racism from the secular world and then contrasting that from what you have seen in the church and i at least got the impression that you had seen two different worlds that way the way the world views this and the way it is viewed in the church is and am i reading that understanding that accurately yeah yes i would say so that like like was already said there are pockets of racism in the world in general but what i saw in the world and how people interacted was a great deal different from what i experienced when i came into the church i see blacks and whites getting along obviously there may be individuals there are no i wouldn’t doubt that have some racial tensions and animus in their hearts but by and large my experience with the church has been positive among the races and i would use that to say this as well while we we can say we don’t have hope for america at large um i would say i don’t have hope for america at large depart from the gospel but if it’s god’s people we are what we should be the hope is that some of that would spill out into our communities and into the world and then we would be an example and so while we would be what we need to be and grow and show the world what unity looks like and that people from different backgrounds can get along and i’ve seen a lot of that since i’ve been a christian since 2009 i do have hope for america to the degree that christians are able to wield and influence and be the people that god wants us to be and i think that’s what god wants us to do as well to engage our world and to be the people he wants us to be and do what we can to model that unity for the world i think that’s exactly right the answer to racism like it is with any sin of course is in the gospel we do want to encourage our viewers our listeners to call us to email us right now we’re going to take just a break if you want to call during this break the number is 1-888-80 or you can email us at gbnlive gbntv.org and we will return in just a moment truth is attainable jesus said if you abide in my word you are my disciples indeed and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free knowing that has driven me in my work my whole focus is to make sure that i get the message of christ into the hearts and minds of others and ever since i learned that you can attain truth that you could know truth then my focus has been how can i help somebody else come to know that truth so they can be saved by the saving message of jesus christ [Music] we will be taking videos that we have found that teach religious error and we’re going to examine them in the light of the bible are you willing to test what you’ve been taught against the bible to see if it’s actually truth it’s right here where jesus came to be with his friends to teach lessons about life i decided to do something for the first time to look for myself and see if the things i’d always believed were in there hello and welcome again to gbn live always great to be with you it was then that i carried you and that touches our hearts to know that that god is there to sustain us and says who is jesus what would you do we can know god’s word we can understand it if we would just simply study hope and trust that you have your bible and i invite you now to open it with me so that we might study the word of god together thank you for tuning in to gbn live if you have a question related to tonight’s topic that you would like to have answered please call 888-805-3390 you can also email us at gbnlive gbntv.org follow us live each week and we will do our best to get them answered on the air now back to the program all right we are back thank you for joining us as we’re discussing tonight the book it’s there in black and white to scriptural answers to 37 questions relating to racial tension in the lord’s church we have all four of these authors here two are present and two are joining us remotely and we’ve had a great discussion so far we have a picture here of all four of the authors we have two black brothers two white brothers and i think that’s great so that we have the balance that we ought to have in a discussion like this i want to ask a question now to all four of you i can only imagine that going through 37 questions you’ve got men of different ages different backgrounds you’ve got from the very young to the very old with glenn we’ve got to thank very much men of different educational backgrounds and uh melvin you look older too with that uh the facial hair and the gray you’ve got going on there and yeah i thought that was worth noting tonight so um good melvin yes looks good suits you brother uh i do want to ask you this question though uh i can’t imagine that there was a hundred percent agreement on all 37 of these questions would i be right in saying that yeah yeah and i think it’s probably pretty important to say that that we don’t agree about everything in reference to social matters and yet um we didn’t have to because starting the book and then throughout the book the new testament’s the is the question and and the church really the book is about the church yeah now there are some discussions about social issues of course because that’s important but only as it relates to how that affects the church and so we can be united about that and we are yes yes that was the essential by the way for the book uh we we had we determined at the beginning that we had to be able to say at the end that we all felt good about this book and about every single question so we went through we divided up who answered what question at least the initial draft and then then we would spend time in the in the evenings going through each one and here’s how i would change that wording and so as melvin said we would parse through some of those words until we all four felt like it was the right thing okay it was a it was a fun process you know it was fun going back and forth there was some iron sharpening iron for sure and even though even though we’re coming into this not agreeing on everything going on in the world and how to fix everything in the world the strength of the book is the fact that that we recognize that that we don’t have to agree on everything socially where the bible is is is in fact silent what we need to agree on is is what the bible says in fact we recognize that if we if we’re going to demand if any member of the church is going to demand absolute conformity and agreement in all social issues what that member of the church is going to do is bring division into the church and that can’t be allowed yes i haven’t finished reading the book so perhaps this is addressed in the book but um melvin let me ask you this question certainly there are cultural differences between what we would traditionally call a black churches and white churches and i think we know what we mean by that should we be moving to try to merge these congregations and what kind of challenges are we going to face when we do that well i think i guess i’d start with it it depends you know because i think there certainly are some circumstances where congregations merging would be a wonderful thing you know because part of the reason that we have in some cases black churches white churches is because of historical race problems in the society and those problems affected the church so that we wind up with in some cases two brotherhoods well jesus died for one church so to the extent that we have that kind of division because of those kinds of historical problems i think it makes some sense to at least talk about and work toward and see if we can’t repair some of the damage that’s been done um of course there’s some other situations though where hey the makeup of the community is is a certain way and so you would expect all things being equal the makeup of the congregation to reflect the makeup of the community and so you know if it’s a white community and there’s a white congregation there well i mean who’s going to be surprised by that or if it’s a black community and there’s a black congregation there you know maybe that makes good sense now if those congregations are a half a mile away uh then maybe it doesn’t make as much sense you know so and when you when you begin to have those conversations and i know that some congregations have been having those conversations you are going to run into some challenges right you’ll run into challenges when any two congregations attempt to merge and some of the challenges you might have might be unique to the context of a black church and a white church with with some different um sort of cultural preferences and so forth but this is where the gospel comes in right if we emphasize unity in christ if we emphasize the one gospel that we all share then we should be able to achieve unity because our cultural preferences and our personal preferences boy they just don’t even matter when it comes to the work of the church and the unity of the church if we’re all willing to put those things behind us and move forward in christ see then you can have unity and i’ll just say i know that that has been happening and i know that there have been congregations that have merged you know culturally different congregations and there have been next to no issues so when you’ve got mature minded people who are heaven bent on unity in the church it can be done and it’s being done absolutely and i i agree with everything that melvin just said of course absolutely and what i would add to that is that can you just imagine in the time in this time of racial turmoil in our country that is white hot that is really really cooking right now if the church could be distinctive from that absolutely in the way that we worship together and so what i would add is that i don’t think that that we wouldn’t rush into something that divides people that causes more conflict by by forcing these congregations together but but one of the things that i one of the conclusions to which i came in working through this book is much what melvin just said is that you know you think about galatians 2 and and paul was stood peter to the face on the question of jew and gentile and eating at the gentiles table and the jews came in and so peter left there i think that it would have been a really happy solution for those two groups of people if we could say just have two congregations of the church of christ right interesting you know that would just be fine with them and that is not what and i know that it’s not completely apples for apples right but it’s not too far off and so i would say that that it’s a very healthy and good thing for discussions to occur i mean what kind of what kind of imagery uh optics does this present to the community that you have as melvin said a half mile apart you have a black church and a white church is that good for us no is that good for the message of christ is that what we’re so i think that it’d be a great thing for us to enter in not to do something radical but but to do something that’s responsible and work toward coming together yeah i think the things that are dividing us amongst congregations are not necessarily doctrinal sometimes maybe they are but they’re not necessarily doctrinal but they’re cultural they are things that are not of thus that the lord things that we can lay aside and bring congregations together hiram let me ask you this question the congregation where you preach is it a racially mixed congregation it is and it’s becoming increasingly so when i first came here my family now there were a few black members but not many but now we have about 180 members and i know that’s different because of covet and seeing who’s present but now it’s fairly mixed and i would just add to what’s been said about the congregations coming together we should be asking ourselves why there are two congregations and if the distance and if all of that’s there and there’s a reason for that then that’s fine but if the only thing that is dividing us as you mentioned on our cultural preferences what what i find in the new testament is there is no cultural preference that we shouldn’t be willing to lay aside for the unity of the church if paul was going to forego meat or whatever to not cause brethren to stumble and glenn mention galatians 2 if that’s really our goal and if it can be done after discussion and wise planning and forethought that’s what we should be aiming for but where i preach right now it’s a fairly mixed congregation what do you think is the secret to the the unity and the mixture that you have where you are i would say it just involves the members here just evangelism to people of various kind background and lakeland’s a pretty mixed area where i preach in lakeland florida and we don’t discriminate if somebody wants to obey the gospel they can and if they do that they become a part of god’s church and we don’t really have any jurisdiction we don’t get to decide that and so we baptize people that trust in jesus and turn from sin and when you do that and you preach the gospel to every creature i think eventually you’ll see a mixture if you evangelize the people in your community and we’ve had people from other congregations place membership of various races as well but that’s what you’re going to have yeah it’s interesting in galatians 2 when peter was for the idea of perpetuating the division in the races paul said i was stood him to the face because he was to be blamed he lays out the premise that this is not the way it should be which leads me to believe for us to have a black church in a white church in a community where you’ve got a mixture of races is not the way it should be and is going to perpetuate racism and as one of you said a few minutes ago if we can show the church coming together then we set an example for the world for what it should be that leads me to this question that i’d written down what is the difference between racism and the bible versus racism that we see today is it the same is it different what would you say about that it is not the same in some other key i mean if you’re talking about what we’re looking at today on the news and we see it every day and we have major issues going on and and i don’t know there’s so much confusion uh it is it is attributed to race even though of course you have white people and black people in the protests and the riots and i would say that we’re all facing a lot of confusion in the new testament you did have occasions where it has what you find acts 6 for example you have the appearance of something that is akin to racism at least it had to do with nationalities and the hellenist widows were being neglected in the daily administration i don’t know a lot about it i know what the bible says about that and and i know that the apostles identified that situation they said this isn’t right well good that’s that’s right they’re they’re operating by the inspiration holy spirit and they they identify this problem and then they said call seven men out from among you we’ve all made the observation that those were gentile names and so it appears that it was okay to acknowledge their nationality that they were gentile christians and and used that to affect this situation and to make sure that these widows were taken care of which adds one more thing that i’d like to say and that is that one of the dangers that i think is is going on right now is that there is so much confusion in the country over the question of racism and what is right and wrong and we don’t we’re just struggling with this so what we’re not seeing is placards that say uh what we want is equality what we’re seeing is placards that say we want justice i think that’s very confusing so i mean you say well doesn’t everybody want justice i mean don’t we want a judicial system that’s equal that’s equal and i don’t know i just think it brings a lot of confusion and sometimes what white people are told is that you you probably can’t understand it because you’re white well i see a red flag with that because we’re about the new testament the only organization that jesus christ gave us is the congregational church it’s it’s the church and the organization of the church the congregation and so he put shepherds elders first timothy 3 and titus 1 the qualifications and it’s not about race it’s not i mean you have you have churches with jew and gentile christians coming together and and and they’re to ordain elders the point i want to say is that you should be leery of something that good elders can’t even understand that that you know even if they try sometimes what we’re being told is you’ll never be able to understand it because you happen to be this race instead of that race what we must do is we must society is is really good at taking us away from the cross what we’ve got to do is we’ve got to stay away from the the value systems of the world and we need we just need to stick with the scripture stick with stick with what the bible calls a sin and the bible identifies enmity and racism is a form of enmity the bible identifies enmity as as as being sinful and it will damn your soul and what you find throughout the bible is whenever there’s a sin that’s been committed it can be demonstrated by the inspired word of the holy spirit exposed for what it is and and we realign ourselves to do god’s will and it’s something that can be measured and known whether or not we’ve complied with god’s will when you take passages like galatians chapter 2 and acts chapter 6 where you see things come up that have to do with people’s nationalities and the cultures that clash and the observation that i want to make is that the apostles could look at that and identify it they could say you know what the hellenists widows are being neglected or peter is distancing himself from the table of the gentiles it wasn’t that there was some problem that some people couldn’t see it was that it was identifiable and then the leaders in the church and in our case it would be the elders would say look we’re not going to let this go on we’re going to fix this and and so like ben was saying this really requires turning the volume down on the world and that’s not happening everywhere some places we’re turning the volume up in the church and listening more we need to turn the volume down the world and get back to the scriptures and say the scripture equips us for every problem that comes to the church that threatens the church and this is one of those problems so bring me the bible let’s get back to scripture and that’s where we find unity in the cross and in jesus christ now we are about time for another break but before we do i want to we got two guys with us two guys that are here remotely would you mention why that’s true i don’t think we ever said but yeah we had we invited two men to we in fact in fact we invited all four men to be here two men said they could and two men said they couldn’t they graciously agreed to join us remotely and we’re thankful for that before we go to the break i want to give our two brothers who have joined us remotely an opportunity to respond to this discussion melvin and hiram do you have anything to say with regard to what ben and glenn have said before we cut to a break well i i would tell you that i think the biggest issue i think with people’s sentiment sometimes when they say you can’t understand it’s not an attack on the other person’s intellect i think it’s an assumption that the other person might not be truly willing to do the work to understand right when jesus said to people they had ears to hear let those who have ears to hear hear well everybody had ears everybody could hear every word that he said but some people didn’t have a heart that was conducive to ingesting and understanding i think it’s again it’s not a matter of intellect in order to really understand what’s going on with another person if you haven’t shared their life experiences you don’t really know their background it takes a lot of time a lot of work and most people don’t have the interest to do that i think that’s part of the dynamic i mean i think one of the beautiful things about the book that we produce is not necessarily the content although i think the content is is good and helpful it’s the process i mean we spent the better part of a year hours on the phone at a time listening to each other talking to each other and then coming back around and revisiting conversations that we had to reach understanding and that’s what’s required and i just think you know as a society we just don’t have quite as many people who are interested in doing that but that’s what it takes to truly understand other people right anything you want to add before the break yeah i was just going to say don you had asked um is racism in the bible the same as today and when you find true racism today people practice in it it is from the same root though i don’t know in the bible like glenn mentioned acts 6 if that was involving you know pigmentation and how people look but the enmity that was involved is always been the same and so wherever you find that behavior the problem is the same and what scripture gives us as the diagnosis how to treat it it’s the very same thing and i believe that if you’re black or white you can’t understand racism and how to deal with it if you want to and especially if i’m a christian god equips us to do what we need to do if we’re willing to do it i don’t think any one race has a leg up on another on understanding this but it does take like melvin said the desire to listen and also to then just do what the bible says on how to handle it very well said thank you all right we are going to go to a break stay tuned and we will be back with you in just a moment my name is rob whitaker i’m the director of the house to house heart to heart school of evangelism our goal is to train to save to teach the lost we’re trying to change the culture of congregations to focus on local church growth and personal evangelism when you enroll at the house to house heart school of evangelism we’re going to give you 18 months of service for the first six months we’re going to help till the soil of your local congregation and prepare them for the actual training that’s going to take place we’re going to give you steps to take how to get the message to your local church to the community so when we arrive we’re going to give you seven to ten actual classes on how to apply personal evangelism to the church and reach the lost in your community we’ll be there from anywhere from two to five days we’re going to give you on-site hands-on training not only for myself but my family they’re going to be with me my wife’s going to help teach your ladies my children are going to be there to answer questions we’re going to bring all the materials that you need after we leave for the next 12 months we’re going to provide you support we’re going to send you tips for evangelism i’m going to do virtual meeting with the elders and so we’re going to try to help you take what you have learned and apply it the results that we’re seeing are absolutely amazing we want to invite you to enroll in the school today contact us at evangelism.housetohouse.com the people continued listening to his sermon and they interrupted peter and they said what shall we do now peter has already said whoever calls on the name of the lord will be saved in essence they are saying explain that what do we need to do in acts 2 38 peter says let every one of you repent and be baptized in the name of jesus christ for the remission of sins we need to let the bible define its own terms people hear the idea whosoever shall call upon the name well that must mean prayer call upon the name of the lord that’s not the way the bible defines it no and if you think acts 22 16 i just say please if you disagree with us go study that verse paul’s already prayed for three days and yet ananias says arise be baptized and wash away your sins calling on the name of the lord so ananias gives us through the inspiration of the holy spirit and paul is speaking he’s saying look calling on the name of the lord is not prayer because he hasn’t done it yet calling on the name of the lord is arising and being baptized and that’s how you wash away your sins absolutely growing up you know when you read your favorite book and you would never rip out the last page because every detail mattered [Music] to the story [Music] the bible says we have all things that pertain to life and godliness the scriptures complete us for every good work how do we prove that jesus is a real being what would you do if someone asks for proof [Music] you can watch the latest episodes after tonight’s show to find out more visit gbntv.org we are back from the break we would again like to encourage you to participate in the program tonight you can call us at 888-805-3390 and you can be live and actually interac interact with us verbally or you can email us a question at gbnlive gbntv.org you can post a message on facebook you can also text us a message and as a matter of fact we have a question that has been texted to us that we would like to read at this time i’m going to ask ben if he would give us his thoughts on this the the question that’s been texted is this is there something specifically we need to do to fix systemic racism and what do you say well the answer to that is is is of course we’re we’re not here to fix uh systemic racism or the extent or even the degree to which it might or might not be be be have permeated american institutions um we’re here about the church but of course the most effective thing any christian can do in society in combating systemic racism is not necessarily about combating systemic racism it’s about converting people to christ it’s it’s the gospel not social positions but it’s it’s of course the gospel uh that can that can change lives you know the holy spirit through the words of scripture in john chapter 16 verse 8 he convicts the world of sin if you get people in the book if you teach people about the gospel of christ it’s going to change lives from the inside out and that’s that’s the answer to society’s ills it’s the gospel you know sometimes i have seen it to be the case that there are social movements in society to address racism and there’s nothing in and of itself wrong with that but sometimes social movements in society might even bleed over into sin you know i.e rioting i.e harming people and beating up people and and robbery and certainly christians have no part of being something uh that is sinful uh if society makes a peaceful movement there’s nothing wrong with that but we can’t forget that it is the gospel that changes people and i think that’s the thrust of the book and the message of the book is that right yeah it’s right and um anyway i’d like to hear what the other guys have to say melvin what would you say to that statement do i need to repeat it your last statement no i think you know we’re in perfect agreement on that i agree with exactly what being said there um i think every individual has you know certain social values and inclinations and so forth but um that’s not that’s not why i preach you know that’s not why the four of us were able to sit down and engage each other because we had the same social ideals we have the same spiritual ideals and that’s what allows for men with different backgrounds different experiences to come together love each other as brethren and and put in the time and effort to try to understand each other and speak together with one voice only the gospel i mean i can tell you that personally it is only the gospel that propels me to do that and i think that that’s what we have to lead with that’s what we have to share with other people and so i’ll just tell you frankly from some of what i see in our pulpits you know some of our preachers at times some of the things that people may say even in their prayers and so forth leave all the social stuff out the gospel lead with the gospel and i say that to i say that to everyone no matter what their potential particular social leanings are the gospel unifies and these other things tend to divide and that’s true whichever side somebody might be on what a great answer i love that statement yes that is the essence of what this is all about that’s how come the book was able to be produced is what he just said right we’ve got a couple of more questions that come in and since this is a live program i want to jump to these um this was a phone question the person has not stayed on the line but they called in and left this question what are your thoughts about someone saying i am colorblind in reference to race hiram what would you say to that when a person a brother in christ says i’m colorblind in reference to race is that a good statement is that a bad statement um it’s good and and bad i think we answer this in the book but there’s one sense in which god wants all of us to be colorblind and i think that’s the way most christians mean it that is impartiality treating everybody right galatians three neither jew nor greek bond nor free and i think when most christians say i’m colorblind they mean i’m not going to treat you any different better or worse because you’re black or white or hispanic or whatever and to that degree i don’t allow your color or your ethnicity to influence the way that i treat you colorblind in that regard is right i think that’s what god wants for everybody but there is a sense obviously in which we can’t be colorblind because god made different races if you will or ethnicities and that’s part of the greatness of the gospel the grand nature of the gospel is that god’s able to save jew and gentile in one body and revelation 7 talks about people from different tongues and nations being before the presence of the lamb because they’ve been washed in the blood and so if god is willing to acknowledge and he does that there are people of different stripes if you will then we need to do the same thing and so we talk about that in the book and when people do that of course we don’t need to assume that they’re being racist if they point out something about a person’s different ethnicity or something like that but we should be colorblind in the sense that we’re impartial that we don’t see people a certain way because of the color of their skin but there’s a sense in which nobody is colorblind because we do notice that you’re a black person or a white person and i think that’s fine i think that’s right god wants us to at least be able to say that we acknowledge that and we see that because i see it over and over again in the new testament not black and white but jew and gentile and different individuals paul mentions in galatians 3 that they’re neither bond nor free male nor female and that’s not that those people cease to carry those traits but that they no longer look to those things for value because now they’re christians the correct answer yeah very very well said he doesn’t want us to ignore race any more than he wants us to ignore the difference in males and females and i think bringing galatians three uh wraps that up very neatly if you had an eldership that had both black and white or hispanic members of that eldership don’t you think there would be times when you might use that sure to the advantage of the gospel for the church i mean isn’t that what happened in acts chapter 6 when they chose men who were gentiles i mean we don’t know a lot about that but it’s interesting that those names are gentile names we have this this question that’s coming on facebook what advice would you give preachers who want to address this issue from the pulpit i guess they mean the whole racial issue um glenn would you like to speak to that yeah the answer is get the book what i would say is that is that this discussion we’ve been having tonight is the advice which is that you remember that if every american stopped their racist tendencies or conflict if you corrected systemic racism you wouldn’t have put one person in heaven right right not by that process and so we’ve got to keep our heads on straight so uh preachers today who are just flying off the handle in the pulpit about this or making a mistake what we need to do is to keep preaching the word of god and to preach the passages which are applicable to the questions that we’re talking about that just stay with the book absolutely where the bible talks about racism condemn it just as you would in the other side yeah i don’t want you to preach sermons from those passages and let the word of god do the talking on that absolutely okay hey john um did i have someone wanting to make a comment yes i was going to say that another thing if i’m thinking about this from the standpoint of a preacher is don’t wait until something happens in society to preach on these things and i think that goes back to taking our cues from the world sometimes we wait until something happens in the news but ephesians 2 galatians 2 those things are in the bible and so we don’t need to make that our main message every week but if we just preach these things cycle through them like we would any other issue whether it’s prevalent in society or not we will continue to equip our people with how to respond to these things biblically and then the next time something happens on the news they would just say well i already know what the bible says about how to respond how to treat people and we would help ourselves by not waiting for the world to say you should preach this this sunday you’re a wise man brother because if you wait till it happens in the news then it’s a hot button issue for people if they’ve already been established in the word now they know how to deal with this which is what you said thank you many people i’ve got this note being sent to me by the i.t guys they said many people are asking how and where to get the book ben tell us how and where to get the book you can order the book from any of the four authors if you’re friends with them reach out to them a couple of them have their own blogs or websites you can order from but also you can contact your favorite brotherhood bookstore and reach out to them and and order from them most of them are stalking it now what’s the cost of the book uh it’s 12.95 12.95 and plus shipping i guess yes plus shipping we only have about a minute left but i want to ask one thing very quickly years ago i remember when i was preaching and i had an elderly lady in the church say to me i’d spoken against racism and she said don you don’t understand we grew up in the 1960s this was ingrained in us you just can’t overcome it when that is the case we only have about a minute melvin can you take 30 seconds and address that for us i will tell you you can overcome any sin of the heart if you love the lord enough that’s right amen that’s right if you realize that this is something that can cause you to lose your soul in a devil’s hell no matter how deeply ingrained it is you can overcome it the book is excellent i am eager to finish reading it please get a copy of it the reason it’s excellent is it is biblically based i want to thank these four brethren for being with us tonight we want to encourage you to join us again next week as we continue gbn live and as always reach out to us with questions even when the program is over

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