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Chain Breaker pt.1

If I may be transparent, this post is late because I did not and still do not like some of the revelations that are in it. But as many pastors have said: “obedience, when you like the command, is not submission but agreement. We only achieve submission when we do not agree with or fully understand the will of whom we are obeying.” This post is very much submission for me, and I thank God for the opportunity to yield my will to His and be more conformed to His image. This topic will be in parts (not sure how many yet), but thank you for taking this journey with me. Without further ado, let us get started.

Chain Breaker pt 1

“To be African American is to be African without the memory and American without the privilege.” -James Baldwin 1924-1987

I am an American of African descent. But when described, I am called African American. I, who has never seen Africa, I who cannot tell you where my bloodline finds its roots in African soil, is labeled African before I am American. Yet America is all I have ever known and the only home I have ever had.

In this, the 21st century, America is 243 years old. On July 4, America will be 244. That is 244 years since the signing of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. That’s 244 years of freedom.

Before this freedom, America was a settlement of 13 colonies. Colonies with British ties and heavy oppression. An oppression that our American forefathers sought to overturn.

For some, this notation is the start of America. ‘The first settlement of Europeans on the now American shores.’ If we go by the date, October 12, 1492, then America is currently 527 years old. Meaning that for 284 years, these settlers lived in “oppression.”

The first recorded Africans to grace the new world was in August of 1619. One hundred and twenty-seven years after the settlement of the 13 colonies. But these people were not free and were worse than oppressed. These Africans were stolen humans forced to work in slave labor. This morbid era of America’s history began one hundred and fifty years before the signing of the Declaration of Independence. These stolen people were, in truth, African Americans. Africans because that is where they were from, and they knew where in Africa they were from. They knew who they were and would have been in Africa. Yet they now lived in America.

Time would come and go, and the African slaves would have children, either by choice or force, to replenish the slave labor. As the decades passed, there would be a mixture of African Americans as defined in this passage, and there would be the first generations of Americans of African descent. Those who would only ever know the colonies and later America as their home and land.

Slavery in America was vile, brutal, and sadly only a shallow glimpse into the true depravity of mankind. This merciless reality would continue in its context for the next 244 years. On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln would sign the Emancipation Proclamation. This proclamation was the ending of slavery. Or it was supposed to be. It would be another two years before the last slave would be told that they were indeed free. June 19 of 1865 is the accepted date by historians as the day that the last slaves were officially set free. However, the national commemoration of this event is called Juneteeth because history still isn’t really sure which date between June 13 and the 19th that the last group of slaves in Texas were freed.

Still, that is a total of at least 246 years of brutal, dehumanizing, enslavement of African Americans turned Americans of African descent.

You may be asking at this point, “Why is this important?” or “What’s your purpose or God-given revelation in this history lesson, De’La?”

Well, first, thank you for hanging in with me this long. Secondly, the trials of Americans of African descent is very much a race issue.

But today we’re looking at the “sin issue” of it all. The sin of generations past that viewed one set of God’s image bears as more important or worthy of life and dignity over another. We look at it and talk about it so that we can see how it is also in some way in each of us today because racism is still alive, even if some are insisting on ignoring or denying it.

But here is the point that God gave me some weeks ago that I have been wrestling with. This year is 2020. If we want to be formal, it is 2020 AD. It is two thousand twenty years after the death of Jesus Christ on the cross for the sins of all mankind. Not just the whites, or the blacks, or the Jews, or any other people group we want to list out. Yet, how many people still have not been told about the freedom that they can have?

Think about it, in 1863, 1864, and early 1865 there were people in Texas who knew about the Emancipation Proclamation. I even believe that there were people in the surrounding states and provinces that were aware of slavery still in Texas. They knew about it, yet for their own comfort or other reasons, they walked passed those slaves in the fields and said nothing. They did nothing; they kept living their lives.

Who among us is walking past people every day bound in their sin, yet we say nothing? Maybe we justify with “they don’t really want to know” or “they’re happy in their way of life.”

Those are some of the lies and mindsets of white people in 1863 etc.

Now I confess, I do not like this comparison, like at all! Hence, why I have been wrestling with it. I hate it when, from the church body, the cry for justice for black people is met with “This is a sin issue, not a race issue.”

Wrong. This is very much a race issue because God is NOT color blind. He made people of color; He made the rainbow for crying out loud. Humans, no matter their color, may not all be children of God. But, we are all image-bearers of God.

I have been on both sides of the debate: 1) On the one hand of “no, this isn’t just a sin; this is a social justice issue that needs to stop and be actively corrected. White people need to step up and call out other white people. Cause we didn’t start this, and they don’t hear us!” 2) On the other, “this is a sin/heart issue. Let God have their hearts, and everything else will work itself out.”

God is opening my eyes to debate one in that yes, it is a race issue, but He is showing me the sin issue application that is in it too.

See, Christ died for those lost and bound in slavery to sin. He commanded his children to go into all the world and to proclaim the good news. Yet when we remain silent for any reason other than the Holy Spirits prompting, we a doing spiritually to others what the white American ancestors did to the African Americans and Americans of African descent. We are declaring inside that the people we walk by without saying a word are image-bearers of God that are less worthy of life; Spiritual life.

I am going to let this post stop here. There is more to be said, and more that God is revealing to me as I walk in healing. We will get into it more in the posts to come. I pray that you will be in prayer about this matter, and others like it. I would love to hear your thoughts in the comment sections. Let us learn together as God works in us and through us.

Scriptures for consideration: • Genesis 1: 26-28 • Genesis 5:2 •Matthew 19:4 •Luke 4:18-20

Songs for Consideration: • I can Hear God Singing-Babbie Mason • So Will I- Torie Kelly • Grace Alone- Joseph Solomon

Other material for your consideration: • The definition of body • Microaggressions • Dear Mike Brown •My white skin is my privilege • Poem on Racial Reconciliation by the D.U.B

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