Within the last month or so we have seen an influx of discussion on the issue of ethnicity and culture. A large part of the resurrection of this issue has been sprung from spoken-word poet and hip-hop artist Propaganda’s song “Precious Puritans,” which can be heard on his new album Excellent. The song encourages those who have been taught by the Puritan writings to not romanticize them to the point of ignoring their approval of and participation in slavery of Africans in America and for pastors to not forget that there are people in their congregations who may not see the Puritans in the same light as they do. Ultimately Propaganda ends the song by stating that in spite of the sins of the Puritans God still used them to contribute in His plan for man and still does the same with us all in spite of our sinfulness.
While some people whole-heartedly approved of the song others were vitriolic in their response and thought that the message of the song was not gracious enough towards the Puritans. The two varying opinions resulted in a firestorm of responses, some in support of the song and others offered a rebuttal; in the midst of these responses the issue of ethnicity eventually began to show its head. As I continued to read through those blogs and prayed to the Lord to keep my thoughts and heart in line with the Bible concerning these types of issues Ephesians 6:12 came to mind, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places”.
Sometimes I think that Satan wants the body of Christ to be so focused on a layer of skin and bone that we miss the fact that we are new creations in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:7) and indeed are in battle against a common enemy. We would never see the U.S. Army engaged in warfare against the U.S. Navy spending its time, money, weapons, etc.… to engage in a war against itself. By focusing on fighting against each other our military would lose focus on its mission to protect the citizens of the U.S.A. from the attacks of any entity that would threaten our safety. In the same light by Christians fighting amongst each other we lose sight of the fact that we are the body of Christ.
We may not have the same opinions on a lot of things but we do have a common enemy that would love for us to do his dirty work by viewing each other as an enemy. Yes, that person who doesn’t agree with your view on politics, how you exercise your freedom in Christ, your opinion on social issues, etc. They are still your brother or sister in Christ if they have confessed Jesus as their Lord and Savior. I pray that we will learn how to agree to disagree on issues without vilifying one another. We must remember that according to 1 Peter 5:8 “Your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour”, lets not help the devil out by devouring one other. Also, as we encounter various situations throughout the week let’s be mindful of Galatians 5: 13-15, “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!”. Grace and Peace to you.
Curtis T. Bennett is a man saved by grace who desires to live for the glory of the Lord by the Holy Spirit's power. He has served the Lord through music, children’s ministry, homeless outreaches, and young adult ministry. His desire is to continuously grow into the image of Christ and utilize his gifts to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. He loves music but his favorite genres are jazz, worship, and hip-hop. He currently resides in Washington state where he thoroughly enjoys life and daily laughter with his wife Jenette.