Thursday, December 08, 2011

the blending of souls...

Last week I wrote about my reaction to the church in Kentucky deciding to ban interracial couples from membership. That was on Thursday.  On Sunday the church held another vote to affirm that they welcome people of all races in their fellowship.

One of the things I didn't talk about last week was the cost of staying silent.  There were 40 people at the church that night. Only 15 people chose to put their opinion out there. Perhaps there were people on the opposing side who stayed silent. It takes courage to speak up. I know that...I understand that. My post was not an easy one to write.  I risked people telling me negative things about my marriage or my children. But, I spoke up because I felt compelled. Because this issue touched the core of my heart...my family. That post went on to be featured on Women of the Harvest's Writing Blog.  And for that I am humbled.

However, for those church members in Kentucky, their silence was costly.  This tiny little church in Pike County made international news.  Blogs, news stories, Facebook and Twitter posts all commenting and expressing their opinions on the actions of the church.

News of this vote to ban interracial couples from membership caused the National Association of Free Will Baptists to put out a statement regarding their position.  It caused the publishing arm of the denomination to put out a downloadable Bible study on racism. And for that I am grateful.

Here is an excerpt from the study:
How are we supposed to treat people that are different from us?
Treat them as someone created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27). Treat them as someone for whom Christ died (John 3:16). Treat them like you want to be treated (Matthew 7:12). God also expects His people to seek justice and confront oppression (Deuteronomy 16:19; Isaiah 1:17; Jeremiah 22:3). Anything less is sin.
 In the conclusion of the study I found this statement:
In many ways our time on earth is a rehearsal for our time in Heaven. God has given each of us time to prepare for the eternity that lies ahead. Revelation 7:9-10 makes it very clear that Heaven will be filled with people from every nation, tribe, and tongue. Do we live like we believe that? Is our rehearsal on earth reflecting what will happen on the grand stage? 

My friend, Cyndi, recently began a network called Blended Souls. It is a network of Pastors' Wives and Ministry Wives... a gathering of "sistas" from various Christian denominations and ethnic backgrounds. Blended Souls Network was created to support women in their role as the wife of a pastor or ministry leader, so that they can worship and pray together, network with one another, and embrace cultural differences for the “soul” purpose of giving honor to God.  The network's desire is to reach out to wives from every tongue, tribe and nation.

I am excited to be one of the prayer partners for Blended Souls and I would love to invite you to join the network.  Just think as this grows it will be a slice of what heaven will look like!  If you would like to be added to our Facebook group you can leave me a note or send me an email.

If there is an issue that burns in your heart my prayer is that you will not keep silent.  May that burning propel you into action.  To bring light where there is only darkness, to bring justice where injustice is found or to bring healing where healing is needed. And above all... to bring honor and glory to God.  

11 comments:

  1. Such a good post.

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  2. I hadn't heard of this church in Kentucky; wow! Even though we are different, we can all be united because the love of God unites all Christians. He made us different to learn, love and honor each other and to unite us all in a glorious symphony with His Son! Just like your post title..."the blending of souls"...

    Blessings and hugs,
    Denise

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  3. Oh Alida I'm glad you spoke up and continue to do so...God always gives us the means to deal with issues and obstacles that come our way...in life or in blogland people are going to talk and ridicule but at the end of the day we have to speak up for what is noble and true...live in our truth regardless of recrimination! God continue to bless you, Tom and your boys and the ministry!

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  4. amazing post! thank you for standing up to the dark in the world. we do not need to let the dark overshadow the light or the good that we know exists. it is a blessing when people stand up and say this is not OK, this is not alright. may more people like you be in the world.

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  5. I always wonder how people justify -assume wrongly - that every one of God's people in the Bible are of one race/ethnic group.... (ie white). There are many interracial couples in the Bible, Moses, Ruth and more... And we know the Lord was not lily white.

    I thank the Lord for people like you who are strong in the Lord and willing to stand up.

    What happened in this tiny church was painful to watch; I can't imagine actually being there.

    God Bless you abundantly!

    http://theemptynestexpress.com

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  6. When are people, especially Christians, going to realize we're all part of the same race - the human race!? Thank you for being such a positive example of love, Alida.

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  7. AMEN! Thanks for visiting today and love this post! I'll have to come back to see what you wrote when the church in Kentucky made that original decision. In college, even since childhood really, I was such a passionate person about speaking out when I saw or heard of injustice. Sadly I think I've lost a bit of that courage and this post was a great reminder of why it's important to speak out from a biblical standpoint. Thanks so much!

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  8. Hi Alida, thanks so much for coming by my blog and leaving the kind comment! I love your site and will be Following you!

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  9. It truly was a tragic decision on the part of that congregation to remain silent about something that they knew in their hearts was wrong. And while I'm thankful the policy has been "corrected", the damage has been done and we are all in some sense diminished by this reminder that the world still has a long way to go.

    Have a Blessed Day Alida!

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  10. I would like to be a part of the blended souls network...
    and thanks for this post. i dont wish to write a whole discourse on this so i'll leave it at thanks - i'm glad you spoke up.

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  11. It is almost impossible to imagine a church that would vote to ban interracial couples. I am heading over to visit Blended Souls now.

    Blessings,
    Amy @ Missional Mama

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