I have wandered around with my teeth grit and my fists clenched for about as long as I can remember. There is no peace for the man who believes the weight of the world has been thrust upon his shoulders. After all, it will soon become obvious that he can't even handle his own crap much less the globe's.Read More
Have we forgotten the roots of our heritage? Adventist pioneers were fearless in their abolitionist views. They participated in breaking the government law to help fugitive slaves. They believed that once slaves had been freed, they needed to be educated and given a trade (so that their humanity would be restored) and then called to follow Jesus.
Our pioneers believed that we could see the Land Beast acting like a dragon in its oppression of blacks. Are we able to call out the Land Beast's actions today, and not just within partisan lines?Read More
A couple weeks ago, I had the opportunity to speak for the first night of Southern Adventist University's Student Week of Prayer. The theme was "Radically Chosen," and we were asked to share about our experiencing choosing to follow God.
For me, choosing to follow God is intricately tied up with my sense of "identity." As a Mexican-American immigrant, I have spent most of my life hoping to "fit in" and building my sense of comfort off of how well I belonged. Nevertheless, I still have struggled with feelings of loneliness, isolation, and being miscast.
In the following message, I share how God taught me to be content being a misfit and why a little doubt and a little anger in your spirituality isn’t the end of the world when you’re being held by the most compassionate arms in the universe. (My message begins at 22:00)
We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was “well timed” in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation.
For years now I have heard the word “Wait!” It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This “Wait” has almost always meant “Never.” We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that “justice too long delayed is justice denied.”
We have waited for more than 340 years for our constitutional and God given rights. The nations of Asia and Africa are moving with jetlike speed toward gaining political independence, but we still creep at horse and buggy pace toward gaining a cup of coffee at a lunch counter.
Perhaps it is easy for those who have never felt the stinging darts of segregation to say, “Wait.”
But when you have seen vicious mobs lynch your mothers and fathers at will and drown your sisters and brothers at whim;
when you have seen hate filled policemen curse, kick and even kill your black brothers and sisters; when you see the vast majority of your twenty million Negro brothers smothering in an airtight cage of poverty in the midst of an affluent society;
when you suddenly find your tongue twisted and your speech stammering as you seek to explain to your six year old daughter why she can’t go to the public amusement park that has just been advertised on television, and see tears welling up in her eyes when she is told that Funtown is closed to colored children, and see ominous clouds of inferiority beginning to form in her little mental sky, and see her beginning to distort her personality by developing an unconscious bitterness toward white people;
when you have to concoct an answer for a five year old son who is asking: “Daddy, why do white people treat colored people so mean?”;
when you take a cross county drive and find it necessary to sleep night after night in the uncomfortable corners of your automobile because no motel will accept you;
when you are humiliated day in and day out by nagging signs reading “white” and “colored”; when your first name becomes “nigger,” your middle name becomes “boy” (however old you are) and your last name becomes “John,” and your wife and mother are never given the respected title “Mrs.”; when you are harried by day and haunted by night by the fact that you are a Negro, living constantly at tiptoe stance, never quite knowing what to expect next, and are plagued with inner fears and outer resentments; when you are forever fighting a degenerating sense of “nobodiness” —
— then you will understand why we find it difficult to wait.
There comes a time when the cup of endurance runs over, and men are no longer willing to be plunged into the abyss of despair.
Full letter may be read here.
God didn't run away from the ugliness of human affairs—rather, He threw Himself in the thick of things so that He might dwell with us.