Living By Faith

BLM, Systemic Racism, and Abortion

July 9, 2020 Speaker: Josh DeGroote

Topic: Racism and Justice Passage: Romans 13:9–13:9, Revelation 5:9–5:10, Matthew 16:18–16:18

Welcome to the living by faith podcast, my name is Josh DeGroote and this is episode number eleven. Thanks for listening. This is a podcast where I take a look at some news items, theology, and history from the perspective of the Christian’s life of faith in Jesus Christ. Let’s jump in.

BLM and systemic racism. Two phrases we hear a lot today. Black lives matter - the statement and organization. Black lives matter. Yes of course they do. But why is it a problem when someone says, “All black lives matter”, including the ones shot down in the streets of LA or Chicago. And the ones that are killed in the womb. 

The only black lives that apparently matter to BLM are those that are taken by the hands of police, which accounts for a tiny small percentage of all black deaths. It is much more likely for a black man to be gunned down in one of our large cities by another black man than for him to be shot and killed by a police officer. And clearly the most dangerous place in the world for a black person (or any person for that matter) is in the womb, but nobody lobbying for BLM says a thing about that. According to their own website and the words of their own leaders, BLM is a Marxist, revolutionary organization run through with racism. In fact, a leader in the Toronto chapter of BLM said, “White skin is sub-human.” She goes on, and let’s just say what I just shared is the nice part. And here is a serious problem. Is this statement racist? Of course, it used to be seen as that, but I digress.

 Now, back to the subject of dismembering AA babies in the womb. This is one clear case of systemic racism in America right now that is having deadly effects. The abortion industry from its inception and the American Governments complicity in it has targeted black lives. Margaret Sanger, the founder of what has become Planned Parenthood, was a rabid racist and eugenicist who thought that certain people (disabled, minorities, and so forth) should not be allowed to procreate. She created The Negro Project which was designed to sterilize unknowing black women and others she deemed as “undesirables” of society. She is quoted as having said the following: “Colored people are like human weeds and are to be exterminated.” That is evil! But is her vision being carried out?

 Planned Parenthood is without question the largest abortion provider in America. 78% of their clinics (abortion mills) are in minority communities. 78%! Blacks make up 12% of the nations population and yet they account or 35% of abortions. For every two AA women, one will choose to abort. In NYC, AA abortions outpace live births. This is stunning and heartbreaking and I would suggest the most obvious form of systemic racism in America. Let’s not forget that the US Gov’t gives PP over $500 million in funding.

Racism is sin. In all its forms, it is sin! And as Christians, we understand why. Because, God the Creator crafted each and every person in his own image. And the different color of skin and different ethnicities, and cultures are all created by God and for God’s glory. And so hate of any ethnic group is a manifestation of enmity with God. It is serious! The sin of racism will be judged. God hates it and people will be cast headlong into the lake of fire forever for the sin of racism. It is serious! 

 But we must also remember that Jesus died to redeem people from every ethnic tribe. In Revelation 5:9-10 we hear the song of the Lamb:

Worthy are you to take the scroll and to open its seals, for you were slain, and by your blood you ransomed people for God from every tribe and language and people and nation, 10 and you have made them a kingdom and priests to our God, and they shall reign on the earth.

And therefore, the sin of racism can only be decisively dealt and forgiven by the blood of Jesus Christ. It doesn’t matter what color your skin is black, white, or brown, but only the crimson blood of Jesus which washes the sin of racism away.  


Catechesis section 

The next section is the catechesis section.  For centuries Christians gave themselves to the practice of learning the doctrines of the Christian faith by way of a catechism.  Catechesis simply means to teach orally or instruct by word of mouth.  This is a practice that is sorely missed in our day and I think we would benefit tremendously by taking it up again, and so I want to do my part to promote the practice of catechesis.  Mention “Children’s Mode”.

All that said, I’m making my way through a modern catechism called New City Catechism.  It takes the form of 52 questions and answers with scripture - so one for each week.  You can buy the book online or you can download the app on your phone for free. So we are on question 11 this week:

Question 11: What does God require in the sixth, seventh, and eighth commandments?

Answer 11: Sixth, that we do not hurt, or hate, or be hostile to our neighbor, but be patient and peaceful, pursuing even our enemies with love. Seventh, that we abstain from sexual immorality and live purely and faithfully, whether in marriage or in single life, avoiding all impure actions, looks, words, thoughts, or desires, and whatever might lead to them. Eighth, that we do not take without permission that which belongs to someone else, nor withhold any good from someone we might benefit.You can see that the answer goes beyond mere outward actions and gets to the heart of the law. The sixth commandment says, “You shall not murder.” But Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount, if you have anger in your heart and call him a fool, you have murdered him in your heart.  The seventh commandment says “You shall not commit adultery.” But Jesus says in the Sermon on the Mount… The eighth commandment says “You shall not steal.” The point is that the law addresses no only our outward actions, but our hearts. Martyn Lloyd Jones says that Jesus “shows that an evil desire is as damnable as a deed. A thought and an imagination are as reprehensible in the sight of God as the act committed.” And therefore, the law shows us

Beloved, the bible is clear that we are utterly incapable of keeping the law perfectly which is required for salvation. We need another to keep it for us and be given the righteousness of Another.  This is the hope of the gospel. That through faith in Christ, his perfect obedience is counted as ours. 

But the gospel does not absolve us from our obligation to obey the ten commandments, it empowers us to. For the law is summed up by the commands to love God and love our neighbor. And through the new birth, we are given a new heart with new desires and the law is written on our hearts, so that we obey (though not perfectly) from the heart.

Romans 13:9 - For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”


History Section

The reason I do this section is because as Christians, we have to know our history.  It is so important that we understand the historical roots of our faith and how the church has grown and spread throughout the history of the world, often through the intense fires of persecution. Many of the heroes of the faith, join the great cloud of witnesses near the end of Hebrews who suffered martyrdom for their faith in Christ and commitment to his Lordship. 

Today and next episode I want to tell you about three men who were burned at the stake during the reign of terror of a woman named Mary Tudor, Queen of England - infamously nicknamed Bloody Mary. She received this nickname because of her murderous attempt to stamp out all resistance. 

Bloody Mary was crowned in the summer of 1553 and moved quickly to eradicate the effects of the Protestant Reformation and drag the Church of England back into the Roman Catholic Church. Two men who stood in her way were Hugh Latimer and Nicholas Ridley. Latimer and Ridley faithfully labored to spread the Protestant Reformation in England. Nicholas Ridley, bishop of London, was a brilliant scholar and faithful minister, most known for his work in writing The Common Book of Prayer and the Articles of Religion, which laid down the worship practices and beliefs of the Church of England. Hugh Latimer was most known for his great boldness in proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ. Lattimer was the elder, veteran bishop, and Ridley was the younger firebrand of the two.

For over twenty-five years, these two men worked faithfully. But in 1553, shortly after Bloody Mary came into power, she ordered soldiers to arrest Latimer and Ridley and throw them into the dungeon of the Tower of London. Their books were condemned, along with those of Luther, Tyndale, and other Reformation leaders. For months, Lattimer and Ridley suffered in this dungeon before they were sent to trial. A great crowd gathered in Oxford for the trial of these two renowned bishops.

“Swear allegiance to the pope, confess your heresies, and you will live”, the tribunal’s chief accuser demanded. But Lattimer and Ridley stood their ground and responded to the accusations of false teaching with the scriptures. After two days of hearings, the church excommunicated Lattimer and Ridley and turned them over to the Crown in order to be burned at the stake.

On October 16, 1555, a huge crowd gathered to watch the executions. When they met at the stake to be burned, Lattimer and Ridley embraced and encouraged each other. Nicholas Ridley smiled and said, “Be of good heart, brother, for God will either ease the pain of the flames or else strengthen us to endure it.” What faith! Lattimer nodded and said, “God is faithful!”

After a message was preached against Lattimer and Ridley by a Catholic priest, condemning them of terrible heresies, they were strapped to the stake with a single iron chain, and surrounded by straw and wood. As the guard stepped forward with a torch, Lattimer said one of the epic lines in all of church history (in my opinion): 

Be of good cheer, Master Ridley, and play the man. We shall this day, by God’s grace, light such a candle in England, as I trust shall never be put out.

As the flames rose up, Ridley shouted loudly, “Lord, receive my spirit.” And Lattimer also said, “Lord, receive my soul.” Wow, what a story! This is part of our history. It is through the courage of faithful men and women like Lattimer and Ridley, that Christ has and is building his church. As our Lord said, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” This is our confidence, that in our labors for the Lord, he is working and building his church. And he will continue to do so until he returns, which is our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ. 

Thanks again for listening to the living by faith podcast.  If you found it helpful, please subscribe, like, and share.  Until next time, “may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Spirit be with you all. 

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