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Grace When You Disagree

February 20, 2017

It seems there are more opportunities for division and disagreement right now than ever.

Many world events have caused Christians to take opposite sides on issues.

The recent election in the USA
The worldwide issues with refugees and immigrants
A global fear of the foreigner.

There are those embracing terms like evangelical and inclusive, while at the same time others are fleeing them.

Economic Disparity
Racism
Moral debates

Being unified as a church is harder than ever.

The apostle Paul had some experience in these areas.

He needed to bring together the arch enemies of the Jews and the Gentiles in the church of Rome. This required dealing with moral and cultural issues.

The church in Corinth was divided over spiritual gifts, freedom in Christ, and lawsuits to name a few.

“We dedicate this day to all heroes and heroines in this country and the rest of the world who sacrificed in many ways and surrendered their lives so that we could be free.” Nelson Mandela

April 27 1994

This is the date of South Africa’s first democratic national elections following Nelson Mandela’s release from prison.

The world waited with bated breath for the country to descend into chaos, or worse; war.

It did not happen. Grace prevailed.

Apartheid fell and with it the racist, oppressive rule which sought to completely separate the different races.

Mandela forgave his oppressors, even including them in his inner circle as the newly elected President. Forgiveness triumphed over judgment and set this nation on a path towards success.

Mandela became a world-wide figure for his grace and forgiveness. He led a nation off the path of hatred and towards freedom.

We have friends who have a South African woman come once a week to help out with the children. They recently went on furlough and wanted to keep this woman employed during their trip. They arranged for her to help with another couple’s children.

Recently we learned this woman refused to come and help. The family who would have received her services (during our friends furlough) were from Zimbabwe. This woman, a black South African, refused to help someone from another African nation.

Racism is not only about the color of one’s skin. It goes much deeper.

Racism can be about nationality.
Racism can be about tribe or people group.
Racism can be based on economic status, real or perceived.

While South Africa is making great progress as a free nation, we still see the stigma of racism raise its ugly head.