Institutional Religion and Racism

And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.   Acts 10:28

After the latest terrorist attack in the United Kingdom, people are once again outrage over how such hate could cause human suffering and death of innocent people.

This time, we learn of one young man using his hate to kill some young people and older adults attending a concert, unaware that this enjoyable event would end in carnage.

No matter how you look at it. Institutional religion and racism has been the central cause of hate throughout the world.

Either a group of religious fanatics believe their religion is superior then another. Or a group of racists believe their race is superior then another.

Nevertheless, institutional religion and racism together has made for turbulent and divisive times throughout history and the world.

One of the biggest problems that continue to feed institutional religion and racism is that rational people refuse to accept that we are continually fueling this evil.

Regardless how one might believe that they could never be bound by religion dogma and racial hate, we lie to ourselves.

Here is what I come to find out about myself and others.

If you believe you could never be filled with such anger to kill someone because of their opposition against your religion. You are wrong.

If you believe you could never be filled with such hate to discriminate against someone because of their race. You are wrong.

You see, we who like to think we are not in any way have institutionalized tendencies are fooling ourselves.

Have you ever been with your religious group and put-down another denomination, for instance, Baptists who say Catholics are not saved. Yep, that’s institutional religious bias.

And what about when you are around people of your same race and you make comments about another race being criminals. Yes, that too is institutional racism.

When we are so busy pointing one finger at what’s wrong with the world.

Remember, four fingers are pointing back at the pointer.

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2017 The Year of Our Lord

Facebook Post About Racism by Virginia Farm Owner Goes Viral

NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Leah the Woman, Mother, Aunt and Stepmother

Genesis 29”16-18

16 Now Laban had two daughters; the name of the older was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah had weak[a] eyes, but Rachel had a lovely figure and was beautiful. 18 Jacob was in love with Rachel and said, “I’ll work for you seven years in return for your younger daughter Rachel.”

With Mother’s Day taking place on May 14th of this year, I thought it would be appropriate to dedicate this post to the women who are adopting moms and step mothers, grandmothers, aunts and guardians to children who are In need of a loving parent.

One woman who comes to mind that took on the role of not only mother but also aunt and stepmother is Leah.

Leah was the first wife of Jacob but she was sadly, a rejected woman by her husband who loved and devoted his attention to Rachel. (Gen 29:31-35)

30 Jacob made love to Rachel also, and his love for Rachel was greater than his love for Leah. And he worked for Laban another seven years. Genesis 29:30

Leah most likely wanted the same outward affection shown to her younger sister by their husband Jacob. But she was not deemed her husband’s first choice. 

The biblical account of these sisters and their husband Jacob is such a heartfelt story. It reads like a soap opera or even a scripted melodrama.

As with the stories in the Bible, all have a contextual underline warning about our sinful nature and the need to recognize God in His eternal love for mankind.

The story of Leah, Rachel and Jacob comes to a sudden twist, when Rachel dies giving birth and Leah becomes mother to her sister’s two sons, Joseph and Benjamin.

Imagine the thought of being rejected for years as Leah had been by her husband and then taking into the role of stepmother and aunt to her youngest sister’s children.

But here is the most unbelievable ending of this story.

In the end, Jacob had requested that Leah be buried with him in the family cave. (Gen 49:31)

What God shows us in the life of Leah is that He is ever-present to hear the cries and prayers of the forsaken. Just as our Lord and Savior Jesus was forsaken…His sacrifice saved the world.

Leah the woman, mother, aunt and stepmother-May the Lord bless you on Mother’s Day.

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2017 The Year of Our Lord

Artificial Intelligence Is Here

2 Timothy 3:1-5
     But know this, that in the last days critical times hard to deal with will be here.  For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, haughty, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, disloyal,  having no natural affection, not open to any agreement, slanderers, without self-control, fierce, without love of goodness,  betrayers, headstrong, puffed up with pride, lovers of pleasures rather than lovers of God,  having an appearance of godliness but proving false to its power; and from these turn away.   

Guess what folks…Artificial Intelligence is here!

Okay, I get it. A majority of people probably might have an interest to be the most intelligent and knowledgeable person on earth.

Some even may want to be smarter than God.

The thought of out thinking God has however been on the mind of mankind from the beginning of time…or should I say, was on the mind of man, and that is where we lost.

Right now in the headlines there is news about Artificial Intelligence (AI).

Perhaps, John Q. Public doesn’t give a crap about Artificial Intelligence. But we ought too.

Artificial Intelligence is now a part of our daily lives and some don’t even know it.

I am pretty sure you are aware of the smart phone. But behind that useful little piece of metal, plastic and glass are codes that pretty much dictate the, who, what, why and when, and how of our lives.

Data is continually being stored about who we are and what our likes, dislikes, associations and lifestyle is all about. We have put every little secret into our smart phone and eventually, our smart phone will be smarter than we are.

I don’t have to be convinced any longer that we are living in the present of Artificial Intelligence and there is no turning back.

Let’s get to the heart of the matter.

Mankind has always had a desire to be smarter than God.

We tend not to give God credit for much these days. Even the Bible has become obsolete to people who believe their intelligence can create them a happy life, successful career and for some, attain power and wealth in the world.

Right now, laborers in certain parts of this country have high expectations of seeing their old manufacturing jobs reemerge. They are betting against hope that all is well.

Well, it is not. Not only are general laborers in for a rude awakening.

But anyone who is under the belief that traditional jobs will always exist.

A number of years ago a business professor stated that within a period of twenty-years, America would be a “service” driven nation. In his words, most of the jobs that basically needed physical dexterity would have to give way to automation. He was right. Here we are today depending on Artificial Intelligence to make us happy, comfortable and wise.

Artificial Intelligence is here and is only expanding…my advice to you is to learn as much as you can early on and don’t brush this warning aside.

Eventually, those who believe Artificial Intelligence will be able to save them, will lose.

And at the end.

God will get the glory.

For your reading pleasure. Here are a few current news articles to read concerning Artificial Intelligence and what we can expect in the future. Click on and enjoy your weekend.

Yours In Christ

The Counterfeit Christian
2017 The Year of Our Lord

Road to AI

Just the Facts

And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  John 8:32

We are living in a rumor and social media bubble of deception every day. Unless we use our God-given brain to stop and question what is thrown in our way as to what is factual and what is not. We tend to follow along with the crowd.

One of my favorite police shows when I was growing up was Dragnet. The star of the show, Jack Webb played the detective, Joe Friday had a deadpan expression and appeared to be unfriendly and unapproachable. Yet, when it came to finding out the truth, he was a determine detective out to prove he was above reproach.

Whenever Webb and his partner would interview a victim or assailant, he would advise them in a low-key way by telling them, “All we want are the facts, ma’am.”

Yet, for many years, Webb has been contributed to using the handle, “Just the facts…” But unfortunately, just like any long going unfounded urban legend, he never spoke those three words.

The truth of the matter is that we have become complicit in being complacent.

One thing we all need to be cautious about is turning our minds over to people, organizations or authorities that don’t have our best interest at hand.

There is too much happening every day for people to surrender unto a false narrative, whether from technology, science or the government.

Just the facts are a nice catchphrase.

But, if we really want to know the truth, we need to look in the Bible. If anyone knows about truth. It is Jesus.

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2017 The Year of Our Lord

10 Historical Facts that Simply are not True

5 Verses You Thought Were in the Bible but Aren’t

Shame In the Headlines

Matthew 6:19-21 – Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal:

Earlier this week local, regional and national news kept the Tom Brady shirt-gate going on as if this football jersey was the alleged Shroud of Turin.

The state of Texas even had the Texas Rangers on the case. Enter also, the FBI.

Now, the 5 times all-star, Super Bowl winner’s jersey was found and the alleged thief is in hiding.

The newscasters were ecstatic and declaring that this worn and sweaty football jersey was worth close to a million dollars. It also turned out that another of Brady’s jerseys was also found in the possession of the alleged thief.

With this entire clamor over a stolen football jersey and it making headlines, I could not help to shake my head in disgust because there is more dire human news taking place in the world and a football jersey should never be one of them.

Right now, one of the most horrific tragedies of the making of mankind is that which is happening in South Sudan. A civil war has been going on and the results of this war has brought famine among six million people.

Is Tom Brady responsible for the shirt-gate headlines? No he is not. He is merely a victim of a crime and some news executives are only looking at how they can boost their ratings and increase their earnings.

Shame in the headlines has more to do with the lack of empathy from some news organizations.

America’s mainstream news over the past several years has become nothing more than the dumbing down of Americans.

We have to look within ourselves to determine where our priorities lie when it comes to what we are doing to bring on this detachment from human suffering.

Is a stolen, used and sweaty jersey worn by a wealthy football player more newsworthy than people dying?

To me that is a resounding no. Life is more precious than material things and sports.

Of course, everyone will not agree with me on this matter and that is fine.

But, while the shirt-gate has come to a conclusion the people starving in South Sudan has not ended.

Finally, let us continue to pray for the people in London and to the families who lost loved ones and the injured in yet another senseless terrorist attack.

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2017 The Year of Our Lord

Today Is A Day Without A Woman

And the LORD God said, It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him an help meet for him. Genesis 2:18

Today, we are recognizing  A Day Without A Woman and International Women’s Day.

No matter where you may stand on this particular day, for or against it, we have got to give credit to God for showing Adam that he needed a help meet.

When I awoke this morning, I didn’t put too much emphasis on this day because it was just, so I was thinking, just another day. My plans were pretty much already set for the “things I have to do” and the “class I plan to attend,” later today.

But, when I turned on my laptop and went to check my email and view the national headlines, there it was. The headlines, A Day Without A Woman rallies will be taking place across America.

This year, so far, has indeed become an exciting time for women who never thought to protest and spearhead groups of vibrant women of all ages, ethnicities and races, to make their voices be heard with their elected officials.

There is a spirit of like-mindedness and unity that is putting some of the most unlikely of women, together. And that is a good thing.

Although, it would be great to see all women taking the day off, it cannot happen for those women who are taking care of their families, working to maintain their household and those women who are making a difference in the lives of those in need of their help (doctors, nurses, missionaries, volunteers, etc).

And although a number of women cannot be out in the streets rallying for a particular cause, today, A Day Without A Woman is still making an impact for our young girls.

Sure, A Day Without A Woman might have seen far-fetch when it was first presented.

But it can’t be ignore…nor should it be.

Regardless of how many women show-up or don’t show-up to their jobs.

A Day Without A Woman is affecting this world and thank God it’s for the good of mankind.

“Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.” Proverbs 31:30

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2017 The Year of Our Lord

Woman. I am.

We Are All Refugees

Leviticus 19 33 ‘And if a stranger dwells with you in your land, you shall not mistreat him. 34 The stranger who dwells among you shall be to you as one born among you, and you shall love him as yourself; for you were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.

A little boy asked his mother why the man standing next to them was calling them nasty names.

The mother pretended not to hear the boy.

Yet, the little boy was very insistent on wanting to know why this stranger was calling them names and making despicable gestures with his finger.

As I watched as this scene played out. I slowly approached the woman and her son and asked if I could be of any help to them.

The woman shook her head and grabbed her son’s hand and walked away.

When I turned to face this ignorant man who was about ready to follow the woman and her son, I stepped in front of him.

“Just what is your problem, sir? Why are you harassing that woman and her child?” I asked in a soft, non-threatening voice.

“She’s a terrorist! And you need to mind your own damn business!” retorted this man to me in a loud voice.

Right away, people nearby heard this man’s reply to me.

“Miss, is this man bothering you?” a gentleman asked across from me.

“He’s crazy” another woman yelled over to us. “He’s always bothering people.”

“Why don’t all of you kiss my…” the man shouted and then rushed out of the store.

A few moments later, the mother and her son showed back up.

“Thank you Miss,” the mother said to me in a heavy accent. “I don’t want any trouble. I just want peace.”

I looked at the woman and reached out to hug her. But she backed away.

“No. Not necessary,” the woman told me. “I know you care. Thank you.”

The woman and her young son exited the store where there was a gentleman waiting near a white van filled with people. As the van slowly drove out of the parking lot, it was evident, she was probably a newly place refugee from a war-torn nation.

Now, imagine how you would feel if America found itself at war and our land was devastated and our way of life was turn upside down. Could anyone of us grapple with the truth that this is a real possibility?

War, disaster and death can happen at any time and in any nation.

That’s why I am dumbfounded that some Americans have taken to outward hate and intolerance without first thinking, “yet but for the grace of God, go I.”

One thing we all need to keep in our thoughts…we are all refugees.

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2017 The Year of Our Lord

Sam Cooke – A Change Is Gonna Come (Official Lyric Video)

Valentine’s Day Christian Style

And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma. Ephesians 5:2

If you are someone trying your best to avoid all the hoopla over Valentine’s Day, then you are not alone.

Valentine’s Day is supposedly an ancient Roman festival known as Lupercalia (celebrated on February 15th) which purpose was to keep out an evil spirit and secure fertility.

The festival required that two young males would be covered in goat skin. The two young males pretended to be goats and would run around slapping people with goat skin strips. These young males represented the embodiment of sexuality. It was also in honor of Faunus a Roman religion.

Now imagine that.

The Lupercalia festival was around during Christian times and was kept around until the 5th Century.

It was Pope Gelasius I, Saint, who took Lupercalia as a Christian feast day around circa 496 declaring February 14th as St. Valentine’s Day.  One explanation is that three early Christian saints with the same name of Valentine were all to have been martyred on February 14th.

But, whatever one chooses to believe about the celebration of Valentine’s Day, it brings a great deal attention about love.

Funny isn’t it how one day out of the year can bring such splendid and at the same time heartbreak and despair. And we know why. Valentine’s Day is not about the real meaning of love.

Now if we could only celebrate the love of loving like Christ shows to us each day, perhaps we wouldn’t have to wait for a pagan festival to tell us that we ought to show love to those we are close to.

Valentine’s Day Christian style would be a most beautiful day but it doesn’t exist and will never exist. Why?

Valentine’s Day Christian style is pretty much as a pagan festival today as it was in the beginning.

If we only consider overthrowing the commercialism of love and get down to the simple explanation of what Christ has taught us.

We should just live to love.

In Him Alone,

The Counterfeit Christian
2017 The Year of Our Lord

In 2016 1.7 Billion was spent on Valentine’s Day

 

We Only Get One

Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe. 1 Timothy 4:12

Yesterday I finally got it!

And I now understand why young people don’t put their time to watching television but engage in social media.

This might be the reason.

With all the talented and intelligent young people working their behinds off to break-into the entertainment industry, why is the entertainment and media industry continually hiring the same black entertainers?

And why are these same entertainers and personalities hoarding three and four great spots on television?

Why am I bringing up this matter?

Well, yesterday, there was this big announcement that Oprah Winfrey would now be one of the hosts of 60 Minutes.

I sat back and said to myself. Why? Doesn’t she already have a number of things going on for herself?

Does she believe that she is the only black woman who has a charming personality that makes white folks feel comfortable with having her talk to them?

But here is the answer to my question.

Because she is Oprah and we all know that everyone presumably loves Oprah.

But, as fortunate and wealthy as she is with all her businesses (OWN channel, magazine, Weight Watchers, etc.) has she not thought how selfish she is with pushing aside someone younger who might have their own great personality and the ability to tell stories, even better than she?

Even Steve Harvey has been promoted to be the only talented black man who can host a talk and game show, in addition to beauty pageants.

I even read somewhere online that they were labeling Steve as the black male Oprah Winfrey.

Unfortunately, the old saying that black folks only get one is being proven true.

Truly, this saying has become a fact in our community and it will continue to be so when those in the entertainment and media industry stop trying to group black folks based on what makes them feel comfortable.

I wonder has Oprah or Steve ever stop and think about the opportunities they are hoarding from the young, gifted and talented blacks who are looking to break-into the business but are turned down because of the “we only get one” mentality.

It is time for us older folks to make way for the young. Sacrificing a job to someone who is not a billionaire or millionaire can be a blessing.

So, come on Oprah and Steve, how about sharing and just say “no” and refer a few gigs to our young ones.

With the start of Black History Month (which is twelve months for me) we need to pay more attention to changing the status quo.

How do we do that?

By declaring, ‘we only get one,” is a thing of the past.

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2017 The Year of Our Lord

140 Characters of a Delusional Leader

Therefore hell hath enlarged herself, and opened her mouth without measure: and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp, and he that rejoiceth, shall descend into it. Isaiah 5:14

George Orwell’s 1984 Predicted Donald Trump & Alternative Facts

I started off my weekend disappointed and disgusted that president Trump decided to ban Muslims from entering the United States of America.

As I watched the news of vocal, compassionate and angry protestors that are the true makeup of Americans, my heart sank into bitterness against that wicked and evil spirit that Trump has within him.

One would think that he has the interest of all Americans in mind. But he doesn’t. The only people he is playing to are the ones who voted for him and place him high above God. But even these folks will one day regret their decision to choose a man based on his material wealth and supposedly excellent business successes.

Donald J. Trump is no more than a failed business man and is showing his failure to lead a nation that are proud to say that we are a nation of immigrants.

But here we are now with Trump and Bannon vetting their arrogance, anger, prejudice, bigotry, hatred and white populism/nationalism message to a world that has grown up and will not tolerate their bully pen of executive orders.

The challenge for us who are willing to accept refugees and respect another person’s religion, is not to be tricked into believing that Americans are being attacked everyday by terrorists—especially, when that is not factual or true.

Just to keep it real. I thought on how best I might describe the character and characteristics of a Donald J. Trump who lives his life by believing conspiracy tales, watching television and tweeting from the depths of his empty soul.

140 Characters of a Delusional Leader.

Serpent in the Garden of Eden deceiver/liar Genesis 3
Judas betrayed Jesus for thirty pieces of silver Matthew 26:15

In Him Alone

The Counterfeit Christian
2017 The Year of Our Lord