Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Failure of The Black Community

The Great Failure of The Black Community!
How Ancient Israel Parallels The Black Community

By Pastor Stephen E. Broden
The statement “Everyone did what was right in their own eyes” is found in the Old Testament book of the Judges. This statement speaks to the spiritual condition of the nation of Israel especially in its relationship to God.

God’s standard of righteousness and holiness was placed in subordination to the wants and desires of the nation, the people of Israel. The nation of Israel no longer sought what was right from the perspective of God; it was now what was right in the nations “own eyes.”

There is an eerie parallel between the nation of Israel and the black community. Both were in desperate circumstances beyond their ability to do anything about through their own efforts.

The black community during the Jim Crow era was totally dependent on God to advance their struggle for civil rights, first class citizenship, and access to the American dream. Israel was totally dependent on God to deliver them from the bondage of Egypt and to take them into the land that flowed with milk and honey.

In each case God gave victory, favor and blessings, which were undeniably the demonstrated power of God working on behalf of His people. But soon after the victory the book of Judges says this of Israel and I believe it can be said of the black community as well “ there arose another generation after them who did not know the Lord, nor yet the work which He had done for Israel.”

Notice the phase that says “who did not know the Lord” this friends is where the black community is living right now. This generation of young people does not know the works of the Lord during the Civil Rights Movement. Our current leaders, although the recipients of the benefits of the struggle do not know the prayers of countless men and women who prayed that our leaders would sit in the seat of authority on behalf of the beloved community.

Those words “who do not know the Lord” serve as a scathing indictment in spite of the many churches that dot the landscape in our community. In spite of the many mega churches with thousands upon thousands of members, there is a spiritual deadness, which is no doubt seen in the overall political, sociological, and psychological condition of our community. To put it simply, the black community is a mess!

The best indicator of the health of a community is the welfare of its women and its children. In the black community kids are doing poorly academically, the drop out rate is frightening among black boys, and our teenagers are out of ‘hip hop’ control. Black girls are growing up without fathers, and without knowing the value of true love from a paternal relationship that can help them know the difference between love and sex.

Single parent households out number two parent households. Our women are having more abortions than any other ethic group in America; post abortive women are physically and psychologically under great duress. Breast cancer is up among black women. Statistics demonstrate that there is an increase in the number of black women with diabetes and heart disease. Preemie births among black women quadruples that of any other ethic group in America because of Vacuum aspiration abortions. About 43% of pregnancies in black women end in induced abortions.

In addition, it is common knowledge that black males are absents from their leadership role in families all across the community. More black men wake up on Sunday morning in prison than those who go to church. I submit to you that we are witnessing a generation that does not know God or His works?

It seems to me that the influence of God in the black community has been marginalized through the cult of personality, materialism, and greed. This three head monster has blinded our community of its need for God. It is clear in the behavior of our youth and most especially in the attitudes of our leaders that we have stopped trusting in God and are now seeking to trust in a charismatic superstar, a political party, and the federal government. What ever happened to the biblical idea that Jehovah Jireh, the Lord will provide?

The bible says :
“curse in the man who puts his trust in mankind and makes flesh his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord, for he will be like a bush in the desert and will not see when prosperity comes, but will live in stony waste in the wilderness a land of salt and without inhabitant.”
(Jeremiah. 17:5-6)

Wow, this is not a pretty picture to behold. Could it be that this scripture explain the harsh reality of what we are facing in our communities across America? When one began to see our community from the point of view of the word of God we see a community no longer under the covering of His protected hand. Those of us who study the word of God and the community see an interesting parallel with the nation of Israel and the black community. The solution to the mess of our community is in Jeremiah 17:7- 8: Its says:

“How blessed is the man who trust in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord. For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes but its leaves will be green and it will not be anxious in a drought nor cease to yield fruit.”

Simply put we must repent and turn back to our spiritual roots. Our trust should not be in a man or the government, but only in Jesus the sovereign God of the universe.

Contact: Pastor Stephen Broden
Fair Park Bible Fellowship
Dallas, Texas 75223

Friday, March 20, 2009

Human Embryos Under Attack!

Situation Ethics Rears Its Ugly Head and Human Embryos are the Losers

Pastor Stephen Broden
The fundamental tenet of situation ethics is the idea that the end justifies the means. Joseph Fletcher, who first set forth this idea in 1960, believed “that there are no absolute laws other than the law of agape love and all the other laws were laid down in order to achieve the greatest amount of this love.” Fletcher’s argument beings with the idea that there are no absolutes; his worldview removes absolutes in the law of nature, which is the law of God.

Fletcher further believed that “all other laws are only guidelines to how to achieve this love and thus they may be broken if the other cause of action would result in more love.” This leads me to ask who determines if the other cause of action equals more love? Essentially what’s being stated here is the argument of the greater good. This argument says it’s okay to violate a known ethical practice, law or principle for example “thou shall not murder” if by doing so you achieve a greater good. This, however, begs the question who will define what is the greater good? When you remove absolute truth or moral absolutes on what bases do you determine right or wrong? Implied in Fletcher’s situation ethic is a prescribed criteria developed by someone, some group or government who will arbitrarily apply that criteria to trump all other law if they believe a better result can be achieved.

In ‘How Should We Then Live’ Dr. Francis Schaeffer identifies situational ethics of this type as arbitrary law. A close look at what Fletcher contrived in his love scenario reveals that right or wrong is determined by an the arbiter, who defines a criteria, which determines the appropriateness of an action (means) if it has the potential of producing a results (end), that is greater than ordinary love, agape.

If this makes you a little uncomfortable, then you must feel the same uneasiness with President Obama’s recent announcement to lift the ban on “embryonic stem cell research.”

With the eloquences that can only be compared to that of Mephistopheles when he convinced Adam and Eve to abandon their faith relationship with God, President Obama justified the wholesale murder of human embryos for the unproven potential to benefit others with debilitating injuries, and diseases like spinal cord injuries and Parkinson disease and other sickness.

The President said this research “will ease and end human suffering.”
What was not said by the President at this his press conference is far more important than what was said. He did not mention that whatever benefit this research yields would be at the expense of life. The lives of babies . We must know that these are fertilized human embryos. A closer examination of what’s connected with this decision to lift the ban on embryonic stem cell research reveals a decision sourced in arbitrary law. Moral Absolutes, natural law is out and the elite few will determine what the greater good is for you, society, and me. As Fletcher said the greater good justifies the means

At the press conference President Obama framed his decision to lift the ban in philosophical language that sought to justify an immoral act to kill innocent babies in order to ease “human suffering.” Murder by any other name is murder.

There is one more bit of information that was not addressed by our President. There was no mention of Adult Stem Cell and the many successes that have been achieved over the years. There are over 72 cures listed by The Coalition of Americans for Research Ethics that should renders any justification for embryonic stem cell research unnecessary. Why do we desire to murder babies when we can achieve with adult stem cells what we say embryonic stem cell research will accomplish?

Pastor Stephen Broden
Fair Park Bible Fellowship
Dallas, Texas