Well, it’s Sunday once again, so I decided to write about Salvation from my perspective as  Christian.  So let me lay a Biblical foundation for my beliefs.  Tomorrow, since I am in the Jewelry business, I’m going to talk about How to Buy a Diamond, so make sure you check it out.

Okay, now let’s begin by first laying a Biblical foundation for what I am about to say.  As you may know in the beginning, almighty God created the entire universe, including the little speck in the cosmos we know as Planet Earth.  (Genesis 1:1). God was surrounded by angelic creatures who worshiped Him because it was their nature to do so.  However, He wanted entities who would love Him because they wanted to, not because they had to. So, human beings were created for the express purpose of worshipping God.  If fact, we were created in the spiritual image of God so He could have someone to talk to. (Genesis 1:27).

A challenge for many of us, however, is that God deliberately created us with something many preachers and theologians refer to as “free moral choice.”  This means we could worship God because we wanted to.  It also means we could reject God if we wanted to. The penalty for disobeying God and breaking His laws was death.  Not just death in the physical sense, but death as eternal separation from God.  (Genesis 2:17). Our first ancestors, Adam and Eve, broke God’s law and incurred the death penalty for their sin by eating the forbidden fruit.  (Genesis 3:6). (In spite of what you my have heard, there is no Biblical evidence that the fruit was an apple.) ” However, God had mercy, and didn’t impose eternal separation from Him immediately.  Instead, He set up a system of sacrifice where animals would die on the altar for our sins.  From the time of Moses until Jesus was born, animals died on the altar of God so humans wouldn’t have to die for their sins.  (Leviticus 1:4). But animal death was only a temporary system of salvation.  The ultimate sacrifice was to be His own Son, Jesus Christ:  The Lamb of God.  God was willing to send His only Son to Earth as the supreme sin sacrifice.  Jesus was willing to undertake this mission and was born in a barn as the Lamb of God.  What better place for a Lamb to be born than in a barn? (Luke 2:6, John 1:29, Revelation 5:6). When Jesus died on that Roman cross, He paid the death penalty for all of us who accept Him.  Everyone from Adam to the thief on the cross who had watched in faith as animals died on the altar of God as their sin sacrifice was saved by the blood of Jesus on the cross.  And, all of us who look back to the cross and accept Jesus as our personal savior are saved by His blood, also.  (Acts 4:12).  So if all of this is true, what, then, must we do to be saved?  I’m glad you asked.

Romans 3:23 says, “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”  So maybe you don’t commit sins of the worst kind.  Many good people haven’t.  But if we have thought one bad thought, said one bad word of left one good deed undone, we have sinned, and a perfect God will not have any sin at all in His perfect heaven.  We must realize sinners are condemned to death, spiritual death.  Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death.”  That means death is the penalty for any sin, small as it may seem.  (There are no big sins or little sins; sin is sin is sin.) We must realize, too, that we don’t get a second chance as in reincarnation.  Hebrews 9:27 says, “It is appointed unto man once to die, and after that the judgement.”  Our life on this earth is the only chance we will get to make that choice. Now God loved us so much that He sent His only Son, Jesus, into this life on earth, to live here and to die here, for us, in our place, so we can live in heaven after we die.  John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  As I mentioned previously, God had a plan in the Old Testament, that in order to pay for sins, blood had to be shed.  The customs in the Old Testament used a lamb without spot or blemish to die – shedding it’s blood – for a person’s sins.  The lamb took away the sins of a person.  When Jesus died, He took our sins on Himself; He was the perfect Lamb, without spot or blemish because He was the only person to ever life a sinless life.  The reason He could live a sinless life is because He is God.  2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “He made Him, who knew no sin, to be sin for us, that we might be made righteous.” And what’s more, He died for us while we were still sinning!  Oh, how He must love us!  Romans 5:8 says, “But God commendeth His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

So how do I get saved, you might ask?  That’s what the Phillipian jailer asked Paul and Silas in Acts 16:30-31:  “Sirs, what must I do to be saved? An d they said, believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall saved.” Acts 17:30 says, “God commands all men everywhere to repent.”  Repent means to turn around, to do things differently.  Phillipians 2:13 tells us when we are saved, God is a work in us helping us to please Him and also helping us to want to please Him.  So all it takes is a simple acknowledgement like the following:


Dear Lord Jesus, I know I am a sinner and I am sorry that I have sinned against you. I believe that you are the Son of God, that you died for my sins that I would have eternal life.  I invite you now to come into my life as my Lord and Savior.  Amen.

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Here is Part II of my post on this subject.

It was also very troubling to me to hear the gleeful comments from Limbaugh, Beck, Fox News and others expressing joy and gladness that the 2016 Olympics would not be held in Chicago despite Obama’s personal involvement.  Fortunately for many, Beck has been terminated from Fox News primarily because of loss revenue, loss viewers and, of course, his racist rhetoric.

Those who know their history will remember that civil rights activists were often accused of being Marxist and Communists in the 1960s as opponents of integration tried whipping up broad, irrational fears against people who wanted to change their way of life. It’s a classic strategy of painting people of color as exotic, dangerous outsiders — something we’ve seen reprised during the 2008 election process.

It seems to be a repeat of the same tactics used against Martin Luther King Jr. more than 40 years ago.  Cynics might say those who oppose Obama now are so hungry for support they are willing to overlook insulting language and imagery to serve their greater goals. Too often, these debates occur outside the lens of history.  But race friction in America is all about history; there are still plenty of Americans who remember the tactics used to segregate and subjugate people of color over 40 years ago — seeing those  surface again, with little official sanction, must feel like a dispiriting sort of déjàvu.  The dedication of the Martin Luther King National Memorial on the National Mall on August 28, 2011, is a fitting way of memorializing Dr. King’s legacy.

Here are a few additional examples:

Glenn Beck was on a Fox show July 28, 2009, when he referred to Obama as a racist with “a deep-seated hatred for white people.” The network immediately distanced itself from Beck’s statement, but Beck didn’t. He used his radio show the next day to explain why he believed that. One company, CVS Caremark, said it advertised on Fox and subsequently informed its advertising agency to inform Fox that it wanted no commercials on Beck program, “We support vigorous debate, especially around policy issues that affect millions of Americans, but we expect it to be informed, inclusive and respectful,” said spokeswoman Carolyn Castel.

On his Fox News show, Sean Hannity falsely claimed that President Obama said during his health care speech that insurance company executives are “bad people,” and that Obama’s remarks “took [Hannity] back because it was so harsh.” In fact, as was made clear by the video Hannity himself showed, Obama said just the opposite — that “[i]nsurance executives don’t [treat their customers badly] because they’re bad people; they do it because it’s profitable.”

President Carter said there was some racism against Obama and based on what I have seen and heard over the past 3-1/2 years, he was right.  Yet right-wing talk show hosts like Bill O’Reilly deny it and O’Reilly even said President Carter had no evidence to back up his claims.  What about the fact that Rush Limbaugh had the Barack the Magic Negro song, what about the Obamabucks with watermelon, chicken, and ribs on them, what about all the racist e-mails sent out by Republicans (Sherri Goforth, a staffer for Tennessee State Senator Diane Black, sent out a racist email demeaning President Obama, using her work computer and state email account. The email was entitled, “Historical Keepsake Photo,” and included a picture of all of our 44 presidents, except that President Obama’s portrait only contained two white eyes against a black background.”

This was not the first instance of racist attacks against President Obama by Tennessee Republicans. Former Tennessee, Republican Party Chairman Chip Saltsman sent out the “Barack the Magic Negro” song as a “gift” to Republican National Committee members during his bid to head the Committee) or the photo shopped photo of the word “Ni66er” on the tail of Air Force 1 sent out with a North Canton Police email, or the white house lawn watermelon patch photos, or Limbaugh comparing President Obama to Hitler: “Adolf Hitler, like Barack Obama, ruled by dictate.”  Limbaugh also said that the “Obama health care log is damn close to a Nazi swastika logo.”

The irony in all of this is that many of these same right-wing radical pundits claim to be Christians, and while I’m not one to question anyone’s religious beliefs, it is obvious to me that they have not read Proverbs 6:16-19, “These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17.  A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood: 18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19. A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.”

The 2012 Presidential Campaign has started and the Republican candidates are jockeying for position.  Republicans have often been accused of tolerating intolerance to reach their goals.  I would hope that visibly denouncing those who may be prone to using race-tinged attacks to criticize Obama during the campaign would offer the strongest step toward inoculating presidential critics from claims of race-baiting.

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Since we are approaching the 2012 Presidential election, I decided in this blog to raise the question, “Will Racism Be An Issue in the 2012 Election-Part I”

I think it is very important for people who have different views to be able to express their views in peaceful demonstrations. Without the Civil Rights demonstrations including the famous March on Washington in August 1963, there would not have been a Civil Rights Act in 1964 nor a Voting Rights Act in 1965. Peaceful demonstrations can and do positively contribute to change. What has seriously troubled me over the past 3-1/2 years, however, is the nastiness, racism, disrespect, fabrications, bringing guns to events where the President was speaking, and even “death threats” against our President perpetuated by right wing radical talk show hosts and conservative media. History teaches us that every Democratic president since FDR has experienced right-wing “negative rhetoric” but never to this decree with such blatant racism overtones even confirmed by some of the pictures noted in the 9/12 march in 2009.

Unfortunately, it took a former president using frank language to get the nation’s pundits to focus on an issue that has troubled some since the first Tea Party protestor tossed a pouch of Lipton into the Potomac. How much of this hysterical opposition to President Barack Obama was about reaction to his race? President Carter had little doubt, telling NBC’s Brian Williams: “I think it’s bubbled up to the surface because of the belief among many white people, not just in the South but around the country, that African-Americans are not qualified to lead this great country.”  Racism-still alive.

Why did opponents of Obama refuse to believe he was a U.S. citizen as characterized by the “birther conspiracy?” Despite evidence to the contrary, the conspirators continued deny his citizenship and love for this country.  Why did some brandish photo shopped images showing Obama in African tribal garb and insisted on calling him a “thug” with no supporting evidence? Yet, another brand of racism.  It is difficult for the media to cover race stories because of their discomfort with the topic, the difficulty in talking about race issues when they may not be the dominant element in a story, and the difficulty in talking about a subject when neither side on the issue wants to discuss it.

Race-baiting conservative talk host Rush Limbaugh turned Carter’s words into an argument against electing a black president at all. “Any criticism of an African American president’s policies or positions or statements is racist and that’s it,” he stated on his radio program. Why didn’t conservative leaders condemn those who made racist arguments against Obama? To my knowledge, Republican Lindsey Graham was the only one to speak out condemning the comments by Beck, Limbaugh and others.

What was seen on Wednesday, September 12th, 2009, was a lot of conservatives refusing to acknowledge an important fact — just as you can’t dismiss every Obama critic as a racist, you can’t pretend there isn’t a racial subtext to some of his opposition. Instead, former RNC Chairman Michael Steele, Charles Krauthammer and Mary Matalin and others refused to consider the notion that some Obama critics may be using racist language and imagery. While I don’t think it’s fair to call Joe Wilson’s outburst during Obama’s State of the Union message an expression of racism or prejudice (although the President was correct in that the House Bill contains Section 246 titled, “NO FEDERAL PAYMENT FOR UNDOCUMENTED ALIENS,” which states: “Nothing in this subtitle shall allow Federal payments for affordability credits on behalf of individuals who are not lawfully present in the United States.”), there were plenty of other voices out there criticizing Obama that were less ambiguous — many of them in right-wing media.

What else can you conclude when Limbaugh goes on air to talk about a white kid getting beaten up on a school bus, declaring “in Obama’s America, the white kids now get beat up with the black kids cheering”? Police eventually said the fight occurred over seating on the bus, not racism. Limbaugh further declared on his program that the United States needed to return to racially segregated buses. Remember, this is the same person who claims that he doesn’t practice racism, but who stated three years ago that he wanted the President to fail.

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