Marines.Together We Served

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Race to Grace

          While listening to Governor Mike Huckabee on his TV show, “Huckabee,” I was impressed with his opening monologue Sunday evening. He was speaking of the trial of George Zimmerman, the 29 year old Floridian who was accused of shooting to death 17 year old Trayvon Martin.

         It was disturbing to see so many people throw down the “race card” in this tragic situation. In our society today the media has failed to do its job in rooting out the truth in news stories. They instead, willfully chose sides in the Zimmerman/Martin altercation. Zimmerman was already tried and convicted by the news media and Hollywood before he was ever arrested for any supposed crime. The duplicity exhibited by the media is nothing short of criminal, and I hope that Zimmerman will have his lawyers go after those guilty of manipulating the 911 tapes in their attempt to paint Zimmerman as a racist.

         Equally disturbing is the failure to mention that Zimmerman is Latino. It’s true that he is half-white. Yet he is not referred to as a minority. Again the liberal media plays it the way they want, despite the fact that our president is half-white. The media portrayed this as a white-on-black crime. The New York Times said Zimmerman is a “white-Hispanic,” implying he’s really a white guy who had it in for blacks. Oddly enough, Aaron Hernandez, the New England Patriots tight-end, is currently under indictment over an acquaintance, a semi-pro football player who happens to be black. Like Zimmerman, Hernandez is also a white-Hispanic. Yet the media doesn’t touch it. They have not gone after Hernandez anywhere near the way they have Zimmerman.

         Is it any wonder that the “Fourth Estate,” as the media has been known, has virtually zero credibility with the American public?

         Mike Huckabee also pointed out that this is not so much a “race problem,” but a “grace problem.” In a world where we have so devalued life, and everyone seems to want to get in everyone else’s face, it is little wonder that there is so much distrust. And Hollywood is just as hypocritical in fostering hatred and violence through movies and television. When they are actually called on it, they plead innocent because they are only providing entertainment – and it’s “what the people want.” Please!

         Grace is a much needed characteristic if our society is going to survive this onslaught of suspicion, cynicism, and wariness. Grace has been defined as “the divine influence which operates in humans to regenerate and sanctify, to inspire virtuous impulses, and to impart strength to endure trial and resist temptation; and as an individual virtue or excellence of divine origin.” In other words, Grace is a work of God’s Spirit in the heart and life of an individual who recognizes their need for a transformation of the soul. This takes place frequently one-on-one between God and a person who cries out for help to be godly in their character and manner.

         There is also another time when this transformation takes place. That time is when the Holy Spirit of God moves in the hearts and the lives of entire communities, or people groups. Such occasions have occurred several times in our nation’s history. In these instances, people repent of their sin, return to their families, experience a change in attitude and disposition, and are literally “new” people. The Bible says, “If anyone is in Christ, they are a new creation. The old has passed away – the new has come.”

         When God’s Spirit moves this way, it has been called a Great Awakening. The first of these Great Awakenings took place in the 1730-40s. A preacher by the name of Jonathan Edwards was used by God to quicken the spirits of the early Americans in New England. Although Edwards was near-sighted and preached in a monotone voice, God caused such a revival to take place that when Edwards was preaching a sermon entitled, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God,” the people in the church cried out in fear as they believed they saw the very church floor split open and the fires of hell crackling below. This began a revival which paved the spiritual path for our fledgling nation, incorporating Holy Scripture into the warp and woof of our Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and Declaration of Independence. Our entire nation was established on the basis of God’s work in lives both individually and corporately. That’s called Grace!

         The six-woman jury found George Zimmerman “not guilty.” The judicial system, with its imperfections, did its job, regardless of the outcome. Grace would be to celebrate a system where we are tried in a court of law and judged by a jury of our peers. And then to thank God for an orderly means of pursuing justice.

         Can we get along? Yes. But there needs to be a work of grace. Have you experienced God’s grace in your heart and life?

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