Expansion Mindset Needed. : ThyBlackMan

Monday, November 20, 2017


Expansion Mindset Needed.

January 27, 2014 by  
Filed under Christian Talk, News, Opinion, Politics, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) It has been said that the most segregated hour in all of America is Sunday mornings at 11:00am. I was blessed enough to worship at a church where this is most certainly not the case. This past Sunday, I traveled north to attend morning service at the church where a man I am proud to call my mentor – and my friend – serves as Pastor/Rector. Because of the distance involved, I don’t get to visit Father James as often as I would like to. I always enjoy his sermons; but this particular one was especially brilliant. He preached about the absolute need for expansion within human beings.

Father James is an extremely learned man. On Sunday, he spoke of the tendencies of people to compartmentalize life into small, rigid spaces – which they then fight vigorously to defend. His theorem on life via small spaces was as true as it was mind-altering. Father James then used the concept of blasphemy to pierce our hearts and our minds.

These are his words of conviction: “If you’re a Democrat, and you haveInsideChurch-2014 managed to convince yourself that the Republican you’re looking at is evil, that is blasphemy. Conversely, if you’re a Republican, and you are all but convinced that your Democratic neighbor is evil, that is also blasphemy. Why do I consider this blasphemy? Because the Holy Spirit – that spark of Jesus Christ – resides within each and every one of us. We are all the same. We are all equal. We were all created in God’s holy image. If my words today apply to you, I urge you to seriously consider expansion.” Kaboom – minds blown. It was suddenly as silent as a garden at midnight.

Think about all the things we allow in our culture, in our traditions, in our own individual choices to separate us from each other. Age divides us. Race divides us. Socioeconomic statuses divide us. Political affiliations divide us. Differing levels of higher education divide us. Our systems of faith divide us. Gender differences divide us. Even our individual physical appearance is used by others to slot each of us into this small space or that small space. Unity is passe; fragmentation is the new normal.

I am Black, yes – but I’m also White. That very same statement applies to President Obama. It also applies to you, your family members, and your neighbors. If you doubt that, go take one of the next generation DNA genetic tests. They break down the precise percentage of the various races which all were combined through your ancestral line to form you. If I may paraphrase the famous line from the movie ‘The Usual Suspects’: “One of the devil’s greatest tricks was to convince people that we’re different.”

If there are any White folks reading this who fear Black people, make an effort to make a Black friend in the near future. For Black folks mistrustful of White people, make yourself a White friend or three soon. You might be shocked to find how similar you are to each other. Young people, spend some time with the elderly. You might want to avail yourself to their wisdom. If you belong to a Baptist church, go worship at an Episcopalian church one Sunday. Expansion can be readily found in these singular activities.

The congregants of Father James’s church know me well; but this fact can’t negate the beauty of my worship experience. Every time I am in attendance there, I personally witness the power of expansion in action. I see Republicans embracing Democrats warmly. I see White people sharing heartfelt greetings with Hispanic people; and vice versa. I see college students communing with retirees. I see those who are born again sharing the gospel of Jesus with those who are unsaved sincerely, patiently, and without condescension. I see people loving people with no labels, no barriers, and no politics. How wonderful would it be if an entire city did this? Or an entire state? How about an entire nation? If the whole world was about expansion rather than constriction, we would truly have no limits.

Democrats, it’s ok to watch Fox News sometimes. I do. Republicans, I urge you to watch MSNBC sometimes. Your head won’t cave in; I promise.

I’ll close this column with Father James’s sermonic summary: “If you’re a Republican, hold on to the very best ideals of your political party. Do not forget your history; but seek expansion. If you’re a Democrat, be true to the highest standards of your political party. Be ever mindful of your history; but seek expansion. Be about making this world a better place everyday. Be of service to all of God’s people. Hate no one. Love everyone. Seek The Lord in everything. Expand.” Amen, Father James. Have a great week, expandees.

Staff Writer; Arthur L. Jones, III

This talented brother is a local Minister, weekly featured Democratic Op-Ed columnist, non-profit advisor, and sees the Braves winning it all this fall. Rev. Jones welcomes your comments! Please email him directly at: tcdppress@gmail.com.

 

 


Comments

One Response to “Expansion Mindset Needed.”
  1. Yocheved says:

    Beautiful column, beautifully written! When I look across the aisles in my synagogue, I see Jews of every color, from all over the world. Temani, Ethiopian, Moroccan, Persian, African American, Israeli, and yes, even a couple of Ashkenazic white folk like me. Plenty of mixed couples, too. My little blonde daughter sticks out like a sore thumb, and none of us think anything about it.

    One love. Peace. Shalom. 🙂

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