This Memorial Day I want to remember the sixty-six Tuskegee Airmen1 that died in battle during World War II and the remainder of that unique group of black Americans who have their rightful place among “The Greatest Generation” dying each passing year. I originally wrote this post for Black History Month as the Lord led. However, in His continuing leadership, I make this edited repost now, not only appropriately for Memorial Day, but also to acknowledge the reality of these black American men--many of whom were professing Christians--that lived not as victims, but victors as Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc. prepares to celebrate the 25th Year Anniversary of its “From Slavery To Victory Education Project”2 on Juneteenth this year.
Originally Posted February 5, 2012
February is Black History Month in America. While I concur wholeheartedly with those that contend the important history of black Americans and their contributions ought to be taught as an integral part of American History, the fact is, our nation’s educational system still has a way to go to make this a reality. Until then, it is good to continue with the educational aim of black educator Carter G. Woodson when he established a Black History observance in the third decade of the last century.
Woodson wanted blacks who were intentionally excluded from the history books produced by whites, to be able to celebrate the significant historical contributions of members of their own race and feel good about themselves. Today, we want all Americans to feel good about the historical contributions of blacks to the building of the nation. To this end, I am pleased to recommend that all Americans see the movie, Red Tails, produced by George Lucas of Star Wars fame.
The film is based on the true story of the Tuskegee Airmen--an all black fighter pilot squadron out of the famed Tuskegee Institute of Alabama that greatly contributed to the success of Allied air efforts in World War II. Positioned in Italy, in the film plot the squadron’s pilots are frustrated with the lack of opportunity to engage in air battles because racism in the Military has branded them inferior and incapable. Anxious to demonstrate their air prowess while racially belittled by white counterparts in segregated camps, the men are soon given their opportunity and the results are the stuff of legend.
Red Tails is an important look at the ugly reality of racial discrimination and segregation in American History. This is a reality that though not as overt as it once was, is still covertly practiced even in America’s churches and a reason “the race card” still has power. The well produced movie is also an examination of the purposeful and noble choice the Tuskegee Airmen made to courageously fight the enemies of and die for the nation that oppressed them like enemies. Many of these men were (are) Christians and profile the heart of the aspiring strong man of God in the image of Jesus Christ I write about in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics.3 They shine as over comers rather than victims (1 John 5:4-5).
I do want to acknowledge my daughter, Roberta Kelley, for getting her dad involved with a “Living History Day” project under the direction of then history teacher Ken Buckles at Milwaukie High School in Milwaukie, Oregon back in 1998-99. On that occasion, we hosted one of the Tuskegee Airmen, Ed German and a later comrade, Bill Holloway who were in town for the school event. We had a great time learning about their experiences. I commend Mr. Buckles (who is white) for wanting his primarily white students to know American History as it really is: the story of a nation comprised of people from every race that have all made important contributions to its historical achievements.
1 National World War II Museum history of the Tuskegee Airmen. For more information about the Tuskegee Airmen see also http://tuskegeeairmen.org/.
2 The From Slavery To Victory Education Project uniquely presents a biblical worldview of the facts of black history to glorify God and promote healing, hope and help
for black Americans grappling with our experience.
3 My book is available at all major internet booksellers, by order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the Strong Man Store.
Having conducted the work of Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc. faithfully with the leadership, grace and power of Christ since 1985, I painfully know well the worldly size and majority rule that has caused many to dismiss it. I confess coming to the end of a bit of wound licking when I originally wrote this edited 2010 Commentary as a wrap up of three that came before in consecutive order wherein I also lamented some other worldly tenets held and practiced as well by many professed Christians throughout all facets of American Christianity.1 Indeed, worship of the idol of success is fully displayed in the nearly unanimous deference given to big over small and the many over a few among most professed American Christians practicing the size and majority rule. This Commentary presents a sobering warning to the guilty.
Originally Published October 2010
The recent global flap caused by the Florida pastor that threatened to burn the Koran2 revealed a telling flaw in the democratic mind set of our nation as a whole and the many professed Christians that put worldly values over those taught by our God in His Word. Let me be very clear before proceeding. I do not believe this pastor was in the will of God nor is any Christian that burns a Koran or any other religious book. The Lord has not called Christians to physically tear down other religions. We are called to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ letting it and every biblical truth in His mighty power pull down spiritual strongholds lifted up against "the knowledge of God," (Acts 17:22-34; 2 Corinthians 10:3-5, NKJV)!
All of the foregoing said, I was amazed as official Washington, secular and Christian media personalities ridiculed the Florida pastor’s threatened act not simply on its inappropriateness, but also based on how small his church was. What did the size of his church have to do with anything? Would his threatened act have had more credibility and acceptance if his church were larger? Over and over again this pastor's threatened act was denounced and wonder expressed at all the attention he had received because his church had only fifty members. In short, this man was disqualified from attention because he was too small.
Regular readers will know that I am touchy on this subject of late because our 25 years of service to the Lord has been dismissed by some on the similar basis of being too small to be heard or taken seriously. The revered size and majority rule is not a reliable standard of judgment though it is the way of our post-Christian, secular nation from politics to business. However, those that fear the Lord had better be very careful about living by this rule since He does not bind Himself to it and never has! Examples abound in the Bible of how size did not deter God--remember Gideon's 300 (Judges 6:11-7:22) and a teenaged David that killed the giant, Goliath (1 Samuel 17)?
Consider also of the twelve men sent to spy out the Promised Land for Moses, ten--the majority--returned to give a bad report that the people believed and as a result, wandered in the wilderness for forty years (Numbers 13-14:38). The majority also cried out "Crucify Him" so that the Lord Jesus Christ should be condemned to the cross (Mark 15:6-15, NKJV). Were they right because they were the majority? The majority of this nation's white citizens were once okay with the forced oppression of blacks in the bonds of intended perpetual servitude. Were they right because they were the majority?3
If every truth is established by whether or not somebody with a large following or a huge majority endorses it, then the truth of God's Word will continue to be cast aside by the world and many professed Christians as increasing numbers reject a biblical worldview. But wisdom asks, does the truth "Jesus is Lord" really become true because the pastor of a ten thousand member church says it versus one with just fifty members? Or is the statement true based solely on whether a majority of persons hearing it accept or reject it?4 From Christ's perspective, the answer is a resounding no since He has been exalted as “Lord” by His Father as it is written apart from what sinful men say (Psalm 2; Philippians 2:8-11, NKJV)!
As Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc. launches out into our 25th year of operations with the Lord’s leadership, let me assure our readers this will be the final time in this setting I address the size and majority rule. Aspiring to be a strong man of God in the image of Jesus Christ, I have heeded His counsel not to despise the day of small things as we go forward in the Spirit to finish the assignment He has given (Zechariah 4:6-10)!5 My primary concern has not been all about me anyway. It has also been about spurring professed Christian men that follow (and will follow) the large crowd in rebellion rather than Christ to repentance, lest they be eternally destroyed (Revelation 13, 14:6-13). The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 Those commentaries in order of original publication were Living The Faith In Real Life (July 2010; posted October 7, 2018), Standing Alone Is Not Failure Or New
(August 2010; posted November 4, 2018) and Justifying The Means By The End (September 2010; posted September 16, 2018).
2 Search “2010 Florida Pastor, Terry Jones” to learn more.
3 Western Europeans or their descendants in size and majority anywhere on the planet are not the final authority or express, singular arbiters of truth, but God
through His Word rightly divided is (John 17:17; 2 Timothy 2:15)! A long history of their religious Christian corruptions include the guilty in the majority that wickedly
reduced the Protestant Bible down from 66 to 14 books to keep slaves that might learn to read from reading about God as a Deliverer from bondage (Exodus 3:7-8)
among other hope building truths. This is one of the most heinous exhibits of Bible corruption ever (learn about the “Slave Bible” on display in the Museum Of The
Bible on loan from Fisk University through September 1, 2019) and why sinful mortal flesh cannot finally be looked to as truth authorities, but only bearers if they will
be faithful to God’s Word. Sadly, Bible corruption continues to this hour as various versions are produced and sold featuring the language translation preferences,
theologies and interpretive slants in notes printed within of large denominations, church pastors and teachers as media stars. Arrogant racism continues too, as still,
at this moment in the 21st century a white preacher’s teaching carries greater weight and is trusted more than one of color no matter how biblically sound. But praise
His name; God who vindicates His faithful servants will have the last Word (Psalm 26; Zechariah 1:1-6)!
4 This is the deceitful trap and bane of relying on the likes and dislikes of those that vote their feelings on social media to determine good or evil, right or wrong. Watch
out, professed Christian: we do not live by what is popular even within professing Christianity, but by God’s “every” Word (Matthew 4:1-4, NKJV)!
5 Learn more about the strong man of God in the image of Jesus Christ in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics available at all major internet booksellers,
by order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the Strong Man Store.
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