In what is intended to be the celebratory start of Black History Month was this year tragically marred days before on January 27th by the Memphis, Tennessee Police Department’s release of video showing the vicious beating of twenty-nine year old black male, Tyre Nichols. The beating took place earlier in the month on January 7th. Nichols later died from his injuries on the 10th. In the ensuing weeks five black male police officers shown in the video images from various angles doing the beating were indicted of second degree murder among other charges, arrested and fired from their jobs. Protests around the nation have been mostly subdued as the Nichols family requested.1
In black history, black on black violence has run parallel to white on black violence since slavery. Many masters beat their slaves and other whites could assault them for any notion of offense. Slaves also often violently assaulted each other if not over the petty issues that frustrate social cohesion more widely in every gathering of sinful mankind into the close quarters of community, then, from acting out of the oppressive suffocation and rage of bondage (Exodus 2:11-15). After slavery, hate groups, mobs and virtually any white man could violently assault a black man with rare serious consequence until after the George Floyd murder by a white police officer in 2020.
Meantime, black on black violence through domestic incidents, neighborhood street and school fights, bar brawls and gang warfare has also been taking place with rare serious consequence by the white dominated justice system because after all, these are just blacks harming each other. Indeed, culturally known and feared is the rage of innumerable black males who uncontrollably exercise violence to vent it.2 While I do not assume to know exactly what was in the hearts of the black male police officers that beat Nichols, I have seen this movie enough to recognize the possibility that besides abuse of authority, rage, black self-hate and bitterness driving it may have been at work too.3
Clearly, beyond the normal pressures of life that causes males from all hues to take it out on others, untold black males carry rage as such a burden that not even assuming the responsibility of law enforcement removes it. Now, in what many blacks stand amazed to see is among the swiftest moves ever to hold police officers accountable, the five black officers that mercilessly beat Tyre Nichols to death were charged, arrested and fired. In the sight of the God I serve who shows no favoritism (Deuteronomy 10:17), this is righteous and should be the case in every instance the police are guilty of unwarranted force. These black males also need His deliverance from any inner rage, self-hate and bitterness I too, know from personal, painful experience and am a witness He can do!4
1 Information was taken from an AP News article.
2 Black male rage especially is so widely known in American society, policing authorities expect to see and brace for it in most any confrontation with us. The media and
entertainment industry (to include sports) exploits and even makes fun of the “angry black man” while the average white citizen lives in terror it will find them.
3 Read the February 21, 2016 post, Ties That Bind Black Male Souls, under the category, The Cause.
4 I give testimony in many places about my own struggle with anger including my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics available at your favorite internet book-
seller or brick and mortar bookstore and the Strong Man Store. As well, the FSTVEP Resource Store on The From Slavery To Victory Education Project Web Site
has the newest of my audio single message releases, Freedom From Bitterness. I introduce this timeless 2007 message relaying how bitterness caused me to maltreat
a former band mate, Kennard Jefferson. He gave me permission to disclose his name because now, reconciled as brothers in Christ, we jointly want anyone (and partic-
ularly fellow descendants of slaves professing to be Christians) captive to the sin of bitterness to let God set you free (Ephesians 4:25-32)! Get the CD or download it.
So then, faithful born again Christians are not supposed to be struggling with why we would suffer persecution even to the death for being followers of Jesus Christ! Christ being our example in everything led me beginning November 27, 2022 to write consecutive posts through January 8, 2023 holding up His willingness in attitude from eternity to suffer persecution to the death and His experience of it for God’s cause of salvation. Completely identifying with Christ, our cause in profound gratitude to be saved and love for Him is to be willing to suffer persecution to the death if called upon as a witness to the world of the Gospel’s power to save and for the glory of God (Revelation 12:11)!1
Many of the professed Christians struggling with the biblically taught, prophetically foretold, historically demonstrated and currently ongoing reality of persecution for the faith to the death are sadly, impostors. Others are superficial and weak in the faith for various reasons including not being properly taught in the churches they attend. They are ready to fall away at the least bit of persecution related suffering “because of the word.” Still others are distracted and preoccupied with “the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches.” Not a few such as religionists who have their own “form” of Christianity are in fearful denial (Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23; 2 Timothy 3:1-12, NKJV).
Nevertheless, when the Lord granted and announced to His persecutors bent on killing Him ‘“this is your hour, and the power of darkness,’” this period of hatred driven persecution He foretold that began with Him commenced and has continued for His followers nearly two millennia (Luke 21:17, 22:53; John 15:18-19, NKJV). It will not end until His Second Coming (2 Thessalonians 1:3-10)! While the extent and severity of persecution has ebbed and flowed over the centuries, some observers suggest the uptick of martyrdoms in the 20th century was more than all of the previous centuries together!2 A number believe all forms of persecution this 21st century are the worst ever.3
However bad it is now, Bible prophecy assures us that even more hate-filled, intensely oppressive, violent, murderous and widespread persecution is coming upon the saints from among all nations (Matthew 24:9) and finally the Antichrist (Daniel 7:15-25; 8:23-25, 11:31; Matthew 24:15-22).4 Indeed, wherever Christians have been persecuted “for” His “name’s sake,” most frequently over the centuries up to now, it has involved various governing and religious authorities to include professed Christians just as the Lord warned (Luke 21:12, NKJV).5 Such times, He instructs, are an opportunity to testify with the Holy Spirit’s help requiring no need to worry about what to say (Luke 21:13-15).
Perhaps the most mentally and emotionally disturbing thing to consider is the Lord’s warning too, of being persecuted and betrayed to the death by family and friends (Luke 21:16). As I wrote in a previous post in this series, the Lord was persecuted by His brothers and betrayed to His death by a friend.6 I understand betrayal by friends to the death since most of us will have very few in a lifetime that are of the depth and caliber of Jonathan to David (1 Samuel 19-20). I have had my share of even professed Christian friends betray me for whatever motives. And while troubling to contemplate, having had family strife over Christ as He warns, I know betrayal is possible too (Matthew 10:34-39)!7
The faithful are to understand and take comfort in the fact evil mankind and the devil have been permitted their hour to persecute first our Lord Jesus and us afterward by God! So, we are to endure it as testing knowing that there is good that comes out of it for us including divine blessing and reward (Matthew 5:10-12; Luke 6:22-23; Romans 5:1-5, 8:18-39; 2 Timothy 4:6-8; James 1:1-8; 1 Peter 1:1-12, 2:18-25, 3:13-17, 4:12-19; Revelation 2:25-29, 14:9-13). They are all taking their best shot, but in the end, we remain standing even in spite of death because Christ who died and rose again immortal, enables us to do the same (1 Corinthians 6:14, 15:50-57; 2 Timothy 1:8-12)! Thus, if it must be, let us go out like and for Him as many of our brethren have done, are doing and will do.8
1 This is precisely the heart of every aspiring strong man and great woman of God in the image of Christ I write about in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics. It
is available at your favorite internet bookseller or brick and mortar bookstore and the Strong Man Store.
2 Read the 2010 Christianity.com article by Dan Wooding, Modern Christianity.
3 See the 2023 World Watch List produced by Open Doors International and cited in a Christianity Today article. Also, read the November 29, 2020 post the Lord led me to
write discussing the rising persecution of Christians in our own nation entitled, Persecution Of American Christians Intensifying, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
4 Let it sink down into our hearts: this hour granted to evil men and demons to persecute the saints is moving toward its foretold climax (Revelation 13)!
5 Professed Christians among Catholics and Protestants in history have violently persecuted the Lord’s saints and prophets and martyred many as heretics wickedly going far
beyond the authority of Scripture (Revelation 17:1-6).
6 Read the January 8, 2023 post, Christ Persecuted To The Death, under the category, Instruction.
7 See the two-part post beginning May 24, 2020, Persecution, Hatred And Betrayal, under the category, Bible Prophecy.
8 Christ with humble submission to God and resolute determination after prayer went to the cross and expects His faithful to follow His example in the face of our own cross
(Mark 8:31-38, 14:32-50).
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