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VOL V  NO. 5  MAY 2004



Come, Let Us Return To The Lord - Part I


Rev. Robert Kelley is the founder and president of Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc. and pastored the St. Mark Baptist Church of Portland, Oregon at the time this was published.


(Editor’s Note: This is part one of a two part article issuing a call to solemn assembly and repentance to Christians, the churches and their pastors among Black Americans.)


The Judgment Of God On Our Community
At the conclusion of this Ministry’s From Slavery To Victory One Man’s Journey Radio Special broadcast 10 years ago this upcoming Juneteenth, I was led of the Lord to proclaim around the nation: “The Lord has allowed evil to come upon this people in order to judge them for their sins.  Their sons kill each other in the streets and their daughters have children with no fathers; their sisters are bewitched by drugs and their brothers die of AIDS. Lawlessness and violence rule their communities and fear is their constant companion.  The men, governments and institutions they look to for help are helpless; the gods of this world to no avail.  Great is the Lord who judges my people, and who can deliver out of His hand?!”


The obvious answer (to all but the blind who will not see) is no one can deliver out of God’s hand of judgment but God Himself!  In the case of black Americans, since things are no better now, it is also obvious God has chosen not to deliver us.  Why? Only because the conditions spelled out in His Word have not been met and time is running out! Remember these words from God’s own mouth:


                                                     When I shut up heaven and there is no rain, or command the locusts
                                                          to  devour  the  land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people
                                                     who  are  called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek
                                                     My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven,
                                                     and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

                                                                                                                             II Chronicles 7:13-14, NKJV


Now, if you call yourself a Christian and the above words of the Almighty God sound spiritual but not practical, you are one of the reasons judgment is on our people.  If as a professed Christian those words sound harsh because a God of love would not judge or allow what you call “innocent people” to suffer, you are one of the reasons judgment is on our people.  If you insist you are a Christian and cannot see anything we in the churches have done to displease God, you are the greatest reason judgment is upon our people!


Through the prophet Jeremiah the Lord addresses this latter group which also existed in Judah just before the Babylonian captivity in 586 B.C.  He wants to know, “Shall men fall and not rise up again? Shall one turn away [from God] and not repent and return [to Him]?  Why then is this people of Jerusalem turned away with a perpetual turning away [from Me]?  They hold fast to deceit (idolatry); they refuse to repent and return [to God],” (Jeremiah 8:4-5, AMP).


As if stubborn refusal to repent is not enough, Judah claimed (and many reading this right now claim) innocence before a holy God who knows all, sees all and hears all.  “I have listened and heard,” says the Lord, “but they have not spoken aright; no man repents of his wickedness, saying, ‘What have I done?’  Everyone turns to his [individual] course, as the horse rushes like a torrent into battle,” (Jeremiah 8:6, AMP).  Even migratory birds honor God’s requirement to return, but we are much wiser and refuse (Jeremiah 8:7).


It is sinful pride of the highest order to willfully turn away from God, His will, way and Word, then when called upon to repent, refuse because we are comfortable with our sins and falsely believe He is too in the absence of His fatal judgment!  With Judah it was cultural religion and idols of metal and wood for which they refused to repent; with us it is cultural Christianity and “the gods we want,” (see the sheet, The Gods Of Cultural Christianity).


While acknowledging yet idolatrously recasting the God of the Bible to fit the mold we want, we have also bowed ourselves fully to the many other gods of this world we want in spiritual adultery.  Why didn’t we learn from Judah’s painful lesson?  You cannot serve God and the gods of this world!  Both Judah and the guilty in our churches fell prey to Satan’s tactic to corrupt what he cannot destroy with the cultural adaptations of religion and false teachings as the Lord led me to write about in the September 2003 Newsletter.


Like newly released birds from a cage that dart about here and there, since the end of the Civil Rights Movement we have done the same; sampling this worldly offering, indulging that worldly pleasure.  Along the way, we compromised a little here and a little there until in terms of beliefs and values, we now resemble more the citizens of this world rather than those of heaven; our churches, Satan’s kingdom rather than the holy kingdom of God!


Evidence to support the above assertion abounds!  Very prominent is the greater loyalty we have for our political ideology over biblical morality.  Many black Christians will not march to protest the annual murder of millions of unborn children (who could be more defenseless and need protection?), but in the glare of TV lights will storm city hall after the police (right or wrong) kill even one of our adult children.  In the sight of Christ, all human life is precious.


To Be Concluded Next Issue



©2004 Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc