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Posts Tagged ‘Jesus Christ’

Letter to My Sister, Erykah Badu

April 16, 2010 1 comment

Sister Badu, I’ve been a fan of your music since you have been on the scene since Baduism. You were representing D-Town (Dallas) when no one else dare to and for that I am extremely grateful. I even heard stories about you being a rapper before you were a singer from people who knew you from the North Dallas Area. (Even D.O.C. wouldn’t represent Dallas, but you did!)

I woke up one Monday morning, to read an article in an online paper concerning the video for your song “Window Seat.” I must confess that I had not viewed the video (for reasons I will share later) until after your response to my tweet. I apologize if it seemed as if my tweet purported to be fact and I wanted to make sure that you knew it was my opinion.

Here was my original tweet:

Let’s call it wht its: @fatbellybella stripped 2 sell records & get attention. (sic)its wht its… Have a gd morning ths morning!

You responded with this tweet:

sir, I make ZERO dollars from saling (sic) records you are ill informed and Jesus would not like it one bit .u leading the people wrong

You also tweeted this after I asked for more clarity:

peace I meant you were being quite judgemental w/out a bit of proof nor truth and led the reader to believe u were an authority

After looking at your tweet, I thought about it. By the way, your tweet was hilarious and it made my day. I agree with you that my tweet may have come off as fact. I sincerely apologize if I offended you by not stating that is was my opinion. Although I still stand by the content of what I said, I think I should have made it more clear what I actually thought.

After some thought, I decided to view the video, so that I could see what your work and respond with more insight. I also read the interview that you did on this blog: and found your response to be enlightening. This is my take on the video:

My Observations of Your Video

In the video, I saw your angle about “groupthink” — that people shouldn’t be afraid to do something out of the ordinary. I also saw how you were assassinated, died and were “reborn” a new person. It reminded me of another person that happened to: Jesus Christ.

The JFK angle was an interesting touch. You shot the video on the “grassy knoll” outside the library. In the beginning of the video, you jumped out of a 60’s style white town car, sort of like the one JFK was riding in when he was assassinated.

There were multiple messages including death and rebirth, being an individual, and the bondage of groupthink. It was just like you said there were multiple messages and people could have taken a lot out of the video. Even the filming of the video of itself was new and cutting edge. The video was different from a lot of videos made today.

The Goodness of Art

Sister, I believe that all art is created by God and through Jesus Christ. Gen 1:1, John 1:2. And when God created Art he created it good. Gen. 1:31, John 1:1. Good art is beautiful and reminds us of the beauty of God.

When Satan came in the garden he corrupted what God had created, by tempting man to sin, which Adam gave into. Genesis 3. The very creation that God had beautifully declared to be good was marred and disfigured by sin. Marriage was distorted. Relationships were distorted. Music was distorted. Art was distorted. Because of Man’s sinful nature and the influence of Satan, art created pure and for his glory has been defiled.

“Sin isn’t only doing bad things, it is more fundamentally making good things into ultimate things. Sin is building your life and meaning on anything, even a very good thing, more than on God. Whatever we build our life on will drive us and enslave us. Sin is primarily idolatry.” – Tim Keller

How does this relate to art? When art or anything else becomes the place by which we build our life and gives us meaning, it becomes a God thing. It takes us farther than we ever really wanted to go and it morphs from a good thing to something that we worship — a God thing, as Marc Driscoll would say.

I believe that your video had many messages that were good and thought–provoking, but I think it crossed the line from a good thing to a God thing, when the body that God gave you to glorify him was used to glorify Art. Sister, you are a beautiful soul, but your body was meant for the view and enjoyment of your husband. Part of the reason why I was so reluctant to watch it was because I didn’t want to look at what did not belong to me. God loves the fact that two married lovers can enjoy each other’s body. So your body wasn’t wrong, it’s just the purpose you used it for was wrong. The ironic thing is that the potentially good messages that were portrayed in your video were devalued and even demonized by a good number of males, because they were staring at your buttocks.

If I had to shorten my statement, for some people the video became pornography. For proof, look at some of the YouTube message boards. They were filled with men lusting after you and fulfilling their selfish desires with your body. They missed the message and you became the object of their affection and worship. As one who has struggled with porn, I know. Porn has destroyed many of my relationships, and it helped me to view women as objects of art to be worshipped, rather than a human being created in the image of God.

Does that mean art is bad thing?

No, art can be redeemed. It is why Jesus Christ left heaven and came to earth. More than assassinated, he was appointed by God the Father to die. It was Jesus Christ destiny to die at the hands of his Father. The bible declares that it pleased God the Father to crush his own son? Isaiah 53:11. Why? God must punish sin, and instead of taking his wrath and vengeance out on us, who have no righteousness, he took it out on his own son. Romans 3:10 What happened to Jesus was more than assassination— it was atonement. He died for us ungodly human beings. Romans 5:8. Jesus then rises again in three days in a new, glorified body, never to die again. John 21. In fact, He is now in heaven as the Man. Acts 1:8,9 His resurrection is the beginning of a New World Order full of love and peace that will see its fulfillment when he comes back again. This old world is quickly dying.

How does this relate to art?

Well Jesus isn’t only going to redeem people, but he is going to redeem his creation and that includes art. Romans 8:21‑39. Jesus will rule with his redeemed people on this redeemed earth. People will be changed by the glory of their Savior. 2 Cor. 4:4‑6. Some of these changed people will then begin to take back and transform that which the devil has corrupted — like art.

In various art forms and genres, God is precisely taking those art forms and reconciling them back to Him for his glory! For instance check out Sho Baraka and his video, “We Can Be More.”

When Christ-followers view or listen to anything artistic, they should ask the question: does this work of art bring fame (glory) to the name of God and to his Son Jesus Christ?  I Cor. 10:11. No, everything that gives God glory doesn’t have to say his name. A beautiful sunrise declares his glory. I also believed that some of your songs do that as well.

Sister Badu, am I asking you to change what you do? Actually no, I’m not. I’m a Christian preacher and I have learned that telling people to stop sinning that may not be Christian is pointless. No sister, I’m looking deeper.

In your video, you died and were reborn a queen. There was a part of you that you felt died while shooting this video. I think this is similar to what God is calling us to do. He is calling us to die to ourselves and our desire to run our life, and follow Christ. That’s death to idolatry, to sin, and ultimately to our selves and our right to exist outside of the plan of God. On the flip side, God raises us up in new life with Christ so that now we have freedom. We are now a kingdom of priests – a royal priesthood.

I don’t know if you believe that Jesus Christ is your Master and Savior, but God leaves you with a decision to make. It will be the biggest decision of your life. If you repent from your sins and trust that the Lord Jesus rose again from the dead you shall be saved. Romans 10:9. The result of you making that decision will be new life with Christ Jesus forever. If you say no to Jesus, you are essentially saying to God, “I’m fine, I will bear your wrath, myself.” Embrace the Love of your life. I John 4:10. Sister Erykah, I desperately want to see you in the “Next Lifetime.”

With much Love and Affection from your brother in this life and, God-willing, the next,

P. Ngwolo

Spiritual Warfare in the West

August 27, 2009 2 comments

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Some of us hear stories of how people face demonic opposition to the message of Jesus Christ all over the world.  People die and sacrifice their lives all the time for the sake of Jesus.  However, in the West, people enjoy the opportunity to share their faith openly.  But Clinton Arnold, in 3 Crucial Questions about Spiritual Warfare, lists a few of the ways in which Satan tries to hinder our commitment to Jesus’ command to make disciples:  (Matthew 28:19)

  • Making Christians think how extremist or obnoxious they might appear to friends by “forcing their faith” on others
  • Making Christians feel that everybody has heard the gospel
  • Inciting so many problems in the church that efforts to resolve conflict sap all our energy and attention
  • Causing Christians to believe that only missionaries and evangelists should be concerned with outreach
  • Convincing Christians that there is a fair chance that everyone will be saved ultimately, giving such a loving God.

I am curious to know what you think?

Dying to Live Free: Day 4 — Only Jesus Saves

February 10, 2009 Leave a comment

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Man, again, I had a great time in bible study looking at Romans 3.  There was a point towards the end that everything just got stone quiet and I think God was dealing with all of us differently.  The Good News of Jesus is that powerful!  Yes, the world is under the wrath of God, but in three power -packed words, Paul helps us to understand exactly what Jesus did for us.

Redemption:  God breaks it down and lets us know that God has wrath stored up for all of humanity.  There is a price to be paid for our sin and God has decreed that price to be death.  (Romans 6:23) But for those who trust him, Jesus redeemed us.  (Romans 3:24) In the Letter to the Romans, to redeem means to buy back from the power of sin and Satan.  Back in the time of American slavery, if a slave wanted his freedom, he would need somebody to redeem him — to buy his freedom.  The death of God’s Son was the price that would buy back our freedom.  Only a sinless man is worthy enough to die, but no one but God is sinless.  Jesus is divinity and humanity in one, and worthy enough to pay the price!

Propitiation: The scripture also tells us Jesus became our propitiation.  (Romans 3:25)  God was angry with the world and with humans and he had anger and wrath stored up against us.  (Romans 1, 2)  A propitiation is a sacrifice that satisfies the wrath of God.  In ancient times, (and even today), some people believed that the gods were angry and that a human sacrifice or propitiation was necessary in order to appease them.  So they would find the appropriate person to throw in the fire.  (Think about the natives in Indiana Jones or The Mummy.)  Well Jesus was our propitiation – our sacrifice that satisfied God’s wrath against humanity.  When Jesus, says, “It is finished,” God was done making Jesus his spiritual punching bag.  The agony and pain he felt on the cross was not only physical, but he felt the psychic burden of the sin and guilt of all humanity for all time.   In his divine fury, God let Jesus have it – FOR US.  So when Jesus assignment was done He says, “It is finished.” (John 19:30).  God literally was holding back a portion of his anger that had been building up from the beginning of time, he saved it and let all out on Jesus.  It was a bad time for Jesus, but a good time for us, for the wrath of God was satisfied.

Justification:  Because Jesus is our redemption and our propitiation, God justifies us. (Romans 3:26)  Justification is a legal declaration from the throne of God that you are “not guilty.”  Isn’t this an awesome thought!  Satan accuses you before God of every sin you commit, but God looks back at you and says to you, “My child, you are not guilty.” In fact, you are a righteous saint and God looks at you just like he looks at His Son Jesus.  God shows himself to be just because he punishes all sin, “big and little” in Jesus Christ and a justifier, because He declares us righteous.   (Romans 3:26).  Said another way, Jesus exchanges places with you and he becomes the guilty and you become the innocent and righteous person that Jesus is.  This substitutionary sacrifice for our sin is made available to anybody who would trust Jesus. (Romans 3:22) ITS FREE! Just believe that He died, buried, and was resurrected for your sins and you shall be saved.  (Romans 10:9).  

Dying to Live Free: Day 2 – Why is God so Mad?

January 23, 2009 2 comments

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Kinfolk, here is a wrap-up from bible study this week:

Romans 1:18-32 lets us know why we need God’s Good News.  We need Good News because of the bad news.  The bad news:  God is angry at man because when God revealed himself to man through all the stuff he made (sunsets, fearfully and wonderfully made people, animals, mountain ranges), man tried to forget him and chose to sin.  Creation was supposed to point us to God who is eternally powerful, all-knowing, and worthy of all worship.  But instead of giving him the credit for the created things we see around us, we begin to worship the created things rather than the creator.  In ancient times, they chose to worship animals, trees, wooden idols, and insects.  In America, we worship cars, clothes, money, education, success, and our ourselves.  Our minds become oblivious to the things of God and we become “intellectual” in our thinking.  This makes God so angry that instead of fighting people he just gives them over to what they want to do.  

 

 

26 That is why God abandoned them to their shameful desires. Even the women turned against the natural way to have sex and instead indulged in sex with each other. 27 And the men, instead of having normal sexual relations with women, burned with lust for each other. Men did shameful things with other men, and as a result of this sin, they suffered within themselves the penalty they deserved. (Romans 1:26-27)

 

 

We begin to slide into more and more sinful stuff.  Pornography, fornicaiton, adultery, homosexuality, lesbianism, are just some of the stuff we fell into as humans.  But Paul also says that God is mad at folk that are:

 

 

filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

 30Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

 31Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful   (Romans 1:29-31) KJV

 

Wow, if you didn’t see yourself somewhere in this list, then you are probably a liar, and so you made the list by default. 🙂  The point is that everybody, including you, is under the wrath of God, a wrath so great, that he pushes those who choose to do wrong into doing more wrong, because they want to anyway.  It’s as if God is saying, “Oh, you want to do your own thing, you won’t acknowledge me and worship me, fine, let me push you off the cliff since you want to fly!!!”

So whether you are a dope fiend or you just like to tell lies, whether you got drunk one time or you murdered somebody, whether you practice homosexuality or you got caught stealing a Now & Later from the neighborhood grocery store at 9 years old, because of our sin we are all under the wrath of God and it is why WE NEED SOMEONE TO SAVE US FROM GOD’S WRATH.  Guess who did?  Jesus.  Only Jesus righteousness is good enough for God and only people who wear Jesus’ righteousness, who trust him for their salvation are “good” enough for God.  Not because they are good, but because Jesus is good.

 

Some other thoughts about bible study:

* Jeanique shared a powerful testimony about how God has delivered her from lesbianism.  For a few minutes, all eyes were on her, as she began to share herself with us and give us insight as to how this sin gripped her and how God’s power delivered her.  Let’s continue to pray for Jeanique as she continues to walk in the Spirit and resists temptation.

*There were lots of questions some we got to and some we didn’t.  I will do a better job next week in getting your questions in. POST SOME OF YOUR QUESTIONS HERE!!  I promise I will respond.

*Homosexuality is not greater or lesser than any other sin.  The wages that God pays for all sin we commit is death and eternal separation from him.  God is angry at all sin and can not be around any of it, that’s why he kicked Adam out of paradise for the one sin he committed.  He wants perfect righteousness or nothing at all.  The trick of the enemy is to get people comparing themselves to one another and looking down on one another, and not realizing that your self-righteousness is like filthy menstrual rags to God.  (Isaiah 64:6). Humble yourself to see the sin that offends God in your life as well as the next person.  Speak the truth in love to those that you know are in sin and be careful in how you treat them lest you fall.  If you call Jesus your Lord, God loves you in spite of you, not because of you!

*Romans 1:18-3:20, is one big unit dealing with the guilt of the whole world (Jew and Gentile/religious folk and non-religious folk) and really should be read as one unit.  We will get to the second part of that next week, as we deal with it, under the theme “God is Angry at Churchfolk, Too!”  Read Romans 2 to get ready for the next week.

*Erica Soltero won the prize from last week.

*God is mad.  And only the shed blood of Jesus can satisfy him.  Pass it on!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Was that Necessary, Joseph Lowery?

January 22, 2009 9 comments

Now in Rev. Joseph Lowery said some things on Inauguration Day that I am not sure should have been in a prayer:

“We ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to give back, when brown can stick around, when yellow will be mellow, when the red man can get ahead, man, and when white will embrace what is right.”

 

Some people consider Mr. Lowery’s prayer offensive to the particular ethnic groups mentioned.  But my feeling is that regardless of whom it is addressed to, I was struck by the lack of authenticity.  I often wonder if some people are genuinely praying to God, or they are praying to be heard primarily by men.  (Matthew 6:5-8)   Mr. Lowery started rhyming! Rhyming!  If I had to put some good money on it, I believe he was praying to be heard.

God gives us a blueprint for prayer in Matthew 6 – The Lord’s Prayer.  However, there is no one size fits all prayer.  Sometimes your prayer may be short — “I love you God.”  Or it may be long — “Lord, I’ve got to tell you all that stuff I did during inauguration week…” 🙂  Prayer is simply communicating with God.  Don’t worry about getting every single word right.  For believers, the Bible tells us that the Spirit prays for us when don’t know what to pray for.  (Romans 8:26).  So even when we are tongue tied or asking for the wrong stuff the Sprit has us covered already.  Speak with God in your way.   Just be open and wait for his answer!

MLK was Human and that’s OK

January 21, 2009 1 comment

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I try not to make a habit of lionizing historical figures outside of Jesus Christ.  So in examining the life of Rev. Dr. King, I am careful to keep in mind that he cheated on his wife and, reportedly, he had a battle with alcohol in the latter part of his life.   Remembering these facts helps me to keep a healthy perspective  of how fallible people can be.   These unfortunate realities of his life do not take away from the fact that God used him to bring about change  globally.  If anything, they make it easier to see that God REALLY was the one behind the scenes using Dr. King.  God takes flawed, sinful, and sin-filled people and uses them for extraordinary purposes.

One of my favorite passages of scripture declares that Nebuchadnezzar was a servant of God.  (Jeremiah 27:6).  If you know anything about Nebuchadnezzar, a Babylonian emperor, you know that he was one of the most ruthless dictators in modern history.  God still found a way to use him for his purpose of bringing justice to the Israelite people.  If God can use him, He can use anybody.

So in celebrating King’s life, let’s remember the God who used him.  And regardless of our shortcomings, we can be confident that He can use us too!  All praises are due to the Almighty!

Dying to Live Free

January 13, 2009 Leave a comment

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“I See Death Around The- Corner, Anyday
trying To Keep It Together, No One Lives Forever Anyway Strugglin And Strivin, My Destiny’s To Die”

Tupac Shakur — “Death Around the Corner”

“My [stuff] is deep, deeper than my grave g
Im ready to die and nobody can save me”

Notorious B.I.G. “Ready to Die”

The great poets, Tupac and Biggie believed that we ought to live free because eventually we are going to die. The great prophet, Paul believed that, we ought to die first in order to live free. Both good perspectives, but who is right?

Join us as we dig in to Paul’s prophetic letter to the Romans for 14 weeks starting in January. 

Bring a bible. Bring a Friend. 

If you don’t have a bible we will give you one. Fair warning: this could be life-changing!