Pastor's Corner

23 Jan
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Mid-Week Challenge

By now you might have heard about The University of Notre Dame’s latest move to appease the easily offended.   For many years the school has displayed large painted murals in the ceremonial entrance to Notre Dame’s Main Building that depict the life and exploration of Christopher Columbus.  In recent years a new batch of easily offended individuals have taken notice of these and have made it their mission to have them removed.  In an offering of appeasement President Rev. John Jenkins has chosen to have them covered instead of removed.  So marks another example of misdirected political correctness.  Supporters of the move point to the display as depictions of the consequences of Columbus’ voyage for the indigenous peoples who inhabited this land and, in some cases, mocking them.  Supporters of the removal cite disease and destruction of land after Columbus arrived.  They see him as a catastrophe for the people he encountered.      

Some of that might be true but The Washington Times writer, Cheryl K. Chumley makes a great point about every people group in history.  She writes, “Factually speaking, what geographical expansion of peoples doesn’t bring about the same? History is filled with the blood, sweat and tears of the repressed, murdered, enslaved and conquered. So is the Bible, by the way. And note to America apologists: The natives of this country were no different. Native Americans definitely waged war long before Europeans showed up.” Chumley makes reference to a great article (click below if you would like to read more) that catalogs the tribal wars long before Columbus.    

It’s of no use for me to justify or defend either side because what the school is doing is no different than what Adam and Eve did right after they sinned against God.  The Bible tells us that they sewed fig leaves together in an attempt to cover their shame. The did not understand their sin but they didn’t like they way it made them feel so they tried to cover it up.  Since that time we have been trying to cover something we cannot take back.  If it was possible to reverse an offense God would have declared that action well over sending His Son to the cross to pay for all our offenses with His life.  God forgives and He commands us to forgive. And just like God, it is impossible for us to forget.  

I used to believe that moving on from an offense meant forgiving and forgetting.  Forgiving is possible, even commanded, but forgetting is not.  In fact, I have come to believe that God does not want us to forget.  Remembering the past, learning from it and teaching those who come after us makes us better.  It’s the continued living in the past that holds us back and makes us bitter.  I believe that the constant digging up of old bones and attempts of revisionist history has become more of a divide than any harm done hundreds of years ago.  If we do not learn from the past and move forward, we become stuck in a battle we did not begin and we become the cause of future strife we do not want.  

God never let His people hide from their sin, nor did He let them cover their offense as a child covers a mess with his blanket.  Sin has always demanded atonement.  When Jesus Christ died on the cross He died that all sin might be atoned.  You can’t change the past but you are fool if you don’t learn from it and much more if you pretend it did not happen.   

"Remember the days of old, Consider the years of all generations. Ask your father, and he will inform you, Your elders, and they will tell you. Deuteronomy 32:7

Serving the Savior 

Bro. Jonathan

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