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The 63 Million

When you read Galatians 2:11,12, you can begin to see how Peter’s fear relates to some Americans today. It reads, ‘Now when Peter had come to Antioch, I withstood him to his face, because he was to be blamed; for before certain men came from James, he would eat with the Gentiles; but when they came, he withdrew and separated himself, fearing those who were of the circumcision.’ For those of you who may not know, this is the same Peter who denied the Lord three times when Jesus faced the Sanhedrin. On three occasions, a servant girl, another girl, and a man accused Peter of being one of the Jesus’ disciples to which he vehemently denied. That denial drove him into a deep state of depression and almost led to him leaving the ministry. Thankfully after Jesus’ resurrection, He assured Peter that he’d been forgiven, restored him, and even gave him instructions on how to face his future fears (Mt 26:69-75, John 21:15-17). Yet even after his encounter with the Lord, Peter, an apostle, still struggled with people pleasing which when you think about it is rooted in fear.

Peter was afraid of those ‘certain men…fearing those who were of the circumcision.’ Even though Peter had seen Jesus heal the sick, raise the dead, cast out devils and even had breakfast, cooked by the resurrected Lord Himself, even this apostle, this great man of faith was still fearful but of what? Peter was afraid of tradition, and even more so, those who kept it. When you think about Peter’s fear, doesn’t it remind you of what we see today?

Some people, especially Republicans, are more concerned with so-called ‘Trump Supporters’ than with doing the right thing, even though they know it’s the wrong thing. Though they won’t admit that its wrong, they know basing intelligence on the color of someone’s skin, comparing another race to animals because of what they have to endure, or bullying or killing a person of color, is not right. But white tradition, and I don’t want to call it that because not all whites support it, but tradition says, particularly the Articles of Confederation, and certain parts of the Constitution support such actions and demand that they be enforced today. Like those certain men who were of the circumcision were enforcing Mosaic law, 63 million Americans, the number of people who voted for President Trump, still support certain parts of the original constitution – namely those they say blacks are three-fifths of a person. That said, they essentially support the laws, principles, and/or ideology of supremacy. To which Paul called Peter on the carpet for his support of such traditions, as are others today. But like Peter, many of those 63 million only support such ideology because they fear the retaliation amongst the 63 million.

As a Black woman, it’s easy to believe that those among the 63 million are fearful only because they don’t know the truth or are simply uneducated. As a woman with a Choctaw heritage, it’s easy for me to believe that if they only knew the truth, then they would change their minds and leave that supremist ideology behind. The hard truth is that though some don’t know, most do. Peter knew. Peter knew it was right to ‘eat with Gentiles.’ He also knew it was wrong to ‘withdraw and separate himself’, much like many of those 63 million do when it comes to Blacks, Latinos, or anyone outside of their race. Yet Peter did it anyway, and so do they. They know it’s not right, and more importantly they know that it’s not of God, but they’re afraid to leave tradition and even more afraid of those who keep it.

The only thing that can combat their fear is the Word. Hebrews 4:12 says, ‘For the word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.’ So why don’t we pray for those 63 million. Shall we?

Pray this with me: Heavenly Father, I pray for the 63 million people who believe that their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ of other colors are less than, or worse, should be killed. I ask that You reveal Your Son and Your Word to those who are afraid, and that You’d let them know that You have not given them the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Lord and help them to see You and us, the way You see us and them. In Jesus’ name.

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