Archive for African American

Every Nation, Every Tribe, Every Tongue… Mickey Sutliff

Posted in #PaulthePoke, Culture, Mickey Sutliff with tags , , , , , , on July 23, 2020 by paulthepoke

22 years ago, nearly half my life ago, I had been a Christian for 15 years, discipled to know and love God’s Word as the foundation for following & loving our LORD, as well as being the basis for shaping my view of the world… to see the world as the LORD sees it, not necessarily as I or my culture chooses. In the process, I grew a passion for theology & apologetics and to make sure I understood what I believed and why I believed it. I had a strong commitment to the local Body of Christ and valued its importance to my daily walk. I would characterize myself at that time as mainstream Evangelical, conservative socially and politically and one that did not think much about diversity in the Body of Christ.

Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.

I supported foreign missions and its role in spreading the gospel per Acts 1:8 but would not say I had much passion for what it meant for the Body of Christ to reflect people from “every nation, every tribe, every tongue” that Revelation 5 & 7 reveal before the Throne of God. 

Revelation 7:9 After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands…

22 years ago, the LORD revealed His plan for me and my family… that we would be a multicultural family, as our two biracial daughters came into our lives at 7 months of age. I began the pursuit of leading my daughters/family well, which included incorporating African American heritage into our home. I began my pursuit for how to raise my girls to love God and who He made them to be. As I moved through this process, this became less of a “racial” discussion per se, but more importantly a biblical & theological one in my mind.

As I pursued the LORD, it became clear to me, to effectively lead my girls to value who God had purposed them to be (from the foundation of the world) in a country that has a history of devaluing African Americans, I had to hold those values for myself. Neither my upbringing or my first 15 years in Christ gave me much of a foundation but what I came to understand more clearly was there was more bias, ignorance and false understanding than I would readily admit 22 years ago. By the LORD’s grace, He brought us into community with African American brothers and sisters in Christ, where we were able to engage in meaningful, honest and at times very difficult and uncomfortable discussions. What followed required humble, honest self-evaluation… which led to repentance of heart issues and attitudes that came to light. The wonderfully good news of the Gospel is forgiveness & transformation Jesus Christ offers, but it does not come apart from repentance, and this is how sanctification is also worked in our heart as we continue to turn to the gospel throughout our life.

Paul the Poke

Habakkuk 1:5 Look among the nations, and see; wonder and be astounded. For I am doing a work in your days that you would not believe if told. -LORD God

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