Rev. Daughtry's weekly article that appears in the NY Daily Challenge every Wednesday and Friday.
KERRY, SADDAM, BUSH THROUGH THE EYES OF GOD
Have you ever tried to see things through the eyes of God? To transcend your own prejudices, values, teachings, training, race, cultural, history, traditions and country and view the doings of humans through the eyes of God it can be a humbling, surprising, insightful, fascinating, educational, humorous and spiritual experience.
Obviously, it is next to impossible to know fully the mind of God. For the Bible teaches God’s ways are not our ways. “As high as the earth is above the Heavens, so high is God’s ways above our ways.” God chooses differently than humans. According to the scripture, “God chooses the weak things and foolish things of the earth to confound the wise.”
Even what we call religious exercises or what we think is pleasing to God, can be viewed differently through the eyes of God. For example in the book of Isaiah, The prophet, the people thought they were being religious when they were deep in their rituals. But the prophet heard God say, stop spreading your hands in prayer, stop burning incense but let justice prevail and take care of the orphans and widows. Even time, is viewed differently by God. The bible says to God, “A thousand years is a day.”
What makes the Judeo Christian prophets a unique band of religionists, they claimed to be close enough to God to speak for God thus, most of the time they were at odds with their contemporaries especially the ruling class? They spoke, “truth to power.” They spoke for the powerless. Consequently, they were usually harassed or imprisoned or ostracized and/or killed. The prophets didn’t pastor big churches or win popularity contests and were loved by the ruling class. If they were loved at all, it was by the least in society. Even then, they were often rejected because the minds of the least were shaped by the ruling class. They were (and always) taught to like the people the (ruling class) they ought to dislike and dislike the people (the prophet the leaders) they ought to like.
Since there is a world of difference in the thinking of God and earthlings how can we see through the eyes of God? A study of the Bible, especially the prophets, gives us a clue. As stated above, God chooses the things (and people) that the world despises and/or rejects. God identifies with, chooses the side of and take up the fight for the least in society – “the boats stuck at the bottom” to use a Jesse Jackson classic phrase. God told the Hebrew Israelites not to glory in themselves and their achievements for their father was a vagabond and they were chosen when they were slaves. It isn’t that God rejects the rich and powerful so long as their lives reflect truth, justice and mercy. (It is not money that is the root of all evil, it is the love of money). “What does God require of you?”, the prophet asks. Then gives an answer, “But to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God.” However, God does favor the poor and disregarded according to the Bible. Therefore, potentially, “the wretched of the earth” are closer to God.
When Jesus commences His ministry the first thing he said was, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon Me for He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor, to bind up the broken hearted, to open the eyes of the blind and to preach deliverance unto the captives…”
By the way, it is this interpretation of scripture that gave rise to Black theology and/or liberation in the sixties. Basically, it says, since God is on the side of the least, if we would be like God we too must do likewise. Who is the least? Whom are the rejected, disparaged by the Euro ethnics dominated world? Black people! So, God must be Black. God sides with Blackness. Of course, Native Americans and other oppressed, exploited humanity could make the same claim. Where is God located today? According to the scripture it would be where Blackness is. Surely, there are those who would say but if God is for Blackness why are Black people in their present predicament. The simple answer to a profoundly complicated question is because Black people cannot or will not grasp the truth and avail themselves of the presence and power of God. Again, this is why prophets and religious teachers are sent into the world especially to the excluded to bring enlightenment regarding the limitless potential that God has made available to all of His creatures with a special love and concern for the least in society.
If we are to see through the eyes of God we must turn our eyes to the lowly, impoverish, the voiceless and the helpless and how they are being treated or what do societies’ policies, values, programs, mores, politics, wealth, power etc. mean for them?
SEQ CHAPTER \h \r 1SAVE THE PEOPLE OF DARFUR
Attend the Religious Leaders Organizing Meeting
Where: The House of the Lord Church
415 Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
Between Bond & Nevins Streets
When: Thursday, November 9, 2006
Time: Noon - 2:00 p.m.
For further information call l (718) 596-1991or see website: www.holnj.org
The Rev. Dr. Herbert Daughtry is featured in The Daily Challenge’s Wednesday and Weekend Edition. Reverend Daughtry, known as the “People’s Pastor,” is the National Presiding Minister of the House of the Lord Churches (HOLC). He also pastors the Brooklyn Church. A prolific writer, his books include “No Monopoly on Suffering, Blacks and Jews in Crown Heights,” “My Beloved Community,” “Effectual Prayer,” and “Tupac, Letters to a Son.” HOLC has a weekly broadcast which airs on WWRL 1600 on Sunday from 10:30am-11:00am. He is also on BCAT the 2nd and 4th Sundays at 2pm. Website: www.holnj.org