I Corinthians 1:9-11 God is faithful, by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.
Romans 15:4-6 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
My beloved friends at FaithWriters, think on these things:
We are all here (at this site) for the same purposes. We glorify God with the gifts He has given us. Yes, there have been a few in and out who don’t. But they don’t last long here; do they?
However, we come from all over the world. (the nations)
We come from all sorts of religious and cultural backgrounds. Have I mentioned to you what cultural background my family was derived from or what race my children are? Does it matter? Really?
Does my gender matter? Really? What matters to you?
To my knowledge, not one of you knows what “religious group” I claim to be a part of. Does it matter? Really? If it really matters, tell me something:
Have I strayed from the Truth of the Word of God? Forgive me if I have and do the right thing by pointing it out to me so that I can repent. The Lord has, after all, entrusted us with one another. It is our responsibility to turn a man from the error of his ways. Otherwise, our blood will remain on one another’s hands. Teach me when I err. But do make sure that you have the Word of God behind you as you do.
We are all here for the same purposes:
to express the gifts the Father has empowered each of us with individually, stirring up the gifts we have all received.
to see to it that His Name is lifted up.
to bring healing to one another’s hearts and even a Word that brings forth physical healing on occasion. (when the Lord’s will calls for such a Word)
to deliver the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ into the nations.
to do the will of the Father!
When we can put aside our differences and see them as uniqueness among us, a family of believers with one another’s feelings and interests in mind, a fellowship of believers set on putting forth the Word, regardless of those differences, without judgment, with gifts of...
then, we see the church as God intended it. I know, then, that He is well pleased. We are all likeminded, regardless of our differences in that God is Love and that this site is a place in which to enlighten others in the knowledge of Love. I believe the Lord will honor and bless our being likeminded in this. He wants a church without spot or blemish, WITHOUT JUDGMENT OR SEPARATION.
Please, friends, for the love of God Almighty, do not let cultural, financial, religious, doctrinal, or any other difference come between those who are called to the higher purpose of writing for this site. I ask you out of the love of Christ in my heart for you. You are all my friends. And you know what? I don’t care who you are or where you came from. The Lord sees His creation as perfect and wonderfully made. That, in effect, is how we ought to see one another.
Praise the Lord!
When I read someone else’s work that I find I am not in agreement with, (has only happened a couple of times over these few years) I look up to the right hand corner of the screen and click “X”. That takes care of that. I pray before I read... for discernment and wisdom. I don’t take everything to heart, but I do take everything into consideration. I know some of your religious backgrounds. And just so you know, it doesn’t mean a hill of beans to me. God looks on the heart.
I don't believe that Abraham Lincoln was ever judged as Pagan because he stated: "Committment is what transforms a promise into reality." Was the person who said "Giving is the secret of abundance" judged as Pagan? What about Emily Dickeson when she stated "Find ecstasy in life; the mere sense of living is joy enough."? We judged none of them, whether what they said could be confirmed by the Word or not. And yet, some judge a person by their religious or cultural backgrounds... even when what they say is easily confirmed by the Word. Friends, it should not be so!
With that said, consider this: The Native Americans have been known for centuries as being pagans. And I’m sure some of them were/are. To date, so are some Africans, some Asians, some... you get the message. Pagans come in all colors. But when we can agree that the Word is Truth, that one God (Creator) is omnipotent, and that all creation is created equal in His sight, then we’re definitely on to something.
Consider this as well, if you will: You don’t mind reading a very interesting story... as long as it lines up with God’s Word. You don’t mind reading good poetry... as long as it lines up with God’s Word. What about those people’s work whom we have been taught were pagans? Scary, isn’t it? You never know whose work you are reading here. (at FaithWriters) Therefore, always ask “What does the Word have to say about this?” Ten to one, you’ll find that FaithWriters is not run by men...
Rather, it is evident that God is running the show. I’m so glad that none of you have ever bothered to ask me my religious background or my bloodline. I know it doesn’t matter to you now. You’ve been reading my work long enough to know where my heart is. To my knowledge, I’ve never once tried to persuade you to convert to my religion. Though I have tried to persuade you to have a closer walk with Jesus. I’d walk away from my religion right this moment if it interfered with my walk with the Lord. Does it matter to you what my religion is?
As for my bloodline... well, let me just show you instead of tell you. Prayerfully, you won’t give a hoot about my bloodline either. I sure hope not. The truth of the matter is, for TRUTH'S sake, I WAS NOT RAISED UP ACCORDING TO MY BLOODLINE, NOR BY THEIR "RELIGION". Nevertheless, this is how people of my bloodline expressed themselves with words that, whether they knew it then or not, lined up with the Word of God. I will place the Word references in parenthesis after each quote. It is NOT the Word of God. But it does still line up with the Word. JUST LIKE OUR ARTICLES/POETRY that mention anything except the Word still line up with the Word:
Red Cloud (Makhpiya-luta) April 1870:
"I know Great Spirit is looking down upon me from above, and will hear what I say." (Jeremiah 33:3)
"He put in your heart certain wishes and plans, in my heart he put other and different desires. ... It is not necessary for Eagles to be Crows. We are poor..but we are free..." (Deuteronomy 5:21;Nehemiah 1:11;Psalm 38:9;Proverbs 10:24;Proverbs 18:1;Ecclesiastes 6:9;Mark 9:35;Job 34:19)
“I am a red man. If the Great Spirit had desired me to be a white man he would have made me so in the first place.” (Psalm 139:14;Lamentations 4:2;Isaiah 64:8)
“...I am poor and naked, but I am the chief of the nation. We do not want riches but we do want to train our children right. Riches would do us no good. We could not take them with us to the other world. We do not want riches. We want peace and love.” (James 1:11;Matthew 19:23-24;Proverbs 28:11;Matthew 6:19-20)
Sogoyewaha, “Red Jacket” - Senaca: “Brother, you say there is but one way to worship and serve the Great Spirit. If there is but one religion, why do you white people differ so much about it? Why not all agreed, as you can all read the Book?” (Malachi 2:10;John 1:1;Romans 10:12)
Chief Sitting Bull: "Is it wrong for me to love my own? Is it wicked for me because my skin is red? Because I am Sioux? Because I was born where my father lived? Because I would die for my people and my country?" (Job 34:19;Luke 7:33;John 8:49;Mark 9:38-41)
Chief Maquinna, Nootka: "Once I was in Victoria, and I saw a very large house. They told me it was a bank and that the white men place their money there to be taken care of, and that by and by they got it back with interest. We are Indians and we have no such bank; but when we have plenty of money or blankets, we give them away to other chiefs and people, and by and by they return them with interest, and our hearts feel good. Our way of giving is our bank." (Mark 6:41;Hosea 10:12;II Corinthians 9:13;Philemon 1:6;Luke 6:38)
Chief Aupumut, Mohican: 1725 "When it comes time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home." (I Corinthians 15:55;Hebrews 2:15;Psalm 23:4;Revelation 2:10)
Crowfoot, Blackfoot warrior and orator: "What is life? It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset." (I Peter 1:24;Isaiah 40:6;James 4:14)
Lone Man (Isna-la-wica) Teton Sioux: “... I have seen that in any great undertaking it is not enough for a man to depend simply upon himself.” (Philippians 2:1-3)
Philippians 2:1-3 If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
My friends, neither religion, nor culture, nor the opinions or ideas of man will see any one of us into eternal life. But God, rather, examines the heart. What must one do to be saved? All the answers are within the Word of God!
I have a heart for the Native Americans also because they are most like my Finnish-American culture. They are not so hierarchy-ish and so heady. They are into prayer and experience. I am currently readying a book by Randy Woodley called Living in Color I started the day before the big episode.
Bravo Joyce, and excellent and revealing write. God does not care where I come from, what color my skin is, whether I am male or female. God loved me because He is love. I must lover others the same way. Without conditions, I think the write is to the point and scriptural. It makes me smile to know I have that love living in my heart, and it makes me smile when I see other Sisters in Christ expressing that same love the way you have. Thanks for the comment on my latest post; the scripture you quoted was the exact one I had in mind when I wrote it. Thank you Joyce.
This article was truly written by the hand of God, for you are His hand extended. Without love, we are nothing, no matter how much knowledge etc. that we have. God allowed me to see, "Love is the treasure if missed on the way, make the rich poor till their dying day!" Thank you Joyce for this Spirit filled article. Love, Sharon