Overthrow Idols

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - Overthrow Idols

We are cruel, oppressive, incompetent rulers on the throne of our lives (we are cruel and oppressive because of our incompetence).

A heart ready for heaven knows this, vacates the throne, offers it to Jesus because it sees He alone is qualified and it violently overthrows anything that even suggests to take His rightful place.

“You are not [oppressed] by us (Christ’s ambassadors), but you are [oppressed] by your own affections.”
—2 Corinthians 6:12

I can’t help but think about the thief on the cross who initially mocked Jesus but was eventually emptied. The Holy Spirit brought him to a place of recognizing that he justly deserved his condemnation as a rebel against the State and recognized that Jesus was rightful King of a Kingdom where he wanted to be,

“Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.” —Luke 23:42

“And Jesus said to him, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.’” —Luke 23:43

That is ALL that is required to be saved, for the Holy Spirit to open my eyes, to bring me to a place where I confess my rebellion against God and my need for Jesus, God’s Christ, the blessed and only Potentate, who alone can reconcile me to God and restore God’s wonderful kingdom order to my life and all of creation.

I believe God timed Christ’s incarnation when He did because the Romans had it right. That’s how sin should be treated: as rebellion against the Kingdom, it should be violently confronted, purged, exposed, humiliated and killed without mercy.

That’s how I should have been treated as an enemy of God’s perfect order. But, God. Thanks be to God for Jesus who not only came to restore that kingdom order but served my sentence, paid the required penalty (in order for God to be just) and took my place on that cross so that I could be with God! He didn’t have to do that. He could have just re-established His perfect order without me, but He chose to save me at an exorbitant expense that I was not worthy of. Thank you, God.

“For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” —2 Corinthians 5:21

Now, that I, with great joy, accept Jesus as King, I should treat sin the same way the Romans treated rebels. I’ve been far too gentle with such an insidious and deadly threat to my life, the lives of everyone around me and even the order of creation.

I repent.

It’s past time to cut off hands and gouge out eyes (Matthew 18:8-9). I need to be violent with my sin and overthrow every threat to Jesus’ rule, He who is Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6).

The Fundamental Flaw Of America

The fundamental problem in America is the system is setup to protect property owners rather than people.

It inevitably results in outcomes such as in the tragic case of Tyre Nichols. (May the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be upon him and his family, and may we be its agents and a comfort to those he left behind.)

Policing is different for different profiles. For the affluent, it’s protect and serve. For the poor, it’s search and destroy, as seen in the application of Broken Window policing theory that is designed to proactively protect the affluent and prevent the encroachment of crime from poorer areas where it is prevalent due largely to their marginalization (think gentrification) and neglect.

Whether you resist or don’t resist, the truth remains that property owners don’t get treated the way Tyre Nichols and countless others who fit his profile have been treated.

The brutality is not against blacks per se but against the poor who historical discrimination and unreconciled, unjust government policies (see FHA and racially restrictive covenants) has all but ensured blacks will be categorized as.

There has been a perpetual, pernicious and well documented history of discrimination against blacks that result in the deep disparities in property ownership and property values that we see today.

The system in America is shaped by and deeply rooted in that racist (might I also add sexist) history which results in what is indisputable and rightfully called systemic racism.

The police are not the problem.

Police are regular heroes in our communities when the system allows them to be. I see their hearts, I see their service, I see their sacrifice everyday. I would not want a community without healthy, effective and equitable policing.

The police are not the problem.

The problem is the unjust and unequitable system they are made to submit to and operate within.

The problem is the proxy war against the poor.

I would argue, that’s why no matter how different the police are (black police officers in this case), the outcomes are often the same.

Police are arguably a victim of this system as well –the underpaid poor weaponized against the poor. Part of the solution is empowering them to stand against harmful policies without retribution, to educate them to lead and manage people, to give them a voice in how to police their own communities and to pay them what is commensurate with having such a vital job and important skill set.

What repeatedly happens to people who fit the profile of Tyre Nichols is simply the fruit of the poison tree –the inevitable outcome of unrequited injustice and a system with a bad setup that lends to bad incentives.

The fundamental problem in America is the system is setup to protect property owners rather than people.

Another vital part of the solution is for blacks, who I understand are not a monolith yet we need to think collectively on key issues such as wages and property ownership.

To be clear, there is a vast difference between being a property owner and being a black who happens to own property. When are we going to learn that individual success is not sufficient?

For blacks to become property owners in the eyes of the system, we must do so en masse. Enough of us have to do it to change the profile, so it matches that which the system is designed to protect.

I am not one to jump on the bandwagon of what’s trendy to be outraged about today. But, since people are somewhat paying attention, I thought I’d attempt to leverage the opportunity to try to inject something into the conversation that might move us in a more helpful direction:

America needs to right its wrongs such as instituting an unsecured, without qualification, near zero interest FHA loan program for black Americans just as the whites were allowed during FDRs New Deal but that blacks were unjustly excluded from.

But regardless of what others do or don’t, Blacks need to concentrate on Capacity (property ownership, voting power), Consolidation (capacity at scale), and above all Community (togetherness on key issues) so rather than make a lot of noise only to end right back here again, we can speak softly and carry a big stick.

My two cents.

#tyre #TyreNichols #police #race #black #systemicracismexists

The Myth Of Black Exceptionalism

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com The Myth Of Black Exceptionalism

A major downfall of my community is our participation in the myth of black exceptionalism.

The notion fed by a pitiful desire for proximity to whiteness that suggests those blacks who have somehow made it to the table (irrespective of how dubious the means) are somehow “different” than other blacks, a “credit to my race” -exceptional, but as evidenced by the limits imposed on our influence while at the table, still inferior.

I, however, am not exceptional in any way. I am what happens with a semi-stable, home-owning, two parent family and very modest resources.

I went to an elementary school in Atlanta, Georgia, that exposed me to a second language, German, in the second and third grade.

My parents could afford to supplement my education with activities such as piano lessons.

I was afforded opportunities in a well funded Jackson Public School District who could recruit exceptional teachers and offer programs such as Bailey Magnet School and the Jackson Academic and Performing Arts Complex.

I had opportunity through APAC to participate and compete in the visual arts and classical voice (what some think of as Opera, but its a little different).

I had opportunity at my high school, Bailey Magnet, to participate in string orchestra (violin), debate, forensics, student government, etc. etc.

See, I am not exceptional, I am an average person that is a confluence of those investments. People, by in large, are products of our investments. So, if we want different outcomes, we must make different investments.

What’s most needed in the black community, in my opinion, is not welfare but wealth.

The outcomes we find undesirable; crime, teenage pregnancy, and other ills of poverty are not because my people are deficient or broken, it is because of a broken system that artificially constricts the flow of resources to protect the advantage of some by starving the investments in others that are necessary to produce the outcomes we claim we want.

One of the most poignant examples of this “artificial constriction” was made during President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal, where the FEDERAL Housing Administration (not some backwater town in the deep South, mind you, but the federal government) adopted a documented policy to extend credit to whites, irrespective of their credit worthiness (they were essentially begged to take the loans) while creating racially restrictive conditions, where blacks were not only excluded from the loan program but were barred from even renting homes subsidized by FHA loans. It is to this day, one of the most significant contributors to the wealth gap. Many whites who were languishing in poverty as a result of the Great Depression, were lifted out by one of the largest government interventions (welfare program, if you like) in U.S. history -being given an appreciable asset, homes, while blacks were pushed further to the margins.

Beginning to address the problems we face today will require interventions on the scale of those that contributed to them. As much as it was true for whites during the depression, it is true for blacks today: the path out of poverty begins with possessing an asset that reliably appreciates in value. And, education ain’t it. It’s what we’ve been peddled -straddling us with enormous debt and very often useless parchment. But, in my opinion, that’s putting the cart before the horse. Education is important, but generally education should be profitable. It’s not alchemy. Education cannot create something out of nothing. At a societal level, education is a means of growing production and profit. What good is knowing without the wherewithal to do? What good is know how when we have no where to apply it? Therefore, education follows wealth.

Everything I do is driven by a God given love of my community as a whole and a desire for all of it to thrive. Blacks are a part of that community and we’ve got a tourniquet constricting the flow of vital resources throughout the body. So my efforts to eliminate these restrictions are not merely to benefit blacks but for the well being of us all. So, you want to stop kids from breaking in your truck? You want to deal with the issue of crime sustainably? It’s not more prisons. We’ve tried that. Making the long-term, positive investments for the outcomes we want is where we start.

So blacks, especially, who have achieved some affluency must stop perpetuating this lie that we’re special and that other blacks are in their predicament because they lack some innate quality that we, who have “made it”, have. We’re harming ourselves by deflecting from the real conversation to be had – how we’re going to accomplish wealth at scale. When the conversation drifts to a symptom, we must bring it back to the system.

I love you.

Originally posted on Facebook on February 14, 2021.

Is Mississippi HB1523 Pro- Or Anti- Christian?

mississippi-religious-freedom-bill

Here’s my understanding of the Gospel:

God has condemned harm and all that has been contaminated by it to destruction. Christ was sent to express the goodwill of God towards man, save them out of that coming destruction and give them new life marked by love.

Jesus achieves this by drawing near to His enemies and dying, not only through the sacrifice of His body, but by “dying to self”; laying aside His rights, His privileges and His self-interest to make the love of God known.

I ask my fellow Christians, is His cause our cause? Does Mississippi House Bill 1523 and our conversations around it achieve this end?