Shake off the Dust

 

In Matthew 10, when Jesus sends the Twelve out, he says to them, “And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust

of your feet.”

In reading about Franklin Graham suing The Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow for revoking its contract with him (Charlotte Observer of 2-27-20)  he is quoted, “This is ultimately about whether the Scottish Event Campus will discriminate against the religious beliefs of Christians…. We are being denied because of religious beliefs and our faith….We certainly have a legal position we’re standing on.”

Graham’s fight with venues in Glasgow and other United Kingdom cities may or may not be the result of discrimination “against the religious beliefs of Christians.” But if Graham and his association is being discriminated against, it is not the first time a Christian has suffered because of faith. That reality does not make the bias or hatred right, but it makes it true.

Pastor Clarence Jordan, who experienced life-threatening discrimination during the formative years of Koinonia Farm, writes in 1952, “One wonders why Christians get off so easily…. ‘is our light so dim the tormentor can’t see it?”

Pastor Howard Thurman, a black Southern Baptist, wrote in 1946, “It is easy to have fellowship on your own terms and to repudiate it if your terms are not acceptable.”

I commend these three men to Franklin Graham for their words and actions. Jesus tells his disciples not to force themselves on anyone, to be polite and preach the Word as much by speech and deed, but do not stay where not wanted. Pastors Jordan and Thurman lived in the Jim Crow South and suffered its degradations because of their faith.

Graham probably is aware of the Bible’s teaching of going to court with a neighbor. It is written in both Testaments not to take a neighbor to court but to reconcile the difference. But, “We have attorneys trying to get the venues to reverse their decisions”  says to me that he and his association view themselves as victims, which may be correct, but I wish he and the association would “shake off the dust” and go on to other venues.

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