Matters Of Faith: From Evil To Good!

Rev. J_Loren RussellFROM EVIL TO GOOD!

By: Rev. J. Loren Russell, BA, MDiv

Were you distracted by the debate over the Confederate flag that flew over the statehouse grounds in South Carolina? I hope you are now settled in your spirit that that was never the issue. It was only a distraction. The issue is and has always been what’s behind the determination to keep it up, and the opposition to taking it down. The real culprit is the condition of the human heart and people’s obstinate determination to let it remain uncircumcised. Now that the vote has been cast and the flag was removed, know for certain that without an intentional effort to change the condition of the hearts of the people, it really will make no difference.

As I watched and listened to the various speakers in the South Carolina House debate the issue, I was moved by the impassioned speech of the Honorable Jennie Horne, Republican representative from Charleston, supporting the flag’s removal. Then I saw the affirming words of Larry Martin, the Republican representative from my mother’s home town. Then I reflected on the speech by Governor Nikki Haley that started this debate and realized that it is neither about a political party nor a genetic heritage, be it Black or White.

I reflected on Joseph, the patriarch in the Bible, who was hated by his brothers, thrown into a pit, sold into slavery, falsely accused of rape by his master’s wife, thrown into prison and forgotten. What he said to his brothers when they finally recognized him and discovered that it was their brother who was in charge of the entire kingdom of Egypt, captures the heart of God and how He can use anything to benefit His people: “You tried to harm me, but God made it turn out for the best, so that He could save all these people, as He is now doing.” (Genesis 50:20 CEV) The flag debate is about God’s will to take us from evil to good.


The Lord revealed to me the day after those nine souls welcomed a stranger into their Bible study; a stranger who viciously gunned them down. A stranger who thought his terroristic act would ignite a race war, now sees that God used him as a catalyst to forever change human relations in South Carolina and around the world. The words spoken by Joseph revealed the heart of a merciful and benevolent God who didn’t consider his enslavement to be a just cause to hate; didn’t consider false accusations as a just cause to hate; didn’t consider incarceration as a just cause to hate. He doesn’t consider slavery in America a just cause to hate; a terrorist attack in God’s house a just cause to hate; a Confederate flag over a statehouse a just cause to hate. God used each of those things to show us more love, to help us love each other, and to show us how he uses diabolical acts to redeem (save) us!


Pay attention because it is being evidenced right now. What was planned for evil is working a greater victory for The Lord.


We are one people in one nation, charged to live out our pledge, our oath of allegiance, “One nation, UNDER GOD, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” Good people are speaking up, bad people are repenting, and soon, all people can rejoice.


You might think it’s a lot to expect, but the God that I serve, the one whose blood was spilled for my salvation, is a BIG God! It’s time for us to take heed and do as we have been instructed: “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land” (2 Chronicles 7:14  KJV). This will take us from evil to good.


Be Blessed +++

Rev. J. Loren Russell, BS, MDiv is an associate minister at both Goodwill Baptist and Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx.

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