What is Bigotry? (dictionary: stubborn, complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from yours)
There are all kinds of accusations about bigotry in the world. I wonder if anyone can clarify which bigot is worse than all the others. Examine the creed to the right. Does this fit anyone you know? Perhaps it's a picture of you, but you are so bigoted that you couldn't see it even if an angel from from God told you that you were in error.
We live in a generation of shifting opinions and ideas concerning a number of things that are vital to human culture and it seems that everyone on both sides of the issues believes themselves to be the only right ones. A prime example is the issue of spanking. For centuries it was believed that corporal discipline including spanking was a normal part of the wise parenting of our children. Then along came others who hold strongly to the teaching that spanking or corporal punishment
of any kind causes children irreparable harm to their psyche. Where do you stand on this issue? Are you dogmatic and assertive concerning this or is it a side issue with you. If you are dogmatic and assertive on this issue, what is your source of argument? Is that source reliable? How do
you know? Unfortunately, too many people regard their opinion on this issue as fact when they have never done any objective study on it at all or have done all their study on one side or the other. Still, they are bigoted and unmovable when considering or discussing this issue.
Having raised seven children of my own I strongly advocate spanking with the following vastly important provisions:
1. It must be done in love and never in anger.
2. There should always be a clear explanation as to why the spanking is being administered
and assurance that the child understands the explanation. This takes time and thought and
3. After the discipline is given there must be hugs and kisses and assurances of love.
4. If for any reason anger is involved, the parent should humble themselves and apologize for
their wrong attitude and how they handled the situation without bringing up the child's guilt.
Let's consider a hot topic that has caused much anger and contention in our world today - the issue of human sexuality as it pertains to homosexuality; particularly where it concerns the issue
of homosexual marriage as opposed to heterosexual marriage. Some believe in what they claim is a biblical stance that homosexuality is called an abomination; quoting Romans 1:26-28 and various other texts. They insist that homosexuals are living in sin and if this sin is not repented of they will be eternally damned if they die living as a homosexual. The homosexual community puts forth arguments including using the Bible to defend their position stating that those who believe homosexuality to be a sin misunderstand scripture. They use the story of Jonathan and David as examples of men loving men and deny that Sodom and Gomorrah were guilty of sodomy and the judgment of God was on them for some other reason. They also claim that homosexuality is genetic while those who oppose this idea claim it is false. Homosexuals have attacked their opponents as homophobic and intolerant people, and the other side claims that the homosexuals are the intolerant ones. Where do you stand on this issue? Are you dogmatic and assertive concerning this or is it a side issue with you? If you are dogmatic an assertive on this issue, what is your source of argument? Is that source reliable? How do you know? Unfortunately, far too many people regard their opinion on this issue as fact when they have never done any objective study on it at all or have done all their study on one side or the other. Still, they are bigoted and unmovable when considering or discussing this issue.
There are many other issues that confront us and have a great impact on our society and the morals or the lack of morals that help or destroy our culture and bring about positive behavior or destructive behavior. The more serious problem lies behind the belief systems, rather than the behaviors, because we always act on what we believe, and some of our beliefs are so deeply ingrained in us that nothing could persuade most of us that we could be wrong. There is nothing wrong with being wrong! Every one of us has made some mistakes in our lives. None of us are perfect! But being wrong in an obnoxious way, that is, in a way that refuses to consider any evidence that could prove us wrong, is intellectual, moral and spiritual suicide and will bring about the downfall of individuals, communities and even nations.
Someone once said that "We can agree to disagree without being disagreeable." I totally agree with this! The problem with carrying this out in real life is bigotry! ARE YOU GUILTY OF THIS CRIME? Why? Do you somehow believe that you have some knowledge that surpasses every argument that could have ever been presented, is presented now or will be presented in the future? Isn't that the height of bigotry and the full essence of pride? If we have not been willing
to look at what we believe from the standpoint of those who deny what we believe, and we are adamant in that stance, then we are bigots indeed.
Now there is one more issue that needs to be addressed on this site concerning bigotry. That issue is one of surpassing importance in my opinion, but I don't merely hold an opinion on this issue. That issue is the existence of God and proof of his existence. Once again there are two conflicting views that span every known religion and rebuttal or denial of religion and religion's
God or gods. The views come from the secular and religious arenas and cannot be reconciled.
The religious community declares that there is a God and proof for his existence abounds, and
the secular community contends that there is no such person or creature as God and that his existence cannot be proven. On this issue I must share my own personal experience, study and testimony of why I personally believe that there is one God existing in the universe and he has proven himself to me over and over again. YOU ARE FREE TO FULLY REJECT ALL THAT I PRESENT OR WRITE IT OFF IN WHATEVER WAY YOU WISH. I will not be offended if you choose to follow your own belief or opinion because that is your right and it is a God given right
to the best of my understanding. The biblical concept of why we are free to think and do what we choose is called "free will." Anyway, rather than a theological lesson, let me share my personal experience since coming to know God. I assure you that I have studied and read up on as many arguments against what I believe as I have been able to give time and attention to in my 44 years as a Christian, and nothing has disproved my beliefs.
My basic story is found on this site on a page entitled "Who I Am." I just wanted to share my salvation experience and what has happened specifically since my salvation. On February 19, 1974 when I was released from prison in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. I was searching for God and wound up in a camp full of Jesus Freaks (hippies who had been delivered from drugs through Jesus Christ). These people were very zealous about their beliefs, but they did not influence me immediately before or after my conversion. They were just there and were merely an instrument
in God's hands to give me an arena where I could finally end my quest. I didn't initially understand their message nor did they seem to understand me. I later was to see that they did understand me more than I believed at first.
That night of my release was the most significant in my life. I knelt in a tent and prayed a simple prayer from the innermost depths of my being. I prayed; "Jesus, I am so sorry for the way that I've been living! Please forgive me, and come into my heart and change me so that I can love others more than I love my own self." To describe how God forgave me and made that a reality that is impossible to deny defies all attempts I could make in our mortal language. The concept of our knowing something spiritually is so vastly removed from human language that it is indescribable. That knowing took place around ten at night and has sustained me for all my forty-four plus years as a Christian.
Since that night I have studied the scriptures, arguments against Christianity and have had many prayers answered according to the scriptures than I could tell. The reality has come time and time again as my prayer was directed to this God of the Bible and shared with nobody else and specific answers came with the knowledge that only God knew what I had requested. I have had prayers answered from very simple prayers to such things as provision, direction and healing among other things. I had an experience that unbelievers cannot fully relate to and many believers have not gone through - a demonic attack on my life. I have been in ministry and have been involved in casting out demons personally and in groups. I've been healed immediately in answer to prayer in the name of the Jesus of the Bible, have prayed for others who have also been healed immediately, and have watched others prayed for and healed instantly. In none of these cases was there a televangelist, faith healer or prominent personality involved. These were in small and virtually unknown ministries and involved people who were just every day Christians of no reputation.
This one is hard for even many Christians to acknowledge, but it doesn't matter what others believe when God moves - I saw food multiply right in front of me in answer to the prayer of a young girl. It's a travesty that Christians say they believe God can do anything and then refuse to believe he can do what is a very insignificant thing to him, like multiplying food, but it happened and I won't try to explain how because I have no clue. Believe about this one whatsoever you wish. God would be very small and weak indeed if he couldn't handle this miracle.
In ministry I have witnessed wonderful anointing of God on preachers and teachers many times and have had powerful anointing in preaching and witnessing myself at times. I have seen children come in from a day playing in a field laughing and telling how angels came and played ball with them. Every one of these children, I would estimate, were between the ages of three
and 10, and their excitement was convincing! I have ministered in homes where the presence
and power of God were so evident that it overwhelmed me and the people in the house. I have been arrested falsely while ministering outside of a shopping center and imprisoned for nearly a month. I have witnessed God's power shutting the mouths of men in prison who came to one of our meetings to cause confusion and trouble. God revealed his power to my wife and I in our home by healing our son in answer to prayer when he was in terrible pain and crying. We prayed for him and he was healed instantly and just got down and played. That pain never returned to him. My second oldest son and I bound demonic power in his room after the demons frightened him, and later, at the age of three years old, he bound Satan himself in a second visit made to his room by demonic power and after that there were no more visits.
By the grace and mercy of God all our children have come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior prior to their sixth year. The earliest one came to the Lord at the age of three years old. He is the one who bound the demonic activity in his room. Four of our children are married to Christians and all of them have a bond of love that only God can create between them. Some of our children have been used by the Lord in ministry over the years as well. There is much more than these things that have convinced me of the reality of the God of scripture. The times when people just happened to show up at the right time, had the right answer in a time of deep need, came to us to be ministered to when they could have been in another place at another time, the provisions that came to us without letting our needs be known and on and on are plenty and more than sufficient to let me that the God of the Bible is the only true God and that Jesus Christ is the only way to know God and be forgiven and receive eternal life. Accuse me of bigotry if you wish, but all that has transpired since my salvation has convinced me that the God of the Bible is living, hears and answers prayers, and has my best interests at heart. Despite the many arguments of Atheists, religionists, secularists, and all the other "ists, I am not an intellectual giant, and some people, my intellectual superiors, present arguments in such a fashion that they transcend my puny mortal understanding so that I can't grasp what they are saying. These are the same people who scoff at faith because they demand an answer to everything and despise simplicity. For these people I say, consider what I am sharing here. Refuse to be an intellectual bigot filled with your personal opinion to the point of scoffing at those who you consider inferior to yourselves. If the simple
minded among you are right, your intellectual capacity will keep you from the greatest truth in the universe and it will eventually be your downfall as you stand before the God of the Bible. To those who can come down from their intellectual tower and consider even the simplest of things, God is waiting for you to acknowledge him so that he can free you from the bondage of opinion forever. To all those who have already stepped down from this lofty tower, I salute you, and challenge you to do all you can to help others who are still up there and either have no intention of coming down or are waiting for a person like you to help them understand this simple faith that you have found.
Bigotry is one thing; knowing is another. It is up to each of us to discover the difference. It is very crucial to life on earth and infinitely crucial in regard to eternal life! Don't put it until it is eternally too late for you to do anything about it.
Signs of Pride and Bigotry - Unwillingness to even consider anything that you do not personally believe, name calling, rising blood pressure accompanied by rising anger when confronted with opposing viewpoints, looking down on those who are considered inferior in intellect, material status, physical build, a need to continue in a discussion after the other person says they are
done talking about the issue, gathering buddies together in an attempt to bully or intimidate someone into accepting your viewpoint, violent cursing, false accusations against the person you disagree with, drinking to excess after a heavy debate, and on and on the story could go. It's nice to be right but it's far more important to be humble about it. Nobody loves an egotistical point pusher.
The Bigot's Creed
Believe as I believe — no more, no less
That I am right, and no one else, confess ;
Feel as I feel, think only as I think,
Eat what I eat, and drink but what I drink
Look as I look, do always as I do ;
And then, and only then, I’ll fellowship with you.
That I am right, and always right, I know,
Because my own convictions tell me so ;
And to be right is simply this : to be
Entirely and in all respects like me.
To deviate a jot, or to begin
To question, doubt, or hesitate, is sin.
Let sink the drowning man, if he’ll not swim
Upon the plank that I throw out to him ;
Let starve the famishing, if he’ll not eat
My kind and quantity of bread and meat ;
Let freeze the naked, too, if he’ll not be
Supplied with garments such as made for me.
‘Twere better that the sick should die than live
Unless they take the medicine I give.
‘Twere better that sinners perish than refuse
To be conformed to my particular views ;
‘Twere better that the world stood still than move
In any other way than that which I approve.
The poem above represents the height of bigotry!
It is a good measure to examine ourselves against!
C R Lord © 2009