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Tag Archives: hate

I Struggle TooIf I were to be completely honest with you, I would say that this blog post is one of the hardest I have felt led to write. The reason is not because the topic is a difficult one to articulate or the fact that it is a particularly controversial stance on a “hot button” issue, but because of my heart attitude behind it.

As I get closer to Jesus, I have learned that God honors thoughtful response over angry outbursts. He values the offering of hope over a self-righteous decree of condemnation from my own personal soapbox. So, I want to write today out of love, grace, mercy, but firm resolve and I pray that God will be in my words. I want to talk about the concept of racism.

THE PROBLEM

I sat in a big leather chair in front of a woman who had cried so much that I was afraid she would become dehydrated. He husband had cheated on her. The adultery was getting to be too common in their marriage, and after multiple transgressions, he once again told her it “would never happen again”. This woman was broken, angry, and had practically given up on long term joy in her life. My heart filled with my own brand of anger when she told me the lies that were told and the sins that were committed. The man that she was married to made her feel inferior. He made her believe things about herself that were not true. He made her think this was all her fault. On top of this, over the period of several years, he had made sure that she was removed from opportunities, relationships, more education and much of the outside world as a method of domination and control. She prayed that God would help her and He did. She divorced him and years later, she married the man of her dreams. She also forgave her ex-husband.

The problem is, I really want to hate this man. The carnal part of my human existence wants to show him how wrong he is, and make him pay. I know, however, that a life lived controlled by God’s spirit compels us to seek a much higher level of conduct.

You see, if Christ lives in a person, has complete control, and has forgiven them…it is really hard to go on living with hatred towards another human being. That doesn’t mean that the temptation is not there, but there is a power that is greater in you than that which is in the world.

Racism, at its core, is a systematic desire for a group or groups to express their perceived superiority over others. Often times they will single out a particular community, and do what they can to separate them from society, tell them lies, and openly display their hate for them. In essence, there is not much difference between an adulterer and a racist individual. With that being said, there is a part of me that wants to treat someone who is racist with the same contempt as I would the adulterer. I can’t though. I can’t because I have no idea what type of lies that person has been told throughout their life, and I have to believe in my heart that they are eligible for restoration and love as much as I am. If Jesus cannot heal them, then His death on the cross was a waste of time. Sin is sin.

This doesn’t make the whole issue any less frustrating though. I have heard people who wear gold crosses around their necks say the most awful things about people of different races. This is confusing for many reasons.

So, here is my overall thought. There is no such thing as a Christian racist. I say this, because I have heard people getting upset at the Church for racist acts they have seen in media outlets. And, there have been people who have displayed racism in their lives who claim to be believers. Let me make this very clear. Not disagreeing with the Bible, going to church on occasion, and being raised in a semi-religious home does not  make someone a Christian. Nor does giving oneself the label of “good”. A Christian is someone who desires to be like Christ, associates themselves with His crucifixion and resurrection, allows God to transform them, allows the Holy Spirit to guide them, and who has accepted the forgiveness that Jesus offers; all while bearing the fruit of the Kingdom. So, there is no such thing as a “Christian racist”. It cannot exist. Christianity and racism are like oil and water. Sure, there are people who have accepted Christ and who have had to repent of old habits that have arisen temporarily, but that leads to deep grieving and change.

THE HOPE

Jesus led by example, and when He wanted to emphasize a virtue, He displayed the virtue through His action. Look at the story of the Woman at the Well in John chapter 4. There were two main issues being addressed when we look deep into this story. The first issue was the sin (and thus the cure) in the life of the woman (who happened to be a Samaritan). Water was just the illustration. Jesus offered her a way out of her constant searching for love, fulfillment, and forgiveness. Jesus took care of all of that, and offered her abundance. The second issue pertained to race. This woman was astonished that a Jew would even speak to a Samaritan, not to mention offering her something to drink. This was unheard of, because of the deep racial divide. In other areas of scripture, the implication is that even the disciples accepted this divide as common. Jesus shatters this mentality, loved this woman, and contradicted the culture.

Hope exists, because there is a God who fashioned all of us from the same dust. This same God declared that we were made in His image. This is a foundational belief in the Judeo-Christian world view. Hope comes from the fact that God forgives and transforms human hearts. He forgives.

The old me wants to hate people that are full of racism and hatred. I have realized that this type of hate is the same brand of hate as those wielded by racist individuals; only in different packaging.

So, a Christian, if guided by the Holy Spirit would spend more time serving, loving, giving, feeding, clothing, proclaiming truth, and praying than complaining and allowing anger to fester and grow. In fact, Jesus did his ministry in the shadow of pagan statues, unholy temples, and hateful hearts. His mind and heart were focused on the people, and He knew the only true kingdom was not this way.

The heart of the Christian is occupied and Jesus does not need a roommate. Hate does not fit.

As followers of Jesus we are called to speak out against hatred of every kind. We are also called to serve those who are not following God.

I end all my blogs the same way…but today I mean it more deeply than I have in the past. With a broken heart yearning for reconciliation, I say it once again…

Love you all.

-Landon DeCrastos

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I’m sorry, America
Please accept my apology
For only thinking about myself
And less about your eternity

We see struggles in this place
Of every conceivable kind
Struggles that are buried deep within
And others that are easier to find

The world is in turmoil
We see fighting, famine, and strife
People often feel so lonely
With no immediate hope in their life

I’m not sorry for what I have done
But rather what I have not
I have a story that has blessed me
But I rarely share the plot

I’m sorry for not sharing what I know
The most vital message of all
That Jesus came to save the lost
And reverse the curse of the fall

Each day in the local news
We see addiction, anger, and hate
And here I sit in my comfortable chair
Mentally judging people’s fate

I’m sorry for not sharing Jesus with you
Like I absolutely know I should
I think it is fear, or laziness
Or other things that feel so good

I can’t speak for every person
I can only speak for myself
I just know there are times
When I put my beliefs on the shelf

I know I should share about God
And about a life changing choice
To accept the Creator’s love
And hear His delivering voice

If I would have done what is right
If I could have eliminated my fear
I could have made this world better
And accomplished my mission here

So, I am sorry America
The problem is partly me
I will promise to share the hope
That I have found Jesus to be

I once was lost, but now I am found
I was blind but now I see
Jesus rescued my life from the grave
And changed my eternity.

Even in the mess we are in
For which I am partly to blame
I resolve to share hope and joy
And love the world around me in Jesus name.

-Landon DeCrastos


That lump in your throat.
It’s injustice and hate.
It’s disappointment
when God seems to be too late
 
we see kids dying
adorned with flies.
We see politicians
replacing truth with lies
 
we see disunity
among those dark and light
as if human skin color
is looked at as a plight
 
we wish to go our own way
and regard our bodies as our own
we witness unbearable evil
invading our comfortable homes
 
we are desensitized to greed
because we still want more
we let impurity in
through the front door
 
We are utterly surprised
when people are sold and bought
As if everyone else is to blame
and we are not
 
when are we going to really see
the true cause of this all?
A dependence on our own wills
Humanity has devolved to a crawl
 
The God who made human hearts
Is calling us to obey
Not to confine our freedoms
But because abundance comes through His way
 
Many can’t do the equation
The dots simply do not connect
If we will look at the world around us
And simply pause to reflect
 
“Giving Jesus a try”
is simply not enough
He wants our whole hearts
No matter how impure and rough
 
Transformation will infect the world
And will show people what is right
If we embrace freedom’s call
And offend the seemingly endless night
-Landon DeCrastos

When will we erase these hateful notions
That the cure for debate involves explosions
Realizing bitterness is a sour potion
Wishing our enemy would die

It makes no sense that the color of skin
Or the past life, or where people have been
Or even who you claim as closest of kin
Could feed the posionous lie

I believe in 2 or 3 generations
Racism will be purged, uniting the nations
The king will come and restore relations
And lift our spirits high

Really, I am no better than you
I was born sinful and needed rescue
I have even lived through pain too
And bleed like any other guy

What I fear is a world for my kids
Women being sold; bought by high bids
Babies dying; abortion…SIDS
Evil and good locked in a tie

I think though, everything will be fine
As long as humans who have a spine
Acknowledge the One who gave us a sign
For, in the end, He will descend from the sky.

-Landon DeCrastos


When will we erase these hateful notions
That the cure for debate involves explosions
Realizing bitterness is a sour potion
Wishing our enemy would die

It makes no sense that the color of skin
Or the past life, or where people have been
Or even who you claim as closest of kin
Could feed the posionous lie

I believe in 2 or 3 generations
Racism will be purged, uniting the nations
The king will come and restore relations
And lift our spirits high

Really, I am no better than you
I was born sinful and needed rescue
I have even lived through pain too
And bleed like any other guy

What I fear is a world for my kids
Women being sold; bought by high bids
Babies dying; abortion…SIDS
Evil and good locked in a tie

I think though, everything will be fine
As long as humans who have a spine
Acknowledge the One who gave us a sign
For, in the end, He will descend from the sky.


crossIt had already been a long morning when we find this bloody man dragging a torture device through the center of town. People were yelling, shaking their fists, and some were keeping quiet for fear of being ostracized for their position that reflected the minority opinion. Many people have met their doom in this way, but not many have received such publicity.

If you think about it, the whole circumstance was a rather impractical way to die. The individual hung on a cross for a long period of time in public view for the sole purpose of humiliation. Death was a secondary bonus as far as the Romans were concerned. The act of being displayed before and during expiration was the modern equivalent of a billboard propagating the idea that this government was supreme.

So, here was this man, who was declared publicly innocent by the governor thus giving the screaming mob an out to possibly assuage their own guilty conscience. Minutes later he is beaten and forced to drag a cross for the amusement of hundreds. His countenance reflected someone with courage and missional resolve. He didn’t put up a fight, and acted almost as if he was marking items off of a task list. His heart was fixed on what was next, but at the same time his mind was meditating on what had already come to pass. Generations of people who claimed to know and love God…and every one of those generations falling into disobedience. Not this time though. He was going to end this cycle. This story started with the perfect couple, who doubted God’s perfect word. The story reaches its pinnacle here. A story defined by stripes, blood, and sacrifice.

This story has become so common in Christian ritual. It is something that is taught to children in a more tame setting, and conveyed to nonbelievers in a way that does not offend. We wear beautiful representations around our necks as fashion accessories, and buy them to match our home decor. Here is the problem with the cross. It is ugly. It is dirty. It is cruel. Yet, for this man, who made this event his vocation…it was strangely comfortable. Oh, don’t get me wrong, it was infinitely painful, but there was a peace about it that follows anyone who finds themself being funneled into the center of God’s will.

Here is another problem with the cross. It demands for us to be more than we think we can be on our own. We can look at Jesus and agree that this story is life changing, but it really isn’t if we never allow it to penetrate our hearts and change our direction. There is something about this story that should cause us to fear what could have been. If Christ would not have done this, we would have been a goner. The problem with the cross is that we can’t take it back. It happened. We wish we could change things, but we can’t. We caused it, and now we have no right to complain about it. Our sin brought this upon Him. It is our fault.

Yet…that was not what was on His mind. We were. His love for us consumed Him. That’s the ultimate problem with the cross. We deserve it, but he accepted it.

-Landon DeCrastos


The evil that turns away the human heart
I have battled you before
That which destroys the souls of men
Which erodes to the core

Know that I see your smug face
Peaking behind their eyes
Laughing as if you have won
Whispering to them your lies

Don’t think you will have them for long
Your play time is almost through
Get the tantrums out of your system
Because your number is almost due

To be honest, I think you are scared
I think you are trembling with fright
You know you don’t have a prayer
In fact, you hide under the cover of night

You are merely a weak pest
That leads so many astray
If it were up to my strength
Your work would end today

So, be on our guard, dear dragon breath
Be on the look out for me
I have the winner on my side
And His name is Victory.

Look out behind you; enemy of souls
Put a chain on your gate
The church is about to mobilize
You are about to meet your fate

You have taken too many friends
Yet you are entitled to none
Have your fun now weak serpent
The battle has already been won.

-Landon DeCrastos



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