Race, Grace, and the Gospel with Dr. Charles Ware and Dr. Georgia Purdom.Answers for Women Conference 2018
Posted by Answers in Genesis on Thursday, January 25, 2018
Race, Grace, and the Gospel with Dr. A. Charles Ware and Dr. Georgia Purdom.
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Dr. Purdom: Hi, and welcome again to our continuing Facebook Live series on the Answers for Women 2018 conference, Life: Contending for Life from Beginning to End. And joining me today by Zoom, here, is Dr. Charles Ware. He is the president of Crossroads Bible College in Indianapolis, which describes itself as a conservative, evangelical institution dedicated to training Christian leaders to reach a multiethnic, urban world for Christ. And he has authored, co-authored, and edited several books including one with Ken Ham called One Race One Blood. And I have had the privilege of hearing Dr. Ware speak on several occasions, and I can guarantee you, you will never be bored during one of his presentations. He’s a very dynamic speaker.
At the conference this year, when we talk about life and valuing life, we’re talking about the entire spectrum of life. Not just at the beginning and the end, but everyone. You know, all ages. And that includes people of different ethnicities. I think in some ways it would be nice to think, “Well, didn’t we settle the issue of race, you know, back in the 1960s with the Civil Rights movement?” But as we’ve seen in our nation today, nothing could be further from the truth. So, what do you think has led, especially in the past, I would say, decade or so, these increasing, what we see, racial divisions?
Dr. Ware: Well you know, part of the issue is that we’re fallen human beings. So we’re sinful. I tell people that we are one race, but we’re one sinful race, and as we try and work out our differences, our greed, our abuse, our justice, injustice, and so on and so forth, we’re just working out sin. And it manifests itself not just in America, but literally around the world. So, the bottom line, it’s sin working itself out in different areas within our culture.
Dr. Purdom: Ok, because I know, I remember, back in the 80s, I don’t remember this being as big of an issue as it is today. You know, maybe that’s just me and being a child or a young person at the time, but do think this is something that has just, you know, it maybe kind of lessened a little bit, and it’s just been increasing? Or has it been there kind of all along, and we’re just now seeing it more visually now?
Dr. Ware: Well I think it’s been there, but I also think we’ve made progress since the 60s. I lived through the 60s, and some people say nothing has changed. A lot has changed. But at the same time, as we push for a more perfect union, there’s still progress to be made. Then you have the reality of social media. You have the reality of so many things being highlighted on television and media and social media, and sometimes mis-facts are out there, and it has intensified the divide. I find it disturbing that Christians can’t even talk about issues across ethnic lines without just blowing up and conversation ends. I think the devil is doing a good job sowing discord among the brethren.
Dr. Purdom: Well, and I think that’s something we see even with what we focus on here at Answers in Genesis with the creation evolution debate. We see, I mean, I always say, that the people that we have probably the strongest, shall we say, conversations with are people in the church, not people from outside the church, but it’s people in the church not wanting to bow to the authority of God’s word. And certainly, you see the same thing with the so–called race issue.
Dr. Ware: That’s a powerful observation. People ask me, why do I do what I do, and I tell them because Jesus Christ is Lord of my life and I want to obey his word. And when I stand before Christ in heaven, I don’t – it’s not what a political group thought of me, what a wealthy or unwealthy, or black or white, or red, or yellow, whatever you want to call yourself. It’s what Christ says. I want to hear him say well done, thou good and faithful servant.
And just let me say this too, that one of the messages I think that Christians need to get a hold of…sometimes we get arguing at the symptom level but what we really need to do is ask ourselves, “Has the Gospel so transformed me that I’m loving others with the same kind of love that God loved me?” If we could begin to do that, we’d get a long ways down the road on this issue.
Dr. Purdom: Right, and that applies to whether we’re talking about people of different ethnicities. We’re going to have another person talk about people with disabilities. You know, young people, old people, this applies across the spectrum. We’re talking about valuing life. Are we really loving others as Christ loves us? And that’s a really good point to make…You talk about grace relations, not race relations. So, explain what are some of the things you’re going to be talking about at the conference here in a few months.
Dr. Ware: Well, we kind of sum it up. When we talk about the grace of God instead of race, I tell them grace is a foundation that we can build upon to deal with the sins of the past, which becomes part of the argument, the disfunction of the present, and the empowerment to create a better future. So, I will be talking about the biblical fact that we all came from Adam and Eve. I’ve loved these advertisements about my DNA ancestry. Oh, I thought I was Irish, and then I did my ancestry. Oh! I got some German or I got this or I got that…
At Crossroads Bible College, we’ll tell you, if you go back far enough you all came from Adam and Eve. So, we’re one race. God has created us that way, and yet Genesis 3 tells us something very dramatic happened. There was the fall as Answers in Genesis talks about the creation, and then we have this catastrophe in here. The idea that we fell into sin, and something devastating happened. Our relationships are broken, and we want to talk about that as a problem we’ve got. And we want to talk about the Tower of Babel, and all of the races coming and being scattered from there. And then, the glorious part of this whole thing is the coming of Christ, that we have hope because Christ came and died. And we are one human race in Christ, and then if we repent of our sins, and we’re born again through one blood, that is the death of Christ, we are brothers and sisters. And so, we can be delighted in finding more of our brothers and sisters. Rejoicing together because of the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ Jesus.
Dr. Purdom: Yeah, very well said, and I know myself, I attend a church that is multiethnic. We do have people that look different from myself, and I love that fact, because I think a lot about – this is what it’s going to look like in heaven. It’s not going to be a bunch of people that just look like me. It’s going to be people of all these different ethnicities coming together, because we are one human race and as brothers and sisters in Christ, we’re the body of Christ. One body of Christ, not lots of different ones. So that really is the redeeming nature of Christianity as it plays into the issue of race relations. The Bible has the answer. It has the key. It’s the key to resolving all of these things that are really, like you say, just an outpouring of sin in our culture today.
Dr. Ware: Yeah, and that’s so powerful because, you know, you have to think. You’re having a women’s conference there, and I know it should be on all of our hearts, but women are concerned about their children. And as you listen at the media, as you listen at the news, as you watch the politicians go at it, as you hear some the anger, or hatred, or whatever increasing in our country, as one mother asked me, she’s white, she’s adopted two African American kids, and she says the community she lives in is predominately white. She says, “I fear for my boys.”
So, at this conference we’re going to be talking about, how can we, I like to say, rise above cursing the darkness to creating communities of light. How can we begin to work together across ethnic lines because of Christ and because of the word of God? And how can we create for a watching world a different picture? You know, I like to think of this whole thing of, like you said, a multiethnic church. And by the way, we can be multiethnic in the church and still don’t get along…Love brings us together. But I like to think about, we are a preview of heaven, and I’d like to be able to say, somewhere a church near you, this film is being played. Jesus has redeemed people of different races, and you can go and you can see it, and you can think, “Wow! This is just a trailer.” The real thing is coming in high def, extra 4k, I guess now, whatever it is. But when we get to heaven, we’re going to see it on display like never before, but we have an opportunity down here. And so to teach our kids, how do we teach our kids to make sense of the society in which they’re living? Our past history? Our present disfunction? And can we create something better? I like to tell people that the church struggles even now willfully we’re just segregated. We don’t find that many multiethnic churches. But I like to tell people, the hand of God is still writing history, and the church in the 21st century could very well be the church of reconciliation by the grace of God.
Dr. Purdom: Yeah. And I think that’s something that we really try and do at our women’s conferences is, ok, so we know this information, now how do we practically live that out? And I love what you’re saying there because that’s what I want to see, is how can we as women of God live that out in our lives? With our children, in our communities, in our churches? And so, we’re going to, I don’t know about you, but I get more excited…talking about all the amazing things that we’re going to be talking about. And so, at the end too, one of the things that’s unique about this conference is for the first time we’re going to have a panel discussion in the afternoon. So that will be really great, with all of our speakers. So, you can get the opportunity to ask questions and hear some answers from these people about how do we live these things out. How do we practically do that? …