Saturday, December 09, 2006

Sermon Excerpt: The Challenge of Change

By: Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright

...Here in Joshua 1, the people of Promise are not only facing a monumental change in terms of leadership, they are facing a monumental change when it comes to location. That also puts them in a state of crisis, say “crisis.” And on top of that, as Moses warned them back in Deuteronomy 6, a change in location will also bring about a change in lifestyle. Throughout the wilderness years, they were one closely knit community. They had other ethnic groups as a part of their community, yes, but they worked together, they traveled together, they moved together, and they worshipped together. Plus, in the wilderness, the enemy was clearly defined.

But over in Canaan, there was going to be a change in lifestyle. In Canaan, you were no longer a closely knit community where everybody worships the Lord on the Lord’s day. In Canaan, you find yourself living next door to folk who don’t believe like you believe, folk who don’t worship like you worship, folk who don’t love the Lord like you love the Lord, folk who don’t even go to church, folk who worship wealth, and who will try to get you to worship what they worship.

In Canaan, the enemy is not so easily discerned or defined anymore. In Canaan, there is a change in lifestyle. Some folk look like you, and think like the enemy. It is called assimilation. It is called acculturation. In Canaan, your children will want to do everything they see the Canaanite kids do. In Canaan, there’s a change in lifestyle. In Canaan, everybody ain’t on the same page anymore.

In Canaan, there are some folk who see nothing wrong with killing. They will kill you with drugs, or they will kill you with war. They don’t even need a justification for the war. They can make one up, and get a majority of the folk to believe the made-up lies in spite of what truth is staring them right in the face.

In Canaan, you will find folk who say this, “My mind is made up. Don’t confuse me with the facts.” You missed that. The fact is, they didn’t like this in Indiana, so I am going to say this a little slower in Louisville, the fact is there were not weapons of mass destruction, and as a result 2,800 American soldiers are dead and 100,000 Iraqi civilians are dead. "Yeah, but we stopped that gay marriage talk."

The fact is there was no connection between 9-11 and Iraq. There was no connection between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden….We lied to you to take you to war. "Yeah, yeah, yeah, but we stopped all them folk who believe in abortion." You done killed 150,000 civilians who were alive, and you talk about stopping abortion, duh!...

The fact is black folk are still dying in Sudan, in Dafur, and in Haiti, and ain’t nobody doing a damn thing about it! That’s the fact. The fact is the United States caused the trouble in Haiti. "Yeah, yeah, Reverend, that may be so, but the Dow Jones is on the way up. America is safer today because of the cowardly cowboy." In Canaan, you’ll find an ideology that says, "My mind is made up. Don’t confuse me with the facts."

The fact is Michael Moore was right. Kanye West was right. We’ve got an administration that cannot get help. They can get help for the tsunami victims way over in Thailand in a matter of hours, victims vacationing in plush resorts….but the same administration cannot get help for the hurricane victims in New Orleans, Gulf Port, Biloxi, right here in America for four days, victims who were poor and black and drowning as the levees broke….

The fact is the media could get there, but the military couldn’t. The fact is television cameras could get there, but FEMA couldn’t. For four days, National Guards couldn’t get there! For four days, food couldn’t get there! For four days, bottled water couldn’t get there! "Yeah, yeah, yeah, Reverend, but did you see them looters?" What about the lost and the suffocating? What about those drowning? "Well, they were black and poor and it really didn’t matter…."

Even “Condamneisa” said that race wasn’t involved. And T.D. Jakes, y’all love him, sold his people out for a presidential approval. In Canaan, you’ll find people who say, "My mind is made up. Don’t try to confuse me with the facts. "

Considered a preacher par excellence, Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright is Senior Pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ, Chicago, Illinois. He was guest speaker for the 27th Pastoral Anniversary Celebration of Rev. Dr. Kevin Cosby, Sr. Pastor, St. Stephen Church, Louisville, Kentucky, October 29, 2006. This sermon excerpt taken from Dr. Wright’s 11:30 a.m. message. Purchase this sermon and his 8:00, 9:40, and 10:45 sermons at the St. Stephen Church.

Remember, it is not Mohammad, Buddha, Confucius, nor New Age that saves. Jesus saves!


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