Tuesday, July 18, 2017

"Do you have family here?"

People always ask me each time I meet a new person, “Do you have family here?” Sometimes, when I meet a white person, he or she always wants to tell me about some Africans or Cameroonians they know. They will ask me, “Do you want to meet them?” I am sure, most of them are always taken aback when I say that “No, not really. I want to know you and make you my family.” Some of them think that I don’t have a notion of family, or I hate my family or something. If I know the person well, I will ask them, “Do you meet every white person you see, or do you meet every American in Germany or Europe whenever you visit?” They will grind and retort, “You are funny.” I do that because as a follower of Christ, I must espoused everything He taught. He taught us that those who do God’s will are our brothers and sisters and our mothers and fathers. The spiritual family does not know race, color, ethnicity or social status; it knows only the Blood of Christ and the seal of Spirit.
Suffer that I clear the first scriptural barrier that those who disagree with me always raise. They always cite I Timothy 5:8, “But if any provide not for his own, especially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.” As many of you know that I use my real name because I want to give you the opportunity to verify what I say, so if you propagate lies, we can find recourse elsewhere. I believe in family, and I have a strong family bond that I rarely miss a day without talking with a sanguin brother, sister or my mother. Many of my nieces, nephews and even cousins will tell you that I paid their tuition. I don’t know a single needy cousin whom I did not help, except if he or she wanted to double dip, take from both sides.
Therefore, I am aware of that verse. When Jesus was in Tyre and Sidon (current day Lebanon) ministering, his brothers, sisters and mother came to see for themselves the state of their brother and son, especially because rumors have been going around that he was demented. People quickly announced to him that his family was there. He then asked them, “Who is my mother, or my brethren?” To the shock of many, he pointed to his disciples and believers, saying, “Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother.” Mk. 3:33-35.
I am sure that you have heard people say that blood is thicker than water. They mean that family ties are stronger than non-family ties. That is worldly wisdom. Divine wisdom says that “Water and spirit are stronger than blood.” Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” Jn 3:5-6. The water here stands for the blood-physical birth, human relationships and spiritual birth is for being born-again.  We become a family as brothers and sisters in Christ due to the death of Christ. When we are born again, we are adopted into the family of God; henceforth, we are brothers and sisters in the Lord. Those who are older to be our parents are our fathers and mothers.
Sometimes it baffles me how a white Christian will have less respect for me, a black brother in Christ, but he/she will honor another white person, even if he is a criminal. For me, I consider the mothers, fathers in my church the same way I consider my own mother. I feel their pain when they say that they are sick the very same way I feel when my own mother says that she is sick. When a sister in church tells me their problems, I bear the burden just like I do with my own sisters because those who hear the word and practice it are members of the family of God, which I am part. Even within the physical realm, sometimes there is “a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” (Prov. 18:24). These folks have different roles and he explains that, “A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need (Prov 17:17).” That is why, it is wrong for a Christian group to neglect their sister or brother in Christ simply because he looks or is different from them. They are there to help in times of need.  That is what a great Christian brotherhood does.
When white Christians ask me if I wanted to meet a black person or a Cameroonian, I seem to pity them (more than the non-Christians) because I see that they have not understood the bond that ties us together. They seem to feel that I would not be comfortable with them because they are white. They are my family. The other one is peripheral. If it happens that in my daily interactions I meet a Cameroonian or a black person, I am fine with that. However, it is not the color of one’s skin or their ethnicity that makes me comfortable around them; it is the spiritual bond which is demonstrated in how they practice their Christianity that makes me comfortable. They are my brothers and sisters. They are my mothers and fathers. They should make me feel comfortable by showing me the love of Christ. I will end with this anecdote.
Even my friendships are not made based o color and ethnicity. I make friends based on loyalty and honesty, no matter the color of one's skin. Many people are missing out on building a happy relationship and platonic friendship because they are so carried with this race thing. 
A few years back, the parents of a young sister refused her from dating, talk less of marrying a black man. They said that the black man will be of no good for her. Within 4 years, she dated and married 2 white men and both marriages ended up in divorce. The black guy they rejected is still happily married today to another white girl from another church.  Blood and water are thicker and stronger than just blood. Christendom should take note and keep it to heart. Who do you think would have been better for her: the white guys or the black guy? You make your pick. 

Until then, you are my family if you hear and keep the word of God.

St Arrey of Ntenako

“Bonyfish beware because the same net that caught the jawless fish, caught the cartilaginous fish” (Hamilton Ayuk). Beware earthly paradise seekers because there is a serpent in every paradise"(Hamilton Ayuk). "If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable." (I Cor 15:19). "It is not how well you know a person; it is how well you treat them that they will live longer and happier with you." Hamilton Ayuk. Idle people write, idler people read, and idlest people read and whine that idle people are taking their time (Hamilton Ayuk).

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