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God’s Gift of Salvation and the Gifts of the Spirit

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Salvation Freedom

*Salvation is free, salvation is freedom – it’s that simple; not complicated

During this unprecedented global pandemic, many people are asking “is the world coming to an end?” And with that comes the question of salvation: “Am I right with God?” To answer that question, may I share the simplest, most basic invitation to salvation found in the Bible: “…if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the Scripture says, ‘Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.’ For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. For ‘whoever calls on the name of the LORD shall be saved’.” [Romans 10: 9-13]

Salvation is free, salvation is freedom – it’s that simple; not complicated. Just come as you are to accept the invitation.

If you are sincere, other things like obedience, fear [reverence] of God and repentance [changing your direction and doing that which is well-pleasing in God’s sight] will come. The Spirit will give you the desire to do and be like Jesus!

What makes it complicated is when people say things that become stumbling blocks toward salvation. For instance, I recently listened to a preacher who had a good message, but at the end, extended an invitation to salvation with this addendum to the scripture in Romans: “…and speak in tongues as evidence that you received the Holy Ghost.” Now if you were sitting on a pew and the Spirit was prompting you to accept the invitation, wouldn’t you give pause to that condition? Of course you would; this would all be new to you! You most likely would not know the difference between God’s invitation to salvation, and the gifts of the spirit. Let’s not be confused.

1 Corinthians 12: 4-11 reads: “There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.”

People who believe that speaking in tongues is evidence of salvation, base it upon scripture in Romans 2:1-4. It was on the day of Pentecost (Feast of Weeks) when the Holy Spirit descended upon the Apostles and other followers of Christ. The Apostles were not speaking in an unknown tongue, but rather, were speaking in languages representative of all the Jews from every nation who had gathered there in Jerusalem. It was nothing short of a miracle, but it was not to be mistaken as evidence of salvation. If that were the case, then there are a lot of Christians hell bound because the gift of tongues has not manifested in them. Please read and search the scriptures for yourself, and be not misled by someone else’s misinterpretation.

The Bible means what it says! I love our Pentecost brothers and sisters in Christ, but what does it profit an unbeliever to walk into a church where everyone is speaking a language he or she cannot understand?

Please follow the easy steps below to leave a comment. Thank you!

Larry Buford is a Los Angeles-based contributing writer. Author of “Things Are Gettin’ Outta Hand” and “Book To The Future” (Amazon). Email: [email protected]

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#BlackLivesMatter

The Journal of Steffanie Rivers: Kentucky AG Is Not Fit For the Fight

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The good news is the city of Louisville has agreed to pay $12 million to Breonna Taylor’s family. It’s the largest wrongful death payment ever against the Louisville Metro Police Department. Taylor’s family and loved ones deserve it! Nobody would argue that after learning about how and why she was killed. Yet, the civil case award could be bad news for the criminal case. Keep reading to understand how.

She was killed in March 2020. Kentucky’s Attorney General Daniel J. Cameron appointed himself special prosecutor back in June. Since then he claims to have been conducting a thorough investigation. Instead he stalled the case.

Ninety-nine percent of us know the story. For the one percent who don’t know here’s a recap: Louisville police lied to a judge to get approval for a no-knock warrant at Taylor’s residence. Taylor was not the target of the warrant. The person who was the target – her ex boyfriend – already had been arrested across town. But these bully, liar, killer cops showed up at Taylor’s residence anyway and broke down the door.

Police claimed they announced themselves as cops. Neighbors said they didn’t. Some of those neighbors and Taylor’s boyfriend, Kenneth Walker who was at home with her, called police about the break-in. Walker shot at the people coming through the door. He’s licensed to carry a weapon and used it to legally defend himself and Taylor. Police unloaded a barrage of bullets into the apartment on the way in shooting Taylor. One of the cops stationed outside blindly shot into Taylor’s apartment. Some of his bullets were found in neighboring apartments where other innocent people could have died. Walker was arrested and charged with attempted murder of police – who didn’t announce themselves. Nobody offered Taylor medical assistance that might have saved her life. And that’s why Taylor’s family deserves the settlement money.

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Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron

But there’s more to the story that makes Taylor’s murder even more egregious. Taylor’s boyfriend called her mom before he was arrested. When Taylor’s mother, Tamika Palmer, showed up at the scene she was given the runaround about where her daughter was. Police sent her to a hospital telling her Breonna was there, knowing she wasn’t. After an hour, Palmer came back to the scene and that’s when police asked her about any domestic violence issues between her Breonna and her boyfriend. They tried to get her to make a statement that could later be used to blame Walker for Breonna’s death!

Of the officers involved in Taylor’s murder and subsequent cover-up none of them has been charged with a crime. Only one of them – the one who stood outside and blindly shot into her apartment – has been fired. The others are still getting paid for the legalized genocide of Black people. We should demand the system to dish out fair punishment to bully, liar, killer cops the same as it does for everyone else.

That’s where Attorney General Cameron should have stepped in. The aforementioned details are enough evidence for charges already to have been filed. Any other attorney general with a backbone would have done so already. Dan Cameron has no backbone. He’s afraid to bring charges against police, because they helped get him elected. He thanked the Fraternal Order of Police in his acceptance speech when he was elected to the AG position last year. The FOP has Cameron in their back pocket. They own him!

For three months Cameron claimed he had been conducting a thorough investigation of Taylor’s case. It was a stall tactic. He had hoped he could take control of the investigation and never file charges against the police involved. But then George Floyd’s modern-day lynching video sparked world-wide protests and brought attention to Taylor’s case.

That’s when Cameron realized the case wouldn’t go away because all eyes are on Louisville! Even though Taylor’s family deserves the $12 million settlement, the civil case could compromise the criminal case.

Typically the criminal case is decided first. The civil case is decided later. Since the money already has been awarded the grand jury might not feel obligated to indict Sgt. Jonathan Mattingly, Det. Myles Cosgrove or now fired officer Brett Hankinson. Criminal justice is different than civil justice. We want both

Even though they are not supposed to act on emotion when it comes to the law, the grand jury might feel as if criminal indictments against police and civil justice is too much justice for one case! Also, the attorney general can sway the grand jury’s decision based on how and what evidence he presents. It doesn’t look good for criminal prosecution. I know it and people in Louisville know it. That’s why federal buildings in the city have been boarded up and are closed for business this week in anticipation of what’s to come.

Daniel Cameron is not fit for the fight we as Black people in America are engaged in against bully, liar, killer cops! He claimed to be for law and order, but when it comes to holding crooked cops accountable, he doesn’t have the guts for it. He’s not fit to be attorney general.

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Steffanie Rivers

Steffanie Rivers is a freelance journalist living in the Dallas-Ft. Worth metroplex. Email her at [email protected] with comments, questions or speaking inquiries. Friend her on Facebook.com/StefanieRivers.  Follow her on Twitter @tcbstef and on Instagram @tcbstef

 

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The Last Roundup! (It’s Time to Call the Children Home)

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Cattle roundup

*Attention all Spirit-filled trail bosses: (“Trail Boss: A cowboy foreman, leader, or supervisor commissioned to be in charge of a collective effort to gather, obtain, retrieve cattle to form a herd and direct them to an assigned destination”) It’s time for “The Last Roundup!”

We must proceed while it is still light, for the day is far spent. So, grab your gear, and saddle up your palominos of power, your roans of righteousness, your steadfast steeds, and your stallions of supremacy! Fill your chuckwagons with daily bread, fruit, and victuals for victory. Go and scour all ranges, north, south, east and west. Rise up and cross the rivers, creeks and fords.

Traverse and climb every mountain and every hill. Search every valley. Succor and secure all that are willing to receive the JC (JESUS CHRIST) brand. Study your weapons and be fully armed. Be prepared to contend and defend the faith in which you’re operating in. Be not fearful of big cats, wolves, snakes, scorpions or any wild beast that may come against you. You have authority over all storms small and great.

The corral of CHRIST awaits you and you cannot be stopped. So, lasso them with the lariat of the gospel. Lead them through the green pastures. Quench their thirst by the still waters. Now is the time of reckoning. The signs of this season are pregnant with preludes of catastrophe. Are you a laborer? Or are you in labor? Are you in triumph? Or are you in travail? Wake up! Be bold and not stagnant. Be ready, and call the children home!

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Frederick Wm. Worthy

Please leave a comment below, or contact Elder Frederick Wm. Worthy, an Arizona-based contributing writer at email: [email protected]

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EUR Commentary

The Enduring Legacy of the Fugitive Slave Act by David J. Johns

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David J Johns

David J. Johns, Executive Director of National Black Justice Coalition http://new.nbjc.org/

*The following is authored by David J. Johns, Executive Director of National Black Justice Coalition. 

Recently I heard a friend say the following, and I felt each word pierce my heart like a dagger as they fell from his lips, “I know white people who are planning the future while the smartest Black and Brown people I know are focused on trying to get the police to stop killing us.”

This statement still sits with me because it speaks to the continued investments that African descendants chiefly make to address the problems that transatlantic enslavement and U.S. capitalism have created. The statement also speaks to how so many life opportunities and outcomes are shaped by the enduring problems caused by race and racism in America.

On September 18, 1850, the Fugitive Slave Act was signed into law by President Millard Fillmore. Created as an attempt to keep the Union together and avoid a civil war, the Act was meant to enforce Article IV, Section 2, Clause 3, otherwise known as The Fugitive Slave Clause of the U.S. Constitution. This article states that enslaved Africans did not become free if they managed to escape to a free state and required them to be returned to their masters. The Fugitive Slave Act and the rift it caused between anti- and pro-slavery states contributed to both the Civil War and the formal end of slavery.

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Tongayi Chirisa in “Antebellum.” Courtesy of Lionsgate

The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 was actually the second Act of its kind. The first Fugitive Slave Act was enacted in 1793. This law allowed slave owners and their agents to search for runaway slaves in free states and it punished people who helped harbor and conceal enslaved Africans. In the North, where anti-slavery sentiments were rising, many intentionally neglected to enforce the law. Some people engaged in helping enslaved Africans make their way to freedom along the Underground Railroad. Some of the Northern states even passed “Personal Liberty Laws,” which gave the accused escaped slaves the right to a trial and protected free Black people.

An unintended consequence of the Fugitive Slave Acts was the theft and kidnapping of free Black people who were forced into slavery by bounty hunters and others seeking to profit from Black bodies. While there has been much attention paid to the horrifically brutal nature of slavery, the way that we remember slavery in America seems to suggest that both that period in our history and the collateral consequences of it are over. This couldn’t be further from the truth, as evidenced by this moment in the movement for Black lives. Dr. Joy DeGruy has pioneered thinking about “post traumatic slave syndrome”. Building upon the foundation that she has helped to establish, it’s also important to think about the unrelenting impact that slavery continues to play in all of our lives.

Both Fugitive Slave Acts were repealed by an act of Congress during the Civil War on June 28, 1864, and with the Civil War came the official end of slavery. But the oppression and discrimination Black people face did not end then and still continues to this day. There’s a movement to help people and medical practitioners understand the consequences of persistent traumatic environmental factors that impact the lives of African descendants in peculiar ways and the newly released feature film ANTEBELLUM brings the current costs of historical traumas into focus.

The impacts of intergenerational trauma and systematic racism are not discussed enough. The signs, symbols, and systems that are used to preserve and perpetuate privilege often go ignored. And the consequences of Black people still facing disproportionate levels of bias, discrimination, and violence are too frequently dismissed, which is precisely why I am excited about the conversations that will be had after ANTEBELLUM is released on September 18, 2020 — the anniversary of the Fugitive Slave Act.

ANTEBELLUM invites many of us to think about what it feels like to be trapped–confined by the horrifying trappings of our collective and not too distant past. The opening scene of ANTEBELLUM is a reminder of this very fact–of the contradictions that exist in a democracy that has been consistent and intentional in attempting to deny Black, Latinx and poor people access to opportunity. I don’t want to give away anything from the movie but consider the fact that while few people would think to get married at a concentration camp, there are thousands of couples clamoring to celebrate their holy matrimonies at plantations today. ANTEBELLUM invites us all to consider how the legacy of plantations have been shaped over time and how those narratives impact our lives today.

I sometimes wonder if the spirits of our ancestors could speak to well-meaning white people who celebrate confederacy without acknowledging the damage its legacy continues to cause, and what they would say to them. After viewing the film ANTEBELLUM, written and directed by the talented duo Bush + Renz, I can imagine what this conversation might sound and feel like. Go watch the movie and ensure you’re registered to vote.

ANTEBELLUM premiers on demand Friday September 18th, which is also the day that BET & the National Urban League have dubbed as the inaugural ‘National Black Voter Day.’

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David J. Johns is Executive Director of National Black Justice Coalition

David J. Johns is the Executive Director of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC). David is known for his passion, public policy acumen and fierce advocacy for youth. He is an enthusiast about equity—leveraging his time, talent and treasures to address the needs of individuals and communities often neglected and ignored. A recognized thought leader and social justice champion, David’s career has focused on improving life outcomes and opportunities for Black people.

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