The Power of Bacon

C&S media publications | 972-442-5515 OPINION & COMMENTARY August 3-5, 2016 5A

article-pic The Power of Bacon

Media headlines have taken a major shift as our nation experiences division. These divisions are fueled by race and a hatred of a much needed governing force within our communities…police officers. Keywords that have been constantly used are hatred, black, white, cops, racist, abuse, prejudice, unity, respect…you get the picture. But what are we to do and how are we to think concerning the issues of an increasingly divided nation?

The best example I can think of is found in scripture. You may remember that the Apostle Peter was Jewish…he was taught Jewish tradition and culture in his home and from his family, he knew the holidays, celebrations and even dietary laws surrounding being a Jew. A couple of those laws included not mingling with Gentiles and abstaining from pork because it was considered unclean food. Imagine that Peter never experienced bacon or a good old fashioned ham sandwich! But one day God spoke to Peter through a vision and told him to eat animals that were considered unclean according to dietary law. Peter immediately resisted because he was a good practicing Jew that knew his culture. But God responded to Peter with these words, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean” (Acts 10:15). This vision changed Peter’s life forever!

You may be asking what does bacon and ham sandwiches have to do with the division of our nation? A lot actually…see, Peter’s vision changed him in two ways. First, it changed his diet! He could now eat pork, but the true essence of God’s message was that Peter should no longer separate himself from Gentiles. Gentiles, who were once considered ‘impure’ due to Peter’s culture, should now be accepted. Little did Peter know that God would use him to minister the gospel to some Gentiles. But here’s the deeper message…God was telling Peter to put aside his personal cultural agenda and embrace God’s greater agenda. God’s agenda is preeminent…it transcends all of the other agendas that we maintain. If we’re ever going to be united, we must first have one overarching agenda.

Every successful organization or sports team has one agenda. A football team consists of different players with varied backgrounds and skills…the guys on the defensive line are very different than the quarterback or wide receivers, but they all have one agenda, to get the ball into the end zone more times than their opponent. In order to accomplish this, they must put aside their personal agendas and pursue the transcending agenda of working together to win.

We must be careful not to elevate our personal agendas above God’s transcending agenda. When Peter embraced God’s agenda it didn’t change the fact that he was still a Jew and engaged in cultural activities, but he didn’t allow his cultural agenda to override or interfere with God’s greater agenda. And when he did, he was publicly rebuked for it (Galatians 2:14). Embracing God’s agenda didn’t change his culture, it changed his thinking and acting. We cannot have a black agenda, a white agenda or a blue agenda as our motive for who we are and what we do. We must embrace God’s transcending agenda because He’s the standard for everything that is morally good. This is the only way that our communities and our nation will ever be unified. Are you willing to put aside your personal agenda and embrace Christ’s agenda as preeminent in your life? If so, you’re a vessel that can be used toward a unified community and a unified nation.

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