Tag Archives: long term relationship

Healing Our Racial Division with the Fiery Passion of Pentecostal Love

As our American friends are in the midst of their 2016 presidential election, politicians are on the campaign trail explaining the reason to be voted as a president. The country is divided in many ways where activists ranging from race, to gender, to class and to religion are all crying out to be heard. When it comes to race, the division is much more sharp and piercing. Both Democratic and Republic politicians are professing to be the glue to unify their nation and mend the divide between Black, White, and Brown people.

Canadians may laugh at the made-for-t.v., political circus and comic show down South. Yet there are challenges of division with racism as deals with Afro-Canadians/Caribbean and First Nations and its offshoot religious racism with Muslims/Syrians/Middle East migrants and residents. It seems that both nations are having a difficult time closing the divide and opening our hearts. Americans are more blatant in their vitriol whereas Canadians are subtler. Either way – both are dehumanizing! I believe the Pentecostal Church could provide a road map for unity and reconciliation where both countries could learn from.

The Pentecostal/Charismatic Church is the fastest growing church in the world and approaching the size of the Roman Catholic Church as the largest Church family. The phenomenal growth and size is not by fluke. It is intentionally based on an open door and outreach position for diverse cultures and nations to embrace the message of Gospel love. Where did this attitude of passion fiery love come from for Pentecostals/Charismatics to reach out to Russians, Brazilians, Filipinos, Nigerians, Chinese etc.?

On April 1906, in a rundown church in Los Angeles, a passionate Black preacher William Seymour with a loyal group of Black Christians who prayed for racial unity and Christian unity. What made this prayer and fervor unique was in the midst of Jim Crow laws that these brave Christians were extending themselves to hug racist White Christians. God rewarded their desires by a phenomenal event where those Black Christians miraculously spoke in a different language never taught to them. This documented event echoed biblical times just after Jesus’ death and resurrection where the Early Church spoke miraculously through God’s Spirit in a different language to share the good news of Jesus to a diverse yet divided crowd in Jerusalem. What happened in Los Angeles 1900 years later known as the Azusa Street Revival had the similar effective power where it drew different races. Many of them experienced this miracle of speaking in a different language (called tongues speaking) and other miracles like healing. But the biggest miracle was the beginning to heal the divide of racism (and sexism) between people and their segregated churches. The reason being the experience was bigger than any race or culture (or gender). This Déjà vu moment was God pouring his love on all people, which humanized and humbled racist and sexist people to see each other with dignity and equality.

Although the Pentecostal Church is a human organization, not perfect and still struggles with racism and sexism like other organizations, but they have learned principles and practices to overcome the sin by God’s love. And the people are their fruit. This compassionate experience plus a compelling story is what our respective countries need to hear – especially our politicians. And quite possibly, they can feel the fire of unity that these men and women felt at Azusa Street. We can only pray in tongues for that miracle to happen.

~ Denley W. McIntosh

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Her Expectations – Relationship Series

Her Expectations

Although it is good to have your expectation of what you desire in ‘your’ man, you have to balance this with the complementary thought of “what can I do for him.” It can’t just be about “…what can he do for me!” The reason I suggest this is for reflection; it will help motivate you to be other centered in your courting. (I use the word courting because you seek a relationship that moves toward marriage. Dating connotes a more casual encounter and may not be viewed as a long-term relationship.)

In relationships, most men know that most women who they court want to settle down. No doubt this is a legitimate expectation and need, but it is one of many need/expectations from her. As a man, why would I want to settle down with a woman who is preoccupied – plainly – about her needs and expectations? In other words, they are preoccupied solely with themselves. I am sorry to say but this is actually selfishness. Many women, in a relationship, would not see themselves as selfish. However I am not suggesting these women are selfish at their core, but selfish in how they deal with their relationships. They become self-absorbed about how they feel in the relationship. For example, when a man is bothered with something, what is the first thing she asks?  “What is bothering you Honey?” He may reply “Nothing…” but we know he is being dishonest. However most men don’t know and/or have the courage to tell her his feelings at that moment. Many women who may not recognize his fear, get offended and angry at his closure.  Consequently, she now gets upset with him.

What’s wrong with this picture? The main reason she wanted to know is because knowing what was wrong made her feel connected to him. Her main motivation was not to help him through the issue but to feel connected to him. She wanted to sympathize and empathize. These are good desires, but they are her desires not her man’s. So it comes back to her saying, “To heck with you! This is what I want out of this relationship!”

By no means am I saying this man was right in how he handled his issue. (The Lord knows we do many things poorly.) However, being there for him is not getting angry with him when he is unable to share his heart. Nobody wants to feel threatened if they don’t speak. (Remember, many men see relationships and marriage as jail – a loss of freedom!) This is just a brief example, but I hope the point is clear. Trust or respect cannot be build within that climate.

Expectations are fine to have, but I believe these embattled women can help their cause through showing how you can help to make his life better. If relationships and marriage are seen as a partnership, then you are his advocate and adviser. Remember respect and trust is what men value. Men like women who are attractive but love a woman who they can trust.

Always endeavor to keep your desire and his in balance, and you will find that the two of you are moving towards a win-win, loving relationship. As Stephen Covey, author and renowned life coach, puts it, “seek first to understand then to be understood.”

 

~ Denley W. McIntosh

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