Urijah E. Israel, Dellwood
Because of God's outspokenness against preachers during ancient history, Jeremiah 23 sheds light on preachers during American history, especially in verses 16 and 31. During ancient history after slavery, the Bible states in Exodus (20:1-7), "I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shall not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in Heaven above or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shall not bow down thou self to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; and showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold them guiltless that taketh His name in vain."
Following His creation of the Ten Commandments, He dispatched Jesus, His son, to earth to walk the land among the people teaching and preaching the word to them so they could better understand the meaning until his death. Christ's rallying cry while on Earth was, "If you believe in me, you will have everlasting life." More than 2,000 years later, slavery was initiated in America. Unfortunately, once the teaching of the Bible commenced, its conveyance consisted of half-truths.
Fact is, the Bible that contains the stories told by Moses, Jeremiah and so many others during ancient history contains the same scriptures used in American history. However, once Pharaoh was removed, the Book of Exodus relates to God's direct contact with Moses, as he encountered when dealing with the Israelites, the same Jesus experienced later. The Israelites witnessed these people and their wonders. Once the Bible was brought to America, there were no witnesses to the actual occurrences that took place during that time, other than what the Bible recorded. It then became the preachers' living witness.
Rather than accept it as knowing God was real, it has been replayed daily, as happened when Jesus walked the land asking, "If you believe in me, you will have everlasting life." Most preachers have led parishioners astray. Throughout the Bible, it tells of false prophets who never tackled the subject of themselves and their actions as if they were gods. The church of today has become a financial racket. No greater lesson can be learned about salvation than the story of John Newton, a white male once a captain in the slave trade, who denounced it in his change for the love of God. The words of his song, "Amazing Grace," sum up the Bible: He confesses his sinfulness and lays blame on nobody but himself. From this point on, he follows the dictates of God and interprets His meaning something preachers aren't capable of doing.
Anyway, slavery in America violated God's three basic laws: There shall be no other Gods before me, love and obedience. Somebody has been disobedient.
Prince Joe Henry, one of professional baseball's original "clowns," was an all-star infielder for Negro League baseball teams in Memphis, Indianapolis and Detroit throughout the 1950s. But up until the late 1940s, Prince Joe didn't know anything about the Negro Leagues. His knowledge of organized baseball was limited to the Cardinals and Browns games he attended during his preteen years at Sportsman?s Park, accompanied by lifelong buddy Eugene "Gene" Crittendon, who could pass for white.
Perhaps Henry's most vivid memory of those games: Upon entry, white ushers would politely escort the boys to a small section of the left-field stands reserved for "Colored." After climbing past several tiers of bleachers, they'd arrive at their stop, rows and rows behind their white counterparts.
Even at a young age, the boys were conscious of the double standard -- and determined to vent their disdain. The opportunity would arise with the urge to urinate. Rather than head for the latrine, the boys would edge their way to the front of the section and let fly. As the liquid foamed its way down the concrete steps toward the white kids, Henry and his pal would ease back and relax, politely rooting for the visiting team to beat the hell out of the Browns or the Cards.
After all, Henry and Crittendon hailed from Brooklyn, Illinois, a small, predominantly black township just east of the Mississippi River. So hospitable were the residents of Brooklyn that they were known to take in a rank stranger, treat him to breakfast, lunch, supper and a night out on the town -- and afterward, if he messed up, treat him to a good ass-whippin'.
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