May the love of Jesus Christ abound in your heart!
Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor,
Him I will destroy;
The one who has a haughty look and a proud heart,
Him I will not endure.
I know that I have a lot of work set before me in terms of continuing with the series on women of the Bible and writing my last post relating to Black history month, but I truly want to take the time to speak on something that has been heavy on my heart. In some posts, I have spoken of individuals who have been slandering me. The Lord is now leading me to share the whole story...
It began the summer of 2018. I was in a place where I was contemplating what the Lord wanted me to do next in regard to my productive life. I became inspired to obtain a graduate degree in theology. - I shared this privately. - I had wanted to study theology ever since my freshman year of college. I did not want to major in religion in college because it would not allow me to focus on the Bible. So, I wanted to go to theology school after college. More specifically, around my junior year of college, I wanted to attend the Princeton Theological Seminary. Yet, the Lord spoke to me through His Word to show me that to do so would be to eat from the forbidden fruit of knowledge. So, I turned from that plan. Senior year, I came to fully understand that the Lord forbid me to attend the seminary because it was not firmly grounded on biblical principles. All in all, summer of 2018, I revisited the concept of attending theology school. This time, I wanted to do it all online through Liberty University.
So, I looked through all of the information. I filled out the application, and I requested for my official transcript to be sent to the LU admissions office. I also had to have my pastor fill out a form of approval. So, I met and sat down with my pastor and explained to him my interest in attending theological school and explained that I would be focusing on biblical studies. Then, I also explained that I needed him to sign a form of approval and asked if he was willing to sign it. He told me that he saw my walk with God was blameless and that he would sign the form. He did what he said he would do. He signed the form. After all was completed, I was accepted into the program.
So, what was the problem? Personally, I realized that the cost of the program was much more than I anticipated, and I had to analyze whether the money that I would have to invest was worth it. That led me to pray to the Lord more about whether or not He wanted me to complete the program. After a lot of thinking, I considered if obtaining a graduate degree in education would be better because there is a greater assurance of profiting from investing in a degree in education than investing in a degree in theology. I also considered going back to the classroom as a general educator and considered these two different programs one after the other. For about a year and a half, as I continued to grow in my current work as an enrichment educator, I was just really thinking about what God actually wanted me to do. Then, I came to experience personal stress which caused me great heartache. Though the Lord restored what I lost, there was a lot of regret that I had to let go of and a lot of forgiving that I had to do. From there, I applied for a position, which I did not obtain. After that, the Lord led me down to the path that He planned for me the whole time. The Lord has been speaking to me that it is Him who knows the plans that He has for me. Not me or any other. Him. So, He fulfilled His plans for me, and I am at awe!
Yet, why has it been my desire to study theology? My critics have said that to study theology will not get me into heaven or will not be the source of my anointing. Of course not. Salvation is in Christ alone and not in works. Anointing comes from consecration to Jesus Christ. The purpose of studying theology is to become filled with knowledge of God, and my desire aligns with this purpose. Ever since I was a child, I have been thirsty to know the Lord and His Word through revelation by the Spirit and the contents of His Bible through study. What really brought in the fire into my heart to study the contents of the Bible in depth though is a conversation that I overheard during my freshman year of college. I went to one of my history courses, and when I got there I was a bit early. There were some other students waiting for the professor as well. I overhead one student speaking about the history professor with much awe. This student explained how the history professor had such great knowledge of history and is able to teach it well and profoundly without any notes. Right then and there, my heart spoke towards the Lord: If a history professor can have such devotion to the knowledge of the subject, should I not have even greater devotion to my knowledge of my Savior? I wanted to know the Bible very deeply. I know that I would never come to know it all completely, but I most definitely wanted an overview as I continued to study, meditate and grow in the Word. It ended up to be that the Lord Himself placed this desire in me. It was not His will for me to do it through the Princeton Theological Seminary or Liberty University though. Yet, He has placed the avenue before me. Now, I am able to gain a full overview of the Bible at a much, much lower cost. This is not the complete fulfillment of His plan for me though. This has been like the salad to a main dish. I have been enjoying both the salad and the main dish.
Let us transit to those who have been attacking me. When the main individual stood behind a pulpit and spoke through a microphone spiteful words meant for me because I wanted to go to theological school, I was stunned. For, what this person expressed to me face to face was extremely different than what they expressed towards me behind the security of the pulpit. It was hatred done through hypocrisy. Of course, over time, more individuals joined him in attacking who I was as a person. First, it started off with my desire to attend theological school. Then, it went on to my intelligence and my knowledge set. Then, my good character. Then, my relationship with my mother and my sentimental life. Finally, it came to be at a place where this individual and those who joined the individual attacked me on every single thing there is about my life. Whenever they would see me prospering in something, they would say hateful things to bring me down. Of course, they failed. They would use any word that I spoke or wrote against me. They would come here to this website to read my posts and use my words against me. They would do things by using the Lord's pulpit. They would do this as they "led" worship, as they "prayed" a prayer or as they "preached" a sermon. I know that I am using past tense, but truly, it is still going on.
I responded in three different ways. First, when they would manipulate the Word of God to attack me, I would go into the scriptures, and I would teach them what the Bible really says. For, it truly bothers me to see the Word of God mishandled. Second, when they would say something evil of me, I would defend my character. Third, I would exhort them. I would explain to them that their ways were hateful and that they needed to love. I would explain to them that they were sinning and needed to repent. When outside preachers would come and the Holy Spirit would use them to defend me and to exhort them, I would rejoice because I saw the love of my Father, and I would believe that they would finally change. Yet, they only mocked the words of the preachers and even attacked some of the preachers and continued in their sins. After many, many months of exhorting them privately, I decided to speak of their sins on Emery in Christ. I had hoped that they would come to be ashamed and would change. Yet, they continued in their sins. The Lord sent another preacher right after to confirm the words that He led me to write on Emery in Christ, and continued to exhort. Some started to change, and I began to rejoice, but then they all fell back to the same sins. I was left disappointed.
So, after speaking a million words of exhortation by the fire of the Holy Spirit, I no longer felt His fire to continually speak against their sins. Instead, I felt Him leading me to love and encouragement. Not that His love was not in the exhortation. Instead, in love, there are two sides. Exhortation and encouragement. No, He is not telling me to encourage them. Instead, He has been helping me to delve into His love to encourage me. It is like when a soldier comes from a battle. He needs to recuperate. Through exhortation, I have been battling. Now, through encouragement, the Lord is restoring me and healing my wounds. His love is healing my wounds. It has been absolutely amazing.
So, I have actually been going through three major tribulations for about a year and a half. The first is my productive life in the sense of understanding the next great step the Lord wants me to take. He promised it to me through Psalm 23. He gave it to me. - Alleluia! - The second was people slandering me. The Lord already warned me about it through Matthew 5:11-12. Now, I am resting in His love. - Praise the Lord! - The third was completely spiritual. The Lord set me free. - Jesus is King! -
Does this mean that those individuals have changed? It seems like most of them are the same. Maybe few have changed. You know... it really shocked me to see who joined in hatred through hypocrisy. Some of these individuals... I saw as true brothers and sisters in Christ. I saw them as friends. I thought that they truly, truly loved me and cared about me and were sincere towards me. For some, I thought that they were leaders not just in name but in action. For some, I thought that they were truly spiritual and not putting on a deceitful act for people to see. For some, I thought that they truly knew the love of Jesus Christ and loved me. Yet, they showed me their true colors. For few, to see that they never actually loved me hurt so much that I shed a few tears. Pride, jealousy, hatred and hypocrisy truly do defile people, and this breaks the hearts of those who have to bear it. Yet, the Lord have continuously strengthened me and have continuously caused me to soar as the eagle. None of them have been able to destroy me with their words. That is because the Word of God is greater than the mere words of man. Mankind is like a flower to dwindle away, yet the Word of God shall never pass away (Psalm 103:15; Matthew 24:35). Therefore, I have only been fired up to reach greater heights. It has been a beautiful blessing from my Lord, Jesus Christ, and I thank Him.
Now, I am letting go of this expectation that I have to see them change. I am not saying that they never will change, but I am not holding on to an expectation. One Sunday morning, at Sunday school, about a year ago, a person shared that it is not my poetics that will cause these individuals to change. This individual explained that they cannot love me when they do not even know how to love themselves, and they cannot love themselves because they do not love God. They do not love God because they do not have the love of God in their hearts. They do not have the love of God in their hearts because they do not know Christ. They do not know Christ because they never truly received Him into their hearts. I was offended when the person said this because I was not trying to change anyone with my poetics. I was only exhorting by the Holy Spirit as He led me. Yet, I am choosing to overlook that part of the statement to see that the rest of it was very true.
So, as the Lord speaks in Matthew 10:14, I am dusting my feet off. I spoke, and I exhorted. Whatever happens from hereon is not my burden or responsibility. The Lord cannot say that as a sentinel I saw but did not speak and warn.
I also wanted to speak on my last post. I want to say that my experience with racism was not an isolated incident. Such experiences still happen across the globe. Despite such experiences, things have changed over the decades and individuals are more aware of the humanity of all people. I must say that there is a difference between humanity and the sinful human nature. The Lord Himself said in Genesis 1:26, "Let us make man in our image." Humanity began there. Then, in Genesis 3:6, when Adam ate from the fruit, the sinful human nature took form. Also, despite my experiences, the Lord took me to Haverford College, an amazing school with a rich educational experience, and tremendously blessed me there. Again, I love Haverford College. I also met many wonderful people from all races, including White. It is important for me to share my experiences in regard to race, for it is through such discussions and more that we can improve as a society, yet I hold nothing against any particular race. I believe that natural differences in phenotypes are a reflection of God's beauty and creativity and should be celebrated and never hated.
Much love and blessings,
Emery in Christ
P.S. All Bible passages come from the NKJV unless otherwise indicated.
I believe that it is well known by now that I am Haitian. I love being Haitian and loved growing up in Haiti. When I came into the United States and got to where I have been living for years and years, I was at awe of the racial and ethnic diversity there was. When I went to school, year after year, I would be in a building that had almost equal proportions of White, Black, Hispanic and Asian. I went to school with Blacks from all over the globe. Black American. Black Caribbean. Black African. I went to school with Hispanics whose parents came from all different Latin American countries. Guatemala. El Salvador. Mexico. Argentina. Just to name a few. The same for Asians. China. India. Pakistan. I also went to school with those from the Middle East. I even encountered diversity amongst Whites. Some of them strongly claimed their English roots, Italian roots, Irish roots, Russian roots, etc. I went to school with Christians, Jews, Muslims and Atheists. I went to school with children of the upper-class, including the son of a senator, children of the middle class, children of the working class and children of the poor.
I went to school with a variety of different people. I would talk with them all. I would work on school projects with them. I would learn with them. My second childhood best friend was a Latina. One friend from middle school was half White American and half Chinese. Another friend from middle school was half Irish and half Jewish. Growing up in such a diverse community allowed me to see people first as people and to learn about them. I believe that the Lord, Jesus, used it to enable me to approach different types of people, to understand their stories and to preach the gospel to them not only through my words but also through my actions. This is just like when Jesus, who was a Jew, approached, sat with, conversed with and presented Him, the gospel of Christ, to the Samaritan woman. Though Jews and Samaritans did not like each other, Christ broke the barrier. And He wants us, Christians, to break racial, ethnic and cultural barriers as well.
Growing up in a diverse community was very beneficial, yet, it also had its negatives. It caused me to be naive. I truly, truly believed till the age of 18 that racism no longer existed, at least not in America. I believed that there were only remnants of the impact of racism, which we would surely overcome. I thought that what I saw in my community was what existed all throughout America. For, again and again, I would read and hear about how America was a melting pot, and I saw it within community. Yet, when I left my community to go to an elite liberal arts college where majority of the students were White and affluent, I saw something completely different.
Since I was a melting pot, whenever I thought of my skin color when at school, it was to celebrate who I am. My teachers and my fellow students rarely or ever made me feel ashamed for my skin color, my country of origin, my unique name or my accent. Instead, I had a White 4th grade teacher who told me that I was Black and beautiful. I had many ask me about what country I was from and reacted positively when I shared. I had many compliments me that my name is beautiful. I had a high school professor who would always greet me in French when I walked into his class.
When I went to college. It all changed. The first week, I was excited and very open towards all. Then, it came to be that there were times that I would consider the color of my skin to see how I was such an anomaly. Things started to bother me. Why was I the only Black person on my hall? Why did the Black upper-class students look so distant and alone when I would walk past them? Why did the Black freshmen look afraid to step out to connect with other Blacks? Why did the White students not greet certain students? - This really bothered me because I would be in a class with a White student, talk with them and even work on projects with them, but when I would see them walk around, they would look towards the ground and present to not know me. The ones who rarely did this were those from my hall and the minority students that I would interact with. - Why did that sociology professor make that comment about my people, the Haitian people, being backwards? Why did that psychology professor make me cry by embarrassing me in front of my peers for being a foreigner?
It all started to make sense around my sophomore year of college. Student protests were rising up around the US, mostly on elite college campuses where majority of the student body were affluent and White. The minority students had enough of the racism that came not only from students but also from professors. These individuals would make us feel like we did not belong. That because of the color of our skins and our backgrounds, we were not actually proper enough or intelligent enough to learn with them. Our grades from high school, our SAT scores, our essays and all did not matter. All they saw was the color of our skin. On my own campus, we had speak outs.
We would go to the Quaker meeting place. Blacks, Hispanics, Asians and even Whites, those who were allies, would sit in silence and wait. Then, from time to time, a minority student would stand up to speak of the racism that he or she had experienced in college. Throughout my first year, I thought that I was alone in my pain, but then I found out that it was all of us, all of us Blacks and Hispanics, who were experiencing the pain. The experience of Asians was much more different because they are considered the model minority. To Whites, they may not fully belong culturally but they belong intellectually. I never left one of those meetings without my heart being disconcerted. I never left one of those meetings without a fire in my heart. A fire to prove to all of those racists that they were wrong. I was Black and intelligent, and I proved it and will keep on proving it.
So, all in all, for me, it was heartbreaking and provoking. As a person who grew up in a community that celebrated diversity, I was confused and in pain. I thought that racism ended after Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement. I was so naive and ignorant. I love Haverford College. I loved majority of my college experience. I learned so much. Yet, I did not only learn about Chemistry, Psychology and all. I also learned that America is not what I thought it was. I learned that America is still crippled and that it is not Blacks necessarily who need reparations but the American nation and the whole world.
So, I experienced the awakening that W.E.B. Du Bois experienced as a child when that White little girl would not take his card. It was not the card that was a problem, but the hand that held it. It was too dark. Just as Du Bois, I came to see the veil that separated me from the White world. I came to see that there really were two different worlds that I lived in. The Black world and the White world. The Black world has been defined as backwards, poor and uneducated. The White world has been defined as refined, affluent and educated. The veil says that those three words, refined, affluent and educated, belong to Whites and Whites only. This veil is so powerful that even Blacks have come to believe the lies. Some Blacks even believe that to be educated and refined is to act White. What a lie. And those who believe that grave lie surely bears the consequences.
This experience of an awakening is an experience that every Black individual has gone through whether they are aware of it or not. It is a phenomenon that simply exists all over the world. We are not born racist. No one is. No one is born to perceive one race as superior to another. Racism is a lie that is engrave into the mind of individuals through parents, family, friends, schools and the media. Furthermore, no Black person is born understanding that racism exists, how it manifests and the pain that it brings. All of us are born with a blank canvas and first perceive that we are different but the same, different but equal. But then each of us Black individuals have that awakening with our very first raw experience with racism. Then, we come to see that veil and develop a double-consciousness.
The double-consciousness. It is when we look at ourselves through two different set of eyes. The eyes of the White world and the eyes of the Black world. The eyes of the White world look at the Black soul with either contempt or pity. This is why at times I am weary of White allies. For some do not look at us with mutual respect but with pity. I had a sociology professor, a different one, who did so. He kept speaking about how those who looked at and treated Blacks with contempt were racist. He could never see that he who looked at us with pity was as racist. He spoke of the wall, which can be synonymous to the veil, that stands against Blacks when it comes to education and social-economic prosperity. He presented this wall as being so great that surely Blacks cannot overcome it. But then, I argued that though the wall may be great, many Blacks have had the audacity to climb over it instead of just standing there to look at it or to simply talk about it.
Yes, the wall is great, but we can be greater. This is why we have Black History Month. To remember all of those who chose to be greater than the wall so that next generation can be inspired to also be greater than the wall, the veil. My personal favorites are: Frederick Douglas, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Booker T. Washington, Benjamin E. Mays, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and Katherine G. Johnson. And I seek to stand greater than the veil as well. The greatest step towards that is to love and forgive those who have transgressed me. The second great lead is to follow the leadings of Jesus Christ, value one's self, work hard, persevere and prosper.
Much love and blessings,
Emery in Christ
P. S. In my next and last post on The Soul of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois, I will do a review of the whole book. Also, I would like to add a fun fact. Du Bois was of Haitian descent from his father's side. His great grandmother, the mother of his father, was a Black Haitian living in Haiti. Du Bois' father, Alfred Du Bois, was born and raised in Haiti, living there with his mother. One of his great, great paternal grandfathers was a White American of French Huguenot descent. This is why his last name, Du Bois, is French.
Learn more at:
- “How does it feel to be a problem?” - Wow. I believe that it is this question that we hear when we, Black folks, experience the racial prejudices and discriminations that still plague this world. Whenever we see racial bigotry raging towards us as a thick cloud dispersing into the sky of human life, we hear the thunder in the back of our minds, “How does it feel to be a problem?” I can hear it even louder when I think of police brutality towards Blacks. In a way, the question makes this dilemma of uncontrolled violence by a governmental system towards a specific racial group make sense. Blacks are a problem. I know that sounds wrong to say. Yet, as wrong it may sound, it simply must be the mindset of the police officers who act so vehemently towards Blacks. They are a problem.
Yes, we are a problem. For a long time now, we have been so. I believe that we began to be a problem when the Europeans stepped into Africa and saw its gold and riches. What stood between them and those riches were us. We were a problem. So, with their weapons, diseases and slavery, the Europeans dismantled the Black continent, and many of the Black people became slaves. That was the pure solution for the problem.
We became like tools of labor in a factory. We were machineries on slave fields. The only difference was that real machines were more expensive. We were of little expense though our work brought much profit. It was an intelligent though depraved way of doing business. To gain as much as one can while investing as little as one can. Yet, we refused to believe that we were so lesser or lesser at all. At times, we rebelled, and every time, we thirsted for freedom… We could not accept such state. We once again became a problem.
When we finally received our freedoms, we became a problem that weighted on the backs of the Western society. Oh, how awful it was that we became charges to the public that profited from our destruction as we took part in an exodus from the slave fields to everyday society with bastardy, illiteracy and blackness, which was the banner of us being a problem, weighting on our backs heavier than slavery ever did. Yet, the burdens of the fearful White world were surely greater than the burdens of the hopeful Black world. For we, Blacks, were a problem. Their problem.
When we fought for our civil liberties, we became more than a problem. We became downright disrespectful. How dare we to want to be treated human, simply human? We were so ungrateful, so ungrateful to no longer be slaves. We wanted to impede ourselves and join the human society. We wanted to take down the barriers that said White and Black, which were only symbols for Human and Beast, respectively. We do not want to be White yet we want to be seen as human. That simply does not make sense. If one wants to be seen as human, one must also want to be White or white-like. If one wants to hold on to one's blackness, to want to be seen as human is a hinderance. For Black and human simply do not go together in this world. Why could we not understand that? My, my, my... Without fail, we have been a problem.
When we started to fight for life, we became an ignorant problem. All lives matter. Why could we not get that? Yes, our people’s lives have constantly been in more danger every day, but all lives matter. Yes, the realities of this life have spoken that all lives but Black lives matter. But let us ignore a few important words and focus on this ideal: ALL LIVES MATTER. The words of Freddie Gray as he died, “I can’t breathe,” do not matter for all lives matter. That poor little ignorant Black boy. We all need to breath. To not look at an actual lack because we all have potential needs. What an intricate social design. But we are the problem?
“How does it feel to be a problem?” Well, it actually feels pretty good. It feels good to be bold and brave. It feels good to fight to live as a human being with full rights and dignities. It feels good to be human and to live as human. It feels good to be Black. It feels good to be a problem. I like being a problem. Thank you very much for asking.
We are in Chapter 1 of the Souls of Black Folk by W.E.B. Du Bois
I wanted to speak a bit of who W.E.B. Du Bois is. He was an African American man who lived from 1868 to 1963. He was the first African American to receive a PhD from Harvard. He revolutionized the academic field of sociology by bringing in research and statistics into theory. He was a strong activist for equal rights for all races. Though there is Christian symbolism in some of his works, he hated Christianity. All religions actually. He was an atheist and a communist. Yet, this was not always the case. He actually grew up in a Christian church and his childhood church and others paid for his education at Fisk University. I believe that he was very ungrateful to say that Christianity served as a barrier to equal rights when it was his church that gave him the push to higher education.
Something else to learn about Du Bois is that his first born son died as he spent a night seeking a Black doctor out of three in his area to help his son because White doctors refused to administer to his son. I believe that Du Bois was unable to do something that Booker T. Washington constantly spoke of. He was unable to love and forgive the White man and that turned him into an extremist, putting him at odds with Washington and even the NAACP.
As much a he was misled as a man, he was a skilled sociologist who discovered a phenomenon within western society that all Black individuals and every other individual should understand. I do not read subjective worldly books, but I do read objective academic books. The sole purpose of a subjective writing is to put out personal emotions, thoughts and beliefs whether it be fiction or nonfiction. The sole purpose of an objective writting is to share observations and facts. This would include something such as a Statistics textbook. Yet, all such objective studying and discussions should be done with prudence.
As you read The Souls of Black Folks, which is mostly though not entirely objective, focus on the historical facts and sociological observations. Also, use central processing instead of peripheral processing. Be a critical thinker.
To learn more:
Much love and blessings,
Emery in Christ
May Jesus be with you!
This weekend, the main evangelist of my church was celebrating his birthday. I gift him this psalm:
The king shall have joy in Your strength, O Lord;
And in Your salvation how greatly shall he rejoice!
2 You have given him his heart’s desire,
And have not withheld the request of his lips. Selah
3 For You meet him with the blessings of goodness;
You set a crown of pure gold upon his head.
4 He asked life from You, and You gave it to him--
Length of days forever and ever.
5 His glory is great in Your salvation;
Honor and majesty You have placed upon him.
6 For You have made him most blessed forever;
You have made him exceedingly glad with Your presence.
7 For the king trusts in the Lord,
And through the mercy of the Most High he shall not be moved.
8 Your hand will find all Your enemies;
Your right hand will find those who hate You.
9 You shall make them as a fiery oven in the time of Your anger;
The Lord shall swallow them up in His wrath,
And the fire shall devour them.
10 Their offspring You shall destroy from the earth,
And their descendants from among the sons of men.
11 For they intended evil against You;
They devised a plot which they are not able to perform.
12 Therefore You will make them turn their back;
You will make ready Your arrows on Your string toward their faces.
13 Be exalted, O Lord, in Your own strength!
We will sing and praise Your power.
My heart is saddened over the sudden death of Kobe Bryant, who was aged 41, his 13 year old daughter Gianna Mari-Onore Bryant and about 7 others after a helicopter crash. I cannot even begin to understand the pain that his widowed wife, Vanessa Bryant, and their eldest daughter must be going through right now. And I am sure that their 3 year old daughter and 7 month old daughter are wondering: "Where is Daddy? Where is sister?" It is so very heart broken. It touches my heart and hurts me. I pray deeply that Jesus may touch them at this time of sorrow and comfort them and their family. May He use this pain to bring them to Him if they are not already His. I pray this for all of the families that have been impacted and for anyone else experiencing a loss. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
My friends, we must be serious about Jesus Christ. Tomorrow is not promised.
Much love and blessings,
Emery in Christ
But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
Jésus répondit: Il est écrit: L'homme ne vivra pas de pain seulement, mais de toute parole qui sort de la bouche de Dieu