As an African American that knows historically the Jim Crow system of segregation affirmed by the case of Plessy v. Ferguson which made it the law of the land in separating us from having the opportunities of those who felt privileged to exercise such power.
What good fiction does whether it's a Bible story, a fairytale, a popular children's serie, or a detective thriller is to invite the reader to identify with a flawed human being who faces harrowing choices and odds.
Now what makes this even more complicated is the fact that most of the statements about Hell found in the Bible are said by Jesus. The one who is leading me to question Hell, seems to be the very one who teaches it.
Jesus has his moments when he speaks plainly, but much of what the Gospels convey is a lot more elusive. That's what makes his teachings so evocative, and sometimes offensive, and sometimes restorative.
The house that Wall Street built has fallen -- and great was its fall! The house that Big Oil built has fallen -- and great was its fall! We need to rediscover some of our old values on which we can build a solid foundation for the future.
The only thing over which we have control is what's inside us, what we cultivate in our souls, what we are really seeking in our lives. What life choices, what attitudes, what values, what goals, what priorities will we choose this time around?
The house I hope to be a part of building each day is the one built on righteousness. To be builders of this righteous house means that we move beyond the afflictions, perplexities, persecutions, and violence of today.
If you act on Jesus's words, you'll be like the fellow who builds on rock. Your life will be steady, unshaken, permanent. But notice that Jesus does not say that you won't encounter any storms in your life.