One God, One People, One Mission, Two Destinations By Ray Mensah
So why do you look down on someone created in God’s image. My wife Cynthia observes that as “the biggest insult to God” because everything He created was good. Furthermore, when He created man it is stated in Genesis 1:31 that “God saw all that he had made, and it was very good”. Very good. That is us His creatures, black or white or brown or yellow! How then can something that God says is very good be bad in the sight of other men? Certainly Satan the deceiver is behind it and this is all as a result of the fall and the sinful nature that emerged.
This goes beyond skin colour. People of the same skin tone have discriminated against each other sometimes based on those who have lighter skin tones against those with darker skin tones and also many times based on tribalism. Tribalism in Africa is so horrible it has caused great havoc over the years with millions killed during multiple tribal wars across the continent. I have seen its effects firsthand on the mission-fields in Northern Ghana where we are working. Rwanda also comes to mind. In just 100 days in 1994, over 800,000 Tutsis were killed by the majority Hutu tribe in that unforgettable genocide.
Rwanda on the flip side is currently that great example and model for all of us. About five years ago, there was a missions mobilization conference held in Accra and one of the mission leaders from Rwanda attended. During lunch one day, I asked him if he was a Hutu or Tsutisi. His response was .. “I am not allowed to say it” WOW!! I was so shocked. I didn’t understand what he was trying to communicate fully but in the end I got it. To recover from the genocide and to build a new society of mutual respect for each other, they decided to not focus on their tribal differences anymore but to live as “one people”. Today, Rwanda is a shining star in the whole of Africa with its rapid development and advancement. They have come out of the ashes and unbelievable tragedy. This shows this problem can be fixed if we
are intentional about it. This is the intentionality that we should all seek for today! The Pastor of a church I used to attend when I was a young man told us how he bought a white doll and a black doll and he used it to teach his children that the black doll was better than the white doll. Guess what, I left that church.
We can’t fix one problem by creating another problem. I thus became intentional about this and I have taught my kids from day one that God created us all equal. God created us all in His image no matter our skin tone. We are one. We are one people with one God. Nobody is better than the other.
Nelson Mandela was a hero in this area.He made that remarkable statement on race despite his immense suffering at the hands of the white apartheid
government in South Africa. “...I have dedicated my life to this struggle of the African people. I have fought against white domination, and I have fought
against black domination. I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all people will live together in harmony and with equal opportunities”. That is what we all have to do. He led the way and I challenge my fellow Christians to lead the way in this fight.
Can we be the generation that fixes this?
Can we move on? Can we have a new beginning? Is it that simple?
At the West African Senders Gathering in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire in 2018, hosted by SIM, something significant happened. There was a moment of repentance and reconciliation. Leaders of the Global North presents represented the Global North in asking for forgiveness for all the wrongs they and their forefathers have done to the people of the Global South. Reps of the Global South did the same too and also asked for forgiveness. It was a solemn moment. There were tears, there was repentance, there were pleads for forgiveness and pleads for reconciliation.
After all, was said and done, a young lady from Netherlands who was then dating a young man from Ghana and were both new to missions commented on what she had just observed. Someone she knew invited both of them to the historic missions conference due to her new interest in missions.
She boldly indicated that she was new to missions and didn’t have the history or the baggage of White- black issues of the past. To her, this was the 21st
Century and we should move on. It’s a new dawn. It’s a new day. Labels like Global North and Global South to her divided us. We are one people. We are one church. We have one God. We have one mission.
That was surely the end of the matter. No one commented again. She put everything to rest and into the right perspective.
I believe a number of people felt that she was naïve, and very simplistic in her suggested solution. My good friend Dave also noted that “Hannah’s submission was quite controversial, but I get her point. However, moving on, without, true repentance, and purposefully changing our ways, including affirmative actions, that will create equity between people, will be somewhat burying our head in the sand like the proverbial ostrich”
I agree with all of that. However, I asked myself that day, Is that a new dawn? Is this a new Day? Is this a new generation... who would not be colour- focused and who would love and respect everyone as created in the image of God.
I pray so. I really pray so. I pray that there would be that new generation. The widespread George Floyd protests revealed amongst other things that people are really tired of this canker and desperately want change across the world on this matter. I highly commend my precious co-workers at
OneWay for being about what matters and not about
colour. It’s about the Glory of God and its about the unreached multitudes and not the skin colour of the
Team members. We have served together for twenty years in unity and harmony to the Glory of God and I believe there many organizations and churches like that across the world. We need to celebrate these good examples and we need to pull together in this fight against the schemes of the devil to divide us and sow seeds of discord and bitterness. We are ONE PEOPLE. We have ONE GOD and we have ONE MISSION. The GREAT COMMISSION...to go make disciples of all nations. That is what matters. The final destination of a
person is based on their relationship with Christ Jesus, whether they accepted Him as their Lord and Personal Savior. That is the only thing that will separate men at the end of everything, not their skin
colour. Two destinations - "Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal
life." (Matthew 25:46). Our Lord Jesus Christ made that very clear too when he stated categorically in John 14:6; “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”. Nobody in all of
history has ever said anything so profound and so audacious. Its is the simple truth that we as
Christians believe wholeheartedly. These two destinations are what should propel us to make the fulfillment of the Great Commission our number one priority because our Father “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth”.