From that first Pentecost until now, it has always been the belief of the Church that the Holy Spirit directs and guides us collectively and individually. God is not a distant being and the ascended Jesus has not abandoned us.
The above was taken from an article in the Irish Times in which the author went on to imply that we collectively had failed the spirit of Pentecost by not welcoming the diversity of immigrants and sexual identity groups into our midst. The author seemed to imply that in his opinion we should welcome with open arms all those who are unwilling to give up their languages, traditions, religious beliefs and sexual proclivities to not only become members of our communities, but our churches as well.
Apparently the author has failed to comprehend the cornerstone concept of the Christian faith; a diverse people coming together to worship God in a common manner with a common core of beliefs.
Leading up to the day of Pentecost, the book of Acts relates the challenges faced by the followers of Christ as they debated many things such as, for example, who should be admitted to the new faith. Out of this debate two millennia ago a consensus has evolved in that the church openly admits anyone willing give up their preexisting lifestyle and endeavor to live a new live according to principles established in the Bible.
The Melting Pot
This same concept lies at the original intent of the metaphor used to describe immigration to America, The Melting Pot. In 1883 the American Poet Emma Lazanus penned a sonnet that was later cast in bronze and affixed to the base of the Statue of Liberty. Near the end of the poem she writes; “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” Almost all immigrants arriving in America, came here from a country where freedom was limited to one extent or another and usually the state they left behind was either a theocracy or an atheist state. In the case of an theocracy, competing religious paths were banned and often persecuted, or in the case of an atheist state all forms of religious expression were often persecuted. Presumably they came here to begin a new life free of the old life style.
Until recently the commonality for all immigrants was to come to America and become a part of the American experiment, to live free from state or religious tyranny. They wanted to come to America to become one with other Americans, not to bring the trappings of their previous existence to America. Lazanus wrote; “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” Implying that the old traditions and culture should be left behind. In the first stanza she made it clear that the new colossus—the Statue of Liberty—was unlike the old Colossus of Rhodes of Greek mythology; but rather the new colossus symbolized the new land and new life made possible by the Constitution of the United States and its amendments. A contract with the people guaranteeing freedom in perpetuity.
The Melting Pot was a metaphor used to describe the concept of diverse peoples from diverse lands and traditions, leaving behind their old ways of life to begin anew in the freedom offered by the American way. Never was it imagined at the time that all immigrants would come here and reshape the culture to resemble that which they had presumably fled. If you are a part of the tired, poor and huddled masses learning to breathe free, why would you embark upon such a great journey as to come to America to recreate the oppression that made you tired, poor and a part of the huddled masses?
No the melting pot is not about diversity as it is currently defined, but rather about diverse peoples coming together to live a common dream.
In the same respect, the Christian church may be a melting pot of diverse peoples, but it cannot survive if we allow everyone to come in and change two thousand years of tradition that began on that day of Pentecost so long ago.
Jesus told Nicodemus that one must be born again to know the Kingdom of God, meaning that one must cast off their previous sinful lifestyle and begin a new life. When one accepts Christ as his savior he or she should make a conscious effort to leave behind the old ways and live a life in keeping with simple rules outlined in the Bible and congruent with the new covenant established by Christ.
On that day of Pentecost so long ago the followers of Christ never envisioned a day when the church would be expected to accept a diversity of beliefs or sexual lifestyles. In fact throughout the first several centuries of the church the great thinkers of the faith labored to establish a common core of beliefs that—that again until recently—remained steadfast. Even after the Protestant reformation and the founding of perhaps thousands of denominations, there still remain a core belief that defines the church. But today we find that this core is under attack and the tenuous commonality that united the many branches of the church is about to fail.
In the same respect forces outside as well as inside America have successfully destroyed the commonality uniting us as one people. The architects of diversity have driven wedges between the many racial and ethnic groups in America, tearing asunder the commonality that united us, just as they have also programmed people to believe that the church should accept any manner of sinful choices, activities condemned by God’s Holy Word, and that rebirth is no longer needed, that God accepts all people and their choices regardless of what is written in the Bible to the contrary.
While a common core has maintained the church through the ages, the destruction of that core foreshadows the end of the church.
Now more than ever before, the Christian Church and America need the Holy Spirit to once again descend upon us, to enable us to speak in tongues so everyone understands, that every ear is made to hear the voice of reason, that hearts are opened and made to see the truth that only the American way offers true freedom on Earth and Christ and his church offer freedom from death everlasting.