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--By MariaMaria #215        DFO 2909        1/94

       1. I was sorry to hear recently that some of our Family children in Australia have a bad attitude towards the Aborigines there. Just because Dad wrote in "Hong Kong Goolagong" (ML# 980) that deviltry and demon-possession were prevalent amongst the Australian Aborigines, this should not have been interpreted as disdain for the poor Aborigines! When we hear about demon-possession, we should feel sad that the Devil has gotten such control in a person's life, and we should pray for them and pity them, not feel an aversion towards them because they've allowed themselves to be demon-possessed. We probably would have ended up the same way, given their situation. Our attitude should be, "There, but for the grace of God, go I!"

       2. The Lord tells us that our attitude and dealings with people who are ensnared by the Enemy should be loving and kind, as we do our best to give them the Gospel and the Truth, that they may be delivered: "The servant of the Lord must not strive (be quarrelsome or contentious); but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient, in meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the Truth; and that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the Devil, who are taken captive by him at his will."--2Tim.2:24-26.

       3. Also remember that Dad has never claimed that all Australian Aborigines are demon-possessed. However, these people have been in the grip of spiritual darkness and demonism for centuries, and we can expect that the Devil would have a very strong hold on many of them. But we should also consider that in the Lord's eyes, they may not be as responsible for this condition as those who have failed to bring them the Gospel, who although not demon-possessed, will receive the "greater condemnation" for their failure to "preach good tidings, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound . . . to comfort all that mourn; to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness."--Isa.61:1-3.

       4. On the other hand, if the Aborigines--or anyone, for that matter--were presented with the Gospel and they refused it, they will be condemned for their rejection of the Light that was sent into the World to enlighten every man, but which Light they refused because they loved darkness rather than Light.--But so will every person be condemned who refuses to receive that Light. (See John 3:19-21.)

       We Should Shun the System's Discriminatory Example!

       5. Just because the System is constantly discriminating against minority races, minority religions (including us), and minorities of all kinds--from governmental discrimination, oppression and persecution, to prejudiced individuals with their rude jokes and antagonistic behaviour--that doesn't mean that we should follow their poor example. Considering Australia's history of racial discrimination against all non-Whites, and a very prejudiced attitude towards Aborigines which is still prevalent there, I can understand how some of our children there could fall into this.

       6. I asked some of our WS researchers to look into the history of race relations in Australia, and the information they came up with clearly shows that the government's treatment of the Aborigines is certainly less than ideal. I believe that our findings were very revealing. For example, a Reuters news article from April, 1993, entitled "Australia Must Solve Human Rights Problems First," reads as follows:

       "Australia must solve its own human rights problems if it is to gain respect in the Asia-Pacific region, the country's new immigration minister Nick Bolkus said on Monday. `We would lack credibility were we to take a self-righteous position of pointing the finger at others while failing to clean up our own backyard,' Bolkus told the Asia-Pacific region's first United Nations conference on racism in Sydney. Bolkus said Australia's poor human rights record against its indigenous people had left Aborigines in poverty and facing institutionalised discrimination."

       7. Our researchers brought to my attention the fact that until recent years the Australian government vigorously upheld what was known as its "White Australia" immigration policy, which effectively forbade non-Whites from settling in Australia. Even during World War II when American troops arrived to help defend Australia from Japanese forces, which had already bombed the northern city of Darwin, Australian immigration officials refused to allow Black American soldiers to enter the country!--Until the Australian War Cabinet held an emergency meeting in which concessions were made and the official Black ban was temporarily lifted for the Black Americans who had come to defend them. The "White Australia" immigration policy remained firmly in place until the 1970s.

       8. As {\ul \i Time} magazine commented in an article from May, 1992, entitled "Australia: In Search of Itself":

       "Canberra discarded its whites-only immigration policy in 1976, but decades of Australian xenophobia [EDITED: "dislike or fear of foreigners"] linger in Asian memories. On Hong Kong and Malaysian television, Australia is often portrayed as a racist country. Australians, on the other hand, are still prey to what Governor-General Bill Hayden, the Queen's representative in the federal government, recently called `Orientalist fantasies,' timeworn images of exotic, erotic and despotic Asians."

       9. In 1993 the human rights watchdog Amnesty International complained that throughout Australia, Aborigines are imprisoned at 17 times the rate of other Australians, and that in the states of Western Australia and Victoria, the rate of Aborigines imprisoned was 27 times that of other Australians. Amnesty reported that "Aboriginal people are not welcome in many of the local pubs and hotels and have no licenced club of their own. But when they drink and socialise in public, they are frequently picked up by police." The report added that there was evidence that a law banning offensive language and behaviour in New South Wales was being arbitrarily used to imprison Aboriginal people.

       10. Even the World Book Encyclopedia says, "Aborigines today are Australian citizens. But most of them still face unofficial discrimination and prejudice, and are underprivileged economically, socially and politically."

       11. So on one hand, it's not too shocking to hear that some of our Australian children have developed an unloving or prejudiced attitude towards the Aborigines. But on the other hand, as Christians, we should have the same love, concern and consideration towards all people, regardless of their race or religion. The Bible, God's Word, tells us that "God is no respecter of persons," which literally means "God shows no partiality!"--Acts 10:34.

       12. The System, however--in many countries, not just Australia--shows a lot of partiality and discrimination! In just about every country, lines are sharply drawn between the rich and the poor, the educated and the non-educated, the predominant race and the minority races, the predominant religion and the discriminated-against smaller religions. The mainstream "politically correct" majority invariably denigrates and despises the brave individuals of the small minority who choose to dissent and stand up for their convictions, even if it means being unpopular.

       13. Bosnia is a prime example of the horrible racial and religious discrimination and hatred that is thriving in the World today. As the Bible says about the Last Days, "the love of many shall wax cold" (Mat.24:12), and this has resulted in an increasingly hate-filled society. The news media is full of more and more headlines of bigotry, cruelty and hate crimes against those who are different or hold differing views from the majority.

       14. We must not let ourselves be influenced by or fall into society's way of dealing with differences between people. God has given us a better way, and that is to love one another. In our dealings with others we must be very careful to "judge not according to outward appearance, but to judge righteous judgement."--Jn.7:24. If we respond to the first negative word about a situation or people by rejecting any possibility of there being any good in them, then we are certainly guilty of answering or judging a matter before we hear it in its entirety, and it will be a "folly and shame unto us."--Pro.18:13. Brethren, this ought not so to be! You should do unto others as you would want them to do unto you.

       15. Making a hasty judgement on a situation or person or group of persons, based on something negative that you hear about them, is not wise, and is usually incorrect. This would be like hearing from a single source about a problem that someone in the Family is having, and then basing your entire judgement of that person on the difficult or trying period he is temporarily going through. Even in the Family, I'm afraid that this is all too often the case, and that far too many "labels" have been attached based upon the hearing of some temporary problem. This is very sad and is a reproach to those who make such hasty, unfair judgements.

       Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin!

       16. We've even had a few people in the Family who were temporarily demon-possessed or at least severely oppressed, but we have loved the people even though we hated the sin, and have done everything we could to get rid of the demon, so the person could be delivered and be happy and in their right mind. When Jesus encountered demon-possession, He did something about it. He cast out the demons, but He didn't dispose of the person. His purpose was to save the person but get rid of the sin. He got rid of the sin, but not the sinner. He made a definite distinction between the two.

       17. This is a distinction we need to always make, especially to our children. We must not let the sin negate our love for the sinner, for "love covers even the multitude of sins!"--1Pet. 4:8. We must not see the sin as all-encompassing. As the Bible says, "There is none righteous, no, not one" (Rom.3:10), and we need to see beyond the sins that all of us have to the good that all of us have. No one is all bad, and nothing is all negative, and we need to look for the good and the possibilities in people and situations.

       18. Think about how we win folks to the Lord. Don't we try to lovingly woo them and look at them with eyes of love and possibility rather than railing at them about their horrible sins that are separating them from God? We instead emphasise God's loving hand reaching out toward them to bridge that gap through His Son, Jesus, Who came "not to condemn the World, but that the World through Him might be saved!"--Jn.3:17.

       19. So even if many of the Aborigines have fallen into the snare of demonism and devil worship, we still need to make that distinction between the sin and the sinner. We are to love the sinner even if we abhor their sin. And whether someone is a Black or a White, a Jew or a Gentile, a Buddhist, a Hindu or whatever, that has nothing to do with it. It's their sins that the Lord doesn't like, not their race or their colour or their social status!

       20. Look how we differentiated between the sin and the sinner in that Hope Magazine story about the teen witnessers who encountered and witnessed to two homosexuals. (See Hope Mag #33, pg.16-21.) The whole point of that story was to try to show our kids that even though Sodomy is a sin, the homosexual himself is a human being who can be delivered, and whom Jesus loves and wants to rescue. I'm well aware of the fact that Dad has expressed very strong feelings against the sin of Sodomy. But I have seen him sit with people who were afflicted by Sodomite spirits and lovingly witness to them, listening to their heartcry, sharing encouragement from the Word, and showing understanding of their problem.

       21. So it's very important that we understand and teach this differentiation between the sin and the sinner to our children. This same principle applies to all the criminals in the prisons where we minister. No matter how great their crime, Jesus will forgive it if they will just come to Him. He offers His Love to "whosoever believeth in Him!" They just have to receive it.

       22. When you start putting more emphasis on damning the sin than loving the sinner, watch out! God does everything possible to love us into His Kingdom first, before He initiates more severe measures. What won you to Jesus? Was it seeing your sins exposed one by one and being told you were "a filthy rotten sinner"? Were you belittled and criticised and condemned for all of the wrong you had done?--Or were you told it didn't matter what you had done; there was a wonderful loving Father Who loved you so much that He was willing to pay any price--the greatest price of all--to make a place by His side for you in Heaven where you could be forever happy and at peace with Him. Remember, "God commendeth (demonstrates) His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us!"--Rom.5:8.

       23. If people have to be free of their sins before we can love them, who will there be to love? If we start judging people on the basis of their sins, who is going to stand? "If Thou, Lord, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand!"--Psa.130:3. We're all hopeless without God's Love, and that's the only thing that can save us.

       24. It's true that as God's prophets we must warn the World of the evil, we must tell the World of its sins, we must warn them to repent, we must prophesy God's judgements. However, while God preaches hatred of the sin, He shows great love for the individual sinner, just as He did for each of us.

       25. By the way, the saying "love the sinner but hate the sin" didn't originate with us; it's been around for years. In fact, it's what the Bible teaches. Even with your own children, you can love them very much but at the same time take a stand against their sins. While you may have to discipline them and chastise them because of their sins, your heart can be breaking because of your love for them.

       26. So we need to teach our children not to look down on any people, but to realise it's the sins that God hates.--And that it's not necessarily our place to show God's abhorrence of the sin if we can reach the sinner without having to do so. Sometimes we do have to show our displeasure of the sin in order to reach some people, but not always. If we go to them in love, offering them God's Love and forgiveness of their sins in general, then we don't usually have to lash out against the sin in particular. It's so much better if we can show God's Love for the sinner rather than His hatred of the sin.

       27. We have to be very careful as adults that we don't mix up the sin with the sinner and speak of the people themselves disparagingly, without making it clear that it is the sin we're talking about and not the poor people. We may understand the distinction in our minds, but our children often don't, and they'll just roll everything up into one and will become biased against anyone whom they perceive that we are talking about in a demeaning, belittling, antagonistic, critical or condemning way. Since we are God's Family of Love, trying to show His Love to the World, we'd better be very careful that we don't give the opposite impression.

       (A little later:)
God Loves All People Equally!

       28. I feel very sad when I hear that some Family Members look upon others as not being as good as they are.--Or when we give the impression to our children that we are better than others, instead of teaching them that God created all of these different people and He loves them all, and we have nothing to feel superior about. It's only His grace that has given us any "edge" on anyone, and that's only because He has chosen us to do a job for Him, and has had to equip us with the power and the skill and the knowledge of His Word to do it.

       29. But God's great Love and grace reaches out to all His creations the same, and He didn't make some that He loved less and others that He loved more. He didn't label the fair-skinned, blonde-haired folks the most loved, and the brown-skinned a little less, and the black-skinned even less. And if we show a prejudicial, belittling, demeaning spirit like that toward others, it must hurt Him very much.

       30. This is just the opposite of what we have been trying to say to the World--that we in the Family don't harbour any prejudices or discrimination. We are supposed to love all people the same. It is our belief that Jesus died and gave His life for all Mankind. How could He give His life for the Jew and also for the Gentile and love one of them any less than the other?--When He has shown the very greatest love possible for both by dying for each one of them.

       31. If our children show prejudicial belittling attitudes toward certain groups or peoples, then I would say that we have failed in this area of our training!--And that we had better try to correct the situation right away! Showing prejudiced attitudes like that is just what we're trying to get people to not do with us!

       32. I love our Jewish friends and lawyers as much as I love our Christian friends and lawyers. I may not agree with or like the Jews' "theology" as much, and I believe most of them have been misled in being taught that Jesus is not the Son of God. But as people whom Jesus died for, I have as much of a desire for them to know Him as I do for our Gentile friends. My heart goes out to the Jews just as much, and even more so, because I know that it is usually harder for them to believe because of the indoctrination against Jesus which many of them have received for ages!

       33. In fact, I hold a special admiration for our Jewish lawyers who are fighting for us, who despite the fact that they don't agree with us on some major issues, are nevertheless kind to us and respectful of what we believe and how we live. They are a good example to us of how we should also be, and they deserve our admiration. They are able to distinguish the principles that they are fighting for, such as freedom of religion, from specific beliefs held by their clients that they don't exactly agree with, such as our Christian beliefs. They may not agree with or like our theology, but they are willing to fight for our right to practice it, God bless them!

       34. Maybe the reason this love and concern doesn't come out when we've talked about people like Menachem Begin and Ariel Sharon and Yitzhak Shamir and some of the high-placed Jews of the World today is that they have so hardened their hearts and perpetrated such cruelties against others and have been so hypocritically self-righteous in claiming to be God's chosen people, that it is a little difficult in their case to distinguish between the sin and the sinner. But Jesus died even for them, and He wishes that all--each one of them--would come to repentance. He is not willing that any one should perish, even of these people. (2Pet.3:9)

       God's Love for All, and Rewards to the Obedient!

       35. Perhaps we're sometimes tempted to assume that God must have different levels of love for different people because we see how much He cares for and almost spoils us. But the fact of the matter is that God loves all Mankind equally, and gave His Son for each one.

       36. When you're a parent, as your children come along you love each one to the fullest, you give each one the same. You give them all they need in the way of housing, warmth, clothing and attention. You put everything you can into each one according to their particular needs. You give your life over again for each one. And regardless of their differences, you love each one individually with as much love as you have to give.

       37. But if some of those children happen to draw closer to you and go out of their way to please and obey you, you will probably reward that child or those children with even extra appreciation and gratitude for doing things that they didn't necessarily have to do, for going the extra mile in showing their love and appreciation for what you have done for them.

       38. I have a feeling that this is the way the Lord is with all of His dedicated children who try to live for Him and sacrifice their lives for Him--He rewards them in a special way because of their love for Him. But generally speaking, it's not that He loves them any more, because basically there wasn't anything more He could do than to give His life, which He did, for each one of us. What greater Love is there than that? But He gives special rewards to those who He sees especially love Him. But these special blessings and rewards that He bestows upon His obedient children should be distinguished from the Love that God has for all His creations and the great yearning He has that they would all come to repentance and all be able to enjoy Him and His Heavenly Kingdom forever.

       * * *

       Ministering on International AIDS Day!
       (Mama's comments to the Family in Thailand who were invited by the Red Cross to perform at an international AIDS Day event:)

       39. We are happy that you accepted the invitation to perform at the international AIDS Day event organised by the Red Cross. Your friends would hardly have been able to understand if you had refused. Although we may consider AIDS a judgement of God on people's sin, we still love the sinner, and maybe we can win some of them. Besides, AIDS not only afflicts homosexuals, but it has touched quite a few others as well.

       40. So I think you did the right thing in accepting. If you'd refused because you consider AIDS a judgement of God, it would be a little like refusing to go to the site of an earthquake just because the people may have been evil and God had used the earthquake as a judgement upon them.

       41. Ministering at such an event doesn't mean that we are endorsing Sodomy just because a large percentage of those afflicted with AIDS are homosexuals. So praise the Lord, we can be a witness wherever and whenever the Lord opens the doors!

       Witnessing to the Lost and Dying!
       (Mama's counsel regarding French Phoebe's request to visit her ex-mate, from before she joined the Family, who is dying of AIDS:)

       42. As with everything in our life, there's some risk involved, but I certainly think that in order to witness to a dying man, the Lord would keep you under His protection. We know that your motives are pure and you really would rather not have your life and health jeopardized, but you are willing to do it for the Lord and so this poor man will have one last witness. I think that the Lord will certainly protect you. You don't have to kiss him or have him breathe or cough in your face. You don't have to brush his teeth or shave him or anything like that.

       43. I know such encounters are always a risk, but I don't think we can be so overly concerned about those things that we can't follow the Lord's leading to witness to someone who is dying. If the dear nurses worldwide are willing to make that sacrifice just because they see human suffering and want to do something to alleviate it, how much more should we as Christians and ambassadors of Jesus Christ be willing to take some risks to share His Love with the lonely, desperate and dying? I'd certainly be very prayerful, of course, because we know that the Enemy is especially out to get us. But God is so much greater, and His protection is assured if we are staying close to Him and in His Will.

       44. How can we say, "This man must be so evil and sinful, and it's God's judgement on him that he's dying; therefore, he deserves to die in his sins. He's too bad for God, God must not love him. After all, how could God have sent Jesus to die for him, when he's so bad?" That's exactly who He died for!--Sinners! Including you and me! Jesus came not to call the righteous but sinners to repentance! Those who are dying because of their sins are the most likely to accept His forgiveness. So how can we not answer the call of a lonely and dying man? Can we say that his sin is too great? God didn't. Can we say the danger is too much? God didn't. Jesus said, "As My Father hath sent Me, even so send I you."--Jn.20:21. His Word says, "Christ left us an example, that we should follow His steps."--1Pet.2:21. Think about it.

Copyright (c) 1998 by The Family