God wants you to have a voice in the culture, without living under an umbrella of shame. Right now, our country is being driven by a spirit of division, and Christians are not exempt. Our responsibility is to offer the reconciliation offered to all at the cross, not to absorb this false sense of shame just to make others feel better. the only way we will escape this is to invite God into our public spaces because we need the wisdom that only comes from God. We all have one privilege offered. Listen and be encouraged!
Today’s Scripture Writing Challenge Verse
- Esther 9:1-4
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Hi, you guys. This is Heidi St. John. Thanks for tuning in. I’m so glad you guys are here. Today is Wednesday, June 24th. This is episode 943, and we’re going to talk a little bit about the issue of shame and what the Bible says about living under a blanket of condemnation. Stick around, I think you’re going to be encouraged.
Thanks for joining me today. Wow, so many new listeners here at the podcast. If you’re new to the show, I just want to say welcome. We’re so glad that you’re listening. I love to talk about all things faith and culture. Whatever’s happening in the culture where faith and culture intersect are things that are interesting to me. My grandparents used to talk about politics with me. So I loved to talk about politics. I grew up the girl who was campaigning for Ronald Reagan with my grandfather, who was a pastor, kind of an interesting thing to note. He was a pastor, but at that time, we didn’t feel ashamed to talk about the fact that we had a political persuasion, a political point of view. And we would talk about it at church and we talked about it wherever we were. And so you’re going to find that I will carry on that same tradition.
And so I hope that it encourages you as you listen to this, that you can have a voice in the culture and that God wants you to have a voice. But what I see happening is that we are carrying a shame that was never intended to be carried. God did not give you the shame that you feel right now. Many of you listening to this, a lot of people listening to this who are white skinned, all of a sudden are feeling ashamed because they’re white. And my heart aches for this, it aches for what I’m witnessing in the United States. It aches for what I see in my home state of Oregon and Washington State, where I now reside. Seattle is spiritually on fire. Well, and sometimes literally too. I watched a video the other day of a dumpster, literally a dumpster fire in CHOP, in the nation of CHOP, and they had to call in the police because, or the fire department because they needed help and our nation is in trouble. And I know you guys feel it.
I talked about this a couple of weeks ago, and I’m going to just repeat it because I think it’s important because it keeps rearing its ugly head. A lot of you have been following me for a long time. I bet a lot of you didn’t know that one of my very best friends in the whole world is a dark skinned woman. And I wish you guys could sit in and listen to the conversations that we have. We love each other and we’re not going to give in to the spirit of division that’s trying to destroy our nation from within. So I pointed out on Facebook a couple of weeks ago or over at AllSocial, one of those places, that I have been troubled by this. And I pointed out that one of my very best friends were black, and I was immediately just ripped apart for it.
People said, “Well, you just said that she was black. That makes you a racist because you had to say it.” I’m like, “Yo, isn’t that what the Black Lives Matter movement is all about? I thought we were supposed to look at each other by the color of our skin.” So my point is, you can’t win in this environment because it is being driven by a spirit of division and a spirit of fear. And this division has a root and the root is trying to destroy our nation from within. You guys might be surprised to know that most of my black friends reject the racist narrative that’s being sold to the public by people who would tear us apart because they see it for the lie that it is.
I saw a tweet go by about last week, I believe it was last Wednesday. I saw a tweet go by that popular Bible teacher, Beth Moore had liked. And you guys, I was so sad to see it because it’s a reflection of how we’re feeling right now in the world and how we see each other and the people around us and it has everything to do with the gospel. So listen to this, this original tweet and I’ll put an image of it in the show notes so you guys can see it today. The original tweet said this, “Christians,” so now you’re going to get lectured, Christian, listen up. White girl is going to lecture you. Kristen Howerton said, “Christians, do not treat the protests as a new mission field. Do not go into love on people or lead people in prayer. Do not go into be a Christian voice in the crowd or to share God’s love or witness to people. Go to fight systemic racism and racial violence,” the end. And then unfortunately Beth Moore liked her post.
So what this woman was saying was that the gospel is not only insufficient, it’s also inappropriate. The gospel is inappropriate for covering the issue of racial division between us. The gospel is ineffective and insufficient to address racial violence. You guys, she could not have been more wrong. The gospel is the most unifying force in all of creation. The gospel is the only thing that heals, rioting and protests are not going to bring about racial reconciliation, but the gospel will. The gospel will do that. And so I’m watching so many of these Bible teachers who I’ve listened to and admired for many years, became social justice warriors and lose sight of what’s actually happening. So in the name of a false sense of carrying a shame around that God never intended for us to carry, we take on causes which don’t honor God, and we say things which bring people farther apart rather than highlight the only thing that will ever bring us together, which is the reconciliation that Jesus offered when he bled and died for us on the cross.
And we need to pay attention to what’s happening. Some of you all are hell bent, literally since that’s where the racist narrative comes from, on lecturing me and other people of my skin tone about so-called white privilege, right? I get it. Most of the hate I see going on right now is coming from white people who have been shamed into apologizing for things they never did and can’t control. Why? Because shame only feels better when it actively shames other people. And if you’re living under that false sense of shame and for all the people who are living under it right now, of which there are many. Can I just say right now, my heart is breaking for this.
Now, I was born with what I used to call corpsy white skin. My sister married a Filipino and we had the most beautiful brown skin babies, and I’ve always been jealous a little bit of their skin. They go out in the sun and they turn this gorgeous shade of brown, and I go out in the sun and I instantly burn. And it’s not actually a gorgeous state of red. It just makes me look like I’ve got a disease, right? But I’m secure in myself as a woman of no color, I guess. But I do have plenty of other insecurities. And like you guys, I’m living with the skin I was born with. I don’t have a choice. I may often wish for my best friend’s beautiful skin tone or my niece’s beautiful skin tone or my nephew’s gorgeous skin tone, but that’s not who God made me.
So listen up you guys, the devil wants us divided over issues like skin tone. Whatever hue your skin happens to be, think about how ridiculous this is on its face. And listen to me when I say, I know that there are racist in this nation. I hate it. I hate it at its core. I hate racism in every form. I hate it toward black people, I hate it toward the Japanese, I hate it toward white people. Why? Because it comes from the devil himself. It’s wrong on its face, but the devil wants us divided. He wants us masked up, social distanced, and divided. And I’d say he’s winning right now. And I am not going to be shamed into bending a knee to the demon of division. That would paint me as a racist or a person of privilege because of the color of my skin. That’s what this is. It’s demonic. It’s from the devil himself, open your eyes.
We are under a demonic influence in the world, the likes of which I have never seen. And how did we get here? Simple. We opened our door to the gates of hell when we uninvited God from our nation. We opened the door with our love of self above all other things. We opened our doors to demonic spirit when the church opened its doors to tolerance, and accepted sin and what God clearly calls sin in the name of tolerance. We invited the spirit of division. We did it. And the only way to wrestle free from his grasp is to speak truth and life in the culture. To speak truth and life to each other. The only way that we are going to get out of this is to invite God back into our nation, back into our schools, back into our government and yes, back into our churches because worldly wisdom, isn’t going to fix this. We need the wisdom and forgiveness that comes from God.
So for the next minute or two here, I’m going to give you some truth and a little bit of life, because I think that’s what we need to be speaking to each other. The only real privilege that any of us will ever know is the privilege of being born again. It’s the privilege of knowing Jesus. We are all members of the human race, created in the image of our Creator and He is weeping at what we are doing to each other.
Why do I speak on these issues? I speak because I’m compelled to speak. I’m compelled because I know the power of forgiveness. God rescued me. Did you know that? He took Heidi St. John, a girl who was born into pain and generational abuse and he lifted me out of that pit. Me, my skin color couldn’t save me from my suffering, but God could. And He did. He is the chain breaker. He puts the lonely in families. He’s the way maker. And there’s no other way to get out of this mess and then turn to Him. Can you hear me? No other way.
So I’ve read to the end of the book. As Christians, we already know how it turns out, love really does win. It really does win. And in the meantime, I’m going to speak truth into world steeped in lies. I know who I am, I’m redeemed, I’m forgiven, I’ve been restored. And if you know him, men and women, speak out. The Bible says in Psalm 107, verse two, “Let the redeemed of the Lord say so.” When we don’t speak of the redemption and healing that comes from walking in right relationship with Jesus and walking in the forgiveness of sin that He offers us. Evil voices fill the vacuum that is left behind. When we live in shame and under condemnation, we are letting the adversary have a foothold in our homes and in our churches.
The Bible says in Romans 8:1, “There is now no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.” Do you belong to Christ Jesus? Say so. The fact that we have Christian leaders saying that we shouldn’t be speaking about the gospel at these riots and at these Black Lives Matter rallies is disheartening to me on a level that I cannot even hardly comprehend. Because we need the gospel now more than we’ve ever needed it. Now is the time.
If you’re listening to this today, and you’re sitting on an elder board that hasn’t opened your church yet, can I challenge you right now? We need our churches to be open. We need our churches to be loudly proclaiming that the hope that we need in this nation right now is found in the gospel, it’s found in Jesus. It is not found in riots, it is not found in protests, it is not found in legislation. And isn’t it interesting that at a time when we need it now more than ever, our churches are closed and our pastors are walking in fear.
We need good men and women to stand up and proclaim the truth. Who is on the Lord’s side? You guys remember the song, Who’s on Lord Side? It’s an old hymn. And the hymn is referring to a passage in the Bible. So in Exodus, I think it’s chapter 35, somewhere in there, 35 to 40. We read the story of one of the most famous interactions between Moses and the Israelites. You guys remember this? The story of the golden calf, a lot of you grew up in church and you might remember it. So remember the people had become restless. They were waiting for Moses, he was up on Mount Sinai, God was giving him the 10 Commandments. And they hadn’t seen Moses in a while. And eventually they started listening to the voices in their heads, eventually they started to fear that Moses was never going to come back. Where did our leader go?
And so they asked Aaron, who by the way was a weak leader, to make them other gods to worship. And because Aaron was a weak leader, he gave them what they wanted, he knew it was wrong. But Aaron’s actions showed that he feared people more than God. And I keep hearing about all the Karen’s in the culture right now. My main concern isn’t the Karen’s, it’s the Aarons. It’s the Aarons that the church needs to be focused on. The church has grown weary as it’s waiting for the return of the Lord in much the same way that the Israelites grew weary in waiting for Moses to come back. Can you guys feel it? Look around, tell me what you see. Are we worshiping God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength? Or do we have churches that worship prosperity, safety, houses, jobs, platform, even our nonprofit statuses?
You see, we’re living in the same kind of atmosphere that Moses found when he came down off that mountain, weariness was everywhere. And in Western cultures, absolutely certain, we’ve been playing church for a long, long time. And our current struggle has highlighted this like nothing else could have. So praise the Lord for the ‘Rona because we see we got a problem.
So we got to ask the question again, who is on the Lord’s side? Where have the good leaders gone? At a time when our nation is an absolute moral and spiritual crisis, where are the good leaders? When we’re on the Lord’s side, our lives and our churches reflect it. God’s people should never be characterized by fear or indifference, but by courage and wisdom. And right now we need both. We need both.
And so I hope you guys will join me today, I’m going to pray for strong godly leaders to arise. For more men and women like Moses to lead God’s people. You see Moses interceded for God’s people, but he also called them to account. He reminded God’s people that they must choose and there isn’t a church in America whose door should be closed on Sunday. So if your church is being led by a well-meaning Aaron rather than a Moses, it’s probably time to find a new church.
I got a blistering letter from a pastor last week who’d said I had caused division in his church because I was calling pastors to open their churches. And listen, you guys, I know some of you don’t like it, but I stand by what I said. I’ve heard from some of you who said, “Well, you don’t understand, my husband has to work with the Elder Board.” No, I do understand because my husband was a full time pastor for 20 years, I get it. People will say, “Well, you don’t understand but the state sent out a thing and said we didn’t have an insurance waiver if we opened up our churches.”
They are using fear, I think we have forgotten that if we open our churches in obedience to the Lord and we spread the work of the gospel, which is absolutely being hamstrung right now. That if something happens in our churches, God will provide. Our churches shouldn’t be closed and yet we’ve closed them. So Father, would you raise up godly pastors who will follow you? Father, raise up leaders who will follow you fearlessly and lead your people well in the times that we are in right now. Show us who was on your side, raise up leaders to be more like Moses than Aaron. And open our eyes and our hearts. Father, I ask that you give us wisdom and strengthen us in our faith. And Lord, we look forward to your return. Thank you that you love us and that you can be trusted. In Jesus name. Amen.
I’m going to end today with Exodus 32:26, “Moses stood in the gate of the camp and said, ‘Who is on the Lord’s side? Come to me.’ And all the Levites gathered around him” (Levites: Christian leaders of that day, what we would call the priests)
I want to encourage you right now to gather wherever you are, open your churches wide, sing in the streets, God is at work and He inhabits the praises of his people. We love you guys, thank you for listening. Please leave reviews for the podcast. If you haven’t reviewed my books yet over at Amazon, I’m going to keep encouraging you guys to do that. I keep getting attacked by leftists over there who clearly have never read the book, but like to leave bad reviews anyway. So we appreciate it when you guys can go and leave actual reviews. If you’re encouraged by this ministry, we would appreciate your financial support.
You can send it to us at Firmly Planted Family, 11100 Northeast 34th Circle, Vancouver, Washington, 98684. And if you guys are in the area, we’d love to see you. The Firmly Planted Homeschool Resource Center opened Monday through Wednesday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, come get a cup of coffee and some curriculum and find some community of people that love the Lord.
Thanks for listening today. We love you guys and I’ll see you back here tomorrow