Discernment: Does family heritage matter in the Kingdom? Maybe

HeritageQuestion: Does my family heritage matter if I am a Believer who’s heritage is the Kingdom of heaven?

Answer: No and Yes.

No: The moment we become Believers in Christ Jesus we are immediately adopted into the eternal Kingdom (Ephesians 1:5). We no longer belong to the human heritage but to the Creator of the universe. Essentially, the human methods of separating individuals by race, ethnicity, and tribe are moot. We either belong to the Creator of the universe or we belong to Prince of the Power of the Air (see Ephesians 2) aka the Father of Lies (John 8:44).

Yes: There are some communities that seem to have persistent troubles that seem woven into the fabric of the culture. In Christian outreach, one must consider the following when trying to reach communities who are not Believers. If there is any cultural history of tribalism, alcoholism, ethnic cleansing, sexual slavery, child soldiers, black on black crime, multiculturalism (forced secondary to slavery), etc. these persistent issues have a spiritual root deeper than the person or immediate family.

Exodus addresses this issue of generational/bloodline spiritual roots.

“You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.” – Exodus 20:5-6

Often in communities where there is hardness towards each other and God, there are unresolved ancestry spiritual roots. One of the first things outreach workers should ask when one meets unbelieving individual(s) is “What is your heritage?”. This will give one a greater picture of the person’s potential spiritual baggage. If the unbelieving individual(s) have no idea of their heritage, this does not mean there are no spiritual roots. It may mean the individual(s) or community may be dealing with “orphan”, “abandonment”, or “trauma” spiritual blocks in addition to spiritual roots of “war” and “oppression”. Now think of communities where this might apply such as communities where there is no knowledge of where they derive or communities where there was trauma such as descendants of slaves or indigenous people who were pushed off their land into camps so new settlers could have a place to call home. Might these communities have some massive blood line spiritual roots to address before they will receive anything about God? These communities often state they would much rather give honor to their ancestors who were oppressed than give honor to a God who they believe was the source of turmoil in their communities (i.e. colonial “Christian” missionaries participating in slavery or land stealing practices).

Question: How does one in outreach begin to help individuals and communities with bloodline roots to become free and receive Christ Jesus?

Prayer.

PRAYER FOR HEALING THE FAMILY TREE

“Heavenly Father, I come before you as your child, in great need of your help; I have physical health needs, emotional needs, spiritual needs, and interpersonal needs. Many of my problems have been caused by my own failures, neglect and sinfulness, for which I humbly beg your forgiveness, Lord. But I also ask you to forgive the sins of my ancestors whose failures have left their effects on me in the form of unwanted tendencies, behavior patterns and defects in body, mind and spirit. Heal me, Lord, of all these disorders.

With your help I sincerely forgive everyone, especially living or dead members of my family tree, who have directly offended me or my loved ones in any way, or those whose sins have resulted in our present sufferings and disorders. In the name of your divine Son, Jesus, and in the power of his Holy Spirit, I ask you, Father, to deliver me and my entire family tree from the influence of the evil one. Free all living and dead members of my family tree, including those in adoptive relationships, and those in extended family relationships, from every contaminating form of bondage. By your loving concern for us, heavenly Father, and by the shed blood of your precious Son, Jesus, I beg you to extend your blessing to me and to all my living and deceased relatives. Heal every negative effect transmitted through all past generations, and prevent such negative effects in future generations of my family tree.

I symbolically place the cross of Jesus over the head of each person in my family tree, and between each generation; I ask you to let the cleansing blood of Jesus purify the bloodlines in my family lineage. Set your protective angels to encamp around us, and permit Archangel Raphael, the patron of healing, to administer your divine healing power to all of us, even in areas of genetic disability. Give special power to our family members’ guardian angels to heal, protect, guide and encourage each of us in all our needs. Let your healing power be released at this very moment, and let it continue as long as your sovereignty permits.

In our family tree, Lord, replace all bondage with a holy bonding in family love. And let there be an ever-deeper bonding with you, Lord, by the Holy Spirit, to your Son, Jesus. Let the family of the Holy Trinity pervade our family with its tender, warm, loving presence, so that our family may recognize and manifest that love in all our relationships. All of our unknown needs we include with this petition that we pray in Jesus’ precious Name. Amen.”

One of the first questions an outreach worker may be asked if they are a person of color who is ethnically ambiguous is “Where are you from?”. This simple question is an easy way to open the door to discuss family heritage and assess spiritual roots. You do not need to be a person of color to ask the outreach community the same question “Where are you from?”. Moreover, you do not have to pray the exact prayer above to free the outreach communities from spiritual blocks. But it is important that you do pray a prayer like it in order to release the individual and community from generational blocks in their home, culture, and community that blocks them from receiving Christ Jesus. – AMEN

Related Post: Heritage and Healing
Prayer: Saint Joseph, Patron Saint of Family Life
Photo Credit: Native American Lost Souls Geneaology

Service: Kids Community Spring Fair 2013

kidsfairhdMany are the plans of a man’s heart but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. Proverbs 19:21

Wow! We serve an amazing God. We had an abundance of children/family participants and community partner volunteers. Everything we needed, God provided. Helmets, healthy food, education session, gym equipment, and most importantly LOVE was provided by volunteers and community partners. In fact we had one additional community partner volunteer join us that we did not anticipate. It was a huge Blessing as this Person of Peace filled a gap in both dentistry and connection to the Somali community. The community partners were from all segments of society: Faith, school, government, private business and non profit. What is even more amazing is that the school and government participants came to us, seeking to participate in our service project. When I was initially contacted about them joining us, I was a bit confused. I thought “Don’t they know this event is in a Church and hosted by Believers in Christ? Aren’t they scared by the scriptures I have posted on my email (as one colleague suggested and insisted I delete as to not potentially offend those who don’t Believe)?” I mean after all the world systems tell us schools, government, and other nations like the Somali community want nothing to do with people like us (Christians). Abba told me to rest and let Him do the work. Abba called me to do two things: love and serve.

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another. John 13:34-35

I remember asking God these questions as a youth: why I was born with brown skin and of the African Diaspora, why I grew up in the inner city amongst all walks of life especially the poor when my parents did not financially have to. I felt and often received ostracism in my youth by peers my Midwestern community as it was “common knowledge” (lies of the enemy) brown skinned people were not as beautiful as fair skinned people and all blacks who live in the inner city are underclassed including me. I resented being of the African Diaspora, resented my parents not moving to the suburbs like many of my peers families did, and I resented being told by oppressionists that because I was of the African Diaspora and from the inner city I was less than they. Fast forward into my thirties and Abba revealed to me that it was those painful racial experiences in my youth and sacrifices made my parents to live Christ by associating and living amongst the poor in my hometown as Romans 12:16 calls that equipped me more than most to do this particular work for the Kingdom. God gave me the call two years ago to love the children and families in the communities much like the one I grew up in. Now I answer. Amen

Highlights from the Kids Community Fair

A kindergartner asking a teenager “How old are you?” The teenager responding “Seventeen”. The kindergartner responding “Wow, you’re old!” The teenager responding “She just called me old.” Me thinking to myself “Just wait until you turn thirty!”

An elderly Somali woman and daughter donating to the Clothing Closet, accepting a cup of coffee and coming in only to be pleasantly surprised by our Person of Peace Somali volunteer (middle aged gentleman) who engaged them in coffee conversation. Shortly after several more Somali friends appeared at the coffee table for conversation.