PART 3: Get Ready to Be Challenged and Encouraged
The Left constantly plays the race card to shame Conservatives and silence our voices. As a result, this keeps us on the defense and unable to win the narrative battle. There is hope. Not only does the ministry of the Apostle Paul provide a blueprint for diversity engagement, it also instructs us on how to overcome the negative perception of others.
Diversity Engagement and the Apostle Paul (BIBLICAL CASE STUDY)
The Apostle Paul’s Transformation: The Apostle Paul played a central role in spreading the gospel to the Gentiles (people of different ethnicities, non-Jews). Paul’s missionary travels took him all over the Roman empire. One of the most striking facets of Paul’s life is that, before he became known as an unyielding champion of Christianity, he was well-known for his murderous persecution of Christians. Paul’s famous transformation is referred to as the “Road to Damascus.” On his way to round up Christians as prisoners, Paul was stopped dead in his tracks.
Paul’s “Road to Damascus” experience completely changed his thinking and his belief. Instead of torturing Christians, Paul became a Christian himself and spent the rest of his life inspiring others to accept Christianity. There is no denying that the Apostle Paul was a dynamic force in the early growth of Christianity.
The Apostle Paul’s reputation as a blood-thirsty persecutor of Christians preceded him. That is why he said:
By now you have heard stories of how I harassed and persecuted Christians and did my best to systematically destroy God’s church. -Galatians 1:13 The Passion Translation
Many Gentiles absolutely trembled with fear at the mention of his name─viewing Paul with great suspicion and distrust. They were cautious of him and understandably so, because they believed Paul was double-dealing─pretending to be a Christian evangelist, for the purpose of slaying more Christians.
I can only image the gossip among the Gentiles: Paul, that no-good liar. The nerve of him, claiming to be a Christian evangelist. He’s not fooling anybody. He’s trying to trick us. He’s hoping that we become Christians so he can kill us!
Trump the Race Card (Pun Intended): Most Conservatives are terrified of being labeled a racist, Uncle Tom or sellout. So, how did Paul overcome the negative perceptions the Gentiles had of him? In essence, how did he trump race card?
In order for Paul to effectively carry the good news message to the Gentiles, he had to first, create trust and credibility for himself before the he could get them to listen. He had to “win the narrative” and squash the Gentile’s negative mindsets of viewing him as uncaring, cold-hearted, cruel, and a racist. Do these words sound familiar? Conservatives find themselves facing similar challenges as the Apostle Paul encountered.
To trump the race card, there are two things you must do:
1. Share Your Testimony:
There is no persuasive messaging technique that can surpass the power of one’s personal testimony. The Apostle Paul constantly shared his testimony. And, by sharing it, he was able to create trust and credibility for himself; thereby, overcoming negative perceptions and “winning the narrative”. Paul did more than just quote Jesus. He made it known how the teachings of Jesus transformed his life.
Conversely, as a Conservative, you must communicate how you have been inspired by Frederick Douglass, America’s greatest liberty messenger. You must convey how Douglass’ life and writings have made a difference in your thinking. I refer to this as, making an “inspirational declaration.”
When asked about my political identity, I express that I have been inspired by the life and writings of Frederick Douglass, “I’m more than a Conservative-Republican, I’m a Frederick Douglass Republican. I believe in his life empowering values, for example: (1) Respect for the Constitution; (2) Economic prosperity; (3) Free speech; (4) Personal responsibility; (5) Limited power of government; (6) Legal immigration; (7) Religious liberty, among others.”
2. Show Improvements:
The Apostle Paul showed by his actions, and not just his words, that he was changed man. He established numerous churches throughout Europe and Asia Minor. He traveled to regions where no one had evangelized to before. He healed people, cast out spirits, and brought someone back from the dead. Those who saw and heard Paul, knew he had been transformed, by his actions.
What you do is more important than what you say, because the things you do show your true intentions and feelings.
Consider the wisdom of Ralph Waldo Emerson:
It’s not enough to just share your testimony. You must demonstrate our transformation. You must show that you have made a concerted effort to change. Your actions must reveal what you profess in your testimony. Without good deeds, your “inspirational declaration” is nothing, and dead as a door-nail
The Bibles says that, “Faith without works is dead.” And, I might add, without showing improvements, your transformation will come across as a fake.
TO BE CONTINUED