Thursday, September 26, 2013
The Twelfth Chapter of Romans the Klansman's Law of Life
The twelfth chapter of Romans contains more of the fundamental teachings of Christ, and more of the practical rules for Christian living than any other one chapter in the whole Bible. Klansmen have adopted it as their Law of Life because it presents so many of the sacred principles which the Klan seeks to inculcate, and so beautifully portrays the sublime characteristics of our Criterion of Character.Prof. Drummond, in his wonderful essay on "The Greatest Thing in the World," passes the thirteenth chapter of First Corinthians through the prism of reason, as it were, and separates "love" into its component parts, showing the ingredients that enter into its composition. Let us analyze the Klansman's Law of Life in this way and note the pleasing results.Verse One."I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service."By this we are reminded that we are "brethren," not only in a common cause, but by racial blood as well. Our attention is also directed to "the mercies of God," which we too often forget and fail to recognize and appreciate. We are also commanded to make a tremendous sacrifice, "our bodies." The Jews had long been accustomed to offer as sacrifices the dead bodies of animals; but the apostle here demands that we offer "our own bodies," as a "living" sacrifice. This was the supreme test. Man thinks more of his body than anything else he possesses. He will gladly give up honor, glory, reputation, character, friends, wealth, and even his own soul, to save his body. The soul may be sin-sick, and nearing the portals of eternal death; but he is not alarmed, nor does he call in the Great Physician to heal the malady. But let the body become sick and endangered, and he calls a human physician, post haste, and utilizes every available means to secure relief.To lay our "bodies," let "living," on the altar of service, is the supreme sacrifice. We are further informed that this "living sacrifice," our bodies, must be "holy, acceptable unto God." This demands a clean, consecrated life. God will not accept an unholy offering. But the apostle very modestly declares that this is just our "reasonable service."Verse Two."And be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable and perfect will of God."Here we are warned not to be fashioned after this world, not to live worldly lives, but to be "transformed," or changed, by a renewal or change of mind, or heart. Thus we become "new creatures." The reason for this change is given: "that you may prove (or show) what is that 'good' and 'acceptable,' and 'perfect' will of God."As Klansmen, we should be so transformed, or different from the world, that our lives will prove what is the will of God. Let God show His perfect will through us to others.Verse Three."For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man among you, not to think himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith."Aside from the grateful acknowledgment of God's rich grace, to which we are all indebted, this verse teaches us to think seriously, to be modest and unassuming. Self-boasting, self-conceit, pride, arrogance and over-confidence are wholly excluded. We are warned not to over-estimate ourselves; but to be governed by the measure of our faith. A Klansman should think and act with becoming modesty in all things.Verses Four and Five."For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office; so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and everyone members one of another."The human body is composed of many members, hands, feet eyes, ears, nose, heart, lungs, but all members do not perform the same work; yet each one of them is vitally essential. It takes all of them to make up the one body. This is perfectly clear. So the apostle reasons that there are many members (Christians) in the body of Christ (the Church); and that every one is "members one of another," is vitally connected and indispensable. We form one perfect whole. So it is with Klankraft, there are many Klansmen in the body; they do not perform the same office; but each one is equally essential and has a definite place to fill.Verses Six, Seven and Eight."Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; or ministry, let us wait on our ministering; or he that teacheth, on teaching; or he that exhorteth, on exhortion; he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that showeth mercy, with cheerfulness.Here we are taught that every one should do the things for which he is best fitted, or perform that task for which he has a gift or talent. As each member of the body has a specific work to which it is peculiarly adapted; so also, each Klansman has a task to perform.The smallest wheel and the shortest belt in the great factory are just as essential and necessary as the great fly-wheel and the massive boilers. Let no Klansman despair because he cannot be the head or heart; but let him rejoice that he can serve as eyes, ears, or even as feet. May we find our place and fill it with credit and profit to all who are concerned. Do what you can do and do it well.Verse Nine."Let love be without dissemulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good."Our love must be unadulterated, unmixed with evil; wholly devoted to that which is good. God will not accept a divided love. "You cannot serve God and Mamon." You must love the one and hate the other. Every Klansman must abhor, or hate evil, cleave to and defend the good. There is no half-way ground. We cannot compromise with wrong.Verse Ten."Be kindly affectioned one toward another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another."Brotherly love is a commendable virtue. It is the recognition of the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of man. Klansmen are brothers in a common cause against a common foe. Preferring one another in honor teaches us to be unselfish in seeking to honor each other. This is the spirit of unselfish fellowship.Verse Eleven."Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord."This teaches us that we should not be lazy, indolent or indifferent in our business or vocational affairs; and that we should be spiritually alive and active in serving the Lord. There is no room, either in the temporal affairs of this life or the spiritual affairs of the kingdom of God for a slothful or lazy man. The same is true of Klankraft. A Klansman must be actively patriotic and constantly Klannish.Verse Twelve."Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulations; continuing instant in prayer."Hope is the anchor of the soul that reaches to that within the vail. Christians should rejoice in that hope. Klansmen should rejoice in the hope that the sacred and sublime principles of Klankraft will triumph over the wrong, and that "right will rule the earth." All of us can be patient when everything is all right and goes to suit us; but when adversities, trials, temptations, troubles and tribulations come we need to be patient. We have passed through the fires of persecution; have been abused, misrepresented, villified, cursed and hated, but we have borne it all in patience. In patience we will win the victory."Continuing instant in prayer" means to be always praying. Paul said another place, "pray always," and again, "pray without ceasing." Christ, our Criterion, said "Pray for your enemies." Klansmen should be always in the spirit of prayer. Don't forget to pray, Klansmen, and God will give us the victory. Right will win.Verse Thirteen."Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality."Let us not forget that this is essentially a great fraternal and benevolent Order. Charity is a great virtue. We should seek to build hospitals and homes for the needy and to relieve the suffering of the poor. Christ came not to be ministered unto, but to minister. We should endeavor to follow his example; every Klansman's life and home should be aglow with real hospitality. This is the spirit of unselfishness. Ministering to others is one of our imperative duties. Our motto is: Not for self, but for others."Verse Fourteen."Bless them which persecute you; bless and curse not."This is hard to do; but the harder the task the more important it is. Let us refrain from denouncing our persecutors. They are to be pitied rather than censured. Let our enemies hurl their curses, but let us "bless, and curse not."Verse Fifteen."Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep."This verse teaches us the lesson of sympathy and fellowship. We should share the joys and sorrows of our brethren. The joy of others should increase our joy, and their grief should make our hearts sad. Enter into their lives, for we are all a part of a great whole.Verse Sixteen."Be of the same mind, one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits."To be of the same mind means that there should be no friction, malice, envy, division, strife or dissention. Let harmony prevail. Furthermore, we should not be high-minded, puffed-up, arrogant or self-important. That "better-than-thou" spirit is excluded by "condescending to men of low estate." Klansmen are not distinguished by the fiber of their garments, their social standing, their political influence, nor their bank account. They are on a plane of equality. "Be not wise in your own conceit" is a timely admonition to all Klansmen and should be wisely heeded. Be like the owl who lived in an oak.Verse Seventeen."Recompense to no man evil for evil; Provide things honest in the sight of all men."It is hard to keep from paying our enemies back and adding a little for interest. We are prone to "get even" with the other fellow. The law of Moses said, "An eye for an eye, and, a tooth for a tooth." But our Criterion of Character taught us to "return good for evil." Be honorable before all men. A Klansman values honor more than life. He should be the very soul of honor. Let no Klansman stoop to do a dishonorable deed. Honor is the virtue of a Klansman.Verse Eighteen."If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men."Paul recognized the fact that some men will not be peaceable. The unruly mob spirit cannot be controlled. Some men have no regard for law, or respect for the rights of others. The apostle had been assaulted by mobs, but it was not his fault. If the peace is disturbed, the law violated, or the rights of others disregarded, let it be not "our" fault. No matter what others may do, let all Klansmen do the right thing.Verse Nineteen."Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord."It is not ours to wreak vengeance on our fellowman. We should not undertake to get revenge when another has wronged us. Anger and wrath have no place in a Klansman's life. Vengeance, revenge belongs to God. He will satisfy justice. We seek to bring the wrong-doer to the bars of justice and satisfy the law; but not in the spirit of revenge. This is done for the protection of society, the safety of property and the security of personal rights.Verse Twenty."Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink; for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head."The surest and most successful way to conquer an enemy is to "return good for evil." Do not withhold your service from your enemies. Go to the rescue and assistance of an enemy in distress as quickly as a friend. Serve your enemies and win them over. Let nothing deter you from doing good, not even your enemies.Verse Twenty-One."Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."This last verse sums up the whole matter in ten little words. Do not let evil control your life, dominate your actions, or in any way get the upper hand of you; but overcome evil inclinations and influences by filling your life with good. Be so occupied by, and so interested in doing good, that there will be no place in your life for evil.The Summary.In the language of Solomon, the wise preacher: "Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments; for this is the whole duty of man." (Eccl. 12:13.)As applied to Klankraft this wonderful chapter teaches us the following practical lessons and principles:1. Sacrifice and service.2. A transformed life to meet God's will.3. Humility and modesty.4. The necessity of many members in one body.5. Unity of the body and relation of its members.6. Definite work of each individual member.7. Service of ministering and teaching.8. Simplicity, wisdom and cheerfulness.9. Abhorrance of evil and love of the good.10. Unselfish fraternal fellowship.11. Industry, activity and spiritual service.12. Joyous hope, patience and prayer.13. Benevolence and hospitality.14. Returning good for evil.15. Sympathy in both joy and sorrow.16. Unity of thought, harmony and equality.17. Avoid evil and be honorable.18. Strive to live in peace with all men.19. Seek no vengeance. Leave that to God.20. Treat your enemies with kindness.21. Overcome evil by doing good.What a wonderful chapter! And this is a Klansman's Law of Life. It has kept thousands of Klansmen from resenting insults, from recompensing evil for evil, from cursing those who curse them, and from using force to meet force.May God help us and Christ strengthen us to walk daily by this sublime law of the Divine will, that we, as Klansmen, may prove to our enemies, "what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God."The unselfish aim of Klankraft is to make America safe for Americans, physically, morally, politically and spiritually. We are building a bridge for coming generations:An old man traveling a lone highwayCame at evening, cold and grayTo a chasm deep and wide.The old man crossed in the twilight dim,The sullen stream had no fears for him,But he turned when he reached the other sideAnd builded a bridge to span the tide."Old man," cried a fellow pilgrim near,"You are wasting your strength with your building here.You never again will pass this way,Your journey will end with the ending day,You have crossed the chasm deep and wide,Why build a bridge at eventide?"The builder raised his old gray head,"Good friend, in the path I have come," he said,"There followeth after me todayA youth whose feet must pass this way.This stream that has meant naught to meMay to that fair-haired boy a pitfall be,He too must cross in the twilight dim,Good friend, I am building this bridge for him."