February has two popular community activity themes of national interests and benefit, Saint Valentine’s Day and Black History Month. Both themes promote acts of love and thoughts of consideration and conciliation. Valentine’s Day provides an opportunity to remember to love. It spreads joy throughout the community. Black History acknowledges the works of African Americans that contribute to lifting the nation out of the dark past of inhumanity. Black History highlights the positive contributions and resilience of an ethnic group that relies on love to overcome the powers of iniquity and inequity in society.
The faith of Christianity promotes and values love and good works. Churches assemble weekly to provoke one another to love and do good works. In Hebrews 10:24, we as people of faith are called to “consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”
Today, Bishop Valentine is recognized for his martyrdom which established that we should value love and marriage more than earthly life. An account of his story is that Valentine lived in an era when Rome encountered administrative challenges that required an increasing number of dedicated soldiers to defend its sovereignty. Consequently, the emperor, Claudius II determined that married men would not make good soldiers because they would be too emotionally attached to their families. So, he banned marriages. In defiance of the inconsiderate ban on marriages, Bishop Valentine continued to perform wedding ceremonies. This was a stance on principles of love and good works that resulted in his imprisonment. While imprisoned, Valentine refused to agree to the ban or convert and recognize the Roman Gods. As a result, Claudius ordered his execution.
Although his efforts to convert the emperor were unsuccessful, one legend holds that Saint Valentine restored the sight of his jailer Asterias’ daughter. As friendship ensued, she was distraught about his imminent death. On February 14, 269 AD, on the way to his execution Valentine acquired writing utensils to pen a final note to his friend and signed it “from your Valentine.” This last act has inspired missives of love to date. Saint Valentine’s example of valuing love and works above inconsideration is enshrined in the tradition of being someone’s Valentine.
Christian Tenets and Church Sin
If Saint Valentine did not commit his acts of love, there would not be a Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s legacy is a stark contrast with times throughout history when atrocities prevail because people fail to love and do good works. But more specifically, is it a sin if Christians fail to love and do good? The Bible depicts how God loved the world, and sent, his son Immanuel – God with us (John 3:16) who came into the world, did good works, and taught his disciples to love and do good works. This is the Christian model of love and good works. Both the prophets and disciples exemplified these principles for subsequent followers of Christ, and love and good works are canonized in texts. In turn, the principles have been passed on to Christians over the past 200 generations as a recipe for eternal life.
If love and good works are Christian tenets, then the church should beware of sin by omission. The word sin in Spanish means ‘without’ or ‘no.’ For example, sin agua, without water, or sin pelo, no hair. For the church, sin means without morality. Whereas morality is of God, Christians are moored to God by principles such as love and good works. So, when the church sins, it can be from its failure to love and do good works. At that point, the church is unmoored. As in John 15:4-6 states “Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned.” When the church fails to love and do good works, it drifts from morality to immorality and from considerate to inconsiderate behaviors. This is a drift from the principles and principality of light into those of darkness.
The failure to love and do good works has major implications for the church. This determines the principality it serves, which is its sovereign master. Love and good works determine all other matters such as whether the representation of God is true or false. Without love and good works, a church is void of authenticity in its representation of Christianity. Such a church is not moored to the principle of the greatest commandment in Mark 12:30-31 of love of God and neighbor, that Jesus espoused for Christians.
In times of sin, individuals are disconnected from the vine and from the will of God (John 15:4-6). Therefore, the church should guard against sin by omission. Passivity is a great threat to Christians because omission replaces potential conflict with a false sense of wellbeing within the body of Christ. Therefore, passivity is a sin of deceit unlike sins by commission- intentionally doing reprehensible acts that are obvious violations of the will of God. In sum, Christians should not fail to love and do good works. It is sin.
As a result, the church has an opportunity to love and do good works by honoring Black history. Black history recognizes the merits of works done toward liberation and equity for African Americans that endure the vestiges of slavery daily. Black history also is associated with imperialism and oppression of the Dark Ages. Dark ages are times when the prince of darkness excels in keeping people in darkness and dominates control over mankind. Daniel 7:7-17 depicts this era after the rise of Christianity as the 4th Empire. History, this is the era in which racism prevailed even under the justification of religious theories such as the theory of natural slavery (espoused by the Spanish nation and adapted by Thomas Aquinas for the church).
Principles of darkness contend that there are “races” with one superior and others inferior. This makes it acceptable to institutionalize inequity and subjection. This imperialistic principle was the basis for the construction of the color codes. The Black – White construct in the United States governance evolved from imperialistic race-class constructs to color distinctions. The color segregation provided diverse sets of poor European American immigrants groups with legal privileges that were withheld from African Americans. Africans Americans became subject to increasing inequity over the years under both imperialistic race-class, and “black code” color constructs. For instance, in 1776, unfounded theories of the cause of blackness, coexisted with narratives that there was more than one race, or that the evolution of the humans resulted in superior and inferior races. 
The widespread spiritual darkness in the culture of civil and social equity suggest that unbelieving imperialistic minds were kept in darkness by the antichrist. In 2 Corinthians 4:4 the Bible states that “Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.” This unbelief is a hallmark of the Dark Age sin in black history. Furthermore, the removal of Thomas Jefferson’s reference to slavery in the declaration of independence was blamed on some southern states and northern business pro slavery interests. As a result, the independence colonials successfully used race and “black” color to justify independence from British colonialism and maintain the imperialism of slavery. Similarly, although multi-race theories have been disproved, the government still perpetuates the institutionalization of racism by using the black-white color construct in national policy for ethnic group identification.
Today, DNA adds advanced scientific proof that the 1776 race constructs and narratives are wrong. However, history shows a void in the church’s opposition to government and private sector institutions of imperialism, slavery, and marginalization, which amounts to 240 plus years of covert sin by omission. However, the racist constructs contradict the Christian tenets that God created one “race”, and that the peoples of today are descendants of three brothers, the sons of Noah. Therefore, the church should affirm that ethnic groups are equitable or by default, the church affirms racism.
In sum, those that subject themselves to the principles of darkness manifest principles that are opposed to those of the light of Christ, such as love and good works. Similarly, when the church fails to love and do good works, it sins, and the prince of darkness reaps the benefits. This sin of omission is the antichrist’s best method of winning souls. Its efficacy is in the fact that sinners don’t have to do evil to be in his principality of darkness, they just need to neglect love and good works. This is analogous to not lighting a lamp in a dark room. Matthew 5:14-16 states “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Those that need the light stumble around in darkness and stay lost due to the light bearer’s sin of omission. Under these circumstances, the age of the antichrist, the 4th Empire, the Dark Age exemplify the dark ages of black history.
Fortunately, we are now in transition into the 5th Empire when the people of God will no longer be oppressed (Daniel 7:7-17). This is evident in the world equity movements since the Spring of 2010. It includes the U. S. conciliatory movements such as the one in favor of the removal of confederate statues, which symbolize imperialism, oppression, and strongholds of the antichrist. In the 4th empire, mankind drifted from the morality of Christianity into the darkness of antichrist feudalism, the Atlantic slave trade, Jim Crowism, and Black Codes to modern day iterations of inequity manifested in marginalization, the prison industrial complex, inequitable health, and other civic and social disparities. These vestiges of the 4th Empire are opposed by other transitional equity movements including black lives matter, #metoo, and a surge of women in leadership roles, which attest to the emergence of the light of the 5th Empire.
For the church, racial reconciliation is a significant movement. Racial reconciliation restores the tenet that God created one race to the forefront of the practice of Christian faith. As a defining principle of Christian faith, racial reconciliation is a saving grace for many if the church ceases to sin, and instead stands up for righteousness. When the church stands against oppression in unity of principle, and harmony of brotherhood and sisterhood, racial reconciliation will be achieved. However, the church must affirm its stand to:
· Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. All else will be added (Matt. 6:33)
· Seeks to be doers of the word and not hearers only deceiving yourselves (James 1:22)
· Reject complacency under the cover of antichrist darkness (2 Cor. 4:4)
· Receive the power of the Holy Spirit (Acts1:8; Luke 24:49)
· Seek the spirit of Elijah in these days (Luke 1:17)
· Light a lamp to usher in the 5th Empire. Wherever the people of God are oppressed and
· Prepare the way for the coming of the Lord (Isaiah 40:3; Mal. 3:1; Matt. 3:3)
Furthermore, Mission Reconcile provides churches with a platform from which to combine the virtues of the Day, month and weekly themes of love and works for the benefit of the community and the church. By engaging in reconciliation, churches build capacity to assemble Christendom for the glory of God. Through provocative harmony, assembled church groups could encourage each other to love and do good works for individuals, families, and communities inside and outside of their mission field as Bishop Valentine did 1,750 years ago, and according to what Jesus thought.
The racial reconciliation movement provides the church with a major role for bringing the antichrist era of black history to an end. Reconciliation calls for church groups to free their faith from racial and denominational segregation, and imperialistic and other worldly notions of supremacy. By consolidating these February themes, church groups could help to heal the wounds of injustice and restore light in a darkened world for the glory of God. Racial reconciliation is a way to be a valentine to communities and spread the love of God throughout the body of Christ across denominational and congregational boundaries.
Bishop Valentine lived in a time of the spread of Christianity and left a legacy for the church by 1) ministering to those persecuted by the state, and 2) making it possible for people to have love in their lives. Both are true to the Christian tenets. In AD 496, Pope Gelasius established the Fest of Saint Valentine in honor of the martyr Saint Valentine of Rome. Christianity is at a crossroads of a resurgence of popular morality. However, in an environment of new challenges to humanity, society will again need guidance from the church, and stellar examples from new faithful saints. Assembling together for racial reconciliation is a good place to start. Through racial reconciliation, the past can be isolated from the future, which offers a new beginning. With a spirit of reconciliation, Christians can work toward nurturing all people to live life in the present eternal Kingdom of God. From today, “let us be concerned for one another, to help one another to show love and to do good” Hebrews 10:24 (GNT).
Bless the Lord,
Dale Francis, MPA, is the author of The Quelbe Commentary 1672-2012 and the founder of Light of Life Ministries, minister of music, and servant of the Lord. His mission is to share a message that empowers people to be doers of the Word and serve the Lord. Above all, he is a reconciler. You can reach Dale at [email protected].
 See http://oxfordre.com/americanhistory/view/10.1093/acrefore/9780199329175.001.0001/acrefore-9780199329175-e-262