Thursday, August 27, 2009

Resist the Devil

James 4:7 So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

I was cleaning out my email and ran across an email my mom sent me. It was about my Great Grandfather Orrin Van Loon. It was a link someone had sent her about her Grand Daddy. It was a picture of “Da.” It was a picture of him from 1924. Five years after he started Berkley Community Church. Every picture I have ever seen of him he is smiling. He has a look of joy on his face. You can’t see his face in this picture. The picture is of his bare back. Now I know that most of you don’t have a picture of your Great Grandfather’s back. I do. I have that picture because it is a picture of the marks of truly following Jesus.

You see Da lead a church in a community that was an epicenter for the Ku Klux Klan. The KKK had been doing cross burnings in the city of which he lead this church.

"The Reverend Orrin Van Loon, pastor of a community church outside of Detroit, openly criticized the Klan in 1924 from his pulpit; the next night a gang of hooded men forced their way into his home and dragged him to a waiting car which sped off to a lonely spot where Van Loon was branded on the back with three large letters: KKK." - The Great Pictorial History of World Crime- Jay Robert Nash

He spoke up for those who had no voice. He was probably attacked by people sitting in his pews the day before. He was missing for almost a month. He was found in a field hours north of where he lived. He remained Pastor of that church till he died in the late sixties.

Resisting the Devil is real work. It isn’t a passive thing and it might cost you. I believe that Da’s renewed body in the life to come will have those scars on it. It is the true marks of a disciple taking up his cross. What an honor to keep that for eternity.

1 comment:

  1. Wow - I'd never heard this before. Amazing story.