Saturday, February 10, 2007

Is it too late for the Black Church?

Thabiti Anyabwile continues to answer the question, “Can the predominantly African-American church be reformed?” I encourage you, please, read these posts (parts 1, 2, 3). My thoughts are particularly stirred by the quotes from Daniel Alexander Payne (1811-1893) and Francis J. Grimké (1850-1937). First of all, when was the last time you heard a Black preacher in a traditional Black Church, express this kind of concern for biblical fidelity in worship that Payne and Grimké expressed? But, secondly, if what they expressed is true, do you realize how far from God the average traditional Black church has strayed? The more I think about it, the more I have to wonder if, perhaps, it’s too late to save the traditional Black Church.

Consider this: Maybe the traditional Black Church has outlived its purpose. As you (should) know, the Black Church came into being during the era when White racism severely limited the freedom of Blacks to worship God. In this day, when it is possible to come together in worship with God’s people without regard to race or ethnicity, is there still a need for a separate “Black Church”?

And, I wonder, how long will God leave His people in churches where they aren’t being fed? There is a famine for the word of God in the Black community. It is well-known the lack of biblical substance in the pulpit has reached epidemic proportions in the traditional Black Church. The health and wealth message has spread like a cancer. In other cases, pastors seem more concerned with social activism than soul saving (Have you ever heard Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton preach the gospel? Have you ever heard any of the high-profile Black preacher/activists preach the gospel?). There is more commitment to the Democrat Party than to Jesus Christ. So, I wonder, would God abandon true believers to this kind of mess? Or would God lead His people out of these so-called churches into true churches where His word is taught, believed and obeyed?

When I think of what goes on under the guise of “church”, in the Black community, I just have to wonder.

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