Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Black Church

When you think of the so called "Black Church", who do you think of & what things run through your mind while imagining or remembering your typical experiences past and present? This question could have various answers depending on who you would ask. If you ask me, I can only speak from my experiences and what I have read. To answer my own questions, I would say I think of a bunch(generally speaking, not for all) ignorant people who specialize in the terrible art of eisegesis and think that they can praise there way through the trials of life. In which they have been told that when trials come, all God wants from you is praise and He will work it out. Here are some others; Give your way out of your storm by sowing gobs of money to your church or TBN or some other insidious apostate pseudo-christian organization. Can we mention any prominent black leaders? Many would say Martin(Michael King) Luther King, TD Jakes, Fred KC Price, IV Hilliard, Creflo Dollar, and the list would go on. All of these men are black and may have done some good things for society, but according to their beliefs and doctrinal statements they would be disqualified from being a Christian from a Biblical standpoint.

I have to be honest and say that this makes me and continues to make my very saddened and angry at the same time. WHY? Simply because we do not hear about Thabiti Anyabwile, Ken Jones, Anthony Carter, Saiko Woods, John E Coleman, or the men from Black and Reformed Churches of America. So when people see me carrying my Bible, they jokingly starting running in circles, doing cart wheels, speaking in tongues, or some type of generalization(a truth typically) of the Black Church.

I think the fact the norm in America and a harsh fact is that Sunday is the most segregated day during any given week. Why do people have such a hard time separating themselves from tradition or what makes your feel comfortable? This was a question I had to come face to face with. At the time I was a 26 year old male(now 27) who God dragged out of my comfortable feeling because I have a God given desire to hear the Word preached accurate and authoritatively. I got to the point where I felt that I was losing my mind because no one spoke my language amongst my own black people. I hated church with a passion and thought, "there is no one in the church who thinks things through logically or anyone who has the guts to tell there pastor that they were wrong."

Where does this begin? Typically we are taught to respect our leaders in the church and nowadays pastors are saying that they hear directly from God and not always from the Bible. So we hold them in a higher regard. Here is the problem. When your pastor starts to say things that do not line up with the revealed will of God(the Bible), at that time you challenge him in a respectful way. If he does not give you an answer backed by scripture, GET OUT!!! Some might differ with me here and say follow the Matthew 18 approach, but I say no. Why? Unfortunately if you are in that church and you go to your brother or sister in that church, they are not thinking like you. If they were they would not be there. This may be a good approach to wake up some people in the church but typically from all of the stories I have heard; it is a rarity. I also say this because sometimes pastors can be very deceptive and manipulative and you may not be prepared to discern his craftiness. Once again this is based off of my experiences and stories I hear all the time, but I would be prayerful in seeking God in how you should handle this.

The intent of my writing & our(me and Lionel's) other site is to sound the alarm for not only black people but all people. I believe reformed theology to be **100% Biblical. Most people in the black church will never hear about reformed biblical theology and will look for black churches only. We want to be that light in this darkness. Get out of the mode of thinking that says, "black church, white church, Asian church, Indian church etc." God's elect are of every tribe and nation. My white pastor is my brother just as much as my black brethren. We are not related by any type of physical lineage but we are tied to together by our Lord Jesus the Christ. Do not be dismayed when you have strife in the home about what God has enlightened you to. Just obey Him and trust Him.
** J. MacArthur made a comment at his 2003 conference concerning that issue and stated, "I embrace reformed theology as long as it is Biblical & where it is not biblical I do not embrace it". He went on further to state, "They [Reformers] got their anthropology right, their harmartiology right, soteriology right, ecclesiology right, but when they came to eschatology, that's when the problem started". Just to clarify, some current Reformed Baptist preachers and former one's had different eschatoligical positions. When I stated Reformed Theology, I am speaking mainly on TULIP & how we are Saved.(i.e. 1 Sola scriptura ("by Scripture alone") 2 Sola fide ("by faith alone") 3 Sola gratia ("by grace alone") 4 Solus Christus ("Christ alone") 5 Soli Deo gloria ("glory to God alone").