Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Is Black History Important?

Through my wonderful journey since the Lord Jesus Christ drug(John 6:44) me to Himself I have been pushed further away from ministering to a certain type of people simply based on their race. I see many people who get excited when we get the “First Black Person” to do this or to do that and we as a “black people” take it as a personal badge of honor as if that person alone represents our entire race. In retrospect I think this type of thinking is ignorant and not that of a follower of Christ. I see so many black and reformed men who rely heavily on the works of great men like Saint Augustine who was a philosopher and theologian, and was bishop of the North African city of Hippo Regius for the last third of his life. Augustine is one of the most important figures in the development of Western Christianity, and is considered to be one of the church fathers. I have had a hard time getting an answer to the question, “Was he a Black Man?” as if it would matter when it comes to Christ finishing the work He began in me.(Phil 1:6)

What bothers me at times is that the fact that some hold to the teachings of Calvin, Luther, Edwards, Wesley and so many others, then they crucify these men for having African slaves and in the same breath gleam so much from their writings, insights, and revelation concerning the Word of God. The fact that these men had sin in their lives does not nullify what they have learned through the regeneration of the Holy Spirit. If so, we would all be disqualified on that scale, even today as we stand upon the shoulders of giants. To make matters worse, they highly esteem people like Martin(Michael) Luther King Jr., Malcolm(X)Little, and a slew of others who were not Christians by any stretch of the wildest imagination(Please do some research on this before trying to stand behind these non-Christians). Somehow they get a “Get by Free Card” based on the color of their skin and not by the doctrine they teach. I really had to wrestle with some questions before coming to this particular stance. Some of the questions were:

1) Has Christ called us to preach to a certain group or to preach and teach the gospel to all people regardless of race, age, and gender?

2) Has Christ told us whom He has willed to save? Or in other words do we as mortals know who His elect are?

3) How is black history going to help me share the gospel of Christ?

Difficult questions. Let me say that I appreciate what all African Americans have done in the past to give me the freedoms that I possess today. The question is, “Do I feel indebted to a group of people for the sacrifices that God has sovereignly chosen them to go through?” NO!! I am thankful but surely am not indebted to give praises to men but rather God. I catch a lot of flack from many people of all races simply because I don’t vote(uh oh!!) and I can’t find a scripture that commands me to do so. To get back to the topic let us look at Joseph’s view of God’s sovereignty in retrospect of his trial.

Genesis 45:5 Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.

Genesis 45:7 And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance. So now [it was] not you [that] sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.

I would encourage you to read this story through about Joseph see how he has a brilliant view of the hand of God over every situation. Joseph could have easily blamed his brothers and would have been right by doing so; but he seen the sovereign work of God in this. I guess the question would be how sovereign is God? Isaiah 45:7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these [things].

I believe black history is important to all people but it is dwarfed when compared to knowing church history. When I was a young man I could tell you all about many of the highly esteemed blacks of our day and the of the past but could not tell you about the Council of Nicea or the Jerusalem Council(Acts 15). What good does it do anyone to know about the black history and to not know about church history? Which is more important? Generally we have a lot of black churches specializing in black history month and are totally ignorant of Biblical or church history. What is the result? Humanism, Black Pride, Separatism, and Prejudice disguised as false racial love.

Now to fast forward to the New Covenant, has God chosen a people set apart for Himself? Well of course He has and those people are followers of Christ-Christians. Christ has commanded us to Go ye therefore, and teach all nations(ethnos), baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. No one will argue with the great commission that was given for all believers to carry out and not to be limited by a particular race. We as humans were all brothers and sisters linked together by Adam and lost in our sins and trespasses. Once Christ came(Gal 4:4), we then are part of the family of God linked together by Our Redeemer-Christ Jesus. So now we no longer see the black people as “our people” but we now see the famous colloquialism as a term that describes the family of God in Christ.

In conclusion one might say that it is important that blacks see other positive black people in order to be motivated. I would differ. We see black men and women aspiring to be like Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, Obama, Colin Powell, and many others but if they die without Christ they too will go to hell. So my question is what really matters? Time out for the superficial racial hype dressed as a wolf in sheep’s clothing which screams… pride!! pride!! pride!!! Time to put Christ at the forefront of our everything meaning that we completely lose our everything in Christ. Furthermore meaning if we are going to esteem people let us check and see if they really have the heart of Christ in all that they do. We emulate Christ to all the world to see the love of Christ and in this they will know that we are His disciples.