Why You Might Want To Give The Black Church Another Chance
I don’t mean to disturb your day nor to take up much of your time. I appreciate you given me literally a few minutes of your time. I simply wanted to share with you why I’m still part of the Black Church. I do so because I know you to be a thinking person who is often curious about why someone like me might be a part of something which does not seem to make much sense and make much of a difference— to you and to others.
First, let me make a distinction between the historic, dynamic Black Church and churches that are black. Churches that are black are well-meaning, but grossly misinformed about and easily manipulated by unhealthy strands of Euro-American Christianity. Churches that are black may provide a sense of belonging and a place to release pent up anger, frustration, and hurt. However, such churches are not always loving, liberational, nor life-changing.
Yet in sharp contrast, the historic and dynamic Black Church in America arose as a response to the dehumanization, disenfranchisement, and discrimination Blacks experienced at the hands of whites. It was created out the justifiable frustration, pain, and protest against the Euro-American Church and the Euro-American practice of slavery. It was resounding “No” to the accusation that God made Black people inferior, docile, and immoral. It is proof-positive of the courage, creativity and resistance of Black people to systematic and systemic injustice and evil in American public life Black People face daily.
Second, I participate in the Black Church because it offers a positive and progressive way to read my identity as a Black Man in America, my history as a part of a colonized people who champion their own freedom, day-in and day-out, and my sense of purpose as someone who has been put on the planet to leave my people in particular and people in general better than when I found them.
Third, I participate in the Black Church because it helps me be my best self and compels and enables me “to be the difference” in the world. In short, it helps me to be a more courageous, creative, compassionate, and just person.
Fourth, I participate in the Black Church because it helps me to stay in touch with the God who is working to reshape the world’s ugliness, bigotry and vileness into Martin King’s Beloved Community, where everyone has worth and equal to access to opportunity.
The Black Church, not the church that is black, is what feeds and frees me. I have given my life to it. I have done so because it gives me life, love, and light. What it has done for me, I believe, God longs for it to do for you. Therefore, why don’t give you the Black Church another chance?