3 Things I Believe Killed the "Black Church"

Someone asked, "How can you say the black church is dead with all these black churches around?" 

He's not alone in believing the black church was just a local place where black people gathered on Sunday. 

Like many in the black community, no one ever taught him about this social institutions historical background and the major role it played in the lives of an entire community and race of people. He was never taught about the institution itself, and what it was founded on, why it was founded and it's purpose. 

Knowing what I know now about the true meaning of the word 'church', I'm not at all sad that the black church is no longer alive. 

Truth hurts and I've learned many years ago that because it hurts, people don’t want to hear it…especially believers and more importantly, ministry leaders.

When Jesus said, “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free," what He was saying is, once you begin to discover truth you will know where and how to obtain freedom. 

The problem for a lot of people is, they have become so use to and comfortable with captivity, that freedom scares them. Hence the Israelites comments. "Let's choose a new leader and go back to Egypt!" Numbers 4:14 or, “Leave us alone! Let us be slaves to the Egyptians. Exodus 14:12 

We prefer a comfort zone and truth frees you from your comfort zone. This was the issue between the teachers of religious law -vs- Jesus and the truth.

“Whoever controls the thinking of people also controls their actions.”
Reginald F. Davis  'The Black Church Relevant or Irrelevant in the 21st Century?'

Here are three things I believe killed the black church. 
  1. Black Folks. The 'African American', the 'Negro'. Not all, but there is a certain segment or element of the black community that seems to always find their way into leadership positions of this institution. 

    Cater G. Woodson expressed it like this, “The Negro church often fulfills a mission to the contrary of that for which it was established…it seems, that practically all the incompetents and undesirables who have been barred from other walks of life by race prejudice and economic difficulties have rushed into the ministry for the exploitation of the people. Honest ministers who are trying to do their duty, then, find their task made difficult by these men who stoop to practically everything conceivable. Almost anybody of the lowest type may get into the Negro ministry.” 

    Enough said.

  2. Ministry Leaders. We are living in one of the most critical times in our history, yet too many ministry leaders are sleeping through it. Our communities are under sedge and too many ministry leaders are so much a part of the problem that people won't and can't wake up.

    “That’s just what we do”, I heard one say, while doing everything in their power to suck whatever life is left in those they lead, for their own personal gain. 

    Apathy is so prevalent among black ministry leaders it’s contagious and gives off a sense of hopelessness. It turns those who know better away and pushes those who think they know better into the arms of the enemy.

    “So goes the leader, so goes the people.” 

    Martin Luther King Jr. put it like this, “One of the great liabilities of life is that all too many people find themselves living amid a great period of social change and yet they fail to develop the new attitudes, the new mental responses that the new situation demands. They end up sleeping through a revolution.”

  3. The Black Church. This next reason is twofold, because one begets the other.

    The institution, known as "The Black Church" has sabotaged and destroyed itself. Here's how: 

    Fold One -

    There was a time when the black church took the lead in investing in the education of it's youth. Now, you have too many in leadership that are more concerned about investing in themselves.

    There is a saying that many in the black community are familiar with. The saying goes, “If you want to hide anything from black people, put it in a book.”

    I used to be amazed how often young people would tell me, “I don’t like to read”. What was even more amazing is the number of parents who say the same and black ministry leaders who only read the Bible or portions of it. 

    The fact that too many in the Black community don’t like to read, won't read or can't read, opened the door to the first two things I listed that destroyed the black church.

    In my blog post, 5 Reasons Christians Should Read More, I stated that, it has been proven that readers have better judgment and are less likely to be fooled. That's just the opposite of someone who watches a lot of TV. 

    Fold two - 

    For whatever reason, it seems as if the black church prefers emotion over mental stability. 

    Too many see the church as an emotional grocery store where you come and get a weekly supply of emotional satisfaction at the detriment of anything and everything that is more essential to our daily lives. Emotional satisfaction is like a drug, the high only last a short time. 

    Here is what sent the black church into ICU:

    Every industry that wields and holds power knows that the black community is one moved by emotions. They even have a classification for it called 'Feelers'.

    They know that if they appeal to the emotions, blacks are more likely to support and be loyal to them. Of course you can apply this to women as well as the poor and the less educated. 

    What better place to apply a well tested technique on such willing subjects, than a black place of worship? It is the one place where a large number of them all gather in the same place at the same time.

    This is why politicians love speaking to black congregations, on any given Sunday during election season, promising the same things for the last 40 years, with devastating results. Which leads us right back to Fold One as stated above.

Some believe the black church is neither sleep or dead, but comatosed. What they are saying, without saying it, is that the black church is unable to wake up and has little or no brain function.

Well, I’m sure I’ve offended someone, but at the same time someone has been set free. Truth has a way of freeing people.

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