Why must there be a “black church”?Topic: Ethnic Reconciliation, Ethnic Conciliation/Reconciliation
[Twitter thread compilation]
Someone said to me today,
“There shouldn’t be a black church, either should there be a “white” church”. There is no Biblical basis for division of the body of Christ. Slavery and later Jim Crow were obviously justification for division. When will we all worship Jesus together?
1. Yes! No biblical basis for division, so when will the “white” church abandon its “whiteness” and stop perpetuating division. I’m happy to give some suggestions for where to start. Let’s go…
2. We can start w/ the “white church” ending it’s practice of championing slave masters like Edwards & Whitefield. If you truly want unity not division; stop championing men who supported an institution that kidnapped, tortured, raped, & murdered our great grandparents…
3. From there, the white church can also begin not championing theologians who supported or were indifferent to the institution of Jim Crow. If the “white church” wants “unity not division”, it can stop training its ministers to prioritize the writings & works of white supremacists who were indifferent to the oppression and at times even lynchings of our parents & grandparents.
4. the “white church” can then divorce the Republican Party & stop supporting political policies that perpetuate poverty of black & brown peoples (even Christians) around the world while creating greater wealth for themselves & own descendants….
5. Form there, they can stop traumatizing minority Christians who do actually join membership within their churches. This is a big one. If white churches stopped traumatizing Christians of color with their racism, white-centeredness, & insensitivity… stop traumatizing us.
6. Then, white churches can stop raising up assimilated minorities & turning them into tokens. They could stop raising up minorities they know will re-enforce white power structures & keep the minorities of the church in line. They could raise up minorities who challenge them.
7. In love, the black/white divide on Sunday morning persists b/c white churches are STILL not a safe space for unassimilated black & brown Christians. The black church isn’t the divisive party here. It’s a tradition pressing forward despite the divisiveness of White Christianity.
8. We will all “worship together” when the white church stops insisting on its own way, and begins to practice I Corinthian 13 love. When it no longer insists others worship while on their knees looking up to it as the paradigm of Christlikeness and it’s culture the Kingdom of God.
Here is the thing, the black church exists because a white church exists; a church established on the foundations of ethnic supremacy rather than Christological Supremacy. In a society, where the dominate faith expression is one wedded to ethnic supremacy, other faith expressions comprised of saints who’ve been oppressed by that dominate faith expression are bound to rise up. Why? Because God will always have a faithful remnant. The black church is a persecuted church, and in america it has been historically persecuted by other “Christians” who embraced the social construct of whiteness and who treasured its privileges and power more than it treasured the blood bought bond they had with Christians of a darker hue.
1. In the days of slavery, black slaves were often chained to pews of white churches. Black women were brought to church by slave masters who raped them night before, blacks were given bibles w/ sections cut out, & to worship God w/o chains had to do so under the cover of night.
2. Many white churches & ministers (including George Whitefield) taught that “disciplining” slaves was a form of God ordained divine chastisement. Frederick Douglas gives an apt description of the hypocrisy of white Christianity during his time…
“I therefore hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of the land… I look upon it as the climax of all misnomers, the boldest of all frauds, and the grossest of all libels. Never was there a clearer case of ‘stealing the livery of the court of heaven to serve the devil in.’ I am filled with unutterable loathing when I contemplate the religious pomp and show, together with the horrible inconsistencies, which every where surround me. We have men-stealers for ministers, women-whippers for missionaries, and cradle-plunderers for church members. The man who wields the blood-clotted cowskin during the week fills the pulpit on Sunday, and claims to be a minister of the meek and lowly Jesus. . . . The slave auctioneer’s bell and the church-going bell chime in with each other, and the bitter cries of the heart-broken slave are drowned in the religious shouts of his pious master. Revivals of religion and revivals in the slave-trade go hand in hand together. The slave prison and the church stand near each other. The clanking of fetters and the rattling of chains in the prison, and the pious psalm and solemn prayer in the church, may be heard at the same time. The dealers in the bodies of men erect their stand in the presence of the pulpit, and they mutually help each other. The dealer gives his blood-stained gold to support the pulpit, and the pulpit, in return, covers his infernal business with the garb of Christianity. Here we have religion and robbery the allies of each other—devils dressed in angels’ robes, and hell presenting the semblance of paradise.”
3. Christian family, when you encounter white ministers who say things like, “There shouldn’t be a black church, It’s unbiblical!
Flee their church. Their foolishness & denial enables white supremacy. There is a black church b/c the white church was often a synagogue of Satan.
4. Today, there are white ministers and churches that have raised themselves against the black church (a persecuted church) & black ministers like days of old. They despise the black church’s legacy & advocacy for the marginalized. The spirit of the anti-Christ is a live & well.
5. I refuse to defend the black church’s existence, especially to those who perpetuate the historically toxic elements of the white church; racism & an anti-justice posture. Sharing these things not as a defense, but for awareness so saints know what kinda churches to leave.
6. Also, the White American Church has historically bowed knee to culture. It has done so to this day as it has not truly repented of its past. It has generally lived in denial, minimized it’s sin, & in some places still praises slave masters & considers them paradigms of piety.
7. There is much validity to the statement:
“The black church exists because the white church still champions slave masters.”
I speak more about this in the article here.
8. Ultimately, shouldn’t surprise us when people question validity & existence of the black church. The black church is a living, vibrant, spirit-empowered expression of Christian faith that also serves as an indictment/rebuke to White “Christian” Surpemacy.