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The Truth Anyhow

May 11, 2010

With so much happening right now in the Black community, and too much of it negative, we are due for a healthy dose of truth on some matters vital to our survival. For the next few posts, I’ll cover several of them. You may read and think I’m being harsh, raw, overly-dramatic, narrow-minded, etc. But just think of me like that grandmother who sometimes rubbed you the wrong way with her bluntness, but when you look back on it, she was telling you the truth to keep you out of trouble, or help you deal with the trouble you were already in. People, we’re in trouble, but we can do something about it.

The truth for today is:

We need to get right with God.

I’m astonished at how far we’ve veered from our heritage in this regard. Before all the Black Muslims, Black Jews, Black atheists and others start blowing up this blog with all kinds of push-back, hear me out. I’m not saying that the original Africans who were dragged here via the transatlantic slave trade came here as Christians toting Bibles and wearing gold crosses around their necks. What I’m referring to is our contemporary history with Christianity in this country. Our people’s reliance on the Christian faith to battle and prevail against oppression, violence, hatred and all manner of ill will, cannot be disregarded. I’m always amazed every January on MLK day, and every February during Black History month, there is so little mentioned about the pivotal role faith played in the civil rights movement.

It’s as if those miraculous happenings like the civil rights act, school integration, boycotts, and marches happened solely because of our own ingenuity and brilliance. Even if we were inclined to believe that, Dr. King himself was very vocal about his reliance on prayer, Biblical principles, and Jesus Himself, for strength, strategies, and courage. There are also numerous examples of African Americans’ involvement in founding denominations (AME for one), the religious affiliations of several HBCU founders, and the legendary civic involvement of the Black church in social issues.

To this day, we are known to be some of the most devoted adherents to the Christian faith (see Barna Research’s report http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/13-culture/286-how-the-faith-of-african-americans-has-changed?q=african+americans). So if we have such an undeniable history with faith, and we’re still the most “devoted”, why is our community in such turmoil? Maybe the answer lies in the fact that we stack up fine in our beliefs, but something’s getting lost in the translation between what we say we believe and what we’re actually doing. Alot of these teenage pregnancies are happening to Christian girls; a significant portion of abortions are occuring with women who claim a religious affiliation. Etc. Etc. and so forth.

Could it be time to evaluate where we really stand with God?  Have we trained ourselves to be die-hard churchgoers without learning what it means to die to self? Are we tight with the pastor but estranged from Christ? Have we exchanged our pursuit of the Giver for pursuit of the gifts? We’ve got to seriously consider these things. Back in the day, our grandparents learned how to raise their children, mangage their relationships, stay sane on the job, and generally how to navigate life through their relationship with God. Can we get back to our spiritual roots? Will we admit that our lives, and our community, depends on it?

I know it’s hard to hear, but it’s the truth anyhow.

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