Posted in Black History
So I know many of y’all think I am church hating atheist because I
often take the black church to task. For the record, I do believe in
GOD, what I don’t believe in is organized religion. Non the less, I
recognize that there are many out there that do, and I totally respect
their faith. What I don’t respect is some peoples inability to think
beyond hallelujah and exercise logic and faith at the same time. I
stumbled across an article that that I think is pretty interesting. I’m
not going to going to say whether I agree or disagree with the article.
However, it does make some compelling points and forces one to
scrutinize some of our practices. Take a look and let me know how you
According to Chris Writes:
The typical black churches style of preaching goes back to the days
of slavery. You know, when black folks were slaves? The only hope they
had was that one day they’d be free. Now, there was nothing they could
do as slaves except get excited about the possibility of God delivering
them to freedom (that happened) and all of the spoils that entailed.
Notice the key word, “excited”. Every Sunday, the only person who could
read (usually, sometimes not), the preacher, delivered a sermon that
gave his fellow slaves hope. They had no power. All they had was faith.
He didn’t preach about getting an education. He didn’t preach about
learning to manage money. He didn’t preach about how to lead a family.
He preached about slaves getting what was rightfully theirs, stuff. So
most sermons consisted of the preacher hyping up slaves to get excited
about…nothing. He used clever words, alliterations, screamed, hollered,
jumped around and at the end of every sermon, slaves left the service
feeling better about being slaves. Say what! They felt good about waking
up one more day and doing master’s bidding, taking his abuse and being
regarded as sub-humans. All they left with was false hope, an elevated
heart rate and sweaty clothes. They left with nothing of substance. They
would leave services with enough joy to get them through Monday and
then the misery or reality would set in again.
That is why for years ones salvation has been exclusively tied with
going to church because if you didn’t go to church you didn’t get your
“fix” and you felt farther from God and thus, farther from your
blessing. Hogwash! Meanwhile, the white people were actually learning
how to have a proper relationship with God through sound, sit down, shut
up and pay attention teaching. They learned about how to be proper
stewards of money, land, family and their bodies. While they were
getting something out of church, we were getting nothing but a good
cardiovascular workout! All of the shouting, speaking in tongues,
falling out and showboating and they were still slaves. They were still
slaves to their masters, slaves to the system and slaves to a method of
ministry that taught people to rely on church, the preacher and not on
the power that God instilled in us all.
If you notice, white churches don’t hero worship their pastors like
black churches do. This is an age old mechanism. White people go to
church, not to a man who holds court in the church. See what I mean? We
go to church and God “moves” and we still leave slaves because in a
majority of black churches there is not enough sharing of valuable
information that translates into something tangible the way God intended
it. No, there is only preaching. I applaud some of the preachers I know
who buck this trend, yet the paradigm in the people remains the same.
Church hasn’t been had unless the preacher hoops, hollers and whips the
crowd into a frenzy. This puts all the emphasis on the preacher. Black
folks, by and large, don’t want to go to church and listen, take notes
and diligently apply what they’ve heard to their moribund lives. Nope.
All they want to do is “get up”. It’s not all the preacher’s fault. Most
preachers simply cave in to the expectations of the audience. That
simply isn’t fair. There are many preachers who are tired, but they find
no rest due to a ravenous crowd of over-stimulated people who demand
that they runs be made, the keys be struck and the speakers be turned up
to 11. And while they’re having a “Holy-Ghost” party, they’re families
are still falling apart, they’re still declaring bankruptcy, they’re
children are still having babies, wives are still being abused,
infidelity and homosexuality are running rampant and nothing that
they’ve heard from the preacher (if anything of value) has come to pass
in their lives.
We always talk about manifestation. It’s no wonder why most of the
prophesied manifestations rarely happen. We aren’t taught how to get it.
Belief is not enough. It’s the start. Yes, we should be excited about
what we can do through our Creator. But church is like a weekly wedding
and honeymoon (among other things). Once those things are over, the real
work begins. Sadly, when the work begins, we’re ill equipped to do the
job because we’ve had not the training. So it’s back to church every
time the doors open so we can run around the church, get loud, mask our
short comings and be fed a bunch of B.S. about how God is going to bless
us and deliver us from our oppression. Yep, after church it’s right
back to being slaves.
Amendment: My brother Anthony G. Green, who is, like me an
advocate for the betterment of Black Americans and a Pastor pointed out
something to me that I’d like to clear up. His point was that I
shouldn’t leave it to the imagination as to whether or not I am
disrespecting our ancestors. No, I’m not backing off my initial
opinions. However, I want to make it abundantly clear that I am not
putting down the way our ancestors had church. I believe that our
ancestors did what they had to do and made something very profound of
what they had. What they did worked for them and served to empower the
people with hope. That is what they needed because that was all they
could do. Times are and have been different for many years and our black
churches, by and large, have not evolved the way they should. We have
not grown past the emotional experience (nothing wrong with excitement)
and have not moved to more empowering means of education and the
responsible dissemination of information that should have and will in
the future cause those who will accept the message the power to be
productive and progressive. I respect your opinions and am not afraid to
stand on my own, so by all means, respond. Open dialogue is the only
way we can begin to accept the truth.
Edited by tatee - Dec 20 2013 at 8:22pm