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Why a Black Minister is Disappointed in the Black Church

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By Joseph Green, CP Op-Ed Contributor
February 25, 2013|9:40 am

I have to admit that the last four or five years has been an eye opening experience. I have closely watched the events unravel nationally from a political and social standpoint. It is interesting when you examine things from a spiritually scriptural point of view. The more I study the Bible the more amazed I am at the specificity in which the Word of God reveals things to us. I am equally amazed at how much those in the household of faith miss it. There is a place in the scriptures in which Jesus literally wept over Jerusalem. He said that His people could identify the weather patterns by the signs in the sky but they could not identify the spiritual patterns by the signs of the times, this is most unfortunate.

The three most important institutions that we have in America are the church, the government, and marriage. They were all ordained by God and how we address these institutions ultimately act as a gage as to how far from or how close we are to God. Marriage, first and foremost is of course very near and dear to God's heart. In the book of Genesis, God says that He created human beings in His image. It goes on to say that when He created male and female he placed them together in the institution of marriage and said for them to become one, male and female. Jesus re-iterates that when He stated in Matthew 19 when He said, "for this cause a man shall leave mother and father and the two will become one; and what God has put together let no man tear apart"(my paraphrase). I like to add, "What God has defined, let no man redefine".

The government, on the other hand is not as clear-cut but the Bible shows us this is an important institution ordained by God nonetheless. The system of the Kingdom of God is actually a political system. Those that are part of God's kingdom are considered "ambassadors" and "citizens" of His kingdom. When Israel was first set apart as a nation, God was their monarch and the first five book of the bible (The Torah) is considered the constitution of the kingdom. Of course then, as it is now, God's people weren't quite satisfied with God being their one and only king and so they gave up their special place with God to be like the rest of the world; they wanted to "fit in". The book of Romans, Chapter 13 reminds us that God conceptualized all governments and that it is He who ultimately gives them the authority that they have. God uses the leaders of these systems to either bring peace or judgment to a people. The Bibles tells us that when righteous people rule the citizens live in peace.

The church of course is more cut and dry, it is the expression of God on the earth. The church is called the "body" of Christ; we are the visible image of the invisible God. We are supposed to be the mouthpiece of Jesus and the declarers of His Word. The Bible says that two cannot walk together unless they agree. It is only through an agreement with God that we can actually "walk" with Him. In all it is when these three institutions; marriage, government, and the church come together in harmony that we demonstrate the glory of the kingdom of God on the earth. It is only through the harmony of these three institutions with God that there can be peace on earth.

And that is the source of my disappointment.

I am very much perplexed at how the institution of the church has forsaken God in the other two primary institutions. I have seen over the last few years churches and church leaders turn away from God in regards to the other two institutions yet claim to love God, it does not work like that. We have not only turned away from God but we have boldly stood with those that are openly opposed to God's Word.

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The black church in particular has been most guilty of this. Over the last few decades the African American Community has been overwhelmingly Democrat. I for one was raised in a household that was strongly Democrat and up until recently I have been a registered Democrat. When I turned 18 years old I registered to vote and I knew that I was "supposed" to be Democrat. The party line in the black community was that the Democrat Party was more concerned with minorities and middle to lower class people and that the Republicans weren't as concerned with black issues. I was under the impression that the Republican Party was made up primarily of rich white people that were out of touch with my issues. As with most things that was our tradition and that was what we did. Up until recently I believed that but I no longer feel that way.

The reason for my disappointment is that as a pastor I recognize that my first loyalty is to Jesus Christ. As a born again believer I have to believe that it was Jesus that died for me and gave me eternal life; because of that fact my first loyalty is to Him. Neither being black nor being a democrat is enough to qualify me to become a citizen of the kingdom of God.

In 2008 I did my research and found out President Obama's stands on marriage, abortion, the role of government in our everyday lives and how he considered God in His role in government and marriage. I did not support Barack Obama in 2008 and I went about educating people on his positions concerning the matters I have previously mentioned. As a Pastor I am obligated to educate God's people concerning spiritual matters, more specifically "kingdom of God" matters. To my dismay many professing Christians seemed to be unconcerned with these issues that are clearly very important to God.

In 2012 the Democrat Party became bolder in their anti-God, anti-Judeo/Christian platform. The reason I call it that because they put in their actual platform language that directly opposed the Word of God. In regards to marriage, the platform stated that they are looking to support laws supporting same-sex marriage. The Bible calls homosexuality an "abomination" and "unnatural". In regards to abortion, the democrat platform made a vow to remove any restrictions on abortions and to also use taxpayer money to provide abortions to those that could not afford it. I am very much opposed to abortions and I definitely do not want to have to pay for them for someone else. The Bible says that God knew us even before we were in our mother's womb and He "hates" hands that shed innocent blood. Again the Democrat Party has taken a position directly contradictory to God's Word.

The final straw for me was when the party actually removed the mention of God from their party's platform. This of course stirred up a great amount of ire from the American public; so when the Democrat convention looked to place the mention of God back into the language of the platform it was overwhelmingly met with a chorus of boos by the attendees of the convention. There were actually more people that voted against placing God's name back into the language of the platform but it was put back in regardless.

It is very clear that the Democrat Party has turned away from God. The 2012 platform made it absolutely clear. When you take into consideration that the current president is actually the head of the party and the final authority it makes it clear that he also has turned away from God. It does not matter the motivation, he has turned his back on God. God doesn't allow us to violate His Word for any reason so whether the president's motives were political or not does not give us a "pass" to support him based on God's Word.

The unfortunate thing about this is that the black church unflinchingly stuck with president Obama and the Democrat Party. They made a conscious choice to choose Barack Obama over Jesus and the Word of God and were very bold about it. To use the word disappointed is actually an understatement, the word disgusted probably sums up my feelings more clearly. Not only did they unwaveringly support him but they had rallies for him, they cheered for him and even held events in their churches to get others to support him. This was really over the top to say the least. The rebellion in the black church has come full circle.

There is nowhere in the Bible that God ever allowed His people to openly stand with ungodly behavior and not be judged harshly for it. I want to re-iterate that I am not talking about the African American community in general; my problem is with the African American church. We have fallen in love with the world and become so star struck with President Obama that we have forgotten all about our charge to preach the gospel and to disciple people of all ethnic groups in following the Word of God. The worst part about it is that in the church most of the people leading the charge away from God all have the title "reverend"," bishop", or "pastor" in the front of their name. The black church has truly lost its way!

Just to be sure a reverend, a pastor, an elder, bishop, etc. is supposed to have been called by God to lead God's people towards God not away from Him. Our leaders are more concerned with popularity and compromise than being what they have been called to be. The word "church" comes from the Biblical concept of being Holy unto the Lord. "Holy" means separated from the world not completely infatuated by it.

When Israel first became a nation they got to a place where they told the prophet Samuel that they wanted to be like all the other nations around them and God relented. He gave them King Saul, who turned out to be a very bad ruler. It was God's way of showing them that trusting in God is much better than trusting in man. This pattern remains today that the church looks so much like the rest of the world that most people cannot even tell the difference. Like it did back then it grieves God when His people love the world more than they love Him.

The prophet Elijah said it best when He asked Israel how long they would be confused between two opinions. Elijah told God's people that they had to make a choice, either they would serve the Lord or they would serve the God of this world.
The Bible also says that a double minded person is unstable in all their ways, that being said it is no wonder that the black church has become extremely unstable and not at all worthy of what God has called it to be.

Jesus said in Matthew 5:13; "You are the salt of the earth. But if salt loses its saltiness, how will it become salty again? It's good for nothing except to be thrown away and trampled under people's feet.

Joseph Green is the Pastor and co-founder of Antioch Assembly in Harrisburg, Pa. He is a husband, a father and a businessman. He is the author of "From Kilos to the kingdom", an autobiography of a life transformed, "The Power of the original church, the church that will turn the world upside down", and "Standing on the Rock", a book that discusses race, religion, and politics.
 

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