My heart has gone and goes out to the young black males especially that believe our people have suffered long enough and that white authority--most outwardly represented by the police--must be stood up to; respect for their black person insisted upon. Tragically, too many in history and our times have not lived to report that this posture turned out positive for him. While saying this is not to commend those that have abused their authority or devalue human dignity, nevertheless, our sons must accept all authority originates from and is granted by God with the expectation it is to be respected. He holds any of us sinful mortals wielding authority accountable (Romans 13:1-7)!
While I humbly confess to still not having mastered the ways of the Lord in this myself, my born again soul assents to them as righteous and what pleases Him. Thus, as it concerns submission to sinful mortal authority for example, as did Christ my Lord and every aspiring strong man of God in His image through history,1 it is done without regarding oneself as inferior or robbed of dignity, but honoring God who ordained authority no matter how inferior in station, ugly in attitude or behavior or unworthy in merit the authority figure(s) or is not Christ the Son of God? Even so, one can speak up calmly to evil in strength under control as Christ also exemplified (Matthew 26:47-56; John 18:1-11).2
Knowing the foregoing, I am all the more appreciative of the black aspiring strong men of God in the image of Christ from slavery that have endured great evil against themselves in conscious humble submission. This space is limited, but as the Lord has led, I am pleased to be able to post this edited 2010 Commentary to at least acknowledge, honor and hold up such men from my community as examples for all of us that must stand for Christ in the current and worsening evil days we live in. As well, I joyfully continue to fulfill the mission of this Ministry’s From Slavery To Victory Education Project in its 25th year!
Originally Published June 2010
On the nineteenth of this month black Americans will celebrate the 145th anniversary of the day Texas slaves heard about Abraham Lincoln's signing of the Emancipation Proclamation some two years earlier on January 1, 1863. For the last sixteen years in another work of our parent Ministry called The From Slavery To Victory Education Project, we have tried to inform especially black Americans of our incredible spiritual legacy created in the caldron of our suffering. The story of aspiring black American strong men of God is not the least portion of that legacy and should be an inspiration to all men, but especially our own sons.
Before just only scratching the surface of the story of aspiring black American strong men of God in the image of Jesus Christ, we must first properly link it to the larger story of all of them God has forged in this New Testament era. Indeed, Jewish men who fifty days earlier had been found huddled together in fear for their lives, stood to face the same crowds that had chanted against their Master, “Crucify Him,” (John 19:5-7, NKJV). In holy fire and languages previously unknown, on the “Day of Pentecost” they with the women present declared “the wonderful works of God” before them (Acts 2:1-13, NKJV). Then, one of the men, Peter, who had even denied three times that he knew His Lord, boldly preached His resurrection from the dead (Acts 2:14-36)!
Empowered with strength from on High, the apostles of Jesus Christ mightily proclaimed the Gospel about Him throughout the Roman Empire. They did so with a relentless passion to please God and do His will regardless of the cost. History and tradition tell us most of these men paid for their zeal with their lives! In fact, the first place to look for evidence of aspiring strong men of God throughout this New Testament era is the trail of blood left by the martyrs. While not every aspiring strong man of God since the 1st century has been a martyr, all would have suffered in some measure as part of His overarching purpose to conform them to the image of Christ (Romans 8:29; Hebrews 5:8-9, 12:1-11; 1 Peter 2:18-25).
God in His sovereignty chose to shape willing men taken from the tribes of West Africa into the image of His Son through the refining fire of slavery and bitter trials. In the New World far from their land of origin, He humbled proud black men through forced labor (Psalm 107:10-16). Those that called to Him for deliverance had their souls saved and gratefully waited in hope for Him to unshackle their bodies as it occurred first at the end of the Civil War, then finally, among Texas slaves. But their trials continued. They were severely tried through Jim Crow segregation, racially motivated discrimination and other oppressive acts of terror and murder through the mid-20th century.
At that time, in the spirit of European church reformers from centuries past, black churchmen and supporting godly women led by men like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. rose up to peacefully protest our nation's comfortable mistreatment of its black citizens. They suffered arrest, violent opposition and even martyrdom as they marched to highlight and seek relief from America's legally sanctioned oppression of blacks. The walls of oppression began to tumble one by one as the nation's conscience could no longer bear to see the morally indefensible mistreatment of its citizens due exclusively to the color of their skin and the hate filled, ugly side of violently enforcing it.
The names of the Christian black men from slavery through the Civil Rights Movement that willfully chose to suffer in order to please God and do His will while waiting on His intervention are many and not widely known. The few that are well known such as Booker T. Washington, also made peaceful assaults on the status quo by working to improve the lot of their people through education and enterprise. A great number wore "Reverend" in front of their names such as Aaron Johnson of North Carolina and John Perkins of Mississippi. Today, in sports, Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith stand out as longsuffering victors in Christ. All of these Christian black men are inspiring role models for any man that will aspire to be a strong man of God in the image of Jesus Christ!
1 To learn more about what it is involved in becoming a strong man of God in the image of Jesus Christ, get a print copy or digital download of my book, The Strong Man
Of God: Back To Basics, at major internet booksellers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, ChristianBooks.com and Apple (digital only). You can also get the book in
either format in the Strong Man Store.
2 The four Gospels of the New Testament clearly show that while being direct, penetrating, truthful and prophetic, the Lord Jesus never insulted, cursed angrily at or
threatened those that arrested, falsely accused, tried and carried out His crucifixion. Also, His words became fewer and expressed concern for others as He made His
way to the cross in total submission to His Father’s will (Matthew 26:36-46; Luke 23:26-43; John 19:25-27). Foretelling His disciples would face similar circumstances,
He gave instructions right down to words to speak that emulated how He handled His experience (Mark 13:11-13).
This post was originally made as an illustrative application of a two-part 2012 blog entitled, “The Faith That Saves” under the category, The Faith.1 The faith of my Christian slave forefathers that came forth out and in spite of the mesh of oppressive confusion bound up in Christianity the religion of men practiced American style,2 is a last days marvel of immense proportions. Clearly, the deliberate providence of God was at work to draw them to Himself (John 6:44-45; 12:32), but also in His foreknowledge, the fertile heart ground for the seed of His Word to bear fruit unto faith when preached in truth was in them (Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23; Romans 10:6-17).
My West African forefathers as with all other Gentiles were not punished for having no faith at all, but faith that was misplaced for example, in ancestor worship, idols and other false deities (Acts 17:16-23; 1 Corinthians 12:2; Galatians 4:8). Having been failed by those departed or not gods that could not help and with no hope from any other source, slaves that did, responded to the Gospel and the true God with the same and even greater devotion of faith than they had previously accorded what was false in their native land (Acts 17:24-34). Truly, only God could have orchestrated this marvel since as I have written, the oppressed received the means of freedom from their oppressors!3
Now, in God’s equality, it is time for the Christian descendants of America’s slaves to return the spiritual favor (Matthew 5:43-48; Romans 12:17-21). For we will need to look to and draw encouragement from the legacy of faith our Christian slave forefathers that endured one of the most brutal forms of slavery in history left us, while also urging all other professed American Christians facing a hostile and soon to be oppressively violent nation in rebellion against God to do the same (Hebrews 10:36-39; 1 John 5:4-5).4 Reflectively reading this edited 2012 repost is a good place to get started if you have not already.
Originally Posted June 17, 2012
I extend a heartfelt “Happy Father’s Day” to all the men who have taken that role and responsibility from God seriously. My book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics is an excellent resource for gaining a basic and biblical perspective on being a father. I invite readers who have not obtained a copy to do so for yourself or one of the males in your life that is or will soon be a father.5
On this Father’s Day--as I have done previously through other forums, I write briefly on the celebration of Juneteenth which falls on June 19th each year. Juneteenth is a black American commemoration of the end of slavery by way of celebrating the June 19th anniversary date in 1865 when Texas slaves learned a full two years after that President Lincoln had signed the Emancipation Proclamation setting them free.6 Typical of most American summer holidays there are parades, speeches, concerts, picnics and very importantly in this post-Christian era, worship services. It is here that I briefly join in the celebration and honor the faith of my Christian slave forefathers.
Presented Christianity by colonial whites mostly as a religious means of calming and controlling hearts that were not comfortable with the idea of perpetual servitude, the rigid, high-brow form of religion was not embraced in large numbers by African slaves. However, with the coming of the Holy Spirit fired preaching and worship fervor in the Great Awakenings and Camp Meeting Revivals of the South, conversions by slaves to the Christian faith exploded as the new American nation moved toward Civil War over the trafficking in human souls.
The mostly Western uneducated slave believers in Jesus Christ left their descendants and the world a legacy of persevering faith displayed in songs of hope called “Spirituals.” Embodied in their “Spirituals” was hope in the promise of physical deliverance found in the Bible proclaimed clandestinely by slave and some sympathetic white preachers. Many died waiting for the promise of God in His Word as have many of the saints from ancient times (Hebrews 11:8-16). They waited for physical freedom through faith in the God who did the same for Israel when He brought them out of Egyptian bondage by Moses (Hebrews 11:23-35a).
In the process, my Christian slave forefathers endured being spoon fed a corrupt form of Christianity that attempted to justify the evil brand of bondage they experienced including the demoralization of their souls, brutal whippings, the tearing apart of their families, rape of their daughters and sharing of their wives with slave owners and other white men bent on oppressing them in perpetuity (Hebrews 11:35b-40). Such was their simple, child-like, persevering faith in the God who remembers the oppressed according to His Word (Psalm 103:6; Luke 4:16-19). This faith is also resident in the heart of every aspiring strong man of God in the image of Christ!7
And so, God did in His mercy remember my Christian slave forefathers who had been faithful in their long wait on Him for physical freedom.8 While there would be bitter opposition and battles to secure the reluctant sharing of the rights of citizenship still to come, the day the slaves heard they were free was a day of great celebration; for those who had specifically waited on the Lord--breathless joy! Therefore, it is fitting that black Americans and all the inhabitants of the earth commemorate the day our people were set free lest we ever forget. Moreover, may we always include in our celebration, worship of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who perpetually honors simple, child-like, persevering faith placed in Him.
1 I made an edited repost of part one of this blog on April 6 and part two on April 13, 2014. I stand by every word the Lord led me to write not consciously operating
out of any preexisting theological position or presupposition (there being a resemblance to any unintentional). I am a Biblicist; not caring in the first instance what
sinful, mortal men including myself think, feel or believe, but what God’s Word in totality actually says to inform my doctrine!
2 Read the two-part, August 2016 post, Christianity The Religion Of Men, under the category, Instruction and Christianity The Religion American Style posted Sep-
tember 4, 2016 under the category, Call To Repent.
3 Read the three-part Commentary, The White Man’s Religion in the Journal Archives of the FSTVEP.
4 At whatever point you may choose beyond Scripture to believe the evacuation of living saints by translation occurs, you still must stand and endure by persevering
faith until it happens (Matthew 24:29-31; Mark 13:24-27; 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).
5 The book is available at all major internet booksellers, by order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the Strong Man Store.
6 This Juneteenth 2019, be among those that hear the summary retelling of the black American experience from slavery to the present in the roll out of the From Sla-
very To Victory: One Man’s Journey Webcast!
7 Such was Harriet Beecher Stowe’s vilified fictional character, Uncle Tom, in her American Classic, Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Read Uncle Tom’s Cabin Revisited on
the FSTVEP Web Site, an article the Lord led me to write restoring Uncle Tom as the actual aspiring strong man of God in the image of Christ the book intends.
8 They waited for physical freedom to follow the spiritual freedom they already had in their souls by salvation through faith in Jesus Christ (John 8:31-36)! Learn more
on the Freedom Page at the FSTVEP Web Site.
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