This post was originally made as an illustrative application of a two-part 2012 blog entitled, “The Faith That Saves” under the category, The Faith.1 The faith of my Christian slave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.
I had hit a brick wall in early 1986 attempting to write what was supposed to be a spiritual interpretation of the first of several planned black historical fact segments for a radio program this Ministry was airing and abandoned the effort titled, From Slavery To Victory: One Man’s Journey. As I wrote in a 1995 Op-ed distributed nationally by Religion News Service, “I retreated to determined prayer and Bible study.” I asked God why and as I learned, the sovereign God who is a Participant in and trustworthy Witness of human affairs, really will give wisdom and understanding to His people that but ask (Psalm 33:10-15; Proverbs 2:1-9; Luke 11:9-13; 1 Corinthians 2:6-16; James 1:5)!
In my child-like faith over the next seven years, little by little the Lord not only gave me an understanding of the major facts of black history from a biblical worldview, but also led me back to pen and paper to write then finally, produce the just under one hour From Slavery To Victory: One Man’s Journey Radio Special.4 In the docu-drama, the Lord uses me as He did Ezekiel, the exemplary prototype of my gifting and ministry, to communicate through narration, dramatic sound effects and music the major facts and biblically grounded understanding of the historic black American experience along with a prophetic warning against rejecting it (Ezekiel 4-5, 33:1-9).
The Word of God that undergirds the Lord’s instruction and my understanding of His involvement in the history of black Americans is so obviously strewn about the entire Bible the question begged to be asked, so I asked, “Why don’t we all see it?” Tragically, it is because the vast majority of black Americans to include many professed Christians have chosen--some out of fresh wounds--to be victims and see our experience entirely from that perspective. However, Psalm 107 is one of the many Bible passages that clearly show God behind the deliverances of suffering men brought about by natural circumstances and calamities that befall them as judgment from Him.
The Psalmist urges men delivered out of both natural situations of distress and those brought about through divine judgment to “give thanks to the Lord for His goodness and for His wonderful works to the children of men,” (Psalm 107:8, 15, 21, 31, NKJV). Among the natural distresses in Psalm 107 are homeless folk faint in wilderness wandering (vs.4-9), mariners facing the challenges of an angry sea (vs. 23-32) and the hungry from parched land (vs. 35-38). God’s works of judgment are seen upon men in shackles (vs. 10-16), stubborn transgressors near death (vs. 17-22), the wicked in a fruitful land made barren (vs. 33-34) and in His contempt on oppressive rulers (vs. 39-41).5
Surely, black Americans that will be honest see our historical experience in Psalm 107:10-16! The reason the men pictured in this passage are sitting “in darkness” “and the shadow of death, bound in affliction and irons” is “because they rebelled against the words of God and despised the counsel of the Most High,” (vs. 10-11, NKJV). But someone will ask, “when did West Africans receive the ‘words of God’ to rebel against them prior to the arrival of the Europeans in the 14th century AD?” Did they not begin to hear the “words of God” in warnings passed down to them from our forefather, Ham, son of Noah, in the day of wrath through the global flood (Genesis 6:9-13, 9:1-19, 10:6-20)?
Did not the Good News of Jesus Christ crucified, buried and risen to save men from our sins travel naturally throughout all of the ancient trading caravans and intentionally by way of His apostles and disciples of that first century AD (Mark 15:21; Acts 2:1-16, 8:1-8, 26-40)? The apostle Paul also preached that neither prior to that time nor after has God left “Himself without witness,” (Acts 14:8-18, NKJV). He later boldly asserts, however, that wrath is again upon men who “are without excuse” because they willfully refuse to give heed to all of the various ways God has testified to them over the centuries to this hour (Romans 1:18-32, NKJV). The West African arrival of European missionaries to preach a largely rejected Gospel was the last chance for our forefathers (Psalm 107:12).
The From Slavery To Victory: One Man’s Journey Radio Special that first aired in the Dallas, TX, radio market during Black History Month 1993, became the flagship program piece in the full on FSTVEP launched Juneteenth 1994 to widely proclaim the biblical worldview of the black American experience as of God not only in the judgment of bondage, but freedom (Psalm 107:13-16)! For truly, rather than painful bondage, the Lord would have been within His sovereign right to destroy us, but instead, in His mercy and (plainly with hope) plans for us, spared our people!6 The redeemed of the Lord; the righteous in wisdom “see” and “rejoice” over “these things” understood (Psalm 107:42-43, NKJV). Failure to see from “God’s eye view” has brought forth disastrous consequences to many.7
4 I am eternally grateful to the then Vice President of the Southern Baptist Radio and Television Commission in Fort Worth, TX, Ed Malone, and the team of producers
under him that gave guidance and technical assistance to me in producing the Radio Special.
5 Let all that would oppress and afflict others be fully warned! Or, what was the American Civil War but divine contempt for the Southern oppression and affliction of my
slave forefathers; worldwide condemnation of the brutally violent reaction to the peaceful, nonviolent protests of slave descendants nearly a hundred years later still
seeking complete, unimpeded and tangible freedom from a professed Christian nation?
6 Click through The Journey on the FSTVEP Web Site for a more thorough presentation of the biblical worldview of the black American experience. Also, read the
February 26-March 19, 2017 four-part series, God Of Restoration And Judgment, under multiple categories.
7 In spite of the consequences of rejecting a biblical worldview of our experience by many to date, there is still hope and help the FSTVEP offers for the willing to pur-
posely include our men who are God’s chosen leaders beginning in the home. The strong man of God cause to restore men and my book, The Strong Man Of God:
Back To Basics have their origin in the FSTVEP. The book is available at all major internet booksellers, by order at your favorite brick and mortar bookstore or in the
Strong Man Store.
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