Nevertheless, as the Gates documentary unabashedly shows, taking cues from their former masters and dominant white culture, black Americans too, created their own forms of Christianity, churches and various denominational entities.4 Common to many including the Church Of Christ without instruments is the uninhibited expression of emotion that God winked at in the most painful of historically oppressive times. But if all you have and come away with from church is an emotionally cathartic temporary experience, you have missed God and His help in the eternally satisfying qualities of life and transforming power of the Holy Spirit through biblical Christianity (John 10:10)!5
As portrayed in the film, the driving force behind the Christianity of black Americans is their native West African religious traditions to include a nod to Islam. Out of the severe adversity of capture, transatlantic transport and enslavement, blacks “made a way out of no way” for themselves! Furthermore, absent a biblical worldview of the black experience, the Gates documentary fully incriminates black religionists and the utter failure of their manmade religious construction to measure up to authentic biblical Christianity by admitting and reveling in such heretical acts as reinterpreting the Bible in their own image and making purposeful cultural adaptations.
Not the least of these reinterpretations and cultural adaptations as a deliberate theme throughout the four hour film is freeing women and gays from oppression by whites and stuffy blacks operating out of a Christian conservatism ostensibly beyond biblical Christianity in its restrictions. Ever for the oppressed no matter what, God is presented as working in all of the circumstances and black self-efforts through the engagement of their churches and many well known leaders to free not just our people, but women and gays too, from the tyranny of conservative oppressors. Gates himself tearfully returns to the presently white woman led Methodist church he grew up in to end his film.
Educated experts and cultural icons notwithstanding, Christianity and churches as a religious invention of black Americans may be a pride-filled marvel of sinful mortal flesh, but not the God of the Bible (Matthew 7:21-23, 15:1-20, 23:1-33; Luke 16:15)! As with all other forms of Christianity corrupted and dominated by culture as manmade religion, that of black Americans is counterfeit too; a knock off of the real deal prophetically foretold would be extant in the “perilous times” of these “last days,” (2 Timothy 3:1-9, NKJV). Clearly from this prophecy, no counterfeit form of Christianity by anyone is acceptable to God who judges and calls His faithful out of the harlotry (Revelation 18:1-8).6
Also, since most of our people can now, read the Bible to know what it says for themselves, ignorance of its content is no longer an excuse. Because of this, God has not for a long time been winking at what can only be described as willful ignorance waiting for the guilty to see the light and repent (Acts 17:30-31; 1 Timothy 1:12-14; James 4:17). The disproportionate ruin and God’s remedial judgments widely seen in our community are evidence of willful ignorance in rejection of biblical Christianity starting with the Gospel as salvation from sin defined in His unchanging Word as well as many choosing to be victims in rebellion and refusing to fulfill His good ends for our people’s capture, transatlantic transport, enslavement and freedom (Hosea 4:1-5; 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10)!7
That God, the living God of the Bible would allow people to suffer being slaves on purpose is unapologetically presented therein (Psalm 107:10-16). Seeing so much of our experience in the Egyptian bondage of the Jews, we should also see that God did not just show up afterward to deliver them in surprise it had happened, but ordained it beforehand (Genesis 15:12-16; Exodus 2:23-3:8)! Moreover, the Lord later punished Israel with slavery by many nations, most prominently Assyria and Babylon. Of the Jews that came out of Egypt, many perished in the wilderness and never reached the Promised Land because of unbelief fed rebellion. For while God is for the oppressed, it is only the “humble” faithful who trust in and obey Him that are blessed (Psalms 9:10-12, 10:12-18, NKJV).
For this cause the writer of Hebrews warns all professed Christians about unbelief fed rebellion and being “hardened through the deceitfulness of sin,” (Hebrews 3:7-19, NKJV). Certainly, Satan, sin and self has deceived and they are thoroughly deluded who believe God has set aside His Word in these latter days to uphold rebellion against Himself (Psalms 2, 119:89; Isaiah 40:8; Mark 13:31; 1 Timothy 4:1-2)!8 Such willful ignorance is destroying our people as it once did Israel in the land. As it is written, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” And because they rejected knowledge, God rejected ancient Israel from His purpose and does so today among our people; the lively worship in invented religious forms and churches drawn from them dead before Him (Hosea 4:6, NKJV)!9
Therefore, if the Gates documentary is the final answer to God by black Americans practicing their own form of counterfeit Christianity and sin to include stealing His glory while resisting His call to repentance, then, know He is about to turn your “glory into shame,” (Proverbs 14:34; Hosea 4:7, NKJV). As it is written, “My glory I will not give to another” (Isaiah 42:8, NKJV) and ‘“he who glories, let him glory in the Lord,’” (2 Corinthians 10:17-18, NKJV). With hearts set on sin and "iniquity," God will “punish” you for your “ways” and “reward” your rebellious “deeds” of “harlotry.” Not repenting, your obstinate persistence in willful ignorance is proof of apostasy from which there is no return and only His wrath (Job 36:5-21; Hosea 4:8-10; Romans 1:18-2:11; Hebrews 6:4-8, 10:26-31, NKJV).
4 Read the September 4, 2016 post, Christianity The Religion American Style, under the category, Call To Repent.
5 See Strong Through God, Not Religion. Also, read especially part three of the post that begins February 28, 2016, When The Messengers Are Bound, under the categories,
Black History and The Cause. It was God that was the true “refuge” for our “oppressed” people who were looking to Him, not the place of assembly (Psalm 9:9, NKJV)!
This truth should be abundantly clear by now, to all that are willing to see it after over a year in some cases of not being able to assemble in church buildings due to God’s
6 Read the January 26, 2020 post, The Spirit Of Harlotry, under the category, Call To Repent and the two-part post that begins June 7, 2020, Days Of Separation, under the
category, Bible Prophecy.
7 Read the two-part post beginning June 7, 2015, 150 Years After Slavery and beginning February 26, 2017, the four-part God Of Restoration And Judgment both under the
category, Black History. The biblical worldview of the black experience in the From Slavery To Victory Education Project the Lord led me to present is firmly built on the foun-
dation of His foreknowledge and sovereign will! The enslavement of our West African forefathers could not have happened without God knowing about and permitting it.
Visit the project Web Site, https://fromslaverytovictory.org to consider something other than the false narratives of victimization through content such as The Journey and in
the Journal Archives, The Renewing Of Our Minds.
8 The delusion God has set aside His Word encompasses what is written in it condemning all instances of sexual immorality and establishing His order of mankind with men
as His elect leaders from creation in the home and churches loyal to Christ’s Headship (1 Corinthians 6:9-20, 11:1-12, 14:34-40; 1 Timothy 2:11-15). Rather than belligerent
defiance, professed Christian feminist rebels and their male supporters ought to be in fear of the ongoing judgment upon them the Lord had me proclaim in the October 25,
2020 post, Women Pastors: Rank Rebellion, under the category, Call To Repent!
9 See the February 9, 2020 post, Reputation And Reality, under the category, Call To Repent. If “lively worship” is so important to God He is willing to overlook sin in the midst
as many contend, then, plainly this thinking during the Coronavirus church shutdowns has been exposed as false as it also is in the post (Isaiah 1:13)!
Whatever attributes, attainments or accolades credited to black Americans, Christianity and the spirited, homogenous churches we were compelled from bigotry to form are going to be identified with us until the Lord returns! As much as the distinctive pigment of our skin, physical features and abilities, Christianity and our churches are an inseparable part of Black History. This trilogy of black Americans, Christianity and churches is yet another of our self-made accomplishments to hear many especially black liberals in willful ignorance tell it. However, in a biblical worldview the trilogy exists at all because of a gracious God who is not pleased with the failures and apostasy of His glory stealers!
The faith of our Christian forefathers from slavery is a precious historical reality I never tire of celebrating and trumpeting as widely as possible. As the Lord leads me to warn once again this Black History Month though, their Christian faith was supposed to flower into an amazing community-wide testimony of and to His glory, not ours as the contemporary black Americans that are guilty would have it. For black Americans to glory in Christianity as a construction of our doing in any part, it would actually have to be the case. To the extent this is the case, it is wickedly not of God, but the responsible black Americans as a work of human religious invention as I have written before.1
The Henry Louis Gates, Jr. written, produced and hosted two-part documentary, The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song that aired this past week on PBS is the most recent display of self-congratulation and glorying in Christianity as a religious invention of blacks. This purpose can be read in the promotional statement on the documentary’s official Web Site before ever watching it. In part it says, “The documentary reveals how Black people have worshipped and, through their spiritual journeys, improvised ways to bring their faith traditions from Africa to the New World, while translating them into a form of Christianity that was not only truly their own...”2
Even a superficial reading of the Bible’s New Testament makes it clear Christianity did not originate with any mortal ethnicity, but God! As it is written, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father full of grace and truth” expressly identified as “Jesus Christ,” (John 1:1, 14-18, NKJV). Sent down to earth by God the Father in love, He preached the Gospel that willing mankind can be saved from our sins, receive new birth, eternal life and entry into His Kingdom through repentance and faith in Him (John 3:1-21, 34-36).
The Lord’s first coming is the culminating fulfillment of prophetic promises made through and to the Jewish people as one of them (Matthew 1:1-17). Even so, His message of salvation and the Kingdom from the Father by His sovereign will transcends His Jewish ethnicity and their historic culture (John 14:6, 18:35-38) to reach all of the ethnicities, tribes and languages of mankind on the earth (Isaiah 49:5-6)! Indeed, Christ declared on the strength of who He is and the course of His work, “I will build my church” (Matthew 16:13-18, NKJV) and after His death, burial and resurrection, tasked apostles to labor with Him before ascending back to Heaven (Matthew 28:18-20; Acts 1:4-11).
Now, if Christianity and the Church are of Christ, where does any ethnicity of man except the Jews as the original recipients, beneficiaries and conduits for disseminating the Gospel get off attempting to lay claim to these as their own (Romans 1:1-17, 9:1-5)? Surely, the Lord knew the faith would face tremendous pressures to be culturally conditioned as it was spread throughout the earth and in the worst case, corrupted, from the counter working of Satan as it did still in the first century. For this reason, His apostles sternly warn all who embrace the faith against altering it or His Word in any manner (Galatians 1:1-10, 5:1-15; 2 Peter 2:1-3, 3:14-18; Revelation 22:18-19).
Otherwise, God who created mankind and ordained diversity of skin pigment, physical features, abilities, languages and unique ethnic cultures is glorified when they “in spirit and truth” offer up thanksgiving, praise and worship to Him for His great salvation with faithfulness to the Word and obedience (John 4:21-26, 14:15; Acts 17:24-29; Romans 15:7-13, 16:17-27, NKJV)! The faithful among these peoples never forget or lose sight of the fact it is God in grace and mercy that found and saved them through the Gospel of Christ! His Person is to be exalted and His transcendent holy Word, Kingdom principles, values, morals and ethics held in highest esteem over anything they might think, feel, believe or do culturally. In short, they do not allow their culture to overcome the faith.3
1 Read the two-part post beginning February 8, 2015, Strong Through God, Not Religion, under the category, Black History.
2 See the full promotional statement at https://pbs.org/weta/black-church/.
3 This is as I write in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics, in a word to pastors. Published by Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc., the book is available
in print or digital formats at major internet booksellers. You can also purchase a print copy in the Strong Man Store.
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