I wrote to guilty pastors, elders and churches in a January 27, 2019 post footnote, “How can you seriously expect the world to hear you from God’s Word and you do not even obey it?”1 The fact of the matter is blatant disobedience to God’s Word has characterized many professed Christians, their churches and other ecclesiastical bodies reaching back to the apostles (Romans 16:17-18; 1 Corinthians 5:1-2; Galatians 3:1-4). During the past 500 years, breakaway European Protestants protested the disobedience and corruptions of Catholicism only to find themselves in independence doing all of the same things as their mother (Revelation 17:1-6).
Both groups wickedly gave religious undergirding to the bigoted, violent and dehumanizing form of slavery my forefathers endured while passing down to them their manmade forms of Christianity the religion corruptly drawn from the Bible.2 Thanks to the continuing support of its many powerless manmade forms extant like yeast throughout American Christianity, racial bigotry and discrimination also remains a foil to the realization of a widespread display of biblically commanded, Holy Spirit fired love and brotherhood.3 This is to the glee of Satan who along with racial bigotry has initiated all of the deceitful strongholds of sin among the many harlot churches today God in His wrath will destroy (Amos 5:16-27; Revelation 16:17-19, 17:15-18:8)!4
Like our nation at this moment, American Christianity in the main is a racially divided house about to fall as I write in this edited 2013 Commentary.
Originally Published February 2013
The now deceased Rodney King's appeal, "Can we all get along" was moving, but not realistic for worldly men. His appeal came in the face of rioting after a 1992 trial acquitting white Los Angeles police officers of beating him that was captured on video and seen globally. For professed Christian American men, getting along in racial harmony is supposedly not to be the problem it is for worldly men since we have God resident in us. However, the nearly four centuries Christianity has been in America tragically presents contrary evidence. Aspiring strong men of God in the image of Christ celebrate diversity in His Body; fostering unity, harmony and where needed, healing.5
It is Black History Month again. The occasion may seem to be a purposeful discomfiting reminder to white Americans of the racism that once ran so deep among their forefathers, an attempt was made to destroy black contributions from American history. However, to prevent the loss of our history, help build appreciation in blacks and willing others, black educator and historian Carter G. Woodson created the special emphasis last century that now spans all of February. Nevertheless, as the uproar in Rodney King’s beating twenty years ago and subsequent events such as last year’s killing of black teenager, Trayvon Martin, show, racial tensions remain skin deep.6
Tensions are apparent too in churches that are racially homogeneous and wish to remain so. How could racial segregation as initiated by whites during slavery and continued by many of their descendants along with reciprocating black and other minorities professing to be Christians remain to this hour? Why can’t we come together in our racial diversity as Christians? As the Lord led, I explored this issue through a booklet I wrote in 2005 entitled, The Scourge Of Racism.7 In it, I conclude racism in the churches is a failure by professed Christians to obey the Lord's command to love one another (John 13:34-35).
I also write about the failure to love one another in a number of blog posts.8 This failure is tied to America's brand of Christianity the religion where impostors devoid of the Holy Spirit and weak believers quenching His fire in willful sin, practice all manner of evil including racism. America's Christian house is divided in defiance of the Lord all claim to follow and His teaching that "a house divided against a house falls," (Luke 11:17; NKJV). If the guilty do not repent from the toleration of racism and other sins that divide, the Lord's teaching will soon be fulfilled since it can be no other way (Luke 11:23, 21:33)!
As I assert in The Scourge Of Racism, God our Creator from the one man, Adam, has made us all different by purposeful design that mankind in all of their diversity might with common heart seek Him (Acts 17:24-28)! Our diversity of gender, race, ethnicity, nationality, language, body size, abilities etc. is all to the glory of God in this present age and to be celebrated.9 This, the aspiring strong man and great woman of God in the image of Christ do! For we all in Christ have been brought together in our diversity as sons by God through Christ, the blood He shed to save us on Calvary's cross and the new birth by the Holy Spirit. In Him, men are God's household and forever family held together in divine love (Galatians 3:26-29; Ephesians 2:11-22, 3:14-21)!
This is biblical Christianity that will only continue to seem as high idealism and deluded wishful thinking to professed Christians in divided churches until authentic repentance and revival sweeps through. In repentance, professed Christian white men must cease assuming they are superior to their brothers of color; that every way they see things or idea they propose is right because of their self-appointed standing as superior. They must also give up the notion that men of color should despise themselves and embrace every white value to gain acceptance. Truly, all are to be like Christ and obey His command to love each other as He has loved us (1 John 3:10-24, 4:20-5:3).
Professed Christian black and other men of color in repentance must let go of legitimate anger not just for past, but God knows about the ongoing racial injustices we suffer among many of our white, ostensibly Christian brothers. Bitter victimization is appealing, but is not God's way of love that forgives rather than keeps records of wrongs suffered (1 Corinthians 13:4-5). Also, stop looking for sinful men to fully vindicate your suffering. As aspiring strong men of God in the image of Christ we are waiting for divine vindication that will occur when Christ soon returns--unless you scoff at His coming (2 Thessalonians 1:3-12; 1 Peter 2:19-23; 2 Peter 3:1-9)?10 The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 The quote is found in the eighth footnote of the post, Contending For God’s Design Of Masculinity In Men, under the category, The Cause.
2 Read the two-part, August 2016 post, Christianity The Religion Of Men, under the category, Instruction.
3 See Christianity The Religion American Style posted September 4, 2016 under the category, Call To Repent.
4 Much of Western Christianity (my fellow black Americans well represented) continues to want to idolatrously recast God away from His eternal holiness, righteousness,
justice and enduring commands for this mortal age with ear scratching preaching (2 Timothy 4:1-4) and emotion charged, supposedly loving, female led so-called wor-
ship in sin. The worshipper may have “enjoyed” what was taking place, but the issue is did God? The God of the Bible’s ancient rebuke stands as declared by the pro-
phet Amos in the Scripture listed to which this footnote refers. He does not accept nor is He pleased with worship no matter how sincere or emotional that is mixed with
sin! Truly, before Amos, the prophet Samuel proclaimed, “Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice…” and the Lord Jesus: “If you love Me, keep my commandments,”
(1 Samuel 15:22-23; John 14:15, NKJV). Read the three-part series of posts beginning January 4, 2015, Worshipping God Without God, under the category, Call To
Repent. The Lord’s judgment of the unrepentant is just!
5 Learn more about the aspiring strong man and great woman of God in the image of Jesus Christ from my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics and compan-
ion instructional resource, The Strong Man Of God Men’s Group Study. They are available in the Strong Man Store.
6 Read the two-part post beginning on July 29, 2018, The Racial Double Standard, under the category, Call To Repent.
7 The booklet is available on the Resources Page of our companion Web Site, https://fromslaverytovictory.org.
8 Read the four March 1-22, 2015 posts on love as an inescapable requirement of biblical Christianity under the category, Instruction.
9 See the December 6, 2015 post, Celebrating God’s Racial Diversity Initiative, under the category, Call To Repent.
10 Read When The Glory Comes, posted on November 29, 2015 under the category, Glory To God!
After coming to salvation Resurrection Sunday 1977, in the wisdom of God and without realizing it then, I officially began my service to Him in the predominantly black American Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, Seaside, CA, Reverend C.L. McFadden, Pastor in the fall of 1979. I taught third graders in the same classroom I had just fifteen years earlier been taught and sat baptized but unsaved. The work of Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc. which I was led by the Lord to found in 1985 until today has included my burden for black folk and the churches among us. Thus, no one can tell me, “Preacher, first go preach to your own.” This Black History Month, I repost the first of an edited two part 2013 blog in keeping with my burden as a son of slaves to use the spiritual gifts God has given me to continue serving my own and any others helped to His glory!
Originally Posted February 3, 2013
Without a doubt as I labored before the Lord writing The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics, I had the men and women of my own race and culture in mind in terms of needs and benefits as much as anybody else. As our elders say among professing Christian black Americans, “God has brought us a mighty long way.” While this is certainly true in terms of the physical chains of bondage that used to shackle the arms and legs of our slave forefathers, I have spent nearly all of my journey as a Christian seeking to get us to move further down the path of spiritual maturity the Lord has laid out for all of His born again children with limited success. Greater spiritual maturity would lead to stronger, more fruitful and satisfying personal lives enjoyed beyond church services as well as make a wider, desperately needed renewing impact in the black community. As I have learned through over thirty years of painful experience, though, Christianity the religion of men is the giant stumbling block.
Christianity the religion came to blacks early in the business of slavery through first the missionary efforts of colonial Anglicans followed by the desire of many slave owners to subdue in their slaves the natural and universal inclination of men to be free. In fairness, some of the slave owners were genuinely concerned for the eternal souls of their property and shared the Gospel accordingly. As much as any other non-Christian men on earth (including the Europeans that conquered Rome and were called “Barbarians”), most Africans came to the New World practicing the native religions of their ancestral tribes and a few, the religion of others such as Islam.
None of us that are truly born again Christians today would begrudge the sincere slave owners that shared the Gospel with our slave forefathers and treated them in accord with biblical righteousness. It is the evil owners that insincerely used Christianity as a religious tool of oppression not unlike the cold, dead, rigid and oppressive experience they had with Christianity the religion of men themselves that stir up righteous anger. Few slaves warmed to the dry, colonial Christianity the religion spoon fed to them.
Only after the Holy Spirit led and empowered “Great Awakenings” and revivals that swept through the forming then fledgling nation did slaves in large numbers begin to come to Christ and become part of denominational groups such as the Baptists and Methodists. But maintaining the privilege of racial superiority, white churches segregated slaves and free blacks into special sections or they were directed to gather among themselves under the authority and watchful eye of whites.
It was not long before free black preachers purposely started their own churches and having no other models, patterned them after what they had seen, heard and/or been taught by professing white Christians. Hence, while blacks were racially separated from whites in their assemblies, the external forms of authority, organization, programming methods etc. of Christianity the religion whites practiced were mostly adopted without revision. The distinction came culturally in the preaching emphasis and uninhibited, emotionally charged way blacks expressed themselves in services.
Adopting the outer forms of Christianity the religion practiced by the people that introduced it to them without much question is understandable for men completely cut off from the familiarity of their homeland. Unfortunately, this has not well served those black churches and denominational groups that did not recognize the spiritual deficiencies of just swapping their native religions for another.
Rather than the Bible (which many could not and were purposely kept from learning how to read to prevent any illumination), in great numbers they allowed their masters’ practice of Christianity the religion of men to be the final authority for their own faith and practice. This they did even after seeing and experiencing how the practice of Christianity the religion divorced as it is from the Bible and the Holy Spirit by professing white Christians, brought so much harm to them. Of course, there were a few without being able to read that knew then and who can now read the Bible that know Christianity the religion practiced by anybody is not the real deal. The only ones fooled are the practitioners!
Christianity the religion of men among blacks has brought forth all of the predictable outcomes such as churches full of impostors and weak Christians willfully sinning with impunity. Indeed, “black owned churches” are a badge of pride in our community meaning first, white men are no longer controlling every aspect of black life. However, as a second meaning and most important unintended consequence, neither is Jesus truly honored as Lord!
To their credit historically, predominantly black churches have served their congregants well as a “safe house” from not only white control, but abuse. Black men forced to give white men the respect they demanded but were otherwise humiliated by being called “boy” or the “N” word, came to church and became Reverend, Deacon, brother and Mr. so and so. All black attendees found a place to give full vent to their emotions in church services that had been pent up outside in a white dominated world professing to be Christian that severely penalized any act of resistance or insistence on receiving the most basic of human dignity and treatment.1
1 Click here to be taken to another Web Site of Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc. and learn how to obtain the Commemorative Cassette of the Angel Award
winning docu-drama I wrote, produced and narrated featuring creatively presented music and sound effects that tells the story of Black History and interprets it from
from a biblical worldview.
As God’s preacher, I am compelled by His love to contend for the souls of humanity bound by Satan’s ties through preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ! I fish for men as a first priority because we are His chosen leaders in the human family as He constructed it. Among men are those for whom I am deeply burdened because of our shared experience of being born black in America. If it is true that Satan binds men with spiritual, mental and emotional ties that are common to the human experience, then why have black American males historically had such an extraordinary and disproportionately difficult ordeal in terms of dysfunction, criminality and incarceration?
Nearly two million men are presently on lockdown and just at fifty percent or more of them is black American. They are there for murdering or harming mostly one another through gang and other crime related violence along with all manner of conscience and natural self-control breaching lawless conduct. They are there not only because of a cycle of poverty, low educational attainment, unemployment, fatherless households, culturally conditioned poor choices or the very real white controlled societal apparatus still adverse to them, but also their own self-sabotage as I wrote in June 2015 blogs reflecting on the state of black Americans one hundred and fifty years after slavery.
However, even the foregoing does not get to the root ties Satan has used to bind the black male soul so tautly there is self-hatred enough not only to self-sabotage, but as well, lash out violently on our own people. Again, these root ties are common to mankind, but have been applied during the excruciating events of the black American historical experience; root ties that are the continuing mental and emotional legacies of slavery and racism. By stating this, please do not hear me to be making excuses for the evil behavior of black males as criminals--set free by Christ, I no longer embrace victimization--or somehow diminishing the pain of those hurt by them.
Nevertheless, I can testify to the fact the continuing mental and emotional legacies of slavery and racism as root ties that at some point have bound nearly every black male soul are actual, understandable and hallelujah, removable! As a result of the work of Sigmund Freud and those that have come after him since the turn of the last century, the soul business has become a multi-billion dollar industry in the West. Exploding in the middle of the last century, the troubled souls of mostly whites have paid educated persons to help them identify and cope with any number of mental and emotional maladies through counseling, therapy and drugs. It is even trendy to have a “therapist.”
If the souls of white folk cannot “just get over it” (whatever it is that leads to seeking help), why do the souls of black males have to? Because of the stigma of perceived weakness as a man that remains to this hour though, many pride filled men do not voluntarily present themselves to the soul doctors for help. For black American men, it is also the sense of final capitulation in seeking help after clinging so long to the delusion self-remedies will finally successfully handle the root ties that bind their souls. Besides, if the dismissive attitude from guilt toward the continuing mental and emotional legacies of slavery and racism by white professionals dominant in the soul business is anything like white society at large, why should a troubled black male soul bother?
Among the root ties Satan uses to bind the black male soul as continuing mental and emotional legacies of slavery and racism I have identified in my research and from personal experience are anger, victimization, powerlessness and frustration. Examining just anger for a moment, hostile, violent and subtle oppression as a bully creates anger in its object in short order. Imagine being oppressed almost 400 years with very little relief. Now, imagine being threatened to suppress that anger short of being killed by the bully and add to the mix other sources of anger such as an absent or neglectful father. Any normal human being without any intervening positive coping mechanisms such as Christian forgiveness would be beyond angry (Matthew 6:9-15, 18:21-35)!
I bring up the issue of the continuing mental and emotional legacies of slavery and racism in a number of published works in my “Journal” on our www.fromslaverytovictory.org Web Site. The site beginning on its Home Page points the willing toward the biblical worldview and truths that can begin to bring help, healing and hope to the seeking soul. Too, I mention the legacies related to barriers to black male professing Christians aspiring to become strong men of God in the image of Jesus Christ in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics with an eye toward future elaboration.
In light of all of the trouble black males are having with the police among other white authority figures and their non-coincidental high rate of incarceration, this Black History Month I plead with my brothers by race to recognize we need help; help only God the soul’s Creator can provide through faith in the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Genesis 2:7; Psalm 139:13-14; Luke 4:16-21; 1 John 5:4-5). He alone has the superior power to one by one break every chain as ties Satan has used to bind our souls and enable us to live victoriously as aspiring strong men of God in Him going forward!1
1 Please support our Books To USA Prisons Project that will send two copies of my book presenting the precious Gospel of Jesus Christ
and what is involved in becoming a strong man of God in the image of Christ able to effectively cope with the troubles of this world. Go
As the 25th Year Anniversary of The From Slavery To Victory Education Project (FSTVEP) conducted by the organizational parent of Strong Man Ministries, Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc. (both of which I have been blessed to lead) draws near on Juneteenth this year, I am filled with excitement and gratitude to God.1 I write this post as the Lord leads in obedience to the instruction of the ancient Psalm writer He commissioned to exhort “the redeemed” above all to give thanks to Him for His goodness (Psalm 107:1-3, NKJV)! As well, with that Psalmist’s heart, to express the spiritual “what for” of the FSTVEP to the children of men among fellow black Americans.
Talk about amazing confluences. I write this realizing that it will be fifty years ago this upcoming September that I was asked by my no longer standing Fremont Junior High School, Seaside, CA, English teacher, Mr. Earle Rosenberg, to write a column reporting on our flag football teams. I have not stopped writing since and am overjoyed to have done so in the Lord’s cause for nearly forty of those years! As it turns out, 1969 was also another of a long string of great years for Rhythm and Blues or if you will, Soul Music. On September 23rd that year, the Temptations released their Temptations Puzzle People on Motown’s Gordy label with a number of impressive songs.
One of those songs composed by Norman Whitfield and Barrett Strong was entitled, Message From A Black Man. Arriving as it did just over a year after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the bold and yet reasoned lyrics of the song directed to white America were delivered deftly by the singing of the Temps as well as the catchy, forceful rhythms of the band. Bold were such lines as, “Yes, my skin is black, but that’s no reason to hold me back…I have wants and desires just like you. So, move on the side ‘cause I’m comin’ through. No matter how hard you try, you can’t stop me now.” Call to action words for a thirteen year old who had been angrily watching the revolution on TV.
Even today, it is hard to honestly refute the logic in the lines, “Black is a color just like white. Tell me: how can a color determine whether you’re wrong or right?” Whitfield and Strong wrote and the Temptations delivered Message From A Black Man as decent “every black man” who were still coming out of the shell shocked silence of intimidation caused demoralization to firmly, yet, peacefully stand up to their oppressive and abusive intimidators. This is not unlike women today who are applauded for standing up to their abusers. While the message from a black man was certainly cathartic and necessary at that moment in 1969, it needed to also be given biblical feet and built on.
I carried the raw message throughout the rest of my secondary education and the first two years of college; leading out as a Black Student Union President giving speeches, helping to organize events, engaging white authorities, publishing materials and writing editorials. At Monterey Peninsula College (MPC) I also began to take the many newly rolled out Black Studies Courses offered and did well because of my intense interest. A desire to attend historic Howard University in 1976 was fueled by my interest in all things black. But as I have testified in other places,2 my passion for pursuing an education began to lose steam as I lost my way at Howard--itself a serious reality check.3
Coming to Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord who redeemed me from a life that had become empty, without purpose and meaning began to change me as a person to include my thinking and worldview after full surrender to Him. Now, for example, nobody could ultimately stop me from being who God created me to be and doing what God wanted me to do with Him working on my behalf (Romans 8:28-39; Philippians 4:13). Moreover, being black skinned in the human skin color spectrum was not a curse or something contemptible, but a blessing because God made me this way (Acts 17:26). Indeed, “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” by God (Psalm 139:14, NKJV)!
After receiving the Lord’s call to serve Him in broadcasting in August 1979, I returned to school at MPC that spring, then San Jose State University in San Jose, CA in fall 1980. There, I celebrated God as the inspirational, sustaining hand among black Christians in a radio documentary on the history of Black Gospel Music I wrote and produced. Inevitably, though, even after seminary studies I was stuck attempting to understand why the black American experience beginning with slavery was so in the first place. I had all of the major facts of our historical experience, but of themselves, they brought no satisfying appreciation for why. Instead, as is the case for so many black Americans, the painful facts of our history alone brought nothing but hopeless futility, grief and anger.
1 Too, I am grateful to the 1993-94 Ministry Board of Directors, Rev. Ira Gay, Jr., Rev. Richard Young (with the Lord), Rev. Ron Oliver and Mrs. Linda Beard that gave
unanimous approval for the project and the 2018-19 Directors, Messrs. Alvin Johnson, Richard Anderson and Philip Lovings who also in one accord approved this
year’s anniversary celebration. Not to be left out is my wife, Mary, and our three daughters Sherie, Roberta and Patricia at home at the time as youth and having to
bear with my very involved work on the project. You can learn more about the FSTVEP along with its flagship national Radio Special and now Webcast, From Sla-
very To Victory: One Man’s Journey, to be rolled out Juneteenth 2019 on its newly revamped Web Site, https://fromslaverytovictory.org.
2 For my most recent sharing on this aspect of my testimony, read the February 17, 2019 post, Surrendering All To Jesus, under the category, Glory To God!
3 Howard brought me face to face for the first time with the full mix of socio-economic classes, their divergent political thought and corresponding worldviews in what I
soberly learned was truly not a monolithic black community. Among other sobering realities, I especially had my conscience awakened to the contradictions inherit in
my chosen field of Marketing and the black struggle after spending an afternoon giving away free, addictive and destructive cigarette samples in Southeast DC--its
most economically challenged section. I also had to face my own hypocrisy in personally contributing not to the uplift of my community as I loudly called for, but its
destruction through abusing drugs and alcohol, sexual promiscuity, mistreatment of our women in that lifestyle and practical abandonment of two children I had
I open Black History Month 2018 as the Lord leads yet again to speak the truth from His Word to professed Christian black Americans to inform our ongoing uplift in this and the three reposts that follow. Having been publically upbraided many times for speaking the truth in love, I do not relish naming names to address grave spiritual error that exists as impediments to our progress. However, in these instances, it was unavoidable. My Christmas Eve 2017 post entitled, “Hedging One’s Religious Bets,” under the category, Instruction serves as the general backdrop for this edited 2012 repost warning specifically about abandoning the faith that has brought us this far.
Originally Posted September 9, 2012
While awaiting my turn at the barbershop recently, I picked up Ebony Magazine--that ubiquitous print icon of the black community from my childhood--and once again encountered an approach to Christianity that has clearly become a liberalizing trend away from the faith of the Bible and our faithful Christian slave forefathers. Oh, the magazine still features prominent black religious figures and churches. However, as in most Western societies over the past generation, there has been an unmistakable shift away from honoring the unique message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the absolute truths and morality of biblical Christianity.
Today, what is frequently offered is a more generic, politically correct and culturally tolerant form of the faith as one of many possible means a person choosing religion as a path can make it work for them. As historically, pastors and churches are leading the way. A case in point is the May 2012 issue of Ebony I was browsing through that featured an article by Rev. A.R. Bernard, the founder and senior pastor of Christian Cultural Center out of Brooklyn, N.Y., entitled, 9 Habits That Lift The Soul.1 According to its set up information, the article is intended to help those wanting to “breathe new life into your spiritual journey” to do so.
This was a great set up and I actually began to read the article with hopes this “Christian” preacher would share some great biblical insights for those seeking what can only come from a personal relationship with the One, true God through faith in Jesus Christ, the Son of God alone (John 14:6). But alas, in the opening sentence my discernment warning lights starting flashing off the charts. In introducing the nine principles to “keep stress and chaos at bay” he has taught members of his congregation, Rev. Bernard writes, “Although these principles are God-centered and Biblical, they apply in general, no matter what your belief system is,” (emphasis mine).
His nine principles are prayer, spiritual study, worship, solitude, giving and service, fasting, reflection, discernment and sharing your story. I will not go through them all, but the first three certainly do speak in a general way to persons of any religious persuasion, but makes some incorrect assumptions in a biblical worldview. He says, for example, “daily prayer is a way to practice an awareness of God.” On the surface, of course, this is true of praying to God. The problem here is with thousands of religions in the world, it appears this “Christian” preacher is falsely assuming as many non-Christians do that all of them really have the same deity or the deities are all equal.
He goes on to counsel not just talking, but listening to “God.” For Christians who take the God of the Bible at His Word that He is the only true God, this is excellent counsel (Isaiah 43:10-13, 44:6-8). But who will everyone else be talking and listening to? Of spiritual study Rev. Bernard says, “Every religion is based on its writings. Whichever faith you subscribe to, become intimately acquainted with the writings that inspire it.” Has God truly made thousands of religious texts among different peoples that all harmoniously present His essential truths and bring them closer to Him? No (Deuteronomy 4:5-14, 32-35; Psalm 147:19-20; Romans 3:1-2, 9:1-5; 2 Timothy 3:14-17)!
Concerning worship, Rev. Bernard writes, “This means practicing the sovereignty of God over your life. It’s a reminder that you’re part of something much greater than yourself.” Even atheists can get in on this since they “believe in the universal moral principles that govern humankind.” “Worship,” he goes on to say, “is about acknowledging the power of that which rules your life.” But while this all sounds noble, Jesus Christ says worship of God the Father is done in “spirit and truth” exclusively through Him (John 4:23-24, 14:6, 17:17, NKJV). What then are those outside of Christ worshipping?
No doubt for the sake of the liberal minded inventions of political correctness and tolerance in this 21st century, Ebony Magazine as so many other Western media and institutions of men feel obligated to speak broadly to the widest possible swath of humanity without offending anyone--anyone except Bible believing Christians anyway. However, for the record and those professed Christians that for whatever motive would attempt to create a generic Christianity for mass consumption, the Scripture is plain that Christianity is not a religious invention of man that is generic enough for non-believers to live out bypassing Christ, His cross and the empowering work of the Holy Spirit. To teach so is heresy and a doctrine of demons (Galatians 1:1-10; 1 Timothy 4:1-2)!
We preachers especially walk in Christ’s footsteps heralding the message He brought from Heaven to proclaim to humanity (Matthew 4:23). We do not have the right or authentic release ever from Christ to preach our own or any other message. If you are doing so: fear (2 Corinthians 5:9-11)! Our faithful Christian slave forefathers as aspiring strong men and great women of God did not practice some generic version of Christianity.2 They “got over” trusting solely in the God of the Bible and His Son, Jesus Christ.3 They prayed to Him; they stood on His Word; they turned from idols, witchcraft and ancestor worship among other religious practices to worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob alone.
“We have come this far by faith” in the Lord God of the Bible and no-one else!4 Are we now so free and in with the world so good we can turn our backs on Him? Repent anyone who thinks so (James 4:1-10)! Or, do you also despise the example and lessons God has given through the written experience of Israel in the Bible (1 Corinthians 10:1-11; Hebrews 3:7-19)? And with regard to enjoying real peace in a chaotic, trouble and stress filled world, let every seeker find it where it can only be found in Jesus Christ who is the “Prince of Peace,” (Isaiah 9:6; John 14:27, 16:33; Philippians 4:6-7, NKJV). The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 Find the article at Ebony.com.
2 Learn more about strong men and great women of God in my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics available through all major internet booksellers, by order
from your favorite brick and mortar bookstore and in the Strong Man Store.
3 Read a previous Black History Month post, How We Get Over published on February 16, 2014 to understand what is meant by “got over.”
4 Step through the short presentation giving a biblical worldview of the black experience on The From Slavery To Victory Education Project Web Site Home Page at
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 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).
I join with all laborers that can in taking an extra day off from my labor on Labor Day. For me (and I hope all faithful servants of the Lord Jesus Christ), the day is also a time to thank God for work and very important secondly, work that is exceedingly meaningful, rewarding and a blessing beyond words! This is so for me in spite of the intense spiritual warfare I regularly face in the Lord’s causes to include crying out to the churches that outwardly profess to belong to Him, but that resist His Scripture rooted call to repentance through me and others as though we as His messengers are the enemy rather than Satan (James 4:1-10; 1 Peter 5:8-9).
Since the same spirit of religion is involved, Christianity as a religion of men in America is no different than what it has been since it came forth not long after the passing of the Lord’s apostles. Brought to the “New World” in all of its many varied expressions, but uniformly legalistic1 dogmas by Europeans beginning in the late 15th century, the major distinctive of real and counterfeit Christianity was the political and related cultural context both developed in. After the 1783 end of the Revolutionary War for independence in what was now the United States of America, both types of Christianity evolved for the first time in a democratic republic rather than under human monarchy.
While purposeful steps were taken by the nation’s founders to protect its predominant Christian religion from government meddling, as evidenced by history, most professing Christians in their churches took no serious similar steps to guard themselves against freely adopting the secular political, economic, social and cultural ways of the society. Initially, since a basic faith in the existence of Christianity’s God and its moral and ethical system held dominating influence in the new nation, the dangers of cultural conditioning were clearly not considered a major issue. In fact, the secular and religious components of society as I have written in other places worked very well together.2
In the wake of God initiated revivals, the secular and religious components of early America worked so well together clergy were urged to bring their unique skill set to bear in government proceedings with prayers, exhortations and Bible readings. Settled down in and foundational to the fabric of the young nation, Christianity the religion of men easily blended in alongside of that which was real because so many of the majority white citizens were nominal in their faith and undiscerning or simply chose to look the other way in silence as such evils as slavery with all of its immoral abuses were deemed acceptable to God by corrupting Scripture. Civil War revealed the true divine stance.
While most churches aligned with the mother Roman Catholic Church or bodies in their countries of origin retained their authority and organizational structures and doctrinal systems in America, they with emerging Protestant groups such as the Baptists wholeheartedly embraced the democratic spirit of the new nation and reveled in self-governance. Blacks as slaves and later freedmen adopted some of all the ecclesiastical patterns displayed by their oppressors. So ingrained in the Christian black psyche that everything white is right and superior, to this hour many uncritically cling to the unbiblical religious tenets, covenants, creeds, practices and ways of their former masters.
Many black churchmen as proud American, independent, Christian religionists in their own segregated houses have kept for themselves their former masters' proclivity to corrupt Scripture to justify sin. As a result, Jesus Christ is not Lord over an American church, but only a relative few churches that actually submit to His authority, Word and priorities in the Spirit’s power! Blinded by Satan as his captives and in deafness hardened into their sinful ways, God’s call to repentance and revival through me and other prophets to American religionists largely go unheeded. Indeed, after much labor preaching God’s uncompromised Word through media and in person among the churches in obedience since 1985, I have seen little positive response and mostly hostility.
While the Lord is pleased with His faithful remnant as it were, those religionist churches not dying in judgment holding onto their own form of Christianity are well on their way despite evil attempts at survival through carnal self-effort, worldly compromise, marketing and success models. It is late; a post-Christian America is not just statistical conjecture, but reality! Nevertheless, I continue to cry out as the God of mercy (Ezekiel 33:10-11; 2 Peter 3:9) who called me has commanded because the results belong to Him and there is still hope for some due to His success with a proud religionist recorded in His Word (Acts 26:1-23). The risen, living Christ continues His cry among American churches, "Who is on the Lord's side?"
1 Having been accused of legalism many times for calling Christians and churches to obey God’s Word as it is written, it is important here to note that these groups as true
legalists were ready to kill to defend their humanly devised systems of theology and distorted appropriations of the Old Testament Law along with extreme and rigid
rules of conduct based on it. Faithful Christians easily discern what is to be literally obeyed from the heart in God’s Word as led by the Holy Spirit (Matthew 5:17-20;
John 14:15-18; Romans 10:1-4; 1 Corinthians 14:33-37; Galatians 2:11-3:14, 5:16-25).
2 See for example, my December 2014 reposts, Culturally Conditioning The Faith, Part 1 and 2. Also, read the and multi-part 2003-2004 Journals, The White Man’s Reli-
gion and The Black Man’s Religions at https://fromslaverytovictory.org/Journal-Archives.
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