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 have an additional important concern in the aftermath of Black History Month and posts I made this year beginning with the cautionary anecdote of twentysomething, Devontay Rhodes, and followed by the one in two parts just concluded conveying God’s response from His Word to black American invented forms of counterfeit Christianity with all others.1 Counterfeit anything has negative consequences for those deceived and hurt by not having the real thing. Disconnecting the faith from God’s Word and obedient practice as counterfeit Christianity does has hurt especially black American men I share an affinity with among all those this Ministry targets in its cause to restore men!2
As the Lord had me to make clear in the two-part post, Willful Ignorance Destroys, manmade Christianity is not the genuine article. Whatever is not within the doctrinal confines biblically of “the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints” including all of its inherent freedoms and those not specified, but easily discernible as granted by God in conformity with what has been written in His whole Word is outside of it and counterfeit (Romans 14-15:6; 1 Corinthians 6:9-20, 8, 10-11:1; 2 Corinthians 3:17-18; Galatians 5; Colossians 2:16-23; Jude 1-4, NKJV). And while no one of us that professes to be followers of Christ is perfect, we aspire to it in God’s plan (Philippians 3:1-16)!3
Godly aspiration to perfection is not what many black men from slavery have encountered with whites or those that share their ethnicity because of intervening counterfeit manmade Christianity as religion. With whites, conveniently selected, self-serving practices of the Law and New Testament teachings maintained their supremacy while also permitting abusive conduct which many continue to this day. The same religious hypocrisy and corruption among blacks has turned many of our males away from God and the biblical faith they rarely saw displayed except by the family matriarchs. Today, even the faith and example of the black family matriarch is fading into historic memory.4
For those that demand specific examples to authenticate what I am writing, use your chosen search engine to find any number of white professed Christian duplicities and abuses from slavery and after to the present involving special slave Bibles, marital infidelity with and rape of black women, brutal beatings, lynchings and wanton murder of black men. The hypocritical sins and abuses of guilty black clergy and other leaders are searchable too. In recent times, the now, deceased Bishop Eddie Long, is slickly shown on video preaching against homosexuality from the Bible while allegedly having gay trysts by Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. without comment in his black church documentary.5
In my labor among black males, I have met so many that want nothing to do with Christianity whatever its organized religious form. Their numerical absence in the churches reaches back to slavery and forward to this hour when their presence as thirty percent of a congregation is considered miraculous! Wired in their brains with logic and reason as most males, using these many black males easily deduce and see right through the inconsistencies of practice in the churches and the faith the Bible presents. It does not help when preachers in large numbers are found to be fleecing the flock financially, practicing sexual immorality, being abusive or abusing drugs and alcohol etc.
Add to the foregoing the ongoing hurtful acts of systemic racism by professed Christian white men that is allowed by their counterfeit forms of Christianity, the spiritual, mental and emotional injuries suffered and the even unconscious humiliation of usurpation by women within the churches of black religious invention they may have grown up in and it is not difficult to understand the typical unsaved black male’s disinterest in Christianity, agnosticism, embrace of religions such as Islam and hostile atheism. I have engaged a few that though they claimed to reject religion, are into New Age self-worship as their own gods. Still others are comfortable with counterfeit Christianity and care nothing about what it is or does since they are Christian impostors living as they please anyway.
Despite the challenges involved, reaching unsaved black males with the biblical Gospel toward the end of divine restoration is an absolute urgent imperative for their own eternal soul’s sake, the families they create and our wider community under lawless siege from their lost spiritual condition and anger.6 As a black male, I am a living witness of what God can do when He is allowed to through His cause of salvation and restoration in the Gospel of His Son, Jesus Christ! What is needed are more individual sold out holy vessels and faithful churches they make up to stand with Him (and us) in His cause; preaching, teaching and practicing sound doctrine from “the whole counsel of God” as it is written to include His order of mankind from creation electing men as leaders (Acts 20:27, NKJV).
1 Read the January 31, 2021 post, A New Year Cautionary Anecdote, under the category, The Cause and the two-part Willful Ignorance Destroys that begins on February 21,
2021 under the category, Black History.
2 Learn more about the cause of Strong Man Ministries to restore men, their families and communities on our Web Site.
3 This is the heart of every Christian man and woman that respectively aspires to be like Christ as strong men and great women of God I write about in my book, The Strong
Man Of God: Back To Basics. The book is published by Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc. and is available in print or digital formats at major internet booksellers.
You can also purchase a print copy in the Strong Man Store.
4 See the two-part post beginning June 21, 2015, Mama’s Boys, under the category, Black History.
5 Dr. Gates wrote, produced and hosted the four hour, two-part documentary, The Black Church: This Is Our Story, This Is Our Song that aired this past February for Black
History Month on PBS. A brief clip of Bishop Long is shown as the consummate (and implied across the board hypocritical) Christian black biblically conservative outcry
against the God condemned practice of homosexuality in the Bible.
6 Read the February 19, 2017 post, Who Is Weeping For My People?, under the category, The Cause. Also, on The From Slavery To Victory Education Project Web Site,
learn more about how the spiritually bound up condition of black males is negatively impacting the family and community on its Help For Men Page.
This is the second of an edited two part 2013 blog I have reposted for Black History Month. Only God could have foreknown the timely need for this fresh exhortation (and truly the whole body of messages I have delivered from Him since 1979 as a former pastor of mine from Fort Worth, TX, Rev. Tom Franklin recently called to tell me) to professing Christian black Americans in our churches given the heightened uneasiness now in black communities across the nation over the deaths of unarmed black males. As well, there are the overabundance of other community needs the Gospel, Word and power of Jesus Christ alone expressed through the churches can meet--if they will.
Originally Posted February 10, 2013
Black churches are the place oppressed souls came for a momentary release from burdens too great to otherwise bear and carried too long from the last service. My heart is in complete empathy with the black pastors since slavery that have looked out on seats filled with beleaguered black humanity in expectant anticipation of church services that would all too briefly yet necessarily transport them to a plane of existence away from their painful troubles in this world.
Primed by the soul stirring performance of musicians and singers, the preacher’s job was to deliver a message that would cause his own and the burdened souls present to take flight! The preachers knew then as they do now that among the sea of sweaty, shouting and dancing ecstatic souls there was a number who were not saved and many more that really did not care to deepen their spiritual maturity through purposeful Christian education. Still, the born again, relative faithful few growing in grace through daily meditation on the Word of God and walking in the Spirit were in the assembly too and apparent even to their oppressors on the outside.
Truly, it was the faith, hope and perseverance of those faithful few slave and free maturing saints among my forefathers that drew out the mercies of God to enable His bringing us “a mighty long way.” For as surely as many a gospel singer today belts out, “I shoulda been dead and gon” celebrating the mercies of God to save sinners, such is also true for our African ancestors who like all other Gentiles were of no great note to the Almighty. Many Gentiles nations have been destroyed from the face of the earth or where for example, are the ancient Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians Philistines, Moabites and more recently the Aztecs and Incas?
Slavery as it turns out, is a preferable alternative to eternal death since this is the deserved end of all sinners (Ezekiel 18:4; Romans 6:23). Thus, in the humility of Daniel and Levites in the days of Nehemiah who found themselves ministering during and after the judgment of God poured out on His only chosen people, Israel, respectively, my faithful Christian forefathers understood the spiritual realities (whatever men in the flesh might speculate) surrounding the enslavement and suffering of our people as the permitted, less than deserved remedial judgment of the sovereign God upon sinners (Daniel 9:1-19; Nehemiah 9:1-37).2
These aspiring strong men and great women of God in the image of Christ waited on God’s deliverance from their suffering in His timing because He would do so out of the same mercy and grace He had already shown to spare their physical lives and souls from eternal damnation! Additionally, the record of the Lord’s dealings with Israel in the Bible including their deliverance from Egyptian bondage stood as irrefutable evidence that God could and would someday do the same for them.
Faithful Christian slaves instilled this faith and hope in their children rehearsed thousands of times in their unique spirituals and work songs and left as a legacy to descendants as well as faithful Christians the world over as a latter day witness of what biblical perseverance is all about. I confess that I am unworthy of the example of patient endurance empowered through God’s strength left by my faithful Christian slave and free forefathers that continued in the blatant evil of Jim Crow segregation, racial bigotry, discrimination, injustice and terrorism right up through the mid-20th century.
Greater than their roles as a haven and outlet for emotional release, black churches have also been the incubators of leadership not only among their ranks, but extending out into the larger community. In fact, there was a time especially immediately following slavery through the Civil Rights Movement where church and community leadership was nearly identical. Reconstruction preachers such as Hiram R. Revels who served as a United States Senator from Mississippi and later, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. a Congressman out of New York are representative of a wide network of black clergy involved in all levels of the political arena. Most of them, however, served effectively in their local towns as social liaisons between the community and the white power structure.
It was on the historical shoulders of social activist black preachers that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood leading participating pastors and their churches to what will be known until Christ shortly returns as the pinnacle of their spiritual potency as national Civil Rights advocates during the period from 1955-1968. While King Lieutenants such as Rev. Jesse Jackson continued on nationally, Rev. Aaron Johnson of North Carolina is among preachers that made an impact in individual States.
Though it is true much religious, political and social good has come historically from black churches in all of their denominational configurations, tragically, after the “mountain top” experience of the Civil Rights Movement, there has not been a similar widespread, unified and concerted effort to refocus on their biblical mission commanded by the Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 28:18-20. If there had been such a refocus, most of our communities in cities across America would not resemble war zones with violence, murder, other forms of lawlessness and familial irresponsibility ruling the streets.
Indeed, while not perfect, born again, faithful, spiritually maturing folks do not practice willfully sinning against God! Yet, for example, most incarcerated black Americans (overflowing the nation’s prisons) will tell you he or she is a Christian and grew up in the church. So, what happened? Nearly all grew up with Christianity the religion of men in churches still locked in the “safe house” mentality and shackled by human traditions that do not major on determining authenticity or insist on purposeful Christian education leading to spiritual maturity as should have been the case with a post-Civil Rights Movement refocus. This state of affairs cannot be blamed on “the white man” since again in pride, black churches belong to blacks!3
Black communities now need the churches to fully be the Church of Jesus Christ! This means as Civil Rights activist and entertainer Harry Belafonte strongly implied in his recent appeal to black churches on a NAACP Image Awards telecast, they must step up and go beyond being a place of religious refuge, political and social activism. Authentic, spiritually maturing black American Christians in their assemblies are needed as the “church of the living God” (1 Timothy 3:14-15, NKJV) led by Jesus Christ as Lord, to stand firm on God’s Word and moral order; infused with power from on high, to liberate prospective strong men and great women of God from the chains of Satan!
Christianity the religion is utterly worthless to set these men and women truly free or get them to God as the Lord Jesus plainly taught (John 8:31-36, 14:6)! As in impassive white, so, in emotionally fervent black churches practicing Christianity the religion of men, the Lord calls the willing to repentance, revival and the strength He supplies His people to please Him and do His will (Colossians 1:9-12). Get my book, The Strong Man Of God: Back To Basics to learn more about God’s strength.4
2 Visit https://fromslaverytovictory.org/, a Web Site sponsored by Open Door Communication Ministries, Inc. to journey through a very concise, biblically accurate and
satisfying elaboration of this point in a presentation entitled, Does God Care About African Americans?
3 I stand ready to offer Christian education consulting or assistance to any interested pastor. Contact me by any of the ways listed on our Web Site Contact Page.
4 The combined work of E. Franklin Frazier, The Negro Church in America and C. Eric Lincoln, The Black Church Since Frazier published in 1974 by Schocken Books,
Inc. served as a reference source for this blog.
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!
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 to https://thestrongmanofgod.org/Books-To-USA-Prisons-Project.
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.
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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