On Nov. 28 the AFRO published a thought provoking article by clergy person and political leader Kevin Slayton, “The Resurrection of The Black Church in Local Politics.” It should be read as part of a disturbing trend to deconstruct and betray the liberating roots of local Black Churches in the name of “progressivism.”
This so called “new progressivism” has created the myth of a dead Black church that needs to be resurrected. This myth is an attempt to birth a vampire spirituality that creates a vampire church whose disciples sleep in caskets during the light and rise in the darkness. Vampire Christianity sucks the life-blood of self-determination, self-development, self-discipline, self-empowerment, self-reliance and self-esteem out of the Black church and community!
The purpose of this vampire system of spiritual, political, social and economic darkness is to create more vampires and zombies. The myth of a dead black church that is resurrected by our identification with either political party and their priorities is the real horror story of the 21st century. In the liberating words of a letter written to the church at Ephesus
Awake, you who sleep,
Arise from the dead,
And Christ will give you light.
Will somebody please wake us up from this nightmare?
Let me ask some relevant questions to those who want to believe the promoters of vampire Christianity and those who believe the “Black church is dead!” Perhaps these questions will start a great Black church awakening?
When did local Black churches in local communities die?
Who killed or crucified them?
Who resurrected them?
Was the Black church in Baltimore “resurrected” because it voted for two political questions that were at the top of the Maryland and national Democratic agenda? Would you really call that resurrection?
The Black church survived and succeeds in spite of 400 years of American bondage and enslavement because it refused to be dominated by the Vampires system of social darkness, spiritual death, political division and financial destruction.
Today’s Black church has built on the miraculous legacy, mission and calling of Jesus Christ to make a difference and change the world.
Where do state and local politicians come during political campaigns?
Where do more Black people gather en masse more consistently than any other place in the national Black community?
Where are the hungry fed, the naked clothed, homes for the homeless built, single mothers and fathers healed and helped, public schools adopted, charter schools organized, Black colleges and universities built, prisoners visited and their families served and mentoring groups established, financial empowerment taught and practiced and real-estate owned and controlled?
The Black church Lives!
It was the Black church that mobilized in the 1950s and 60s against racist Dixiecrats. During the political counter-revolution generated by Richard Nixon, George Wallace, and Ronald Reagan, it was the Black church that kept hope alive and supported Bill Clinton. After eight years of George W. Bush the Black church and community opened a way for the nomination, election and re-election of President Barak Hussein Obama. Whoever thinks they are in political power in America knows the Black church lives.
The Black Church lives because we know the power of the Lord’s resurrection and that all power is in the hands of Jesus who came that we might live the victorious life!
Are there areas where the Black Church needs to do things differently? Yes! But at the end of the day it is when the Black Church is faithful to its resurrecting mission of Jesus that the America and our global society will discover His Good News– I am the resurrection and the life. He that believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?
We believe the Lord gave us the gift of the Black Church to challenge and overcome vampire spirituality and its social/political manifestations.
Yes Lord, we believe, and because we believe we will not be conformed to this world but we will be transformed by the renewing of out minds, that we may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God—-that’s Good News from the Graveyard! We are no longer the victims of the Vampires. We are victorious conquerors in Christ Jesus———THE BLACK CHURCH LIVES!
Dr. Frank M. Reid III is pastor of Bethel Baltimore and Owings Mills, Md., “Two Churches in One location.”