Do Black Folks Still Need Jesus?:
Obama and the Black Church
Every Sunday, if you go to any black church, you can bet the collection plate that at least once during the service the pastor will ask the eternal question, "Will you be ready when Jesus comes?" As an affirmation. the congregation will jump and shout, shedding tears of joy, as they anticipate the return of their Savior. However, if the Second Coming happens on January 20th during the same time as the Inauguration, a lot of black folks will have a tough decision to make...
Every since the improbable Obama campaign began to look like a sure thing, many African Americans have anticipated his election with an almost religious fervor. The fervor reached its climax, last November 4th , when news networks across the country showed black people behaving in manners more reminiscent of Pentecostal tent revivals than election celebrations.
Has the black church that has been waiting for "Jesus" for hundreds of years decided to settle for a black president, instead?
The problem of the delay of the Second Coming (the Perousia) has plagued the early church since the day after the Crucifixion. Since the Perousia was expected to happen within the lifetime of the early believers, as the years went by, it became harder for the church leaders to rationalize the delay for a people who were still suffering under Roman oppression.
The delay of Judgment Day has been been especially problematic for an African American community that has been crying to "Jesus" every since their ancestors were transported on the "Good Ship Jesus of Lubeck." For a people who are sick and tired of being sick and tired, the election of Barack Obama seemed to be the answer to their prayers. For many, the Messiah had returned wearing a Brooks Brothers suit.
This is not the first time that African Americans have embraced a "black Messiah," as many leaders have come with the claim of being God or being personally chosen by God to lead black people out of bondage. Although, Obama is not making any messianic claims, himself, some black folks are expecting him to walk across the Potomac on January 20th instead of taking a limo.
The black church has always struggled with what WEB Dubious called a "double consciousness" but in this case it refers to having to be spiritual and secular, simultaneously. Unfortunately, many churches have been secular when they needed to be spiritual and spiritual when they needed to be secular.
Although, some church folks are genuinely devoted to their spirituality and adhere to the creed of being "in the world but not of the world," others have used spirituality as a crutch or an excuse not to carry forth the mission of the Messiah. While the messianic mission is to perform such tasks as feeding the hungry and clothing the naked , many churches pray for miracles when the miracles lie within their church bank accounts and the manpower in their own congregations.
One must remember that the great religious leader, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was opposed by some religious folks who believed that instead of fighting for Civil Rights, it was best to just pray and "let the Lord handle it."
For some churches, it is not until it is time to vote for a president that the otherwise "other worldly" theology becomes "worldly." This was especially evident during this year's election when "don't forget to vote" became the standard benediction at some churches.
To have a concerted effort to establish some spiritually based political education classes would be admirable but to just tell a congregation to vote without any follow up is leaving them, as the choir sings, "like a ship without a sail."
While most churches have the ability to establish community services such as mentoring programs for gang members, many pastors prefer to simply "lift them up in prayer" instead of coming up with intervention activities. Also, many are waiting for Obama to send a blessing down from the White House to do something that they could just as easily do for themselves.
Let us be clear. There is nothing holy about politics. It is perhaps the most corrupt operation in existence. Politics does not champion the "good" over "evil" but merely seeks to develop a working relationship between the two forces. Anyone who believes that the War of Armageddon will be won by merely entering a poll both is suffering from severe self-delusion.
A Democracy must cater to the whims of the majority, hoping merely that they will be persuaded to see that fulfilling the needs of the minority will ultimately serve their best interests. Also, Capitalism, by nature, needs to have a segment of the population poor and hungry in order to survive. This is hardly anything to base a religious hope upon but to seek spiritual guidance as to how to overcome the traps and snares that it produces.
So if we compromise our "religion" for political gain then we have given up the one thing that African people have always had going for us; our spirituality. It has been our faith in a higher power that has sustained us through the worst atrocities known to man.
As one looks around at the condition facing African people globally, as we enter into 2009, the answer to the question if we need divine intervention to deliver us from evil, should be self evident. We need to exercise our spirituality more so in 2009 than ever if we will ever be able to perform the "greater works" that Yeshua (misnamed Jesus) spoke about in the scriptures.
Do black folks still need a savior ?
Yes, we do and it starts with the image staring back at you in the mirror.
Paul Scott, "the TRUTH Minista, writes for No Warning Shots Fired.com http://www.nowarningshotsfired.com He can be reached at (919) 451-8283 or firstname.lastname@example.org