Only If You Are Black?

21 03 2008

Should pastors in black churches be held to the same standards society expects from other pastors when it comes to political and social commentary? 

Apparently ABC news doesn’t think so. In fact they report that fiery words promoting Black Nationalism (like those spoken by Rev. Jeremiah Wright) are nothing unusual… in black churches  

The news article goes on to say that, “Historically, the church also served as virtually the only safe space in which blacks could openly discuss their persecution in the United States, and ministers preaching to a largely illiterate audience found that dramatically delivered sermons drew in the crowds and kept the collection plate full.” 

(Surely ABC doesn’t mean that black preachers ought to be able to use crude and graphic language because it’s the only way to get their message across to a still illiterate audience?)  

Noel L. Erskine, a professor of theology at Emory University, is also quoted as saying “The church was the one institution black people always owned, a refuge where we where empowered to speak our minds.”

So what do you think, should pastors in black churches be held to the same standards as their white counter parts?



3 responses

21 03 2008

You would think so…..

21 03 2008

While I understand what you are saying. I and you are not black so I’m sure we can never totally understand. This would be like having a white church in Africa. Instead our ancestors were slaves to the blacks. I don’t know that it will always persist, but part of being a black congregation is social justice for one’s race.

14 04 2008

A place where people can speak their minds is ok. But isn’t it disturbing that this is what is on their minds?

Are churches really the only sanctuary for free speech? Or are these gatherings something else masquerading as church? Would it matter as much to us if these were some organization or council or club instead of purportedly religious groups?

I think the political and social commentary is up to the commentators, and anyone can be that. It isn’t as though we’re setting policy by talking about it. Policy is set by practice, and there are segments of commentators who take both approaches.

To God be all glory,
Lisa of Longbourn

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