Why I am still part of the black church

Posted: March 9, 2010 in christianity, culture, global
Tags: , , ,

Yes I said it. I am still a part of the black church. But first I want to clarify what that means. I do not mean the black church in a local church sense but the black church in a philosophical/ideological sense. The black church was started as a way to affirm the culture and dignity of African Americans. It was a sign and an expression of freedom at a time where although politics, economics, and even sports were controlled by whites the one thing that was still the ownership of African Americans was worship! This is my culture and I have not left all of it in a particular locality. I take it with me into my small group interaction, my sermons, my mentoring times, my prayers. I cannot deny who I am especially as I am involved with a group of people seeking to create a third culture. My contribution is important.

Whenever you enter a cross cultural situation you cannot leave behind who you are. Most think that you have to become 100% Nigerian, Filipino, Chinese etc. to relate to people within that ethnicity and culture. The real fact of the matter is that is impossible to be 100% incarnated into a different culture. You would have to be born into the culture. I believe many are afraid to truly relate to others on a deep level because they fear their identity will be left behind. The truth is as Sherwood Lingenfelter says in his book Ministering Cross Culturally “the goal of every missionary and possibly every Christian should be to become a 150% person.” It means not to deny who you are but to become more than who you are by the give and take that you experience as you relate to others incarnationally.

So I am still part of the black church. What does that mean? It means that I still am in solidarity with all those who are oppressed and want the justice that God brings. It means that I release others to worship in the form that they want to worship in. At the same time it means that in whatever context my intonations of speech, circular method of preaching, crowd participation etc. etc. betray me like Peter’s Galilean accent betrayed him in Jerusalem. Yes I am still part of the black church.

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