The black church and economic empowerment
by, 05-29-2010 at 07:06 PM (9841 Views)
Never will I ever deny an individual the right to praise and worship whomever they choose. Whether you call his name "Jah", "El-Shaddai", "Vishnu", "Allah" or Frank for all I care, the bottom line remains the same: "One God, One Aim, One Destiny" (Marcus Garvey). My focus now is the church house itself. It seems it's influence has been modified from it's original purpose as a spiritual safe haven; a place for nurturing and uplifting it's members and others -to something of a small time, capitalistic God-dome, ever growing within our communities.
I stand my ground and believe I'm not being superfluous with my word choice and in no way do my statements illustrate the vision of every black church in our community. It seems to me that more and more churches are doing less and less to focus on our economic empowerment and almost perpetuate the poverty level by forcing us to become religious consumers with mandatory tithes and other offerings.
Was there not a time when our forefathers began their education through the church? Did we not, through our brothers and sisters of past, establish schools, colleges and hospitals through the church when we were denied these opportunities elsewhere? Reaching back as far as pre-emancipation slavery in amerika, our lives embodied the church as we devised our escapes up north through church songs like "Steal Away".
Who do politicians proposition when election time rolls around? Our adversary will even call upon the church when they stand to lose ground.
For many of us, economic empowerment lies at the forefront of the solutions to our struggles today. A Phillip Randolph stated: "You can't take anything without organization". For this to unremittingly be the case, we need to command the recognition of any and all of the resources we have lying before us. The power of the most genuine and benevolent of preachers and ministers and even those of the opposite context is far to great for us to ignore. If educated within the bounds of our reformation and revolution, we, in some sense, simplify our undertaking by creating a greater influence within our communities.
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