Sept. 18, 2014
I stopped going to the first church I began visiting in August. My issue is that the church appeared to be too politically engaged. Personally, I am politically enraged with any church that believes the way you vote determines how Christ-like you are.
I grew offended when the lead pastor began knocking on President Obama.
On my fourth visit, the pastor requested the congregation to pray for President Obama because the pastor didn’t “believe he is a Christian.” Interesting. Now praying for leaders and those in authority over us is biblical (Read I Timothy 2:2). However, I felt critical that the pastor made it a point to voice his thoughts on Mr. President’s salvation. The lead pastor, myself, and no one in the church knows whether Mr. Obama for certain is a Christian or not. His salvation is between himself and God, not for any other man, who does not know him, to merely speculate because he is different than many past presidents.
On my final visit to this particular church, the lead pastor passively attacked President Obama once more. The lead pastor said that Mr. President hasn’t done any thing to fight for religious freedom in America. First, America was not founded on Christian values or to preserve religious freedom for Christians. The Bill of Rights of the United States legislates religious freedom for Americans to practice any religion they please or to have the freedom not to practice religion without grievances from the government. Secondly, I was the utmost appalled by the lead pastor’s ignorance because of other more important issues. Let’s see: Human trafficking is a worldwide problem, from Amsterdam to Russia to the great Far East, where women and children are sold and enslaved. There’s the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Millions of other native Africans battle HIV / AIDs and hunger annually. Millions of Americans suffer from homelessness and joblessness. Those are just a few major issues each of us could spare more time praying that God would make better of. Surely, the lead pastor would request for prayer on such greater worldly issues than worrying over whether President Obama is leading biblically or not. Surely. Surely not.
Oh, but the lead pastor’s ignorance towards the Black Church and his negative comments on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was the deal breaker for me. For context, the lead pastor taught about how Christians should abide by laws (as Apostle Paul encourages us to do in Romans chapter 13) but to not abide by laws that are unlawful against the Christian code of ethics. The lead pastor intended to use Jim Crow laws (laws that promoted racism and discrimination in the 1960s Southern U.S.) as an example of unlawful laws.
Instead of explaining this point, the lead pastor read a letter written by Dr. King. King wrote the letter to other pastors while he was held in a Birmingham, Alabama, jail. Before the lead pastor read the letter, he made two very off comments.
First, he said he didn’t agree with Dr. King on many issues, except the letter. Interesting. I wonder what the pastor’s beef with Dr. King is. Most people, of all races I have seen, seem to appreciate, or least tolerate, Dr. King’s efforts of pushing for the end of racial discrimination and promoting diversity.
The second comment the lead pastor made was directed towards black churches. The pastor said he felt the Black Church needed a lot of help today. He then said, “Thank God for the black pastors that are left remain standing.” Of all the off comments the lead pastor made, this was the most egregious and threatening to me. His feelings of the church seemed to insinuate that the lead pastor, and many others who think like him, feel black churches are corrupt, ignorant, and straddling down the wrong path. If my projections of the pastor’s feelings are right, the pastor is ignorant. All churches are made up of people. People are imperfect and full of flaws. Therefore, all churches, no matter of what dominant race, are going to have flaws. So, the pastor’s concerns about the Black Church, while valid, felt like a focused and conspicuous attack against a group of people that are just different from him. (I wonder if the pastor has ever stepped foot into a church filled with predominantly black people.)
To end this post, I leave you with an explanation of my fiery commentary. Some people choose not to speak up when they feel wronged or when an act of ignorance has occurred. Well, frankly, I’m not those people. I don’t tolerate crap or ignorance. Really, ignorance is no excuse. The year of this post is 2014. We in America have come a long way to educate ourselves of the past and to grow from the mistakes of our forefathers. Therefore, there is no excuse for myself to tolerate racism or racially charged micro-insults and micro-assaults. Not in the world. Not in the Church. With all of this said, I leave to a new church praying that the lead pastor of the other church and his congregation would open their eyes and have a better understanding of how people who are different see the world and see God.