I know it is difficult to see such a controversial statement. I mean I would be so appalled as well. But it is true! God still answers prayer. I know for a fact that God still hears and answers. No matter the time of day, season of life, or circumstances, God answers prayer. Oh, you saw a different word in that initial statement. Oh we can deal with that here in a moment. I just wanted to re-emphasize that the God of the universe hears the lamentations of humanity daily.
I recognize how challenging it can be to see such bold statements come from the mouth of an African American pastor. With so much debate about using the N-word, why would I decide to use such an inflammatory word to bring light to this statement? The truth is, I realize that this statement is the antithesis of a theology rooted in white supremacy. Yet it highlights the sentiment of a gospel bastardized by people who would never follow the historic Jesus who doesn’t look anything like them.
The current state of society constantly wants to get back to normalcy. Pandemic, social unrest, and isolation have brought to the forefront concerns that have been buried for way too long. Those infirmities of society and humanity could no longer stay covered. These fractures could no longer remain hidden. The time has come to address the incomplete and destructive nature of a false process regarding Christianity as a whole and the religious practices of a melanized Christ.
I am constantly amazed by the manner in which people have accepted this unseasoned presentation of the Christian ethic. The so-called socially accepted presentation eliminates the very nature of God in so many ways. How can you follow a process of faith that eliminates creativity, uniqueness, justice, kindness, grace, and mercy? How is it possible that the only love that is demonstrated is predicated upon if people fit in your circle? How do we continue to believe that we can compel people when we don’t even love the very nature of their presentation?
Literally, Jesus approached every single type of person to offer them an encounter with heaven. He quelled social norms and defied the status quo in order that humanity would understand its original worth. He made institutions question their own message and ideology in order to present it with the reality of what humanity should be. Human beings are not metrics or statistics. Human beings are individuals with varied stories that craft the manner in which they are presented. That recognition of flavor should bring a renewed understanding of the importance of uniqueness in this world.
Yet, I still feel the weight of being an outcast in a system never meant for me. It is difficult for me to recognize the work and the worth of what Jesus did in the first century and see how his practices in teachings are not applied properly. I still have to read the thoughts of white pastors and theologians who categorically deny the necessity for active social gospel practice. They reduce the very nature and thought of it to being a leftist political ploy. They only see it as a threat to the life of the “church”.
They are unwilling to see the destructive nature of bad exegesis. They refuse to except the reality that people of color are totally loved by God without extra human conditions. We are not seen as equal socially, religiously, economically, or within any other construct. This type of personal identification gives us the label of being whiners, complainers, soft, and weak. I beg to differ!
Whenever people create their own structure, they do so in order to compensate for their own weaknesses and maintain their own comfort. It is easy to see why so many would lash back at the very notion of individuals who would protest, speak boldly, speak truth to power, and question any system of injustice. These people project the statements of weak-minded souls who can no longer stand boldly on the sandy foundation of a well perpetuated lie.
For many years, Black people have been internally wrestling with the idea of whether to grab a seat at a confused table or allow God to provide a table uniquely designed for them. We go back-and-forth because of the thought patterns that all of us have adopted based upon the information and environments in which we dwell. Some of my brothers and sisters believe that full acceptance within the current culture will finally permit us the freedom we so desperately seek. Others believe that full embracing of one’s self and full investment in one’s uniqueness will cause us to finally be free.
I believe our freedom will begin when we fully embrace that God never intended for us to be on the outside looking in. This thought means that we must embrace the desire to break down any obstruction to embracing and recognizing the full nature of our God. That means we must never embrace or accept any limitation placed by an individual based on their bias or discriminating viewpoint.
When Solomon prayed at the dedication of the temple, he said something significant within the prayer. Solomon asked for many things, but one of the requests was that anyone could come to the temple and pray. When the request was made, Solomon added that he wanted God to hear their prayers and answer. By doing so, those who did not know Yahweh would be able to fully embrace the nature of the God of all. The response of God in Second Chronicles 7 demonstrated the willingness and desire of God to fulfill every request. The glory of God filled the temple and God has never relented and fulfilling that promise.
Why do we teach a different premise in word or deed? If God was willing to hear all in the Old Testament, why have we created a different gospel? We continue to keep people away intentionally to make our small groups feel more comfortable. We deny the very nature of people connecting with the Creator so that we do not have to deal with anything regarding who they are. We continue to perpetuate a supremacist ideology by telling the world that God is off-limits, and that transformation can only come through us not Jesus.
This society has followed the Nazi Germany blueprint to a T. You use organized religion to filter and perpetuate the ideas of an incomplete theology and spread it like a virus through all areas of society. By doing so, we infect the thought process and interactions of people. We then watch the seeds grow to bring about distinctions between superior and inferior. Ultimately, we embrace these constructs as fact rather than diagnose them as mental, emotional, and spiritual disease.
This methodology has allowed for so-called Christians to tell other believers get in line or get run over. It has permitted so-called people of faith to align themselves with government over God. It has allowed weak minded people to control narratives in order to not to face the truth. It has emboldened White “Christians” to call Black People Nigger. It has permitted so-called people of faith to enter positions of authority and perpetuate this ideology through legislation. It has defaced the true nature of God in the face of the Creator’s greatest creation.
I understand some people want to embrace unity and multicultural fellowship However, I have concluded that until we truly recognize the walls that have been created and destroy those walls, we cannot truly have worthwhile fellowship that is transformative. Until it looks like Christ in word and deed, we cannot expect the utopian idea of the beloved community in its fullness. What can be gained from continuing to pursue a seat at a table of injustice and inequality? What can be gained by continuing to pursue justice within an ideology of injustice? What can be gained from trying to find hope in the midst of a diseased Theology?
I believe that it is necessary to begin the project of reclaiming our identity is true believers in Jesus Christ. We can no longer place labels on aspects of the platform that Jesus of Nazareth established for us. Either we finally follow the principles of Jesus or we forfeit our identity all together and admit defeat. I refuse to allow inappropriate thoughts about my existence and my divine nature to be placed under the microscope of mediocrity. I no longer subscribe to the terrible teachings that have played our society for thousands of years. I stand to reaffirm my faith and devotion to the principles of God‘s Word unedited by white supremacy and oppression. Consider me to be like Howard Thurman—a follower of the religion of Jesus.
I will not unite with anyone who desires to keep people oppressed. I will not subscribe to harming God‘s creation by using bad tactics backed by incomplete study of the gospel. I stand committed to living out the teachings of Christ to the best of my ability daily. I commit myself to speaking out against injustice and inequality. I stand to be used as a vessel of transformation and change that leads towards the day when all God’s children will constantly feel the embrace of heaven and joy will never end.
Let it be known that I will never rest until the people of God know the true nature of their divinity. I will not rest until every person encounters the true and living God without hindrance. I will tear the roof off that others will no longer be denied an encounter with Jesus Christ. I will break down walls. I will study until my understanding grows about who I am and whose I am. You no longer define me, or others like me.
Just so we’re clear, the faulty nature of your thinking left out a particularly important element. God hears a n****r’s prayers. Thank God that I’m not one. Thank God your viewpoint is invalid. Thank God at your ideology has failed.