My previous post on Jeremiah Wright has drawn me into a bit of a political debate, so I thought this would be a great time to focus on the foundation of my argument that Black Liberation Theology (BLT) is a different gospel (Galatians 1:6-8).
Again, this is not a political blog, and I am not endorsing any candidate for President of the United States. I am merely taking a closer look at the theology of Jeremiah Wright – and his followers.
I know, I know – as a black man who strives to stand on sound scripture and rail against eisegesis of the Word of God from ANY PERSON OF ANY COLOR, I am an Uncle Tom, Oreo, sell out, etc.
Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way…BLT is a theology that grew out of the racial angst and injustice of the turbulent 60′s. One of the most well known proponents of BLT is James Cone – a man admired and frequently referenced by Jeremiah Wright.
Cone is an unimposing fellow in stature, but he’s got some interesting theories. As noted in his book “A Black Theology of Liberation” Cone defines BLT on page 27 as (my emphasis in bold):
Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the black community … Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in Black Power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal. Unless God is participating in this holy activity, we must reject his love.
So…God is “OK” as long as He’s destroying our “white oppressors”, otherwise we should reject His love? I guess we should also ignore Proverbs 20:22,Proverbs 24:29, & Romans 12:19.
You can read further about Black Theology (a/k/a BLT) on your own, but I wanted to shine a little light on it in regards to it’s roots in the Black Value System (BVS) – a “black ethics” philosophy espoused by the Trinity United Church of Christ- JW’s former church.
Allow me to highlight some of the more outrageous tenets of the BVS (directly from Trinity UCC’s website) to show how off base this kind of racial alignment is in evangelizing the Gospel of Jesus Christ:
Trinity United Church of Christ adopted the Black Value System, written by the Manford Byrd Recognition Committee, chaired by the late Vallmer Jordan in 1981.
Dr. Manford Byrd, our brother in Christ, withstood the ravage of being denied his earned ascension to the number one position in the Chicago School System. His dedication to the pursuit of excellence, despite systematic denials, has inspired the congregation of Trinity United Church of Christ. Prayerfully, we have called upon the wisdom of all past generations of suffering Blacks for guidance in fashioning an instrument of Black self-determination, the Black Value System.
Beginning in 1982, an annual Black Value System – Educational Scholarship in the name of Dr. Byrd was instituted. The first recipient of the Dr. Manford Byrd Award, which is given annually to the man or woman who best exemplifies the Black Value System, was our brother, Dr. Manford Byrd.
These Black Ethics must be taught and exemplified in homes, churches, nurseries and schools, wherever Blacks are gathered.
So this value system that is rooted in BLT came about as the result of a workplace discrimination charge? How does this align with the teaching of salvation, repentance, and belief in the Lord Jesus Christ to the unsaved? Ahhh, this just applies to the unsaved black person…ok.
Commitment to God. “The God of our weary years” will give us the strength to give up prayerful passivism and become Black Christian Activists, soldiers for Black freedom and the dignity of all humankind.
Give up “prayerful passivism…soldiers for black freedom”? I thought we were supposed to become soldiers of Jesus Christ (2 Timothy 2:2-4)?
Commitment to the Black Community. The highest level of achievement for any Black person must be a contribution of strength and continuity of the Black Community.
Commitment to the Black Family. The Black family circle must generate strength, stability and love, despite the uncertainty of externals, because these characteristics are required if the developing person is to withstand warping by our racist competitive society. Those Blacks who are blessed with membership in a strong family unit must reach out and expand that blessing to the less fortunate.
As black Christians, our allegiance is to God through Jesus Christ, and our commitment is to evangelize His Word to a dying world – despite their color. So, are black Christians supposed to circle the wagons, board up your windows, and gather your black family near you in order to build enough strength to hate “whitey” and the other racists in our society?
I agree that each of us (black, white, and otherwise) have a responsibility to society at large, but c’mon. I don’t deny that racism still exists – that would be a stupid assertion. I grew up in a large urban city during the 70′s and 80′s, I’ve seen and been subjected to enough urban racism & violence than I care to remember. As a “developing person”, I didn’t get “warped” – I just knew (and know) that there are hateful, ignorant people in the world.
Disavowal of the Pursuit of “Middleclassness.” Classic methodology on control of captives teaches that captors must be able to identify the “talented tenth” of those subjugated, especially those who show promise of providing the kind of leadership that might threaten the captor’s control.
Those so identified are separated from the rest of the people by:
- Killing them off directly, and/or fostering a social system that encourages them to kill off one another.
- Placing them in concentration camps, and/or structuring an economic environment that induces captive youth to fill the jails and prisons.
- Seducing them into a socioeconomic class system which, while training them to earn more dollars, hypnotizes them into believing they are better than others and teaches them to think in terms of “we” and “they” instead of “us.”
- So, while it is permissible to chase “middleclassness” with all our might, we must avoid the third separation method – the psychological entrapment of Black “middleclassness.” If we avoid this snare, we will also diminish our “voluntary” contributions to methods A and B. And more importantly, Black people no longer will be deprived of their birthright: the leadership, resourcefulness and example of their own talented persons.
Um, isn’t building a $1M home in a suburb that is 93% white the ultimate“pursuit of middleclassness”?
Pledge to Allocate Regularly, a Portion of Personal Resources for Strengthening and Supporting Black Institutions.
Scamming for tithes certainly has no color barrier I believe in supporting black business – and any other business that provides superior service for a reasonable price, but what does this have to do with salvation through Jesus Christ?
Pledge Allegiance to All Black Leadership Who Espouse and Embrace the Black Value System.
Personal Commitment to Embracement of the Black Value System. To measure the worth and validity of all activity in terms of positive contributions to the general welfare of the Black Community and the Advancement of Black People towards freedom.
So don’t pledge allegiance to God through the work of His Son Jesus Christ.
Instead, pledge allegiance to Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and any other black leader that embraces BVS – oh, and embrace it yourself too. Oh, and all of this is only for black people.
This is a despicable attempt (and a successful one in the minds of some) to make salvation through Christ the equivalent of a social justice movement. I have no problem with calling out injustice, but I DO HAVE A PROBLEM when the injustice supercedes the finished work of Christ – and is seen as more significant!
I also take issue that so many of my black brothers and sisters would subscribe to this flawed, deceptive, anti-christ “gospel” because it satisfies the lust of the flesh by aligning us by color instead of aligning us with the cross.
Paul relied solely on the Spirit of God in evangelizing the Gospel of Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 2). Why would you trust ANYBODY who relies on the Word of God AND the writings and philosophy of a nut job (James Cone) AND an angry exclusive value system?
I know that Trinity UCC is a church that deeply cares for and caters to the needs of their community – I’ve seen it up close. They minister to the social needs of their community, and they go over and above the call of duty in aid and assistance.
Matthew 7:15-23, however, explains the consequences of following false prophets and their teaching.
I pray that the members of TUCC (and those around the world that embrace the wicked BLT) renounce this wickedness, repent before the Lord Jesus Christ, and return to their First Love…
…not their First Black Love.
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