A White Neck on a Black Knee – Part 2
“Mene Mene Tekel…..”
Hello family. Welcome to the first Sunday in June. What past weeks!! I do not know about you but it has been mentally, emotionally, physically and even spiritually draining. In my place of personal prayer, sometimes I am speechless, sometimes I groan, and sometimes I just hum or shut up. Lord have mercy.
The internet is on fire! Some Facebook Groups are boiling over, different perspectives are coming out. The tectonic plates that hold the fabric of American society are shifting in seismic strides. We are groaning.Throughout the week, I kept asking myself how we got here as a nation; who were the accomplices? Who allowed, what has and how has the engine of racial injustice flourished without fail? Dear reader, the system is not broken. Contrary to what you think, the system is working as designed.
My major submission is THE CHURCH, aka the body of Christ. Yes, myself included. If you have followed me for the past 3 years, you will know that I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ and I discuss at length about my fight of faith with breast cancer. I speak freely of how the good LORD was with me throughout active treatment and is still with me. So, I am a woman of faith. Those who know me personally also know that I am called to intercede for nations, communities and people at large. My personal quiet time usually consist largely of 90% praying for others and the rest is me saying “Thank you Lord for the opportunity to spend time in Your presence”.
The church. Hmm….. or let me say, Organized Religion in the form of Christianity. The word Christian was not even given to us by Jesus Christ. He called us His disciples, we were called Christians by the citizens of Antioch. But that is another argument for another day.
In the parable of the Good Samaritan, there was an injured man on the road, beaten, bleeding, near dead. In this account, Jesus mentions that the Priest saw the wounded man and WALKED AWAY. The Levite, also WALKED AWAY. The Samaritan, the one who by culture and dictate was not to be seen interacting with a Jew, stopped, ran to the bleeding Jew, and did everything in his power to ensure healing and recovery. Feel free to read your bible or a bible to corroborate my account. When I see Jesus Christ in glory, I am going to bow in awe, sit at his feet and ask him what he saw for putting religious leadership on the wrong side of history.
Let’s be honest with ourselves, the Bible, like many other holy books have been used to perpetuate a lot of atrocities. Furthermore, church leadership have been complicit in many atrocities that have plagued civilization. I have always wondered why God was always particular about race and ethnicity when dealing with children of Africa. Moses was vilified because he married a black woman., Abraham’s second wife was Keturah, a black woman. One of her sons was Midian. The Bible talks about God boasting of Abraham as a man who will conduct his children in God’s ways. No wonder, when it was time for Moses to learn about the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob after learning about Anubis and other Egyptian gods, He sent him to Jethro the Midianite; a priest and a descendant of Abraham. That was a priest prior to Aaron and his sons…..I guess (and I really do guess) that God looked down memory lane and knew that one day, men will try to dominate and subjugate one another based on skin color. So he gave us examples to show that when it comes to destiny preservation, the black race is near and dear to His heart as well. Again, another story for another day.
I was privileged to study French politics in college. For me, it was gut wrenching to see that the church of God in France, through the Bishops were “in bed” with the Kings at the time. When the subjugation was too much, the people revolted (the Samaritans), the kings and the bishops were hung… The French national anthem paints quite a graphic picture. It was time out. Mene mene tekel.
For so long, the Catholic church covered the child sex abuse scandal. The church enabled this atrocity. The popes, cardinals and bishops were either silent or complicit. For so long, the silent righteous Judge watched from heaven as church leadership destroyed the destinies of young boys, while the perpetrators went free; going about their vile behavior. And the church looked away. Then one day, it was “mene mene tekel”. The Catholic church was embroiled in the greatest scandal of all time. Lots of parishes had to close down. The Catholic Church was bleeding dollars. Oh it bled…. It was time to clean house. Since we cannot worship God and money, money had to bow.
Slavery. Colonization. It could not have happened without the church. Before Chris Columbus went on his “discovery”, he needed the blessings of the church. The missionaries were the “pawns” when the scramble for Africa was to be implemented. It was the Bible in one hand, the sword on another. I am not sure what kind of conscience they had at the time, but they found scriptures to justify the mission. They found scriptures to justify that a black man was less human, even though white, black, blue, green…we were ALL created in the image and likeness of God and Christ had redeemed us all to be priests and kings. They did not read their Bibles that far.
Oh! I remember! Africans were savages with false gods and they needed to be enlightened. Hmm, the last time I checked my Bible, the treasurer of Queen Candace became born again under Phillip, got baptized and was filled with the Holy Ghost. I am sure he took that revival with him but that is another conversation for another day.
From the scramble for Africa, to slavery, to pre-Emancipation, to Civil War, to modern day America, the church has either been quiet or complicit until something had to give. If you have the chance, visit Bishop T.D Jakes YouTube Channel and listen to his recent open dialogues on race relations. He talks about how church service would be happening on the slave ships while the women were being raped in the basement of the ship and men were being castrated. Can you imagine singing “Holy Holy Holy, Lord God Almighty” while rape is going on 2 floors below?
When President Barack Hussein Obama became president, we heard just about every kind of prophecy about him being the anti-Christ, the prince of evil, bla bla bla from CHURCH pulpits. The church gave Donald Trump the bait he needed to pursue the birther issue. Yes!, I lay that crime at the feet of the church. Religious leaders got on national and cable TV and vilified the first African American president. Like bloody bait, they gave the sharks of white supremacy just what they needed. Like a shrewd business man, Trump saw the opportunity to pursue his long awaited presidential agenda. Here we are today.
The most segregated day in America is Sunday; the day of the LORD. Most churches are divided along racial or ethnic lines. Yet, we are all going to one heaven where ALL tribes, nations, and creed will worship night and day. We are not practicing it properly here on earth. How are we going to do it when we become translated into glory? In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, coupled with the current political climate, I would love to be a fly in the wall of many churches, listening to conversations about where we are today. It is a tough one!
Police brutality and racial injustice did not just creep on America like a virus. It is a well oiled system working as intended. Rather than act like the light of the world and salt of the earth, we have systematically looked away until Samaritans….ordinary people took to the street to say “enough”.
Here is the sad truth: there are research studies that show that church growth is on the decline, the church is out of touch with everyday people, more young people are rejecting the God of the Bible. Yet, Paul the apostle says the gospel is the POWER of God unto salvation……..Mene, mene, tekel….. This was God’s judgement on Beltheshazzar, the Babylonian King for his atrocities. In the book of Revelation, Jesus sounded warnings to different churches and even promised to put out their light if those churches do not repent. Yes, Jesus. I do not know about you, but I still believe, strongly in my heart that the corona virus forced us all to sit down, time out and begin to focus on things that matter. We can no longer hide under our busy schedules, sports, cookouts, graduation parties, weddings, and whatever occupies our safe spaces. We all need to confront this 400 year plague that has ravaged the soul of America.
If you are one of the few black congregants in an all white church, and your pastor or cell leader has nothing to say, don’t be surprised. The boat is rocking and rocking hard. You pastor has been comfortable with the status quo. Your pastor is probably happy to have you fill the diversity quota. Your pastor may not have the tools to confront the issue. Don’t be mad. Go quietly, express your frustration like a good believer. If your pastor still does not get it, the choice is yours on whether you want to continue to fellowship with those company of brothers and sisters.If you worship in a racially diverse church, good for you!! You epitomize what heaven will look like when we all rapture.
Evangelical leadership told their followers to vote Trump because of religious liberty. They wanted what suited their agenda. Like the Pharisees, they majored on the minors and forgot, Justice, Peace and Equity. So, mene, mene tekel. The church is being measured on a scale and we are found wanting.
What can we do? God gave us the answer Himself. “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves, pray, and forsake their evil ways, I (God) will hear from heaven and heal their land”
His people…..called by His name…. God is not talking of unbelievers. He is talking of all of us from the Pastors, teachers, apostles, prophets, to the average church goer to humble ourselves. He is asking us to judge ourselves and declare ourselves “guilty as charged” before He does the judging. He is asking us to cry for repentance for the church’s part in this whole process. He is telling us to forsake the scourge of racial injustice. We have to mean it. We have to be willing to overturn this system that wastes the destinies of black lives in prisons, through bullets and other forms of inequity. We need to cry for God’s mercy for not being our brother’s keeper. We need to repent for focusing on abortion, and not the sanctity of life from womb to tomb. Family is the heart of God. We need to repent for allowing black families and black communities become the standard bearer of social and economic inequities. We need to repent for not speaking truth to power.
This moment presents a pivotal point in the history of the nation. On what side of the history will the church and its leadership be? Are we going to look away like the Levite and the Priest or are we going to summon courage like the good Samaritan. Mene mene tekel; the God of heaven is weighing our actions.