by Gray Graham
Considering how African Americans are the most religious group in America this might seem like a strange thing to write about, but as time goes on the number of African Americans that identify as Christian declines greatly each year. Many African Americans today associate Christianity with white racism, therefore they reject Jesus Christ as being a part of racism.
In recent years I have seen more and more African Americans proclaim how they reject “white Jesus” and everyone that calls themselves a Christian. They are emboldened by the number of racists in America that invoke the name of Jesus in every evil thing that they do. It doesn’t help that many African American pastors have been caught in one scandal after another while doing very little to actually help and serve their communities beyond putting on an entertaining show each Sunday.
Thanks to the Internet there has been a wave of what I like to call pseudo Black history that used to only be whispered by the fringe in my area. It is sort of a mixture of regular Atheist philosophy with a big helping of Black Militant power. This group of African Americans will generally fall into two camps; one completely rejects everything Christianity and the other claims Christianity was stolen from Black people.
The first group that rejects Christianity all together is probably just part of the overall shift in our country to reject religion in general. It is the cool and intellectual thing for all people to say that they do not believe in God so some African Americans are following this trend. Others have followed the other course of the popular COEXIST which tries to move away from individual religions into one religion of peace.
Now the last group is kind of interesting to me. If you are older and African American you probably have heard a few times that Jesus was a Black man. If you are really old you probably have seen a few paintings of Black Jesus at a relative’s house. We have moved a little farther than that to a place where some believe that all of the prophets of the Bible are in fact Black and Black people are really God’s chosen people and not the Jewish people of today.
In today’s world the teachings of Jesus Christ offer little comfort to African Americans especially those that are young. Many have watched over their lives Christians live in a way that is very un-Christ like. Sadly there is a lot of hypocritical living in the African American church community. We are the group that says we believe the Bible as it is the most, but our lives don’t seem to reflect this belief. It’s really hard for a lot of African Americans to believe in a religion that even it’s believers can’t seem to follow.
This is why you see some people say how they are spiritual and not religious (for the record spiritual and religious are the synonyms and mean the exact same thing) and don’t believe the Bible is always right. Unlike many groups African American Christians are not very flexible when it comes to social change still rejecting the idea of gay marriage, abortion, and even women as heads in ministry.
So how do you keep your faith in God and accept Jesus Christ as your savior in a society that pretty much rejects that belief from all sides. For so many it is a struggle. Because of slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, discrimination, and racism, African Americans have never been able to establish their own culture where we could develop a way to worship that worked for us to achieve a little peace. Many feel that Christianity was forced onto the African slaves and to follow it would yield to one of the most evil acts against humanity.
While this is true, it is not anything new. People have always done evil in the name of God and Jesus. It is one of the things Jesus told us before he was killed. We have to understand that our faith in God is bigger and stronger than the hate that is in the hearts of human beings. God’s love is greater than any evil committed.
It is good for our souls that we are able to share the love of God with each other, our faith is not dependent on the behavior of others. It doesn’t matter what others do as long as we focus on serving God.
I know it is painful to live with the knowledge of the atrocities committed against our ancestors and there has never been even the slightest remorse shown by the country, we still need to remember that is their sin and God will judge them for it. We are to continue to serve God and focus on doing his work and not try to seek revenge for the sins of the past.
You can not get close to God if you are filled with hate and sin. In times like today where African Americans are under constant mental and spiritual attack it is more important than ever to lean on God. The love of God is what carried African Africans to where we are today and it will carry us all the way to the Father’s house.