Thursday, June 30, 2011

Is the Black Church Dead in Deerfield Beach???

 In April, I wrote a post to all of those individuals creeping around District 2, shouting at us that we need a change.  This group of people apparently are so hurt and jaded at our current leadership that just to see something new they would vote for an individual that may not have our best interest at heart.  They may vote for an individual who supports the Utility Tax, which the City imposed upon us so we can chip in to pay for ball fields at Quiet Waters and to help construct Tam O' Shanter a half Ball park half memorial also out West.

The funny thing is a few of these people that I have spoken to have indicated that when I first started doing this they were excited, but apprehensive because to them I was supporting someone who they wanted out of the seat.  Well, I have spoken on that many times and have given my reasons for supporting Sylvia Poitier over say someone like Ben Preston in the last election.

If you know me then you know that I never just take someones word as gospel.  It`s just not in me to do that. I want to see the proof and if you can`t provide the proof then I will go out and find it.  If I cannot substantiate your claims then I don`t believe them.  Unfortunately, many in my community just go by gossip and words  and they do not go out and find the facts.  Way to many times do our community fall victim to schemes and plots because we don`t look for proof or substantive information.  We are, after all, a religious group for the most part and that has been to our benefit and our detriment because the thing with religion is it trains you to not ask questions and to have "blind faith" that GOD will take care of your needs.  

With that said, I would like to remind everyone that Martin Luther King could not have made the difference that he made without the help of the churches.  Back in the day, the black community was filled with religious institutions our preachers preached from the pulpit and they also talked politics from the pulpit.  This kept the black community involved and informed on what was happening in their communities.  The Black church actually had power, political and spiritual, but unfortunately today many black churches have turned from religious institutions into a big business with many churches receiving grants and funds from there respective City's which basically ties the hands of the church and forces them to either stay out of the political arena from fear of biting the hand that feeds them or they just ignore the communities that they are supposed to serve.  Either way they have become as ineffective as the church bell calling people to service.  These new churches with their highly educated pastors and preachers who have stopped shepherding their flocks as they are to busy at the bank cashing their checks.  I know that this will offend many people, but the truth needs to be told.

In the last 6 months in Deerfield Beach's black community, which is filled with numerous churches on almost every street corner, it has been almost mission impossible trying to contact each church and then an even harder task is to get them to help with civic activism that doesn't outright benefit them personally or their church.  I have to go back and think about all the stories that I have read and heard about the Civil rights movement.  This movement was so effective because everyone was involved, especially the churches.  Back then the churches did more in the communities because they were lead by community leaders who were called to the Ministry for a higher purpose.  To many of today`s ministers are from the school of thought that I just need to put on a good show at the pulpit and preach hard and keep at least the people on the first 7 pews from going to sleep and I am doing the Lord`s work.  When I am finished I will go and cash my pay check and buy an Escalade and buy my wife some big obnoxious hats so she can outshine the other women in the church, she is the first lady after all.   With this new school of preachers, what is left out is the community.  The young people who need someone to look up to and someone to lead them to the Lord, will usually fall by the wayside because they don`t trust this new style preacher who is all about judgement and condemnation instead of acceptance, love, and community service.  These types of preachers are only interested in the community service that the government and Law Enforcement entities will give them grant money to provide and then only 20% of that goes towards actually helping the community and usually you will find that the only people who ever benefit are either church members or the family and friends of the prominent church members.  The majority of the community is left out and the preacher and his family get richer and richer while the majority of their congregation is getting poorer and poorer.  You have to look no further than right here in Deerfield Beach, where we have many examples of this type of new style church and church leaders.  How many times have you seen any of these churches actually working together, serving our GOD?  I think it may have happened once or twice, if at all.

How many of our Church leaders have expressed the need to it's congregations to vote in these last local elections, how many have expressed the need for their flocks to go to City Commission Meetings or Community meetings.  Now, these same leaders can get their flocks to do almost everything else, choir rehearsals, bibles studies, midnight masses, almost anything that our community will make time for, but they seem unwilling to utilize their considerable gifts to lead the people to do their civic duties.  Many people say they do this because of the doctrine "Separation of Church and State".  This is Man's doctrine and is not found in the Bible.  The bible actually tells us about taxes and civic duty:

Wherefore it is necessary to be in subjection, not only because of wrath, but also for conscience' sake.  For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing.  Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.  (Romans 13:5-7)

Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right.  For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men.  Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God.  Honor all men; love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king.  (1 Peter 2:1317)

The main human institution is that of Civic Duty, which demands that the people be involved in  politics and voting at every level.

These new shepherds have led their flocks astray and we have been willing sheep to follow.   They would have us stick our heads in the sand and not do our civic duty, thus holding us back and negating the good works of Martin Luther King and others, just so they may cash on our blind faith.  How many of our churches help those who are not members.  How many of our churches go out of their way to help in the community.

And He said to him, "'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.'  "This is the great and foremost commandment.  "The second is like it, 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.'

"On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets."  (Matthew 22:37-40)

How many of church leaders go above and beyond if they are not getting credit. 

"And whoever shall force you to go one mile, go with him two. (Matthew 5:41)

Now with that, I ask you how many of these churches celebrate their Pastors continuously throughout the year, given the pastor undeserved glory.  Far to often our churches want to be bigger better than this church or that church.  This should be self-evident by the fact that we have two ministerial alliances and yet neither has been really affective in the community at-large.  It  would seem, from the lack of care or assistance with the simple task of informing their respective congregations on the happenings in the City and getting as many people as possible involved,  that they are both working with the City to keep us ignorant.  If we don`t ask questions then we will never see behind the curtain at the people pulling the strings keeping us and our District back.  The only time they encourage their congregations to get involved is on events and issues that will negatively affect either the church or their paychecks and sometimes both.  Like last year when the City wanted to assess the churches and non-profits the Fire Assessment Fee, which would have cost many of these churches thousands upon thousands of dollars.  Now, more recently with the Utility Tax issue, how many churches actually advised their congregations of this issue from the City, that would have an adverse impact on our District most.  Many of them didn't even show up to the Commission meeting to discuss it, and the ones that were there, outside of Ford, didn't even talk up against the tax.  So, I have been boiling over this since June 7 and I know that many people will be highly upset with me, but I don`t care.  These things need to be mentioned.  Many in our community agree with me, but from fear of being ostracized from their groups will not publicly admit this information.  

So, I say to any out there that will condemn me for this post.  Prove me wrong, show me the proof that anything that I have said here is a "false statement".  I already know that there are some "Ministeries" that do not fall into these categories and that is wonderful.  However, almost every church in our City has fallen short in it's Glory as of late and that has contributed to the despair, lack of communal spirit, lack of Godliness in our homes.  I personally believe that this lack is because our churches have "no works", many within the church have "faith", but "faith with no works is dead".  The faith in many of our Churches is Dead and until these churches bring back the works they will continue to lead their flocks astray, I have been praying for an awakening or resurrection of the black church for years, since I was about 6 or 7, only recently have I seen proof beyond a shadow that the black churches need a resurrection of their faith and the only way to do that is to include works that benefit all of God's children accovding to his law and his commandments.

James 2:17 "Even so faith, if it hath not works. Faith that has no power to bring one to obedience and to sway the life is as worthless as good wishes which end in words.

Is dead, being alone. It cannot stand alone and be of any avail. Only when it shows its power in works is it of the slightest value.

People's New Testament

Once we get that back, the black churches can again be the effective catalyst for change that they were when Martin and others used them to help obtain Equal rights for all people here in the United States.

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