Battleship
A clear and present danger threatens of the viability of an authentic biblical witness within the African-American community. Battle Stations Part 1 highlighted how word of faith theology is replacing authentic biblical theology in our community with potentially disastrous consequences. My first article in this series entitled, 'A Call To Action'. dealt with how in the near future the dominant religion in the Black community may take the form of various shades of Islam. Thus, your typical city with a majority or near majority African-American population that is now home to hundreds of small (and dying) neighborhood churches will feature hundreds of small (and possibly thriving) mosques. Each city will have three to five mega-churches on the edges or near suburbs of those cities.

What I did not mention is that these churches will not be Christian in the historic sense of the word. They will employ and promote a new kind of Black liberal theology. Like all past liberal theologies the neo-Black liberalism is people centered. Its focus is on how it helps and equips Black people to realize our potential and enjoy our best life now. This is in contrast to true Biblical theology which places God and His glory at its center and focuses on how His people respond to His Person and saving activity through Christ in our worship of Him, walk before Him and witness of Him within the social historical context He’s placed us in.

Like past liberal theologies the neo-Black liberalism legitimizes the subjective experience of man as the rule, guide and authority in interpreting Scripture. Thus, in the not too distant future (if not already) historic evangelical doctrines such as the inspiration of Scripture, deity of Christ, the resurrection and the very nature of salvation will be openly questioned and redefined to suit the temporal needs and material lusts of the new, Black liberal believer.

Like past liberal theologies the neo-Black liberalism views the sole value of theology, Scripture and God Himself in its usefulness. The test is ‘does this work, not is this true. With the core value of pragmatism firmly in place the door has been thrown open to any notion or idea that facilitates my private happiness, wealth, comfort and convenience.

Sadly, unlike past liberal theologies the neo-Black liberalism has already caught on and is quickly becoming the dominant expression of Christianity in the Black community. Consequently, we may experience a situation in which the development, promotion and embracing of neo-Black liberalism will actually open the door for Islam to remove the neighborhood church from its historic position in the African-American community. Say what! Think through these things for a moment or two. As neo-Black liberalism becomes more and more prominent the exodus of Black folks from traditional neighborhood churches will place those churches in a precarious position. Simply put either change or die. Brother X has already written of the phenomena of mega-personalities flying to New York to hold meetings there in his blog, ‘Frequent-flier Megachurch Pastors in NY’. We are rapidly approaching the time when the majority of Black folks will ‘worship’ in a mega-church setting, led by a personality who has made up his own brand of religion and labeled it Christianity. This is occurring at the same time that many neighborhood churches are in the process of seeing their long time core members go home to be with their Lord. Brothers and sisters a socio/cultural/religious perfect storm has struck the black church. Lord willing over the next few weeks I hope to share my thoughts on how to engage this storm and of course welcome your input.

Lance Lewis