My last blog detailed the clear and present danger neo-liberal Black theology that threatens the church. I believe this theological rebellion is part of a socio/cultural/religious perfect storm that is working to create a spiritual vacuum in the African-American community.

This socio/cultural/religious perfect storm consisting of the aging of the traditional Black church, continued oppression and marginalization of the poor and powerless in the Black community and neo-Black liberalism will introduce a spiritual vacuum in the African-American community that may be filled by groups like the Nation of Islam. The Black church having abandoned the substantive, true and relevant theology found in Scripture will not be in the position nor have the inclination to combat the flood of young African-Americans into the arms of Islam.

Yet, like the saints of old we are neither without hope nor help. For our sovereign God and king remains on the throne, directing the affairs of His church and creation, and saving His people through the new birth by the Spirit and belief in His eternal, sinless Son Jesus Christ. He loves Blacks folks more than we could ever imagine and is even now at work in our lives and communities. Reformed believers however know that God exercises His sovereign will through His people. Even a casual glance at Scripture discloses this truth. Consequently, we can be confident of two things. One, God will effectively meet and deal with this challenge to His Person, word, worship, agenda, salvation and Son. Two, God will use His people as His instruments to accomplish His will.

In 'A Call To Action' I encouraged the African-American Reformed community to consider engaging our communities in biblical evangelism by planting small, biblically driven, neighborhood churches. These churches will feature the following characteristics: 1) Biblically driven theology 2) Biblically driven doxology 3) Biblically driven ecclesiology 4) Biblically driven sociology 5) Biblically driven missiology.
Our pursuit of God's glory and Christ's supremacy in the witness to our people rightly begins with our embracement and promotion of authentic, Biblical, Reformed theology. There are several reasons for this.

Firstly, we cannot have a gospel driven, God honoring, Christ focused witness if that witness is tainted with unbiblical, humanistic theology. We must agree with many of our other Reformed brothers who stress the importance of getting the gospel right as well as getting it out.

Secondly, true Biblical theology glorifies God because it puts His character, nature, ways and salvific actions centered in Jesus Christ at the center of our thinking about Him.

Thirdly, genuine Biblical theology serves as the necessary boundary for church practice. Without a Reformed, Biblically grounded theology we like much of the rest of the American church Black and white will proceed along the lines of sheer pragmatism.

Fourthly, it is right. And it's high time for some group of believers to do something that is right just because it is right. Dear ones how can we disciple our culture in doing the right things for the right reasons if we're willing to engage in our sacred calling solely on the basis of the practical bottom line? If numerical church growth continues to be the primary and only reasoning behind the kind of ministry we promote can we really rebuke the culture for choosing wealth, comfort and convenience over genuine discipleship?

Fifthly, Biblically driven theology facilitates our commission to make active followers of Jesus Christ from all peoples. Our mission isn't to fill buildings with pseudo-christian religious consumers, but to teach, model and train our people into becoming disciples of Jesus Christ. Jesus declared that disciples are made by teaching the Scriptures (i.e. imparting Biblical theology) to those who believe in Him through our witness of the gospel. The early church obeyed His command by devoting themselves to the apostles teaching. On a related note, Biblically driven theology leads to grace motivated holiness a concept that is sorely lacking in today's church.

Sixthly, Biblically driven theology leads to Biblically driven worship. Worship is our supreme privilege and sacred responsibility. It is a sacrilegious travesty that we've turned the worship of our Sovereign creator and redeemer into a circus that puts the charisma of men on display. Brothers and sisters I do not believe that broad evangelicalism can adequately address the excessive deviation of the church's present 'worship'. I am convinced that we must promote a God-focused, Christ-centered Reformed theology in order to re-capture and reinstitute God-focused, Christ-centered worship.

Those are some of the reasons we must proceed to engage our communities with churches that feature strong, Reformed, Biblically driven theology. I'm sure you can add your own and I welcome your input. Lord willing I'll explain the major aspects of that theology in the next article.

Pastor Lance Lewis