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By Khalil Hakim, senior writer, community activist and author
“People don’t leave Christianity because they stop believing in the teachings of Jesus. People leave Christianity because they believe in the teachings of Jesus so much, they can’t stomach being part of an institution that claims to be about that and clearly isn’t.”
2020 has been an amazing year! Now before you roll-your-eyes and stop reading this thought-provoking opinion piece, lets put this year in its proper perspective:
2020, in the world of optometry, is considered perfect vision — no need for glasses, contacts or Lasik surgery. You can see everything clearly. After all, clear vision is not a bad thing when you consider that in 2020 you know who your racist neighbors, co-workers, Facebook friends, and so-called White friends are. 45 has empowered them all to be their openly racist selves.
Therefore, with the combination of openly racist White folks and the Black Lives Matter movement, the news cycle has been inundated with race. And no matter how you feel about the Black Live Matter organization, the term “Black Lives Matter” is now a staple of American culture.
The 2020 perfect vision has also revealed to many the Black Church is a day late and a dollar short. Let me explain. The Black church has always embraced all types of new theological, ideological changes. Some meet with opposition, some not.
For example, regardless of how the old guard felt, praise and worship are now accepted as the norm in the Black Church; but when first introduced, it was met with strong opposition by traditionalists who couldn’t bear a Sunday without sweet ole “Amazing Grace”.
Popular theological movements like the Word of Faith and Prosperity Gospel spread quickly throughout the Black Church and met little or no opposition. Megachurches began to pop up like a whack a mole. Pastors, Bishops, Apostles were in open competition for members as they seemingly greeted one other with a “How many ya runnin’, Doc?” mentality. Black folks were proselytized to join the next megachurch like a pimp trying to recruit a woman at the Greyhound bus station.
Hence, the ability of the Black church to embrace change has never really been an issue, except when it comes to Black Lives Matter.
Unfortunately, “just pray about it” has been the suggested remedy for systemic racism and the cure of white supremacy when push came to shove.I believe in the power of prayer. But if I need a job, I’m going to pray, and then go and fill out the application. A job is not going to knock on my door!
For years the Black church has anointed, laid-hands-on, prophesied and ordained countless individuals. And while all of this was happening in real-time, not much was done or said about tearing down systemic racism nor white supremacy.
The very things that would adversely affect the individuals that they just laid-hands-on — after the oil had dried up, the prophesy had gone forth and the ink had dried on the ordination-certificate, 2020 and Black people are still gettin’ executed by the police and the negative issues within our community are still impacting us.
So now here comes the Black Church saying, “what can we do to help”? Well, the folks who used to sing in the junior choir and attended Sunday school are now the foot soldiers in the Black Lives Matter movement. These young Black folks are the antipathy of systemic racism and white supremacy. The Black Church’s offered-help is met with a side-eye and a cup full of apathy to go alongside it. The credibility of the Black Church in the trenches of opposition is completely and utterly gone because they have shown up a day late and a dollar short!
But hey, look on the bright sight: The Word Network is still on cable tv, y’all.
Khalil Hakim is a community activist and author of the critically acclaimed novel Fade To Black.He is a spoken word poet that blends poetry and Social Justice into a real and relevant powerful Spoken Word.He is also the host/producer of the podcast INSIGHT2INCITE which will resume broadcasting in the fall of 2020 and will be available on all Podcast platforms.He is a USAF veteran and former Pastor of Shekinah Glory Praise an Worship Tabernacle. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Telecommunications and studied Theology at Phillips Theological Seminary.He is a member of the of WolfPac, The Poor Peoples Campaign and Real Justice.He is the founder of 4k Publishing,a contributor for the Black Wall Street Times and the CEO an founder of the soon to be published online newspaper The Melanin News Network. Of all of his accomplishments, he takes the most pride in being the father of three beautiful girls and grandfather to handsome two boys