From Tue Dec 25 23:00:05 2001
From: Paul Scott <>
Subject: [BRC-NEWS] What the Black Church Must Do in 2002
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Date: Tue, 25 Dec 2001 21:55:24 -0500 (EST)

What the Black Church Must Do in 2002

By Minister Paul Scott <>, 25 December 2001

The condition of the Black church in the 21st century can be best summed up in the words of a friend of mine who recently left the church: Brother, it isn’t the religion that turns people off, it’s the representatives. Or to borrow from the Hip Hoppers, y’all ain’t representin’; y’all ain’t keepin’ it real.

As we enter into 2002, the Black church is at a crucial point in its history, whether it will be that pillar of strength which it was at its apex or if it will remain the Sunday morning social club that many have become since the Civil Rights Era. There are several things that the church must do this year in order to seek that which was lost and not lose even more in the process.

First, the church must become more user friendly. Too many times, instead of spreading the Gospel we are more interested in promoting the idea that the spirit of God only dwells in my church. So we limit our whole religious experience to a two-hour period in a building on Sunday morning instead of manifesting it in our daily ways and actions. Our spirituality becomes a ritual instead of a way of life, which is totally against the teachings of Yeshua (misnamed Jesus). No man has the right to copyright a religion; it must be open to all who seek TRUTH.

While many have rightly seen the mission of the church in the 21st century to reach the young Hip Hop generation, that does not mean that every Sunday morning service should become Hip Hop Central. I always tell folks if I want to hear DMX, I will buy a DMX CD. Many people who get saved feel that they are above secular music so they compensate their urge to still get down by playing gospel rap. However, just because someone gives a shout out to Jesus does not make the song spiritually edifying. And when some get too holy to watch sitcoms they trade them in for so-called gospel plays like the gospel musical that is sweepin’ the nation, Mama, when will I find somebody to treat me right? As the scriptures teach we are too quick to go after things that do not profit or raise our level of consciousness in the name of religion.

Next, the pastors must feed the sheep with KNOWLEDGE instead of playing the classic I know somethin’ you don’t know game. With all the Biblical knowledge that some pastors possess, what they give the people rarely surpasses Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so or stories from that Big Blue Children’s Bible story book with all those pictures of white folks in it that many of us had to read in Sunday school.

The subject matter must change. How many more sermons must we sit through with a pastor telling the poor people who sit in the back that they should suffa’ on earth (not for speaking TRUTH to power as Yeshua did, but just for the sake of sufferin’), while the big money folks who sit up front drive to church in Cadillacs, every Sunday.

Most importantly, what is needed in the church is an Afrikan Reformation Movement. There have been reformation movements initiated by Europeans, but since we have considered Christianity a gift from the white man and did not claim any kinship to the people of the Bible, we did not feel that we had the spiritual authority to change a thing. So we have accepted the religion as is. What is referred to as Christianity in its essence has just as much claim to Africa as any other religion practiced by Black folks when it is properly understood.

We as a people have been too quick to give away everything that the European claims is theirs; religion, land, culture, etc. This is especially exemplified in popular music such as Rock and Roll, Jazz, and Hip Hop. A hundred years from now I would not be surprised if the history books record that Vanilla Ice discovered Hip Hop, Kenny G discovered Jazz and Michael Jackson was a white man who revolutionized music videos. We must keep what is ours very close to our hearts and put it in the memory of our children.

One need not denounce the church to embrace Afrocentricity nor does one have to denounce Afrocentricity to go to church. We need a reformation movement that is not concerned with where one sits on Sunday morning, but with the renewing of the mind. The call for an Afrikan Reformation Movement in the Black church must come from those inside of the church and not those on the outside looking in. Unfortunately, most of the criticism of the Church (both constructive and otherwise) comes from those who wouldn’t set foot in a church even if Marcus Garvey was preachin’ and the Black Panther Party served as ushers.

Church folks must take the chip off their shoulders when someone asks honest questions regarding Christianity. Every question is not a diss and should require a deeper response then there y’all go again, messin’ with my Jesus.

If church folks want to stop being referred to as those who follow that white man’s religion, they must stop following the white man’s religion (The Eurocentric version of Christianity). The stereotype in some Afrocentric circles that those Black folks that go to church do so ’cause they just don’t know any better must be broken. This will happen when the church begins to see the Messiah as more than a picture on a wall but embraces the message of LIBERATION found in the scriptures.

Even though the Black church has been historically resistant to change (look how long it took choirs to even decorate their robes with kente clothe, once in a while), I believe that if a enough church folks want change, change will happen. As Sam Cooke beautifully sang years ago, its been a long time comin’, but I know a change gonna come.