return to religion-onlineBlack Churches
The black church needs a practical theology that can help liberate it from social, political, and economic oppression.
There is a need for a new ecumenism among black Christians as a task more pressing than that of an ecumenical rapprochement between black and white churches. The future of the black-white ecumenical movement must be based upon the commitment of the white church to Christ and liberation.
Black preachers are socially bilingual. Their ability to communicate across racial lines and the cultural expectation that they do so has given them social and political clout disproportionate to their numbers.
Black churches are called to actualize their potential as agents of social change without abandoning their traditional role as communities of faith. The most significant development in recent years has been an increasing awareness among blacks not affiliated with the churches that religious institutions are as critical to the survival of Afro-Americans in the present as they have been in the past.
White students seem deeply interested in the study and practice of religion, but religion apparently holds little or no appeal for black students. Black religion is a survival tool that can be (and is) discarded when the individual no longer feels in need of the emotional reinforcement it can provide.
The narrowness of the black conservatives’ viewpoint reflects the narrowness of the liberal perspective with which they are obsessed. With more rational debates among conservative, liberal and leftist voices, the truth about the black poor can be more easily ascertained.