It’s common to refer to “the Black church,” as though the institution stands as a monolith. We hear about “the Black church” and its critical role in African Americans surviving slavery, Reconstruction’s deconstruction, Jim Crow, and the Civil Rights struggle. But increasingly we’re hearing people tell us (correctly) that “the Black church” is not one thing. For proof, try to define it. Are we talking only about the seven largest historical Black denominations? Do we include predominantly African-American congregations in predominantly white denominations (like the PCA or SBC)? Do we include individual African Americans who belong to white churches in white denominations? The answer is, “It depends.”

While the old orthodoxy presents “the Black church” as one entity living, breathing, and acting in the lives of its members, recent events increasingly reveal that the divide and definition of “the Black church” has little to do with denominations. It has to do with theology: Bible-believing and Bible-rejecting. And the division of the church raises its head, of all places, on today’s so-called Civil Rights issues, especially homosexuality.

Case in point: A dozen or so African-American pastors held a press conference in Washington, D.C. to call for support for Maryland’s gay marriage bill. Among them were clergymen like Al Sharpton, Delmond Coates, Otis Moss III, Freddie D. Haynes, and Amos C. Brown. A few days earlier, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr. declared that he would happily perform a “marriage” or civil union between a homosexual couple, even comparing the fight for gay marriage to the fight to end slavery.

I believe these men are sincere. And I believe they’re acting according to the dictates of their own conscience. And that’s the problem: the conscience can be wrong. It needs to be shaped, and shaped specifically by the word of God. The efforts to pooh-pooh “theology” and “denominational positions” as inadmissible and misguided only shows that these particular men are the misguided ones. For how can a pastor–of all people–declare that the truth about God and His word doesn’t belong in their perspectives on these issues?

During the modernist-fundamentalist controversy, white denominations and congregations had to come to the hard conclusion that liberalism and Christianity were two different religions. African-Americans, battling on different fronts for basic civil rights, were largely spared that conflict. But we ought not think that the same dynamics were not present in “the Black church.” The divisions and tensions between a liberal and a Bible-believing faith could not be revealed so long as there were more pressing problems of basic existence. But now that the gains of the Civil Rights struggle have largely been amassed and codified, we’re beginning to see the rifts and fault lines emerge. I don’t think this is going to be pretty.

For example, many pastors are having voter registration drives and working to fight voter suppression.  But the Washington Post reported that many other African-American pastors are encouraging their members to avoid the polls come election day. They reason that not voting would be a better option than to vote for either presidential candidate, a conservative Romney who appears indifferent to the class and justice concerns traditionally associated with African American politics and a President Obama whose stance on gay marriage and abortion are starting to chip away at support among some evangelical African Americans. I don’t think abandoning the vote is the correct response, but I understand the sense of frustration some feel. Neither man represents the African-American religious community’s typical historical combination of strong concerns for personal morality with strong social justice causes. Romney offends by writing off “the 47%” he thinks are looking for a government payday. An insult to half the country. Obama offends with his endorsement of sexual immorality as a social justice issue akin to the long fight for Black freedom. A comparison many African Americans, myself included, find confused and insulting. Voting for Obama may cost millions of lives, many of them Black, in the genocide of abortion as well as advance sexual immorality in a cultural context where a biblical definition of marriage remains under constant assault. Voting for Romney not only feels like a betrayal to many African Americans but also guarantees four years of political marginalization and indifference towards the needs of African-American communities. Rock and hard place.

Back to “the Black church.” This year’s presidential vote might expose the church’s over-reliance on politics and undermine long-standing patterns of support. Ironically, it just may be the candidacy of an incumbent African-American president that forces the church to consider whether “Black” or “church” matters most in the phrase “the Black church.” Without question there will be two sides.  And with equal certainty we’ll find those two sides represent two different religious faiths, two Black churches, two approaches to the Bible, two visions of discipleship and community. Those two churches have been there for as long as African Americans have had access to the country’s theologically liberal divinity schools, seminaries, and departments of religion–a development forced by the fact that most conservative schools barred African-American enrollment. Nevertheless, I think we’ll find that those “churches” are largely divided not between the aisles but between pulpit and pew. The average African-American Christian intends to believe the Bible and live by it. They’re theologically evangelical though not political evangelicals. Many don’t know their pastors, trained at liberal schools, are theological liberals. That’s one of the great hidden sins of the church and it won’t be long before it’s exposed very widely. In fact, press conferences like that held last week are but a visible revelation of the great division.

In the final analysis, these leaders betray both the faith and the history of “the Black church.” They betray the faith because the Bible, which Black Christians cherish and take seriously, is unequivocal in defending the importance of all human life and in establishing sexual morality and justice in God’s sight. They betray the history of the Black church by redefining “justice” to include behavioral practices and sins that are in no way comparable unchangeable categories like skin color and “race.” This, they tell us, is a matter of freedom. These men prove that, as Chesterton put it, “Almost every contemporary proposal to bring freedom into the church is simply a proposal to bring tyranny into the world.” It’s the tyranny of darkness being called light, of sin being called righteousness, of righteousness being called sin.  The Bible pronounces a “Woe!” when this is the case.

The sad display of these leaders notwithstanding, I’m encouraged by the signs I see and the rumblings I hear of African-American Christians struggling with the difficult balance of faith, politics, and identity. We’re not post-Black yet. Nor are we post-political pragmatism. And we sure don’t want to be post-Christian. These developments will be for some individuals and some congregations the sword that Jesus brings to divide us from earthly loyalties and cause us to cleave faithfully unto Him.

Even so, Lord, bring the sword. In whatever divisions ensue, Lord show which ones have your approval. Make righteousness to shine like the noonday sun. Cause your word to accomplish your purpose. And come; bring your kingdom in its full. Revive your church once more so that your glory rests upon your people. You have a people who have not bowed their knees to the Baals of society and politics; remember them and sustain them, dear Lord. For your glory’s sake, amen.

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42 thoughts on “Two Black Churches: One True, One Not”

  1. OFelixCulpa says:

    Thabiti,

    Thank you for the extremely insightful analysis. The division between pulpit and pew that you predict would demonstrate a very sad failure of the church would it not?—lay people should not be so unaware of what orthodox Christianity is about that they do not notice the presence of a different religion being proclaimed from their pulpits.

    I love the citation of Chesterton. Can you tell me where to find it?

    1. Thabiti Anyabwile says:

      Hey OFelixCulpa,

      The pulpit-pew thing is a very dangerous cycle. Most don’t know because (a) the theologically liberal preacher isn’t explicitly attacking cardinal truths from the pulpit (some do in their writings); instead they’re just not teaching those truths in favor of political themes that resonate in many instances; and (b) the premium is placed on preaching ability, sermonic style and power, over sermon content. “B” is the fault of the congregation. But if they’ve been getting a steady diet of “A” unawares, then we at least understand it even if we don’t excuse it.

      The Chesterton quote is from Orthodoxy, the chapter called “The Romance of Orthodoxy.” I don’t have the book with me just now; I’ll drop you a specific reference from home this evening.

      Grace to you,
      T-

    2. Thabiti says:

      The Chesterton quote is found in Orthodoxy (Ignatius), p. 132.

  2. Hans vanHaven says:

    Whoah and Phew!!! Thank you for this.

  3. Fred says:

    Romney offends by writing off “the 47%” he thinks are looking for a government payday. An insult to half the country.

    That’s grossly overstated. He didn’t “write off” half the country with that remark. His main point is that our current level of government aid programs is financially unsustainable and it is irresponsible to continue to push people toward more dependency upon them. A lot of the people who support Obama sadly fall into that 47 percent category, and that is not a good thing.

    1. Thabiti Anyabwile says:

      Hi Fred,

      Thanks for your comment. My point isn’t to attack/defend either Romney or Obama, just to point out that neither seems to really understand the average African American Christian. Whatever was meant by Romney’s comment or Obama’s support for gay marriage, both appear to me to be out of step with at least some Black Christians who are finding it difficult to be very enthusiastic about the election. I’ll leave it to others to explain the comments of their preferred candidates.

      T-

      1. Akash says:

        Ok I live in New Zealand that implemented such leftist policy decades ago.The United Nations ranks us amongst the highest in terms if establishing a welfare state.

        We have reached the point where high school students say they will live of the government in their future!!!!!!!!!

        In each school only about 5% throughout the country work hard.

        Girls get pregnant in their teens in high school as the government gives them free housing.Minorities like Maori which in terms of position in society are like African Americans,just keep sinking lower and lower as the government rewards them for their lazy attitude.

        Last year we won the prestigious award of being the laziest country in the world.

        All Kiwis are not like that,older generation tends like working hard, but in my generation working for survival is popular to the minority.

        Granted the government needs to take care of the disadvantaged, but not to the point where laziness is encouraged and 70% of welfare recipients spend the majority of their benefit on drugs!!!
        All at the cost of encouraging hard work.

        In New Zealand the maori have been continually voting for such welfare policies and inspite of all the affirmative aciton they have become worse off

        African Americans should learn from this and see that it has not worked and decide who they should vote for!!!

        Gay marriage should not be the defining issue and neither should it be about the rich for African Americans but Hard work,which many African Americans love (from what I have seen and my relatives who are in fact African American).

        Fostering laziness is not a way to encourage people to live a better life.

  4. Kedric says:

    I was in a CPR class of about 15 people recently. There were three or four African-Americans there. A thought occurred to me, “It’s very likely that those who I would call my Christian brothers and sisters are these folks.” I could not tell without speaking with everyone, but statistically, I don’t believe I’d be off.

    1. Thabiti Anyabwile says:

      Hey Kedric,
      I think your guess would probably be close to target.
      T-

  5. Samuel says:

    This is an extremely difficult election for me as an African-American who loves Jesus and what God has accomplished in Him. Frankly, I am not enthused with any of the candidates completely. On several issues, the Republican nominee is not as conservative as people think. If we’re honest, there is a growing divide among conservatives fiscally and socially that makes things very interesting. If it were not for the abortion and same sex marriage issues, voting in this election would be an absolute no brainer for me. On abortion, BOTH candidates agree acceptance in the case of rape and health of the mother (last time I checked), but please correct me if I’m wrong here.

    Here’s a curve ball: if a candidate in the political party you are a part of endorsed a position theologically that has been historically denounced as heresy, would you still vote for him? Any way…

    Many African-Americans will vote for the Democratic nominee without considering theologically the implications. At the same time, others will vote for the Republican nominee because of one issue. I am a firm believer that “pro-life” is more robust than abortion, from a theological perspective although I include it under that banner. This is why I agree with Thabiti that many feel like they are between a rock and a hard place. I’m in that number.

  6. mel says:

    I’m a white Christian and do not feel that I can vote for either candidate. Romney is conservative only in the area of money and the rest of it is a lie told for the purpose of getting elected. The fact Mormonism will get a huge boost of credibility stops me dead in my tracks when it comes to voting for him. That is a blow to the gospel that I will not participate in no matter how scary Obama’s policies are to me.

    1. Shane says:

      However supporting Obama would also re-inforse his false representation of the Gospel of Christ and Christians and equal rights… therefore many years down the line homosexual equality may be synonymous with christianity and the “unconditional love of God” to make us all equal. Very difficult n dangerous also.

  7. Roy says:

    “Voting for Romney not only feels like a betrayal to many African Americans but also guarantees four years of political marginalization and indifference towards the needs of African-American communities.”

    Is this based mostly on his “47%” comment or a perception of his general position?

    The way it was expressed, it sounds like it’s an inevitable outcome if Senator Romney is elected. Is that what African-American communities really believe? If so I, as a Caucasian am completely out of touch with my African-American brothers.

    1. Akash says:

      Same thing happened in New Zealand, Maori though that voting for the party that like “Hard work” would mean they would not be represented.

      So they voted for the party that promised more handouts and affirmative action policies, much to their disadvantage long term of course .

      I pray and hope African Americans do not fall in the same trap

    2. Thabiti Anyabwile says:

      Hi Roy,

      I’m just trying to capture a sentiment I’ve seen and heard expressed re: the Romney campaign. It’s not a sentiment without historical support, or support from the fact that very little effort has been put into wooing AA voters by the campaign. I’m not saying that the marginalization is a foregone conclusion, but it sure appears that way historically. And, I should make it clear: I’m not saying all AAs feel that way. It’s a community as diverse as any other.

      T-

    3. Dwight Osborne says:

      just to correct you, Governor Romney, not Senator Romney

  8. C. Lewis says:

    Finally, I am reading a viewpoint I can agree with as an African American women. This will be a hard election to participate in. I pray that God would do a mighty work to his glory. I am frustrated with both parties yet because so many people died so that I can vote, I must. I think I will just ask the Lord for forgiveness as I make my choice.

    Not a fan
    C.L.

  9. This article touches on the problems with the phrase “the black church” and for that I’m thankful. But what’s problematic to me is the way in which we differentiate the church and it’s voting preferences by color more than biblical revelation. Let’s suppose my mother is black and my father is white, how then should I vote? Or perhaps my mother is Latino/black and my father is French/Asian. How should I vote then? Or if I’m a pastor of a multiracial church, how should I guide the congregation in making a wise vote? The fact is, when we think of voting along the lines of skin color it indicates that our identity is anchored more tightly to “race” than to “Christian.” It means we are looking out for ourselves and “people like us.” But “people like us” is more rooted in our unity to Christ than anything else. One people, one banner, one Christ.

    1. Edit: In the last couple sentences, I don’t mean to imply that we should vote for a president who will best serve the Christian church. Just trying to point out that many political platorms are created to appeal to skin color, but we shouldn’t be lured into that type of segmented thinking. We should think about God’s designs for all of humanity and how government legislation and policy affects all people.

      1. Thabiti Anyabwile says:

        Hi Scott,

        I agree with most everything you’ve said here. “Race” and racial politics gets in the way of following the Lord Jesus as faithfully as we might. Moreover, many people have the very dangerous habit of assuming Jesus belongs to their political party so that “race” and political ideology gets blended with what we consider “biblical.” Lots to unravel before we can live truly faithful lives before the Lord.

        T-

        1. Thanks for always speaking truthfully and boldly. I’m hoping to pick up Finding Faithful Elders and Deacons at some point.

  10. Akash says:

    Agreed!!!!,christians should not vote on race but based on the bible

  11. John says:

    Thabiti,

    Are you going to man up and tell us who you’re voting for?

    Appreciate your ministry brother.

    1. Akash says:

      Agreed he is a leader of the African American community, so he probably should decide/give advise to people

      But I do not think it has anything to do with manning up!!

      maybe he is taking time so as to make a wise decision

      1. Thabiti Anyabwile says:

        Hi John and Akash,

        Either of you interested to run? I might vote for you ;-)

        John, I love that you would question my manhood because you can’t intuit who I would vote for ;-). Takes moxy! :-)

        T-

        1. John says:

          Thabiti,

          Touche brother. :)

          I figured you would vote for Obama in the hopes that you could play basketball with him on that fancy whitehouse court he’s got on the front lawn.

          1. Thabiti Anyabwile says:

            Man, I hadn’t thought of that. That’s the first compelling reason I’ve heard for voting for either candidate! If only that were his campaign platform! ;-)
            T-

  12. Greg says:

    Very insightful. When you consider that 72% of black children are now born to single mothers and yet one party has decided to openly support gay marriage while also deciding to no longer enforce DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act). Couple this with its support of abortion (the author referred to it as genocide of blacks AND whites) that it firmly endorses and its opposition to school choice for poor families, the choice is very clear for this black Christian.

    1. Wayne Wilson says:

      Agreed. And I would add that Romney may not be sensitive to the specific needs of the black community, but if his policies move us in the direction of liberty instead of dependency, it will be good for everyone…not just economically, but in terms of human dignity. “The bigger the government, the smaller the citizen” is true no matter what color you are.

  13. g harris says:

    1. Why are “Christians” using the term Black Church, are we not part of the one body of Christ? It is the one truth of Christ that unite all the members by his spirit into the one body of Christ, or are Blacks the arm or the leg etc. of that one body?
    2. God sovereingly controls all history, it is HIS story, and the unfair evil practices of any people or society against another group was also controlled by the creator and maker of all things…for His purpose and good pleasure. Nothing is done outside of the purposes of God, and are we as Christians suppose to seek justice and point the finger at the perpetrators or give thanks in all things because its working for our good.
    When Christ suffered the greatest evil at the hands of men, he never said a word and those evil men will be justly rewarded for there evil deeds, eternally. He prayed…not my will but thy will heavenly father.
    Shall we receive good at the hand of God and shall we not receive evil as Job said? Or Amos,shall ther be evil in a city and the LORD hath not done it? Who do we blame or march against (which christians have no business participating in)for our daily trials and struggles, are they not from the hand of our heavenly father?

    God is the one that confused the languages and caused division of the nations to accomplish his purposes, it wasn’t time for man to unite in one common goal and rule the world as god, anti-christ/ the man of sin is yet to be revealed and rule as such. But God is busy uniting a people of all races, tongues and from all nations into the one body of Christ, and that unity is only realized in Christ who is the goal of all things. That is not of this world but for the world to come.

    Have we not learned yet?

    Christ is ruling and reining at the right hand of the father, gathering his people… nothing or no one can stop it. Vote your conscience/ according to scripture, pray for whomever is in office that God will use that man to accomplish His will for His Church in the world…for Christ sake.

    1. Dwight Osborne says:

      You make a valid point. However, today there are actually two churches in existence, the one true church of Jesus Christ and the apostate, Laodicean church. You have to examine beliefs, doctrines and practices according to Biblical standards to know which church you are in. If you’re in a pro-Israel, pro-life church, you can almost bet you’re in the true church. However, if the church promotes or accepts same-sex marriage, anti-Israel or pro-Palestinian, then you’re almost certainly in the apostate church. Many people profess to be Christian, but the Bible calls many of them apostate and says in the end they will fall away.

  14. Christy says:

    I was JUST moaning to my best friend tonight about the political choices ahead of us and this spelled out my frustrations and concerns in many ways.

    Ministers being faithful to God’s Word is a prayer we all need to be praying for our misled country.

  15. Hope says:

    Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson etc, do not speak for the whole black community and therefore, they do not speak for me!

  16. Otis Granville says:

    Jesus warn us about Religious Leader & Politicians

    Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples, saying: The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses seat. Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do. For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on mens shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments. They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues, greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, Rabbi, Rabbi. But you, do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ. But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted. (Matthew 23:1-12 NKJV)

    But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you shut up the kingdom of heaven against men; for you neither go in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves. Woe to you, blind guides, who say, Whoever swears by the temple, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obliged to perform it. Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that sanctifies the gold? And, Whoever swears by the altar, it is nothing; but whoever swears by the gift that is on it, he is obliged to perform it. Fools and blind! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that sanctifies the gift? Therefore he who swears by the altar, swears by it and by all things on it. He who swears by the temple, swears by it and by Him who dwells in it. And he who swears by heaven, swears by the throne of God and by Him who sits on it. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone. Blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel! Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead mens bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness. Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! Because you build the tombs of the prophets and adorn the monuments of the righteous, and say, If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets. Therefore you are witnesses against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers guilt. Serpents, brood of vipers! How can you escape the condemnation of hell? Therefore, indeed, I send you prophets, wise men, and scribes: some of them you will kill and crucify, and some of them you will scourge in your synagogues and persecute from city to city, that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah, son of Berechiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Assuredly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation. (Matthew 23:13-36 NKJV)

    1. Michael Swart says:

      Jesus warn us about Religious Leader & Politicians???

      Otis, Jesus was speaking about and to the scribes and Pharisees in Israel two thousand years ago, leaders who believed in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They had the Torah as their law and had the writings of the prophets as a large part of their scriptures.

      To make our political leaders somehow equivalent to these leaders and apply Jesus’ words to them is a misuse of Jesus’ teachings. I cannot see how these particular words and their message have anything to say about democracy and elections in the 21st century. There are however various other passages and texts that should guide the Christian as he or she thinks about responsible voting and warns against reliance upon leaders and political systems.

  17. David says:

    Amen! And thank you, Pastor Thabiti.

    As a white person, I cannot, in honesty, relate to the experience of the vast majority of black Americans–not from personal experience. I don’t pretend to do so. But I do try to think about these things and look at other people’s perspectives and have genuine empathy. That’s a little about me.

    I had not given much consideration to the fact that many black pastors are liberal in their theology because, for so long, African-Americans were not granted access to conservative institutions. It’s sad and shameful, really, and now has negatively impacted all of us. I want my African-American brothers and sisters in Christ to know that I am with you. We are one in the body of Christ. I mean that. And I feel the pain and frustration expressed in this article and I share this.

    I, too, have thought long and hard about these things and am not happy with our options. I don’t like the idea of voting for the lesser of two evils. I don’t stand with our current president in his stance on abortion, which I see not only as immoral, but unjust. (I also believe that, unwittingly, African-Americans are the primary target of abortion practices, although it is being touted as an act of compassion.) Neither do I stand with him in advocating same-sex marriage, which I see unquestionably as sin according to the Bible, but also as bad public policy, detrimental to the flourishing of this country. He arguably shows very socialist leanings, as well, which I do not think is the appropriate solution to our problems. On the other hand, as the article has mentioned, Romney does seem indifferent to class and justice concerns. He continues to alienate potential supporters, I think, too, because of some of his remarks.

    What to do? We need to be praying fervently, earnestly for this country and for God’s guidance regarding the choices we make in this election. We also need to be mindful that the election is not the end. Regardless, of who is in office this next term, we need to press these individuals in both the White House and Congress to do what is right. They work for us.

    I know that our calling is spiritual, not political, in nature, but we have a responsibility to be involved in those things which affect the well-being of the people of the land, all of them. Or we suffer losing our freedoms, freedoms that those before us fought hard to gain and maintain on our behalf–black, white, and every other color that makes up this nation. Followers of Christ, we have to stick together. And we need to be spreading the gospel to our neighbors and praying for revival if we are to expect any real change in our country. We can’t put our heads in the sand and expect things to get better. Jesus and those he appointed as apostles admonished us to have faith, pray/commune with God, spread the Gospel and act accordingly, as redeemed people. Sincerely.

  18. Wyeth Duncan says:

    Wow! Thabiti, I could not agree more. It’s taken me a few days to finally see this post, but I’m glad I did finally see it.

    You describe well exactly what I saw and experienced as an ordained minister in the A.M.E. Church. And I saw how educated, theologically-liberal pastors were able to deftly conceal their liberalism/unbelief from unsuspecting congregants by using all the right words, coming very close to affirming doctrinal truths without actually affirming them. Wolves in sheep’s clothing, leading the flock astray.

    And I have been very frustrated this election season, left with a choice between the Republican candidate–a Mormon, who seems like he couldn’t care less about the underprivileged and underserved, on one hand; and the Democrat candidate–a liberal Protestant, who gladly affirms and celebrates abortion “rights”, radical feminism, homosexuality, and the redefinition of marriage. Both political parties seem to be going out of their way to get me to NOT vote for them! I, too, have seriously contemplated sitting out this Presidential election (but I won’t).

    But, most of all, I am sadly disappointed in Christians who have made idols out of a black President and a Democrat party, on one hand, and the United States and a Republican party, on the other. Where are the Christians, on either side, who are willing to call both parties to account?

  19. Michael Stanley says:

    There is a word from the Lord; 2 Timothy 4:1-5.

    I do not judge anyone’s Christianity, however I believe that a tree is known by the fruit it bears, not the bark it wears. A Christian leader is supposed to uphold his Christianity. NOT reduce it by saying that everyone has a perspective.

    If Stephen had taken these minister’s approach, the CHURCH would not have turned on him. I focus on the abominable endorsement, because the President said that his Christianity upheld his beliefs and actions.

    Nevertheless, my path and position are decided by the power of prayer and the depth of God’s mercy… Not by presidential power or church politics. I will cry out as led by the holy spirit; when I believe that something is wrong. I will pray for whoever wins the coming election, as I have prayed for every president.

    Where in Onward Christian Soldiers, or I am on the Battle field, does it lead Christians to believe that they are always to avoid confrontation?

    Stephen cries out from his grave and his glory, for the church to boldly stand up.

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Thabiti Anyabwile


Thabiti Anyabwile is assistant pastor for church planting at Capitol Hill Baptist Church in Washington, DC and a Council member with The Gospel Coalition. You can follow him on Twitter.

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