I’ve criticized the Black Church in America for years. I’ve witnessed first-hand the antics and hoopla that goes on in them. To describe today’s Black churches as a collection of dog-and-pony show circuses with lots of vacuous emotionalism would be an understatement.
I’ve talked to many Black Christians who have no clue about the central themes of the Bible, no understanding of the Gospel and its demands, no comprehension of such vital New Testament doctrines as justification, substitutionary atonement, propitiation, redemptive history, and the like. This is because biblical theology and doctrine are not taught from their pulpits. Their sermons consist of emotional rants sprinkled in with a Bible verse here and there (always taken out their historical context, of course). There is no expository teaching of biblical texts, just a lot of singing, dancing, and carrying-on supposedly under the guidance of the ‘Holy Ghost.’
In fairness, White Christians are pretty ignorant too, and I’ve seen some strange things happen within their services as well. But as in most things Blacks do, they seem to take everything to entirely new levels of absurdity and depravity.
The greater number of Black churches in America have been deeply inundated with a Charismatic emphasis in worship style, and they’re big into the ‘prosperity health-and-wealth gospel,’ the ‘name-it-and-claim-it’ nonsense that teaches their parishioners that God’s will is for all believers to be wealthy and free from disease.
Such doctrines run counter to clear New Testament teachings and grossly distort the lives of Jesus and His apostles who lived in poverty and who were true servants of the people. Paul taught the Ephesian elders (pastors) to work with their own hands and to be in a position of giving unto others (Acts 20:17-35) rather than begging for money from the people they were called to shepherd. How many pastors do you know who have regular jobs and who aren’t constantly asking their parishioners for money?
Just as Blacks are plagued with political charlatans as leaders (e.g., ‘Reverend” Jesse Jackson, ‘Reverend’ Al Sharpton, et al.), so also they are plagued by religious phonies and charlatans such as Creflo Dollar (the perfect name for a religious conman!), ‘Bishop’ Eddie Long, ‘Bishop’ T.D. Jakes, ‘Doctor’ Fred Price, and so many more.
Not one of Creflo’s better days
These religious pimps and hustlers easily make merchandise off their low-IQ audience that are woefully lacking in discernment because they have little common sense and no knowledge of the Bible, the very book they profess to believe in.
Christianity in its practical implications and manifestation has little impact on America’s Black ‘communities.’ They may have lots of churches, but they are devoid of sound doctrine and people that truly live out what they believe. If Christianity really had a deep and abiding effect on the lives of Blacks as many of them profess, their communities wouldn’t be so ridden with crime and murder. The fact that drug abuse, thuggery of every conceivable stripe, gangs, crime, and skyrocketing murder rates run rampant in every inner-city Black neighborhood is proof that Christianity means little to them.
For Blacks in America, going to church is a social event and nothing more. As far as its teachings having any real impact on their lives in terms of holiness, personal reformation, and Christ-like qualities, you can forget about it. For Blacks, it’s always about the image, the hoopla, and the emotional experience. Learning about the practical aspects of Christianity, especially historic doctrine and theology, well, that’s for White folks.