Set the World on Fire Challenge – Day 16
**Disclaimer: I started this blog prior to the National Black out Day last Sunday. I do believe that National Black Out day was a step in the right direction. I appreciate the efforts; however, I hope to see more work being done outside of prayer.
Is this letter really necessary? Do I need to go from church to church preaching the gospel of, “please move outside of these walls!”? Do I need to cry, yell, and throw a fit? Do I need to go to a church convention, run down the aisle, grab a mic, & give y’all material for memes and songs? What do I need to do to get y’all to act? Please tell me because I will do it.
I think we forget that Jesus didn’t have a home church. He didn’t lead a small group every Tuesday. He wasn’t head of the usher board. Yes, He fried the fish for the plates to be sold after service near Bethsaida that time, but that’s pretty much the only “churchy” thing I can recall. My point is that Jesus was not part of the prosperity driven, watered down gospel, I’m sticking with my own kind, segregated on Sundays, Americanized church.
What we are experiencing now is not the dream. You’re not going to sit on your pews or in your chairs on Sunday and tell me that this is what our God wants for His people. You’re not going to fix your mouth to say that this is the dream Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. fought and died for. And most importantly, you’re not going to even try to tell me that 1.) Our country is not turmoil or 2.) This turmoil doesn’t concern you.
Saints, don’t do it.
It’s enough that churches are closing their doors every week because we can’t keep the lights on, attendance is low and the community doesn’t respect us anyway. It’s enough that we’re mocked, ridiculed, and the butt of all jokes. It is enough that we can’t get together outside of the walls because we love to be comfortable so much that doing anything outside of our air conditioned, stain glass windowed, pristine sanctuary is too much to handle.
Enough is enough.
I’m too tired to slap y’all on the wrists. I’m too tired to put y’all in time outs. I’m too tired for reprimanding. We don’t have time for all of that. Where are you, saints? We need you! It is no secret that the black community is inundated with faith. We do not go to counseling because we go to church (another thing I am working to change in our culture, but that’s another sermon for another day). We really don’t read the Bible for ourselves, because, well, we go to church and what Pastor so and so says, goes. We do not give directly to our communities because we give to the church and expect the church to give for us.
Please do not misunderstand me. I am not here to come for the church, but also I am not naive, deaf or dumb. No, the system will not protect those it was not built for, but don’t we believe that the church was built for us? Where is our protection?
Lord knows, I love Him. Lord knows, I live for Him. Lord knows, I love His people, but y’all truly perturb me. The writer of the book of James has told us that faith without works is dead. This can be interpreted many ways, but let’s just be elementary with it.
Your faith needs feet!
People used to think that good works were required for salvation and even though that is faulty theology, a little part of me wishes we could go back to that. If you needed to gather “good works tokens” for salvation, y’all would be out here pounding the pavement! But instead the saints are just content with being saved and silent. That’s not going to cut it anymore.
So what is it going to take, saints? Another 16th Street Baptist church bombing? A church was burned down in Ferguson, but nobody cares.
You walked into church this past Sunday wearing all black and stood for solidarity. You walked up to the altar and received prayer. Did you walk out changed and accepting a role as a solider in this fight? I hope so. I really, really hope so.
Next Sunday, I hope to write a blog showcasing my saved brothers and sisters putting in work. I applaud the churches that have stepped up and stepped out. Seeing pictures of church members shutting down the streets of Chicago has moved me to tears. Please don’t make me write another blog begging y’all to stop silently praying, being meek and carrying on. You can be the loudest in worship, shout, and speak in tongues, but when it comes to working towards building our communities mouths are closed and feet are frozen.
Something is wrong here, church. If you don’t see it, then I’ll pray that your eyes will be opened, your heart will be pricked and that the fire that Jeremiah said was shut up in his bones will ignite inside of you. We do not have time to keep playing.
Wake up and stay woke. It’s up to us to set the world on fire.