Life of Black Jesus Theological Matters

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What is black liberation theology?

Bonhoeffer’s Black Jesus: Harlem Renaissance Theology and an Ethic of Resistance By Reggie L. Williams

Dietrich Bonhoeffer publicly confronted Nazism and anti-Semitic racism in Hitler’s Germany. The Reich’s political ideology, when mixed with theology of the German Christian movement, turned Jesus into a divine representation of the ideal, racially pure Aryan and allowed race-hate to become part of Germany’s religious life. Bonhoeffer provided a Christian response to Nazi atrocities.

In this book author Reggie L. Williams follows Bonhoeffer as he defies Germany with Harlem’s black Jesus. The Christology Bonhoeffer learned in Harlem’s churches featured a black Christ who suffered with African Americans in their struggle against systemic injustice and racial violence—and then resisted. In the pews of the Abyssinian Baptist Church, under the leadership of Adam Clayton Powell, Sr., Bonhoeffer absorbed the Christianity of the Harlem Renaissance. This Christianity included a Jesus who stands with the oppressed rather than joins the oppressors and a theology that challenges the way God can be used to underwrite a union of race and religion.

Bonhoeffer’s Black Jesus argues that the black American narrative led Dietrich Bonhoeffer to the truth that obedience to Jesus requires concrete historical action. This ethic of resistance not only indicted the church of the German Volk, but also continues to shape the nature of Christian discipleship today.

The Oppression of Black Liberation Theology

Black liberation theology is an offshoot of the South American liberation theology, which is largely humanistic, attempting to apply Christian theology to the plight of the poor. Black liberation theology focuses on Africans in general and African-Americans in particular being liberated from all forms of bondage and injustice, whether real or perceived, whether social, political, economic, or religious.

Black liberation theology finds its origin in Liberation theology in Centro- American struggle of the 1960’s. Liberation theology sees the Christian mission as bringing justice to oppressed people through political activism, solving their social and economic plight. In liberation theology they have divided the world into 2 groups, the oppressed and the oppressor. The poor are the oppressed and the rich are their oppressors.

Black liberation Theology is even more extreme. This theology was used by Marxist regimes to take over churches in Africa and Central America. They use “Christian” terminology they promote violence to overthrow governments and populations. It especially became popular in Nicaragua in the 1980’s with the pro-sandanista dictatorship. It used Marxist strategies to be an impetus for the people to rebel where violent revolution was used. In some churches Jesus was represented as Sandinista soldier identifying with the oppressed.

In this theological framework Jesus becomes a liberator of the oppressed masses which are black. This is in contrast to the word faith prosperity message preached by numerous black pastors today. Black Liberation theology describes Jesus as a poor black man who lived in oppression under “rich white people” which makes this particular view racially based, accentuating the tensions of being Black. The notion of “Blackness” is not merely a reference to skin color, but rather is a symbol of oppression that can be applied to all persons of color who have a history of oppression (except Whites, of course).” [“Wright’s Black Liberation Theology” By Anthony B. Bradley assistant professor of theology at covenant theological, March 25, 2008]

By using Isa.61:1 which Jesus quoted in Luke 4 to explain his ministry, they make their case for liberating the oppressed. They isolate verses like this and breathe exaggerations into them.

Authentic Christianity transcends race and ethnicity. There is no black or white cultural value system in the Bible- there is a humanity system, recognizing that we are all made in the image of God, being sinners in need of redemption the same way- through Jesus Christ.

Jesus plus Marxism equals Black liberation theology and according to its teaching Jesus is against the oppressor (who happens to be white to this theology) because Jesus is a black man sent to free the oppressed (I thought Moses was sent to free the oppressed, Jesus was sent to set us free from SIN). “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond or free, there is neither male nor female, for ye are all one in Christ Jesus” (Gal. 3 28).

To those who espouse this worldview and philosophy white greed is the problem (I didn’t know greed had a particular color attached to it). This theology embraced Marxism/humanism as the vehicle to correct the wrongs of the white oppressors. Marxism which is the very opposite of Christianity in its application. So it is not a marriage made in heaven. This theology is not found in the mainstream of the church but is on the fringe. Even the Vatican has condemned it twice. It has recently been publicized in the media because of the controversial statements of Rev. Wright, the pastor of presidential candidate Barak Obama.

Trinity United Church of Christ is now the largest congregation in the United Church of Christ, a megachurch with anywhere from 8-10,000 members. The United Church of Christ denomination was the first in America to ordain gays, and women as ministers. It is at the forefront of liberal churches that do not hold to the Scripture in a Christian manner (this is the church that presidential candidate Barak Obama and his family attends) [For more on this ask for our Mar/Apr. newsletter]

This church is a black nationalist church that is promoting “Black liberation Theology.” Jeremiah Wright credits James Cone as being a founder of “Black Theology” which Wright said forms the foundational beliefs of Wrights church. At best, their position is Black nationalism, in its extreme it is something to be concerned about. When Sean Hannity interviewed Rev. Wright on his program Hannity and Colmes, Rev. Wright repeatedly challenged Hannity saying: “Black liberation theology started with Jim Cone in 1968… Do you know liberation theology?” he was very defensive and continued to scold Hannity, … How many books of Cone’s have you read? How many books of Cone’s have you read?” (Rev. Jeremiah Wright, explaining his Church to Sean Hannity, Fox News 3/1/07).

Let’s look at what Cones Black liberation Theology actually teaches. James Cone is one of the leading voices of this theology, he wrote that the United States was a white racist nation and the white church was the Antichrist for having supported slavery and segregation.

Cone: “The ‘raceless’ American Christ has a light skin, wavy brown hair, and sometimes – wonder of wonders – blue eyes. For whites to find him with big lips and kinky hair is as offensive as it was for the Pharisees to find him partying with tax-collectors. But whether whites want to hear it or not, Christ is black, baby, with all of the features which are so detestable to white society” (J. H. Cone, “The White Church and Black Power,” in G. S. Wilmore and J. H. Cone, Black Theology: A Documentary History, 1966-1979 (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1979), pp.116-17.)

Today, Cone is a professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York, he stands by that view, but clarifies that he doesn’t believe that whites individually are the Antichrist.

Cones Black theology and Black power is the treatise for many involved in this worldview. On.p.31 “a theology whose sole purpose is to apply the freeing power of the gospel to black people under white oppression” This would be like the Jewish apostles keeping the gospel to only Jews under the Roman jurisdiction.

Cone defines liberation as the “emancipation of black people from white oppression by whatever means black people deem necessary” —selective buying, boycotting, marching, even rebellion (Cone, Theology, 6).

Cone: “Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the black community. Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in Black Power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal. Unless God is participating in this holy activity, we must reject his love.” (James Cone, quoted in “Divine Racism: The Unacknowledged Threshold Issue for Black Theology,” by William R. Jones in African-American Religious Thought: An Anthology, edited by Cornel West and Eddie Glaube (Westminster John Knox Press).

127 Comments

  • Reply February 13, 2017

    Brian Crisp

    I laugh at people when they say Jesus was black. Of course those pictures of Jesus you see in churches are far from His true apperence. The pictures of Jesus we are mostly seeing is a picture of a former Pope’s son and he was a very shady character. Jesus was a Jew not a black man not a white man.

  • Reply February 13, 2017

    Varnel Watson

    Black Jesus theology is pretty prominent in today’s Social Gospel reality

  • Reply February 13, 2017

    Brian Crisp

    It’s all about color and no gospel or truth to it.

  • Reply February 13, 2017

    Varnel Watson

    What about the dead white men theology?

  • Reply February 13, 2017

    Brian Crisp

    He was neither black nor white. Both theologies are wrong.

  • Reply February 13, 2017

    Varnel Watson

    What about Asian Jesus theology 🙂 https://www.nph.com/vcmedia/2379/2379233.pdf

  • Reply February 13, 2017

    Brian Crisp

    That’s even more absurd.

  • Reply February 13, 2017

    Varnel Watson

    So is Jesus Jesus, the Liberator of Social Gospel but whole countries believe and practice it 🙂 In the latter part of the twentieth century Jesus was seen as the liberator, especially by the poor and oppressed Christians of Latin America, Africa, and Asia. When Jesus is seen as Lord, the focus is on the risen and glorified Jesus. Less attention is paid to the life, passion, and death of Jesus. The image of Jesus as liberator seeks to restore the balance. The poor look more closely at the life of Jesus and see that he actually preached good news to the poor. In a society that was divided between the rich and powerful elite and the poor and oppressed people, Jesus is critical of the self-sufficient richand speaks and acts in solidarity with the poor.

  • Reply February 13, 2017

    Brian Crisp

    He was a Jew. He is saviour to all who will allow Him to be.

  • Reply February 5, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Bob Wizenhut This is another social gospel kingdom-now wave we’ve debunked with Dan Irving Very very influential

    • Reply February 5, 2018

      Bob Wizenhut

      That would be a great article for you to post on Black Lives Matter Cincinnati

  • Reply February 5, 2018

    Terry Wiles

    Read James Cone

  • Reply February 5, 2018

    Terry Wiles

  • Reply February 5, 2018

    Joseph D. Absher

    The president is speaking live in Cincinnati. Jobs jobs jobs

  • Reply February 5, 2018

    Joseph D. Absher

    Maybe you can catch up with him. true activist don’t miss. I guess we just have a different cause is all

  • Reply February 5, 2018

    Terry Wiles

    get off this thread. be serious ever now and then

    • Reply February 5, 2018

      Joseph D. Absher

      Thank you Pastor. I apologise if my remark seemed frivolous. I mentioned it because black lives matter in Cincinnati might want to know. Never miss an opportunity to “agitate agitate” this is nothing compared to the conflicts on our streets. But I do respect your opinion.

  • Reply February 5, 2018

    Joseph D. Absher

    I’m deadly serious

  • Reply February 5, 2018

    Joseph D. Absher

    Black lives matter is hardly a spokesperson for justice.

  • Reply February 5, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    I dont get the purely secularized turn this discussion has gotten today. Black liberation theology is an offshoot of the South American liberation theology, which is largely humanistic, attempting to apply Christian theology to the plight of the poor. Black liberation theology focuses on Africans in general and African-Americans in particular being liberated from all forms of bondage and injustice, whether real or perceived, whether social, political, economic, or religious.

    Jesus, the Liberator of Social Gospel but whole countries believe and practice it ? In the latter part of the twentieth century Jesus was seen as the liberator, especially by the poor and oppressed Christians of Latin America, Africa, and Asia. When Jesus is seen as Lord, the focus is on the risen and glorified Jesus. Less attention is paid to the life, passion, and death of Jesus. The image of Jesus as liberator seeks to restore the balance. The poor look more closely at the life of Jesus and see that he actually preached good news to the poor. In a society that was divided between the rich and powerful elite and the poor and oppressed people, Jesus is critical of the self-sufficient richand speaks and acts in solidarity with the poor.

    http://www.pentecostaltheology.com/black-friday-theology-matters/

  • Reply February 5, 2018

    Michael Ellis Carter Jr.

    Thank you for sharing. Come constructs and excellent theology for those who feel marginalized. While it may be a bit off balanced it’s attempt is to answer the plight and struggles of those who felt disregarded by a God who ignores their issues. I love Anthony Bradley’s work on Liberating Black Theology. We should all pay attention to the various circles within Christianity and how they affect those we are supposed to love

  • Reply February 5, 2018

    Michael Ellis Carter Jr.

    Thank you for sharing. Cone constructs and excellent theology for those who feel marginalized. While it may be a bit off balanced it’s attempt is to answer the plight and struggles of those who felt disregarded by a God who ignores their issues. I love Anthony Bradley’s work on Liberating Black Theology. We should all pay attention to the various circles within Christianity and how they affect those we are supposed to love

  • Reply February 5, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Receommended: Anna Droll, Southeastern University and Northwest University, “Dreams, Visions, and African Spirituality: In Quest of the Pneumatological Imagination”

  • Reply February 5, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Receommended: Anna Droll, “Dreams, Visions, and African Spirituality: In Quest of the Pneumatological Imagination”

  • Reply February 5, 2018

    Dan Irving

    So many do not appreciate the danger of the Social Gospel.

  • Reply February 5, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    It is rarely addressed though often infiltrating

  • Reply February 5, 2018

    Benjamin C Bratvogel

    F……tou edomites….whites are from edom children of lamach and cain.
    JESUS WAS BLACK NINJA. He came from Egypt.
    ?????????????????????????

  • Reply February 5, 2018

    Benjamin C Bratvogel

    The WORD of God is true…gentiles are grafted in…it is finished.
    The PAGAN OFFSHOOTS (voodoo, sataria, pagans, catholics, Jehovah’s witness, seventh day advent, mormand, etc.)are FALSE AND GOING TO HELL

  • Reply February 5, 2018

    Joseph D. Absher

    I can think of at least one Baptist preacher that could have won a million souls for Jesus Christ. But he got a call to help in the struggle for freedom and justice. I can’t judge that. Let every man abide in his calling is what I say.

  • Reply February 6, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    not sure why any theological in depth thread in this group is trolled and marked as Get-out and slander post anymore, but Dan Irving is absolutely right on this one The Western church must greatly revise its stand on eschatology Which at one time was persecuted Pentecostals fervently waiting for the return of their Lord in righteousness and pre-trib expectation

    to what is now falsely called Pentecostal eschatology but instead is a replacement for the pure teaching of the church;

    it is a gospel of earthly comfort and no need of heaven
    economic prosperity without the need of blessing from God
    and ultimately eschatological failure instead of eternal triumph for the Church of God
    the best is yet to come? – hardly so when the church is a subject of the conformist thinking of dominating the world but have no desire to meet the Maker of it all and be part of His Kingdom of Heaven

    • Reply February 6, 2018

      Michael Ellis Carter Jr.

      I think this article is a bit extreme and miss some of the finer points of Cone’s intent but it was still an informative piece. Troy Dayay in this group I’ve come to expect to be trolled, ridiculed, and slander which is a shame. Most of us share roughly 85% of the same views just as we would with any other Pentecostal or Apostolic group. We differ on minor doctrinal issues which led to all of the denominational splits in the first place. We should be able to have healthy dialogues without assumptions being made toward one another with inaccurate presumptions being considered factual. I think we could use a renewal of love and the Holy Spirit. I am think we must be aware that we have cultural differences that will not be understood until we are willing to admit that we previously had no desire to understand them. Thanks for sharing this post. It helps each of us think about how the gospel affects other people. We can fight about the social gospel all day, but until you are marginalized you may never understand its value.

    • Reply February 6, 2018

      Terry Wiles

      Michael Ellis Carter Jr. Cone’s intent is to identify BLT to be a different gospel than white theology. In modern language a white person can never understand because they live in a dispensation of freedom from sin so that is their message. Black theology has been given a different dispensation, with which comes the message of freedom from slavery and oppression and thus both groups interpret scripture from the point of view of their dispensation.

      Cone sadly, I believe, comes to the conclusion that there can never be understanding between the groups because white theologians are not willing or capable of looking at scripture through that lens.

      Cone is honest in admitting the Bible is not the only revelation of God to man which separates BLT AND white theology even further.

      Quoting Cone, “God of the oppressed “, preface page xi:

      “I still regard the Bible as an important source of my theological reflections, but not the starting point… The order is significant. I am black first—…this means that I read the Bible through the lens of a black tradition of struggle and not as the objective Word of God”

      It is important to understand starting points in order for there to be profitable communication. I find myself too often agreeing with Cone that when it comes to black liberation theology and white biblical theology it sadly may not be possible.

      My prayer is that somehow God will help us.

      All for souls.
      ++TWW

    • Reply February 6, 2018

      Michael Ellis Carter Jr.

      Terry Wiles I think Bradley does a great job of explaining the bridge that is possible in his work Liberating Black Theology. Cone started his ideology by developing his thoughts on King and Malcolm’s theologies. He felt there was no answer to the atrocities he faced. He wanted the fire of Malcolm and the heart of King. Bradley points out how our views have changed culturally and the possibilities of bridging theologies now exist. I think it starts by understanding the God of the oppressed.

      We see the same issue cone faced still facing us today. The me too movement is a reminder of it. Black women felt disrespected and left out by cone so they created the womanist movement which is vastly different than feminism. Today we are facing the same issues of the 70’s with black women in our community and churches.

      Until we value the least among us our desire for unity will never be achieved. Who is our neighbor. We focus on the Good Samaritan when we could reasonably argue that the neighbor ethic was found in the man who was injured. My disappointment is that my theological focus was/is on homiletics in a black liberation/prophetic context and after countless hours of research I realize your last paragraph just may be the truth. We may never get there.

    • Reply February 6, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      more like several bridges instead of one single bridge are mentioned

    • Reply February 7, 2018

      Terry Wiles

      Michael Ellis Carter Jr. the difficulty of getting there is compounded by popular white theology that is fully blind in their “personal revelation.” (and it is always personal, these master hucksters are unknowing, yet willing, disciples of one who transforms himself into an angel of light to peddle his darkness). I say “white theology” because they have no “theology”, which is always the “particular” knowledge of God. I do not use the term in the way that Cone uses the term.

      These owners of airwaves use their followers mindlessness of the written Word of God to fully fund their delusive gospel of wealth and personal happiness. The crowds applaud and cry out for hours saying “give us Diana of the Ephesians.”

      This same distorted Gospel cuts its own channel and runs bank to bank full in the institutions of higher learning of the black community. Cone, and others, are refreshingly honest by stating up front the secondary place the Bible takes in their formed theology of The God Of The Suffering.

      Masters of the pulpits, schooled in the BLT of Cone and others, weave the gospel of the oppressed supported by political fronts that white theology has very limited understanding of.

      I know and fully respect these men while at the same time observe first hand their belief that they have been given a “different dispensation.” I use Cone because in my opinion his voice is the most distinct and widely embraced, one who at the same time has attempted his own sincere dialogue with white theologians.

      Of course, there are others on both sides who attempt to bring balance. But it will take a miraculous direct intervention by God Himself to reverse the status que.

      My end time theology leaves little room for such an intervention, but instead sees the unfolding plan of God being laid that will result in a thousand year reign of peace by the Prince of Peace.

      My roll is to be a disciple of Jesus Christ by serving Him by leading my family and those God has given me oversight of by faithfully teaching and preaching His Word. The objective end is that I be His Ambassador in a world of darkness and do what can be done with Gods help to win some.

      All for souls
      ++TWW

    • Reply February 7, 2018

      Terry Wiles

      Troy Day Recently it seems the bridges have been fully dismantled and others of greater resistance have been erected in their place.

    • Reply February 7, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      Good one Terry Wiles from a church called cross-roads and not building bridges per se 🙂

    • Reply February 7, 2018

      Michael Ellis Carter Jr.

      Terry Wiles I understand your point Well. In our local community the gospel is somewhat secondary only because many can’t see the Lord when they are hungry, broken, divorced, oppressed, homeless, and often mistreated. They need to know the God who understand a and redeems, but they also need a God who defends.

      Eschatology is irrelevant to a people who don’t want to be with a God who supports their oppressor. So often Cone is labeled as intolerant of others and as a black nationalist while he is really pushing for community balance and an honest theology. Whitewashed theology is dangerous. In universities we are taught about Wright, Tillich, and others while ignoring contributions of African forefathers and theologians.

      Cornel west and Michael Dyson has done an incredible job of placing theology where it belongs and politics where it belongs. In the black community politics is the oppressive pharaoh we consistently face.

      I agree the end times and Jesus return is a major concern for us all. At the same time I think we should find a way to challenge those who preach an imbalance gospel on both sides of the isle. Jesus may not one
      Back for another century.

    • Reply February 7, 2018

      Terry Wiles

      Exactly. That is the work I have been promoting for 37 years.

  • Reply February 6, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    liberation Theology is even more extreme. This theology was used by Marxist regimes to take over churches in Africa and Central America. They use “Christian” terminology they promote violence to overthrow governments and populations. It especially became popular in Nicaragua in the 1980’s with the pro-sandanista dictatorship. It used Marxist strategies to be an impetus for the people to rebel where violent revolution was used. In some churches Jesus was represented as Sandinista soldier identifying with the oppressed.

  • Reply February 6, 2018

    Terry Wiles

    Troy Day Yes. You are describing Black Liberation Theology then and today. Marx understood religion is the opiate of the masses. it is this “other gospel” that is driving the political division in America today. Under the cloak of “religion” Jesus is the liberator who identifies with the oppressed. that’s what makes BLT such a powerful political force, one that divides. Many, if not most “white” religious leaders buy into this in a variety of ways those we have many “other” gospels.

  • Reply February 6, 2018

    Terry Wiles

    Troy Day Yes. You are describing Black Liberation Theology then and today. Marx understood religion is the opiate of the masses. it is this “other gospel” that is driving the political division in America today. Under the cloak of “religion” Jesus is the liberator who identifies with the oppressed. that’s what makes BLT such a powerful political force, one that divides.

    Many, if not most “white” religious leaders buy into this in a variety of ways thus we have many “other” gospels, including the gospel of entertainment, music, prosperity, cheap grace; the list goes on and on.

    Whether black or white every leader called by God must clearly preach and teach the particular “gospel” of Christianity. And true Christians must know it well, and be able to present the distinct response to the Gospel to others. Churches must be rooted in the particular teachings of the Holy Scripture. Those truths must be at the heart of their life rather than the margin of their church’s life. Only then will we enjoy the common salvation that comes through the sacrifice of the Savior rather than efforts of mankind to set “their people free.”

  • Reply February 6, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    My point here with Dan Irving Jesus the Revolutionist is turning to be a common theme in the social involvement of Pentecostal theology today. On one hand we have the rich and the powerful trying to bring the Kingdom of Heaven via their own power and dominianism. History tells us this did not work too well for Rome, Byzantium, Holy Roman Empire, the Spanish Armada or the English Crown.

    Kingdom-now theology is simple utopia for the masses

    On the other hand we have Jesus the social revolutionary empowering the poor and the oppressed Same Jesus in the same juxtaposed social gospel liberation theology but this time on the side of the poor

    What is wrong with this picture – the picture in America today? Jesus vs Jesus – a kingdom split and separated shall not stand. So cant the Church either

    My point the Church should have never fallen in the trap of social theology. Social issues should be resolved via Biblical mandate. Not with humanistic interpretations of the Bible that support one or other side in the political battle. To put it simply – the Church should never put itself on both sides of the political barricade. As a matter of fact the Church does not belong to any side of any human political barricade #ThatWillPreach

  • Reply February 6, 2018

    Dan Irving

    I agree entirely. When the Holy Spirit is present and bearing witness, it will be of Jesus Christ and His sacrifice at the Cross. A spirit that empowers some social concern, however noble, is a different spirit.

  • Reply February 6, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Forget Marx Dominianism combines both marxism and capitalism Adam Smith’s theory at its best applied in common theology Its a great thing Steve Maxwell knows all about it

  • Reply February 6, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Forget Marx Dominianism combines both marxism and capitalism Adam Smith’s theory at its best applied in common theology Its a great thing Steve Maxwell knows all about it Terry Wiles how can one be fully blind in their “personal revelation.” Wouldnt the norm be blind to others revelations ?

    • Reply February 7, 2018

      Steve Maxwell

      Economic liberty generally goes hand in hand with civil liberties.

  • Reply February 7, 2018

    Bill Terrell

    Any doctrine that excludes a race of people is (false) we know it states in one of the most quoted scriptures-for God so loved the (world).Jesus began to tare down human walls with the Samaritan women-God is Spirit,and those that worship Him must do it in spirit and in truth.MLK quote,hate cannot drive out hate only love can do that.matt 5:9
    “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.Even Jesus recruited the very one that oppressed Him and let His grace fall like rain on him.

  • Reply February 7, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Bill how do you related Samaritan women to liberation theology?

  • Reply February 7, 2018

    Bill Terrell

    What’s liberation’s theology?my point in sharing about the Samaritan was Jesus had begun to teach her a divine underline truth that the father is not worried about if your a half breed Full blood,black,white ect.Hes looking for His people to worship Him in spirit and in truth.?

  • Reply February 7, 2018

    Scotty Searan

    Couldn’t the black liberation theology and not only them, but other liberation theologies, be following Jesus for the fish and loaves as many did in Jesus day,
    Instead of seeking His face they are seeking his handouts.
    Jesus Christ Ministry is about healing the Inner Man and the outer man so they can proclaim the gospel whether it be in a job they are working and making a living for their family or letting their light shine showing they can overcome the world and it’s sin and things that people do and put people down they can rise above it through Jesus Christ and his Kingdom.
    which is not of this world but will be one day the ruler of this world when all Injustice whether it be betrayed bye man or the church it will be done away with and we live in the New Jerusalem.

  • Reply February 7, 2018

    Scotty Searan

    Couldn’t the black liberation theology and not only them, but other liberation theologies, be following Jesus for the fish and loaves as many did in Jesus day,
    Instead of seeking His face they are seeking his handouts.
    Jesus Christ Ministry is about healing the Inner Man and the outer man so they can proclaim the gospel whether it be in a job they are working and making a living for their family or letting their light shine showing they can overcome the world and it’s sin and things that people do and put people down they can rise above it through Jesus Christ and his Kingdom.
    which is not of this world but will be one day the ruler of this world when all Injustice whether it be betrayed bye man or the church it will be done away with and we live in the New Jerusalem.

  • Reply February 7, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    • Reply February 7, 2018

      Bill Terrell

      Troy day,I will check it out.

    • Reply February 7, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      Its a lot to read and we’ve discussed it much before but it is directly linked to the roots of theology on the current OP

    • Reply February 8, 2018

      Bill Terrell

      Troy Day,if I’m understanding liberation theology correctly it seems to be a noble point of view but not totally accurate because all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God poor,rich,slave,free,oppressed or oppressor.And I believe God takes pride in using and setting the underdog free.but again the power of God being shown in the dialogue between Jesus and the Samaritan woman points clear that God is removing all borders and looking for the whosoever,regardless of ethnicity or financial status,when Jesus begun to talk about The true worshippers it was a direct connection to Joel,in the last days I will poor out of My Spirit upon (All)Flesh.which to me means there’s no limitations who I want to use and set free weather it’s the oppressor (paul) or the John Newtons,or the oppressed I’ve come to set the captive free.

    • Reply February 8, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      Dan Irving has provided several videos that explain it

  • Reply May 21, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Bob Wizenhut what would be your theological take here?

  • Reply May 21, 2018

    Bob Wizenhut

    Troy Day – I believe in the authority of Scripture. Therefore, I don’t take issue with any of the positions taken by this article.

  • Reply May 21, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Lots of folk relate this theology to BLM nowadays

    • Reply May 23, 2018

      Bob Wizenhut

      This is the first time I’ve heard the suggestion that BLM has theological roots.

  • This happens when unregenerate people twist the scriptures to accomplish their own agendas.

  • Reply May 23, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Well Gerardo de Dominicis This is somewhat true for political issues pressed via social agenda to a theological system

    But then you still have political theology dealing with it

    As far political theology and social transformation, Pentecostalism has been very active. Just take a look at Social Gospel and Liberation Theology in Latin America

    As far as contextualized theology, however, no one is left with excuse. It has been done and is continuing to be done everywhere – Europe, Africa, Asia and here. Just look at the way Charismatic circles have contextualized theology within social and political context recently in the US. Too bad most cultural evangelicals are far from understanding that namely Progressive Pentecostals are The New Face of Christian Social Engagement not conservative republican evangelicals https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1468-5906.2007.00370.x

    • The church has a mission: to preach the gospel to every creature, any other “addendum” to its mission goes beyond the purpose of Christ. We don’t see in the Bible commandments to the church about fighting for social justice or economical equality, that’s putting our eyes in earthly things not the heavenly ones. Inside the church we are to help each other and support our brothers and sisters in need but that’s a different context.

    • Reply May 23, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      what about slavery? – just leave it alone?

    • Troy Day Paul addressed slavery: “Each one should remain in the condition in which he was called. Were you a bondservant when called? Do not be concerned about it. (But if you can gain your freedom, avail yourself of the opportunity.)”
      ‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭7:20-21‬ ‭

      “Bondservants, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a bondservant or is free. Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.”
      ‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭6:5-9‬ ‭

      And the letter to Philemon.

      Paul didn’t fight against slavery only said how to conduce yourself as a christian if you are a slave or a master.

    • Reply May 23, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      I am certainly not an expert I’ve seen Joseph Kidwell and Bob Wizenhut bring up the issue in Biblical context. I’d like to think of Jesus as liberator of all slaves in history

    • Reply May 23, 2018

      Bob Wizenhut

      Gerardo de Dominicis – the church’s mission is not fighting social justice nor economic equality. The church is about joining God is establishing the Kingdom of God. That certainly involves seeking Biblical justice but that is certainly not the same as social justice.

    • What is the kingdom of God? The kingdom of God is Jesus Christ, preaching the Gospel is how the kingdom is stablished in the hearts of people. When people believe the gospel and convert to God then changes start happening but it’s a direct change made by God thru the lives of his people not a social Labour of the church pushing for “Christian moral” in a sinful world.

    • Reply May 23, 2018

      Bob Wizenhut

      The Kingdom of God restores our world to how it was created before the fall. It includes reconciliation with God but also pushing back against hunger, disease and death, things that entered the world because of sin. Yes, preaching the Gospel has a powerful impact. John Wesley pulled 1.5 million out of poverty through his preaching, using hymns to teach people to read and teaching his followers to save their money so they would have the ability to help others.

      100 years ago the church preached the Gospel and also addressed social ills. Then there was a split. Now we have Evangelicals that primarily focus on spiritual transformation and progressives that focus primarily on physical needs or social reform. The Bible instructs us that both are important and need to be intertwined together. Experience tells us that we are more effective when we are engaged with both.

    • Well, in the Bible the help to the poor and the widows was for those in the church or those in the world? Those in the church. Helping others outside the church with social problems and inequality is ok but it isn’t the purpose nor the mission of the church. the kingdom of God restores the MEN to a right relationship with God, not the world. This world and all what is in it will be destroyed and a new one will be created. When people are transformed by the gospel then things in the “secular” are affected and change but are a consequence of the gospel not a direct target for the church. If the church put its efforts into helping the world with social issues has lost focus. The Roman society was a perverted one with a lot of social issues and injustices and we don’t read Paul commanding the Christians to help the poor, combat immorality nor attacking social inequalities in the world but inside the church among its members, those called out from the world into the kingdom of God. Is it wrong to help the poor or build orphanages? Of course not, it’s not wrong but it isn’t the biblical mission for the church and when the gospel is put aside to help the world with worldly needs then the church has failed but if the church preaches the gospel to the world and help those in need among its members then has accomplish his purpose.

    • Reply May 24, 2018

      Varnel Watson

  • Reply May 24, 2018

    Varnel Watson

  • Reply May 24, 2018

    Bob Wizenhut

    Troy Day – Yes, BLM was founded by three militant feminists by the names of Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors, and Opel Tometi. But it quickly morphed into a grass roots organization that goes beyond these 3 women and their original vision. Each chapter of BLM is independent with variations in their philosophies. The movement exploded after Ferguson with the key shared idea was that the status quo was no longer sufficient for Black America. Remember, BLM was launched 6 years into President Obama’s administration when the Attorney General was also black. And directly because of BLM, 15% of black Obama voters boycotted the Presidential election giving President Trump the election. Since that election, President Trump’s approval rating has doubled among blacks with the biggest gains among younger blacks.

    I can tell you that Black Lives Matter focuses on systemic injustice against Black America. You’ve seen our material. That means speaking out against infanticide, illegal immigration, violence in black communities, lack of education choice, keeping black Americans enslaved to subsistence instead of creating jobs, and much more.

    Are there BLM chapters rooted in Black Liberation Theology? Maybe. That doesn’t bother me. Christmas is now celebrated on December 25th, which originally was a pagan holiday. But over time December 25th was reclaimed and associated with Christ, not paganism. All of Wesley’s tunes were originally bar tunes. Today we have no recollection of where the tunes came from. My point is that if we associate BLM Cincinnati with Biblical principles we can have our message heard by people that normally reject anything based on Biblical principles, creating a legitimate debate on whether Liberation Theology or Biblical principles are the best path to eliminating systemic injustice against Black America.

  • Reply May 25, 2018

    Joseph Kidwell

    The hypocrisy of the right is demonstrated when they say that identifying with the poor and the oppressed ( as Jesus did) is not Biblical, yet making abortion an article of faith and saying that it’s imperative that Christians make abortion a litmus test when we vote. They do the same thing with tax cuts. The right uses Scripture to justify their views of how society should be.

  • Reply May 25, 2018

    Joseph Kidwell

    If standing for social justice is not Biblical, why did Amos cry out, Let justice roll like the waters and rightesnouss like an ever flowing stream?”.

  • Reply May 25, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    well now top of the morning to ya Joseph Kidwell identifying with the poor and the oppressed ( as Jesus did) is Biblical but do we draw a line at Jesus as revolutionary or keep on going to war as social gospel, liberation theology, kingdom now crusaders – Jesus never went to war until Armagedon

  • Reply May 25, 2018

    Joseph Kidwell

    We draw the line at Christ’s identification with the poor and the oppressed. I believe that the Church, as a result of our lives being transformed by the new birth, should speak out prophetically in defense of children in the womb, the sanctity of life AT ALL STAGES, humane treatment of immigrants, economic justice and fight for a racially inclusive society. We do this not as a substitute for preaching salvation, rather because we are saved. The goal is not a ‘socialist paradise’ but rather to draw the lost to Christ by “letting our light shine”.

  • Reply May 25, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    In American history war was fought for abolitionism Is war a valid way to spread the liberating freedom of Jesus? Dan

  • Reply May 25, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Here we go Dan Irving In American history war was fought for abolitionism Is war a valid way to spread the liberating freedom of Jesus?

  • Reply May 25, 2018

    Dan Irving

    Rome certainly took that strategy for many centuries. In so doing, they made themselves the persecutors of truth. To the extent we regard our hope and our true stakes as in this world, appears roughly the extent to which we make ourselves enemies of God, in spirit. That’s why it so discouraging to see Pentecostal ministry do their warfare in the flesh.

  • Reply May 26, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Joseph Kidwell of course racism is sin, but do we use war to remove it? Dan Irving is our church in America repeating the errors of Rome?

    • Reply May 26, 2018

      Joseph Kidwell

      Troy Day, absolutely not! Dr. King understood and maintained throughout his ministry, that non-violent resistance is the only way that is endorsed by Scripture. The cross can never be turned into a sword.

    • Joseph Kidwell yet James Cone and black liberation theologians tend to disagree with King. There is a balance to the nonviolent movement. Yet, if we continue to ignore the need for liberation the oppress will respond with protest. When protest is met with opposition violence will occur. I’m not endorsing violence but I am endorsing a neighbor ethic and the right to fight resistance.

    • Reply May 26, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      Precisely my point Michael Ellis Carter Jr. I think Joseph Kidwell understands and agrees. What was the church in Atlanta that was built on black-Jesus and kingdom-now contextualized theology ?

    • Reply May 26, 2018

      Joseph Kidwell

      Michael Ellis Carter Jr., as Christians, we must always stand for non-violent resistance when advocating for social justice. I believe that King’s position is the Biblical position.

    • Joseph Kidwell yet I don’t disagree with Cone. These are touchy subjects because without living the injustice sympathy and empathy only go surface deep. I realize you get and I applaud your thought. I’m not attacking you in any way. King had great pints which he most from Gandhi and not the Bible. Most African American theologians who did not attend European based programs agree with James Cone and Anthony Bradley. There is an agreement with many methods of Malcolm X. God is a God of war and Violence. He is a warrior God the we can’t relegate to the Old Testament. I think peace is in order until met with resistance that can’t be displaced any other way. I also believe that violence should not take place irresponsibly.

    • Troy Day I believed Joseph gets it. I am not trying to attack him at all, just deepen all of our perspectives. Don’t know which church in Atlanta.

    • Reply May 26, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      He is that good Joe Absher

    • Reply May 26, 2018

      Joe Absher

      Jesus is that good. He’s great. When men fail he’s right there. You know Oral Roberts said he saw Jesus he was 500 feet tall. Then he said that was to small.
      War talk is for the haves not the haves not.

    • Reply May 26, 2018

      Joseph Kidwell

      Michael Ellis Carter Jr., I agree that King got many of his points from Gandhi, yet those points are also reflected in Scripture. To be honest, when it comes to the interpretation of Scripture, I strive to practice proper hermeneutics and interpret Scripture within it’s proper context. Even there, most certainly timeless principles can be drawn from Scripture. I can make a strong defense of social justice as Bible doctrine and be hermeneutically correct. Michael Ellis Carter Jr., I have not lived the injustice, but after 30 years of ministering in the African-American community, the last 15 as a pastor of a primarily African-American church in the black community I have seen it up close. I have been in the position of trying to comfort a mother whose 23 year old unarmed son was shot in the back by two cops. I see the how discrimination and manipulation by the white power structure here in Fort Pierce contributes to a feeling of helplessness and poverty. I see how the police treat the people of color in the community where I pastor and how they behave much differently on the other side of town. Yes, by virtue of my skin color, I’m a beneficiary of white privilege, but my experience ministering in the black community has opened my eyes and I am striving by the grace of God to make a difference.

    • Joseph Kidwell definitely not implying you you lack social awareness or familiarity with the struggles. I’m in agreement about a social justice hermeneutic. I concur with black liberation theology. I think we can preach neighbor ethic. I think we should protest injustice. I think we should preach truth to Power. I think we should not blame others for the privileges they enjoy. There is a balance in scripture, but we can only comprehend it from the context which we have experienced Him. I am thankful for pastors such as yourself. Our community needed the principals of king and Malcolm in order achieve civil rights… wait in many ways we are still waiting on those supposed civil rights. Remember protesting is the language of the unheard. Our country hate protest and turn violent on those fighting for truth regardless of color, creed, or religion. I think the bigger issue in the church is preaching racial liberation (or lack there of) and ignoring he over arching theme of liberation that should belong to everyone. Thanks for the dialogue I appreciate your perspective and sharing. I respect you highly for it.

    • Reply May 26, 2018

      Joseph Kidwell

      Michael Ellis Carter Jr., God bless you. I agree with you.

  • Reply May 26, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Michael Ellis Carter Jr. who was the Atlanta guy again – big kingdom-now black-Jesus church?

    • Maybe you are thinking about about bishop Hutchins

    • Reply May 26, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      you mean the top search on Google who called his church kingdom-now? That feller is too young for black Jesus

    • Troy Day not sure about all of that but Eddie long was the first kingdom now person of Atlanta that was well known, but don’t remember he speaking about black JESUS. King and his family would not have been black JESUS but would have supported liberation. Most everyone else of status in our community from there is either Baptist or word of faith and careless about black JESUS

    • Reply May 26, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      I think it was him – was he also black Jesus; I am checking too

    • Good luck on checking him all his skeletons have fallen out and will come up first ????

    • Reply May 26, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      I am checking on who it was – 3rd waver

    • Troy Day he was full gospel at first and then went apostolic new age that is

    • Reply May 26, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      got it – I think it was bishop Earl PAULK that’s it

    • Troy Day earl Paulk went black Jesus. Never would have guessed it. He was with bishop Vincent Idahosa (sure I spelled that wrong)

    • Reply May 26, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      Hold on now I am just citing the scandal I havent gotten to the bottom of names and who was black Jesus in the 2007 scandal

  • Reply May 26, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Michael Ellis Carter Jr. Dominion (Postmillennial)

    The second major group of Independent Charismatics is also characterized by its view of the kingdom of God. The distinctive teaching is known as Dominion theology and has been described by its pre-millennialist detractors as “Kingdom Now.” The recently deceased Earl Paulk, perhaps the most significant representative of this new thrust, became the Archbishop of the International Communion of Charismatic Churches, a global network representing at its zenith some 10 million members. The ICCC, however, may not be totally identified with Dominion theology. The ICCC was formed in 1982 by Bishop John Meares of Washington, DC, and Bishop McAlister of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Later, Bishop Idahosa of Benin City, Nigeria, and Bishop Paulk of Chapel Hill Harvester Church in Atlanta, Georgia, joined. They were all part of a global Pentecostal denomination named the International Evangelical Church, which, interestingly enough, joined the Geneva-based World Council of Churches in 1972 and was the first Pentecostal denomination to participate officially in the Roman Catholic-Pentecostal dialogue.

    • Yeah followed them closely back in the day. Many of my first engagements and open doors were opened by them.

    • Reply May 26, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      The 80-year-old leader of a suburban Atlanta megachurch is at the center of a sex scandal of biblical dimensions: He slept with his brother’s wife and fathered a child by her. 🙂 Not sure what engagements and all 🙂

    • Troy Day that’s earl lol

    • Reply May 26, 2018

      Varnel Watson

      This vision is radical and goes far beyond a mainstream Reformed understanding of the transformation of culture under the Lordship of Christ. Christian reconstructionists hold to a theonomy (law of God) which considers Old Testament laws to be normative for all times. That would entail such extremes as capital punishment for adultery, bestiality, homosexuality, and even for incorrigible children! Critics of this movement go so far as to allege that some reconstructionists condone slavery, and exhibit racist tendencies.

  • Reply May 26, 2018

    Varnel Watson

    Michael Ellis Carter Jr. The origins of Dominion theology, however, do not lie within the Pentecostal-Charismatic arena but outside it in classically Reformed theology. (This is illustrated in the ICCC Handbook, which lists the Presbyterian Westminster Confession in its creedal statements that provide the proper interpretation of the Bible.) Dominion theology is the product of the Christian reconstructionist movement, which developed in the 1960s and ’70s around the publications of scholar Rousas John Rushdoony. In order to understand their influence on the Dominion movement some reconstructionist views will be now outlined briefly. Rushdoony, an Armenian American, established the Chalcedon Foundation in Vallecito, California, in 1965. Another center is the Institute for Christian Economics in Tyler, Texas, founded by Gary North, who has also published widely. Central to the reconstructionist vision is the acknowledgement of the all-embracing cosmic headship of Christ, who has dominion over every dimension of reality, and the ensuing ideal of transforming society in accordance with God’s divine laws. Rushdoony had studied presuppositional apologetics with Cornelius van Til, who taught for many years at Westminster Theological Seminary. It is widely believed that in his book Theonomy in Christian Ethics, Christian reconstructionist theologian Greg Bahnsen argues that the laws of Moses should be applied directly to contemporary public life. The vision is, first, to reclaim the United States as a Christian nation and then to work in a gradual postmillennial strategy to establish the kingdom rule of God over all the earth. This would, in fact, be theocratic rule, with obvious parallels to Puritan thinking. The moral decline in the Western world is seen as the direct result of forsaking the eternal laws of God. IMO Gary North is a theological shmack

  • Reply June 15, 2020

    Varnel Watson

    THANK YOU
    They matter to me
    They should matter to the church
    Do they matter to YOU ?

  • Superb article. My respect for Pentecostalism grows.

    • Reply June 15, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      YES indeed TOO bad this conversation is NOT picking up much as ppl tend to stay away from these topics

    • Identity politics. Cancel culture. Everyone’s too scared to speak the truth.

  • Reply June 15, 2020

    Kenneth F Melton

    It is absolutely…. One of many blasphemies expanding throughout the world today….

  • Reply June 20, 2020

    Varnel Watson

    William DeArteaga Ray E Horton our friend Frances Strickland has said this to be a racial post I can state that it wasnt meant to be when addressing Black Jesus Theology Joe Absher would attest that NO racism has ever been tolerated in this group and I hate to be accused in this with not even being the author BUT it is worth taking the time and talk about it especially with our groups recent mega-hit article by Dr Bill that went OFF the wall with comments right here http://www.pentecostaltheology.com/a-charismatic-historians-response-to-the-george-floyd-demonstrations/

    • Reply June 21, 2020

      Frances Strickland

      Troy Day you are totally off here. I only asked what the article having to do with racial stuff has to do with the original post. There was absolutely no racism accusations whatsoever. Get it right man!

    • Reply June 21, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      Frances Strickland and you were correct The article was removed as being OFF topic and a new one was started to address the topic What seems to be the issue now?

  • Reply June 20, 2020

    Joe Absher

    Race relations is an awfully hard topic . Christian love is so important . and it’s true there’s no faster way to be kicked out of the Pentecostal Theology (permanently) than racially charged language . I’ve seen it . and I can assure you it’s only a matter of minutes before the that foul evil is gone as per admin . thankfully I think it’s only been 3 or 4 times though in the last 4 years . slights against interracial couples . and that one about body types like the Nazis used to do . another brother that was using bad names. soo sad and so wrong . and I think we’ve lost some good decent brothers too that were abused .

    • Reply June 21, 2020

      Frances Strickland

      Joe Absher what?

    • Reply June 21, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      but I dont find Black Jesus theology being racial. Maybe contextualized but not racial Do you? William DeArteaga Ray E Horton Neil Steven Lawrence

    • Reply June 21, 2020

      Neil Steven Lawrence

      Troy Day I have this picture on my closet door in my office of different cultures sculpture and paintings of Jesus. People personalize Jesus. The one that is whiteed out was a woman picture. The whole point of the Godhead sending Jesus Christ was so that we could re-identify with the Lord we had fallen from.

    • Reply June 21, 2020

      Varnel Watson

      Neil Steven Lawrence you keep your contextualized theology behind closed doors 🙂 enough said

    • Reply June 21, 2020

      Joe Absher

      “As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:
      So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.”
      – Isaiah 52:14,15

  • Reply June 21, 2020

    Varnel Watson

    Frances Strickland I think you may need to actually read the article out of the current social context maybe

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