According to Advocate of the Social Gospel, September 1948 – March 1963 of The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr., Dr. King wrote that the Christian church was “the greatest preserver of the status quo” and, thereby, “one of the chief exponents of racial bigotry.” He concluded that “the church, in its present state, is not the hope of the world. I believe that nothing has so persistently and effectively blocked the way of salvation as the church.”
Now if YouTube, FOX News or certain talk radio programs were around while Dr. King was living you would have certain people who would be calling him a racist. Heaven forbid let there be someone in the church who was running for a political office, because then his/her connection to Dr. King would have been used as a political diversion to gather votes. But I will go into detail another day, because I use this as jumping off point to discuss an incident with what I call so-called Christians.
Today many Christians today appear to want a play-doh Jesus; a Jesus that they can mold and conform into whatever they want him to be to fit their chosen ideology. We’re more content with making Jesus acceptable to us instead of making ourselves acceptable to him.
Dr. King also said that “it’s appalling that the most segregated hour of Christian America is eleven o’clock on Sunday morning.”
So how much have things changed?
I can go down the line with countless references and examples of racism, discrimination, hypocrisy, bigotry, intolerance and discrimination in ALL CHURCHES. Yes, that is including yours and mine, regardless of how righteous you pretend to be. If we were comfortable in our beliefs we would be confront the church, instead many of us choose to conform to it as it continues to conform to the world it’s in.
Before I continue allow me to add that I can only speak to the Christian church. But I submit that the same level of racism, bigotry, discrimination and intolerance is found in other religious organizations too.
Now there will be those who will immediately be offended and get defensive towards such an aggressive line of accusations aimed at the church. The Church itself is not the problem, nor is Christ. It’s those within the church and proclaim to be followers of Christ where the problem lives. I’m not questioning Christ, but those who say they follow Christ and discriminate against their fellow man or woman.
Why is the church so segregated?
Even in theology its segregated. One believing they are they are the only way and all others will go to Hell. Well if that is true, why don’t you invite that church to your church or visit them. How can you say that I’m going to Hell if you won’t talk to me or if I don’t agree with you. Who’s to say that we both aren’t going to Hell because we refuse to fellowship with one another?
I already know I’m going to hear something from this one, but someone has to address the division in the church, the division in our minds. So often many people just go to church without realizing that they are the church.
There are so many examples to choose from I had a difficult time selecting a few to illustrate the point, but the folks at Westboro Baptist Church in Kansas provided me with a good starting point with their latest righteous indignation that they call a protest.
OK, before I begin I must ask “What in Hell are these people teaching their kids?” I’m not cussing, because Hell is the only place I can think of that could persuade a so-called church to use children as sympathetic instruments for promoting hate filled propaganda.
After reading this article, one that I strongly recommend you to take a peak at, I have no apologies or apprehensions about standing with my Jewish friends both known and unknown against this type of hateful propaganda promoted by the Westboro Baptist Church and those who agree with their philosophy.
I agree with Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum’s response because the voice of hate, regardless of how illogical it is, is still a voice. If we are to be true to who we are as people of faith and/or goodwill despite our beliefs and non-beliefs we should consider the voices of hate. Consider and address it with caution, concern, hope, love and truth. As Rabbi Kleinbaum said, “I personally believe it’s a mistake just to ignore them. We have to stand up to evil now, and we have to do so in a way that’s creative and focused and non-violent.”
This is so true and one of the reasons why I’m writing these series of posts, because it must be addressed. Far too often the church has spoken timid or is virtually silent on issues it needs to speak aggressively upon. As I’ve previously mentioned, I can only speak for the Christian church, but can assume that others can relate to what I’m saying. Many Christians are content with sitting and waiting for Jesus to return, while doing nothing in terms of the gospel.
Many people are simply more content with life as it is instead of how it can, should and will be. The truth is that many Christians, yes Black and White, Republican and Democrats hide behind the Cross and seek cover for our bigotry in scriptures instead of doing what we are called to do and be. Many will get upset when someone points out what it is that they are doing as if the intentions are to condemn. Condemnation is what you may want to do, but is not the point of my criticism of some Christians. Perhaps we should start calling them Play-Doh Christians, because they have conformed to what’s popular or satisfies their selfish, bigoted and prejudice means.
As long as fear is tolerated, faith in contaminated. The fear that is supported by this one church in Topeka, Kansas is only one location of hundreds if not even more of the prevailing opinion that has been conditioned into the church. If no one is willing to counter the built in bias, bigotry and intolerance that has found comfort with many Christians, then why call yourself a church or Christian.References & Inspirations
The Jewish Daily Forward – 10/06/09 “How To Handle Hate” San Diego News Network – 10/06/09 “Westboro Baptist Chruch plans San Diego Protests at 29 Locations” Professor James C. Klagge “The Most Segregated Hour in America”