Is the Church Failing?

I had a conversation this morning with a friend who is a Conservative and who takes issue whenever I talk about race, on any level; this morning she and I were talking about race and the church.

I mentioned that some 40 Catholic leaders had written a letter asking Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum to back off using racial stereotypes as they talk about poverty, and I said that the church has too long been silent, not holding politicians to a moral and ethical standard, even during political campaigns.

I said that the church has allowed racism to simmer, all in the name of Jesus, for far too long.  And I’m not talking just churches in the South. “The Church,” north, south, east and west, Conservative and Liberal, has been culpable.

Well, my friend hit the roof.

It wasn’t so, she said.

I countered; the church, I said, has used the Bible to justify racism and slavery from the time this country got its feet firmly established in American soil.  She charged that that was my opinion …and on and on…

But after we talked, I thought about it. The Church really is and has been too silent when it has come to allowing politicians to do and say what they want, especially as it pertains to race. Hooray for the brave Catholics who wrote the letter asking Gingrich and Santorum to pull back on the heinous language they are using…but where are the other religious leaders, the so-called moral and ethical leaders of this great nation?

Someone said that Gingrich stood to lose the Evangelical vote as details of his first marriage were revealed by his ex-wife. Surely that would have been the case, or should be the case, if the Evangelicals were as bound to Godly morals as they claim, but alas, the Evangelicals, the trumpeters of morality and family values, have been silent…Why? Because the Evangelicals want Barack Obama out of office, so it doesn’t matter, Newt’s marital, or apparent marital, indiscretions.

The Church, the established Church, has been failing in so many ways – saying one thing but doing another. The Church has been responsible for leading too many people away from the Christ instead of toward Him. The Church seems to have a very selective range of issues on which to comment and be vocal about – but racism isn’t one of them!

It’s too bad. One of the reasons racism has flourished in this country for as long as it has is because the Church has failed; it has been silent when it should have been clanging the cymbals proclaiming injustice and vowing to fight it!

Newt Gingrich will probably win the South Carolina primary, because he pandered to a group of people in that state who are still raw with racial resentment. Nobody quite cares about anything else other than their belief that a great wrong was done when America elected an African-American to be president and that it is their civic duty to get him out of the White House.

Church leaders have been largely silent on Newt’s (and Rick Santorum’s) racially coded language. It is not surprising, but it is disappointing.

A candid observation…

8 thoughts on “Is the Church Failing?

  1. Three historical quotes:

    -“if the Evangelicals were as bound to Godly morals as they claim”
    -“The Church, the established Church, has been failing in so many ways – saying one thing but doing another. The Church has been responsible for leading too many people away from the Christ instead of toward Him.”
    -“Church has failed; it has been silent when it should have been clanging the cymbals proclaiming injustice and vowing to fight it!”

    First, Evangelicals are not “as bound to Godly morals as they claim”. They don’t even read the Bible, so they don’t have any idea what “Godly morals” are.

    Second, “the Church, the established Church, has been failing in so many ways”, you can not even start to imagine. Like rejecting and expelling an entire family because they posted a religious and pro-Bible opinion on Facebook about the church practices..

    Third, “it has [not] been silent; they have been very busy making themselves rich, and preaching the Gospel of prosperity and lovingly absorbing every single immorality that they can get away with, until they are discovered.

    You religious friend does not have any reasons to hit the roof. Bring him down.

    Yes, you are right, “It is not surprising, but it is disappointing”.

    1. You are absolutely correct that most Christian don’t read the bible according to Pew Research on Religion Christians scored the lowest on bible facts, (not kidding). How could this be?
      Many Mega-churches are no more than feel good positive thinking lectures where people are not challenged or confronted about the sin of racism or called out about their ugliness in general. It is tantamount to a social club with a religious bent. Depressing & very Sad. It is little wonder Jesus called the latter days the beginning of sorrows!

  2. I think a lot of churches don’t really identify with liberation theology, that social and political justice is just as important as getting your shout on in church. As a matter of fact, a lot of church folks don’t want to hear anything about that, they think that the church isn’t the place to talk about those kinds of issues. So they sing and shout, and then go about their week not thinking at all about the social injustices that affect millions of people everyday. People just want to hear about how Jesus is good. In a lot of churches, the sermons aren’t very substantive, yet by the end people are up shouting and running around the church. All because the pastor started talking about how “when I look back over my life” and “I don’t know about you, but God’s been good to me”…so on and so forth. To me, more important than any of that, is loving people, as Jesus did, and helping those less fortunate. If more churches did speak about against the injustices of the world, with as much power as the church holds, I think this world would be a different place.

    1. I heard something yesterday where the person interviewed said, especially as regards the black church, that people need “the shout.” I agree…but after the shout must come work.

      1. There are many Psalms that say shout for joy to the Lord so it is not a matter of needing the shout but doing as the bible says. People sure know how to shout at a soccer game. One would think Jesus deserves more enthusiasm than someone kicking a ball around.

    2. The irony of the situation is that I saw a person who looked like a homeless bag lady come into a church in an upscale area and it was clear she was not welcome. Not only did no one speak to her but they gave her dirty looks and moved to a different pew. Unfortunately she left before I could offer any help. For shame for shame. What if this was an Angel sent to test the so-called Christians in this congregation?

  3. I attended a predominately white church and loved everyone like family however I never in my wildest imagination would accuse any of them of being prejudiced against me because I’m African American
    (black). However, one day I was asked to substitute for a popular Sunday School class. I kinda figured the substitute is less well received in the secular classroom but I was hurt and shocked when I prepared for weeks and followed the outline yet my fellow white church members would look in the door see my black face and keep going on days when I was asked to Substitute. White Christians whom I thought were color blind and my friends never even gave me a chance. I actually had friends come to support me from my all black church and about two or three whites who were did not show partiality based on race. Out of a class of 50 when I taught the bible class it was only 10 persons in attendance. After a while word got out that I was an excellent bible teacher but I never forgot how I was not immediately given the benefit of the doubt.

  4. Thank you for this article. Like tithing racism in the church is the controversial sacred cow which makes some people uncomfortable – usually the ones that have the problem with it.
    It is very dishearteningly to not see a difference in the way the world (Non-Christians) behaves and how un-Christ-like Christians are.
    It reminds me of this quotation: “I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” Mahatma Gandhi’s quote. Sadly he never became a Christian after being thrown out of an all white church in South African under Apatheid.

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