Thursday, March 18, 2010

Prosperity in River East Part 4: The Black Church


Part 4 of the Prosperity in River East series focuses on the Black Church. According to a the Gallup Organization, African Americans are far more likely to attend church than white Americans. In fact, we attend church more than any other ethnic group in America. And assuming that the Church is the moral conscious of a community, one would deduce that Black Americans would be the most prosperous and morally astute people in the country, but we're not. Puzzling. It is my opinion, that the Black Church, although well intentioned, is an institutionalize obstacle to true prosperity in River East.

Prior to joining my current church home, I was a avid church-hopper. I attended Catholic Churches, Anglican Churches, A.M.E. Churches, and Baptist Churches. All these churches were the same: lots of singing, dancing, miming, and socializing - but not much substance. And the theme of the sermon usually pertained to hope, faith, love,and justice. This is a grave diservice to the faith community because there's so much more to the word of God. The Holy Father has provided guidance to us in every intimate aspect of our lives from sex, to work, to managing our money. But too many ministers focus on the superficial themes that encourage us to "dream" and "hold on" and "have faith." But what about "be self sufficient"and "pay your debts timely" and "do not kill (abortion)." Since black ministers don't have the guts to keep it real, here are some Bible verses that speak to the moral ills in our community:

Raising Children

Proverbs 22:6 "Train a child in the way they should go and when they are old, they will not turn from it."
We must teach our children respect for adults, the value of education, and the importance of faith when our children are young. Although the Islamic faith has been successful in saving our young adults during incarication, why wait that long? If we train them now, they will avoid a life of decadence and misery in the first place.

Proverbs 127:4-5 "Children born to a young man are like arrows in a warrior's hands. Happy is the man who has a good store of them; he will not be put to shame, but his cause will be supported by them against his haters."
As my pastor recently preached, if parents are good to their children, their children will be good to their parents in their old age. Elderly parents should be able to depend on their children for support - not a check from the government!

Work Ethic
Colossians 3: 23-24 "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."

This applies to everyone but especially to those of us in Customer Service. It doesn't matter if your boss is an jerk or if you "can't stand" the customers who asks silly questions. Our work is our ministry. According to Thomas Sowell, author of Economic Facts and Fallacies, "Many things reduce the demand for inner city workers, including wage rates set higher than their productivity and things the reduce productivity, such as deficiencies in education and attitudes. p 23"

1 Thessalonians 4:11 "Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you."

2 Thessalonians 3:12 "For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either."

River East residents should not be dependent on goverment handouts. We should work, like every other ethnic group in DC. We can not all become NBA stars or Keisha Cole. Let's find respectable professions and provide for our families and communities.


Proverbs 13:22 "A good man leaves an inheritance for his children's children."

Proverbs 22:7 "Just as the rich rule the poor, so the borrower is servant to the lender."

Proverbs 22:5 "Steady plodding brings prosperity but hasty speculation brings poverty."
Luke 16:11"So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches?"

We need to make sound financial decisions that will allow us to build multi-generational wealth. We need to avoid student loans, homes, and cars we can not afford. We should begin saving now and not tomorrow. Not sure how many people fell victim to the housing burst, but this proves the penalty of "hasty speculation." And most importantly, we have to take care of the gifts the Lord has already given us. If we don't collectively preserve the community the Lord has placed us in, why would He bless us with new communities centers, businesses, and schools?

1 Peter 4:15 "Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler."

Proverbs 18:22 "He would finds a wife finds a good thing."

Hebrews 13:4 "Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral."

Social reform begins in the home. We can't control the world around us, but we can control our homes.

The black church needs to guide us to build strong families, blossom in our careers, and create godly wealth in our communities. We need to stop being victims and be victors. Instead of being defensive against whites, gentrifiers, yuppies, etc, we need to LOVE them and build stronger communities with them. For the bible says, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength. The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Always read stuff that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.............................................