Evangelicals & Critical Thinking
I am, of course, an African American. Many who would read this would know that reality. I am a proud African American but never in a triumphant sense. If I were a Hispanic American, I would be proud of that fact as well. I would be proud of whatever heritage God sovereignly chose for me to inherit. My identity is not garbed in my ethnicity; my identity is grounded in being in Christ. Strip all of the things away, and I will gladly divest myself of them with my faith in Christ being the one I would resist with every ounce of my being.
Some will soon believe my proud identity of being an African American not to be the case. I have just written a book that will be very critical of the African American Evangelical community, in particular, as well as African Americans in general. I am critical because we seem to be the one ethnic group that appears to have a monolithic worldview. I reach this conclusion as you look at African American voting patterns. African Americans solidly vote Democratic, to the tune of 94% for Barack Obama and 88% for Hilary Clinton. I expect the numbers to be quite similar for Joseph Biden in the upcoming presidential election later this year in November.
I am bewildered as to why the numbers could be so overwhelming tilted in one direction, especially when you understand the numbers are quite similar between African American Evangelicals and African Americans who espouse no faith basis. This week, actor Terry Crews is the new hot source of controversy. Crews, up until the past couple of weeks, was a very popular and well-liked actor in the African American community.
That is until Crews dared to voice an opinion that was not in lockstep with the prevailing voice in the African American community. What was the line that Crews crossed, you may ask? Crews took exception to the Black Lives Matters movement. Please keep in mind Crews has no problem whatsoever with the raw expression Black Live Matters. Crews expressed concern with the ideology behind many of the tenets of the official BLM worldview, and Crews believes the organization fails to adhere consistency to the very word that frames the organization.
Specifically, Crews addresses the long-debated issue of Black-on-Black crime. I would like to add the issue of abortion. AA females make up 11% of the US population yet account for 37% of abortions performed. For the life of me, I would never be able to understand if one were to believe that Black Lives Matter (and they most certainly do) how is it fathomable that the Black life in the womb does not matter.
I grant anyone not espousing an Evangelical worldview may embrace the secular view that life in the womb is not worthy of full personhood. Still, such could never be the case for anyone serious about holding an orthodox theological view. Anyone holding an orthodox Evangelical worldview would embrace the same concept of life that God reveals in Holy Scripture. Evangelicals believe from the human perspective that life begins at the moment of conception. Evangelicals believe from the divine perspective that life begins much earlier. God informs the prophet, Jeremiah, that God knew Jeremiah as a person long before Jeremiah was in his mother’s womb.
So, what happens when a public figure like Crew dares to toe the company line. He is labeled an Uncle Tom or as a sellout. Well, I say to Brother Crew, “Welcome to the club, brother!” Ridicule and scorn are what happens anytime anyone in the AA community strays from the script. I face repeated ridiculed and object of scorn when I voice a sentiment that if Black Lives Matter, then that must include life in the womb. If Black Lives Matter, then it should matter when we address the issue of Black-on-Black crime that is ravaging our neighborhoods.
When Terry Crews takes the time to enter in his voice in the marketplace of ideas, he should be afforded the privilege of being heard. That does not mean his view must be accepted or agreed with, but it does mean he should not be vilified for taking a different perspective. We can only really learn when we are willing to listen to one another. Sometimes, others will bring a view we had not considered. No one person or no one set of people will ever be one hundred precise in their thinking. The Fall has negatively affected the thought of every human being.
All African Americans should never be expected to develop group think, but I would submit this is just what is happening in the African American community. I will be in the vast majority, but I proudly stand with Terry Crews. I believe if one genuinely believes that Black lives do matter, then we should be against abortion; we should be against the legalization of marijuana, we should be against gang violence in all forms. We should be outraged at the senseless killing of young black boys and girls, but you will rarely hear anyone in the BLM official movement speak a word about these matters.
That is tragic, that is inexcusable, and while I embrace the truth behind the sentiment of Black Lives Matter, but I abhor everything the Black Lives Matter Organization embraces as their worldview.
Let me know what you think but until then keep your hands to the plow and seek to serve for an Audience of One!