Wednesday, February 11, 2009
Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile writes about the awful past of African Americans and faith
Reformed Pastor Thabiti Anyabwile, of Pure Church , has posted on how the African Americans, with their past full of horrific experiences, can be an example of those who hold to Christian faith when "life is harder than steel." It is a good article to read during Black History Month, but it is also a good article to read anytime. The Posting is:
The Legacy of the African-American Church: Faith
"How would you define "faith"? How would you know faith when you see it?Though I think many people could give some general definition of faith, I think it remains a misty concept for many others. It's an intangible. Most folks think you either have it or you don't. Even though we may talk of little faith or great faith, do you feel that sometimes "little faith" is simply a nice pseudonym for "no faith in reality"?
Sometimes life is harder than steel. Sometimes life mangles and twists us like so many guard rails smashed by speeding, out-of-control vehicles. And in those times of hardship, we discover what faith is and whether we have it.
I'm convinced that perhaps the greatest example of genuine faith in American Christian history is the example left by African Americans who love the Lord. The situation most African-Americans live in now was the stuff of dreams just 50 years ago. Recede further into the history, past Jim Crow, past Reconstruction, past the abolitionist movement, on back to Jamestown and you find a people dragged into "history as terror" or "daemonic dread" as one author put it. He asked, "Who do you pray to in the bowels of a slave ship?"
It's a good question.In time, many Africans sold as chattel in the New World prayed to the One True God through Jesus Christ His Son and entered into eternal life. Howard Thurman, a famed theologically liberal African-American pastor and educator, had it right when he pointed out that the greatest irony of American history was that the slaves should pray to the master's God."
To read the whole posting go here or above.