Pastor's Corner

Read Numbers 13: 31-33

In the epic story of the Israelite slaves in Egypt, they finally came to the end of the harsh desert journey and were now entering the border land of Canaan. The Israelites now had to decide whether they were ready to commit themselves to the final push for freedom and on into the promise land (Num 13:1). This is not unlike the condition and point in time of Blacks in American today. Contrary to popular beliefs, the Blacks in America are not home yet. Full freedom for the Black man is inherent in God’s declaration of us being a part of His image. (Gen 1:27). The well-off black man in America is not free until the poor black man is free. This is and must be the genesis for the preaching of Black Theology in the Black church-seeing and experiencing God through the black experience only. This is not separatism, nor racism, but a black man worshiping God his way: worshiping God with emphasis on feelings, spontaneity, freedom, rhythm, drum, singing, dancing, tears and prayers. All of which is of African heritage and serves as the best defense against the white, misguided Christianity designed to enslave. When we reject our black worship heritage, we lay the foundation for the building of the black “Ice Box Baptist Church.”

The Israelites had one final push ahead of them; they have to cross the Jordan River to start their pursuit of freedom in the Promise land. But they first have to get rid of the inhabitants in Canaan, who would deny them the right to possess the land, which God had promised them (Num13:2). The plight of Black Americans is identical to this biblical situation today. Blacks still have to push forward to the Land of total freedom. A case in point: Even at this time in history, Blacks still do not have permanent voting rights. What voting rights (1965-2006) we have is temporary in nature, up for renewal sometime in the year 2026 or later. Thanks to the likes of the late Ted Kennedy, and others, who kept watch on this issue for the Black American, otherwise, we would be deeper in the political hole. There are six southern states that have yet to fully ratify this Voting Rights Bill to make it a part of the U.S. Constitution. Just this month (Feb) a Texas town challenged the voting rights bill as being unconstitutional. Are we truly free yet?

The book, “The Uncle Sam’s Government Plantation” by Star Parker, explores the political and social systems by which some Blacks are held in cultural, social, political, and educational enslavement in America.

When the spies were sent out by Moses and returned they brought back the statistics which spelled out the conditions of the Promised Land. When our government correlates the census statistics of the black American, it is able to see us (the Canaanite) as to who we really are socially and politically. It is able to assess the Black man’s cultural, political, and social weakness. And like the majority report of the spies, the Black man has come to the conclusion that “we cannot overcome” (Num 13:31-33). Apparently the Black man is not ready for the “final push” across Jordan. Look how we are stigmatizing ourselves in our own black culture with guns, drugs, violence, jobless, fatherless babies, lack of a good education, not voting, forgetting the God, Who brought us as a people this far.

Must we be reminded of the mighty miracles and works God performed in order to guide and protect Hebrew people and the Negro, bringing them to the front door of the Promise land, preparing them for the final push to freedom. Like many Blacks today, and for whatever reasons, some care not to prepare themselves for the final push for full freedom as God had ordained from the beginning (John 8:36).

There are three reasons as to why so many Blacks are crippling themselves when life begins to test them. First, a faulty outward look - just like the majority spy report to Moses - this dooms the black man to spend more time in the desert of enslavement; second, a faulty inward look- believing one is hopeless because of one’s surrounding, oppressive circumstances; third, a faulty upward look - forgetting the God who led our mothers and fathers from the plantations.

For more than forty years the Israelites spent more time in the desert than God had intended simply because they did not believe God when He told them He was giving them the Promise Land (Num13:2). Those Israelites who did not believe were not allowed by God to enter into the Promise land (Num13:22-23).

Having a Black president is no indication that we as Black Americans have our total freedom. Our freedom will come through God and Him only. We are at the Jordan River of our freedom. Will we push on? Or will we stop on this side of Dr. King’s dream and go no further. What if we fail to gain our total freedom such as the Israelites did; by not obeying God and His moral compass?