The decline in church attendance has directly and indirectly influenced the society as a whole. Churches and schools had the responsibility of preparing young people for the reality of expected roles as American citizens. Church and school attendance prepared young citizens to search for employment and also have the required attitudes and behaviors to sustain employment. Churches taught Americans how to dress for the business world, and the manners expected in the business world. You do not speak out in church because you are not permitted to speak out on most jobs. Your washed yourself, dressed yourself and left the house very early to get to school because job required the same behavior. Churches were not just a place of worship, it was also the enculturation center of America, for immigrants and citizens. The success of the African American in this country can be directly traced to the church.

America has become rude and crude in its politics and in personal and casual relationships in society. Violent road rage is on the increase and people slash out instead of handle feelings of frustration. It was the role of the church to place a lid on individual free speech and to teach spiritual responsibility for thoughts and behaviors. Without church attendance, the animal instinct in humans began to come out with no safety valves. We are rude because we are becoming unchurched.

The pastor was the spiritual and authorative leader of a select group of people. There were lay Leaders to support the pastor in the care and protections of the congregation. There were teachers to care for the children, and to adjust the sacred literature to levels of understanding. There were rite of passage programs to make sure young men and women could survive in the community and outside of the church and home. Language was strictly controled as was dress and physical presentation, the church checked you out before you were permitted to enter the streets alone. Brave people were assigned to responsible positions of protecting the members. The brave have gone from the church and the schools, and in its place have stepped individuals who are afraid of children and so needy for funds that they accept anyone and any behaviors inside of the church. America needs her churches, just as she needs better schools with responsible qualified teachers. The failure of the church comes from changes in its mission, the mission of the successful church was not to get people in heaven, but to do God’s work here on earth and to be the hands of God for the people. Church was not in the dying business as traditional European churches, American churches were in the survival business. Helping families stay together by providing rules and guidance for acceptable behavior.

The Church was a major institution in the lives of the community and provided the social service needs of the community. Congregations played significant leadership roles in the church, and were considered role models for the community. Political decisions, economic decision, relational decisions and education decisions were sanctioned and formulated in these sacred locations. Men and women of outstanding intellectual ability served in positions of leadership in the church. The Church operated its own teacher training academies; where men and women learned the skills of organizational development, classroom management skills, lesson planning and instructional delivery. Churches operated their own after school programs, Sunday school programs, adult Bible study classes and Seminaries. People viewed Jesus as a living Savior, guide counselor and friend. It was He who made it possible to endure difficult circumstances in the personal realm and the political realm of society.

The Church prevented the development of emotional and mental victim personalities as the results of individuals in the outer society placing obstacles in the pathway of progress for youth and families. Jesus was a God of love, and the Church and Christianity taught people how to truly love the enemy and not permit the sins of the enemy to become their sins.

Men were encouraged to study and become preachers, and women were encouraged to study and become teachers. These preachers would hold the family of God together while they endured the trials of living in a hostile environment. The teachers would dedicate themselves to the task of educating the children so that they would be prepared for a world of the future free of oppression. Teachers were believers of a better world and a better future here on earth.

Black Christianity focused on the quality of life on God’s earthly plane, while at the same time helping Christians to understand that there was life after life, with God in the heavenly realm. The Black Church and Black Christianity had the most effective anti depression and anti neurotic program in the country. Black Christians learned that the attitudes of the behaviors of other Christians, were not their concern, and they had to work out their own soul salvation.

Black Christians learned how to avoid the psychotic behaviors of other Christians who were determined to destroy them in mind, body and spirit. There was a spiritual separation of the two groups and a separation of theologies presented in the churches. Black Christians learned a Black theology, and a theology of liberation

 

 

 

 

Leave a Reply