There are problems in American churches just as there are problems in other major institutions in the country. People do not trust the institutions, the institutions are not living up to the hopes and beliefs of the vision for the country. Our schools do not educate our children, our hospitals do not heal. Our citizens walk around confused and angry, and often taking that confusion and anger out on each other. America can do better, America’s institutions can do better. American religious institutions have the responsibility of being an example of God’s goodness. Biblical doctrine should be the directions of our call to do the right thing for God and by each other. Biblical doctrine should not be the written source that validates our rights to mistreat and separate ourselves from each other.

This report discussed three different churches serving three different communities. A careful analysis of the report would reveal that they were all the same congregations with the same problems. The problem relates to the role of the pastor as transformational leader in the lives of people who come to the church searching for answers and directions. These congregations are a representation of who and what America is, and the challenges she is and must face. Those of us who go into congregations to work with them in out reach programs must understand the people and its culture. The congregations are American, and at the heart of America is change. We cannot use the sociological systems traditionally coming out of Europe to understand the American situation. In Europe, class is a constant variable. Socio economic status is usually a constant variable. In the United States we are a different society and our problems and response to the problems will be different. In America the country is better[1] than the people[2]. The views and values of the people do not always reflect the positions of the country. It is the same way in many churches. The church is better than the congregation. The country holds high standards that each citizen must reach for. The mission of the church exceeds the wishes and desires of the congregation. America works because she operates on this principal. Churches that are effective also work for the same reason. We must all seek to be guided by the Holy Spirit, and let our better angels guide and direct our feet.

 

In America, by the time you use the Weber[3], Durkheim and Marx system[4] of social analysis, the players have changed. American’s have short memory spans, and what was once a problem or an enemy may tomorrow be a challenge and growth.

 

There is no other nation in the world where descendants of white slaves, black slaves, white indentured servants, black indentured servants, white slave owners, black slave owners, convicts, settlers and the rejects of the world can transform themselves to professionals and outstanding citizens. In America, the past does not predict the future, and this is truer in the field of religion and ministry. Americans by nature adjust to change and adversity, and she grows, kicking and screaming into a better world.

 

In one of the churches discussed in this report, the white German community was hostile to the diverse population moving into the community and into the church. Careful observation will reveal that senior German women were going by the homes of the children, and bringing them to Sunday school and Church. You would see a small brown hand resting carefully in the safety and security of the adopted mother for the day. The American system is at work. Sometimes the congregation is ahead of the pastor.

Sometimes the Holy Spirit moves in its own good time to do the work of the Father.

 

In Harlem, women have taken it upon themselves to work with children and provide them with services that the church should be providing. Drucker correctly studied the Black Church to see how it had been so successful in dealing with complex issues. The Black church handles issues of organizational management for society long before other non-profit organizations were being held accountable for its service. In the Black church there had to be methods of measuring out come success because the lives of the congregation depended on its success. The Black church was and had to be accountable to the people, a marginalized people living in a life threatening society. The church was the refuge place where people came to learn survival skills, and also receive the support services denied them in the outer society. The Black church was the financial institution, savings and loans society, the school, the medical facility, the psychological support, the sociological direction and the religious foundation all in one. Each one of these departments had administrative structures similar to the outside world. The Black church identified a need, and met that need, and black corporate America was born in and through the church.

 

In Riverside Church, the church has expanded its depth. With the increase in the black population in the church, comes the awareness that the perceptions of peoples of color may be wrong. It is here in the church where the image that “all black men are in prison” must be dispelled. Sitting in the seat next to you will be hundreds of black men and their families, and they are making a significant contribution to the church. The Black population also caused the church to pay more attention to its spiritual roots. It could be possible on some Sundays, to forget that you were attending a Christian church, where you should be learning the inspired words of God through his prophets. Riverside has a tendency to go so far over into the political concerns of government, that it forgets that it is a church. The black population brought balance back to the religious center. This American experiment would never have taken place if God had not sent the African here. America without the Black man would have been just another extensions of Europe with its failed colonies. The Black man forced the new country to redefine itself and to live up to the visions set down by the forefathers. The Black man is the lighten rod, which constantly shakes up the society and turn it upside down when it is on the wrong path. The Black man came to the Riverside Church and ripped its seams wide open. The Riverside church with its in your face approach to issues, forced the congregation to look at the ugly hidden face of racism, and bring up front for discussion. It is hoped that it will force the religious institutions in America to accept the idea that racism comes into the society through education and religion, and as a major institution in society is up to the leaders, and members of the church, to unseat racism from its comfortable place in society and our lives. European sociology and theology will not work any longer in America. In its place must be established the theology of the Holy Spirit, and the sociology of the family of God, as we are all one- made in His image.

 

In Riverside Church, the church has “expanded its depth”. With the increase in the black population in the church, came the awareness that the perceptions of peoples of color may be wrong. It is here in the church where the image that “all black men are in prison” must be dispelled. Sitting in the seat next to you will be hundreds of black men and their families, and they are making a significant contribution to the church. The Black population also caused the church to pay more attention to its spiritual roots. It could be possible on some Sundays, to forget that you were attending a Christian church, where you should be learning the inspired words of God through his prophets. Riverside has a tendency to go so far over into the political concerns of government, that it forgets that it is a church. The black population brought balance back to the religious center. This American experiment would never have taken place if God had not sent the African here. America without the Black man would have been just another extensions of Europe with its failed colonies. The Black man forced the new country to redefine itself and to live up to the visions set down by the forefathers. The Black man is the lighten rod, which constantly shakes up the society and turn it upside down when it is on the wrong path. The Black man came to the Riverside Church and ripped its seams wide open. The Riverside church with its in your face approach to issues, forced the congregation to look at the ugly hidden face of racism, and bring up front for discussion. It is hoped that it will force the religious institutions in America to accept the idea that racism comes into the society through education and religion, and as a major institution in society is up to the leaders, and members of the church, to unseat racism from its comfortable place in society and our lives. European sociology and theology will not work any longer in America. In its place must be established the theology of the Holy Spirit, and the sociology of the family of God, as we are all one- made in His image.

 

[1] The country contains the vision for America as set down by the Founding Fathers. The country is driven by its vision and not by its people. The people are often dragged kicking and screaming in to the future of a better hope for the country.

[2] The people come from all over the world. They bring with them their frustrations and prejudices. It is the Holy Spirit wrestling the devils of their human nature, which makes this miracle called America work.

[3] These are the sociologists who are responsible for the entrance of racism into the American system. This group encourages the acceptance of class and difference, and relies on data from the past to predict future events. It is through the teaching and learning of social order theory that Americans learn who they are, and their place in society. Individuals in the society who succeed do it without paying attention to what the social norms of expectation are for individual of their social-economic or racial class.

[4]“high importance in gaining an understanding of society in both past and present. There have been many theorists who have impacted the study of sociology and helped sociologists of today gain further knowledge on society of present. Three sociologists who have had major impact on sociology are Marx, Weber and Durkheim, each with differing theories on society, however all important in the present study of sociology, This essay will argue that the study of Marx, Weber and Durkheim all have strong relevance in sociology and without them sociology would not be what it is today. Class defined in the Australian Oxford Dictionary as a division or order of society is an issue that has been studied in depth by all three theorists, this essay will show the great impact from the theories and what sociologists believe what and how class is perceived today. Karl Marx the creator of Marxism, born in 1818 and lived until 1883” 5-27-08.

  • Max Weber differed from Karl Marx and Emile Durkheim in that he focused his work on the effects of religious action and inaction. Instead of discussing religion as a kind of misapprehension (an “opiate of the people,”) or as social cohesion, Weber did not attempt to reduce religion to its essence. Instead, he examines how religious ideas and groups interacted with other aspects of social life (notably the economy). In doing so, Weber often attempts to get at religion’s subjective meaning to the individual.” Sociology of religion – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 5-27-08[edit] The view of religion in classical sociology. Durkheim, Marx, and Weber had very complex and developed theories about the nature and effects of ..en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sociology_of_religion –
    )

[5]

Leave a Reply