Monday, January 23, 2006

The Best of Christianity?

According to The Church Report, they have determined the 50 Most Influential Christians in America. Anyone who knows anything would know that such a listing is nebulous, shallow, and ultimately insignificant in the true Kingdom of God. In fact, I find it ironic that they would list John Piper as number 24 when John would be the first to say that such lists are not only counter-productive, but are inherently unchristian. Nevertheless, too many people in America and around the world view Christianity by the popular faces of Christianity set before them. With this in mind, I can not help but lament the poor perceived state that is so-called African-American Christianity. There are four African-Americans on the list of the top 50, with T.D. Jakes proudly wearing the banner as #1. Yet, the four names are illustrative of the darkness that is the predominantly black church. In fact, if Christianity in general, and African-American Christianity in particular, is represented by T.D. Jakes, Creflo Dollar, Eddie Long, and Harry Jackson then hello world, welcome to the Church at Laodicea (Rev. 3:14ff). Yet I am not totally pessimistic. I believe as Dr. King once said, "Only when it is dark enough can you see the stars." We continue to be encouraged by the ground swell that is Reformed Theology among African-Americans. We continue to appreciate the work of those who faithfully labor for the truth once and for all delivered to the saints. Although, in looking at the African-Americans on the list the words of Dr. King may not be as appropriate as are the words of Whodini, "The freaks come out at night!" (www.pulpit-pimps.org)

5 comments:

Alando Franklin said...

Anthony,

Thanks again! I always enjoy your perspective on issues surrounding the African-American church and Christendom at large. I was appaled when I first was exposed to the list myself and saw what was supossed to be "modern evangelicalism". Christianity of late has been compared to New York by one of the chief spokesman for the NEA, one big melting pot of many different people of ethnic background, economic status, beliefs, etc, etc, etc. While that can be true in some regards, however, once any and everybody with a large following as evidenced in this "comparison list" as unbiblical as that is, blur the distinctions, it can be discouraging from the outset until you consider the Apostle John, "they went out from us, beacause they were not with/of us" then you can draw some encouragement from the perspective that God is continually purifying His church when he allows them to identify themselves, by the departure from Orthodox Christianity.

curtlove said...

Say Carter,
Who are some of the brothers that are reformed and are in the trenches for the african american church, In word and deed?

joshua parker said...

I think we are truly seeing a rise of reformed african-americans. I pray for a day when we who are black and reformed outweigh the huff and puff.

ajcarter said...

Say C. Love,
You can start the list with your father. I know that a prophet is without honor in his own home, but c'mon :-).

By the way, when will the Loves start sharing a little of the love online?

curtlove said...

Starting a blog is still being contemplated, but it should finally come out in a little while.

I am still spending time reading the blogs of the faithful men who have come before me, and am enjoying it.

Peace