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‘Blacks Stay Out Of White Churches’

via Facebook

A church in Birmingham, Alabama, publicly advocating racism? What kind of KKK-at-prayer worship center is this?

Um, it’s a black church. [1] More:

A Birmingham pastor is coming under fire for controversial messages slamming a suburban mega church that plans to open a satellite campus in a “high crime” area of the city.

New Era Baptist Church Pastor Michael Jordan said God told him to put the messages up outside his West End church. The sign reads on one side, “Black Folks Need to Stay Out of White Churches.” The other side of the sign says, “White Folks Refused to Be Our Neighbors.” Jordan is strongly opposed to Church of the Highlands, Alabama’s largest church, creating a place of worship in the inner city, even though its intentions are to help curb crime.

“You don’t want to live next door to us, so why do you want to put a church here if they don’t know us? And I am condemning the black African Americans that worship white churches because the culture is so different,” said Jordan.

Pastor Jordan is a bigot who needs to repent. Racism is a sin — and it’s a sin that is particular to no color or tribe. Alas.

59 Comments (Open | Close)

59 Comments To "‘Blacks Stay Out Of White Churches’"

#1 Comment By David J. White On May 18, 2018 @ 10:39 pm

My pastor recently asked, so there are majority black churches with white pastors, but how many majority white churches have black pastors? I know of one or two, but he still has a legitimate point.

My cousin, a retired priest in the diocese of Cleveland, was pastor at two different majority-black Catholic parishes in the 1970s. On the other hand, the previous chaplain (not pastor, since it’s technically not a parish) at the Catholic Center at Baylor — whose constituency is overwhelmingly white and Hispanic — was Nigerian. His next assignment was a parish in West, Texas (where there was a big explosion in a fertilizer factory five years ago; it made national news), which is overwhelmingly white.

#2 Comment By Glaivester On May 19, 2018 @ 12:17 am

The real question here is, assuming that neither church has any significant theological objections to the other (that is, they oppose the other church on the grounds it is teaching false doctrine or encouraging bad practice), is the new church reaching people that the local churches are not reaching?

My church, Central Church in Maine (formerly Kennebec Community Church) recently opened a satellite campus in China, Maine (our primary campus is in Augusta, this new one 12 or so miles away).

Our main goals are to reach out to those who do not yet know Christ, and to help those who know Christ but do not have a church community to find one. We’re not interested in “stealing” parishioners from other Bible-centered churches. I also think it is good to have churches with a diversity of worship styles, because what opens a door for one person might be a stumbling block for another.

I think one problem we have is that too often churches focus on serving their congregation to the point of neglecting reaching out to bring the gospel to people outside the congregation.

Hopefully they can find a way to work with Pastor Jordan so that both congregations can grow. Perhaps there are people in the neighborhood who do not like the “black style” of worship, and the alternative to this new church for them is no church. And perhaps someone else who is not comfortable in the megachurch will find Pastor Jordan’s church and it will open a door to him.

Don’t get me wrong – I understand Pastor Jordan’s concerns, and he is probably right in some of what he says… but we have to be careful not to let any of that get in the way of showing people to Christ.

#3 Comment By JonF On May 19, 2018 @ 6:43 pm

Unfortunately this sign is now going viral in leftwing circles as proof of how racist America is– because people are unaware that the sign was posted by a black pastor. I did take the time to correct this error when someone on my friend list posted it as such on Facebook, but that’s just a dipping the ocean with a sieve.

#4 Comment By sdb On May 19, 2018 @ 11:31 pm

Rod,

I’m late to the party here, but I’ve been thinking about what it is about this post that doesn’t quite sit right with me. I think this not you wrote to a commenter above gets at it
,

If there’s a white church that seeks to maintain cohesiveness by saying “white people should not go to non-white churches,” then they have already broken faith with what I consider to be orthodox Christianity, or any kind of Christianity I want to be a part of.

I agree racism is sinful and this pastor was wrong to harbor the sentiment he expressed on this sign. But context matters too. Stealing is wrong, but the guy who steals a loaf of bread to feed his family is not comparable to the guy who steals a loaf of bread because of the adrenaline rush he gets from shoplifting. African Americans, especially those in the south, have in living memory been subjected to terrorist threats from law enforcement, had their churches bombed, men lynched, and subjected to countless forms of humiliation. While it isn’t 1962 anymore, there are still all sorts of indignities that African Americans face at much higher rates than whites. So when a black man lashes out at whites, it seems to me that he deserves a bit of slack. I think this is where there is a nugget of truth in the claim by some on the left that blacks can’t be racist as JamesC quoted above,

Racist in its academic, precise definition involves systemic power imbalance. Nasty words based on nationality are abusive and may involve prejudice. In its colloquial use, people use prejudice and racism interchangeably, but in their precise use, the former refers to the thinking of an individual whereas the latter refers to systematic oppression of one group by another. People can be prejudiced against gingers, for example, but there’s no such thing as “ginger racism”. Likewise, a black person can have strong prejudices against a white person, but given the overwhelming privilege given to white people in society, this is a different situation to if the roles were reversed, hence why black people can’t be racist.

The left goes way to far on this, but there is something to do this. The black pastor is inarticulately calling on his people to stay together. For centuries, one place in society where a black man could lead and be afforded dignity was in church. He could play football but not be a quarterback, he could join the army but not lead white men, etc… Things are changing and the overwhelming excitement by blacks over the election of Obama gets at this. But we aren’t there yet, and this pastor intuits that if this megachurch plants a fancy outpost in his community, his people won’t be able to lead and be afforded the dignity that they have in their own denomination. Is his racism wrong? Yeah, but it is probably something best handled by a friend talking to him about it.

This gets to the post the other day about the woman who called the cops on the illegal grillers. Maybe this woman is racist, maybe she is just a busybody. Perhaps she should be ashamed of what she did. But she shouldn’t be a national pariah and have her worst day immortalized on the internet for all to see. Similarly, this pastor may have been wrong, but I don’t see what is gained by leashing the social media mob on this guy. The strangers see the words that are bad, but have no idea what the context is and that makes a big difference.

#5 Comment By Glaivester On May 20, 2018 @ 12:23 pm

I will say that I am more interested in figuring out how to heal the potential rift that could interfere with the Great Commission here rather than with castigating the pastor or playing “whatabout” games. (Of course, this is all assuming that both churches are genuine, and not teaching serious deviations from doctrine).

#6 Comment By bluebird of bitterness On May 21, 2018 @ 1:10 pm

Wow, this gave me a flashback to a story told to me by a good friend years ago. The incident in question had happened back in the seventies, when my friend was putting her husband through graduate school. Both lifelong northerners, and both persons of pallor, they were living in the south for the first time in their lives, and there were things about southern culture that were new to them — one of which was “covered-dish suppers” (what we Yankees call a “potluck”) on Sunday after church. My friend and her husband learned very quickly that if you were a visitor at a church, you would be invited to come and join in the covered-dish supper, even though you hadn’t brought anything. And since my friend and her husband were very poor and could barely afford groceries, they discovered that this was a great way to get one really large, satisfying meal a week, at no cost to themselves. Of course it works only if you’re a visitor — otherwise you’d be expected to bring something — so they made it a habit to go to a different church every Sunday.

Their system worked great until they began to run out of churches to visit. One week they were looking for a church they hadn’t visited yet, and the one they decided to try was an all-black church. Well, everyone at the church was polite to my friend and her husband, but no one was very friendly, and no one invited them to stay for the covered-dish supper. My friend was baffled and wondered if she’d done something to offend them. Afterwards, she talked it over with a white acquaintance who was a lifelong southerner. The southerner explained to my clueless friend that the people at that church really didn’t want her type there on Sunday morning. They have to put up with white folks all week long, the southerner explained, and they look forward to Sunday as the one day a week they don’t have to deal with white folks.

#7 Comment By Thrice A Viking On May 21, 2018 @ 2:59 pm

I’m curious about something. If blacks can’t be racist (or racialist) in a white-dominated society, does that mean that whites can’t be racist/racialist in black-dominated nations, as in sub-Saharan Africa and much of the Caribbean? The same goes for the notion of “privilege” as currently used. The subject intrigues me, as it does seem to me that just every ethnicity is in the majority somewhere in the world – and whites are a minority globally, as white men are here, even without taking additional ones away due to religion, sexual preference, or non-cis gender. Is there a way for the advocates of this “academic, precise definition” of racism to wiggle out of this one, or will they have to concede that almost everyone on Earth can be a racist or victim of racism, depending on where they live?

#8 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On May 22, 2018 @ 11:58 am

Anyone can be racist. And many Americans of African descent are, in some way. But it is also true that when there has been a pattern for several centuries of deliberately targeting a given “racial” group for rude treatment or exclusion, a certain degree of sensitivity is to be expected, and shouldn’t be automatically reviled as “reverse racism.”

I don’t buy into the notion of “privilege.” It is too vague and subjective, and in actual use covers a range of things, voluntary or involuntary, that are mostly without recourse or relief. If I can’t do anything about it, I’m not going to dwell on it.

#9 Comment By Thrice A Viking On May 22, 2018 @ 8:33 pm

Siarlys, I wouldn’t call it reverse racism. I’d label it just plain old black racism, or racism that happens to be by one or more blacks. Reverse racism, it seems to me, should be reserved for dislike or hatred of one’s own race.