Sunday, August 8, 2010


My friend Pastor Mike is a strong man of God. He's a Christian First, a Husband and Dad, a soldier , a chaplain, and a Pastor.. and Oh yeah, He happens to be African American. He Pastors a Presbyterian Church that is made up of mostly African -american congregants... whenever I am not busy in ministry on Sunday mornings, Maria and I go and worship with our brothers and sisters at Redemption Fellowship. One of the blessings of being part of the body of Christ is that we are the ones who can TRULY celebrate our diversity... we can be UNIFIED and still maintain our differences... you know what I'm talking about.. do'nt pretend you do'nt... we ALL know that for the most part, the African American worship time is a whole lot more expressive( ok... I'll go ahead and say it: "JOYOUS") than the worship at mostly white churches... I mean when was the last time you saw a PRESBYTERIAN raising his Hands in worship, or clapping, or swaying to the music( sorry... I am a presbyterian Elder, I am not allowed to type the word," DANC_NG)??? Like I said, we do'nt all have to Worship with the SAME level of emotion in the Body of Christ, but we CAN learn something from each other... and I have been thinking about the ONE THING that The "caucasian" church can learn from our African American brethren that will help us to grow as followers of Christ... and thats BRAVERY IN THE SACRAMENTS... OK, I can hear yall hollerin' at the same time," WHAT???? what in the name of Zacharias Urinius is bravery in the Sacraments??" I am so glad you asked.... I will tell you

A few Sundays ago, Maria and I were worshipping at Pastor Mike's church . It was a glorious time of worship - some children were being presented for Baptism. The assistant Pastor talked a little about Baptism.. and then Pastor Mike came up to baptise the children... but before He poured the water on the children's heads... the Holy Spirit poured down upon Pastor Mike, he turned to the congregation, gave them THEIR charge, and said plainly and unashamedly," Some of Yall here are Christians and your children have not been baptized- Yall need to bring them for Baptism, so do it"... What boldness! What refreshing "bluntness" from the mouth of the man of God. You see, the African - american church encourages, and fosters boldness and bravery when it comes to the sacraments. They still RESPECT THEIR PASTORS... they understand that HE deserves to be honored . He is in a place of authority over them.. we do'nt get that in the "white" church... we are so caught up in our egalitarianism... Our Pastor is just another "GUY" at the church... and he better not be trying to tell us what to do... How dare he???IN FACT, we want to tell HIM what to do.. we have women's ministry leaders reading books about Church Leadership -telling our Pastors how to "lead the church".. we 'do'nt respect the man of God... we try to tell him how to do his job . We criticize him and judge him. " Who is HE to tell us what to do??"Thats how WE think....but in the African american church, the Pastor is respected and honored in such a way that bravery in the sacraments is a GIVEN... The Pastor SHEPERDS the flock, He is EXPECTED to tell it like it is... especially with Baptism and the Lord's Supper... the means of Grace that the Lord Jesus has given to the church... There's no half hearted plea for those who feel "lead of the Lord " to submit to these Holy Mysteries, there's no "APOLOGY" to the Immersionist- anti- paedo baptist visitors ( who deep down in their heart of hearts KNOW that their children are NOT LIKE the children of UNBELIEVERS- thats why they came up with that thing they call "Baby dedication"... sorry- thats for another blog post)

My Prayer is that ALL the Churches of Jesus Christ will respect and honor their Pastors- that they will encourage sacramental boldness and bravery in the Pulpit. This is the need of the Church.. it's not a super hip worship leader, it's not a new power-point presentation, it's not a well designed" catch phrase" oops.. sorry ..uh.I mean." Vision statement".. We need a sacramental view of the Church... and oh yes... it will be ok if ya raise your hands.. but wait till the benediction... while everyone's eyes are closed.. NO-one will see you.. and thats another thing.. your eyes are supposed to be open during benediction... uh oh.. lets save THAT for another blog-

Have Fun this summer and keep in touch,