When I got saved seven years ago, things changed drastically. I was saved right after my dad experienced two church scandals. I literally was saved the month he got sacked.
I realized the importance of a community for one to spiritually and fruitfully growth as a Christian.
Growing Hunger for Knowing God
I questioned a lot about the churches because I was reading my Bible more. I became quite studious in reading the Bible; this was mind-transforming and life-changing. I had no one to share this stuff with but my dad. Interestingly, I was attending church and my dad just stayed at home.
I was raised in the Charismatic movement, and I went to churches I was familiar with. Some of those churches were strongly opposed by my dad. However, I wanted to be part of a local church that faithfully taught the Bible. I was hungry for the Bible. I realized the importance of a community for one to spiritually and fruitfully growth as a Christian.
Growing Need for Community
Similarly, I thought that white churches were better. Let me explain this, for me a white church is a church leadership structure that has a majority of only white people. Though the churches I went to had hundreds of black people, they had white preachers. Eventually, I started going to white churches, and I was the only black person. It felt normal, they had their problems but I thought that things done by white people were better.
When I studied the Bible more and studied the doctrines of grace, this separated me more from the black community. There were no black preachers where John Piper preached. There were no black people on the stage in the Passion Conference DVD. I learnt that no black people around where I lived would watch a Hillsong DVD. The books I read were written by white theologians and pastors, the conferences I attended had mostly white people and speakers.
Growing Quest for Truth
I have always wanted to be in a black church. I loved them, I just disagreed with the doctrine. I am not saying that black churches are bad and white churches are good. You get extremes on both sides, but as I studied more of the doctrines of grace, I disagreed so much. I could not find a Church that I agreed with doctrinally. I actually struggled for years to find a church that I agreed with theologically.
This made me, want to be white and like anything white. My dad hooked me up with a friend who was a pastor in a reformed baptist church and was black. It was so encouraging to see someone black, older and reformed. I wanted him to disciple me, but that did not work out well. I was even called “white” because I had a high view of the Bible and because what I was exposed to was predominantly white.
Growing Challenge of Racism
Moreover, I have been deeply entrenched into the white community – because of my church affiliation. I still find it difficult. It’s sometimes tiring and draining. All my pastors where [are] white. I sometimes hate the pressure of being the only black person – who is somewhat respected. And also because of my Bible knowledge and eloquent English accent.
I have seen racism to its fullest, whether unknowingly or bluntly. I have heard things like “Lux, I thought you were not like them…” and etc. I remember when I was getting circumcised and my dad was so heartbroken that all of my white friends did not visit me. He was so heart broken, he even claimed that if I went to a black church I would have a better community life. This made me question, do I want community or be in a church I agree with on theological reasons?
Growing Patience and Growing in Perseverance
Sometimes being in a white community, all the black people get thrown at you. When a black theologian is mentioned, they look at you. You get tapped when a rapper is on the screen and somehow congratulated when a black preacher preaches in a white church.
I have also been stretched and blessed in my spiritual walk. I am growing more in patience. I know what battles to fight. I also know I am not going to be every white person’s friend. I will even be isolated in a community. But, it is a battle worth fighting. I will fight the good fight of faith even though I am rejected by my black friends for being with white people, and even though white people cannot stand black people. I am convinced that separation causes damage. We need unity.
I have plea—black men we need you. Please disciple the next generation of black men. I have never been mentored and I have made a million mistakes and will probably make more. My biggest fear is that we will have black men who love Jesus, and are doctrinally sound but want to be white. I fear that there will be black men who want to be like white people but have no clue about their heritage, culture and family.