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Anthony Kidd & Bobby Scott | South Gate, California
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cfbcla.org
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Community of Faith Bible Church
12025 Industrial Ave.
South Gate, CA 90280
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An African-American Pastor’s Thoughts about Independence Day Pt.2
MONDAY, JULY 2, 2018
Posted by: Community of Faith Bible Church | more..
1,740+ views | 650+ clicks
An African-American Pastor’s Thoughts about Independence Day

Pastor Bobby Scott

Soldiers (black and white) standing for the truth of human dignity fought this war with words, courage, and faith. They fought to make America great. They were led into battle by a leader who had a dream for America, an American dream in which America would finally live up to its high ideal of freedom. King dreamed of a day when African descendants would finally become free in the land of the free in which their fathers labored and died as slaves and second-class non-privileged citizens. The war was hard, yet won. And thankfully, victories brought new laws securing freedom. But tragically, on April 4th 1968, the leader, who led our nation into freedom, was assassinated. And the laws that were changed in the courts fell short of changing hearts that were determined to keep America segregated, unequal, and morally un-great. And so as civil right’s laws opened the doors of a better education, the National Guard had to walk black students through corridors filled with another generation taught to hate. Eventually, white parents left those schools to start better private and privileged Christian schools. Economically, these new schools became unwittingly the new way of legally keeping education separate and unequal in our two Americas. As African Americans were able to move into better communities, the current residents decided to create new communities through white flight, keeping America separated by color. Our markets valued homes in black neighborhoods at half the value of similarly constructed houses in white neighborhoods. (Thanks for the insight, Matt). And even with new laws, companies kept hiring John and Jane over Leroy and Laquesha even though they had the same credentials. And then there are the different policing practices: e.g., Charles Kinsey. I affirm with the Bible that every American must respect our police (Rom 13). I pray that police can return home to their families in my community (I mourn with the family of Officer Miguel Moreno, who was shot and killed on Friday. It is gross evil when criminals attack police). I am sure I don’t know how hard it is to police some of our more violent communities. My community is terrorized by black, stone-cold killers. But I also insist that officers be better trained and held to a higher standard of accountability for how they discharge their weapons in my community. And finally, what the new civil right’s laws have yet to fully change is the tragedy of America’s ethnically divided church. With all of our evangelical expositors teaching the Gospel from the book of Galatians, there are far too few voices decrying how America created a black and white church. We desperately need modern day Pauls to confront our Peters (of all backgrounds) for elevating culture and minimizing the humanity of others to divide the church of Christ, and on the other hand who will lead Jesus’ One Body, His church, into real unity. With conviction we need to avoid extremists on both sides. We must condemn not compromise with political groups which are anti-Christian, white supremacists, Bible-rejecting racist groups like Alt-Right, and so-called Black empowerment groups which are anti-Christian, neo-liberation theology, Bible-rejecting, racist groups like Black Lives Matter.

In his second inaugural address, on the heels of the Civil War, Lincoln intimated that the Civil War was the price God demanded of America for 250 years of slavery. I wonder what price he would say we are paying now for adding 100 years of legalized segregation to the end of slavery. 350 years is too long to legally, overtly, and brutally oppress a people (educationally, economically, psychologically and worse), and somehow expect not to see or to reap the rotten fruit of that evil. The truth is that many were broken under the three hundred-fifty-year weight of America’s racist oppression against African Americans. The communities in which they live clearly reflect that brokenness, personally and culturally. I wonder if America and even the church in America will ever realize how profoundly our racialized history negatively impacts us today.

But the truth is that America is also not what she was. We’ve made progress. I just wonder if too little has been done too late. I will never forget my grandmother’s last words to me. She had a hard life. After she shared with me her heart-wrenching struggle as a black woman living in a legally racist America, she exhorted me, “But Bobby, you can make.” I believed her, because it was true, and it was true because of how well she had endured oppression, and taught my father to. She was an amazing woman of courage. Today, I am standing on her strong shoulders. America didn't break her. I think if she were alive today, she would be appalled at the failures of so many African Americans to take advantage of the doors opened to us that she could only dream about. I think she would express righteous anger over how we’ve anointed the morally bankrupt misogynistic, immoral and vile voices in our community as our icons. I think before she would point and blame others for their failures to treat us with dignity, she would, in disgust, lament how we have become our own worst enemies and are the new hoodied terrorists in our own communities. Any honest assessment of America’s treatment of African Americans and their struggle for freedom will lead to the sad conclusion that both the church and the government failed significantly. And now, added to that, since the birth of civil rights and the death of my grandmother’s generation, there has been a colossal failure of black leadership (pictured by our Jesse Jacksons, Maxine Waters, the NAACP, scandalous BET networks, Black Lives Matter, Bill Cosbys, Creflo Dollars, T.D. Jakes and too many of the Black Churches) to keep us from becoming our worst enemies.

So I’ve conceded with the Bible that things will continue to grow from bad to worse and that I will only see a truly equitable just nation when the King of all kings establishes His Land for the Free, the kingdom of God on earth. The only Just King will correct the whole problem infecting my community and our nation(s), while we all keep either ignoring or treating our cancerous sores with bandages. Until then, I will stay vigilant because assuming that a problem is solved when it isn’t will lead to being negligent in addressing it. And while our divided two Americas vehemently disagrees as to the whys, from whatever perspective you hold, (from the left or right), I’m sure we can all agree that America still has a big problem.

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