A few weeks ago, Dr. Jamal Bryant, Pastor of Empowerment Temple AME Church in Baltimore, Maryland hosted the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan from the Nation of Islam on The Word Network. A night that was filled with information, encouragement, as well as enlightenment drew much criticism from those within the Christian community. One of the reasons why is because Christianity was in some sense partnering with Islam. In other words, two different faiths were coming together on The Word Network, a Christian broadcast to address the ‘hell’ that’s going on in the United States, especially within the African-American community.
After the broadcast, many viewers of The Word Network decided to discontinue watching this station because it was suggested by some that it was ‘UN-Christianlike.’ Sadly and shamefully, people like this are just as dangerous as people who commit injustice. Let me say it this way – people can disagree about faith and religion, however, when it’s apparent that this disagreement won’t allow them to work together to bring about justice for all of God’s people, we have a problem. Perhaps Dr. King had it right when he uttered the words, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
For some odd reason, the church has been brainwashed into having programs to make people feel good and shout without addressing policies and issues that affect people everyday. Let me go a bit further. Many of the church leaders are so obsessed with money, fame, and popularity that speaking the truth has become unpopular. No longer are they speaking for God instead they are speaking what will cause more people to join their church and give offerings. You can see this happening in many churches throughout the U.S. Preach about money and relationships and you’ll get all the ‘Amen’s’, but preach about social justice and civic responsibility and you’ll get a lot of silence.
As a minister, I will go on record and say that many pastors, preachers, and lay people have been conditioned to remain silent as to the point of not saying anything publicly about poverty, homelessness, lack of quality education, and political issues just to name a few. In fact, they quickly utter the phrases, ‘let’s pray about it,’ ‘we need to bring prayer back in schools,’ or ‘we need to bring more people to Jesus’ without doing anything else. Too many people like to stay in their comfort zone and because they like to stay in their comfort zone, inaction occurs. That’s why when they see two individuals coming together, in this case, Rev. Bryant and Minister Farrakhan striving to make a change and eventually unlock and undo slave thinking, they become paranoid.
Any religion that keeps you in bondage intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually has made you its slave. That’s right; any religion and/or any leader that discourages you to work for peace and unity is wrong and simply evil. Those who continue being conformed to this ideology have been ‘Took! hoodwinked! Bamboozled! Led astray! Run amok!’ as Malcolm said.
It’s time for people of all faiths to come together and learn how to work together. When so-called Christian television networks are more concerned about ratings than about practicing what they preach, we have a serious problem. When people of all faiths learn to love one another and not point the finger at one another, work can be done. Solving the problems of this world takes a collective effort and those who are unwilling to put aside their religious differences are part of the problem.
Dr. Sinclair Grey III is a speaker, writer, author, life coach and radio/television talk show host (Tuesdays at 7pm). Contact him at www.sinclairgrey.org, email@example.com or on Twitter @drsinclairgrey