Jamal Bryant, pastor and founder of Empowerment Temple AME Church in Baltimore, Maryland, called out church leaders for their absence from the Black Lives Matter movement Monday, charging that it’s the first civil rights movement in America that isn’t being led by the Church.
“We cannot diminish or presume that this is a colorblind society. It is not,” said Bryant. “Race is a real issue that has to be dealt with and discussed as we move forward. But the thing that I really relish in this dialogue is historians long after us will footnote that this [Black Lives Matter] is the very first movement of civil rights in America not led by the Church.
“It’s the very first time that clergy are not on the frontlines. And the absence of spiritual mobilization is evident in how it is that we move, how it is that we perceive,” he added. “I want to speak to clergy, black and white, if you want to heal America and change a generation, take your robe off and go hit the street corner and do something that is gonna change where it is that we are going.”
Bryant, 45, who is known for his civil rights activism, challenged clergy to show their support for Black Lives Matter during a discussion on race and policing on his new faith-based talk show launched on FOX this week called “The Preachers.”
He co-hosts the show with John Gray, an associate pastor at Lakewood Church in Houston, Texas; E. Dewey Smith Jr., senior pastor at The House of Hope Atlanta and The House of Hope Macon, and Orrick Quick, pastor and founder of God Seekers Church in High Point, North Carolina.
Before sharing his comments, Bryant first listened to his co-hosts deliver their own views on the state of race and policing in America in light of the recent killings of two black men caught on video, as well as the killing of five police officers last week.
In an act that has been roundly condemned by government officials, 25-year-old Micah Xavier Johnson murdered five police officers and injured seven others during a Black Lives Matter protest in Dallas, Texas, last Thursday. Johnson, who was killed by police with a bomb robot, was reportedly troubled by the recent killings of the two black men, Philando Castile, a 32-year-old Minnesota man, and Alton Sterling, a 37-year-old father who was shot dead last Tuesday by Baton Rouge police.
“I think what another part of this dialogue that is necessary is to deal with the fractious state of this nation. Because this is not just about law enforcement, this is about literally the lines in the fabric of this country. We have not seen this level of tension since the 1960s,” said Gray in discussing the unrest.
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SOURCE: The Christian Post