On Friday, October 28th, The State of the Black Church Conference takes place in Wake Forest, NC. Our brother from The Front Porch, Thabiti Anyabwile, will be in attendance to serve the conference, which is hosted by Kingdom Diversity; The Front Porch will have a booth at the conference, too, so make sure to drop by!
Kingdom Diversity is Southeastern Seminary’s initiative to equip brothers and sisters from every corner of the Kingdom to serve in every corner of the Kingdom. I (Isaac) asked Maliek Blade, a founder of Kingdom Diversity, a few questions so that we might learn more about what seems to be a wonderful, promising, and much needed event. See Maliek’s answers to my questions below, and register for the conference; there’s still time!
The black church has been a unique advocate for the oppressed and a victim of persecution throughout its history. What lessons can we learn from the black church?
Often our ethics (what we do) can confuse others about our epistemology (what we believe). Sometimes what we believe is not seen in our actions. I say this to say that right epistemology must be coupled with right ethics for the world to take us seriously. The black church has been a shining example of conviction that leads to action. Historically, after being persecuted, the black church has joined in the cause of the persecuted and oppressed. In the past, Evangelicals have erred on the side of strong epistemology with questionable ethics, whereas the black church has presented a respectable priority on both epistemology and ethics.
Why a conference on the state of the black church specifically, Maliek? What are areas the black church is strong in, and what are area’s where growth may be required?
The term “black church” could mean a variety of things based on who you ask. Some may think of charismatic preaching backed by a Hammond B3 organ, while others may think of it as place of refuge when trying to escape the consequences of bad decisions. These varying perspectives affirm the reality that the black church is diverse and does not always fit neatly into caricatures often seen on television. To answer the latter part of your question, I want to put emphasis on the word “some” as the black church is made up of many different churches and traditions. In my experience, some black churches are weak when it comes to discipleship while some others boast a rich tradition in expository preaching. We will unpack this very subject at the conference, so be sure to join us!
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