Olin Moyd, in The Sacred Art: Preaching and Theology in the African American Tradition writes:

African American preaching in the present and future, as in the past, has the awesome task of speaking comfort and hope to the exploited while at the same time demanding relief and justice from the exploiters as a divine mandate.

The Two Sides

Some preachers think they are done after simply preaching about hope and comfort to the weak. We preach about how God is on your side in the midst of pain and heartache and struggle. We let folks know of the truth that “though they walk through the valley of the shadow of death” that “God is with them.” We ensure that they can shout and praise God about that God is with them…

But do we also teach the truth that where God is justice is of necessity there as well? Do we take up the prophetic mandate and let all exploiters know that God is not pleased and that God will demand justice of those who exploit the weakest.

Are We Silent About Abuse?

To be more explicit, do we preach about God being with the weak, and never say anything about the abuse that is going on in our own churches? Do we by our silence continue the perpetuation of violence against women and even children? Do we allow the abuser to continue in the church office without nary a word from the pulpit?

If God is truly on the side of the weak then what will happen to us who allow known physical and mental abuse to go on in our own parish without standing for the truth? If God is truly on the side of the oppressed as our skilled Black Theologians and Black preachers have told us for so many years, what does that mean to the women who are abused?

Preach What Needs to be Preached

Simply put, our church cannot continue to speak about the racism of the predominent culture and not come face to face with our own sins…As Professor Moyd reminds us, we must have the strength to demand justice from even those abusers who sit in our own congregations, who are on the deacon’s board and maybe might be a trustee, just as surely as we preach hope for the abused…that is if we are truly preachers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ….

5 thoughts on “Preaching Both Sides

  1. Marty Meuschke says:

    This is a much needed message. It is not enough to preach hope, we must also remind congregations we are the hands and feet of Christ, and if we do not actively work to eliminate injustice, it will not happen.

  2. What is the Voice of God-VOG? Preachers need to get in touch with the VOG! And the only way to do that is to set yourself apart. And once you are set apart the VOG can be revealed to you- Praise God! Whatever God reveals, the preacher needs to preach! Thus, If the VOG say speak to the rock, then speak and not smote- Num 20:11. Hope is good but what about Grace and Truth? Preachers need to get in touch with GOD-Can you here me now?

  3. Sylvester Warsaw, Jr. says:

    This is a much need article and more Preacher’s of the Gospel need to receive this Word. Elder Cox, you, already know from what you’ve read from the responses I’ve written that I’m one who champions the Prophetic Tradition. The Prophetic Tradition exposes all sin not just some sin. As Rev. Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. always stated “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere” and we need to realise that because that includes our fellowships! God wants His children to be whole in Him, therefore, we, those of us who stand in John’s shoes must preach and teach the unadulterated Word of God without compromise.

  4. Good Evening,
    I like the topic. The word of GOD has balance, these words of thought will add balance to OUR understanding of the Power of Grace & Mercy. The Bible says “We All Fall Short” or ” If it Wasn’t for Grace of God There would I be Also”, It is in these words of understanding that we find the Strenght in the Kingdom Movement of GOD. These words reminds us to remain “Humble”. Can you Love without becoming a stumbling block? In the feeding of the 5,000 the bible says the “Lord Had Compassiom on Them & He Heal them”, That tells us that,”Belief” will follow you. In Every Church There Will Be Sinners. The Story of Jesus carring his Cross and the Help he receive along the way, tells me that some will be called on to Help bare the Cross of other, but in the end it is Still their Cross to bare. And it is in Finding that TRUST in someone to help bare that weight is where most suffer. That why Fellowship is important. May the Grace & Peace of Jesus be with You. GOD BLESS, BRO CES

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