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Olin Moyd writes on page 36 of The Sacred Art:
Redemption for African Americans meant salvation from states and circumstances as well as salvation from sin, guilt, and the consequence thereof. Redemption meant liberation from oppression, and it also meant confederation, or the developing of a community of God.
Redemption is more than just one individual getting to heaven. Too often the western truncation of the gospel has totally ignored the social dimension. Glen Beck describes this Western perversion of the Biblical kingdom of God by implying that there is no social dimension to the gospel. It is totally about the individual in this false gospel. This “gospel” ignores the fact that God always works with groups. Certainly we decide whether we will be a part of that group individually, but it is a communal and corporate Kingdom that God is seeking to institute.
While some are making capitalism the essence of the Gospel, Blacks were suspicious of such moves. Others attempt to equate the middle class idea of “the American dream” with the goal of the gospel. And yet, black folks have always been suspicious of such a gospel. African American thought is wary of a “gospel” that might save their soul but says nothing about their condition. Ultimately they question a God that has the ability to save from sin, but will not or cannot liberate from oppression.
No we don’t look for the American Dream, we look for the Kingdom of God. The Kingdom of God ain’t about the property rights of the rich, it is about the first being last and the last being first. Yes, redemption includes both the mental and spiritual, but it also includes the physical being of humanity. And we won’t accept any counterfeit as the genuine article no matter how loud the west yells it.
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