Can God Count on the Black Preachers – Where Are the Prophets?

I love Black preaching. I love the style that African American preachers use in bringing a word from God.

Black Preaching Ain’t Just Style

However, African American Preaching is more than whooping, shouting, and style. It is also a prophetic engagement with the powers that be. It stands up against wickedness in all places even if that wickedness finds itself in our midst.

Domestic Violence a Quiet Epidemic

Today we find ourselves with a quiet epidemic that is busting out on the front pages. Namely I am speaking about the Thomas Weeks and Juanita Bynum situation. Certainly you have heard about it. What is of particular interest to me is how long we can just ignore the violence in our communities and even in our homes.

My dear preachers, it is reported that Approximately 1/3 of American women report that a close partner has physically or sexually abused them during their lives. “It is estimated that 503,485 women are stalked by an intimate partner each year in the US.” “Family violence costs between 5 billion and 10 billion dollars annually in medical expenses, police and court costs, shelters and foster care, sick leave, absenteeism, an non-productivity.” These numbers particularly become ominous when we take into account that domestic violence is often unreported. This is certainly an epidemic. Because of the relative silence in this society, it is a quiet epidemic. You can see the reference at this link.

What Are Preacher’s Saying to the Abused Women?

Can God Count on us? How many of us have at least preached a sermon on this? And it gets worse. And what do many preacher’s counsel? J. Lee Grady in the book10 Lies the Church Tells Women: How the Bible Has Been Misused to Keep Women in Spiritual Bondage. quotes a study of 5700 protestant pastors on issues dealing with domestic violence. The first startling statistic was that 71% of pastors who returned the survey never counsel a woman to leave or separate based on domestic violence. 92% never counsel the woman to get a divorce because of domestic violence. 26% of pastors told women to go back to an abusive situation and submit. They said that God would bless the decision. In addition, 25% told the woman that her lack of submission was the cause of the abuse. These statistics show that too often the pastor is on the side of the abuser against the abused.

My dear preachers, If the hurting can’t count on us. What Good are we? I ask again, Can God count on us? Our silence seems to make many ask the question is it God or Satan that is counting on us?

What To Do?

What to do? First thing is become informed. Learn about the resources in your area. Inform your church. Stop supporting abuse by your silence. Find ways to promote that work and ways to support healthy relations between the sexes. There will be more to come on this subject, but I would encourage you to visit the What About our Daughter’s Blog where she gives some specific suggestions to deal with some of the prominent issues that affect our sisters today.

Keep on Preaching

So keep on whooping and shouting, but you better say something to help the hurting and the weak and the vulnerable among us, otherwise what Good are you?

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Sherman Haywood Cox II

Sherman Haywood Cox II is the director of Soul Preaching. He holds the M.Div with an emphasis in Homiletics and a M.S. in Computer Science.

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