Have We Forgotten God?

Have We Forgotten God? August 4, 2016

black crossby Michael Bowe

Recently, I picked up a book because the title caught my eye.  I have yet to open it yet, as I have some several other readings that I need to accomplish.  However, I did buy it and I will eventually make my way to reading it.  Its title is Forgotten God by Francis Chan.  The subtitle has leadings that it will talk of the Holy Spirit, but I do not know its contents.  However, I would like to borrow the title for this article.

It seems this country has forgotten God.  Now let me clarify.  There are countless calls and criticisms on the basis that the country has forgotten God.  The claims are that God is removed from school, God is disregarded considering same sex marriage, God is kicked out of America because of etc.  The list can be long.  However, based on recent events I think America has forgotten who God is.

Malcolm X stated, “If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing.”  When we see the lists of people being oppressed such as Sandra Bland, Freddie Gray, Alton Sterling, Tamir Rice, and countless others, I am amazed by the people who are siding with the governmental force that oppressed these people.  Please understand, I am not nor will I ever condone killing anyone, including police officers.  I am simply asking has America forgotten the character of God revealed in the Bible?

In Isaiah 61:1-2 the prophet states, “The spirit of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me; he has sent me to bring good news to the oppressed, to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and release to the prisoners; to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn.”  This was written to bring comfort to a people who were being oppressed.  Later, Jesus would quote these verses and say he was the fulfillment of these verses to a people who were oppressed by the Roman Government.  Throughout the gospels we find that Jesus was constantly on the liberating side of the people oppressed.  This includes the woman at the well, Matthew the tax collector, the woman with the issue of blood, and the other criminal on the cross beside him.

Now when miscarriages of justice occur, people automatically begin to justify the actions of the oppressor.  He was resisting arrest, he had a rap sheet a mile long, he had a gun; he looked suspicious and so on.  The news media has twisted many of these events causing people to have to pick sides. Unfortunately, I am finding many of my Christian brothers and sisters loving those who are doing the oppressing and forgetting the oppressed.  James Cone states, “Theology ceases to be a theology of the gospel when it fails to arise out of the community of the oppressed.”[1]  When will the Christian community arise and call out the oppressors of this land?  Where is the gospel today?  Have the people forgotten God?

[1] Cone, James H. A Black Theology of Liberation. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1990. Pg 1

Michael Bowe is a D.Min student at Memphis Theological Seminary

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