Black Church 101

Picture this: You've been "church shopping" in a new city and find a church that seems promising. It's well attended, the people are friendly and welcoming, there are ministries that speak to your needs and those of your family, but one thing bothers you. It seems that at times, the very eloquent and active pastor is often too radical, too confrontational and too "over the top" in his preaching. In one sermon, he calls God's wrath down upon the nation. In another sermon, he berates seemingly devoted church folks for engaging in empty, meaningless worship and tells them to take aggressive social action that might upset the accepted status quo. In still another sermon, he rejects peace and seems to advocate taking up arms to force change, and even labels the widely respected leaders of the church and the state as snakes and hypocrites who are bound for hell.