Warming church pews

William T. Robinson, Jr.

William T. Robinson, Jr.

I guess I’m literally getting ready to step on many people toes or go where some say is unwarranted territory—but if the shoe fits, wear it. I want to bring attention to the lack of participation in tackling social injustices occurring daily in our communities by many claiming to be Christians or spiritually motivated individuals. We are talking about people who look just like you who faithfully spend their Sundays in someone’s church listening to the word and praising and glorifying the Lord. But when it is over, it is just that, over. They do not manifest the word once they leave their perspective churches or temples of praise. It appears as if it was just a show to be entertained and to release pent up emotions. All too often they are led and orchestrated by a religious leader or minister who doesn’t practice the message he feeds his congregation. A message of treating others the way you want to be treated, a message of helping those less fortunate, a message of sharing, helping, and given of your gifts and talents to help all humanity.

I guess some people forget that humanity begins in our own communities with those who are economical disadvantaged, homeless, unemployed, lacking adequate educational opportunities, and are emotional broken down to a state of hopelessness. We are talking about a system void of equity where many of the haves roll up their noses or roll their eyes at the have nots as if people enjoy or chose to live in poverty.

I can personally attest that most of the people I know who are economically disadvantaged are victims of a bureaucratic system controlled by the powers that be. A certain percentage of people is literally picked who will be afforded admission into middle or upper class status. It’s all about neighborhoods and zip codes, separating opportunities and economic advancement.

We are separated by economics, and the churches should be trying to narrow the gap by encouraging their congregations and the city to promote equity. We are not talking about a great emotional speech on the subject only to move the crowd, only to dissipate when one leaves the church. I’m alluding to the fact that ministers should encourage their members that while the word may be heard in the church, the work takes place outside the church in a grassroots effort to truly make a difference.

If your church does not have a social justice or action committee, then you may want to question the relevancy of the church you attend. And while you may have a minister who puts the concerns of the city on the backburner, you must understand the church and its members should be about doing God’s work. Ministers and spiritual leaders must understand social injustices, and lack of equity, affect many of their members.

They must ask themselves if they are doing everything possible to make a difference to arrest these demons. If all the churches (especially mega churches) united in an effort to galvanize around the social and economic injustices confronting our city, just think about the positive changes that would take place in promoting equity and justice for all.

I challenge those who may be guilty of being a weekly participant (in just keeping a church pew warm) to make a genuine effort to volunteer their services, talents, or finances in community efforts to rectify some of the social ills encompassing our communities. How can your spirituality not follow you in your daily walk? This is when you really manifest the real spirituality sanctioned by God that makes a difference and is pleasing in his sight. Remember the adage, “I’d rather see a sermon than hear one.”

A special thanks to the handful of truly God ordained ministers who have always taken a stance in being mouthpieces and activists for social injustices, for the disenfranchised and the downtrodden. The people in the community know who you are.