I just received the book Might From the Margins: The Gospel’s Power to Turn the Tables on Injustice by Dennis Edwards.
This came at the end of an awful week. The end of political conventions, the spewing of more race-baiting tropes, the shooting in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and then the death of Chadwick Boseman. Throw in with all of that the debacle of Jerry Falwell, Jr. and his “in your face” immorality that was tolerated for years until one photo seemed to tip the scales, and it was just a stupid bad week.
I have been looking forward to Edward’s book for months and I opened to the foreword written by Nicole Baker Fulghum, founder and president of The Expectations Project. Her words in one and a half pages summed up how this week felt. She talked about starting The Expectations Project, working with larger white churches, and the headiness of that project. The work that was being done in the name of education equity seemed significant.
She described the difficulty of dragging some white congregations into the work and the exhausting interracial conversations, but the work was good.
Then… one sentence:
“And then, 2016 happened.”
I swear, I closed the book and slapped it to the counter. THAT… THAT is the height of my frustration. THAT sentence sums it all up. And the thought that we have learned so little, if anything at all, just spilled over.
That also led Nicole Fulgham to ask herself why her organization needed to work with white Christian brothers and sisters to achieve their goals? Was she, as a Black woman, not enough for the task? Did she feel she needed the white evangelical church to get things done?
“Where the voices of power of Black and brown faith leaders not enough?”
This is as far as I’ve read in the book because it is THAT emotional to me.
I have long come to the conclusion that I need the Black church in my life. I need other ethnic churches in my life. When I visit a Black church I am satisfied with sitting in the back and taking in the service. I don’t need any place of honor. I want to learn. I want to soak in. I want to listen.
The road of change in American Christianity isn’t through the white evangelical megachurch with campuses in 6 states and 3 foreign countries.
The road is through the historic Black church and our Hispanic brothers and sisters. It can also be found in the liturgy, which can also be found in the Black church. Why? Because those brothers and sisters know how to live in power even if our culture puts them on the margins.
The way of the Kingdom isn’t through the “right” president selecting the “right” judges to give us the “right” decisions on one social issue that, ironically, has already been won by the evangelical church and they refuse to acknowledge it!
We need to get back to the worship of Christ and the work of justice… and that will be found on the margins.
Dennis Edwards, I am going to get through my emotions and get on with this book, BUT THANK YOU, MY FRIEND for this book!