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What is the theology of black liberation?

3 julio, 2018

The theology of black liberation is a branch of the South American liberation theology, which is largely humanistic, trying to apply Christian theology to the grave situation of the poor. The theology of black liberation focuses on Africans in general and African-Americans in particular, freeing them from all forms of slavery and injustice, whether real or perceived, be it social, political, economic, or religious.

The goal of black liberation theology is to “make real Christianity for blacks.” The main mistake in the theology of black liberation is its focus. The theology of black liberation attempts to center Christianity on the liberation of social injustice in the here and now, rather than in the future life. Jesus taught the exact opposite: “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36). Have African-Americans and especially African-Americans been treated unfairly and vilely in recent history? Absolutely! Should one of the results of the Gospel be to end racism, discrimination, prejudice and inequity? Again, yes, absolutely (Galatians 3:28)! Is the liberation of social injustice the main core of the Gospel? Do not.

The Gospel message is this: we are all infected by sin (Romans 3:23). We are all deserving of eternal separation from God (Romans 6:23). Jesus died on the cross, bearing the punishment we deserve (1 Corinthians 5:21; 1 John 2: 2), providing our salvation. Later Jesus was resurrected, demonstrating that His death was truly a sufficient payment for the punishment of sin (1 Corinthians 15: 1-4). If we put our trust in Jesus as Savior, all our sins are forgiven, and we will be granted entrance into heaven after death (John 3:16). That is the Gospel. That must be our focus. That is the cure for what is really ravaging humanity.

When a person receives Jesus as Savior, he / she is a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17), and the Holy Spirit that resides in them begins the process of conforming them to the image of Christ (Romans 12: 1-2). Only through this spiritual transformation can racism be truly conquered. The theology of black liberation fails because it attacks the symptoms without really addressing the disease. Sin / fallen man is disease; Racism is just one of its many symptoms. The message of the Gospel is the atoning sacrifice of Jesus for our sins, and the salvation that is then available through faith. The end of racism will be a result of the people who truly receive Jesus as Savior, but racism itself is not specifically addressed in the Gospel.

Because of its exaggerated emphasis on racial problems, a negative result of the theology of black liberation is that it tends to separate whites and blacks in Christian communities, and this is totally unbiblical. Christ came into the world to unite all who believe in Him in a universal Church, His body, of which He is the head (Ephesians 1: 22-23). Members of the Body of Christ share a common bond with other Christians, regardless of nationality, race or cultural background. “So that there is no disagreement in the body, but that the members all care for one another” (1 Corinthians 12:25). We must be of one mind, having the mind of Christ, and having an objective, to glorify God by fulfilling Christ’s command to “go all over the world,” speaking to others about Him, sharing the good news of the Gospel, and teaching them to observe His commandments (Matthew 28: 19-20). Jesus reminds us that the two great commandments are; love God and love our neighbor as ourselves, regardless of race (Matthew 22: 36-40).