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Children and innocent people are dying and the silence of church leadership is deafening.

Are church leaders forgetting something?

Last week on my radio show, just two days after the tragic death of Chicago Police Officer and war veteran Thomas Wortham IV, I identified churches as the one entity that could actually do something about the violence that is plaguing our city.  Little did I know that the conversation would start me on a personal mission to hold churches accountable for their silence and seclusion.  It seems that the residents of this great city think I’m right on target with this also.  Of all the years I’ve been in media I have NEVER received the kind of response generated by this conversation.  Dozens of facebook messages, emails, phone calls and texts came through on this.  It looks like we’re on to something here…

Given the fact that Chicago is well on its way to becoming the murder capital of the world, I wondered “what are churches–especially those in the high crime areas–really doing to stop this?

In short, the answer is: nothing.

Of the more than 10 churches I contacted, including my own, only one had a clear cut community outreach/anti-violence initiative.  That church was St. Sabina under the courageous leadership of Father Michael Pfleger.

The churches listed below either did not have an anti-violence initiative or have not responded to my call.  They are:

  • Christ Universal Temple; 119th amp; Ashland; Pastor Carlton Pearson;  NO ANTI-CRIME INITIATIVE
  • Salem Baptist Church; 752 E. 114th Street; Pastor James Meeks; NO ANTI-CRIME INITIATIVE
  • Fellowship MB Church; 45th amp; Princeton; Pastor Charles Jenkins; NO ANTI-CRIME INITIATIVE
  • Apostolic Church of God; 63rd amp; Dorchester; NO ANTI-CRIME INITIATIVE
  • The Apostolic Faith Church; 38th amp; Indiana; Pastor Horace Smith, MD; NO CRIME INITIATIVE
  • Trinity United Church; Pastor Otis Moss; Left messages
  • The Friendship Baptist Church; 5200 W. Jackson; Rev. Reginald Bachus; Left message
  • Third Baptist Church of Chicago; 95th amp; Ashland; Left message
  • Indiana Avenue Pentecostal Church of God; 35th amp; Indiana; NO ANTI-CRIME INITIATIVE BUT HOPING TO DEVELOP ONE SOON
  • Pleasant Ridge MB Church; 116 S. Central; Pastor Joseph Jones; NO INITIATIVE BUT HOSTS YOUTH PROGRAMS EACH SUMMER AND ATTENDS COMMUNITY MEETINGS
  • ALPHA amp; OMEGA MB Church; 4201 W. Jackson; no answer
  • Christian Life Center; Tinley Park, Illinois (my church); Pastor Jerry McQuay; NOPE, NOTHING…BUT THEY WILL DO A MISSION TO PERU IN A HEARTBEAT.  GO FIGURE.

Now let’s look at this for a moment.  Collectively, these churches probably have a combined “active” membership of more than 15,000 people and that’s being conservative.  God only knows how much money they collect weekly and the people of influence that attend these institutions is absolutely astounding.  Not to mention the political relationships that these pastors could leverage–I mean think about it.  The power in these pews could literally move mountains and change lives IF ONLY they would move beyond the church walls into the streets and touch the people who need to be churched the most.

It sickens me to think that with all the hoopin and hollerin that goes on every single Sunday, nobody is doing anything to stop our babies from dying on the streets.  Meanwhile you profess to be saved and sanctified???  Pleeease.

Churches absolutely MUST do more.  Church leaders MUST provide a vision for what they will do to protect our communities.  They have the audience, the influence, the money and a direct line to G-O-D.

“Oh ye of little faith!!!”

It is NOT all about who can build the biggest church!  All of God’s people must put themselves on the frontline to save the innocent.  We must sacrifice our comfort and witness to people who don’t recognize the GOD in them.  Will doing this jeopardize our safety and security?  Absolutely.  But if Jesus did it and we claim to be Jesus-centered, so should we.

I will continue my crusade to get more churches involved in the fight against violence because our children’s lives depend on it.

4 Responses to “Children and innocent people are dying and the silence of church leadership is deafening.”

  1. Pastor Phil says:

    I’m a pastor and I agree that churches have a responsibility, but it more spiritual than social and political. The reason why many churches have not responded is because there is NO biblical precedent for non-violence initiatives. I caught a piece of the WVON conversation and the most sincere statement made was in the responsibilty of churches to save the souls of those who are spiraling out of control in a society that facilitates moral depravity. I would be willing to discuss with you real solutions, not stemming from an emotional reaction but a strategic response. FAMILY, EDUCATION AND CHRIST. There is no other way.

  2. admin says:

    Thanks Pastor Phil. A strategy is definitely necessary. I am happy to discuss one with you. Even though there is no biblical precedent for non-violence initiatives, don’t you agree that if the bible were written today that there would be something said about it? Churches and church leadership have a responsibility to meet the current needs of the people. Leadership from the church on crime is what our people need right now. Yes, Spirituality is at the root of a pastor’s influence and purpose, however, they also have social and political influence that they can and should leverage to achieve their spiritual goals. That’s just the way effective leaders must operate these days. I am by no means a biblical scholar. But one thing i know for sure is that if Jesus were walking these streets right now, he most certainly would not be ignoring the problem like so many ministers do. Thanks again for weighing in on this…so far you are the first pastor to do so. Please email me your contact info.

  3. [...] a listen and join me Friday at Noon CST as we continue the dialogue. The bottomline is that churches have to do more to stop [...]

  4. [...] that an aggressive and strategic plan must be put in place to stop this violence.  I believe that churches should be at the forefront of this effort working hand in hand with our elected officials and [...]

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