Skip to content

A Call to True Liberation

February 26, 2016

Black Liberation theology supposes that the Africans and African-Americans must be free from the injustices of social, economic, political, and ethnic oppression.[1] The oppressor is “white” society and its social constructs. It is argued, that since blacks are oppressed, the Jesus of the Bible must come to liberate the oppressed from oppressors. He must serve as the god of black experience and identify with oppressed blacks in order to usher them to the freedom of ethnic pride and independence. The mission of Jesus Christ, in Black Liberation Theology, is to end ethnic prejudice (defined as “racism” and poverty). According to this ideology, Blacks must learn to love themselves, so that they can liberate themselves and function victoriously in society. Its founder, James Cone, attributes his ideas to late Civil Rights Leader Martin Luther King Jr. and Black Muslim, Nationalist, Malcolm X.[2]

In 1963, Martin Luther King, in his most famous speech, called on humanity to join together in order to attain, what he believed was, true freedom. According to sentiments echoed by James Cone, King said:

“. . . when we let {freedom} ring from every village and hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty, we’re free at last!”

Does God show partiality to the nations?

God calls all people, everywhere, to repent (Acts 17:30). Jesus came first for the Jews, most of whom rejected Him (John 1:11). There is no partiality with God (Romans 2:11). Social political oppression, ethnic prejudice, economic failure and other injustices are not first causes, but symptoms. Every race, to one degree or another, can claim such terrible experiences as their own. Jesus did not come to alleviate social, ethnic, political, and economic injustices. Although He demonstrated compassion for those who experienced such things, His primary reason for coming to the earth was to set captives free from the bondage of sin and the eternal wage of death and judgment. (Luke 4:18; 5:32; John 3:16-17)

Salvation in Jesus Christ is not only offered to a specific ethnic group or one particular social class of people. To suppose that this is the case, misrepresents the purpose of Jesus’ substitutionary atonement for sinners. If you believe that Jesus only came to save the black race or any other race, as liberation theology teaches, then you are accusing God of the sin of partiality (Romans 2:15). Also, to uphold the teachings of black liberation theology, you also say that God and His apostles are liars:

“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:28)
Although great atrocities have taken place throughout the course of human history, it is not because one race is inferior to another. Because mankind has rebelled against the Creator, one expression of their rebellion is to despise the image of God in man (Genesis 1:26-27). Everyone who does not have saving faith in Jesus Christ is a murderer, like their father Satan. He is the archenemy of God and His people (John 8:44).

The cure for ethnic disharmony is not to stand united across contradictory beliefs systems that each lead away from Jesus Christ as He has revealed Himself in Scripture. Neither is the cure self-confidence, self-esteem and ethnic pride, because each of those are sins against God as well (John 12:25; Gal. 3:28). Nor is it to experience the atrocities of a particular race so that the Gospel can be more palatable.[3] Several nations were represented at the Tower of Babel, and united in confederation against God with the common goal human achievement and arrogantly reaching the heights of heaven with their accomplishments (Genesis 11:1-9). God confused and confounded their efforts, because their foundation was not built on worship toward Him. Mankind finds their common identity in Adam as sinners against Almighty God. Every unbelieving race and nation is united in their rebellion against God and His Son Jesus Christ (Psalm 2:1).

It is God who has determined the locations and geographical boundaries. However, He commands everyone, from every tribe, nation, and language, to repent of their sins and find their common identity in the Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ. Therefore Christianity is not a “white” religion, “black” religion, or exclusive to any other race. It is absolute truth and an ultimatum to every man, woman, and child who shares common ancestry to Adam, and is alienated from God. In Adam, every person is born spiritually dead, awaiting physical death, and eternal judgment (Romans 5:12; Corinthians 15:22).

Only during the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11) and the reign of the Antichrist is humanity depicted as united together without saving faith in God. In the latter case, they will express the height of their deception and enmity with God by rendering praise to him, while severed from the Lamb

Revelation 13:4-5 “I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, ‘Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?’”

The “Dream” for all persons to gather together in ecumenical unity, and inclusive utopianism is not pictured in the Scriptures. The believing multitudes, however, gather around Jesus Christ at the end of the age. People from every tribe, nation and tongue will worship Jesus Christ because He paid for their sins as a substitute, bearing upon Himself the wrath of God. The people who worship Him at the end of the age are credited His righteousness, and place their absolute faith in Him alone unto salvation for the forgiveness of their sins (Revelation 7:9). Those who are free at last are only those who are slaves to the righteousness of Jesus Christ by faith alone in Him, by the grace God and free from lawlessness and sin, receiving entrance into His Kingdom through the blood of the Lamb. It is only through this “freedom” that every person can unite and be ‘free at last’, rendering worship to Almighty God in Christ Jesus. All other persons, no matter their aspirations in this life, are slaves to sin and will be condemned to eternal punishment for their sins.

What must you do to be saved?

If you find your identity in anything or anyone other than the Lord Jesus Christ then you are dead in your sins and in danger of the final judgment that will include sentencing to hell. Jesus Christ commands you, not to have more pride and feelings of ethnic superiority. He commands that you deny yourself, hate your life in this world, confess your sins before Him and believe that He died on the cross as a substitute for sins. Since the wrath of God remains on everyone who denies that Jesus came from the Heavenly Father to satisfy His wrath against them, you must be born again.

Jesus does not command you to find your chief identity in this world, but to forsake the lusts of this world and the pride of life. You must humble yourself and cry out for forgiveness. You must forgive those who have caused injustices to you. If you do not forgive others, God will not forgive you (Matthew 6:15). Partiality is a sin against God (1 Timothy 5:21; James 3:17). Man’s primary need as not to be liberated from rebellion against the law of God. Ethnic harmony is impossible apart from receiving a new heart and new nature by the blood of Jesus Christ. If God has only come to liberate the black race or exclusively any other race, then the atoning work of the cross is a failure and powerless. Mankind’s collective atrocities are eternally consequential and demand eternal judgment.

-Doron Gladden

[1] James H. Cone, “God and Black Suffering: Calling the Oppressors to Account,” Anglican Theological Review, vol. 90, no. 4 (2008): 710.

[2] Ibid., 701.

[3] James H. Cone, “Theology’s Great Sin: Silence in the Face of White Supremacy,” Black Theology: An International Journal, vol. 2, issue 2. (July 2004): 151.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: