Not Every Black Person Believes in God…

Hello World,

It’s funny (funny peculiar, not funny haha) that Christ often gets lost in the hustle and bustle of preparing for Christmas, but it’s true…And it’s also true that black people are known in this country for having an unshakeable belief in God that brought us through slavery and other historical hardships and continues to sustain us today…But more and more black people are admitting that they frankly do not believe in Jesus Christ or God, which is especially poignant at this time of the year…

Tommie Shelby

Tommie Shelby, professor of African and African-American studies and of philosophy at Harvard University, recently shared why he is a black atheist on in his essay “I Didn’t Lose Faith. I Just Don’t Have It.”

Below are a few excerpts from his essay…

And so one day, after much study, I joined a church and was baptized. Soon I was earnestly sharing the gospel with family and friends. I lived at home during the summer after my freshman year, and my mother and I studied together. As a result, her faith was renewed. Indeed, she held tightly to her faith until the day she died.

I can’t say the same for myself. By the time I graduated, I no longer believed in God. I didn’t get to this place easily. It was a painful and trying process that involved hours of study, reflection, self-examination, fasting and prayer.


I worried that my belief in God was ultimately rooted in things like fear of death, desire for community or longing for the loving father figure I didn’t have. Was my attraction to Christian doctrines driven by the fact that I was a lonely, alienated, scared kid looking for something firm to hold on to? After all, faith made me feel powerful and protected.


I’m an intellectual, by natural disposition and vocation. I have chosen to live a life of the mind in a community of scholars where my nonbelief is unremarkable. My path is not for everyone. And I don’t expect most black folk to leave the Lord. What I would like to see, though, is greater respect for and understanding toward the nonbelievers among us. If my mother could muster it, surely we all can.

Another black atheist, Jamila Bey,  shares how she celebrates the Christmas holidays without Christ in her essay “Heathen Holidays: An Atheist Celebrates”also on the

Jamila Bey

So what do I think of the views of the Shelby and Bey as an unabashed believer in Jesus Christ? Well, first of all,  I very much value the freedoms on which this country was based – one of which is the freedom of religion….We are free to believe in whatever God we choose to believe in, and we are also free to choose to not believe in any God at all…So I say – have at it Shelby and Bey…

But I will also say this…the freedoms (religious and otherwise) that Shelby and Bey enjoy today in this country are the result of courageous black Christians down through the years that sacrified – many with their lives – so that we can be as free as we want to be today…it is a real luxury for Shelby and Bey to say they don’t believe in Jesus Christ in today’s times…

Harriet Tubman, Frederick Douglass, Fannie Lou Hamer, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. are just few black people whose lives and Christian faith enabled us to enjoy the freedoms we so cavalierly enjoy today…I’m not sure that Shelby and Bey would be of the same opinion years ago…not hatin’ just sayin’…

What say you?

Any thoughts?




Around the World in a Day: My Experience at the 64th Annual International Conference on Missions

Hello World,

Wing Wong, president of the International Conference on Missions, speaks to everyone. For more info, go to

I was one of several people from local Christian churches that volunteered to help faciliate the 64th Annual International Conference on Missions (formerly the National Missionary Convention) at the Georgia International Convention Center Nov. 17 through today. It was so awe-inspiring to see all of the missionaries from all of the world in one place. And as I walked to the various exhibitor booths of the missionaries, I felt like I was getting an impromptu geography and world affairs lesson. And it brought home this verse:

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Matthew 28:19

Wing Wong, a China missionary and president of the conference, described some of God’s miracles during his message to the missionaries yesterday. During one missionary trip to China, Wong and his fellow missionaries including his son were arrested three times! And each time, God delivered them!

During one arrest, Wong’s son Ivan, who as an American never learned Mandarin, was taken away to be questioned separately by the police. Wong was scared for his son’s safety and informed the police that his son could not speak Mandarin. When Ivan and one of the police officers returned, the police officer told Wong that he lied to them because his son spoke perfectly and they understood one another. Wong later asked his son had he learned Mandarin without his knowledge, and his son told his father no. He further explained that he is unsure how it happened. “Somehow, I could understand them, and somehow they understood me!”  Now, that’s a miracle!!! And 92 people were baptized on that trip despite the opposition the missionaries experienced!

Below are a few pictures from the exhibitors, I met yesterday. If you can, please pick at least one of the missionaries and offer your support!

 This is Yolanda Rodriguez of David’s Well, a ministry to Central America. Her father and mother Juan and Ydalia Rodriguez, who are from the Dominican Republic, are missionaries in Panama, Costa Rica & Nicaragua. Through their mission, they have dug clean water wells, built four health clinics, built 10 new schools and planted 80 new churches. For more information, e-mail

This is Mrs. Mutunga of Tumaini International Ministries Inc.  Mrs. Mutunga and her husband provide assistance to AIDS-orphaned children in Kenya. Currently, they are working to raise $2 million to complete construction of a multipurpose community center which will host the organization’s Christian camps, a medical clinic, counseling services, vocational training and a Christian leadership program. For more information, go to

 Anna along with her husband Jared Odle and their children work as missionaries with the Alliance of Christian Missions in Burkina, Faso in West Africa. Through their Business as Mission, they created a gold brokerage and mining management company, Ethnic Investments LLC,  in Burkina, Faso and have employed 150 men in the area. “God doesn’t just want us to take the gospel, He wants everyone to experience His fullness with clothing and shelter and everything we have here.” Amen!!! For more information, go to

I thought this mission was so innovative! Mercy Ships, a global charity, has operated a fleet of hospital ships in developing nations since 1978. They literally bring healing via doctors, nurses and other medical personnel that embark on these voyages to hurting people all of the world. From Nelson Mandela “I applaud Mercy Ships in their efforts of transformational development as they make a lasting difference in a world of need. Mercy Ships has committed themselves to the vision of an African renaissance in their vision of bringing hope and healing to the continent of Africa.” For more information, go to

Since I fell in love with libraries as a child, this mission got my attention. Open Door Libraries has created four public Christian libraries with full-time missionaries in Berlin, Budapest, Prague and Amman. From these, five churches have been planted!!! For more information, go to

Look for more pictures from the convention in the gallery on Friday, Nov. 25.

Any thoughts?







How We Got Over…(The Funeral of Troy Davis)

Hello World,

Troy Davis was funeralized yesterday in Jonesville Baptist Church in Savannah, Ga. According to MSNBC, more than a 1,000 people showed up to honor the life of a man who was executed although there was considerable reasonable doubt that he committed the crime that he was accused of… 

I watched a video of a portion of the funeral in which Dick Gregory, a civil rights activist and comedian, paid his respects to the family while giving a wise and wickedly funny social commentary of the state of black affairs today. As I watched him, I was reminded of the rich religious heritage black people have in this country. We have only gotten over and are getting over because of the Lord! Black people have suffered grave injustices, and we still do. But none can deny that we have made great progress in spite of all that has been done to hold us back! Take a look at this video and tell me what you think.



And if you really want to feel the move of the Spirit, watch Mahalia Jackson sing “How I Got Over.” This video is an absolute treasure and gives us a glimpse of black life in that time period.

This month is evangelism month at my church Central Christian Church so I will be intentional about sharing my faith although I can be a scaredy cat about it sometimes…If you are looking for joy and peace that is not dependent on your circumstances, a purpose for living that goes beyond you and yours and the ability to see miracles taking place all round you, you’ve got to try Jesus!

And finally, in honor of Troy Davis and those who have been affected by his story, I leave this verse…

“Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”  Matthew 10:28

Any thoughts?