Slave Religion

Slave Religion

This morning as I thought about black theology and Christianity, it dawned on me that Judaism and its sybling Christianity are slave religions. They are the result of the descendents of slaves who sought to remember what their ancestors had experienced and learned so they could make sense of their own enslavement and suffering.

It is important for historically oppressed people belonging to the Christian faith to fully appreciate the God of the Bible who acts on behalf of the oppressed. The story of the Exodus is the story of freedom and emancipation par excellence. All future acts of salvation in Scripture are understood in light of and in the language of the Exodus.

It is my conviction that the Black Church must continue to remember, recall, retain, and rehearse its divine exodus from slavery, Jim Crow, segregation, and discrimination in America as the children of Abraham from Egyptian bondage and slavery. The lessons of our ancestors form our canon, witness, and theodicy for addressing the internal and external threats that seek to undermine our God-given particularity of self-identity and self-determination.

The biblical Exodus schema offers us an interpretative framework for community history telling to instill identity, pride, and mission in our children. Israel who came under the domination of her international neighbors looked back to envision as new exodus. Torah maintained and protected their community against the loss of identity and self-determination.