Liberation Theology

Liberation Theology is a new term for many. Reverend Jeremiah Wright, an advocate of this school of thought, has reintroduced it and acquainted many with it for the first time.
To concisely write on a subject as broad as this is to leave room for criticism for not fully representing the subject. To introduce it concession must be made that this is only in part a characterization of the topic.
In 1969 James Cone wrote the primary work introducing the school of thought entitled “Black Theology and Black Power.” In a later book Cone defines this school of theology in this way:
“If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the black community… Black theology will accept only the love of a God who participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in Black Power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal. Unless God is participating in this holy activity, we must reject his love.”1
Some current advocates say Christianity was forced on early Africans introduced to America and has failed them. Because of this failure many blacks in America are being attracted to Islam.
Islam is represented as the original faith of African-Americans. It is depicted as the faith willfully embraced by African ancestors. This completely ignores the historical reality that emerging Islam gained most converts at the point of a sword. Its evangelical style consisted of convert or die.
Reverend Jeremiah Wright is correct in saying we must love one another and consider each as an equal. He is right in saying there is an incongruence between faith and practice by many who profess faith in Christianity. Lamentably that is true of all races. Members of no other faith can plead innocent to that charge.
He made reference to 11:00 AM on Sunday as the most segregated hour of the week. Unfortunately there was a time not so distant past this was true, but not now. Churches of all ethnic and racial groups are open to “whosoever.”
The reason most churches have a core that is alike is style, not segregation. Within the white, black, brown, and yellow congregations there are preferred styles of worship and people go where there is a style they prefer. Music has a lot to do with a person’s preferred place of worship. In general in America any person can worship anywhere they want. That would not be true if people didn’t love those unlike them and consider them equals.
Christians aren’t perfect and many disgrace the name. Yet, Christians operate the largest disaster relief agencies in the world, they provide more hospitals than any independent group, rescue missions and homeless shelters proliferate, most homes for unwed mothers are supported by them, numerous sports ministries are Christian based, the largest non-government agencies designed to feed the hungry are operated by Christians, and churches provide free counseling. They would not do that if they didn’t love others and consider them equals.
1. “A Black Theology of Liberation,” by James H. Cone 1990, page 27.