History has shown us that morality cannot be legislated. It may be tempting to certain individuals to solve America’s moral decline with partisan politics, but the real solution is the Gospel.
There was a time (not so long ago) when Americans largely disapproved of certain social practices such as abortion, divorce, pornography, sexual promiscuity, profane and obscene language, etc. The black Christian church has certainly been one of the most staunch and vocal opponents of such modes of living in times past. But, lately, it appears that the evangelical component of our community has generally gone silent.
To be sure, there are individual non-denominational and mainline black churches- both small and large- that are genuinely serious about their collective walk with the Lord. And, there are a multitude of excellent leaders who rightly divide and impart sound doctrine and “stir up” the gifts of their flock for kingdom building. Unfortunately, too many black Christian preachers exploit their positions and pulpits to encourage followers to water-down or hide the truth, all for the sake of material gain and making everyone happy.
The older black church was unashamed in its rhetoric and tough stance on certain immoral practices. Through godly living, prayer, faithful teaching and standing on the truth, present-day believers can once again become the conscience of our communities and affect positive change instead of government intervention and public policies. The following seven areas do not represent the entire breadth of moral issues that have become politicized but are some of the primary areas that the black church should stop being mute about:
Unwanted Pregnancies and Abortions
Black women have the highest rates of unintended pregnancy across racial and ethnic groups and are three times more likely as white women to have an abortion. Of these women, most are between the ages of 18 to 24 years and unmarried, have low incomes and are not high school graduates.
There are still some individual congregations and black organizations such as the Radiance Foundation and the National Black Prolife Coalition that express the common views of the early believers on these two issues.
In August, the Department of Human Health Services is expected to decide whether they will adopt the recent contraception recommendation cited in a report published by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) to decrease the rate of unwanted pregnancies and abortions. Specifically, the IOM has suggested to the Obama administration that all U.S.-approved birth control methods (condoms, oral contraceptives, spermicides, sterilization, etc.), including morning-after pills, be mandatory and free for all.