07 March 2008

Barack Obama's Church

There has been a lot of talk lately concerning Barack Obama's church, the Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago. Bloggers and pundits have called the church everything from racist to unifying; from separatist to community centered; from Christ-driven to Christ-free. One thing is certain -- as long as Obama is in the race his church will be a provocative element in the political dialogue. Why?

Here are a couple items from their website (http://www.tucc.org/) that are gaining political traction.

We are a congregation which is Unashamedly Black and Unapologetically Christian... Our roots in the Black religious experience and tradition are deep, lasting and permanent. We are an African people, and remain "true to our native land," the mother continent, the cradle of civilization. God has superintended our pilgrimage through the days of slavery, the days of segregation, and the long night of racism. It is God who gives us the strength and courage to continuously address injustice as a people, and as a congregation. We constantly affirm our trust in God through cultural expression of a Black worship service and ministries which address the Black Community.

The Pastor as well as the membership of Trinity United Church of Christ is committed to a 10-point Vision:

  • A congregation committed to ADORATION.
  • A congregation preaching SALVATION.
  • A congregation actively seeking RECONCILIATION.
  • A congregation with a non-negotiable COMMITMENT TO AFRICA.
  • A congregation committed to BIBLICAL EDUCATION.
  • A congregation committed to CULTURAL EDUCATION.
  • A congregation committed to LIBERATION.
  • A congregation committed to RESTORATION.
  • A congregation working towards ECONOMIC PARITY

"Mission Statement: What Trinity Is About
Trinity United Church of Christ has been called by God to be a congregation that is not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ and that does not apologize for its African roots! As a congregation of baptized believers, we are called to be agents of liberation not only for the oppressed, but for all of God’s family. We, as a church family, acknowledge, that we will, building on this affirmation of "who we are" and "whose we are," call men, women, boys and girls to the liberating love of Jesus Christ, inviting them to become a part of the church universal, responding to Jesus’ command that we go into all the world and make disciples!

We are called out to be "a chosen people" that pays no attention to socio-economic or educational backgrounds. We are made up of the highly educated and the uneducated. Our congregation is a combination of the haves and the have-nots; the economically disadvantaged, the under-class, the unemployed and the employable.

The fortunate who are among us combine forces with the less fortunate to become agents of change for God who is not pleased with America’s economic mal-distribution!

W.E.B. DuBois indicated that the problem in the 20th century was going to be the problem of the color line. He was absolutely correct. Our job as servants of God is to address that problem and eradicate it in the name of Him who came for the whole world by calling all men, women, boys and girls to Christ."