Drugs on the street

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Many members of the panel feel that the drug problem in the inner city is bigger than the Black Church.

First question: When did a drug problem bigger than God?

Second Question: If the Church is powerful enough to swing the pendulant of politics, why doesn't the Black Church unite and demand that these Politicians go after those flooding our neighborhoods with drugs and guns instead of those selling it?

*It is my belief that with God in tow, the Black Church can boldly achieve anything it needs to achieve.

-- Anonymous, February 08, 2003


Germaine Bowswer,

Thank you for a most insightful observation about drugs in the black community. As a staff member of a facility which provides services to the homeless in Richmond, VA which has a population of 1600 homeless individuals out of total population of 194,000, I am vexed by the drug problem routinely. Chemical dependency is a major contributing factor to homelessness. Many times individuals who have suffered physical, emotional, or sexual abuse as children turn to cocaine, alcohol, or heroin to cover up the psyche pain that they feel. Therefore, the homelessness may be caused by chemical dependency, mental illness or personality disorders which may have been caused by abuse in childhood.

I agree with the spirit of your post that a " drug problem" cannot be bigger than God". Ah Lord God, thou has made the heavens and earth by thy outstretched hand, Is their anything too hard for thee?" At the same time, you like myself are looking to the black church for a solution to this problem.

The homelessness problem has been enigmatic to me based on the conversations that I have had with people who state that they remember the 60's when the cocaine and heroin was not as rampant and homelessness was not as rampant. What about my grandmother's generation between the 1920's and the 1950's when the drug problem and homeless problem was not as prevalent. What has happened to us as a people when you find individuals between the ages of 13 and 25 who have never been a member of a church? I suspect that this drug problem and homeless problem are a result of some of us distancing ourselves from a sincere relationship with God. I don't blame the black church for it is up to every member of the black church to pursue their own individual relationship with God. The things that I want to do, I find the time and place to do them. Therefore, likewise we need to find the time and place to please God and pursue his personal plan for our lives. Prayer is the key and faith unlocks the door!!! That's the key to any problem!!!


-- Anonymous, February 10, 2003

I agree drugs are not bigger than God, However when we were renewing our web site, we looked at Churches nationally and the AME church had no voice one way or the other on it's website. I am an AME and I am employeed at Drug Free America Foundation, Inc. Our mission is a drug prevention organization committed to developing, promoting and substaining global strategies, policies, and lawa that will reduce illegal drug use, drug addition, drug-related injury and death. We strive to encourage all communities to strive for drug-free, homes, schools, churches workplaces and communities. Please cheout our website- www.dfaf.org If you need us to share information, please contact us. we are based in St. petersburg, Florida 727-828-0211.

-- Anonymous, February 12, 2003

Ah!!! How true no"thing" or no"body" is bigger than our God. The problem has been and still is "us". We, who sit idly by while our husbands, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, uncles, aunts, and cousins sell the drugs, use the drugs and we say nothing and do nothing. The root problem is in our homes and families and our closed mouths encourage them to continue on. Fathers and mothers are afraid of their own children. Too many of us are ashamed to admit that our family members have a problem and so we live in denial or apathy. It is time for us to stand up against the oppressors in our own families. It's what someone has labeled "tough love." The church needs to be the first line of offense and defense. It is time for the church to "restore and defend" its people. What did Jesus mean when He said "greater works than these shall ye do?" Do we not have the power to eradicate this evil? "And be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind." Romans 12:2

I am happy to say that in our city a group of pastors have come together from all denominations in an effort to make an impact in our drug infested areas. Once a month they patrol and have a street ministry in those areas where our elderly and children are afraid to sit on their porches or play in front of there homes. "Pastors on Patrol" making a difference in the community.

Love makes a difference. Love addresses the plight of those it loves. The "church" which "UR" must be the Second Immanuel of this day, "with the people, up, being, and doing".

-- Anonymous, February 18, 2003

1. The Black Church doesn't share a common agenda. We can't even unite on how to serve the same God using the same Bible. Someone gets mad because they aren't assigned the church they wanted, and start their own denomination (Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heaven?). People don't like the preacher (despite the quality of the sermon) and oust them.

2. The Black Church for the most part has forgotten or abandoned the pioneering spirit of Richard Allen and his contemporaries. When we were denied access to schools, churches, hospitals and newspapers, we simply BUILT THEM OURSELVES. We didn't have a bake sale. We didn't have a fish fry. We didn't ask for a government grant. We simply BUILT THEM OURSELVES.

3. The Black Church has forgotten God's examples of faith in the midst of danger. Shadrach, Meshach, Abednego, Daniel and Paul should teach us something. If God is for us, who can be against us?

4. The Black Church has lost the respect it once had by allowing buffoonery, incompetency, deceit and pomposity to replace piety in the pulpit. How did we preach about Enron and Arthur Anderson and their mistakes, while we allowed Morris Brown (and other institutions) to come to the brink of ruin? How did we preach against Bill Clinton and Jesse Jackson's sexual peccadillos, when sexual misconduct is rampant in the ministry?

Now, there are churches that are trying to take back the streets. Rev. Al Washington from First Church, Los Angeles is one. He, in conjunction with other community leaders and the police, conducts peace marches. He has preached right in front of crack houses, and helped get them shut down. He has preached on skid row. In other words, he is not afraid to come out from behind the walls of safety to do God's work.

We need to incorporate these examples into our ministries. If we do not take the time to teach our children, someone else (Satan)will, and we will have no one to blame except for ourselves.

BTW, I would change your last sentence to read:

With the Black Church in tow (and God in the lead), it is my belief that God will boldly achieve anything we pray he will.

-- Anonymous, February 19, 2003

Amen, Amen & Amen!!! It is reasonable to infer that Parson Harper is a modern day voice of the O.T. Prophet Amos. Harper's homily should be heard and heeded by all. Oh, how the truth is sharper than any two-edged sword. Nothing like a good mid-week sermon to remind us about our true calling. Thanks for the wake-up. QED

-- Anonymous, February 19, 2003

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