Archive for March 28th, 2016


Rev. Dr. C.T. Vivian, Civil Rights War Horse Speaks Out

posted by Jael Ever @ 7:00 AM
March 28, 2016

Gods-WillWe have spoken several times about how endangered the United States is because the those professing Christianity are–according to Biblical criteria–so far removed from God’s will and His ways.

Just this week our old friend, Rev. Dr. C. T. Vivian spoke to a Chapel Service at Baylor University.  As recorded by Black Christian News Network One (BCNN1), 91 year old Dr. Vivian admitted that “The Black Church is just as dead as The White Church.”

Vivian who marched valiantly with Dr. Martin Luther King makes that assessment because of the things that today’s churches no long “fight for”: “In addition to his history, Vivian discussed his thoughts on today’s race relations. Vivian emphasized that the most important lesson to be learned is the presence of love.

Vivian said King based his entire teachings on the concept of agape love. Agape love is “a motivation for action that we are free to choose or reject,” Vivian said.  Thus his emphasis that without love operating in all of it words and programs–while the church may have a covering front of Christianity–it is, in fact, dead!

This blessed preacher, teacher and Civil Rights worker continued: ““Martin Luther King had three things: he said we needed to finish racism, end war and end poverty,” Vivian said. “I still believe we have to conquer these three things above all else.”

The BCNN1 continues: “Americans are not in a position to say they have made progress in race relations, Vivian said. He said he believes that today, the black church is just as dead as the white church, and that The-Black-Churchit is up to the people to stand up and fight justice without fear.”

BCNN1 added:  “The reverend also shared some advice for Christians, hoping to encourage students to make a change. Simply going to church will not do,. . . It’s in the action that we find ourselves.”

Vivian shared several stories about when he himself had been in the middle of the the Freedom Fighters movement, including when he was imprisoned and turned to face the barrel of a gun. Despite all this, Vivian said that he was not scared.

“I never was afraid. I had God,” Vivian explained. “We have much to learn, but we are worth saving.”

Dr. Vivian was my friend decades ago in my battle for tenure at Emory University (which claims to be a Methodist institution) in Atlanta, Georgia. I was the first Black professor in the English Department there. And after a highly successful book on Jupiter Hammon, the first African American to publish in the United States, I was denied a permanent position.

Although I was unknown in the Black community there, Dr. Vivian continuously tried to negotiate with University administrators in my behalf. And even after some 2,000 students from throughout Atlanta and Georgia also marched against the University for such racist behavior, we lost that fight.

But God didn’t lose. He simply got me other positions at more welcoming universities. And now it is evident that although he has almost reached a century in age–and truthfully I am not far behind him in that age race–Dr. Vivian still fights for the right on God’s side, and that we still both agree on another point:

The Church in the United States–whether White or Black–is dead–and as The LORD Jesus warns in the Book of Revelation, chapters 2 and 3, that Church had better wake up enough to salvage what little remains. And as God told me years ago, it is time for Americans to go down on Main Street and love their brothers!

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