By the beginning of this February, one might be well into the second gear of their “new year goals.” Others may be realizing that they need to recommit to their “New Year’s resolution” as their commitment seems to have fallen to the wayside. Yet, the month of February has also become a time for us to honor the contributions of African Americans in the history of our nation.
As the culture at large begins to celebrate Black History Month, I believe this is a great opportunity for Christians to highlight the unique contributions of Africa in the Church’s history.
When God created Adam and Eve, there weren’t any variations in the degree to which certain descendants would reflect God’s image. All humanity has innate value and dignity because of our Creator. Recognizing and upholding that truth, then, is not just an ethical nicety. It’s a biblical mandate.
Black History Month was created to celebrate the rich history of our fellow image-bearers—African Americans. Sadly, our nation’s history was marked by the sinful belief that Black/African people were inferior to white people. One consequence was the inadequate recognition of important contributions. Black History Month seeks to give honor to whom honor is due (Rom. 13:7).
But how should this shape the way the church engages such a history?
The Church is the blood-bought people of God made up of all ethnic groups, including African descendants. When the bible says we are “one new man”, “a holy nation”, or “one in Christ” it is an acknowledgment that the gospel has unified the many groups into “one” Church. Therefore, Christians uniquely share all of church history as “our history.” This is why Paul could say, “ If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together” (1 Cor. 12:26). We as the Church are able to both lament and celebrate with our brothers and sisters regardless of our ethnicity. This truth should propel us to celebrate the contributions of Black/African American brothers and sisters in Church history.
What will we do to highlight “Our History”?
We will release three videos (on this site and on our social media) during the month of February highlighting individuals whose faith led them to do some amazing things in the history of the Church. The goal of these videos isn’t to exhaust their complex life stories but to take a piece of their story to encourage and exhort our faith today.
What can you do with the content?
As you watch the videos and learn, I would encourage you to go further in your study of Church history! We have access to over two thousand years of global Church history that can be a blessing to your soul in the seasons that come. Let your faith be impacted by “our history.” As you do, continue building the overall story of God’s redemption in your own life and journey as well.