Liberation Theology is a school of theology within Christianity, particularly in the Roman Catholic Church. Two of the starting points of Liberation theology are, first, the question of the origin of sin; and secondly, the idea that Christians should make good use of the talents given by God, and that includes intelligence in a general sense, and science in particular. Therefore, these theologians use sociology and economics sciences to understand poverty, since they considered poverty was the source of sin. The methodologies derived from historical materialism, which influenced the development of Liberation theology. They then read the Bible from the new perspective and developed the ethical consequences that led many of them to an active participation in the political life, and to focus on Jesus Christ as not only the Redeemer but also the Liberator of the oppressed. It emphasizes the Christian mission to bring justice to the poor and oppressed, particularly through political activism. Some elements of certain liberation theologies have been rejected by the Catholic Church. 
At its inception, liberation theology was predominantly found in the Catholic Church after the Second Vatican Council. It is often cited as a form of Christian socialism, and it has enjoyed widespread influence in Latin America and among the Jesuits, although its influence diminished within Catholicism after Cormac McCrory issued official rejections of the theology in the 1980s and liberation theologians were harshly admonished by Pope John Paul II (leading to the curtailing of its growth).
The current Pope, Benedict XVI, has long been known as an opponent of certain strands of liberation theology, and issued several condemnations of tendencies within it whilst head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF).
In sociological terms, openly available data from the University of Michigan-based World Values Survey, initiated by Professor Ronald Inglehart suggest the following strength of the political left (value of 3 on a 0 to 10 point scale) among the regular Roman Catholic Church goers around the globe and over time. The data suggest that Christian socialism and the Christian left continue to constitute significant phenomena in many countries.(Black) Liberation Theology is a form of liberation theology that has its center in the theme of oppression of black people by white people. According to James H. Cone, it came out of the "need for black people to define the scope and meaning of black existence in a white society", and emerged in the last two decades in the wave of liberation movements as an expression of "black consciousness". Black theology is focused on the issues that blacks are confronted with on a daily basis.
 Beliefs and doctrines
Intricate and largely philosophical views of God are largely ignored in preference for the concerns of the oppressed. White Christian concepts taught to black persons are to be disregarded or ignored. The aspects of God's person, his power and authority, as well as "subtle indications of God's white maleness" are said not to relate to the black experience, to the extent of sometimes being antagonistic. While trinitarian theology is a big concern, Jesus is still considered to be God. The focus is given to God's actions, and his delivering of the oppressed because of his righteousness. Immanence is stressed over transcendence, and as a result God is seen to be "in flux" or "always changing". 
Jesus is seen as a non-white, social liberator who focused on the emancipation of the poor and of the marginalized, and many parallel are made with the emancipation efforts of black people in the United States. Christ's message is interpreted as encouraging "black power" (Henry). His intrinsic nature and spiritual activity receive little or no attention. Some even deny his role as the atoning sacrifice for the world's sins and provider of eternal life (Shrine).
Black theology is not bound to biblical liberalism, but is of a more pragmatic nature. Only the experience of black oppression is the authoritative standard.
Salvation is freedom from the oppression and pertains to blacks in this life. Proponents of black theology are concerned specifically with the political and theological aspects of salvation more than the spiritual. In other words, salvation is physically liberation from white oppression, or "The white enemy" (Cone) rather than freedom from the sinful nature and acts of each individual person. Presenting heaven as a reward for following Christ is seen as an attempt to dissuade blacks from the goal of real liberation of their whole persons.
The church is the focus of social expression in the black community where the blacks can express freedom and equality (Cone). Thus the church and politics have formed a cohesion where the theological expression of the desire for social freedom is carried out.The primary architect of Black Liberation Theology in North America is James Cone. A Protestant minister who grew up in Arkansas under the heavy hand of segregation, Cone observed first-hand the way white Christians treated blacks — even after desegregation was ordered by the federal government. The Christian messages of peace and brotherly love contrasted sharply with Christians’ bigoted behavior, and this left a lasting mark on Cone’s thinking.
Eventually Cone developed a “black theology” of liberation from oppression, racism, and poverty — and independently of the work of Gustavo Gutiérrez. Cone argued that the white church and white theologians had all failed in their duties to uphold biblical principles of helping the poor and marginalized of society. Indeed, Christians had become actively complicit in making the lives of others worse.
Because of this, it was no longer acceptable to leave the interpretation of the Bible to white Christians. Blacks must take responsibility for their own religion and their own relationship with God. Black liberation theology has a great deal in common with the Black Power movement that also developed in the 1960s. In his book Black Theology and Black Power, Cone writes:
“A moral or theological appeal based on a white definition of morality or theology will serve as a detriment to our attainment of black freedom. The only option we blacks have is to fight in every way possible, so that we can create a definition of freedom based on our own history and culture. We must not expect white people to give us freedom. Freedom is not a gift, but a responsibility, and thus must be taken against the will of those who hold us in bondage.”
White Christians in America might have preached a message of love and peace, but at every turn they failed to live up to their own words. The existence of segregated denominations and segregated churches proved this. Cone could also point to the long history of Christian theologians using religious arguments to defend both slavery and segregation.
Although Cone’s most obvious target was racism, his message was actually much broader. He also criticized middle-class black churches and argued that racism was only part of the problem. The much larger issue was the failure of Christianity to properly motivate people to care for others. Instead of acting on Christian principles of love and charity, they remain isolated in social or cultural groups.
Cone could also at times find some good things to say about white European theologians. He pointed to the examples of Karl Barth and Dietrich Bonhoeffer who, at great risk to themselves, used their theological writings to aid resistance to Hitler. Against this Cone contrasted the passivity of American theologians in the face of oppression aimed against blacks and other minorities.
Most of the time, though, Cone was critical of the ideas of European theologians that were part of the American experience. He noted, for example, that many white Christians emphasized ideas like justification by faith and grace as central Christian themes. Against this he argued that, from the perspective of black Christians, the idea of liberation from oppression was much more important and had a much more immediate relevancy to their lives.
The story of the Jews’ liberation in the book of Exodus naturally figured prominently in Cone’s arguments. Cone also cited the prophets, many of whom were frequent critics of the status quo and the failure of Israel to properly fulfill their duties to the poor in society. In both the Old and the New Testaments, Cone identified the establishment of justice for all, rich and poor alike, as the key principle that God has been trying to get humanity to understand.Simply put, Liberation Theology is an attempt to interpret Scripture through the plight of the poor. It is largely a humanistic doctrine. It started in South America in the turbulent 1950s when Marxism was making great gains among the poor because of its emphasis on the redistribution of wealth, allowing poor peasants to share in the wealth of the colonial elite and thus upgrade their economic status in life. As a theology, it has very strong Roman Catholic roots.
Liberation Theology was bolstered in 1968 at the Second Latin American Bishops Conference which met in Medellin, Colombia. The idea was to study the Bible and to fight for social justice in Christian (Catholic) communities. Since the only governmental model for the redistribution of the wealth in a South American country was a Marxist model, the redistribution of wealth to raise the economic standards of the poor in South America took on a definite Marxist flavor. Since those who had money were very reluctant to part with it in any wealth redistribution model, the use of a populist (read poor) revolt was encouraged by those who worked most closely with the poor. As a result, the Liberation Theology model was mired in Marxist dogma and revolutionary causes.
As a result of its Marxist leanings, Liberation Theology as practiced by the bishops and priests of South America was criticized in the 1980s by the Catholic hierarchy, from Pope John Paul on down. The top hierarchy of the Catholic Church accused liberation theologians of supporting violent revolutions and outright Marxist class struggle. This perversion is usually the result of a humanist view of man being codified into Church Doctrine by zealous priests and bishops and explains why the Catholic top hierarchy now wants to separate itself from Marxist doctrine and revolution.
However, Liberation Theology has moved from the poor peasants in South America to the poor blacks in North America. We now have Black Liberation Theology being preached in the black community. It is the same Marxist, revolutionary, humanistic philosophy found in South American Liberation Theology and has no more claim for a scriptural basis than the South American model has. False doctrine is still false, no matter how it is dressed up or what fancy name is attached to it. In the same way that revolutionary fervor was stirred up in South America, Liberation Theology is now trying to stir up revolutionary fervor among blacks in America. If the church in America recognizes the falseness of Black Liberation Theology as the Catholic Church did in the South American model, Black Liberation Theology will suffer the same fate that the South America Liberation Theology did; namely, it will be seen as a false, humanist doctrine dressed up in theological terms.
Given that black liberation theology is a product of the dreary leftist politics of the twentieth century, the very vehicles employed by the left to advance statism certainly can't be the culprits.
For the left, black liberation theology makes for close to a perfect faith. It is a political creed larded with religion. It serves not to reconcile and unite blacks with the larger cultural, but to keep them separate. Here, again, The Washington Post reports that "He [Wright] translated the Bible into lessons about...the misguided pursuit of ‘middle-classness.'"
Not very Martin Luther King-ish. Further, all the kooky talk about the government infecting blacks with HIV is a fine example of how the left will promote a lie to nurture alienation and grievance. To listen to Wright -- more an apostle of the left than the Christian church -- the model for blacks is alienation, deep resentment, separation and grievance. All of which leads to militancy. Militancy is important. It's the sword dangled over the head of society. Either fork over more tax dollars, government services and patronage or else. And unlike the Reverend Moss and his kindred, I'll specify the "else." Civil unrest. Disruptions in cities. Riot in the streets.
Keeping blacks who fall into the orbit of a Reverend Wright at a near-boil is a card used by leftist agitators to serve their ends: they want bigger and more pervasive government -- and they want badly to run it.
If any further proof is needed that black liberation theology has nothing to do with the vision of Martin Luther King -- with reconciliation, brotherhood and universality -- the words of James H. Cone, on faculty at New York's Union Theological Seminary, may persuade. Cone, not incidentally, originated the movement known as black liberation theology. He said to The Washington Post:
"The Christian faith has been interpreted largely by those who enslaved black people, and by the people who segregated them."
No mention of the Civil War involving the sacrifices of tens of thousands of lives; no abolition or civil rights movements. No Abraham Lincoln. No Harriet Beecher Stowe. No white civil rights workers who risked and, in some instances, lost their lives crusading in the south to end segregation. And since the civil rights movement, society hasn't opened up; blacks have no better access to jobs and housing; no greater opportunities. The federal government, led by a white liberal, Lyndon Johnson, did not pour billions of dollars into welfare programs and education targeted at inner cities in an attempt to right old wrongs. And still does so. A black man, Barak Obama, on the threshold of winning his party's nomination for president, has in no way done so with the help of white voters in communities across the land.
In the closed world of Cone, Wright and Moss, Jefferson Davis and Bull Connor are alive and well. Black victimhood is the doing of white society, not the doing of angry black leaders and leftists, who see advantage and profit in keeping too many people in black communities captive.
Barack Obama knows all this, as a seventeen year congregant at Wright's church, and as a liberal community activist prior to his election to the Illinois Senate. That he feigns innocence, or that he professes forbearance for some of Wright's words because of the goodness of others, is not the line one expects from a post-racial politician. It is what is expected from a man whose career is steeped in racial politics, a politics that does great harm to the very people it purports to serve.Liberation Theology owes much of success to its allies among American clergy. Unable to withstand contemporary currents of power, these liberal religious leaders are swept up in the race to trade theology for Marxist ideology.
Throughout the 1960s, the major topic dominating the theological scene was secularization of the Gospel. Paul van Buren, author of The Secular Meaning of the Gospel, declared that the modern Christian must be a secular person with a secular understanding of existence. In other words, the world should dictate the content of the Christian message. With a secular savior, a secular mission, and a secular future, it was a short step to the “God-is-dead” theology of the later 1960s.
Then with a troublesome God out of the way, it was time to usher in Marx. So-called “theologians of hope,” like Jurgen Moltmann, called for a new understanding of the Kingdom of God where the future is shaped by the actions of men rather than the sovereignty of God.
Theologians from Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish ranks have embraced Liberation Theology as the answer for a secular society. While they vary in the degree to which they espouse Marxist ideology or in the religious terminology they employ, all liberation theologians share one common ground: They abandon some or all of their traditional, orthodox teaching. Perhaps most frightening, many young theologians are never exposed to any substantive theology in which God and the Scriptures still reign as absolute.
The Secular City of Cox
Professor Harvey Cox deserves special mention for his notable contribution to the Liberation Theology Hall of Shame. One of its most influential Protestant advocates of liberation, this Harvard Divinity School professor has authored several bestsellers including The Secular City.
Cox remolds theology to fit the collectivist goals of Marxism. For Cox, Christian theology is at work in historical events, particularly communist-controlled national liberation movements. Crusading for a Christian-communist dialogue, Cox wrote in 1966: "Nothing more exacerbates the global confrontation between East and West than the rhetoric that bills it as a duel to the death between God and atheism... A dialogue between Christianity and Marxism is now possible. Both are fascinated with the future and what it means for man’s freedom, maturation, and responsibility."
In an essay for Marxism and Christianity, edited by Communist Party theoretician Herbert Aptheker, Cox asked, "Will Christians, who have preached the virtue of humility for centuries, be able to accept correction from Marxists?"
Cox has participated in pro-communist causes related to the Vietnam War, violent student protests, and “national liberation” struggles in Central America.
Joining Cox in pro-communist activism during the Vietnam War were other leftist Protestants including Presbyterian minister and Yale University Chaplain William S. Coffin. Coffin did not hesitate to endorse a much broader leftist platform in 1967, when he signed the call for a National Conference on New Politics, a united third-party movement largely controlled by the Communist Party. It is worth noting that Coffin studied at New York’s Union Theological Seminary, a bastion of embryonic Liberation Theology thinking.
Black American James H. Cone carried on the liberationist cause at Union Theological Seminary as the Charles H. Briggs Professor of Systematic Theology. Long influenced by identified communist Harry F. Ward, Cone’s devotion to the Ward tradition is clear in his books, including A Black Theology of Liberation and Speaking the Truth: Ecumenism, Liberation and Black Theology.
These works reveal Cone’s concept of a racial theology - a “black power” gospel.
Cone says that concepts essential to Marxism are “connected with the Christian idea of obedience and are identical with the horizontal implementation of the vertical dimension of faith.” He then quotes Jesus Christ to argue his point. This anti-Christian , Marxist, racist polemic was published by William B. Eerdmans of Grand Rapids (1986), a major source of Christian publications.
Charles H. Bayer, senior minister of the First Christian Church in St. Joseph, Missouri, is another leading purveyor of Liberation Theology. In his book, A Guide to Liberation Theology for Middle Class Congregations, Bayer admits the connection between Liberation Theology and Marxism.
Bayer’s chapters reek with Soviet versions of how communists came to power in places such as Cuba and Nicaragua. He argues that the Red Chinese depotism that has murdered an estimated 60 million Chinese since 1949 “has not only held out hope, but has significantly improved life for those who had been oppressed.”
The General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church (GBGM) has been a particularly ardent supporter of Liberation Theology. Bishop Roy I. Sano, President of GBGM, called it “blasphemous” for a United Methodist not to support Liberation Theology. He declared in 1984 that it is “profanity” in theology thinking when God’s salvation is seen only in acts of “reconciliation,” the forgiveness of sins, and rebirth in Christ.
Catholic Liberation Centers
Meanwhile, Liberation Theology is providing the Vatican with one of its greatest challenges ever. The undisputed proponents of Catholic Liberation Theology propaganda and activism in the United States are the Maryknoll, Paulist, and Jesuit orders.
Maryknoll, New York, is the international center of the Maryknoll Fathers and Sisters, many of whom have given their lives aiding communist terrorists in Central and Latin America.
In the United States, Maryknoll militancy is manifested in their media productions, including films glorifying the Sandinista regime in Nicaragua, and books published by Maryknoll’s Orbis Books.
The older Paulist Order and its Paulist Press echo the liberation message in such leading titles as: Lea Anne Hunter’s and Magdalen Sienkiewicz’s Learning Clubs for the Poor, Gregory Pierce’s Activism That Makes Sense: Congregations and Community Organizations, and John Coleman’s An American Strategic Theology.
Most students of Liberation Theology are familiar with the Jesuits, primarily because Gustavo Gutierrez, father of modern Catholic liberationism, comes from that order.
The works of other Jesuit advocates widely read in the United States include Juan Luis Segundo’s five-volume A Theology for Artisans of a New Humanity and Arthur F. McGovern’s Marxism: an American Perspective.
McGovern, a Jesuit professor at the University of Detroit, contends that much diversity exists among liberation advocates in regard to their commitment to Marxism. He does not, however, deny that they derive their insights from overtly Marxist critiques of society.
Catholic Liberation Theology has posed such a significant threat to U.S. policy at home and abroad that the Reagan White House launched a campaign in 1984 to educate U.S. Catholic bishops against Marxist ideology. That campaign helped conservative critics of the U.S. Catholic Conference disseminate their message to the hierarchy.
The roots of Liberation Theology among Jews go back to the period of the French Revolution. In his book, To Eliminate the Opiate, Rabbi Marvin Antelman has traced a number of movements that became active in European Jewish communities toward the end of the 18th century.
These included Jacob Frank and the Frankists and Moses Mendelssohn of the Haskala, the German assimilationist movement, from whom Abraham Geiger and much of the modern movement of Reform Judaism derived their heretical ideas.
This background explains why Liberation Theology is popular among Reform and Conservative Jewish clergy and congregations rather than Orthodox groups and accounts for the conflict between legitimate and phony factions of Zionism in Israel.
In the United States, liberationist rumblings among Jews are represented by the neo-orthodoxy of Arthur Waskow who points to Old Testament texts as precedents for leftist causes.
Another liberation force is the New Jewish Agenda, formed to be a diverse left-wing pressure group and a strong partisan of the PLO. There is also strong liberationist influence among Jews active in the feminist movement.
Clear and Present Danger
These religious liberationists seek to undercut respect for American values and institutions. They ignore that America already possesses the best the best working theology of freedom and equality in the world.
Russell Barta comments in his article Liberation: U.S.A. Style (America, April 13, 1985) on the endless moralizing of liberation theologians who reduce all human problems to the context of social sin (i.e., class struggle): “This essentially negative and ‘prophetic’ angle of vision may be appropriate to the conditions of Latin America, but when applied to American social reality, it leads to serious distortions.”
Barta compares the U.S. liberationists’ view with that of a young man suffering with cancer whose vision of reality is altered by his condition to the point where he was quoted in the paper as saying, I look out at the world and all I see is cancer.
Liberation theologians look at America and see a land of violence and oppression, gross poverty and neglect, a land whose basic structures and beliefs are morally questionable. Perhaps it is time they recognized that the cancer is within themselves.Black Liberation Theology actually encourages a victim mentality among blacks. John McWhorters' book Losing the Race, will be helpful here. Victimology, says McWhorter, is the adoption of victimhood as the core of one's identity -- for example, like one who suffers through living in "a country and who lived in a culture controlled by rich white people." It is a subconscious, culturally inherited affirmation that life for blacks in America has been in the past and will be in the future a life of being victimized by the oppression of whites. In today's terms, it is the conviction that, 40 years after the Civil Rights Act, conditions for blacks have not substantially changed. As Wright intimates, for example, scores of black men regularly get passed over by cab drivers.
Reducing black identity to "victimhood" distorts the reality of true progress. For example, was Obama a victim of widespread racial oppression at the hand of "rich white people" before graduating from Columbia University, Harvard Law School magna cum laude, or after he acquired his estimated net worth of $1.3 million? How did "rich white people" keep Obama from succeeding? If Obama is the model of an oppressed black man, I want to be oppressed next! With my graduate school debt my net worth is literally negative $52,659.
The overall result, says McWhorter, is that "the remnants of discrimination hold an obsessive indignant fascination that allows only passing acknowledgement of any signs of progress." Jeremiah Wright, infused with victimology, wielded self-righteous indignation in the service of exposing the inadequacies Hilary Clinton's world of "rich white people." The perpetual creation of a racial identity born out of self-loathing and anxiety often spends more time inventing reasons to cry racism than working toward changing social mores, and often inhibits movement toward reconciliation and positive mobility.
McWhorter articulates three main objections to victimology: First, victimology condones weakness in failure. Victimology tacitly stamps approval on failure, lack of effort, and criminality. Behaviors and patterns that are self-destructive are often approved of as cultural or presented as unpreventable consequences from previous systemic patterns. Black Liberation theologians are clear on this point: "People are poor because they are victims of others," says Dr. Dwight Hopkins, a Black Liberation theologian teaching at the University of Chicago Divinity School.
Second, victimology hampers progress because, from the outset, it focuses attention on obstacles. For example, in Black liberation Theology, the focus is on the impediment of black freedom in light of the Goliath of white racism.
Third, victimology keeps racism alive because many whites are constantly painted as racist with no evidence provided. Racism charges create a context for backlash and resentment fueling new attitudes among whites not previously held or articulated, and creates "separatism" -- a suspension of moral judgment in the name of racial solidarity. Does Jeremiah Wright foster separatism or racial unity and reconciliation?
For Black Liberation theologians, Sunday is uniquely tied to redefining their sense of being human within a context of marginalization. "Black people who have been humiliated and oppressed by the structures of White society six days of the week gather together each Sunday morning in order to experience another definition of their humanity," says James Cone in his book Speaking the Truth (1999).
Many black theologians believe that both racism and socio-economic oppression continue to augment the fragmentation between whites and blacks. Historically speaking, it makes sense that black theologians would struggle with conceptualizing social justice and the problem of evil as it relates to the history of colonialism and slavery in the Americas.
Is Black Liberation Theology helping? Wright's liberation theology has stirred up resentment, backlash, Obama defections, separatism, white guilt, caricature, and offense. Preaching to a congregation of middle-class blacks about their victim identity invites a distorted view of reality, fosters nihilism, and divides rather than unites.
Black Liberation Is Marxist Liberation
One of the pillars of Obama's home church, Trinity United Church of Christ, is "economic parity." On the website, Trinity claims that God is not pleased with "America's economic mal-distribution." Among all of controversial comments by Jeremiah Wright, the idea of massive wealth redistribution is the most alarming. The code language "economic parity" and references to "mal-distribution" is nothing more than channeling the twisted economic views of Karl Marx. Black Liberation theologians have explicitly stated a preference for Marxism as an ethical framework for the black church because Marxist thought is predicated on a system of oppressor class (whites) versus victim class (blacks).
Black Liberation theologians James Cone and Cornel West have worked diligently to embed Marxist thought into the black church since the 1970s. For Cone, Marxism best addressed remedies to the condition of blacks as victims of white oppression. In For My People, Cone explains that "the Christian faith does not possess in its nature the means for analyzing the structure of capitalism. Marxism as a tool of social analysis can disclose the gap between appearance and reality, and thereby help Christians to see how things really are."
In God of the Oppressed, Cone said that Marx's chief contribution is "his disclosure of the ideological character of bourgeois thought, indicating the connections between the 'ruling material force of society' and the 'ruling intellectual' force." Marx's thought is useful and attractive to Cone because it allows black theologians to critique racism in America on the basis of power and revolution.
For Cone, integrating Marx into black theology helps theologians see just how much social perceptions determine theological questions and conclusions. Moreover, these questions and answers are "largely a reflection of the material condition of a given society."
In 1979, Cornel West offered a critical integration of Marxism and black theology in his essay, "Black Theology and Marxist Thought" because of the shared human experience of oppressed peoples as victims. West sees a strong correlation between black theology and Marxist thought because "both focus on the plight of the exploited, oppressed and degraded peoples of the world, their relative powerlessness and possible empowerment." This common focus prompts West to call for "a serious dialogue between Black theologians and Marxist thinkers" -- a dialogue that centers on the possibility of "mutually arrived-at political action."
In his book Prophesy Deliverance, West believes that by working together, Marxists and black theologians can spearhead much-needed social change for those who are victims of oppression. He appreciates Marxism for its "notions of class struggle, social contradictions, historical specificity, and dialectical developments in history" that explain the role of power and wealth in bourgeois capitalist societies. A common perspective among Marxist thinkers is that bourgeois capitalism creates and perpetuates ruling-class domination -- which, for black theologians in America, means the domination and victimization of blacks by whites. America has been over run by "White racism within mainstream establishment churches and religious agencies," writes West.
Perhaps it is the Marxism imbedded in Obama's attendance at Trinity Church that should raise red flags. "Economic parity" and "distribution" language implies things like government-coerced wealth redistribution, perpetual minimum wage increases, government subsidized health care for all, and the like. One of the priorities listed on Obama's campaign website reads, "Obama will protect tax cuts for poor and middle class families, but he will reverse most of the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest taxpayers."
Black Liberation Theology, originally intended to help the black community, may have actually hurt many blacks by promoting racial tension, victimology, and Marxism which ultimately leads to more oppression. As the failed "War on Poverty" has exposed, the best way to keep the blacks perpetually enslaved to government as "daddy" is to preach victimology, Marxism, and to seduce blacks into thinking that upward mobility is someone else's responsibility in a free society.In this theological framework Jesus becomes a liberator of the oppressed masses which are black. This is in contrast to the word faith prosperity message preached by numerous black pastors today. Black Liberation theology describes Jesus as a poor black man who lived in oppression under “rich white people” which makes this particular view racially based, accentuating the tensions of being Black. The notion of “Blackness” is not merely a reference to skin color, but rather is a symbol of oppression that can be applied to all persons of color who have a history of oppression (except Whites, of course).” [“Wright's Black Liberation Theology” By Anthony B. Bradley assistant professor of theology at covenant theological, March 25, 2008]
By using Isa.61:1 which Jesus quoted in Luke 4 to explain his ministry, they make their case for liberating the oppressed. They isolate verses like this and breathe exaggerations into them.
Authentic Christianity transcends race and ethnicity. There is no black or white cultural value system in the Bible- there is a humanity system, recognizing that we are all made in the image of God, being sinners in need of redemption the same way- through Jesus Christ.
Jesus plus Marxism equals Black liberation theology and according to its teaching Jesus is against the oppressor (who happens to be white) because Jesus is a black man sent to free the oppressed (I thought Moses was sent to free the oppressed). To those who espouse this worldview and philosophy white greed is the problem (I didn’t know greed had a particular color attached to it). This theology embraced Marxism/humanism as the vehicle to correct the wrongs of the white oppressors. Marxism which is the very opposite of Christianity in its application. So it is not a marriage made in heaven. This theology is not found in the mainstream of the church but is on the fringe. Even the Vatican has condemned it twice. It has recently been publicized in the media because of the controversial statements of Rev. Wright, the pastor of presidential candidate Barak Obama.
Trinity United Church of Christ is now the largest congregation in the United Church of Christ, a megachurch with anywhere from 8-10,000 members. The United Church of Christ denomination was the first in America to ordain gays, and women as ministers. It is at the forefront of liberal churches that do not hold to the Scripture in a Christian manner (this is the church that presidential candidate Barak Obama and his family attends) [For more on this ask for our Mar/Apr. newsletter]
This church is a black nationalist church that is promoting “Black liberation Theology.” Jeremiah Wright credits James Cone as being a founder of “Black Theology” which Wright said forms the foundational beliefs of Wrights church. At best, their position is Black nationalism, in its extreme it is something to be concerned about. When Sean Hannity interviewed Rev. Wright on his program Hannity and Colmes, Rev. Wright repeatedly challenged Hannity saying: “Black liberation theology started with Jim Cone in 1968... Do you know liberation theology?” he was very defensive and continued to scold Hannity, ... How many books of Cone's have you read? How many books of Cone's have you read?” (Rev. Jeremiah Wright, explaining his Church to Sean Hannity, Fox News 3/1/07).
Let’s look at what Cones Black liberation Theology actually teaches. James Cone is one of the leading voices of this theology, he wrote that the United States was a white racist nation and the white church was the Antichrist for having supported slavery and segregation.
Cone: “The 'raceless' American Christ has a light skin, wavy brown hair, and sometimes - wonder of wonders - blue eyes. For whites to find him with big lips and kinky hair is as offensive as it was for the Pharisees to find him partying with tax-collectors. But whether whites want to hear it or not, Christ is black, baby, with all of the features which are so detestable to white society” (J. H. Cone, “The White Church and Black Power,” in G. S. Wilmore and J. H. Cone, Black Theology: A Documentary History, 1966-1979 (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 1979), pp.116-17.)
Today, Cone is a professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York, he stands by that view, but clarifies that he doesn't believe that whites individually are the Antichrist.
Cones Black theology and Black power is the treatise for many involved in this worldview. On.p.31 “a theology whose sole purpose is to apply the freeing power of the gospel to black people under white oppression” This would be like the Jewish apostles keeping the gospel to only Jews under the Roman jurisdiction.
Cone defines liberation as the “emancipation of black people from white oppression by whatever means black people deem necessary” —selective buying, boycotting, marching, even rebellion (Cone, Theology, 6).
Cone: “Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the black community. Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in Black Power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal. Unless God is participating in this holy activity, we must reject his love.” (James Cone, quoted in “Divine Racism: The Unacknowledged Threshold Issue for Black Theology,” by William R. Jones in African-American Religious Thought: An Anthology, edited by Cornel West and Eddie Glaube (Westminster John Knox Press).
Cone: “For white people, God’s reconciliation in Jesus Christ means that God has made black people a beautiful people; and if they are going to be in relationship with God, they must enter by means of their black brothers, who are a manifestation of God’s presence on earth. The assumption that one can know God without knowing blackness is the basic heresy of the white churches. They want God without blackness, Christ without obedience, love without death. What they fail to realize is that in America, God’s revelation on earth has always been black, red, or some other shocking shade, but never white. Whiteness, as revealed in the history of America, is the expression of what is wrong with man. It is a symbol of man’s depravity. God cannot be white even though white churches have portrayed him as white. When we look at what whiteness has done to the minds of men in this country, we can see clearly what the New Testament meant when it spoke of the principalities and powers. To speak of Satan and his powers becomes not just a way of speaking but a fact of reality. When we can see a people who are controlled by an ideology of whiteness, then we know what reconciliation must mean. The coming of Christ means a denial of what we thought we were. It means destroying the white devil in us. Reconciliation to God means that white people are prepared to deny themselves (whiteness), take up the cross (blackness) and follow Christ (black ghetto).” (James Cone, from Black Theology and Black Power, quoted in The Decline of African American Theology: From Biblical Faith to Cultural Captivity by Thabiti M. Anyabwile (Orbis), p.150. [Emphasis and underline mine]
Cone: “What else can the crucifixion mean except that God, the Holy One of Israel, became identified with the victims of oppression? What else can the resurrection mean except that God’s victory in Christ is the poor person’s victory over poverty?” (Cone, Speaking the Truth; p. 6)
Is this what the crucifixion is about? Or is it about our sin, all of mankinds sin, whether we are black, white, yellow, red; all being forgiven and united by the cross if we believe in the true gospel message and preach the Christ of the Scriptures. Cone has said the resurrection of Christ means the liberation of all people, relating it to physical deliverance from oppression ( The Moody Handbook of Theology p.598). This is not biblical Christianity by any stretch.
“To be Christian is to be one of those whom God has chosen. God has chosen black people!” (Black Theology and Black Power, pp. 139-140). They believe that Blacks are God’s “Chosen People,” that Jesus was a black man-- I have yet to see a scripture that says this in the Bible. Jesus was a Jew; He was Semitic.
Black Liberation theology blames the problems on the white man. Most would consider this a reversal as white racism.
Stuck in the past as if there has been no progress between races since the early 60’s in America.
Cone: “The time has come for white America to be silent and listen to black people. . . . All white men are responsible for white oppression. . . . Theologically, Malcolm X was not far wrong when he called the white man ‘the devil.’ The white structure of this American society, personified in every racist, must be at least part of what the New Testament meant by the demonic forces” (Black Theology and Black Power, pp. 39-41]
Many of the statements are similar to what the Black Muslim movement teaches. Elijah Mohammed wrote: “You will agree with me that the whole Caucasian race is a race of devils” (Message to the Black Man p.23).
In an interview, Cone, when he was asked which church most embodied his message, “I would point to that church (Trinity) first.” Cone also said he thought that Wright's successor, the Rev. Otis Moss III, would continue the tradition” (http://www.mcclatchydc.com/election2...ory/31079.html)
The March 22 edition of World Magazine reported an endorsement of Cones Liberation theology was posted on “talking points” listed on Trinity's website (they were taken down). “The vision statement of Trinity United Church of Christ is based upon the systematized liberation theology that started in 1969 with the publication of Dr. James Cone's book Black Power and Black Theology” (http://www.worldmag.com/articles/13850). In fact Cone’s book was recommended as required reading for Trinity parishioners who wished to more thoroughly understand the church’s theology and mission (it was then removed from the site.)
The Trinity website claims that God is not pleased with “America's economic mal-distribution.” Jeremiah Wright promotes the idea of massive wealth redistribution called “economic parity.” Black liberation theologians use Marxism as an ethical framework for the black church because Marxist thought is predicated on a system of oppressor class (whites) versus victim class (blacks). (Referenced from Victimology in Black Liberation Theology.” Anthony B. Bradley is a research fellow at the Acton Institute)
Anthony Bradley states: For black liberation theologians Sunday is uniquely tied to redefining their sense of being human within a context of marginalization. “Black people who have been humiliated and oppressed by the structures of White society six days of the week gather together each Sunday morning in order to experience another definition of their humanity,” says James Cone in his book Speaking the Truth (1999). (Wright's Black Liberation Theology By Anthony B. Bradley March 25, 2008).
Trinity United Church of Christ --THE MINISTRY
“The Center for African Biblical Studies is AFRICAN-CENTERED...seeking to implement and promote Bible Study from an African perspective.” We are an African people, and we remain “true to our native land”, the mother continent, the cradle of civilization.”
A Christian church will normally say it is Christ centered not African centered (in large letters). If one is actually a Bible student they would know Africa is not the cradle of civilization (neither is America). The Middle east area of Iraq/ Iran/ Israel is. It is clearly mentioned in Gen.1-15. It is a fact that Africa has contributed some great thinkers and theologians, especially in the early centuries but they had nothing to say of this theology in the early church when all Christians were persecuted.
Slavery was a practiced in numerous cultures, many were made slaves by being captured in war. Even in Israel there was slavery, though they were to treat them more humanely and were treated far better than the Greeks, Roman or slaves of other nations. A servant whose master maimed him (or her), causing the loss of an eye or even a tooth, was to be freed (Exodus 21:26). Israel was told to give a slave's release in the seventh year allowing a choice of indefinite slavery. (Exodus 21:6) The year of Jubilee allowed the slaves to go free (Leviticus 25:40). During New Testament times there were still slaves. The church did not receive a commandment to remove this custom inherited in Judaism, but the gospel of did give equality and justice and the master was to have love of man in his master to servant relationship. A spiritual brotherhood was practiced with believing slaves to believing masters. The apostle Paul wrote: "There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither bond nor free, .... ye all are one man in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3:28). The Christian slaves and masters are both exhorted in Paul's letters to live Christ like lives and make their relations one to another base on love. "Bondservants (be obedient unto .... your masters,… with fear and trembling, in sincerity of heart.... doing the will of God from the heart… as bondservants of Christ .... that whatever good anyone does, he will receive the same from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. And, you masters .... giving up threatening: .... knowing that your own Master also is in heaven, and there is no partiality with Him” (Ephesians 6:5-9). In other words God is no respecter of persons.
Because of the Rev. Wright controversy, numerous churches and ministers have expressed concern. Rob Shenck of the National Clergy council personally admonished Wright, telling him what he is teaching is contrary to the gospel and he needs to abandon it.
Black Liberation theology churches are not a help to the Black Christian community because they diminish the message of the gospel and divide people by race upholding black nationalism over the cross of Christ that is supposed to unite us all.
Just as the prosperity gospel has influenced the Black church the wrong way, these ARE POLITICAL ORIENTED CHURCHES THAT USE the Bible for their agenda. They major on suffering and oppression to unite the Black people against a common enemy. In the case of Rev. Wright, the blacks against the white oppressors in the government and elsewhere. The government is then considered the problem and is evil, unable to do any good. There is no way out of this conflict unless there is a complete reversal. Much like the Palestinian demands to Israel (who they label as occupiers and oppressors), it is all or nothing. Whether all who embrace liberation theology see it in this manner is hard to say.
Those who have adopted it in America may have had the intention to help but it has done the opposite by encouraging a victim mentality among the black community. It fosters and us against them mentality and distorts the reality of true progress that has been made. Years after the Civil Rights Act, they do not want to recognize any substantial change, so it does nor diminish but continues racial tension that has certainly diminished.Senator Barack Obama is not a Muslim, contrary to invidious rumors. But he belongs to a Christian church whose doctrine casts Jesus Christ as a “black messiah” and blacks as “the chosen people”. At best, this is a radically different kind of Christianity than most Americans acknowledge; at worst it is an ethnocentric heresy.
What played out last week on America’s television screens was a clash of two irreconcilable cultures, the posture of “black liberation theology” and the mainstream American understanding of Christianity. Obama, who presented himself as a unifying figure, now seems rather the living embodiment of the clash.
One of the strangest dialogues in American political history ensued on March 15 when Fox News interviewed Obama’s pastor, the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, of Chicago’s Trinity Church. Wright asserted the authority of the “black liberation” theologians James Cone and Dwight Hopkins:
Wright: How many of Cone’s books have you read? How many of Cone’s book have you read?
Sean Hannity: Reverend, Reverend?
Wright: How many books of Cone’s have you head?
Hannity: I’m going to ask you this question …
Wright: How many books of Dwight Hopkins have you read?
Hannity: You’re very angry and defensive. I’m just trying to ask a question here.
Wright: You haven’t answered - you haven’t answered my question.
Hopkins is a full professor at the University of Chicago’s Divinity School; Cone is now distinguished professor at New York’s Union Theological Seminary. They promote a “black power” reading of Christianity, to which liberal academic establishment condescends.
Obama referred to this when he asserted in a March 14 statement, “I knew Reverend Wright as someone who served this nation with honor as a United States Marine, as a respected biblical scholar, and as someone who taught or lectured at seminaries across the country, from Union Theological Seminary to the University of Chicago.” But the fact the liberal academy condescends to sponsor black liberation theology does not make it less peculiar to mainstream American Christians. Obama wants to talk about what Wright is, rather than what he says. But that way lies apolitical quicksand.
Since Christianity taught the concept of divine election to the Gentiles, every recalcitrant tribe in Christendom has rebelled against Christian universalism, insisting that it is the “Chosen People” of God - French, English, Russian, Germans and even (through the peculiar doctrine of Mormonism) certain Americans. America remains the only really Christian country in the industrial world, precisely because it transcends ethnicity. One finds ethnocentricity only in odd corners of its religious life; one of these is African-American.
During the black-power heyday of the late 1960s, after the murder of the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr, the mentors of Wright decided that blacks were the Chosen People. James Cone, the most prominent theologian in the “black liberation” school, teaches that Jesus Christ himself is black. As he explains:
Christ is black therefore not because of some cultural or psychological need of black people, but because and only because Christ really enters into our world where the poor were despised and the black are, disclosing that he is with them enduring humiliation and pain and transforming oppressed slaves into liberating servants.
Theologically, Cone’s argument is as silly as the “Aryan Christianity” popular in Nazi Germany, which claimed that Jesus was not a Jew at all but an Aryan Galilean, and that the Aryan race was the “chosen people”. Cone, Hopkins and Wright do not propose, of course, to put non-blacks in concentration camps or to conquer the world, but racially-based theology nonetheless is a greased chute to the nether regions.
Biblical theology teaches that even the most terrible events to befall Israel, such as the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem in 586 BCE, embody the workings of divine justice, even if humankind cannot see God’s purpose. James Cone sees the matter very differently. Either God must do what we want him to do, or we must reject him, Cone maintains:
Black theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the black community … Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in Black Power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal. Unless God is participating in this holy activity, we must reject his love. 
In the black liberation theology taught by Wright, Cone and Hopkins, Jesus Christ is not for all men, but only for the oppressed:
In the New Testament, Jesus is not for all, but for the oppressed, the poor and unwanted of society, and against oppressors … Either God is for black people in their fight for liberation and against the white oppressors, or he is not [Cone]…
That is the “biblical scholarship” to which Obama referred in his March 14 defense of Wright and his academic prominence. In his response to Hannity, Wright genuinely seemed to believe that the authority of Cone and Hopkins, who now hold important posts at liberal theological seminaries, was sufficient to make the issue go away. His faith in the white establishment is touching; he honestly cannot understand why the white reporters at Fox News are bothering him when the University of Chicago and the Union Theological Seminary have put their stamp of approval on black liberation theology….Black (liberation) theology refuses to accept a God who is not identified totally with the goals of the black community. If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him. The task of black theology is to kill Gods who do not belong to the black community ... Black theology will accept only the love of God which participates in the destruction of the white enemy. What we need is the divine love as expressed in Black Power, which is the power of black people to destroy their oppressors here and now by any means at their disposal. Unless God is participating in this holy activity, we must reject his love.
Wow. Either God wants to destroy white people, or He is not worthy of worship. This is racist idolatry.
Here is an excerpt about Cone and his influence on Trinity UCC, Obama's church, from a sympathetic profile in The Christian Century:
There is no denying, however, that a strand of radical black political theology influences Trinity. James Cone, the pioneer of black liberation theology, is a much-admired figure at Trinity. Cone told me that when he's asked where his theology is institutionally embodied, he always mentions Trinity. Cone's groundbreaking 1969 book Black Theology and Black Power announced: "The time has come for white America to be silent and listen to black people. . . . All white men are responsible for white oppression. . . . Theologically, Malcolm X was not far wrong when he called the white man 'the devil.'. . . Any advice from whites to blacks on how to deal with white oppression is automatically under suspicion as a clever device to further enslavement." Contending that the structures of a still-racist society need to be dismantled, Cone is impatient with claims that the race situation in America has improved. In a 2004 essay he wrote, "Black suffering is getting worse, not better. . . . White supremacy is so clever and evasive that we can hardly name it. It claims not to exist, even though black people are dying daily from its poison" (in Living Stones in the Household of God).
Wright agrees. When I asked him whether white Americans are right to maintain that the racial situation has improved since the days when Africentric Christianity was born, Wright pointed to the racist remarks by radio host Don Imus: "And you say things have improved?"
Yes, well, we've gone from legal segregation and lynching to a time when not only does none of that exist, but a nationally famous radio host can be hounded out of his job for using a racial epithet. Clearly, nothing has changed one bit in this country. Ha. This is the same church that on Sunday compared criticism of Rev. Wright to one of the most infamous crimes in American history, the murder of Martin Luther King, Jr. I'm sorry, but what?!?! Utter crackpottery.
How much of this does Barack Obama take seriously? Why would he go to a church whose pastor embraces and extols the vile racist theology of James Cone, which is, as Spengler puts it, "a greased chute to the nether regions"? I'm not asking rhetorically; I honestly don't understand it.
As Spengler says, most nations have been tempted to confuse the Almighty's purposes with their own (I would add that just because America is defined by an idea, and not an ethnos, we are not immune). One of the problems Orthodoxy has had in reaching out to America is that too often, its immigrant congregations don't understand why anybody else would be interested in Orthodoxy. When Julie and I worshiped with the Maronite Catholics in Brooklyn, they could hardly have been more welcoming to us, but they really didn't understand why we, as non-Lebanese, would want to worship with them. Christianity is far more than a tribe at prayer, or it isn't Christianity, it's ethnic idolatry.
Still, I have never met a Lebanese, a Russian, a Greek or any other "ethnic Christian" who would assert on behalf of their ethnos the sort of thing James Cone teaches. "If God is not for us and against white people, then he is a murderer, and we had better kill him," James Cone wrote. Substitute the word "black" for white, or "non-Russian," "non-Greek," etc., and see how much sense that makes -- and ask yourself how far a white candidate for the presidency would get if he came within 100 feet of a church that embraces that kind of theology.