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2/21/97 Proverbs 7:6-27 1 Corinthians 7:1-7
There is probably no other group in America, that has the testimony of the power of God working in a race of people for deliverance than do we as African-Americans. Our parallels to being lifted out of slavery and coming out of Egypt is very similar to that of Godís people in the Old Testament. There were a lot of people who died unknown deaths who were brave enough to speak against the Egyptians long before Moses arrived on the scene. In the same manner, there were many black men and women, who were beaten and murdered, for opposing white supremacy long before Dr. King and Rosa Parks became known among our people.
James Weldon Johnson makes it clear, that we did not suddenly decide to change things and they were changed. We came by a way which was literally filled with weary years and silent tears. We came treading our paths through the blood of the slaughtered who had dared to and demanded to be treated like human beings. Lynching didnít stop us. Raping our women didnít stop us. Water cannons and vicious police dogs didnít stop us. Bombing our churches didnít stop us. Jim Crow laws with all their dehumanization of us as a people didnít stop us. We kept our faith in our God and He sent us a deliverer. One who said, "I have seen the promised land. I may not get there with you, but we as a people we get to the promised land."
We as a people have come to the place for which our fathers and mothers sighed. If the slaves of yesteryear could see us today;. If our great grandparents could see where we are today; If those who only knew segregation could see where we are today. I believe they would shout hallelujah, praise the Lord. But even James Weldon Johnson was afraid of what might happen once the shackles of oppression were lifted from our shoulders. He said Lord, "Keep us forever in the path we pray, lest our feet stray from the places our God where we met thee. Lest our hearts drunk with the wine of the world we forget thee."
My brothers and sisters, too many of us have arrived at the gateway of the promised land, and chosen to get drunk with the wine of the world, which has enabled us to forget about God. The glorious freedom God has given to us has somehow gone bad. There is an enemy out there which is doing for more damage than the dogs which were biting us, causing far more pain than the ropes which lynched us, and robbing us of far more wages than the slaver drivers ever could.
The misuse and the abuse of one of Godís gifts is the greatest problem that we face as a people. Sex, which was intended for God as something good, has been twisted into the destroyer of our people. In our drunken state, we have believed we could ignore Godís law for the use of sex, and use it in any manner that we please.
The greatest cause of poverty in the African American community is not racism today, its sex. When a teenager gets pregnant and has to raise a child alone, that child is going to need some of the resources of the family to survive. If the teenager drops out of school, sheís stuck in a minimum wage job or on welfare for years to come. Stuck in poverty. Do we expect the teenage father to drop out of school to support the child?
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