We should not romanticize or idealize any church. That includes the New Testament church of 2000 years ago, and, as I keep reminding myself, it includes the African-American churches. Sin worms its insidious way into every human heart and every human community.
And yet. I met a young white woman the other day who lives, by choice, in Harlem and attends a black church. She says that her (white) mother taught her that the African-American churches live closer to the heart of Christianity than any of the white churches. After reading about “Mother Emanuel” in Charleston, and after reading this story today (link below), I can’t disagree.