The Future Is Here

EP. 17: Black Evangelicalism w/ Sho Baraka

May 12, 2021 Sho Baraka Season 2 Episode 17
The Future Is Here
EP. 17: Black Evangelicalism w/ Sho Baraka
Chapters
The Future Is Here
EP. 17: Black Evangelicalism w/ Sho Baraka
May 12, 2021 Season 2 Episode 17
Sho Baraka

Last year after the presidential election, we got to talk to Sho Baraka of the And Campaign about the importance of Christians being nvolved in the political arena. We loved our discussion so much, we invited him back for The Future Is Here #podcast to talk to him about what he sees as the future of #evangelicalism and why the Black Church is central to it.

Listen on as our host Tommy Nixon also talks to Sho about his new book, "He Saw That it Was Good" and how we can frame this next iteration of the Church in a healthier way. 

Sho Baraka's book is out May 18 but is now available to preorder.

Support the show (https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/WebLink.aspx?name=E12333&id=12)

Show Notes Transcript

Last year after the presidential election, we got to talk to Sho Baraka of the And Campaign about the importance of Christians being nvolved in the political arena. We loved our discussion so much, we invited him back for The Future Is Here #podcast to talk to him about what he sees as the future of #evangelicalism and why the Black Church is central to it.

Listen on as our host Tommy Nixon also talks to Sho about his new book, "He Saw That it Was Good" and how we can frame this next iteration of the Church in a healthier way. 

Sho Baraka's book is out May 18 but is now available to preorder.

Support the show (https://interland3.donorperfect.net/weblink/WebLink.aspx?name=E12333&id=12)

Speaker 1:

Are you listening? Hey fan , welcome to the features here , podcast. This is for the leaders, the dreamers provocateurs misfits, the frustrated frontline leaders who are charging in the kingdom. You're tired of reactive church. It's time to build a church we dream of now the future is here. So don't get left behind. Are you listening? Let's get into it. Welcome

Speaker 2:

To another episode of the features here, podcast. I am your host, Tommy Nixon , and I'm excited for today. We have sho Baraka on again, a couple months ago in November, we had him at , um, on for UI WWI , urban youth workers Institute talking about politics. And it was, it was right during the election and it was hot and things were, were worried and, and so much has happened since that time. And so , uh , show we're so excited to have you on, man. I appreciate you brother. Thanks for being on.

Speaker 3:

Thank you for having me. I appreciate that you guys are doing bro .

Speaker 2:

Yeah, man. So last time Le let's just get into a man. Last time we were talking and we were talking about politics and we're talking about , uh , it kind of came up like evangelicalism and I gotta be honest. You , you post something, you , you stopped me for a moment and you were like, well, wait a minute. Um, and you, you brought up black evangelicalism and you were like, you know, one, one group of people can't own evangelicalism. And I thought this was so , um, it was such a great point and it , and it kind of stopped me cause I thought, man, that's a good point. And so, and that's what we want to talk about today, man, this, this , uh, understanding and movement of black evangelicalism. And so , um, you talked about, you know, one group can't own, all that. So share a little bit more about what, what did you mean by that? And what does that, what does that look like in our context today with the church?

Speaker 3:

Yeah , I think history will teach us the more we read about, you know, especially the bod , there isn't a such thing as a black church in the white evangelical church, if you will. They see what teachers that when it comes to the term evangelicalism. Yeah. I mean, if you want to pay somebody to own the actual term. Okay, cool. But the principle of evangelicalism, absolutely not. And there are people who are way more educated than me who understand David Bebbington , um, kind of break down a Woody evangelical was the main like version of activism Biblicism and Christ kind of like the crucifix is basically the censoring of , uh , crisis , uh , sacrifice on the cross. And you tell me throughout history that there weren't black churches who didn't have a higher view of activism who didn't have a higher , um , conversion ism who didn't have an Ivy with Biblicism and Christ sacrifice on the cross side and that they held to those things with high fidelity. And to say that all of a sudden, there's only one particular group who can , um, occupy that space to me is, is naive. And what we do though, is oftentimes what we see is the people who violate these kinds of positions and postures. And we , we want to distance ourselves from it. They , well , I'm not bad. And so therefore , um, I don't want to have any association with that. And so I'm pretty sure you have friends who even left the faith because of the abuse of Christianity, the abuse of the faith, abusive , uh, how Angelicals have weaponized their face again, the big deal people, how oftentimes even they've marginalized people groups. And what I will love to do is rather than retreat from pushing entity , because people have used this as a weapon to fight back against the darkness . I've been saying , well, I gave up, he has no utility. It says, no Christianity has high utility, but it's been mismanaged it's misappropriated and it's become a social status and club rather than a faith that actually transformed the hearts and the souls of individuals to become a cultural product has become a tool for war to get people, to bend to particular policies and principles rather than well policies and agenda rather than to get these folks with the transcendent truth that changes the whole individual .

Speaker 2:

No, that's so good. I mean, and really it, you know, for those of you guys have been following our podcasts and , and show, you know, this too, for us urban youth workers, you know, you got 1.2 million young people leaving the church every year. Um, and the end, like I always say, you know, the world is continuing to young, it's urban, it's multiethnic , but this next generation is so confused by the gospel we're presenting or have been presenting. And these aren't people that are like, ah , I don't, I don't even know what you're talking about. They're like, no, I was in your church for awhile . I heard your gospel. I watched , uh , what you said, I watched how you behaved and acted and, and really have seen this , um, this movement of evangelicalism be so connected with political power and , uh , syncretism really for American nationalism and that , um , they've called this out. And I , I appreciate that. I appreciate that about young people, but the problem is, is that I feel like the fight is, and what you're talking about the fight is to reclaim, reframe and , and, and correct some of the things from the past in this. Um, because I do believe when I look at the gospel, I go, man, this is it's still the hope I it's beautiful. It makes sense. Like a suffering Christ makes so much sense in our world today. Um, and it feels like that's been co-opted and taken and use a , as you said, weaponized for something else. And so for you , uh, you know, even in this term, I just want to know a little bit personally for you. I have a lot of friends that have gone. I'm not evangelical then. And they have left the church or they've distanced themselves in that way. What has been that journey for you personally, even in your walk with God and , and your engagement with the church

Speaker 3:

By oldest to the block of the attention insurance to the conflict , rather than before I say this , I am perfectly fine with people retreating with , uh, people , uh, abating the labels, because labels are just that they're just ways to, to shorting the petition , to save a time with describing over describing ourselves. Well , I'm all these things like lapping . I'm just thinking [inaudible] , it gives you a sense of, okay, I see where you stand when it comes to how you believe about Jesus. Um, and so for me , um, unless like we're not going to hold onto the label , which I am not saying that we have to have magical realism , then what are we like? What am I, yeah . And just to say, I'm a Christian could be sufficient , but even that has been abused. Right ? Think people still looking at that . And so what I am saying is that throughout history, I ended the book doctrine and race. That's been a good job of this as well. And then you have authors and writers party within one of my third one has a whole bunch of journals on black faith Negro. And , uh , one of the things I've seen is that black evangelicalism has been a thing you emancipation. Um , and for me to feel like it's the same , if I could be even more controversial, almost the same way I feel about the maple American . I know a lot of black brands have a lot of black friends and Brown friends who call themselves who won't take on the label as American editors , sense of pride. And I get that and I won't necessarily say I'm a prime . I won't say that I'm proud necessarily to be American, but I am American. And what I will not do is allow for America to be built off of the backs and the work and the blood, sweat, and tears of black, Brown, and indigenous people. And to all of a sudden say , you know what? I don't want to be, I don't want any kind of pain or what happens in this country because the reality is then we're citizens with no, all that individual with no home, who do we belong to? And I'm not going to move into , I'm not going to help build a house. You told that I can live at his house. And then when turmoil comes and say , no , I don't, I don't want to be claimed to the South was like, no, you guys are mistreating this property. Like I built this thing, my family who built this thing, and we need to figure out how to reposition this thing so that it is a light to the world rather than a detriment. And I talk about this in my book, shameless plug , uh , he thought that it was good. And , uh, how, and I love what you say, like the suffering of Christ, because the one thing that I think we're missing any Ben angelical realism, and I think Brown folk, indigenous people and black people have all acknowledged about their Jesus, that he was crucified. And don't have a genius that it's beautified. I think you begin to have a Jesus. Who's a lobbyist who could give you political power and positioning so that you can use that to squash enemies. And Jesus never came to squash political enemies. He came to this question, put the politics and ideology. And you do that in a way that sometimes it's sacrificial there's sometimes as I like to say, sometimes winning is dying on the crop . And one thing that the evangelical church today has lost that ability and that sense of how to die on the cross. They are, they are the ones who are screaming crucify rather than saying, I'll take the call for them.

Speaker 2:

Wow . That's so good, man. I mean, and thinking through that a little bit as we, and I love that you brought this idea of identity, like how do I identify? And I gotta be real honest. Uh, I've always struggled with that . That like straight up, even like personally, like, how do I like, who am I? So I'm mixed, right? Like Filipino and European, all this feels like my family just went around Europe, just sleeping with people, man. So , I mean like, so we, we all over the place, man, but, but also like mix with Filipino. But then I grew up in, in the African-American community and then, but my dad lives in Mexico and I have half Mexican brothers and sisters. And I it's just like, I'm just, you know, so there's this part of me that one of the reasons the gospel really calls to me is, and Christ calls to me is that he's inviting me into a family and twin identity. But yet I felt though that it's, you know, that identity has been hijacked. So when, so when people go, Oh, you're a Christian. Huh? I know I go, I know what you're thinking. I know you think, you know how I voted. I know you think how I , you know, like what I'm for, what I'm against, but it's just not true. So what part of, I feel like we'd love to hear from you, what part and attributes of like kind of the black church, do you really feel, you know, as we, that, that we should learn from, you know , people outside that community, what can we learn from grow from it and receive as we continue to , um, kinda reframe evangelicalism? You know what I mean? Not, not a much, you know, as we kind of grow from a label of that to an identity, like this is just the people of God who we are and any thoughts on that. And I think he brought up one and I think it's, it's the crucified Christ. It's the suffering piece.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. So yeah, the question, I guess there's two things that came mind. And the first thing that I would say that there is, I've learned that institutions, no matter who you were part of nation, they all have shadows that they are trying to aboard very dark history. That that is chasing them. I, I know that there are aspects of my family that I don't want to take on, but still my family and I still love them. And , uh , when people walk around saying , I'm a Baraka , I'm like, yeah , you are, but

Speaker 4:

Don't tell everybody , uh , that's funny, man.

Speaker 3:

So , um, but the reality is that there there's , so my therapy, I love them with all my heart, my body and soul . And I got to figure out how to constantly be reconciled with them . And here's the issue. I don't know if we want reconciliation. That's right. And , uh, and it's , it's easy. It's hard for me to look at somebody who voted for Trump, somebody who has no corals with storm in the Capitol, somebody who every time, there's a , there's a, there's a shooting of a , um, of a nonwhite person in the street that they look at that, and they have just a sense of lack of empathy. Right. And, and to say that, yeah, I still want to be reconciled, but it's very hard , I guess, not an easy task, but here's the deal. If we believe we have a supernatural God , then this docile that we believe this spirit that lives within us can do the things that are way beyond our comprehension in our field . And so for some reason, I'm crazy enough to believe that an individual and I can, some at some point comes to some sort of reconciliation. That doesn't mean that we're both going to have the same views , um , that we had at the start of the process at the end of the process, because hopefully to some degree, like something's changing and I hope it's because I'm the one who changed him . Um, and so that's the, that's the one thing I would say. The other thing is that , um , I think is a beautiful thing to study the diversity of the church. Um, I think they have a beautiful thing. We study the black church and other churches because , um, the one thing that the black church has always done is we've always tethered justice to Jesus. The idea of justice has never been formed to the liberation of , um , using the feds . I talk about in my book, this concept of cognitive Christianity that is rapid in why you got this idea that I know what I know and I can think of we are six months , but there's also an aspect that I think [inaudible] that it's physical aspects of that. There's not just, I know these things, but also feel these things. And I seriously think that he cares not only about my mental and the things I think about, but he also cares about my period and cares about my physical being. And so Jesus wants to change my heart. He wants to change my soul. He wants us to have right relationship , but he also doesn't want to need to be with friends . You know what I'm saying? Um, and so to what degree are we to act out as Christians in order to create liberation for people? And so we have a theology that to me by , I believe this and all that, I've studied and research. Um, but there's been this theology that is robust. And I think the reason why , um, a lot of white evangelicalism is missing. This is because there's when you're , when you're , when your theology is always coming from the palace and you don't see the pain of people. And the crazy thing about white and ventriloquism is they think they're the peasants . They think they're Moses from the Hebrew, but they're really easy Pharaoh Pharaoh in Egypt. And so the people who they've marginalized to actually the folks who are screaming, like let my people go. And so that's where I think if they expanded their Rolodex and their , their library and theologian, but I think you would get a better understanding of what it looks like to speak from a position of privilege or position.

Speaker 2:

No , I love that, man. I think one of the things that I a game-changer because it burdens me. So when you talked about it, when white evangelical evangelicals are just like someone gets murdered in the street and it's questions, they don't automatically go to compassion, right. W which, which means to suffer with, and that's what blows my, Oh , this during this, all these years, what has blown my mind the most is how can you have a huge group of people going we're in pain? And then you have another huge group of people go, Oh, we don't believe you when that large group of people follow the savior that came and suffered for us. Like the disconnect there is huge. And I think you brought, you brought it up, man, it's that cognitive? Like, do you know the, do you know the gospel? Like, do you know the, the death burial resurrection, can you, can you give me the scripture verses , can you, but , but there's a lived out experience with it . I loved how you said that. And I think when you look at the body of the church and you think about suffering , um, I , uh, I think like to receive that from the black church that has lived in the suffering for so long and has continued to come to the conclusion that Jesus is the way , um, that, that there's hope there, that it's not just a , and this is another theology that I think we gotta be so careful. It's not just about how do I just get to heaven? It's about experiencing that liberation. The kingdom is here and now and not yet. Right? Yeah . And I , I think that's , that's so beautiful, man. And so for, for you, like, and I love the idea that we need to continue to keep on fighting , um, that , that you do need to push it . And we had talked about this earlier. It was off the recording, but, you know, we talked about rest and Sabbath and how God builds that builds that in. And I think friends for those of you guys listening, we there's space. There's obviously a space for that as well. So it's not always push, push, push, fight, fight, fight. There's a rhythm and a pacing to all this, but I do appreciate how are you saying we do need to press in you can't abdicate from this. And for me and for our leaders and for what we're about, this is about lives, man. It's about this , about cities and communities transforming and changing. Um, and I really do believe the gospels it for it, but I feel like we have to reframe. So for you, what , what are some, what are some spaces in the E you know, evangelical? Like how do we create this, this different type of identity or reframe even of evangelicalism? Any thoughts on that? What's the answer show.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. So once again, it's just , it's not coincidence that you, I think it's because I, I, you know, once again I wrote this book and I have these ideas , um, that I don't think are necessarily revolutionary, but I do think I have , I think in a way that I've taken a pizza pizza, there's five points that I, I try to make it two of my chapters. And , uh , it's based off of, it's kind of like the exited and if I could be a pastor real quick iteration of five, yeah . 5:00 AM . The first one is when you look at, when you look at God, calling Moses to Farrah , to Egypt to go and liberate the people , um , he's saying, Hey, I want you to liberate my people. I want you to tell Pharaoh, let my people go. So there's a liberation there , like not just physical liberation, but a mental liberation. Cause all the , like , all right , all oppression is not as physical. Like it doesn't just impact the physical effects , the social mental effects, economic effects , educational, because you're learning the things that you , a person wants you to learn. You're talking the way that you're . So I want you to be liberated holistically from this oppressive system. The second thing is you establish leadership, right? So , um, are you, I mean, maybe leadership first, the leadership goes in and fight for the liberation of people. Uh , the third thing is that once these folks to have a leadership in liberation, you give them law, you'd give them new ways to think. You give them new concepts, principles, and it's not just moral principles. It's not just moral law, but it's also, Hey, Egypt, practice business like that. Should we do that? Maybe we shouldn't, maybe we should change the way that we do business because maybe the practices that our particular pressure hat we shouldn't adapt. Um, but the fourth thing is land. Right ? You know what I mean? It's hard to do anything when you don't have land. And I don't mean just, and I mean, not only physical land, but I mean, you have to build institutions. You have to, you have to build families. You have to give it a built thing. Right? Um, in order for your in order for the next thing to happen , which is legacy. Because if you don't, if you don't pass these things on to the generations before you, what happened in the generations after you, then what happens is 15 years later, you'll be in the same predicament. And so I think evangelicals today, we have to, we need leaders. We need people who are going to be here just for factual purposes. People who just don't want to check people who aren't just folks who just want to shout on social media high , but folks who want to get their fingers dirty and say, Hey, I want to see real liberation, physical, emotional, spiritual, economic liberation. I recognize that we can't just create liberation for the purposes of licentiousness people can't just run around and just do what they want to do. Like there has to be some structure in order. And I think a lot of our organizations and people are , they, they, they want chaos. You know what I mean? That's never going to build community. And so we need law. But now that we have to figure out how to build land, like what is, what is, because here's the thing a lot of us say, we want liberation. We just want more power in and white institutions. You know what I mean? Because this is greater platform. I know like it's okay to have positions in white light . People are great. There's some wonderful ones . Um, there's a wonderful white evangelical , uh , but understand when you're in the pilots who operate with the pallets agenda. And that's what , that's the reality of it. Like that's the bottom line. And sometimes I'm cool with being in the palette and there's times when I'm not cool with top , but ultimately what I would love to see is for us to build our own quote, unquote pallets or our own institution so that we don't have to always say, well , what is this? What are they, what are they doing? What are they? You know what I mean? And how do I get involved in there? How do I get there and money? Um , and then how do we pass it down so that when we die off our children and our children's children will have something to build off of and live off of

Speaker 5:

If you like, what you're hearing, keep, but also make

Speaker 2:

Sure to check out our newest leadership resource, the leadership journey by hitting up our [email protected] . My man, like, I mean, I almost feel like, man, you sure you don't work with us. You don't work for us. He should be leading this say , wow , why am I here leading this? Because man, I tell you right now , uh, so friends of you didn't catch that liberation, leadership, law, land and legacy. I mean just got taken to school by show. And if you're like, Oh, I want to know more about that. I guess what the book's coming out May 18th. Uh, so , uh, yeah, man, he saw that it was good. So you check that out, but okay. So here's the thing, man. So yeah , one of the things is I'm watching this movement of the Holy spirit at church renewal. He's always good to his body. He's yeah , it's not the church isn't going to die, but it definitely needs to be revived in some spaces. It needs to be , um , you know , fixing some places it needs to be celebrated and others, you know? Um, but when we come to evangelicalism, one of the things that I think is so important and people, you know, they rage against like justice and they're like, Oh , it's a social gospel, all this kind of stuff. But here's what I think the next form of evangelicalism or whatever it's going to be called. You know, these young people are watching us and they're going , does your gospel makes sense in our world? And I think it's a movement of God to say , um, Hey, when you actually do the things I've asked you to do follow what I ask you to do in scripture, the righteousness of God , um, in Spanish [inaudible] is it's it's justice is the word for righteousness there. So when we actually live that out, that's the evangelical tool and, and vehicle that I think this next generation is going to be like, Oh, I'm for that. Like, I didn't know. And we can draw them in. And then you've given us a really beautiful, like kind of pathway to that then to leadership and law and land and legacy because there still is a cost to following Jesus. You're right. You can just run around, just do whatever you want and you can be spiritual. Now there's a calling in a submission to his Lordship. But I think that that's beautiful, man. I , um, uh , friends, I hope you're listening. Um , because really what we're trying to do at UIW is that you just said it a lot better than I ever have. So , um,

Speaker 3:

We need to figure out how to support the institutions like you iwi . Cause the thing is, here's the issue. And I said this when I was on another podcast, I said, you know , part of the problem with institutions that wouldn't consider themselves white evangelical is our problem is we start five or six institutions that are doing the same thing. So we don't have the financial and social bandwidth for all five or six of those institutions. We're doing the same thing to succeed and flourish. You just don't, we just can't do that. We can't have five or six new iwi . Like we just can't right . We need two or three at the most doing what they do doing it well , uh , helping to fund that , uh, sending art . Uh, and then as we begin to grow and financial stability and economic social thing, we can start expanding. But I just, I just think about like justice organizations and it's like 13 of them and I'm like, I'm like, Oh, you think about , um, church planning organization and everybody wants to start wearing . And it's like, there's terrible. One or two that are actually doing exceptionally well. Right . And if the problem is, as soon as somebody diverts from the idea is like, well, I'll just start my own . And then it's like, well now there's this fragmentation, this disintegration that it's prevalent, especially in the black community initiatives where , uh , and this has happened since the liberation, the rec , uh , reconstruction , black folks just can't agree on what it means to be liberated . And actually that's a beautiful thing now because you know, there's a diversity of thought and I think good . Um, just as you can probably attest to the , you know, whatever community you identify with, you can make your people out of a monolith. Like there's only one ideology that's equal. And I think we have to believe in that we have to trust that. But at the same time, we have to understand, well, if I recognize the diversity of thought or my community, how, how do we also come to an agreement on how to build institutions that are going to be a benefit for the folks that we care about? And sometimes that may go against my own self interest . That's where it becomes. That's where the act of God is like , uh , well, I'm going to die for myself, you know, to see the benefit of this institution, organization, people , et cetera, flourish and thrive.

Speaker 2:

I love that man, even in our leadership , uh , training and , and what I teach is that's, what's so beautiful about the idea of, and the theology of the kingdom of God. Like, honestly, man, I don't care about you. Why w why it's, it's the , it's a vehicle within the kingdom of God that we get to join in what he's doing in the world. Right. And that's where a lot of the collaborations and the partnerships and the giving away of power and the going, Hey, let's do it together. Or, Hey, you guys do it better than we do. Why don't you do it? You know what I mean? And we'll just cheer you on. And, and, and then when it comes down to money, you know, a lot of times , uh, so many organizations and churches done , you know, it's like the scarcity mentality. And I'm like, I'm like, no. I mean, if you do a better, why don't you get the money? Cause , cause what do I care at the end of the day, if the kingdom expands and continues to grow and what God wants to happen happens, we all win. But, but , and that's another part of like, I don't know if it's tribalism or what, but within evangelicalism is rampant. And it's like, Oh my gosh. And so, and , and I just go, man. And so some of that kingdom theology, and I think that's some of the places too, that if we can continue to construct or just reframe or have the discussion and start to frame out this identity based in scripture and just having the conversation. But so often people are offended by the conversation. Like , like it's just too painful for them, which is, which is ironic because our Jesus and leave angelical, theological theology would be like, I'm a sinner. It's to look inside first and be like, I need a savior, but it's like, as soon as we get saved and it's like, no, I'm good. Now everyone else has a center . So it's like, it's so weird. I'm like, yeah, man. So now that's been really helpful show. I mean, just some final thoughts from you, man, about, cause you really pushed, you started me thinking, man. So I've been thinking about this since November man, since you dropped that on me, I'm like, what does it look like to continue to get together, collaborate and to construct? Um, I , and I don't even know if I call it a new evangelicalism, but yeah . Cause, cause again, you have the, I want to learn from the mistakes of the past, but what does that look like for us or where are some areas that you see some hope? And one of the areas I see you're involved in, I love the Ann campaign. I love the way that you guys kind of sit in that tension. Um, and it feels like it's a construction of, of the, I don't even know what to call it of a reframing of the gospel, not a replacement of it, but do you know what I'm saying? Like what, what do you see out there? That's hopeful .

Speaker 3:

I think there's a , I mean there's a lot of organizations and people at the outset of both for , I do think , um, there's a lot of re-imagining and the way that I will communicate it , this a reimagining of , of evangelicalism, I think that we have to be brave enough to take a fail if you will, and step away from the influence and the power that we should have in order to build they move movement. If you were a new evangelicalism, because for many of us, we're like a third culture, not evangelicals, as it's described today, we are not traditional church. As some of our family members attended kind of like either black, traditional or Catholic or, you know , um, um, fundamentalist, if you will. But we are folks who are children forth and from evangelicalism who understand the equity , uh, of a traditional church , um, that some of the more , um, I guess even church parents came from and we'll probably associated with, but we are a new breed of people. And , uh, that's what the ad campaign is. It's like, I understand both the condition and the compassion of the word, honest and the compassion of the more, what people would say to more progressive left side, but also to send the conviction , um , the individuals who hold the Bible in high fidelity, right ? And those things are in opposition to one another. We see this in scripture and I think what we try to do and oftentimes fail and see Jesus as an individual who will did both with excellence and how do we do that? But the problem is, is oftentimes one side sees love as the affirmation of all things without any challenge. And the other side, seeing the conviction of all things without a new passion . And so how do we begin to say, be people who can say, no , we're in the, where we're at, as you say is radical middle, but it's not where the middle, because we don't know how to make a decision when in the middle, because this is where we believe is the strongest conviction and truth of what we hold to. It's just that society hasn't created a space where we are and to call it the middle and yeah,

Speaker 2:

No . And , and that makes so much more sense when you look at this peculiar group of people called the church throughout history, when it's been healthy and beautiful, it has been that that kind of carving out within the culture and then the space of a , of a different way of being. Um, and so I think that's beautiful, man. Lastly, just, this is just for me. So how has that journey been for you? You know, you said, you said the word orphans, like have, have you felt lost on this at all? Cause I gotta be honest with you some at some points, I just feel like, man, I just don't like, like, where am I supposed to go with this? You know what I mean? Um, yeah . Yeah. W what's, you know, just a few words, man, what has that been like for you and how long maybe have you been on that journey? Like what, because a lot of people are on this deconstruction. Right. But , um , you know, w I don't know. What's that look like for sho Baraka?

Speaker 3:

Yeah, I don't , um, yeah , I, I am definitely, I feel like an orphan . However, I don't feel like necessarily a bad thing. As of right now, I feel like it's , uh , um , liberating and one thing that I have the freedom to construct a new normal, a new identity , um , a new, a new place, a new home, and without feeling like I have to tether it to this particular idea, I can pull from academia through . I don't believe I belong to because of the lack interest in religion, I can pull from white evangelicalism, but I don't have to tether myself to it . Who has this lack of compassion . I can tether to the traditional black church, but I don't have to exactly do that because of their lack of relevant spaces or , um, and to be honest, metric could be highly concerned as soon as well. But , um, but I don't have to be, I don't have to be solely in one of the things I can try to figure out how do I, how do I not , I guess you construct certain beings , but construct, like, my thing about deconstruction is that at some point you have to build something and it needs to go with the cost of the seat, them things, and you'll never see anything like it never landed anywhere. And she gets up and talks about that, like to go to sleep or something like that . And for me, it's like, well, I don't believe it because corruption is being healthy because what we're doing is we're kind of like pushing you, the Luddites out there who are just tearing down everything. Like eventually we have to, we have to continue to be anti revision . You have to have vision . And , um, and people are for lack of vision or description says . And so for me, I am at a place where I am contented with having this posture of, I know I don't belong to a particular institution, but I recognize that church is highly important for the Christian. I also know community is how important. I know that I am to fellowship consistently. I am urge one another. Um , but I also recognize that , uh, I am not, and here's something that I think I want my brothers and sisters to hear . I am not utterly consumed with white supremacy and white evangelical . Like I do not spend all my day thinking about white because he is not my God. I don't, I don't chase that ghost. I don't shave that ghost around the room all day at some point. And , uh, it's a fairly popular quote from Toni Morrison and she delivered it. I think it was in 72 at Portland state university. And she talked about racism as a distraction, keeps you from being busy. And that's what I feel like the permittee is. It's like constantly argue with people and try to prove your existence and your worth, and your value is fatiguing and it's a waste of time. And at some point you need to district more people and get the work done. And the word that doesn't mean more racism, but it's ignoring the claim that you are, that you have no value knowing the claim, the not ignore the trauma because trauma, but ignoring the pressure and the weight that racism puts on you. And I think a lot of the trauma we experienced is , uh , um , chasing just for the easy analogy is us chasing the ghost . And I knew I was a black man in my early twenties. When I went to university, I said, Oh, I'm a black man. And black people were different. And I realize it's different in Alabama than it was growing up in California. Uh, and the racial trauma that I experienced, I guess you could say in California is different from the racial experience and trauma that happens in Alabama. And I had reconciled that at a young age. And so now today, when I drive past a police officer, I , I don't, I'm not my life. I don't feel like my life is threatened by. And I'm not saying that that's something that other people should feel shame about it . They feel that, but I'm saying like at some point you have to figure out how to deal with it. And sometimes dealing with it publicly is not the best way to do it . I don't know a lot of people who are dealing with their trauma publicly and , um, they may need to process that I believe counseling through pastoral leadership and grants and meditation, and a lot of prayer, just a lot, but publicly on Twitter and Instagram may not be the best way to deal with that. And because you don't know as relation six, you don't know what kind of burden you're putting on other people is unhealthy. I do think there's a healthy burden to put on one another, but there's also a very unhealthy burden that we put on one another. And for me, this is the reason why sometimes I feel like it's best for me to remain silent about issues , because I mean, I think it's helping to contribute to the conversation,

Speaker 2:

Man . That's man, that's a whole nother podcast, bro. Like, it's so good, man.

Speaker 3:

I recognize the challenge of pushback , but yeah,

Speaker 2:

No , I, I think it's, it's just so helpful, man show , thanks so much for being on with me today, man. Just, just framing this it's these type of conversations that , uh , people need to have that they need to listen to. They need to wait into that. They need to think through. And so I , I just appreciate you, man. I appreciate who you are. I'm in the kingdom of God. I appreciate what you do. Um, but you do have a book coming out May 10th and hit me with the title. One more time.

Speaker 3:

He saw that it was good. He saw

Speaker 2:

Goodbye . Sho Baraka May 18th. I'm sure you can get it on Amazon. All the right it's going to be everywhere .

Speaker 3:

Yep . Everywhere, everywhere. My friend , you can go to my website, Bloch , ology.com. If you don't want to purchase it on those big mistake ,

Speaker 2:

Man. Hey, thanks again. I appreciate you friends. Thanks for listening today. I hope you continue to tune in to the next episode of the features here. Podcasts . We appreciate you, man. See you guys later. Peace.

Speaker 1:

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