This is a compulsory and fascinating read. A poignant and important book on the ironic and stark dichotomy between the preachings of Christianity and the workings within the actual establishment itself.
Pastor Owen Williams poses thought provoking and compelling comparisons between the passages in the Bible and how the Church conducts itself in reality and in reaction to war, slavery and the historic sins of man.
Most compelling of all for me were the long-forgotten laws in Virginia that were written in the 16th century specifically to enable the evil empire of slavery to continue and flourish. Those laws permit a level of brutality and cruelty against the nation’s black population that beggars belief. By today’s standards, it is a shocking and upsetting part of history that is seldom explored and all too often sanitised.
And Pastor Owen Williams asks ‘where was the church when these atrocities transpired?’ Consumed by its own difficulties, it would seem the answer lies in how every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation. The Universal Church split initially over a doctrinal issue called the Filioque Clause, the Great Schism. Again, in the fifteenth century in the Protestant Reformation, and then again by race following the Papal Bull of 1455.
Bias is one of Satan’s schemes designed to divide people and is the root cause of resentment and jealousy which inevitably leads to suspicion and hatred. Perhaps a reason for passivity in circumstances where sin reigns?
Pastor Owen Williams provides a logical and emotive response to how the Church situated itself historically during racial inequality. His message is one of hope and determination, systemic change and reshaping of prejudices as he urges us to readdress our preconceptions.
I found this a challenging, yet rewarding read. Pastr Owen lends a frank and conscientious voice to issues of racial inequity by highlighting matters such as natural increase – the practice of breeding slaves, infanticide where enslaved African women killed their children to free them from a life of bondage, De Facto Segregation and white flight.
By taking heed of the mistakes of our past, we are armed with the courage and determination not to repeat those mistakes and learn from them.
- Doreen B is an editorial reviewer at Book-Central.