This transcript was taken from a Stand in the Gap Today radio program originally aired on June 15, 2021. To listen to the program, please click HERE.
Joe Green: Good afternoon. My name is Joe Green, and I’ll be hosting today’s program along with Gary Dull. Today, we’re going to be talking about strengthening the black family. I’d like to say before I get into this report that I’m about to read to you that the family unit, which was ordained by God and described in the Bible, is the strength of any society, any community, because strong families, especially when they’re grounded and rooted in biblical principles, not only make strong individuals, but strong individuals make up a strong community, and any community that has a weakened family unit always has many issues that we’ll talk about today. I’ll also say that, although we’re talking specifically today about a report done on the black family, these principles will apply to all communities and all cultures. So as we’re having this conversation, we can also look at it in a larger lens of the family unit as a whole.
But let me read a report made by the Douglass Leadership Institute. It’s called An Introduction to the Enduring Strength of the Black Family. The report begins with, “For decades, if not centuries, the prevailing narrative about the Black American family has been a negative one. Negative stereotypes include but are not limited to the assumptions that blacks do not value marriage, that the majority of black fathers do not take responsibility for or involve themselves in the lives of their children, that black parents are not sufficiently attentive to their children and do not value or invest in education, and that black families are not interested in or willing to adopt children.
Proponents of this narrative have come from both the political right and left. Those on the right have used this set of assumptions as an explanation, sometimes the sole explanation for any remaining racial disparities in wealth or academic performance. For example, those on the left have used it to justify all manner of government control over black individuals and communities. While there is much work to do to strengthen all American families, critics on both sides have failed to recognize the enduring strengths of the Black American family, despite the work of scholars such as Robert Hill, and the deliberate role that the exercise of both government and private power has played both historically and contemporarily in weakening the Black American family.”
Reverend Dean Nelson is our guest today, and Reverend Nelson is a licensed minister from Salem Baptist Church in Marshall, Virginia, and an ordained pastor with Wellington Boone Ministries. He holds a BA in Rhetoric and Communication from the University of Virginia and he completed post-graduate work at Coverdale Leadership Institute and Leadership Institute Campaign School. Reverend Nelson serves as the chairman of the board for the Douglass Leadership Institute. He’s a sought after speaker giving frequent interviews on ABC and NBC affiliate networks in Washington, DC. He’s appeared on the 700 Club, CBN News and MSNBC as well, and he is a frequent guest on Christian radio programs including the Bott Radio Network and American Family Radio. He’s also a member of the Family Research Council.
I want to say, first and foremost, what an honor and privilege it is to have you on the program, Dean. Dean is a good friend of mine. We’ve been friends for the last several years and I’ve watched all the amazing things that he does. So thank you for being on the program, Dean.
Dean Nelson: Joe, thank you so much for having me back. It’s always a treat to be with you.
Joe Green: Dean, I read the beginning of the report, and if you can just give us a little bit more of a summary of why the report was done, who authorized the report, and what is the prevailing conclusions that you draw from this report?
Dean Nelson: Yeah, thanks so much. One of the things that we tried to do is, after looking at a lot of the data from center right groups, center left groups, and also from a lot of the data that we’ve even captured from the programming that we do at the Douglass Leadership Institute, what we wanted to do was to, one, set the stage for those who would read it to know the enduring legacy of the African-American family throughout America’s history. We have a generation that is emerging, Joe, when they see some of the problems within the black culture, they almost think that we’ve always been this way, that we’ve always had high incidence of out-of-wedlock births, we’ve always had problems with high numbers of abortions, but that wasn’t true.
So what we tried to do is to go all the way back from the beginning of the colonial period, and take a little bit of a trip down history lane, so to speak, and look at how the black family, even under great pressures and great scrutiny, still has been resilient and they have always had a desire to keep family, to have family, even though through racism, through Jim Crow, through a lot of bad public policy more in the modern era, there’s been an assault, but there’s still this desire. Actually, today, by some measurements, we actually see black families outperforming their white counterparts. So the goal really isn’t to put black against white, but to put into greater context some of the data. That’s what we hope people will get from this report to, number one, see that, yes, there have been some problems throughout our culture, but looking at some of the innovative approaches that have been done and some of the positive examples that we can see and maybe highlight some of the good to lead us as a pathway forward for a better America.
Gary Dull: Dean, this is Gary and, of course, it’s a delight to have you with us today and to renew our acquaintance as we’ve been together in the past. If you could ingest a few … well, actually about two minutes we have left. Share with our listeners what you would think is the number one myth about the black family in America today.
Dean Nelson: That’s a great question. I would say when I speak before audiences now, I sometimes ask the question, one question, and that is: do you believe that the majority of black fathers are not involved with their children? Because there has been a huge stereotype within the black community about deadbeat dads, men who father children but that are not around. But actually, the majority of black fathers today are actually involved with their children and, in some studies it shows, from the CDC, that black fathers by some measurements are actually more engaged with their children than their white counterparts. So I think that’s probably one of the big myths, I think, that we hope to destroy with this. Again, we have a long way to go in every segment of our culture, but I think that’s one of those that I try to highlight.
Joe Green: Dean, those are great points. I think that the reason this is so vitally important, and I deal in the community a lot and I know you do, a lot of times when we’re looking at some of these disenfranchised community, some of these urban areas that has so many different challenges, some of our leaders will always default back to we need more social programs, we need more governmental programs, we need more this and more that and I see that not as many of them are focusing on strengthening the family unit. Can you speak to how that dynamic works, and do you see that as well? That a lot of times they’ll focus on the wrong solutions instead of really understanding the importance of things that help to solidify family relations?
Dean Nelson: What you said at the very-
Joe Green: Actually, you know what, Dean? Hold that thought. We’re going to go to break, and when we come back, I’d like for you to answer that question, if you will. We’re talking with Reverend Dean Nelson and we’re talking about enduring and strengthening the black family. This is Joe Green, along with Gary Dull, and we’ll be back after these commercial messages. Stay tuned.
Joe Green: Welcome back. My name is Joe Green and I’m here hosting today’s program with Gary Dull. Our special guest is Reverend Dean Nelson, who is not only the founder of the Frederick Douglass Leadership Institute, but also a part of the Family Research Council. We’re talking about the DLI report on the enduring strength of the black family. Before we went to break, I started to ask you a question, Reverend Nelson, about the focus many of our leaders in urban areas, especially where there’s a lot of disenfranchisement, poverty, and other issues that the black community faces, and a lot of the leaders seem like they focus more on social programs than programs that will strengthen family units and family relationships. Can you speak to that for us?
Dean Nelson: Yeah, Joe, I think it’s a really important question. I think it is one of the most important questions right now when we look across the landscape because people see that there are problems and we tend to look to government, particularly the federal government, to solve some of these problems when, in reality, I think there’s biblical approach in looking at the church, families, and individuals, and even median institutions, that can help solve some of these problems. If we look throughout history in America, typically when the government has tried to get involved, it actually has made things worse. I mean, the best example that I can think of is certainly, when we look back during the Lyndon Johnson era and after, you had a huge government intervention to try to solve the issue of poverty. When we did that, in some records, I believe it’s Jonah Goldberg that writes this in the book Liberal Fascism, who documents that the federal government had over 100,000 workers that went into particularly urban and black communities to convince them to get onto welfare. There was a group of blacks that they called the Too Proud. My grandfather was one of these. These are men who wanted to demonstrate that they had a commitment to their family and they wouldn’t take public assistance.
Well, these people, these 100,000 workers, over a period of time, influenced enough blacks to get on to public assistance, and then afterwards is what you saw that was highlighted in Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s Moynihan Report, which has now been over 50 years, which saw the alarming rates of out-of-wedlock births. I think at that time, over 50 years ago in the Moynihan Report, it was roughly about 25% of black children were being born out of wedlock. Sadly, that has increased and, sadly today, the best demographic group, which are Asians, is right about that 20% or 25% mark with whites, blacks, and Hispanics being worse than it was when Daniel Patrick Moynihan first sounded the alarm.
So I think that we need to go back to the Bible. We need to go back to a biblical understanding of how to deal with these things, whether it’s from the Garden of Eden, when God had Adam and Eve to set the standard, or whether we look back after the flood, God used family to rebuild society. Even as I’m thinking about that great example in Jeremiah 29, with the exile, that letter to the exile where God says to build houses, to settle down, to plant gardens, but it says to marry and have sons and daughters. He says, “Find wives for your sons and for your daughters so that you can increase and not decrease in that new land.” He says, “Then also seek the peace and prosperity of the city for which I have carried you into.” So my point is, is that God has given us the prescription throughout scripture. We just need to abide by it, encourage it, and live it ourselves in the church.
Gary Dull: I just want to mention to our listeners and folks, this is for the sake of clarification, both Brother Joe and Brother Dean are black, I am white, and so this makes for a very interesting discussion, and I’m delighted to be involved with this. Certainly, both of these men are great leaders, great godly leaders, and we can thank the Lord for them.
Dean, my question is based on the report on marriage, fatherhood, and religious devotion. There’s a statement in there that says, and I quote, “A much higher share of blacks than whites say that it is very important for a couple to marry if they plan to spend their lives together.” The report goes on to say that white couples in their study didn’t commonly identify love and deep friendship as motivations for marriage whereas the American born black couples did. Now, personally, from the white perspective, that doesn’t sound too good. But from the perspective of the black family, that is quite encouraging to see to it that a much higher share of blacks than whites say it’s important for a couple to marry if they plan on spending their lives together. Can you comment on that? Why is that and why does the black folks have a higher recognition of that significance than the white folks?
Dean Nelson: Yeah, no, I think Gary, that’s a great observation from this study. I think it could be actually affirmed by studies that have been done by George Barna and others that African-Americans are, as a group, are much more likely to read their Bible. They’re much more likely to go to church. So if you take the black culture, which is roughly 13% of the American population, they’re more churched, if you will. So now, but if you were to take, say, the evangelical white, then that would be a different story. But when you put whites overall, I think that the white community over the last 50 years, half century, have been more influenced by secular society; and I think the black community, although having been influenced, I think, that those are some of the reasons why you see a stronger affirmation for love, marriage, and the idea of being together. Even though, because of some of the things that I mentioned earlier, you’ve seen the black family being pulled apart, particularly in these urban communities where you’ve had these government programs that have tried to help, in actuality they have hurt, I think that the Black American still today, even with all of those challenges, still most of them aspire towards marriage.
Most of them aspire towards it. Even if they don’t have it, even if they didn’t grow up with it, they look at it as something to aspire to. As horrible as some of the policies were from our former president, President Obama, one of the things that I did give him credit for was at least living out a kind of a dedication to his wife and to his children, which I saw was really encouraging to a lot of black families. So we want to be able to encourage; I think the church has a vital role to be able to be engaged, to see some of these better outcomes, but it’s not going to be easy.
Joe Green: And those are terrific points, Dean. What I want to do is, because this segment I really wanted to show how people focus on racism and poverty and different things like that as being the primary issue that we face in the black community, but I would say, statistically, just like your report pans out, Patrick Moynihan back in the ’60s, when he wrote his report, he said he saw a decrease in the family unit, especially because of those social programs. But before I read those statistics, I also want to quote Dr. Thomas Sowell, who talked about how the hundred years from the 1860s to the 1960s, even with all the prejudice that Jim Crow and all those laws, we still, the black community, had a strong family unit, but the major part of the decline has been since then from the ’60s till now. So we can’t really put as much emphasis on the institution of slavery as being the thing that has influenced in our community as much now, because most of our decline has happened since the 1960s.
But let me give you a couple of statistics. So 63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes. This is not just black statistics; this is across the board. That’s from the United States Department of Health and Census; five times the average. 90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes, and that’s 32 times the average of those who are in two-parent households. 85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes. That’s from the Center for Disease Control, 80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes, and that’s from the Justice and Behavior report.
The statistics just go on and on, but we see the results that happen when you have a broken family unit. Again, I always talk about the fact that although we see an emphasis in certain pockets of the black community, certain pockets, I will say, but this is a theme that we all should be concerned with, all of us as Americans, especially all of us who are Bible-believing Christians in America, because we understand that God gave us the blueprint and when we turn away from His original intent and His design for us, then we will see all of these things happening. So I believe that we need to understand that and look to focus on the real issues and solutions that will help to reestablish the community. What are your thoughts on that, Dean? You see a lot more than that. You’re part of the Family Research Council. Do you believe that most churches don’t put as much emphasis on families as they should?
Dean Nelson: I think that the church needs to be emphasizing via every way that they can through weddings, through affirming marriage. I mean, we need to do everything that we can to push that, and that’s one of the things that we tried to do in this report. I agree with you whole-heartedly and Tom Sowell has done some great research over the years. We cannot say with truth and with honesty that the problems that we see in families, and particularly the black family, is a result of slavery. Because if you really go back to that time period and during the time period of Jim Crow, what we saw was counter to the narrative of what we see today.
I mean, I’ll just say it very clearly and this was written by Katrina Bell McDonald and Caitlin Cross-Barnet in their research on the black family that said even as fear of severe punishment was omnipresent during slavery, men and women went through great lengths to form forbidden intimate bonds with one another. That is, they went through great lengths to marry. By conservative estimates, hundreds of thousands of black slaves went through great lengths-
Joe Green: Let me stop you there, Dean. Those are great statistics. We’re going to go to a break, and when we come back we’ll continue our conversation on the enduring strength of the black family with Reverend Dean Nelson and my co-host Gary Dull. We’ll be back after these announcements.
Joe Green: We’re back. My name is Joe Green. I’m with Gary Dull and our special guest is Reverend Dean Nelson, the Douglass Leadership Institute, also the Family Research Council. We’re talking about the enduring strength of the black family. Dean, you were reading a quote before we went to break. I wanted you, if you could reread that quote in its entirety, I think it’d be very beneficial to our listening audience.
Dean Nelson: Yeah, absolutely. It was basically affirming what we know that’s true, even though it’s sometimes flies in the face of the narrative, but blacks during the time period of slavery and thereafter had great commitment to family and marital bonds. But this is a quote that’s actually from a sociologist, Katrina Bell McDonald and Caitlin Cross-Barnet that said, “Even as fear of severe punishment was omnipresent during slavery, men and women went to great lengths to form forbidden intimate bonds with one another.” That is to say they went through great lengths to marry. By conservative estimates, hundreds of thousands of black slaves went to great lengths to be married. Of course, slavery during that time period, marriage was forbidden. You’ve heard the phrase jumping the broom. There were certain practices that black people did to form these bonds. When they saw and understood what marriage was, it’s something that they not only desired, but they sacrificed for.
There’s some fantastic stories that I’ve read through slave narratives, even with blacks after emancipation, black men that walked hundreds of miles across the south, looking for, searching for their wives that had been broken up through the brutality of slavery. Or their children that had been sold off. I mean, just powerful stories that would just break your heart as hundreds of these black men went roaming throughout the south, putting ads in papers, searching, looking for their children that were torn away from them because of the horrors of slavery, which is a great picture … I mean, it’s horrible, but it’s a picture to help us reaffirm and understand the sacrifices that were made from generations before as it relates to commitment to marriage and family.
Joe Green: Absolutely. Those are great points, and I think those stories are just tremendous. I remember the movie Harriet Tubman, how she had left and she was broken away from her family. That was one of the things she did when she first came back to the south after being freed was she was coming back to look for her husband because she had such a loyalty and connection to him.
One of the things I always like to point out, and I know, Dean, man, you have talked about this a lot, and this is pretty much well known in many circles, but we want to really focus on the fact of how there’s been an erosion of the black family since the 1960s, and a lot of that can be attributed directly to the war on poverty. So we know about Lyndon Baines Johnson, who not only supported the Civil Rights bill, but also he promoted this idea of the war on poverty where governmental programs, really, they spent, it’s been estimated since then till now, the government has spent about $22 trillion on the war on poverty to different social programs and welfare programs and different things like that.
Most people may not know this, but Lyndon Baines Johnson was well-known to be a racist. He used the N word a lot, and so it was confusing to many as to why he did a 180-degree turn to support the Civil Rights bill. What his response was basically was that it was to gain loyalty for the democratic party in the black community. It has worked because we see now that the majority of black voters identify as Democrats, and Lyndon Baines has this very popular quote out there. He says, “We have to give to Black America since they now have the right to vote,” and I’m paraphrasing. We have to give them something not enough to make a difference, but enough to make them think that we care and we’ll have them voting Democrat for the next 200 years. He used the derogatory term towards black people, which I won’t use on this program, but we can see that pattern because, at the sake of these governmental programs, it actually helped to remove the father out of the household.
You made a reference to the Moynihan Report, and Patrick Moynihan, who was a senior advisor at that time, he said he could see that that was going to be the case. We see that it helped to weaken the family unit because one of the stipulations in the welfare system was that the woman who was raising the children couldn’t have the father living in the household and she couldn’t be married. So I even remember reports from being younger that, when the Social Services would come to the house, the father had to either act like he didn’t live there and take his clothes out of there or actually move out. So we can see long-term effects of that.
But, Dean, can you talk a little bit about that and how it’s so important for us to understand these things so that we can put the focus back in the right place? Because, as you stated so eloquently, we’ve endured a lot as a black community through some of the worst conditions and our families remain relatively strong, but now we see this whole idea of the weakened black family.
Dean Nelson: Yeah. I’m reminded of that scripture in Proverbs. It says, “There’s a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof is death or destruction.” I think through a lot of times, these wise sounding arguments, the idea that the government somehow is benevolent and it’s going to help you, I think has influenced our culture. But when we really look at the data, I mean government programs, they typically give only 20 cents or 10 cents on the dollar, back to the people that it’s intended to help. Most of the money that’s allocated goes for a bureaucratic program and not really getting the resources to the people that need the help, and they set up a set of perverse incentives that undermine the family.
So as a result, as you spoke, it was very clearly understood through both again like Brookings Institute, as well as other even center left and center right think tanks, that the real success for getting out of poverty is number one, to get a high school, at least a high school education; number two, to get a job; and, three, to get married and then have children and to do it in that order. When those things go out of order, there are all sorts of challenges that begin to appear, and that’s where we have seen that breakdown within the family structure.
So what we’re trying to do is to encourage every sector of society, whether it’s the family, whether it’s the church, whether it’s a business, whether it’s education, to not jettison those principles that we know have had success, but rather to find ways to embrace them. I think that if we do that, we’ll begin to see better outcomes within our culture.
Gary Dull: Well, certainly I think that that’s important. I didn’t know, I thought you were going to come back to me there, Joe. Sorry about that. But I do appreciate this particular report that’s been put together by the Douglass Leadership Institute, and I’m just wondering, Dean, how can people get a copy of this? As I was reading down through this on my own, I came to the realization that there’s a lot of information in here that the average family in the country probably is missing out on. I think this is an excellent report. How can people get their hands on this report these days?
Dean Nelson: Yes. The best way to do that is if they go to our website, which is dlinstitute.org. That’s dlinstitute.org. If they simply register with DLI to say that they want to get our contact information or to get reports and to be on our email list, we’ll be happy to send that report out to them. There are other reports that we have done, one report not long ago, I guess, it was actually a little over two years ago now that we put out, that highlighted the Office of Population Affairs, which is a federal program that existed and still exists today, giving out hundreds of millions of dollars to break up the family actually. So they can find that report at dlinstitute.org. It’s not up for them to get today, but if they go there and they just click on and register to receive our emails, we’ll make sure that they get a copy of the report. We’re excited about pushing it out, and thank you guys so much for giving us the opportunity to present it on your show.
Joe Green: Absolutely.
Gary Dull: Do that, and I appreciate you being on here with us today. The question that I have as a follow up is talking about the strategy to restore the families. What is the pastor and the church’s responsibility in this, Dean? Do you think that the pastors and churches are doing all that they could and should be doing from the biblical perspective?
Dean Nelson: I think that there’s a lot of work to be done. We want to encourage pastors and ministry leaders, number one, to preach the biblical truth. When we were doing some of this research, there are a host of churches that are shying away from teaching biblical morality, biblical sexuality. I think, first and foremost, a preacher worth his salt needs to preach the truth of God, not shying away from it. The second thing is, is that as we look at some of the conditions of our churches, I’ll give you a great example of a pastor, Brian Carter, has a fantastic article that was written about a work that he’s doing, Concord Church in Dallas, Texas, and I believe this was reported two years ago in the New York Times. But he highlighted, he recognized that he had a lot of people in his church that were cohabiting. So what he did is he offered the challenge. He basically said, “If you will go through the premarital counseling, we will actually pay for your first month rent.” So he’s had hundreds of people that have taken the challenge and they went through, and after they went through the premarital counseling, they do a wedding ceremony, but these people build bonds with one another to have accountability between one another and it’s had great amount of success.
Joe Green: That is tremendous, Dean. We’re going to go to break and we’ll be back with Reverend Dean Nelson. We’re talking about the enduring strength of the black family. My name is Joe Green, hosting along with Gary Dull. We’ll be back after these messages. Please stay tuned.
Joe Green: And we’re back. My name is Joe Green. I’m here with Gary Dull and our special guest is Reverend Dean Nelson. We’re talking about the enduring strength of the black family. We’ve been mentioning a Douglass Leadership Institute report that talks about the black family and how important it is. I just want to reiterate that when we’re talking about the black family, we’re talking about something I think is so important to America. Because when we look at things like critical race theory or some of the other things that have been promoted, it’s important for us to offset it with biblical truth and what are the real issues that we’re facing as a community.
It doesn’t mean there wasn’t some dark spots in America’s history. We know that slavery was horrible, Jim Crow, and some of the other horrible things that have happened in the country, but in order for us to move forward and to build and to improve our situation and condition, we have to look at what is happening here now and how we can resolve these issues and a way to reconcile, to heal, and to do better. If we always point at slavery as the thing that is always going to be that monkey on our back that hinders us from moving forward, we’ll never move forward because we can’t change the past. The only thing we can do is learn from the past in order to go forward.
The reason I admire this conversation and a lot of the conversations and a lot of things that Reverend Dean Nelson does and the Douglass Leadership Institute and those types of things, is we have open and honest conversations. The reason that, that is so important, we don’t ignore the things that have occurred, we don’t ignore history, but we want to have constructive conversations on how do we build, how do we move forward, how do we grow. Really, if the church isn’t leading those types of conversations, then those conversations don’t head in the right way. They get ahead in a way that helps to keep us divided, has us hating each other and not trusting each other, and we know that that’s not the message of the gospel.
Reverend Dean, can you talk a little bit about the significance in pastors in the pulpit in promoting and having these types of conversations we’re having and promoting these family values as the Bible gives us?
Dean Nelson: Yeah, thanks, Joe. One of the things that I wanted to make sure that we covered in this report was not just how the black family has endured through a lot of challenge, but also for people to understand that undergirding the black family is the African-American Church. If I use that, I’m using that in the context because historically, with segregation, there was this the black church people could not worship with whites. But I think one of the things to me, regardless of which demographic group or ethnic group we’re referring to, the church has a vital role. There’s statistics that show, particularly one from Harvard University, that showed that when people were more committed to their faith by religious church services that they attended, it showed that they were going to be better outcomes health-wise, that they would have longer life, lower incidence of depression, and less suicide.
But, additionally, the study at Harvard found that if there was a commitment to attending religious services, because there were a number of ways that we can try to identify how committed someone is but they did this based on religious service attendance, but it is also associated with greater marital stability. It also is less likelihood of divorce. Even studies that were done by Dr. Patrick Fagan a few years ago showed that if an intact family also had frequent church attendance, you would have lower crime rates within that community. You would have higher education and also higher earning potential. That is to say that, if they both came from an intact family and they had consistent church attendance, this is across the board, regardless of what ethnicity, they also would show that they had a higher earning potential and ultimately more earning power.
So all of these social pathologies that we see can be really corrected by having an intact family and by that intact family, having commitment to their relationship with God. Those are the things I feel like that should be highlighted by pastors, by ministers, really by anybody, if we want to see some of these pathologies change within our culture.
Gary Dull: Well, that’s absolutely correct, Reverend Dean, and we agree with that. We agree 100% with that here at Stand in the Gap Today. Again, folks, I would encourage you, if you can, to get this report. You need to get it. It’s entitled The Enduring Strength of the Black Family, there with the Douglass Leadership Institute. Maybe once again, Dean, you can give the contact information for that. But my last question to you today is this, and it’s coming from the sense of being an example, based upon what you shared with our people today. From the biblical perspective, what can the white family today learn from the black family, from the biblical perspective?
Dean Nelson: Yeah, I think that the key thing that I believe that a white family and other families, if they look at the struggle that the black family has been through, is to know beyond the shadow of a doubt that when there is a commitment and a dedication to God, God is the one who can bring you through. We can see the similar kind of characteristics if we go back to Israel. The Lord God, Jehovah, was the one that brought them out of slavery. I believe that, that is an enduring story. As you see, many white families and in blacks and others that are leaving their faith, leaving the church.
I think that when you look even across the world, Christianity is growing in Africa. Christianity is growing in China. Christianity is growing in other parts of the world because they’re recognizing that. But it’s only in the west when we have prospered, we’ve gotten kind of like falling at ease, I think that we have forgotten God, and I think that if you look at the black family throughout its history, all that it’s been through from Jim Crow, slavery, and everything else, I believe that that is a lesson that can be learned is trusting in God even going through difficult circumstances.
Joe Green: That is tremendous. Dean, can you also talk about some of the resources, and we only have a couple of minutes left, how people can find some of the resources that can help to strengthen them and their ministry and how they can focus on the family more? Because I think a lot of pastors would probably want to do it, but maybe they don’t know how to get started or what type of things to teach in their church congregation.
Dean Nelson: Sure. Well, I want to give a strong, strong push for the Family Research Council. So if you visit frc.org, FRC has just launched a whole biblical world view series. So if you visit frc.org, there are a host of new booklets and information that they have for helping people to better understand what we call a biblical worldview. Everybody has a point of view, but God has a opinion and God has a view, and the closer that we can embrace that, the better off that we will be within our culture.
So I want to highlight frc.org as well as dlinstitute.org, where they can contact us to get a copy of this report and also find some great information that we have from Douglass Leadership Institute. Because we have done some of these black family forums in Atlanta, we’ve done one here in Washington, DC, and this weekend, we’ll be in Charlotte, North Carolina and we would look forward to actually coming to Pennsylvania at some time in the near future as well.
Joe Green: Absolutely. You’re always welcome here at Harrisburg at St. Paul. Real quick, and then I’m going to close in prayer. St. Paul, I found out in 1918 during the Spanish flu, operated as a hospital for the black community in Harrisburg. I thought that was significant because we know, at that time, black people couldn’t go in the white hospital. But I think that that’s so important and it also speaks to the idea that the church was the foundation because it operated as a hospital both physically and spiritually as well.
So anyway, Father, we just thank you for this time together. We pray that you bless this conversation. We pray that everything we said and everything we’ve done was not only in accordance to your perfect will, but all for your glory, in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Thank you again for tuning in. Until next time, be blessed. This has been Stand in the Gap with Joe Green, Gary Dull, and Reverend Dean Nelson.