Solving The Drug Problem In America-The Role Of The Church

Solving Drug Addiction In America
The failure of Christianity may be the hidden cause of the increase in drug addiction in America. The role of the church has changed. The role of Christian teaching has switched from helping people to sustain themselves in a difficult complex world, to a role of preparing people to die- go to heaven and meet Jesus. Those who cannot accept those teaching are doomed to hell – ignored and forgotten. The idea that people are no good condemned creatures from the moment of birth is wrong, and Christianity – churches and pastors are wrong for teaching hopeless concepts. God is a God of love and compassion, and Jesus- the Son and messenger- is a friend sent here as man to walk with man through the struggles of life.
Christianity teaches that man is never alone- whether living in servitude and bondage- or born in the worst slums or richest emotionally deprived mansions of the world. Man comes into life through pain- suffering the challenges of enduring all the abuses of being in an enclosed space for 9 months- surviving on whatever his mother chooses to take into her system- bashing its delicate head through narrow bony passages and being ripped from the safe sanctuary of the womb- and dragged head first into a new world. It was God that sustained the life- it was God that gave the child the strength to survive and get born. For many- life would repeat the process of enduring- sustaining and birth. African Americans, born into slavery, in the colonies- learned of this God of power- strength and friendship- and when the re-birth into an outer world of freedom- they knew how to survive. Churches for African Americans could not be heaven waiting rooms- or hell’s distribution centers- churches had to constructed like a womb- ready to handle whatever the body was subjected. Life for African Americans was no bed of roses- and life had to continue- it could not survive without planned help. Historical Black Churches were more than spiritual guide centers, they were universities of life – and all children and adults were expected to go for the higher education principles of life.
Without regular attendance in the university of life- individuals will feel a void in life – which they will attempt to fill with pharmaceutical drugs and alcohol- all designed to change the way the brain process events- feeling and consequences. Drub addicts subsitute a pharmacutial god and a liquid god to bring on the highs in life and carry him through the lows. Without church- man feels he is entitled to a smooth feel good life – unwilling to experience the down time of human existence. Slaves had to learn how to self- sooth- separate event and circumstances from defining identity- and go to that God place- reaffirming him as an image and likeness of a protective creator. The outer world does not define whom or what an individual is or can be- that program was placed in the foundational seeds of life forming creation inside of the womb. What a man is and can become was already determined when life created itself- with the help of God in the womb of the beginning. In the beginning the life sustaining force- the Christ- was there to help with the growth and development stages. Disconnecting from the God source at any stage in life will require artificial substances to feel the experience of reconnection. Drug addicts seek to reconnect with the missing variable of spirituality. Man without God becomes and addict- and continuation of the God factor will lead to death. The Historical Black Churches knew this factor- and encouraged continual attendance in all church activities. Church activities were not sin blaming sessions or preaching hell fire and brimstone messages- demeaning the human soul- men do not attend services where male bashing and image destructions sermons are given. Today many churches have returned to the traditional European Christian model of churches as holding centers for sinners- unworthy of any of the graces of God. Perhaps in an effort to address issues of drug addictions epidemic in the white middle and upper class communities around the country- we could look at how the African American handled an insensitive outer world- without destroying itself. This is not to say that many middle class black families backed away for regular church going- and also became victims of the drug epidemic- but rather to say, it may be helpful to take a look at the Black Church to determine- what- if any things- we as a nations can learn to address a problem facing us all.
The Historical Black Church was a major institution in the lives of the Black community and provided the social service needs of the community. Men played significant leadership roles in the church, and were considered role models for the community. Political decisions, economic decision, relational decisions and education decisions were sanctioned and formulated in these sacred locations. Men and women of outstanding intellectual ability were elevated to positions of leadership in the church. The Black Church operated its own teacher training academies; where men and women learned the skills of organizational development, classroom management skills, lesson planning and instructional delivery. Churches operated their own after school programs, Sunday school programs, adult Bible study classes and Seminaries Black Christianity was also different from traditional Christianity. Black people viewed Jesus as a living Savior, guide counselor and friend. It was he who made it possible to endure difficult circumstances in the personal realm and the political realm of society. Black Christians did not develop an anger or rage against the oppressors of the Christian community, who went to church on Sundays, and some wore white sheets on Monday to attend rallies planning violence and even deaths of individuals.
The Black Church prevented the development of emotional and mental victim personalities as the results of individuals in the outer society placing obstacles in the pathway of progress for countless men and women of color. Jesus was a God of love, and the Black Church and Black Christianity taught people how to truly love the enemy and not permit the sins of the enemy to become their sins.
Men were encouraged- during slavery and after- to study and become preachers, and women were encouraged to study and become teachers. These preachers would hold the family of God together while they endured the trials of living in a hostile environment. The teachers would dedicate themselves to the task of educating the children so that they would be prepared for a world of the future free of oppression. Teachers were believers of a better world and a better future here on earth.
Black Christianity focused on the quality of life on God’s earthly plane, while at the same time helping Christians to understand that there was life after life, with God in the heavenly realm. The Black Church and Black Christianity had the most effective anti depression and anti neurotic program in the country. Black Christians learned that the attitudes of the behaviors of other Christians, were not their concern, and they had to work out their own soul salvation.
Black Christians learned how to avoid the psychotic behaviors of other Christians who were determined to destroy them in mind, body and spirit. There was a spiritual separation of the two groups and a separation of theologies presented in the churches. Black Christians learned a Black theology, and a theology of liberation. Crazy was something that the black church could not afford. During slavery, the African learned that any emotional excess could result in cruel behavior from the foreman of plantation and no tolerance from the maters of the plantations. Crazy could result in death or separation; therefore the parents quickly adjusted any child demonstrating less than normal behavior in order to protect the child from the violence and reality of the outside world. Control factors were programmed into children for their own protection.
Mothers were strict as often as they needed to be in order to adjust the behaviors of their children to ensure that they would develop into adults. There was no such thing as freedom of speech and expressions. A free expression or free behavior could result- in the view of the plantation owner- as a defective property and they were sold off as soon as possible. In order to maintain the stability of the family, mothers had the responsibility to adjusting the behaviors of their children to ensure their safety and the ability to remain and grow up with the family. These family behavior systems proved invaluable, for it prevent the development of mental illness in the slave population, and it also developed techniques and methodologies to change behaviors, which were necessary for survival. Slaves developed neurological strengths enabling the mind to protect itself against response to stress. This suggests that the mind assist the brain in developing methods of survival. Studies of slave behaviors suggests that they could not act out frustrations and had to adjust thought influencing behaviors to comply with the needs for safety. Children in inner city public schools and immigrants during the 20th century were also able to make these adjustments. Children living in communities surrounded by gang violence did not demonstrate indications of ADD/ADHD- focus and attention was necessary for survival. Physical stress or the thought of physical stress enabled the brain to control behavioral responses believed to be threatening to human survival. There were also other factors, which prevented the passing on of behavior traits, which could be defined in today’s terminology as emotional disturbance from developing. The slave populations were the human resource work force in the southern parts of the new country. Only very rich people could afford to own a slave or a work force, and the health of that work force determined the success of the business economy for which they were purchased to serve. A worker, who could not carry his own weight, was usually put up for sale in a packaged deal.
During the period after slavery and the emancipation of a non-free class of people, the African American was submitted to a form of man’s inhumanity to man to a greater degree than was experienced during the period of slavery. The safety values were lifted from the large corporations and wealth home owners who could afford a labor force, and the African was at the mercy of a poverty angry population determine to vent their frustrations on any group weak enough to accept punishment with out revenge. Mothers had to devise additional methods of saving their sons and husband from a poverty stricken population. Poverty breed’s violence, and the south was rendered poor as a results of their failure in the Civil War. They could not succeed from the Union, and they were forced to follow the order and directions of the supreme commander coming out of Washington.
The south hated the country, they hated the government and they really hated these free people of color who they held responsible for all of their problems. Africans held tight and close to their families, and instructed their children to control their behaviors when they were in the schools and outside of the families. Families were strong, they were nuclear and extended, and they had a strong set of values with respect to God Family and Education. Excluded from inclusion in most of the activates related to the outside society, the African family continued with its development of strong churches and religious institutions, parallel but different from those found in the predominant white society.
During the period after slavery, the black family had to stay together in order to survive. There was no such thing as a rogue family member stepping out on his own in an attempt to find himself. Such foolishness often resulted in the individuals separating for the family circles becoming the fruit hanging from a KKK tree, or a religious sacrifice made by a special group of Christians who believe that God ordered them to kill, burn and hang the different.
The rules of the black family and the Black Church were very clear, and deviation from those rules often resulted Christian actions from the white saved and the white mean. The Black Church not only became the message of the Gospel, but hidden codes of survival for a population selected out to be the scapegoat of a society, which did not know what to do with its frustrations and disappointments. Segregation was precise and honest; people did not like you, did not understand you, and did not want to have any interactions with anyone who was different.
The Black Church became the urban colleges of the African community, and college attendance was mandatory. It was in this college that psychology, sociology, government, political science, business and management, politics of survival were taught. The youth of the Church were forced to read and memorize scripture, and be able to discuss an analytical meaning of chapter verse and intent; as results, the youth who attended Church tended to do well in academic performance in the classrooms in the public schools.
It was in the black church where young people attended Rites of Passage programs and learned how to avoid the pit fall and entrapment scenarios planned by the local police departments. Church provided the skills for survival, and the pastor, as the responsible shepherd of a flock, made sure that all of those in his care know how to survive the mine fields of America. The success of the Civil Rights revolution ended all of that. Black families left the church and their communities and moved into the suburbs of Hades. Children refused to attend non- relevant churches, which were not providing a “hip Hop” message of joy pleasure and possibilities. Women were told that no one has the right to direct or interfere with the social development of another and each person had a right to work out his or her own soul directions. Men felt jealous of women’s focus on the Jesus stuff and resent any and all time spent in reading the dead prophets literature. Many felt they did not need the Church, Jesus or even the burden of a family always demanding something different from them. White society, still holding a grudge over the failed results of the Civil War, jumped in where the religious void was evident. Some decided to develop programs and capitalize on a people lost in the wilderness; some decided to develop mega prison systems, waiting to the thousands of the lost who usually end up in prisons. In the midst of all of this, the Black Church lost its voice, the message and the messenger were not relevant, and the shepherd had to find bread to feed himself before he could search out the loaves of bread and two fishes to feed others. Pastors slinked back into their drabbed offices and prepared sermons for the seniors of yesterday, patiently waiting the grand day of their own funeral in the church of their youth. Fortunately for the American society, most Black families stayed the course, taking their work underground but encouraging the development of strong families with strong religious values.
The question becomes are we as a nation providing the spiritual nurturing our families- especially our young men- require- in order to sustain themselves outside of the physical womb? People use drugs for the way it makes them feel- man needs to feel that he is on top of his world. The black society did not expect nurturing from the outside world- so they became spiritual nurturing centers. Homes are not spiritual nurturing centers- many are economical support services- controlled by technological devices not interested in the feeling quality of humanity. Cars- fancy homes- expensive electronic play toys- will not substitute for a loving God who accepts you with all your flaws and warts. Jesus as an unconditional friend- who will be fore you during periods of highs and lows- and a church where you are accepted for who you are and as who you are. It is time for the church and Christianity to reexamine itself and determine what role has it played in this epidemic- and what role can it play in solving this American crisis. It does not help that racist in America are Christian- following an incorrect teaching of blame- rejection and conditional grace. If our churches cannot teach love and tolerance- and our religion- takes us away from the Christ Principles- then perhaps this drug problem where is about where is God in the voices and actions of people called to live the Word?

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