“Fòk Sa Change” (“This Must Change”):The Haitian-American Church in the Twenty-first Century”
I would like to keep the conversation about the crisis of the Haitian-American Church going. I published two articles (December 2018 and January 2019) on the subject matter in “The Haitian Times.” Folks, the Haitian-American American church should aim for better results in this twenty-first century’s culture.
The Haitian-American Church in our contemporary moments is functioning as if people’s lives do not matter and that their existential troubles, except for those dubbed “spiritual,” are not urgent and real issues. Our churches fail to balance the life of the soul and the life of the mind. Correspondingly, our churches have neglected the theology of the belly while prioritizing the theology of the head. There must be a radical shift in what we confess theologically and what we practice morally and ethically. For example, poverty is a moral problem the same way that denying the deity of Jesus is a grand theological heresy in the Christian tradition. A second example is this: to ignore the suffering of a single mother of four children in our congregation while promising her we will pray for her during our Friday prayer meetings when the congregation can and in fact has the resources to reach out to her in order to alleviate her pain is a catastrophic ethical dilemma. This is not the purpose of Christian prayer.
I believe our Haitian-American congregations can do better and should play an effective role in the community they’re located. We need to eastablish healthy churches that will actively engage the community, foster a high level of conscientization among the people in the community, collaborate with city’s officials for public good, and actively serve the poor and those in need in the city–it’s also the reponsibility of the church to connect and point people to Jesus, and to spread the love and glory of God in the public sphere and in the civil society.
Nonetheless, the root of the crisis of the Haitian-American Church primarily lies in the miseducation of the Haitian-American Clergy. The root of the weaknesses of the Haitian-American Church is also associated with the bankruptcy of the Haitian-American leadership. A third source of the crisis of the Haitian-American Church is linked to deep ethical and moral problems of the Haitian-American Clergy.
I’m currently working on two op-eds on the subject of “The Miseducation of the Haitian-American Church”–as long as “The Haitian Times” continues to afford me the opportunity to publish my work for the good and welfare of our community.