Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Lou Engle, Race, and Slavery

Right Wing Watch recently reported on several conference calls posted at Transformation Michigan, a New Apostolic Reformation group that is promoting intercessory prayer for the state. (See newsite[dot]transformmi[dot]com/) Amidst conference calls with Jerry Boykin, Cindy Jacobs, and other New Apostolic Reformation leaders was a May 17th conference call recording with Lou Engle.

The May 17th call focused heavily on race in America. Engle has discussed race at other recent events as well, including OneThing 2010 and Firestorm 2011, particularly in the context of anti-abortion activism or religious revival.

After discussing TheCall Detroit event (scheduled for November 11th) and the role of the black church in the prayer movement, Engle described a dream involving a dying black man with one eye. At the 16:05 mark, Engle interpreted the dream as such.

"I believe that there has been a whole black American old guard that actually in some measure left its calling when they only embraced civil rights and did not embrace the call to prayer, holiness, the ending of abortion, righteousness, and because of it, our eyes are gone. We lost our sight. But there is a young generation who are secretly getting the message from God. I believe it's the sign ... There is coming a movement of prayer. It's the urban thunder."
Engle recounted the story of Jeremiah 34, in which the residents of Jerusalem freed their slaves, only to enslave them again, causing God to deliver them into the hands of the conquering Babylonians as punishment. At the 20:11 mark, Engle compared Jeremiah 34 to race relations between blacks and whites, urging whites to repent for past racism and blacks to forgive whites.
"I believe in Detroit, I believe we're to free our slaves. Whites must repent from any racism. Number two, blacks must forgive. The black leaders must forgive and empty out the bitterness at the black and the white baggage that we have given to them, or they will not be given the mantle to lead us into a new movement of justice. That has got to happen. You've got to set us free. If you don't forgive the white people, you are actually holding us as slaves."
No, Lou. Holding a grudge is NOTHING like keeping other human beings enslaved and oppressed. In my opinion, the slavery comment was out of line.

To listen to the full conference call recording, visit transformmi[dot]com/archives/768


  1. You're much too diplomatic, Ahab. You make me look bad. ; )

    Engle's comment was worse than out of line. It is analogous to what you pointed out in your previous post about the incredibly offensive rhetoric used in attempt to justify genocide: The murderers are the real victims. Give me an effing break.

    People like Engle make the rest of humanity suffer as a result of their myopic victim mentality and deeply ingrained persecution complex. Worse, I don't believe for second that Engle actually believes half of what he says. I believe he knows exactly how to manipulate those with whom that victim mentality and persecution complex resonates. His rhetoric is deliberately inflammatory and demeaning, IMO.

    An when Engle presumes he can sdpeak for black people, it offends me almost as much as when some a**hole like Doug Phillips presumes he can tell women how they should behave.


  2. Cognitive Dissenter -- Some of Engle's comments on race have struck me as beyond audacious. I'm eager to see how black apostolics react to his recent comment.

  3. No, Lou. How someone else feels in their heart about us--especially people who aren't, say, close relatives or friends--does not impact on our freedom.

    Nor do we repent of sins with conditions attached to that repentence.

    Nor do we ask for forgiveness by telling others they have to give it to us, or they're bad people, just like slaveowners.

  4. BBJ -- All sound points about forgiveness!

  5. I thought holding a grudge enslaved the grudge holder, not the begrudged. Typically the begrudged goes on about their life and business oblivious to the fact that someone is holding a grudge against them. It has no impact on them whatsoever. In my experience holding a grudge is usually way more harmful to me than it is to the other person. Engle just showed how out of touch with reality on the subject he is. Better to be silent and thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt.

  6. D'Ma -- It not only reflects much about how Engle sees forgiveness, but it says volumes about how he sees race. Your words about holding a grudge ring true.

  7. Engle's comments are sadly typical of the racism that permeates the Christian Right.

  8. Libhom -- Sadly, you may be right.


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