A PROPOSAL TO COUNTER BLACK HEBREW ISRAELITES

1 May

The Black Hebrew Israelites are an unorthodox religious group who target disenfranchised minorities in the inner-city. Yet there are very few resources on this group. I am working on creating a guide for Christian leaders and church members so they can better:

  • Understand the appeal and claims of the Black Hebrew Israelites.
  • Know how to answer the challenges to Christian faith Black Hebrew Israelites raise.

STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

  • The Black Hebrew Israelites are a religious group which is growing in visibility, activity and influence in many urban areas, including metropolitan Phoenix, AZ. 
  • There are no in-depth apologetic resources for Christian leaders or church members to adequately understand or answer the claims of the Black Hebrew Israelites.
  • My goal is to generate and distribute such a resource, foremost of which is a physical and digital guide or manual.
  • I also plan on generating and distributing online resources (blog posts, memes) and multimedia resources (audio, video). A few of the resources will be directed towards the Black Hebrew Israelites themselves, such as customized evangelistic tracts.

To reiterate, the problem is there are no apologetic books published on the subject of Black Hebrew Israelites and Christian doctrine. There are only a few scattered online articles. There is a void and I want to help fill it by explaining BHI doctrine to others, as well as refuting their teachings. I want to help vulnerable Christians be protected and prepared. I want to give practical answers to BHI questions and use these in real life evangelistic encounters with BHI members.

WHY DO PEOPLE JOIN THIS GROUP?10451119_1182188515140685_6518594777697587983_n
Many people become members because they are disillusioned with their church experience. Almost all I have met have been poorly churched. They have been at churches where it’s entertainment-driven, where money is the main focus, or where the leadership is the focal point. Those who embrace BHI doctrine often place a high value on Scripture and crave deeper teaching. These churches did not provide serious exposition and it left the (now) BHI members wanting. They also place a value on the law, and many went to churches where holiness was not valued. Church discipline was non-existent and the moral standards were not enforced in any meaningful way. Another problem has been the mainstream evangelical church: they have often ignored or minimized the concerns of the minorities in large American cities. This applies to both historical and current events and attitudes.

THE SETTING
Over the past decade, there has been a noticeable increase in activity, visibility and energy from BHI groups. The main venues they utilize are city blocks, the corners where they set up and yell. There are more groups doing this more frequently. I have witnessed an increase in the amount of YouTube videos uploaded by these groups. Online videos are a key way they spread their message. The videos have greatly increased in production quality recently.

I have also seen an increase in the output of BHI media: especially in the area of book publishing but also music and graphics. Lastly, I have uncovered more of these groups being able to afford physical spaces, renting store fronts and the like. Historically, these groups have mainly been nomadic, meeting in coffee shops and the like. Now more are able to rent low budget buildings where they give regular teachings.

The rise in these groups affects the global church of Christ. The doctrines preached by the BHI affect Christians specifically in large cities of both the United States and the U.K. There are some ramifications for the church in Israel and on the continent of Africa (especially Liberia, Ethiopia, South Africa and counties in West Africa). BHI members have been led astray in a hateful and heretical group and are now leading others astray.

For example, I was on a BHI message board and saw a post from a BHI man asking if he had to divorce his wife. There was no other reason given other than she was white – an “Edomite”, to use their vernacular. Their unanimous answer from the community was yes, he needed to divorce her.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

  • What are the key beliefs and practices of the Black Hebrew Israelites?
  • What are some notable variations and divergences in doctrine and practice between distinct Black Hebrew Israelite groups?
  • What has contributed to the recent rise of the Black Hebrew Israelites?
  • What are common profiles of the average Black Hebrew Israelite?
  • What is the appeal of the Black Hebrew Israelites; why do people join?
  • What can city-dwelling Christians and urban churches do to counteract BHI?

Studying this movement equips Christians to better understand their theology. Writing a Black Hebrew Israelite guide fills a gap in apologetics resources. Access to a BHI guide assists Christians in urban ministry (evangelism, discipleship). After I create the BHI guide, I will distribute it to urban Christians (especially church and ministry leaders) and create mechanisms by which I can receive feedback.

_______________________________________________________________
195
Vocab
Malone
Host, Urban Theologian Radio
Staff, Roosevelt Community Church
Student, Talbot School of Theology
Phoenix,
Arizona

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6 Responses to “A PROPOSAL TO COUNTER BLACK HEBREW ISRAELITES”

  1. Case October 31, 2016 at 9:38 pm #

    Vocab – First God bless you and your calling. I came across you either in the James White interview with Gocc or Apologia, but needless to say God has kept me glued to this subject and my focus has always been on apologetics and spreading the truth. To that end I saw your post on this project and wanted to see where you were with it. I have been doing the same infomally for a few months and recently created a site where i have started to upload these documents. I would like to get your opinion on if this is analogous to what you are doing or down a different path. Here is the site http://www.mythsofthehebrewisraelites.com/

  2. cgib12 December 12, 2016 at 8:16 am #

    Hello Vocab Malone! My name is Chris and I really appreciate the work that you do in trying to understand how to deal with Hebrew Israelites. I’m a black man and I’m unapologetically Christian. With that being said, I’m greatly concerned for my black brothers and sisters that have fallen into this way of thinking and believing. The one thing about the Hebrew Israelites and why they’re appealing to black people in this day and age especially is because of all of the things that black people have been through and what we continue to go through in this time. That’s undeniable and has to be recognized because too many good black people are getting sucked into this because they feel that Christianity and White America has failed them and been lying to them and this is their way of feeling significant and appreciated and what better way than using the bible and making the claim that black people are the people who GOD loves the most. With that being said, I hope we can exchange biblical and historical apologetic information in order to help people understand that Jesus loves ALL people! A couple of passages of scripture come to mind; Psalms 87 is perfect, Psalms 67, 1 Kings 8:41-43, Romans 5:12-21, Galatians 3:7-11, Joshua 2 are just some examples. Like I said, I would really love to stay in touch about this particular topic. I love my people too much to see them fall for these demonic, cultic deceptions. Please get back in contact with me. I’d really appreciate it and we will be giving glory to God and building his Kingdom at the same time! God bless you, brother!

  3. raylonharp@yahoo.com March 17, 2017 at 2:25 am #

    How would one deny that most of the inhabitants of Ancient “Canaan” were of a darker skin tone. We read in the Bible how throughout this whole process the Israelites mixed with Canaan. It has been recorded in multiple sources that the Chaldeans were a dark race as well. I agree the racist junk can move on cause at the end of the day it’s about obedience to the laws of TMH. I just would like your view point and why don’t you ever question the people that are there in the land today. Shlum!

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