Theological Imperialism and the Black Community

Thoughtful Discipleship

Discipleship is tricky. Often, we run smack into barriers such as race, culture, and family background. Are there practical ways for us to engage with Christians whose culture may stand as an obstacle to continued discipleship? Christian leaders Eric Mason, Trip Lee, and Lecrae unpack their experience as black men who disciple other black men. They share hardships, how they overcame difficulties, and offer practical advice on discipleship.

Dr. Eric Mason is the co-founder and Lead Pastor of Epiphany Fellowship in Philadelphia. Lecrae is an American Christian hip hop artist, songwriter, record producer and actor. Trip Lee is an author, teacher, hip-hop artist, and a pastor at Cornerstone Church in Atlanta. 

Eric, Trip, and Lecrae talked about how they’ve been accused of being under theological imperialism. However, they said they do not feel oppressed or under any sort of negative influence. Instead, they shared positive stories of the churches they attended throughout their lives. 

When you hear “theological imperialism,” what comes to mind? Why?
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Has your race affected your Christian journey? How? What barriers or privileges have you encountered? What are some of the joys you’ve experienced?
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Eric, Lecrae, and Trip mentioned some ways they pass on biblical truths to other black believers:

  • Point to the Bible. 
  • Avoid intense theology at the beginning.
  • Be aware of cultural baggage.
  • Watch the words you say.
  • Teach them to extend grace to the churches and Christians of their past.
  • Guide them to preachers with a multi-ethnic background.
  • Let them struggle, but walk alongside them.

What stands out to you about their advice? Why? Which point resonates with you the most? Why?
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Has anyone discipled you in the way Eric, Lecrae, and Trip described? If so, how did it impact your faith? How have you passed down theological truths to other Christians in a way that’s sensitive to their cultural background?
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Eric shared a story about how he shared the gospel to a Muslim in a way the man could understand. This week, how could you share the gospel with someone in a way that’s culturally sensitive?
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 God’s people are from every tribe, nation, and tongue. But in the fallenness of sin, we battle racial tensions and theological barriers. Through the power of the Spirit and the truth of the Bible, we can stand against these obstacles to spread the gospel to every nation. Tell the good news of Jesus Christ. Be an agent of truth and love this week. 

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