In 1701, the first Anglican missionaries came to America from England to evangelize and educate the African slaves, convinced this was their moral obligation. Between 1702 and 1776,300 missionaries came to America bringing Bibles, prayer books, and tracts. But when they began to denounce slavery, the colonists became hostile; so the missionaries decided to tolerate slavery. This acceptance of slavery by Christians eventually led Richard Allen to withdraw and found the AME church in 1794. He stressed God’s concern for all areas of a person’s well-being. Resisting the all-inclusive nature of the Gospel is not new. Paul and Barnabas met violent opposition when they insisted Gentiles who accepted Christ did not need circumcision to be accepted as members of the body of Christ. In response to this message of inclusion based on faith alone, we see in Acts CH. 14 that the religious leaders “stoned Paul and dragged him out of town.” Today, those who stand for an inclusive Gospel may also meet opposition. But may we, like Paul and Richard Allen, welcome all who accept Jesus Christ as their Lord.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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