*A columnist for the Huffington Post is asking an important question, “Is the Black church making noise or making a difference?”

In his latest column, Brad R. Braxton is begging the question with some feasible arguments, challenging clergymen to really step up to the challenge. Check out bits of his article:

Over the clamor of our Sunday morning merry-making, God continues speaking through the prophet Amos: “I hate, I despise your festivals, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies. … Take away from me the noise of your songs; I will not listen to the melody of your harps. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream” (Amos 5:21, 23-24). This Amos text reveals a divine impatience, even intolerance, for exuberant worship unconcerned with social empowerment and communal well being.

By contrast, small communities of early Christians, motivated by the power of Pentecost, exerted enormous influence on their society. They were accused by their opponents of “turning the world upside down” (Act 17:6). As contemporary followers of Jesus, we must do more than simply “make noise” in church. We, like our ancestors in the faith, are called to shake the foundations of demonic injustice and in so doing turn the world right side up.

The paltry social justice engagement of many churches, and especially some charismatic churches that adamantly claim the Holy Spirit’s power, is cause for alarm. Among other factors, a distorted understanding of Jesus’ mission and ministry has severed the connection between Spirit-filled worship and Spirit-led activism. Having suffered through several decades of “prosperity gospel” preaching, we must now insist on more theologically sound understandings of Christian social witness.

Read the full story here.