As preachers in predominantly black churches 'evolve' and 'grow' in their understanding of Scripture, particularly as it applies to homosexuality, they are finding their flocks are moving on:
When the Rev. Dennis Meredith of Tabernacle Baptist Church here began preaching acceptance of gay men and lesbians a few years ago, he attracted some gay people who were on the brink of suicide and some who had left the Baptist faith of their childhoods but wanted badly to return.
At the same time, Tabernacle Baptist, an African-American congregation, lost many of its most loyal, generous parishioners, who could not accept a message that contradicted what they saw as the Bible’s condemnation of same-sex relations. Over the last three years, Tabernacle’s Sunday attendance shrank to 800, from 1,100.
The debate about homosexuality that has roiled predominantly white mainline churches for years has gradually seeped into African-American congregations, threatening their unity, finances and, in some cases, their existence.
Historically black churches have been quite conservative morally, but the hangover from the civil rights movement was an alliance with the Democratic Party by many black 'leaders' (eg, Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton). As the Democrats moved left, many black leaders knew they had to move left to if they wanted to keep their power. But many in the pews weren't there for a political handout, they actually wanted to worship God. Many of these historically black churches are going the way of the American mainline denominations. And considering their continual rewriting of Scripture to fit the the prevailing cultural milieu, I won't shed a single tear for them.
[Thanks to Wild Bill for the link.]