It was a Tuesday like most others: playground time with my young daughters. Who would have guessed that, amidst the gigging screams of my girls, I would find myself defending the deity of Christ in conversation with another mom who was a Black Hebrew Israelite? A deep theological debate—covering the Trinity, substitutionary atonement, and Pan-Africanism—hadn’t been on my radar as we headed to the playground. And yet, there I was, chatting with a relatively young mother of two in her attempt to proselytize.
The woman moved easily from polite conversation to a hard-hitting question: “Can you tell me how you worship?” I answered her with an explanation of the gospel. She weighed my words in silence until I mentioned Jesus as God. Her rebuttal was swift and pointed. She dismissed the deity of Christ and the doctrine of the Trinity as deceptive falsehoods. I gave this fellow mom the respect of my ear, while I looked for opportunities to turn the conversation toward the problem of sin, God’s righteous judgement, and our need of a sinless Savior.
My area of Washington, DC, often doesn’t fit the picture of a secularizing America. As increasing numbers of Americans shelve the nostalgia of cultural Christianity for various forms of neo-spiritualism and atheism, my neighborhood streets buzz with the claims of the Nation of Islam, Black Hebrew Israelites, and Jehovah’s Witnesses. Religious ideas are rampant in my community, and some will not be ignored—even on a playground.
Continue at Christianity Today.