Good religion

Mark 12:38-40

Have you got good religion? Enslaved Africans in the antebellum South asked this question when they created a spiritual that offers a poignant and penetrating perspective on the state of Western Christianity. The famous line from “Have You Got Good Religion?” is a critique of Americanized Christianity. “Good religion,” or religion rooted in love, justice, hope, forgiveness and grace, is the core of the narrative that enslaved Africans believed was the heart of the gospel. But the world of the antebellum South painted a different picture for these people. Bad religion was the mantra of the day. America witnessed religion heavy in ritual and doctrine but anemic in living out love, justice and forgiveness. The narrative of liberation clearly demonstrated and preached in the gospel was nowhere to be found.

 

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