Think It Through Today Pieces Of A Dream 


Feeling The Tension:  A Look at the Church in the Inner City from the Perspective of a Biblical Pastor in a Multicultural Church.
By Pastor John E. Coleman  September 1995  Re-Edited Dec. 2011 & Summer 2014
Chapter 1 
From the Beginning 
As I reflect upon my attempt to present a clear communicative discourse of my purpose of writing this story of my professional life, I am faced with a paradox.  How does one write about a subject that he loves, and at the same time reflect upon that which is distasteful?.  You see I have been so controversial all of the many years that I’ve been called by the name “Pastor” that it shall take a bit of transparency, as a matter of fact a hell of a lot of being real to a people that forsook reality for the fantasy of home spun religion.  How do I begin.  I could start by stating that I am an ordained Pastor living in an inner city in the United states of America dwelling in the midst of African American people that I love with all of my heart.  I also teach theology and philosophy from time to time as an adjunct professor of Philosophy and Christianity.  I have been the host of “live” talk radio discussions for a good number of years discussing the Christian faith during the latter part of the twentieth century and continuing to do so we enter a new millennium.  I am best known for my ‘Radio Discourses’ as “Ram Radio Live”.

I have asked myself questions regarding the need to write.  I start and stop, while discovering if any of it makes sense in the first place.  If I sound a little confused, please bear with me.  I would hope that your interest in this my story is justifiable through human discourse; words; as I attempt to allow you to feel the tension of being involved in my unique experience with the God that I have loved all of my adult life.   What did Christianity look like during the days of the new third wave movements that swept the church with a storm in America?  And what were the affects of this same movement in the African American Community?  During this difficult time when the traditions that I thought were essential for the survival a vibrant people who had nothing but the God of the bible as their ultimate objective; our refuge if you will during that time of storm.  I lived to see the transition of morality, those ideas of simple basic Christian values swept away and develop into a synthesis of complete opposites in an unimaginable maligning of the forces of evil called the good, and a whole population carried away into a frenzy of stupidity through religion, greed, lust and popularity.  These are the very things that I taught for years ought not be a part of the calling that we claim.

What was it like to be a part of the body of Christ that lost its identity?  How did it feel to see the rejection of the word of God take place in my life time?  If I sound angry, I am.  If I appear to be frustrated, I am.  I have struggled with many others of my generation as I thought about bailing out of the whole thing; the calling in the ministry, radio and the whole lot.  Was it just  as just my imagination “running away with me”; but I know better.  All of the “change” was real, but the most devastation aspect of the whole period was the ease in which it took place.  Throughout it all, I think of Christ and the tension that He must have felt as He sought for the words that best suited his dilemma in Gethsemane.  As I reflect upon those early days of my young faith in Christ, along with the sober words of the Holy scriptures, burning in my heart, I observe in horror what the so called Church has become in reality.  This time of reflection has truly defined what the genuine article looks like when pollution has invaded something real, something essential for a community that once was headed in the direction of advancement in a morally ethical culmination.  As I slowly watch and attempt to define what remains; with caution I ask you to “Fell The Tension” along with me.