An Alabama preacher has repeatedly stirred controversy in his community with his unconventional messages on the church letterboard. However, his sign’s latest announcement is so controversial that it has many citizens outraged.
For Birmingham residents, Pastor Michael Jordan of New Era Baptist Church is one public figure who is constantly making waves. While the provocative preacher’s sermons might be restricted to his modest congregation each Sunday, he’s found a way to make sure the rest of the city knows his opinion on certain divisive topics.
As the country struggles to rectify racial tension, Jordan recognized the opportunity to not only address the sensitive issue but to gain notoriety in the process. Unfortunately, regardless of what his motive may be, the outspoken pastor seems to have only caused further friction within his own community.
According to CBN News, Jordan conveyed a sensational and provoking two-fold message on his church’s double-sided sign, which read, “Black Folks Need to Stay Out of White Churches” on one side and “White Folks Refused to Be Our Neighbors” on the reverse. From his own admission, the divisive declaration was an attack on the opening of a new mega-church in a “high-crime” area of the city.
“Whites left the inner city. Whites carried their churches with them. They moved to the suburbs. White people have proved they don’t want to move next door to us, or be our neighbors, or worship with us,” Jordan said in an interview.
Jordan has repeatedly called white churches and white conservatives “racist” and discourages his congregation and black people in general from race-mixing. Disturbingly, he claims that God told him to erect the sign in order to call out the implementation of Church of the Highlands, Alabama’s largest church, for planting a worship center in the inner city and hiring a black pastor.
“Now they want to plant their white church in a black neighborhood under the umbrella of supposedly to fight crime. The real reason the church of the Highlands want to put a white church in a black neighborhood is they have too many black folks at their main campus and they want them to leave and come to a church in the inner city,” Jordan said.
Pastor Michael Jordan has doubled down on his message. However, most local residents have expressed disagreement with the sign’s sentiment.
“I’m questioning which god really told you to put that up there,” Church of the Highlands member Joshua Mitchell told Jordan. “This right here harkens back to a time that this country needs to move away from.”
In fact, even Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin tweeted out admonition for Jordan’s message, quoting Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech to prove the sign’s abhorrent intent.
“There is a spirit of racism and division that is over this city,” Woodfin tweeted. “It must be brought down. We have to change the conversation to what we need it to evolve into. ‘Darkness can not drive out darkness. Only light can do that. Hate can not drive out hate; only love can do that.'”
Oddly enough, obliviously Pastor Michael Jordan went on to quote some Scripture that directly contradicts his own message.
“The Bible says love your neighbor as yourself,” Jordan said. “If you don’t want to live next door to me, and be my neighbor, why do you want to come over and plant a church in my neighborhood?”
Jordan finally admitted that his message wasn’t intended to unify God’s people. However, he stubbornly insists that he is in the right, according to AL.com. Disturbingly, he even confessed to wanting to “stop” the Church of the Highlands from opening.
“Because of white flight and societal change where whites left the city, they did not want to be our neighbors, did not want their kids to go to school with our children,” Jordan said. “They left the churches too. They sold the churches to us. White folks don’t want to be our neighbors. If you don’t want to be our neighbor, why do you feel comfortable putting a white church in the inner city? Their response is we will have a black pastor. He’ll be a token. They’ll still control the sermons, they’ll still control the choir, the white administrative leadership will still run the church.”
By Jordan’s bizarre attempt at logic, white people hate black people so much that they are funding the building and upkeep of massive churches and putting them in charge. Of course, it’s safe to say that if the new church didn’t opt for a black pastor, Jordan would consider that racist as well.
According to Jordan, there is no redemption for the white race. Every effort is inherently racist and, as such, the black population should self-segregate. Tragically, this goes against every biblical principal, including the inter-racial churches founded in the new testament and God’s insistence that there is only one Church and that God is no respecter of man’s physical characteristics.