BLACK CHRISTIANITY VS. WHITE CHRISTIANITY
|Black Church Emotionalism|
This strangeness becomes more obvious when confronted with indigenous outgrowths of Christianity in the Dark Continent. While African churches connected with white missionary activity or hierarchies are often fairly normal, those that have developed independently continue to devolve into bizarrity with every passing decade.
Much could be said about the history of African Christianity and its assortment of charismatic characters, but it is more important to explore possible explanations for the disconnect Euroethnic Christians feel when encountering black African versions of our faith.
Among the primary confusions people face when evaluating black Christianity is their inability to comprehend why it differs so much from Euro-Christianity. This can be explained by acknowledging that our definition of "religion," and the categories we associate with it, are often not consciously understood.
People of European descent understand the difference between Catholicism and Protestantism, the difference between Judaism and Islam, and even the difference between Zoroastrianism and Christianity, but it is much more difficult to understand the difference between Confucianism and Christianity or Afroethnic Religion and Christianity.
This is because Confucianism and black Christianity fall beyond the normal bounds of what we consider religion on two opposite extremes. In this fact lies the confusion.
Afroethnic religion is not based upon intellectual loyalty, which dominates one's worldview and demands certain behaviors, rather, it is comparable to a drug addict who is constantly seeking more powerful drugs for a better high.
Before dismissing this comparison as bizarre, consider the nature of black worship. Black churches are characterized by emotional furor. Church members dance wildly, preachers scream and sweat, people shout and offer personal displays. Caucasian's intellectual worship is lost on Afroethnics who favor the production of powerful emotional states. For those of African descent, feeling and passion is the most important aspect of worship.
In a now famous book, African American historian Gayraud Wilmore discusses the emotional nature of the American black church:
"The traditional black preacher knows when the danger point has been reached when another swell of emotion might do physical harm to those inundated by it. Such floods of the spirit have been known to lead worshipers to throw themselves against hot stoves, to rip and tear their clothing, to break up chairs and generally pull, like Samson, the foundation of the temple down upon their heads." The typical Afroethnic worshiper pursues an ecstatic emotional state. The preacher who can give it to them becomes the object of their "religious" loyalty.
This explains the proliferation of charismatic African preachers who gain massive followings despite preaching heretical and absurd doctrines. The people's loyalty is not founded upon logical Biblical loyalty but on who can give them a spiritual "high." When a preacher dies, or is no longer capable of producing emotional passion, his flock searches out a new leader who can deliver the same excitement.
In this way, many Afroethnic Christians resemble drug addicts who religiously smoke pot. If another drug becomes convenient and gives them a better high, they will switch to the new substance.
Because of this characteristic of Afroethnic religion it is difficult for Caucasian Christians to associate with or understand black Christianity. Euro-Christians sometimes wrongly assume black Christianity is speaking their language even if they accept the presence of a cultural divide.
Orthodox white Christians often approach Afroethnic religion as a heresy, but soon discover that black "heresy" is founded upon an irrational emotion which can not be reasoned or dialogued with.
Drug addicts can rarely be reasoned with to quit their addiction. Afro-Christians cannot be convinced with logical formulations that they should oppose indigenous African heresy because their sense of truth is founded upon a emotion they experience independently of logical inquiry.
This characterization of black Christianity explains the reason Afroethnics are sexually promiscuous regardless of their religious devotions.
Although African Americans represent the most "churched" of all American demographics, three out of four black children are born out of wedlock.
Early missionaries to Southern Slave populations noted with disgust that, "frequently sins are committed during, or immediately after, a religious service."  This makes perfect sense when one recognizes their worship as driven by moments of emotional high which then spill over into sinful passions.
W.E.B. Du Bois famously noted that slave religion was about, "the preacher, the music, and the frenzy."  One slave missionary observed that "true religion" slaves, "are inclined to place in profession, in forms and ordinances, and in excited states of feeling. And true conversion, in dreams, visions, trances, voices... [originating] in the wild fancy of some religious teacher among them." 
In his book 'The Next Christendom' Phillip Jenkins discusses similar phenomenon in modern African Christianity. He describes the rise of charismatic emotionalism as the future form of Christianity in the Dark Continent.
The key to understanding black Christianity is to view is as a different phenomenon from Euro-Christianity.
The concept of religion in the Afroethnic mind is connected to the production of raw emotional states in which reality is transformed in the mind of the worshiper. Morality has little place in Afroethnic religion because it does not contribute to passion. As one writer noted: "Most of the time the Negro outwardly accepts the doctrines of Christianity and goes on living according to his own conflicting social mores." 
Morality can limit the freedom to create certain ecstatic states and runs contrary to the principles of liberty.
While white Christianity uses the emotions to guide the mind, black Christianity often intentionally subverts the mind to create higher emotional states; reality is abandoned for a moment of trance like ecstasy.
Afroethnic religion might be comparable to the "season of orgy" that often characterizes pre-Christian paganism. During the season of orgy the rules of normalcy are suspended and heaven and earth blend together.
While Euro-Christian worship anticipates heaven, Afroethnic worship may attempt to bring down heaven to experience it on earth in the form of uncontrollable ecstaticism.
The religious differences between whites and blacks have precedent in history. For millenai those of European descent have been developing well constructed religious systems, while those of African descent have preferred animistic superstition. The differences between black Christianity and white Christianity are modern forms of this perpetual divide.