Page 18 | Volume 1 | The Leadership Journal of Dallas Baptist University

18 Ducere Est Servire: THE LEADERSHIP JOURNAL OF DALLAS BAPTIST UNIVERSITY sermonic method provides evidence that opposing racism through preaching can be profitable when it comes to changing the hearts and minds of individuals, because the confrontational nature of prophetic preaching cuts to the soul and demands a response. Those who answer in the affirmative leave with a renewed sense of responsibility, recommissioned and empowered to impact their own circles of influence for the betterment of all. COMPASSIONATE ACCOUNTABILITY Taylor’s preaching was not one sided. He spoke truth to White and Black people alike; identifying fault in both communities to ensure one side did not bear the burden of blame, while the other neglected efforts in favor of reconciliation by simply waiting for circumstances to change. An example is in a sermon entitled “Men’s Schemes and God’s Plans,” delivered in 1967: We need some means of cleansing our past within the framework of our common commitment to this land. Under God, whites need to admit their failure to let justice run down as a mighty stream. Black Americans need to confess that they have not employed their opportunity to its maximum. We need to take each other’s hand in this country and openly admit our prejudices and hostility, ask God for guidance and go forward, making black destructionists and white segregationists feel the weight of the nation’s condemnation.15 Words such as those uttered by Taylor are critically important in the struggle for racial unity and equality, and Black preachers bare tremendous responsibility as far as articulating similar sentiments to audiences in their own communities. The reason rests in the fact that Black people are not always receptive to criticism from Whites, because what Whites have to say often comes across as insensitive due to an inability to genuinely identify with the plight of Black people. A quote from theologian James Cone illustrates how Blacks process criticism from Whites. In his notable work, God of the Oppressed, Cone reflected upon certain theological assumptions prevalent in the academy, while at the same time, witnessing massive devastation in the Black community brought on by the Detroit riots in 1967. Cone stated: