Experience has a strange way of bringing a person to the depth of realism. It gives you the chance to wrestle with your own insecurities and biases up close and personal. As I get older and experience more of life, I am blown away by all that I don’t know about God. I grew up in the “name it and claim it” doctrine but matriculated to seminary where a reform mind became my standard. I studied Calvin, Luther and some of the other great theological minds as they wrested through the writings of Paul. I identified myself as a Calvinist (and to some extent I still do.) But on the flipside I ostracized Bishop TD Jakes, Noel Jones and Myles Munroe because they did not fit into my theological box-at the time.
They did not hold to a strict doctrinal stance like Calvin or Luther but they were the preachers that helped build my salvation foundationally. When I was growing up in the faith, they were the ones that encouraged me through their preaching but reform theology caused me to separate myself from these great pastors of the faith. There may have been some Modalism in operation but they still encouraged me. Yes, they may have believed in certain other doctrinal issues that differed from my newly reform mind but they were the face of my community. Some of them may have been Arminian in their position on salvation but they still believed in salvation nonetheless. Yes, some of them may have whooped a little but that was their right to do so and part of a living tradition in the black community.