Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Why Most Churches Can Kiss my Apostle

bryant 221x300 Why Most Churches Can Kiss my Apostle  Let the Church say “Hell No”   (for Dark Matter)

I just wanted to share with you something that happened in my city that I believe sheds light on one source of people’s dissatisfaction with the church and one of the reason that many urban churches are facing a wave of discontent and a general lack of regard.  Now for all the holy rollers and Jesus freaks, you can stop reading now because I guarantee you, I am gonna piss you off.

Now, im not gonna talk about the latest bullshit Pastor and his helicopter or Bentley, 18 year old baby mama or Mega Church or Gucci wallpaper.  We’ve all heard the stories, we’ve been there, we’ve seen that, we’ve sat in the pews and whispered to each other.  But this is another category of disgust in an ever expanding litany of disgust-inducing behaviors by the Chuch. ( no typo)

It was a Sunday morning like any any other.  The urban church show was in full swing.  Mostly unaccompanied women and gay men trickled into the pews. The church’s favorite time-filler “Praise & Worship” went on at full volume.  I usually try to get to church AFTER that damn Praise and Worship part.  Its annoying and I never know if I’m supposed to be standing up.  Anyway, service starts, blah blah blah.  Turns out it’s the First lady’s birthday.  So out comes offering plate #1 and everyone’s supposed to give an offering for her birthday.  Unless she was born in the manger with Jesus, I don’t know why I should care.  I don’t know her and she sure as hell didn’t get me shit for my birthday.  But  you let that ride.

So more church stuff, some singing, holy ghosting, touching your neighbor and what not.  Now out comes offering plate #2, something called a Love Offering.  Now a Love offering is something that no one is actually able to define.  Even those within the church begin to stumble and stutter when asked what exactly is the purpose of a love offering.  The best explanation Ive heard is that its an offering to show appreciation to the Pastor and his wife.  Not Jesus, but the pastor and his wife.  Chile… appreciate these.

OK, more wafer eating, grape juice drinking (coming off of a night of drinking, its so yummy!), more neighbor touching, singing and some announcements.  Say it aint so, Offering plate #3.  Now this is the “regular” offering.  The offering that one is used to and expects.  The one that sends your hard-earned money (that you have given out of guilt because you just couldn’t bear to pass that plate by without putting anything in it) into some locked office down some back steps you never go down.

Now here comes the big mama, the RUFKM moment.  This church, going into hour 2 announces there will be another offering.  Offering #4, will be an offering to help the church bring down its debt. Apparently they know that we all got wise to that fake ass building fund and they now talk about debt reduction.  The Pastor had the unmitigated gall and colossal nerve to ask this church, whose members are generally middle and lower income urbanites, to give $1000 to help reduce the church’s debt burden.  Altogether now, RUFKM?

Now this is the same church that did an altar call a little while back and asked all those who had a  home that was in danger of foreclosure, to come to the front.  Hundreds of worshippers went to the front of the church that morning. You know what he did for them?  Prayed.

 This is the same church who sits in the middle of an urban center whose unemployment rate tops 15%.  What in the hell would Jesus do if he knew that his chosen ones were asking their flocks for $1000 in the midst of a recession?  What would Jesus Do if he knew his Chosen ones were asking those who may be homeless in 30 days to help service the church’s debt?  What would Jesus Do if he knew they were passing around an offering plate four times in communities they knew had few means to support their own families.

What happened to churches who were responsible and reacted to the needs of the communities instead of using us as an ATM?  Instead of asking for $1000 to service your church’s debt, shouldn’t you be asking for money to start a fund to help keep people in their homes?  The offering for the First Lady’s Birthday could have probably gotten 20 families current on their mortgages.  Even my pagan ass would contribute to that.  That cause is something I would happily put money into the plate for.

Just the insensitivity and lack of empathy with their supposed “flocks.”  Aren’t the churches supposed to take care of us?  Not the other way around.  It isn’t our fault you went and built some mega church you could barely afford.  We were all just fine in the old building.

 Is there any wonder that the churches have become obsolete in the broader movement for social causes?  We are facing the biggest crisis in a generation, we need more than some second hand clothes and new backpacks in September.  Why cant you use the offerings that we make without fail, every Sunday, to help us in our time of need?  It reminds me insurance companies, you pay and pay and pay into it and then when you really need something – they don’t want to give you anything.

Churches are about service, not self-serving.  We must get away from the Church version of American Idol, where every church wants star status.  Where every Pastor longs for gators, a long ass suit jacket, and a TV show.  Somewhere along the way we forgot about the real mission of the church which was service to humanity.     One’s relationship with their church shouldn’t be one-way.  There should be a symbiotic relationship where the church supports the community and the community supports the church.  However, too many churches take take take and then drive back to their Mc Mansions in the suburbs, leaving the flock to fend for ourselves.

Have they become so disconnected from the communities they “serve” that they would really believe that asking for four offerings in a service is acceptable?  Do they really think that asking a lower income congregation to donate $1000 to service the church’s debt is Christ-like?    Have they become so out of touch and so used to free money that they’ve forgotten that it’s a GOD-damned recession?  I sure hope not.  I want you to touch your neighbor and say, shame on you.

Now I’m not condemning all churches – I’m sure there are churches out there that are filling necessary voids in social services and providing support to needy families who are down on their luck.  But to the rest of you churches who are just acting as leeches on a community who is already low on lifeblood, I hope you think about your true calling and I hope your congregations begin to hold you accountable for your lack of service to the very communities that support you.

 And serving is not just offering Sunday school or watching people’s kids while they are in church.    How are you gonna offer a potluck dinner for $12 a plate?  And just where the hell is all the Bingo money going?  Maybe we don’t need another bus trip to a casino.  Give us something we really need like food, clothing, shelter or a mortgage payment.

As we brave an economic crisis that is hitting our communities hardest, this is exactly the time where the church should be taking a lead role in the providing of social services.  This is a time when we need our churches more than ever and I implore you churches to get your acts together.  You have the opportunity to be a lifeline in the storm for so many, and really, isn’t that what Jesus would do?

Peace people.

243 Responses to “Why Most Churches Can Kiss my Apostle”

  1. S McLendonNo Gravatar on 10 Mar 2009 at 9:25 pm #

    I agree! When I was a little girl one of the churches main purposes was to keep the community going when times got tough. We seem to be able to do so much with so little then and I am talking about the late Seventies and early Eighties. Unfortunately, by the time I was in my late teens, new church policies helped to ruin the old ways of helping each other (and we too, gained the dreaded new building fund collection). What was the last straw for me was when all the young people worked hard all year to do something nice for the kids in the neighborhood and come to find out that the money we earned was wanted by the greedy no account so-called pastor! Needless to say I no longer wanted to be a part of the greed I saw and have barely been back to a church since. I find that I can help others better on my own…

  2. Joah on 11 Mar 2009 at 9:25 am #

    I hate to say it, but that’s one of the good things about a “white” church. The services are shorter, mainly because they only ask for an offering once.

  3. brneyed1 on 11 Mar 2009 at 9:51 am #

    Wow! Thanks for these words. I couldn’t have said it any better.

    I know someone who attends a megachurch regularly, and makes sure she pays her tithes faithfully. She was unemployed for a while and went to the church to ask for assistance. She was told to contact the Benevolence Committee. She called several times, left several messages, and none of her calls were returned. Needless to say, the BC never displayed any.

    She is employed now, but still just making it by. Nevertheless, she still tithes 10% of her earnings each Sunday. I don’t understand it, and maybe I never will. But if it were me, I’d be keeping my 10% as backpay on the “assistance” I was promised from the Benevolence Committee!

  4. QueshaNo Gravatar on 11 Mar 2009 at 9:52 am #

    i agree 100%. i grew up in the church, but basically had to go. i never really had a real connection and don’t go now that i don’t live with my parents….i don’t miss it either.

    church and the people most of the time seem kinda fake to me. alla that jumping and holy-ghosting just isn’t for me.

  5. bigdaddyccNo Gravatar on 11 Mar 2009 at 9:58 am #

    This story is the main reason I had to hat up and stop going, like you say there are some that actually do some good but too many aspire to be a mega church.

  6. NJ BAPNo Gravatar on 11 Mar 2009 at 10:16 am #

    I’m a Christian, and I’m saddened to admit that you’re partially right. There are a lot of churches out there operating like “businesses,” that are taking advantage of their members and the communities that support them. Too often, fake preachers will prey on their congregation’s sense of spirituality that takes the place of REAL relationship with Christ. If the Holy Spirit is really living in you, and the two of you are in fellowship, you should be able to discern what’s real (spirit-led) and what’s not. It’s not enough to just GO to church – you have to have a real relationship with Christ.

    Church membership and the number of names on the roles do not signify that the Spirit is any stronger or more in tune with a particular congregation. But unfortunately, in this nation and time of excess and the whole “bigger is better” mentality, people flock to churches with huge numbers. I am by no means saying that “mega churches” are bad. What I am saying though is that people still need to hold their churches (regardless of size) accountable for spreading the true Word of Christ, and not just preaching what the masses want to hear. From my experience, I’ve seen that too many “mega churches” preach a doctrine of prosperity, which pretty much dictates that we’re all supposed to be rich beyond our wildest dreams, and those who aren’t are out of the will of God. I’m sorry, but that’s just not true! For all intents and purposes, Christ was homeless! He was content with going from place to place, preaching His father’s word. If Christ was content to do that, we need to also be ok with it. I believe that He wants us to live to our full potential. If “full potential” means being a garbage man or president of the United States – we’re supposed to be ok with it. Not everyone is meant to have Bill Gates’ money.

    People are hurting, and it is the church’s responsibility to give them Jesus, and a support system to help them get through life. Churches who only take are wrong – period. God sees, He knows what’s going on, and He’ll ensure that what’s done in His name gives Him glory – not shady businessmen (and women) dressed up like clergy.

    Sorry for the rant, I just had to give my two cents.

    NJ BAP’s last blog post..I…SIMPLY…CAN’T!

  7. MamadocNo Gravatar on 11 Mar 2009 at 10:27 am #

    Your words echo the thoughts of so many who think it but won’t say a word. So many who sit in church unhappy, not being nourished, but there because they just think it’s what they have to do. All the wrong reasons to be in a church.

    I do believe in tithing because I know that if I’m at the church, I want the lights on, water running in the bathroom, heat on in the winter and air conditioning in the summer. I know that those things don’t just stay on by themselves and are ammenities I’d like to keep.

    I’ve also noticed that when I’m tithing, I always have enough for myself. When I stop tithing, it seems that those are the times when the struggle is so much harder. I’ve been laid off a couple of times now & there has been a difference.

    As for the building fund, I don’t pledge to contribute and I haven’t contributed. I don’t believe in giving out of guilt or giving to impress. Giving is a personal choice where I’m concerned & my extra usually goes towards community service.

    I do still learn from the sermons & get what I need from the experience on Sunday to apply to life the rest of the week and beyond.

    I encourage people to speak up about what they are not happy with in their churches. I’m sure there are others who feel the same way. If changes aren’t made or if you feel that church isn’t meeting your needs, find one that will. Of course there’s always going to be something we don’t like (I sure can’t stand a lot of that stuff you mentioned – touching my neighbors & what not) but there are also some things we need to speak out about and hold our churches accountable for.

  8. VivianNo Gravatar on 11 Mar 2009 at 11:10 am #

    Good job, Jam. As a thirty something year old who’s made various attempts at consistant church going, I totally agree with your post. Due to my church laden upbringing, I go through a cycle of guilt for not attending church, then a cycle of guilt for feeling disconnected when I do attend. As an educated women, I take particular issue with the subordinated roles women still play in many of our pulpits. Many a business and or political decision is made by men-only backroom church meetings while the ladies are serving up those $12 potluck plates. Not that church is the most appropriate forum for feminist theory, but there is something unnerving about the duality of these women, many who are heads of households and the sole determinants of their economic fates, and their reluctance to demand more influence or representation in the business decisions of their churches. Let’s keep it real, most of us are hard pressed to find a brother tapping into his past due rent money to fulfill a tithing obligation.

  9. VicNo Gravatar on 11 Mar 2009 at 12:22 pm #

    Every organized religion that I’ve seen seems more like a scam than anything else. Institutions that take advantage of the unknown and the fear that comes with it.

    Don’t surrender your hard earned money to the charlatan at the pulpit whipping you into an emotional frenzy while promising rewards that you will never see.

    Think critically about what are they telling/selling you.

  10. JaBeNo Gravatar on 11 Mar 2009 at 12:39 pm #

    Jam on it! I must admit, while reading the post I was bracing myself to see if you were going to bring up another RUFKM moment that had happened at that church during announcements; you didn’t.
    4 collections is a LOT for any one congregation to endure. The request for a check for $1000 from those that were able should’ve gone to the church’s own version of a “bailout” fund to help those families, many of them members, that are in dire need. Same goes for the 1st lady birthday collection; I mean a quick stanza of Happy Birthday shoulda sufficed.
    There’s plenty that’s good and bad in the church(es) which is why we must try to remain focused on what the reason we go to church. I mean people go for a myriad of reasons ~ money and gossip are a few of the bigger distractions. Perhaps start a “sensitivity” ministry/board/etc that can be there to raise the flag of where and how to tow the line when it comes to money matters. Like you said, we were just fine in the old building; now they REALLY need a building fund to cover the day to day expenses that come with the mega church(es) complete with cable/local tv slots.
    With respect to the collection plate, I myself had to suck it up and not feel guilty/pressure when I had little or nothing to put in the collection pan. On those days, I joyfully stand with the congregation, file out of the pew and politely stand beside the ersure while the rest of my row throws up money singing all the while. Gods knows my heart and my wallet~better than me!

  11. Yeahmebtch on 11 Mar 2009 at 12:55 pm #

    Let us all say….AMEN!

    Tithes or 10% is given to GOD.

    If they decide to squander God’s 10 then that’s between them and God.

    All of those other offerings are unnecessary IMO.

  12. MarieNo Gravatar on 11 Mar 2009 at 1:48 pm #

    Hi, Jam…As a born-again Christian, I read your post following the disclaimer, patiently waiting for the moment I would be offended, but it never came. I agree 100% with everything you’ve said, and it’s one of the reasons I am so blessed to have found a REAL church filled with REAL Christians who teach REAL Bible doctrine–rather than–according to the Bible–the ‘traditions of men,’ i.e., the man-made Catholic religion created by man with false doctrine such as praying to SAINTS, belief in PURGATORY, and the 7 sacraments. Like most other Latinas, I grew up being spoon fed this false religion, private school and all. When I finally found out the truth, I felt so angry for being lied to all my youth. That’s why it’s so important to actually read the Bible, which I now do, and I find it to be enormously enriching spiritually, as well as genuinely enjoyable and pleasurable. The Bible is such an interesting book, and ends with a terrific climax incomparable to even the best suspense novel–the book of Revelations. Not surprisingly, my church has only 100 members and is led by many different pastors who simultaneously serve as church members! There is no particular “star” of the church, as they all take random turns to preach as they are moved by the Holy Spirit to do so. This kind of teaching eliminates the “star/show” aspect of many churches today, and allows all members to participate equally with their testimony…it’s sad to see so many fake televangelists and money-hungry “motivational speakers” take over…the Bible warned against this too, saying that the devil will appear to the world as an angel of light. Well, it’s happening right before our eyes. This is a prime example…take for instance so-called “teachers” like the infamous John Hagee and “new-age ‘positivist’ humanist” church ministers such as Joel Osteen….it’s not just the black churches! The list goes on!

  13. ElDopaNo Gravatar on 11 Mar 2009 at 1:50 pm #

    I can’t believe that so many people have not wised up to the fact that Church Inc. is more often than not, just a business and the CEO (pastor, priest etc) often live off the backs of people who bust their ass to pay bills. As you stated, they drive Bentleys, have helicopters , Gulfstreams and NcMansions, all funded by people who won’t face the fact that they’re being fleeced. Obviously there are some who practice what they preach but those are the one’s who don’t have television shows. I am all for anything that a person wants to worship if it makes them feel good about themselves and gets them to have compassion but you don’t have to attend a church to accomplish that. The money is better spent giving directly to a cause or charity (after careful research to verify that a reasonable part of the donation goes directly to actual help and is not chewed up with marketing fees and salaries) instead of a church that spends a shitload on attorney fees, relocation of pedophiles, and payoffs to victims who were on the receiving end of priest-cock. The Catholic church , for one, has a priceless collection of art and artifacts. How does that help anyone as it hangs on the walls of the Vatican ? If they were serious, they’d sell it and use the proceeds to do some actual good in this world! Hipocracy has infested the church, the government and just about everything else. When people see the reality and stop talking about “faith” the world will truly be saved. I watched a documentary called “Jesus Camp” and these speaking in tongue motherfuckers indoctrinate children into their cause and it bears a strong resemblance to the schools in the Middle East where they teach hatred under the guise of religion. All I hope for is that people open their eyes. They do not have to settle for assholes to lead them. Throw them the fuck out and get a leader who walks the walk. I have nothing against “faith” but if you are going to be blind to what is going on in your church, the reason you’re referred to as “one of the flock” speaks for itself.

  14. LatoyaNo Gravatar on 11 Mar 2009 at 1:51 pm #

    Have to agree with you Jam. When I moved, I started attending one of those “Megalo-churches”. It was awesome. I really liked the messages the pastor had. They had a separate Kid church for my child. Their band was great. They had little missonary projects in Africa. The whole works, they had everything. I didn’t mind contributing $10, $20 a week when I could. That’s what God would want me to do, right? Then they started adding a 2 story building on the church, not that the church itself wasn’t already big enough. To me, it seemed the offerings started to get to where you HAVE to “give, give, give”. I think what really got to me was during their Christmas play. Every year they put on a show and invite everyone from the community to attend, members and non-members. It was my first time to attend the play and believe me it was a spectacular show, the place was packed. But it kind of turned me off when they started to pass around the collection buckets. Now correct me if I’m wrong but isn’t that something that should wait til a regular service? This was on a Friday! I mean you invite people to listen to a wonderful message then you try to hit them up for money? Is that right? I haven’t been back since then.

  15. EvangelistBNo Gravatar on 11 Mar 2009 at 1:53 pm #

    NJ BAP, I commend you for ‘telling the truth’ about Jesus & ‘churches’. I am a Proud ‘Christian’ & find it so sad to see what the enemy has once again duplicated from God’s will & how gullible humankind is to fall into it. WAKE UP PEOPLE! If you are Born-again and READ& STUDY the Bible, you would know what the TRUE church is all about! The prophet Malachi tells you what God says about us, what is to be brought into the house, and for what purposes. If you are in a building that doesn’t walk in agreement with God’s word, then, Hello, God aint in it!

    It’s so easy to want to hear what sounds good when we know we wrong, no matter what race. God defines us all as the sinful HUMAN RACE, so regardless of where you chose to get His Bread of Life you should be getting the whole loaf & yes that includes those hard ends nobody likes. If congregants would seek Relationship (God reaching to man) and not Religion(man reaching to God), all houses of worship would be ‘mega’ churches.

    The enemy knows that money is the root of all evil, that’s why there is a recession, but the God I serve owns everything so I believe Him. People can’t run to a church now expecting to be covered after walking in their own ways before. Don’t get me wrong, I’m speaking of those who don’t even try God’s way, including the wolves in sheeps clothing calling themselves bishops& pastors. Jesus said we would always have the poor among us, and I’m far from rich in monies, I am rich in His righteousness so I, nor my family never lack. “Seek first the kingdom and all its righteousness, then all things will supplied to you”.

  16. ShaneNo Gravatar on 11 Mar 2009 at 1:54 pm #

    I’m not a member of any church, but I am a firm believer in smart giving. Churches should be as accountable as any other non-profit for ensuring that donations are used wisely.

    If you feel that the bulk of your donations are being used to fund a lot of flash and little substance, I highly recommend finding another recipient. Religion isn’t something I’m well-versed in, but it seems to me that God would be better served by donating to Habitat for Humanity or a food kitchen than by financing a big theatrical presentation.

    I’m not saying that tithing is a bad idea. There are a number of churches out there who need the funds to minister both spiritually and in more earlthy matters. But I just don’t get why anyone would repeatedly enable this sort of waste and not find a humbler church.

  17. taipan55No Gravatar on 11 Mar 2009 at 4:15 pm #

    I don’t have anything to add to the article or previous comments… This is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth! It’s certainly food for thought for God’s people… Peace & Blessing, Jam!!!

  18. TheloniousNo Gravatar on 11 Mar 2009 at 10:22 pm #

    You shouldn’t give money to ANYONE who says it’s for God. He has no use for money. The charlatans who ask for it are lining their own pockets.

  19. DeniseNo Gravatar on 12 Mar 2009 at 12:33 am #

    I too agree with the blog. Fortunately I grew up in a church that did not have these problems, mainly because of how our denomination (Seventh-day Adventist) is organized. I encourage everyone to find a church that supports their spiritual needs and not attend one because it’s popular or has the best choir in the city. I also encourage everyone to take an ACTIVE part in church and try to correct or change things that are not spiritually inspiring and community uplifting.

  20. lalaNo Gravatar on 17 Mar 2009 at 11:40 pm #

    Amen. Everything you said is so true. I used to go
    to church because I had to also, and now I go once
    in a while. My problem is I can’t find a old fashioned Baptist Church. I just can’t get into all of the to close to pop, rock and rap music.
    It’s too much like the club in a building with
    stained glass window’s.

  21. SpinsterNo Gravatar on 18 Mar 2009 at 12:53 am #

    Almost 5 years ago, I went to volunteer in East Africa. Being that I was a broke student who had a part-time minimum wage internship mandated for my program, I struggled financially but wanted to help others less fortunate than me anyway. My mother helped me with some of my plane ticket and other stuff and being that she was on the church board, she figured she’d ask them to help me out. After all, we’d been attending that church for about 15 years at the time, and we figured that the church would be willing to assist someone who was doing something to help others less fortunate out of the goodness of their heart.

    Well, the church board said no. Now mind you, they’d just spent at least $7,000 on a new sound system and this church isn’t even a mega church! But they couldn’t spare even $100 for me, after all the service I’d given as an usher and other things I participated in on a regular basis, and after knowing the intent of the trip. And my mother was/is even MORE active than me.

    She nicely cursed them out. A few months after my return from my volunteer trip, one of the board members had the nerve to ask me how my trip was. I said “Fine”, he looked at me as if he was expecting more to my response, and I walked away.

    Negro please.

    I no longer attend church (used to be SDA) and although that was not the MAIN reason that I stopped attending, it was a small factor in my decision. It’s a shame that rather than assisting those who need it most, the Church (capitalized on purpose to describe the overall system) will USE those who need it most to advance their OWN selfish needs. It’s disgusting.

    And by the way, my former church also had a “building fund”. I dropped by that church a month ago just for a few minutes to get my mother for her birthday, and ain’t a DAMN thing in that church been “funded”. Only the front doors looked new and they had an intercom, that’s it.

    Thank you for speaking the truth about the matter Jam.

  22. KishaNo Gravatar on 18 Mar 2009 at 12:31 pm #

    You really hit me when you said all those behind on their mortage, go to the alter. Let’s pray. How about a Madea skit. When the plate comes around, put your head down and pray for the church. I hate to say it like that but it makes sense. Do unto others what you want done to yourself…

  23. Ange on 18 Mar 2009 at 2:19 pm #

    ROFL!!! Excellent post!

  24. Branden :BJ JonesNo Gravatar on 19 Mar 2009 at 9:06 pm #

    Yo! This is the first time, I’ve been on this site. I appreciate this last message. I’ve been saying this for the longest as well. “The strength of the oppressor is in the ignorance of the oppressed.” People who really do love God and want to live for him, get swindled out of money by greedy pastors who DON’T KNOW the Word of God, and use it for dishonest gain. But people have to KNOW the Word in order to defend themselves. So, for you and those reading this, here’s how to arm yourself against that money game.

    Proverbs 22:16
    Whoever oppresses the poor to increase his own wealth,or gives to the rich, will only come to poverty.

    Proverbs 19:17
    Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the LORD,and he will repay him for his deed.

    2 Corinthians 9:7
    Every man according as HE purposeth in his (own) heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

    We give to one another out of love. We ought to support a church that is teaching us how to live a free and godly life, and supports the community. We ought not support the church that is so bent on expanding its building that it doesn’t care about the people in it.

    Acts 17:24-26
    God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;

  25. Ron...from Alaska:)No Gravatar on 20 Mar 2009 at 1:59 am #

    While i agree with almost all the things mentioned above i just have one question… why dont people look into the Bible and get the answers to the questions of Tithe’s and offerings? I mean there actually is a reason why these things exist, not just to be apart of some tradition. I notice that most of us have in some way seen, known about, experienced first hand fould church practices but that does not mean that it gives us the right to be ignorant about what God’s word says about the matter.
    Do some research, study up, dont just be lead astray, if you trust Christ like you claim, then get to know The Word…then when foul stuff occurs you can use scripture to make your points known..just sayin

  26. joNo Gravatar on 20 Mar 2009 at 4:44 pm #

    right on the money?

  27. Hell Is Not FullNo Gravatar on 20 Mar 2009 at 9:20 pm #

    You are so right…. Bottom Line is simply this – people need to be more concerned about the message and not the messenger. It’s about your relationship with GOD, not the church, or the pastor, or the congregation, or anything else.

    And these CHURCH rituals have gotten so far out of hand, that many churches spend more time on the announcements than the word. There sre so many distractions. You stay in the church building for 2 hours and spend less than 15 minutes on the Word of the Lord.

    I understand the fellowship part of it all, but if many churches folk are so rude, that beyond the pastor announcing the obligatory “turn to your neighbor and say….”, sone people would sit beside all service and not acknowledge you at all.

    People have gotten it so twisted, but they better know what they are doing, because GOD certainly does.

  28. bradNo Gravatar on 20 Mar 2009 at 11:42 pm #

    Thank you.

  29. AmeenNo Gravatar on 22 Mar 2009 at 7:13 pm #

    This was well said. Even though i am not Christian, there are very few churches that help the homeless, families and the disabled, but you rarely hear of them. The Christians that are hard working and kind, and will give u the shirt off thier backs, and volunteer, you never hear of. I have noticed that churches have become obsolete in taking the love of God and the teachings of Jesus into a money making scheme and its very sad. The 89 offerings and the 48 hours in church is redundent, people have lives, and many are looking for a second or third job to support their families. Some churches are only there to get celebertie status, and very few have celebs, but they remain humble, that is not something u see everyday, and it should be that way.

  30. cincoNo Gravatar on 24 Mar 2009 at 10:57 pm #

    Somewhere out there, someone’s living ‘right’- I just don’t know where. The ‘church’ needs to help it’s members. Too much time spent making poor folks poorer- these leaders were the initial ‘AIG bonus makers’! For too long greed has inspired the church, not God. My history is in the Apostolic church for 3 generations- I no longer go to church- for many reasons, and I’m doing okay.

  31. parkerNo Gravatar on 25 Mar 2009 at 10:34 am #

    amen. that’s why mother transitioned me to a “white church” as a child…to escape from [the blackness]
    but that’s not to say other churches aren’t commiting shiesty acts in the name of God.
    all churches have their own foul play, so i take a chance and tithe directly to community focused organizations/programs instead of the “church” who sometimes openly admit when their offerings go to some superficial motive.
    as for the garbage “praise & worship” portion of the service…heck…that’s why i quit church to study & take quiet time w/ God at home.
    did God really mean for us to be THAT loud?
    i’m pretty sure if He already knows what we need before we ask, then there’s no point in shouting like crazed banshees to get our point across to Him.
    you can do bad by yourself, but to go to church and not get any better is beyond what words can express.

    **i tried to refrain from blogging within your blog, though this is just extended commentary.

  32. xirusNo Gravatar on 25 Mar 2009 at 4:20 pm #

    this is my 1st time here and i am glad that i stopped by. this is an awesome post. i agree 100%. keep spreading the truth!

  33. redsnake on 25 Mar 2009 at 7:16 pm #

    It’s 2009 people, wise up. There is no invisible fairy man in the sky. Start thinking critically about the BS you are being fed. The saddest part about this post wasn’t the multiple offering, it was the fact there are still so many gullible people who were in the church in the first place.

  34. trying_to_do_WJWD on 25 Mar 2009 at 8:08 pm #

    I agree. I am really saddended by these false prophets (and the Bible did say there would be plenty of them). Our church is a little Baptist Church. We have one offering, and use envelopes to allow people to determine how their funds will be allocated (tithes, general, special, building fund,etc.) If a little extra is needed for something, it is mentioned before the offering (example- extra money to give cash to graduating seniors before they go to college). People do what they can. Four times a year there is a sacrificial offering, corresponding to the fifth Sunday of a month, and that service is followed by a friends and family potluck. We have several events that are subsidized from church funds- very little cost to members, if any. We help out members in financial trouble to the extent that we can. Sick and shut-in are visited, and they are brought communion if they want it. Any extra money after bills are paid and obligations are met goes into the building fund. We are renting, but we hope to buy in this economic downturn- something for a great price- God willing. We’ve lost people because we don’t have a big, fancy building. That’s OK, since they were not there for the right reason.

    God is in control. The false prophets will get theirs- the Bible tells me so. I only wonder if we’ll be able to see it. If you are on earth, you can count on CNN and FOX to let you know. If you are in heaven, you’ll be too busy praising to care. And if you are in hell, they’ll be joining you and you can ask them what went down.

    :^D

  35. jen*No Gravatar on 29 Mar 2009 at 2:09 am #

    this is the real truth. I went to a church one time that was having an evening program, and simply kept taking up offerings until they’d gotten what they were looking for. I thought it was hilarious and sad at the same time. Cuz you only get one shot with me. I’m not confused about how much I will/can give. I put it in there the first time.

    That was for a fundraising event though. Like someone else who already mentioned it, being SDA means we tend not to take up for the first lady;s bday or some such. But I’ve still seen some churches end up asking poorer parishioners to parcel out more sacrifice for the ‘building fund’ while many of them were having trouble making the house payment. When we get too far away from God, we forget our purpose. Members of the congregation who can see this drift happening should speak up – and if no one listens [or the Praise Team is too loud] – pray about it. It may be time to move.

    jen*’s last blog post..abuse accepted: Grey’s [trigger warning]

  36. ZakiNo Gravatar on 30 Mar 2009 at 6:51 am #

    Girrrrrrrrl. Don’t even THINK of coming to LA ~~~> Trife Life on the whole church game!

  37. jewelryrockstarNo Gravatar on 30 Mar 2009 at 8:48 pm #

    You are dead on with this one my dear.

    jewelryrockstar’s last blog post..The Apple Doesn’t Fall Far, or Does it?

  38. YvetteNo Gravatar on 31 Mar 2009 at 10:27 pm #

    I stumbled across the website while google searching something else! Happy to see that there are writers out there — black — who are writing critiques about the black church. I am an atheist and so …. I totally feel you on your post.

    You say you’re pagan; I say you’re an atheist who hasn’t come out of the closest yet!

  39. Jessica-MechelleNo Gravatar on 01 Apr 2009 at 3:52 pm #

    Can I get a AMEN?! I promised that I was the only person that attended a churched that has a love offering! Where the hell does all of the “Love Offering” money go to? I know nobody ain’t showing me any love when that $500 a month rent is due…lol! But that really was striking to me. I attended our youth program on Sunday, and 3 offerings were taken up: The normal Tither, “Love Offering” and a “Fellowship Offering.” Hell I thought coming to church to “fellowship” with the Lord was free! It’s unfortunate, but churches scheme just like the next man. My cool ass only gave to the Tithe Offering. That is my only requirement according to the Bible…things are being taken too far lately!

    Jessica-Mechelle’s last blog post..Get the new Keri!

  40. Nicole on 01 Apr 2009 at 6:02 pm #

    I don’t get it. Jam, love you, love the blog but why does a self proclaimed Pagan go to church?

  41. ShonNo Gravatar on 02 Apr 2009 at 3:29 am #

    12$ a plate!!! Were they serving filet mignon and jumbo shrimp? If there is a God and if she is going to lay the smack down on judgement day then surely she will start with smacking the hell out of all the so-called christians out there who use the lord’s will as an excuse to serve their own selfish greed. God will start with the fake christians before even thinking about the rest of us “honest sinners”.

  42. NoniBerryJuiceNo Gravatar on 02 Apr 2009 at 12:12 pm #

    Nicole, I’m atheist/agnostic like my a parents, but my mother and father’s families are heavily Christian/Baptist so we go to church with them to be polite (and damn, it’s the only time we get to see the rest of the family besides funerals or weddings (the latter is fewer than funerals sadly))… maybe Jam’s got a similar reason.

  43. mr_blue618No Gravatar on 03 Apr 2009 at 12:17 am #

    To quote Butterfly McQueen: “As my ancestors are free from slavery, I am free from the slavery of religion.”

    I don’t know what God is. But I sure do know what he/she isn’t. Thus, I remain an agnostic.

  44. Mo on 03 Apr 2009 at 10:01 am #

    Im offended by this post, i think that your offering is your choice and its between you and God. Also if you read your bible you would know that what others may use for evil God will turn around and use for your good. When i pay tithes and offering, i dont sit and think about what the pastor or the board may use it for because its unto the Lord. Whatever I do unto the Lord its what will last, no one can take that away. He will reward me, not the church. So the bottom line is God knows your heart, if you are giving out of guilt or obligation, or just to look good, you have your reward. But be led by the Spirit, pray about it and ask God and if you have a relationship with Him, He will speak to you!

  45. kishaNo Gravatar on 03 Apr 2009 at 11:42 pm #

    my advice: find a new church.

  46. FuriousstylesNo Gravatar on 06 Apr 2009 at 6:57 pm #

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMEN!!

  47. FuriousstylesNo Gravatar on 06 Apr 2009 at 7:08 pm #

    I once went to an aspiring mega-church with my then-girlfriend. The bathrooms looked as if they belonged in four-star hotels. The band put Earth, Wind, and Fire to shame. I wasn’t used to the holy-ghosting and falling out in the aisles (I never was despite spending the second half of my childhood in a baptist church), but my WTF/RUFKM moment came when it was time for the offering. Two of the deacons each gave 10 minute speeches (each) about the importance of giving and how tithing means the GROSS income. The church I go to now probably spends 3 minutes on tithing/collection. One of the speakers actually told us that if we didn’t, then GOD WAS GOING TO SPANK US. I couldnt make that up if I tried. I was dead after that. Those are the three problems with church- 1) use of fear, uncertainty, and doubt to make a profit (not unlike advertising and politics), 2) Confining the teachings and behavior that goes with it to one day in one building, and 3) pursuit of personal salvation rather than service.

  48. LisiNo Gravatar on 07 Apr 2009 at 4:12 pm #

    I can relate to everything you said. I attended a church as a teenager where this went on for years. I watched my grandmother and other matriarchs and young ladies of the church raise thousands and thousands of dollars that were supposed to be used to purchase property and build a brand new church. However, as the years went by, the pastor and his family went on luxury vacations, he bought a yacht (yes, I said a yacht, albeit small, but not a boat), and a beautiful new home in the a nearby suburb. He also sent his wife to beauty school and opened a business for her. That old church building is still standing in the working class neighborhood it always has. The old pastor went on to retire as a bishop with plenty of money in the bank. It’s a shame.

  49. DyNo Gravatar on 07 Apr 2009 at 11:07 pm #

    Nicole on 01 Apr 2009 at 6:02 pm #

    I don’t get it. Jam, love you, love the blog but why does a self proclaimed Pagan go to church?
    ________________________________________________

    I don’t get it either. You seem too intelligent and self-aware to “fake the funk”. I personally gave it up YEARS ago.

    I am a proud agnostic/atheist/pagan; my life is not ruled by fictional characters.

  50. Anonymous on 09 Apr 2009 at 9:43 am #

    Thank You! I’m an agnostic living in the middle of the bible belt. I would NEVER give a dime to help these pastor/pimps. Religion is for followers, not leaders. These brainwashers are always trying to lure my daughter in. Not this one! My baby is too smart to believe in bullshit.

  51. teeNo Gravatar on 11 Apr 2009 at 12:26 am #

    I joined a church after a year of attendance I was following the word giving my 10% or more if I was able and I started to really feel good about this congregation, I lost my job and asked for one hundred dollars to help me pay a one hundred and fifty dollar electric bill to keep my children warm. I was told, “we do not have funds set up for that”. I said I have been attending this church for a year and giving my 10% tithe every week or more if I am able and you can not help me and my children when we are in need? isn’t that the purpose of the church? I was told “no, sorry we can’t help you”. I was outraged and have not tried to find another church to attend because I have visited so many churches in the past and have never felt, what I THOUGHT was the presence of God but turned out to be the presence of the devil. I love God and his son Jesus and would love to find a church that practices the proper beliefs of what God and Jesus wants from the church. Please pray for me and my family, that I find a GREAT church and the terrible stress and pain that I am experiencing will leave my temple and never return.

  52. anonymous honkyNo Gravatar on 15 Apr 2009 at 11:38 am #

    In the entire life of Jesus, He only got violent once: “My temple is a house of prayer, but you have turned it into a den of thieves!!!!!!”

    So… WWJD?

  53. DelbertNo Gravatar on 17 Apr 2009 at 3:41 pm #

    LMFAO!!! I HATE the Praise & Worship part (or as we Baptist Church Members know it as devotion). I would stay in the bathroom for like 15 minutes when I was younger so I didn’t have to be in there. But on a more serious note, i agree with this post 100%. I can’t stand to see these pastors with all their women, money, clothes, and cars while their members are dead broke. These niggas have the audacity to “offering” you to death and your going home to feed a family off the dollar menu while the pastor goes out to eat. SMH

  54. DesireeNo Gravatar on 20 Apr 2009 at 1:02 pm #

    Yo JAM!!! I used to attend that church and left after all of the rigamarole and nonsense that transpired. I was highly disappointed and highly surprised that he kept so many of his members after such events. After preaching about fidelity and honesty, but not walking that same path. One thing that just blew me though, was when people started throwing money at his feet!!! OMG!!! WWJD??? Are people that naive to believe that their pastor is their ‘savior’?! I just don’t get it. But this whole post was on point! I now deem myself as a spiritualist where I attend the ‘Church of Nature’ lol….people need to get out of organized religions and realize that whatever makes them feel closer to God, the Creator, Yahweh, whomever is their ‘religion’ if you want to call it as such! You can praise ‘Him’ anywhere, not always cramped within the 4 walls of a building filled with hypocrisy, criticism and fakeness!!! AMEN 2 THAT JAM!!!

    Desiree’s last blog post..Let’s Play Catch Up!

  55. Pia NymekyehNo Gravatar on 24 Apr 2009 at 11:40 am #

    I have to agree with you Jam. There’s a lot of nonsense going on in many black churches of all denominations. In this economic climate, churches should forgo pastor’s wives birthdays, appreciation days and any other self serving offerings. They should help people who have mortgage arrears and real financial problems. Here, congregation member, here’s £720 the cost of my mortgage!!! or here’s a bag of shopping from the Church Benevolent Fund.
    It is an abomination to see a properous minister and his cronies while the congregation is literally as poor as church mice. It hurts to see this and it grates too. Call me stingy, but I do not give a penny to the church when I cannot afford to make ends meet and my cupboards are empty. The same stuff happens here in England too.

  56. CatheeNo Gravatar on 25 Apr 2009 at 10:09 am #

    Greed is not a black or white issue, it is about green. (Look at the white televangalists…)

  57. mikeyfreeNo Gravatar on 28 Apr 2009 at 4:01 pm #

    LET’S FACE IT,THESE CHURCHES ARE RUN LIKE BUSINESSES;VERY LITTLE TIME IS SPENT TRYING TO CORRECT THE SOCIATAL ILLS THAT ARE OUR INSPIRATION TO GO TO CHURCH IN THE FIRST PLACE. I SAY,IF A CHURCH DOES NOT SUPPLY WHAT YOU ARE LOOKING FOR THEN BY ALL MEANS FIND ANOTHER ONE .I DON’T THINK WE WERE SUPPOSED TO PAY FOR REDEMPTION SO JUST STOP LETTING THESE “PREACHERS” GET AWAY WITH THIS NONSENSE !!

  58. Live CasinoNo Gravatar on 29 Apr 2009 at 4:32 pm #

    I really enjoy your blog, I’m subscribing to your blog, how do I get on your mailing list? Hope to see more great posts like this one.

  59. JDNo Gravatar on 05 May 2009 at 10:10 am #

    I agree 100% with this. I am 21, and haven’t been to a church service in nearly 6 years. I didn’t go to a mega church, but I do remember when I was 13, the pastor (who was Methodist) was no longer paster of that church (Apparently, if you’re a methodist, you can only stay at a church for x number of years, while Baptist pastors stay for life, or until the congregation gets tired). We moved to a small building to a slightly larger one. During Sunday school, the teachers told the kids that it wasn’t enough to give $.50 cents, but a DOLLAR. Now, some of the (richer) kids used their money to squander at the drug store on candy across the street. But my mother struggled to give my siblings and I money. She always gave us two quarters each. I felt embarrassed. It also always seemed like a contest: which group could give the most money? Also, someone asked a question about how they could give money when they also had to pay for gas in the car. Someone simply said to forgo the extra $5 a week. So easy for someone to say when they don’t have to work! A few years later, I just had to quit because I couldn’t take it. Hell, I wore the same Sunday School dress for nearly a year!

  60. i-won't-say on 09 May 2009 at 4:39 pm #

    How about this one for putting parishoners on a guilt trip told by Pastor Happy Caldwell, Agape Chyurch in Little Rock, Arkansas.

    “We are all kings and priests. However, most of us of kings (whether male or female) and a few of us are priests. The duty of the kings is to go out in the marketplace and earn money and bring it to the priest. The people who do not do this will be subject to having their businesses fail and their marriages fall apart.”

    And I promise you this is a direct quote as he jetsets around the country on his jet God told him to buy earning honoriams.

  61. Pastor MillerNo Gravatar on 11 May 2009 at 8:45 pm #

    I hear what you are saying Jam ,I hear that on a daily basis and hate to say it ,but you are right . Having been raised in the church and seeing the fakes in the church ,I vowed when I got out of my parents house I was never going back to church again . Stayed away for a number of years like 18 years. Then something happened in my life that caused me to just stop by for a moment (REALLY TO STOP THE PHONE CALLS ASKING ME TO COME) But from August 31.1996 my life have’nt been the same since that day. I didnt understand it at the time but came to find that was my purpose in life . Having been on both sides of the fence I feel what you are saying thats why I have the compassion for the people that have been hurt by CHURCH FOLKS to be honest church folks make me sick . They are a bunch people that used to be addicted to differnt habbits now they have picked the church addiction to make up for the other habbit. And used the church to justify their putting those that read game to shame by putting them down .But enough of that there are still a few churches out there that are for the community that they are in ,but they are few and far between . We can’nt put all churches in the same catagory neither the pastors.But before you give up all togather seek from your heart and not from head . Would like to go more indept .but not enough space leave a reply I will respond back to it BE BLESSED

  62. TCrookNo Gravatar on 13 May 2009 at 9:01 am #

    At the very start I was put off by the article but I realized that there are a lot of churches/pastors out there like that that I complain about myself.

    I’m happy to say my church does not fit in your articles description. 1 collection and you can put whatever money you want to into 3 different plates (giving isn’t mandatory) and YES 1 of the plates is for Building Restoration lol. We actually did & are fixing the building and people notice the changes. (nothing is hidden). Our Pastor actually has a job and his church salary is $1 (one dollar, tax purposes) My wife & I have been going there for 1.5 years as have the Pastor & his family. We live out our motto (for a lack of a better word) Discipling the church to impact the world. We do have a food pantry and we are are going to volunteer our services to the neighborhood schools, elderly & community center. We do have a fund that is for members who need financial assistance and we have actually given money out of it..go figure. lol

  63. shitstinksNo Gravatar on 13 May 2009 at 2:26 pm #

    For once you have made some since JAM WELL SAID.

  64. RichardNo Gravatar on 18 May 2009 at 11:11 am #

    You made some good points there. I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree with your blog.

  65. bococaladyNo Gravatar on 18 May 2009 at 9:24 pm #

    may i offer my 2 cents in this? ok. i grew up in the 1960s. and at that time in my bed-stuy neighborhood church was a must for we kids. our parents came from the south and brought their religion with them. on my street alone there were more than 5 churches that sprung up. to make a long story short,i do not attend church anymore, since i attended one church who passed the plate more than 1 time.but it was when i heard of stories of faithful members who did alot for their church, and when they were in the hospital, and none of the congregation came to see them, i was like no way. oh and now with the installation of ATMS, and asking for your W-2forms. got to hell. im spiritual and will stay that way.i will not make these preachers rich.

  66. bococaladyNo Gravatar on 18 May 2009 at 9:28 pm #

    jesus said do not put your trust in the words of men,for many say they come in my name and they are decievers.look to his word and his alone for salvation.

  67. DerekNo Gravatar on 20 May 2009 at 2:38 pm #

    This article is very true. I enjoyed reading it.

  68. AvaNo Gravatar on 26 May 2009 at 12:53 pm #

    AMEN!
    AMEN!

    This is why I left my childhood church!

  69. Anonymous on 28 May 2009 at 11:41 pm #

    There is a lot of saddness in his article.

  70. shadow1No Gravatar on 30 May 2009 at 4:13 am #

    That is why I do not go to church. I don,t need a man taking my money to buy a cadilac and hollering at me every week.

  71. Dr. Glenn Green, PhD.No Gravatar on 03 Jun 2009 at 9:25 pm #

    I am the pastor of a small church of about 150 members. I know my members and they know me. We have one collection of tithes and offering. The membership knows that light, gas, and water cost money so I should not have to milk them for money each and every week. I get a small salary of $500.00 per month for my expenses. I have a job and get two pensions so I have my own money. I drive a nice car and so does my wife. The church is not obligated to give me or her birthday, anniversary, or Christmas gifts although I appreciate it when the do. Pastors are staring to lose sight of what our calling is. We are servants. We are to serve not be served. I hate it when i see people going to the alter and tossing money on the floor at the preachers feet. I hate to go to a church and see an ATM machine in the lobby. I hate to see a pastor who needs a body guard. Whats up with that? Don’t they believe that God will protect them and provide for them? I don’t agree with Agnostic burt I understand your position. Please know that all Ministers of the Gospel are not thieves, pimps, or con men. Some of us actually love and serve God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost.

  72. James on 10 Jun 2009 at 9:28 am #

    Amen! I’m Catholic, and our church does the same thing. I can’t stand it when they repeatedly pass the offering plate and make up some ‘special’ offering. I just give to one offering and that’s that. They can work it out on the back end in accounting. Next thing you know they’ll start passing around credit card machines.

  73. Cordell on 10 Jun 2009 at 9:31 am #

    I grew up the son of a Baptist minister, and I can assure you that the majority of churches don’t practice this multiple offering thing. Once in a while they may ask for an extra offering for missionaries or for the building fund. And I can assure you that the majority of ministers are living at or below the poverty level, especially if they have children.

  74. SherNo Gravatar on 11 Jun 2009 at 7:19 pm #

    I needed that right there. That was like reading a comedy and ain’t nothing about it funny. I am not a member of a church, but I have started attending the church I grew up in. I am 47-yrs old and they are still doing things the same old way. They also have more than one plate passing, although they disguise one by having the congregation walk around for that one.
    I know the new pastor from school and he has asked me when I plan to get back into the church? I told him when he changes the program and he can start with the offering… We laugh, but I’m serious.

  75. 1st IrmaNo Gravatar on 12 Jun 2009 at 12:09 am #

    Yet The Body Limps©
    Irma L Williams – 5/2009

    So many Pastors
    So many Preachers
    So many Bishops and
    So many Teachers
    Churches on every corner
    Apostles at every turn you make
    Prophets saying things not Said
    Is it real or is it fake?

    And yet the Body limps

    Conferences and Seminars and
    Classes to go to
    Billboards and signs up high
    Lifting up not Him, but who?
    The harvest is still in the field
    Waiting and sinning, and waiting
    Jesus said “if I be lifted”
    Why are we procrastinating?

    And still the Body limps

    One said “our God is bigger than yours”
    Another one says “ours is better”
    Different religions and denominations
    Standing alone and not together
    Even churches of the same religion
    Fighting against each other
    Where is the love that Jesus required?
    Where is the “love one another”?

    Yet, still the Body limps

    Our World is dying
    The ozone is messed up
    Creation continues to groan
    All economy is in a hand basket
    How will we ever get home?
    The Sons of God need to take our place
    And put Satan back in his
    Put on our Armor and weapons of war
    Fill him full of fears

    Then, the Body will limp no more

  76. 1st IrmaNo Gravatar on 12 Jun 2009 at 12:10 am #

    Does anybody really know what time it is? Does anybody really care? These two questions are excerpts from a song that was recorded by the group Chicago way back in the 70′s. Two questions that were as misinterpreted then as they are now.

    As an appendage of the Body of Christ I often wonder if the phenomenon called Daylight Saving Time has not stunted our growth (so to speak). In the beginning of that phenomenon we went went back 1 full hour, Mother Nature kept going forward! We should know that the closer it gets to the Second Coming of our Lord the faster time moves forward to that appointed time. So, after the first hour of going back, Mother Nature kept moving forward more rapidly than before the hour we moved back, so that by the time we decided we were going to “spring forward” in time we were perhaps behind Mother Nature more than 1 hour. Multiply that occurrence times the many instances we have used DST over the years and the aforementioned questions should come to mind.

    Also, as an appendage in the Body of Christ I recall many sermons ministered by many men and women of God that say God has seasons for “this” and seasons for “that” to answer questions that come to them from parishioners that are truly seeking the Kingdom of God. Well, if God exists in a place where there is no time, how could that be a true statement?

    In the past few years (going back about 10-15 years) we’ve been ministered to according to “seasonal doctrine” such as the season of the message of tithing, or the season of the message of prosperity, (with the subliminal message of me, my four and no more),or the season of the message of Praise and Worship, etc. We were warned and cautioned by a New Testament Apostle to “not be tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine” Eph 4:14.

    It is in my opinion (we all have one and some one else’s may agree with this one) that it is time for the members in the Body of Christ to be taught new doctrines to support the Doctrine of Jesus and Him crucified such as how to “stand in these wicked and evil days”, or how to apply the Armor of God, or how to and why to fast, or how to “bind” things in the earth so they will be bound in heaven.

    There are many other “seasonal” messages should be ministered in these days in order to bring the Body of Christ into the season of “the manifestation of the Sons of God” Rom 8:19. Again I ask what times is it, really?

  77. 1st IrmaNo Gravatar on 12 Jun 2009 at 12:15 am #

    A church that I know of gives two Scriptures and a prayer when a member who has invested thousands of dollars over a period of time in “tithes and offerings” is in desparate need. How tragic!

  78. HeatherNo Gravatar on 13 Jun 2009 at 3:54 pm #

    I am a Christian and it is so hard to hear stories like that. These churches need to understand that they offending people! And the Bible says that a brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city. I am thankful for my church. Service lasts alittle over an hour (if that) and the offering plate is at the back of the church. If you have something to give you drop it in on the way out, and if you don’t have anything to give than you do not have to put up with the stares. Giving is between you and God….not you, God, and the rest of the church.

  79. Insurance ExpertNo Gravatar on 16 Jun 2009 at 2:17 pm #

    Haha, that is so true. All these churches that steal your money, these “power” churches are the false prophets that the Bible is talking about. Don’t get caught up in their scams

  80. Tremendous DNo Gravatar on 21 Jun 2009 at 1:10 am #

    I lived in Pensacola,Fl. once,and yes,the same thing happened about the so-called building fund offering where members were obligated to come with $2,000 or so each. On a regular basis,word was out about those members that could not come up with their portion of the money they signed up for. I could only imagine the shame, the ridicule, and the pressure that some members felt that couldn’ afford their portion. I was only at this church as a visitor but was glad I never became a member for that reason alone. Yjis was a smaller church trying to move into a bigger building at the time.

  81. Truth Seeker on 27 Jun 2009 at 12:24 am #

    Two words (Jehovahs Witnesses)

  82. Cherry on 28 Jun 2009 at 5:38 pm #

    Sounds like churches in Detroit, Michigan. And I can’t add anything to this because it is 1000% correct. Pimps in the pulpit.

  83. Truth Seeker on 04 Jul 2009 at 12:07 am #

    The Witnesses have the truth

  84. DanielleNo Gravatar on 09 Jul 2009 at 10:35 pm #

    I left a church that I was a member of for over 10 yrs because once we increased in membership the vision changed from one of charity to selfishness.But that was an indication that I needed to find another church,not an indication that my core beliefs were incorrect.The entire basis of Christian belief is one of faith.You pay your 10 percent because you have the faith that God will bless you for doing what He asked you to do in the word.I don’t care what the pastor does with my tithes because I didn’t give it in his name.Your faith that God will bless you should be stronger than your concern for what the pastor does with the money because God sees all,dirty pastors just like I will have to answer for my behavior.If how your money is spent is of great concern there are churches that give their congregations full access to check financial records.But a lot of times people use money as an excuse not to attend church when the real issue lies somewhere else.But that’s a whole other story…
    I lconversateisnotaword.comeft a church that I belonged to for over 10 yrs. because once our membership grew,the vision changed.But this was an indication that this was not the place for me,but in no way did it indicate a fallacy in my core beliefs of the purpose of a “real church.” The whole basis of Christianity is built on your faith. You give your 10 percent if you have the faith that you will be blessed in return.If you choose to keep it because you don’t want to see the pastor wearing a shiny suit that you equate that to be where your tithes went,you’re basically saying that you have more faith in your money being mismanaged than you have in God blessing you for doing what He asked.I don’t care what the pastor does with my money because I didn’t give it in his name.If he’s bold enough to misuse money given in faith (which I am aware that it happens)he has to be ready to answer for that just like the rest of us will have to answer for our deeds.If you fundamentally do not believe in the basic principles and you aren’t trying to to

  85. DanielleNo Gravatar on 09 Jul 2009 at 10:41 pm #

    Please excuse the last part of my post,for some reason I had a hard time posting it and apparently posted part of my comment I thought was deleted.Hopefully it doesn’t take away from my point!

  86. But Who Are You?No Gravatar on 10 Jul 2009 at 4:42 pm #

    I agree with some of your points. But what amazes me is that most of the people want to “critique” the church aren’t even living for God themselves. You blog is riddled with profanity and foul language and yet you pride yourself with speaking against the church? Now the church does have a lot of problems,because the church consist of people who have a lot of problems. But if you yourself are not living right,you have no right to say anything at all. If you want to be part of the solution,get saved and set an example instead of perpuating the ignorance and foul mouthed talking that you are doing

  87. But Who Are You?No Gravatar on 10 Jul 2009 at 4:44 pm #

    Subsequent to the prior statement, if you want to see change,become the change you want to see. Like I said I do agree with some of the points,because I myself have seen them. At the end of the day,you yourself have to submit your life to Jesus Christ, so do that first,get filled with the Spirit of God,bear fruits of righteousness(no be perfect,because no one is perfect) and then come back with some constructive criticism.

  88. SpinsterNo Gravatar on 10 Jul 2009 at 4:58 pm #

    Most of the people who have critiqued USED to be involved in the church. And all or most of those same people STIIL live good moral, emotional and spiritual lives and probably do so more than they did in church. In addition, not everyone believes in your version of God or Jesus Christ. Just because of that, doesn’t mean that we don’t have the right to critique. All that “don’t judge things until you believe in (my) God” (paraphrasing) is getting REAL played out. :-|

  89. jam donaldsonNo Gravatar on 10 Jul 2009 at 5:08 pm #

    oh puhlease. where does it say in the bible that cursing is a sin? so now i have to be jesus in order to speak on something i disagree with? you holy rollers are something else.

  90. imshakinmyheadNo Gravatar on 14 Jul 2009 at 12:32 am #

    == WARNING: Gross Generalizations Ahead ==

    Black Churches = Another form of Coonery.

    Pretty much everything mentioned in this post is why I have a problem with the black church. The Church seems to be full of crooks and swindlers. We don’t know how to do business. Our pastors, leadership, and saints are immoral.

    I am a devout Christian, and I attend a multi-cultural church. It is predominately white (b/c of the area that we’re in) but the congregation is way more diverse than our city.

    I don’t know if I could/would ever attend another all black church. Many of the (black) churches that I’ve been around are ineffective and do very little to make their members better people and better Christians.

    I’m so tired of all of the hypocricy that I see in the black church. I’m not saying that there aren’t hypocities in other churches, but at least other people know when they’re wrong.

    Our churches are so corrupt. There is so much that is acceptable in the Church that shouldn’t be acceptable.

    It seems as if we don’t want to tick anyone off, so we ignore what the Bible says about morality and try to find ways to twist the Gospel so that more money can flow into the church and then be misappropriatted to pay for the First Lady (*eyeroll at that title*) to get a new outfit and her hurr did and for the Pastor to put a down payment on his newest ride. (I know that was a runon sentence)

    Give me a break.

    imshakinmyhead’s last blog post..Episode #97: Gotta Feelin

  91. CatheeNo Gravatar on 14 Jul 2009 at 11:44 am #

    I was brought up in a non-practicing Protestant home with only the “Golden Rule” being taught. I always had a “knowingness” that there was some energy of a higher level. Churches I tried were ALL about “my God/faith is superior to yours,” similar to those in this post, IE: “If you accept Jesus,” “If you’re born again,” Jehovah’s Witnesses,” etc., etc. None of this seems to truly answer the questions of the human heart. So I did some research, and found that all current religions have their roots in prehistoric cosmolgies. (Yes, even Yahweh/Jehovah was but one of many gods whose village was triumphant in battle, thus garnering the devotion of the surrounding villages as required by those in the village of Yaweh. Indeed, in going back far enough, you will find the main god was not a male figure, but a goddess who gave birth to all that is.) The most authentic “religion” is that of animism, in which all of nature is respected. This means that humans, animals, plants, rocks, rivers and lakes, the air we breath; in other words, ALL of nature is to be respected and honored. No rituals are required (though as typical to human nature, practitioners will develop them), no buildings needed, no tithes requested. (For those inspired to tithe in hopes that they will be blessed by God, may I direct your attention to grace, and also the story of Job…)
    For my own ability to express this respect for all of nature, I use the words “Creative Intelligent Energy” that imbues/created all that is. We are all connected, and may we all have peace within and harmony without.

  92. whyNo Gravatar on 16 Jul 2009 at 10:39 am #

    I am a pastor and what I find funny is that almost everyone here thinks the worst about the church. While many of you say you quit I wonder, did you give 100% of yourself to God when you were going or were you still trying to live 2 lives. Churches and pastors get a bad rap for money. How come I don’t hear you screaming about the drug dealers driving their cars while they kill our sons and daughters? I don’t hear the noise about your politican who goes to jail for stealing tax dollars? I have noticed when people get in real trouble they want the same church people and the same pastors to pray for them. All churches are not right and neither are all pastors but most are trying to make a positive difference in the lives of people.

  93. CatheeNo Gravatar on 16 Jul 2009 at 11:12 am #

    To “Why:”
    I believe, dear pastor, that this particular post is concerned with churches, thus is the subject of responses. Compliments must be paid to the responders for staying on subject and not using this blog for rants. Should Jam write of drug dealers, taxes, etc., you would find the responses in those areas of concern.

    The Divine connects to each of us; no building or dogma, or other person is necessary. You sound quite judgmental to me; but then, you would have no livelihood should people figure this out, so your defensiveness is understandable although it goes to justify why people would quit a church.

  94. EleosNo Gravatar on 17 Jul 2009 at 11:25 am #

    Perhaps all this is why Jesus was always going to the sinners’ parties and calling them to make a difference in the world through love, seeing that often times religious folk consider their deed to humanity done if the “give to God” and then go back home empty of concern and hope for humanity.

  95. No Gravatar on 19 Jul 2009 at 1:16 am #

    I understand the concerns that have been posed and I must say that some churches have begun to operate in a “worldly” system, and forget where the help truly comes from. People being able to give tithes and offerings and sow into the Kingdom is a privilege as such it is rewarded accordingly.

    It’s funny to me that when you get people who believe in God, but stray away from regular fellowship in churches because of the way the Pastor and his wife may be dressed or the car that they may drive automatically makes them assume that the Church’s money is being pocketed by them. I have one thing to say that may help shed some light on the situation, “You can’t match how they live, until you match how they give.” Before assuming that they are collecting money from the members to support a rich and fancy lifestyle, check to see how much they gave to the church and Kingdom of God themselves in a years time. The bible promises that if I am willing and obedient, that I will eat the good of the land. Being obedient in my action, and my finances.

    Another thing that is funny, is the same inconsistent members that complain about the money that is raised in church are the ones who are quick to say “God asks for 10 percent”. Though that statement is true, you fail to give the rest of the story. God says “bring ye tithes, offerings and seeds. There is a principle behind giving. You give to receive. “Give and it shall be given unto you in full measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, shall men give into your bossom” (Luke 6:38). The bottom line is, you can’t receive anything with a closed hand.

  96. EleosNo Gravatar on 20 Jul 2009 at 8:00 am #

    First off, as a person in ministry for 37 years now, I have to say that I have come to learn that we do not give to receive, but to make a difference. One or two scriptures taken out of context does not make a “principle.”

    Nor would I characterize those who make these complaints as necessarily inconsistent. Having, pastored several different churches over time I can affirm that it is hard to find churches that truly live up to the call to acceptance of every person that enters their doors. The church in the walls is usually way behind the church in the street in following Jesus.

    Also, if one studies scripture for long one will find that tithes were used to feed the clergy (priests [who owned no property at all]), the widows and orphans (powerless and homeless), and principally after that the people were commanded to bring the storage together and eat it all together in the fellowship of the Lord.

    I have no problem with those who want to “give to receive.” But if that’s all you got where’s the love?

    Furthermore, in Luke when the crowds asked John the Baptist how to participate in the coming kingdom he answered, “Those who have two coats give one to someone who has none. Those who have food do the same.” This harkens also to the sharing of fellowship in the Lord, equalizing all who have enough faith to join in the community, sharing whatever they can.

    However, the above writer makes a valid point. We are not to judge persons on the appearance of things. Nor are we to become jealous or contentious over the way they spend their money, anymore than we would want them to do the same about us.

    The church’s purpose was never to amass holdings for the acquisition of power, wealth, and substance for the few, but to call each in sharing outward in the vast and limitless manifestation of God’s kingdom coming upon us as God reveals it to us individually and collectively.

    Much of the complaints are simply a distraction from that revelation. Others, though they may be valid, can be a good impetus for, as one of the writers put it, being the change you want to see.

    We must get beyond the notion that any leaders of any group will be perfect. The pull to seizing power is strong and enhanced by the notion that if we ourselves don’t exercise power in the way we think it should be done then all hell will break loose. But we must engage in collective sharing in the power that God gives. When we have reached the place in which we do share egually in all things, not by force, coercion, or guilt, but in honest, humble hearts responding to the love Christ has shown and gives, then the kingdom of God will have fully come. Until then we must not become distracted by the inconsistency of the abuses by leaders, followers, and observers. It just shows us were God’s grace is heading, for where sin abounds, God’s grace abounds even more.

  97. CatheeNo Gravatar on 20 Jul 2009 at 9:39 am #

    Eleos-
    I agree with your statement about tithing, it is to be done in love, without concern of returns, Heavenly or otherwise. You sound like an honorable pastor, and I agree that as long as one stumbles, it hurts us all. Thus, the need for extended consciousness, not one of “My religion is better than yours.”

    Blessings to all.

  98. SelbieNo Gravatar on 22 Jul 2009 at 12:05 pm #

    Hopefully I can give another perspective of this, and excuse my typing,it’ll be bad.

    My entire life I’ve been a PK(preacher’s kid), which means I see the “ugly” side of church. And believe me, the church my father pastored?? The people were ugly with a capital EVERYTHING.

    My father stepped in as a temporary pastor after the original one became very ill.We were a big congregation for the size of the church about 20 or so people. So we got up at 7, drove there for 30 minutes and stayed until 3 or much later depending on afternoon services. My mother had to quit her job, because she developed type II diabetes due to immense stress. So our only income was my dad’s ss check which went to rent and food. of course this didn’t last the whole month, so we joined to food bank, and got the pastor’s pffering every other week.

    Now here’s the kicker: because the flock didn’t like how my dad was running the church (meaning they wanted to run it and have some push over as a pastor) they cut off the offering and started a building fund behind his back. we were getting a whopping 30 or even 10 dollars to live off sometimes, and with my dad recovering from two heart attacks and my mother’s issues, we had to go with out, even though we needed money badly.

    Then our secretary started a ministry behind his back, which was quickly taken care of.

    my point is, people: not all pastors are bad. there are some sweet caring, true men of God who struggle daily to keep the church alive. Sometimes it kills them.
    Like it’s been doing to my father.
    He has dementia, has had numerous strokes, a seizeure, and still thinks he can pastor, and forget we left that church. But he’s dying now, and it breaks my mom’s heart after all the torture they put her through that they never helped him when they needed to. now it’s too late.

    ps-please dont let these rich money hungry churches ruin it for the rest of us. i dislike them too-i wish they would do more for the black community.

    Try to find a smaller honest church like my mom and I did. We are very happy there, and I hope you find one too. :D

  99. EleosNo Gravatar on 22 Jul 2009 at 2:59 pm #

    Yes. A friend of mine says that people vote with their feet. That is, they show their approval of something by showing up, and stay away from what they dislike.

    Perhaps if we who see these grave and harmful inconsistencies would begin marching in the direction that is just and loving others would hear the sound of our votes and start a parade toward what is good.

  100. EleosNo Gravatar on 22 Jul 2009 at 3:01 pm #

    If not we need not look behind us in order not to run off the road ourselves.

  101. 1st IrmaNo Gravatar on 27 Jul 2009 at 1:01 pm #

    A Senior Pastor and his congregants, who are not very many, own a church and property that is worth a little more than a several millions or so $. They have all agreed to sell the building and the land in the effort to do Acts 4:32-35. Kudos to them! This church is in Fayetteville, GA and the name is Rolling Hills Baptist Church.

  102. Tread61No Gravatar on 28 Jul 2009 at 2:01 pm #

    “Church” the one thing that still ties US to slavery…

  103. Lisa ThomasNo Gravatar on 05 Aug 2009 at 5:52 pm #

    I AM SOOOOO GLAD THAT YOU BROKE IT DOWN. I HAVE EXPERIENCED THE BULL SHIT THAT GOES ON IN THE A LOT OF THESE SO CALLED CHURCHES AND HAVE HEARD OUT OF A PREACHER’S MOUTH HOW HE WANTED MORE….. HOWEVER, THE PREACHERS WHO DO NOT GET RIGHT ARE GETTING THEIR SO CALLED REWARD NOW ON EARTH; AND THE HELL IS MOST LIKELY AWAITING THEM.

  104. Lisa ThomasNo Gravatar on 05 Aug 2009 at 5:59 pm #

    I AM SOOOOO GLAD THAT YOU BROKE IT DOWN. I HAVE EXPERIENCED THE BULL SHIT THAT GOES ON IN A LOT OF THESE SO CALLED CHURCHES AND HAVE HEARD OUT OF A PREACHER’S MOUTH HOW HE WANTED MORE….. HOWEVER, THE PREACHERS WHO DO NOT GET RIGHT ARE GETTING THEIR SO CALLED REWARD NOW ON EARTH; AND THEN HELL IS MOST LIKELY AWAITING THEM.

  105. LeontyneNo Gravatar on 17 Aug 2009 at 6:16 pm #

    You should be able to tithe 10% of your income to your church or favorite charity. If not, you are living above your means. Keep visiting different churches/faiths until you find one you are comfortable with.

  106. LeontyneNo Gravatar on 17 Aug 2009 at 6:21 pm #

    Also, when you find a church you are comfortable with, become an active member. Join the missionary society, trustee board, or other group where you can serve the community.

  107. King DavidNo Gravatar on 05 Oct 2009 at 4:41 pm #

    I really like this blog. Just came across it today.
    About churches. The so-called churches of today look absolutely nothing like the churches in the New Testament. First, NT churches were not business administrations, had no buildings, and had no paid pastors. All a church is, is a group of individual believers. That’s it. No special, expensive buildings needed. We have all the buildings we need anyway. They are called houses. That’s where you see NT churches meeting; as well as in large open-air spaces. They did have paid Apostles because they cannot maintain regular salaries as they travel whereever they are sent. So, money was collected for this purpose. Other than that, all other monies are to be used to help the believers who are in need and others like the widows, orphans, and foreigners.
    Next: This idea we have been taught about pastors and their wives is totally wrong. Elders/Pastors/Bishops are words that describe different functions for the same person. They are not ranks. And, these people are not paid. They are supposed to be mature believers who can help others with their teaching and counsel. They are not supposed to “lord over us.”
    Next: Have “churches” become disconnected from the people and their communities? Obviously, YES!
    Lastly, people wake up! Study and read the Holy Bible. Pray and ask God Himself to provide the understanding of His inspired Word. I can guarantee that He will guide you when you sincerely seek the knowledge He wants you to have. Then, you can stop being victimized by churches and elders/pastors/bishops.
    I am a born-again Christian who gained in knowledge and understanding and learned how wrong and incorrect the churches of today have become. Unfortunately, I learned these things after having given tens of thousands of dollars to the church. This money could have been used to completely pay off my student loans. Instead it financed the pastor’s McMansion, Range Rover, Lexus, fur coat for his wife, riding lawnmower for his house, numerous vacations at thousands of dollars each, a nice six-figure salary, bachelor’s degrees for his wife and son, etc. I woke up. Now, you wake up.

  108. King DavidNo Gravatar on 05 Oct 2009 at 4:47 pm #

    BTW, tithing is not, nor has it ever been for New Testament Christians. Tithing was specific to the Jews in and around the Temple in Jerusalem. Also, when they did tithe, (I say it this way because even they do not tithe today as there is no Temple in Jerusalem) everyone was not required to tithe. Read those Scriptures carefully. Only those people with farmlands and herds tithed. A basketweaver didn’t tithe. Tithes were of the things that God created like crops and cattle. Study and pray harder people.

  109. EleosNo Gravatar on 06 Oct 2009 at 10:14 am #

    King David is correct about tithing, but just slightly wrong on payment for teachers and such in the churches. 1 Timothy 5:17, which was to the church at Ephesus, shows that elders, especially teachers and preachers, were to receive respect for their teaching and remuneration for living.

    However, becoming rich through the contributions of the members would have been considered as wrong. The notion was to take care of one another, each receiving just honor for the function they had in the church. Each showing the respect to others that they felt they themselves were due.

    Interestingly on a side note, the Methodist pastors in Cambodia receive a stipend from which they are to provide for themselves and their parishioners, including establishing economic assistance and development for the welfare of the entire group.

    Sounds like a good plan for all churches to me.

  110. Nappy MindNo Gravatar on 12 Oct 2009 at 8:29 pm #

    Jam, why do you attend this church?

  111. jam donaldsonNo Gravatar on 12 Oct 2009 at 8:36 pm #

    I just go occasionally cause it makes my mom happy and i like spending time with her.

  112. Big BoomNo Gravatar on 19 Oct 2009 at 1:32 am #

    Hey Bro, I just stumbled on your site and saw this blog. And as a Holy Roller, Jesus Freak, I must say, you have hit the nail on the head.

    What’s more sorry is that there are too many churches taking on this worldly route and basically entertaining or shucking and jiving for a fee.

    What would Jesus do? He’d destroy the synagogue like He did back then in Biblical times.

    I’m just sorry that you were tuned against the true understanding of church because these ignorant false teachers.

    I do pray that you are enlightened by the true Holy Spirit of God and gain understanding of what God truly intended for the church.

    Be blessed

  113. Sherri R.No Gravatar on 25 Oct 2009 at 2:14 pm #

    And my grandmother wonders why I don’t step foot inside a church…..

  114. FuzuNo Gravatar on 29 Oct 2009 at 12:31 am #

    Ooh oops i just wrote a long comment and when i hit post it come up blank! Please tell me it worked right? I dont want to sumit it again if i do not have to! Either the blog glitced out or i am an idiot, the latter doesnt surprise me lol.

  115. anthony a. adamczykNo Gravatar on 30 Oct 2009 at 9:48 pm #

    Hi just thought i would let you know that i also had a issue with your blog appearing blank also. Might be gremlins in the page.

  116. office space chicagoNo Gravatar on 26 Nov 2009 at 5:13 am #

    Absolutely exemplifying post, carry on sharing more enlightening posts like this. Keep up your good work, eagerly a waiting for your next post.

  117. david strangNo Gravatar on 02 Dec 2009 at 4:34 pm #

    Hey everyone, i blasted my credit file to bits as a youngster, trust me you really need it later in life, for a home a holiday

  118. A.A.ANo Gravatar on 04 Dec 2009 at 10:43 pm #

    I see my grandmother was right thoughts do travel. I have been there too, Brother and thought the same things as did my wife. Some call them Pimps in the Pulpit!

    Not only will he have to answer to God just before sliding into HELL. Those who follow his nonsense will too. There is NOTHING in the process of such weekly events that, even remotely resembles ANYTHING taught in the ENTIRE BIBLE !!

  119. Tobi ChileNo Gravatar on 11 Dec 2009 at 7:41 am #

    I come from Germany and I simply didint know about those “churches” until I watched God TV for the first time… :)
    I really thought, they are showing insane people. I didn`t think that there are pastors preaching “in tongues” and stuff. Watch those people – wearin all kinds of fancy and expensive clothing. I can`t trust that. I am sure those people would crumble like cookies in front of the real jesus! I am not a christian but i think that there are way to many new christians around having no idea about their faith, their history and simply believe anything some good looking guy might tell them.
    Hope that soon comes to an end and understanding and rationality gains more popularity. Cheers

  120. 1st Irma on 11 Dec 2009 at 9:27 am #

    I must’ve gotten caught up in the hype… I thought, “surely this will be different”. Alas, after the hype/smoke dissipated, I saw the same demonic forces at the helm. Pride, Haughtiness, and Greed. Even so, come Lord Jesus……….

  121. GloNo Gravatar on 11 Dec 2009 at 9:59 am #

    Ahhhh…so much to say on this. I think the author is making a valid critique of a lot of (so called “black”) churches, so I don’t fault him/her on that. I actually AGREE with most of the observations.

    I think this is how many unbelievers see the (so called “black”) church, especially those who grew up in it. What’s missing from this entire critique and most of these worship services is the gospel of Jesus Christ. The questions we all need to ask are “What is the church?” and “What is the role of the church in society at large?” I mean, what is it that the church has been charged to do (according to the Bible, not personal opinions).

    The chief end of man is to love God and to enjoy him forever, not to look for ways to come up or to use God as some type of “holy ATM.”

    I feel that there isn’t ONE “church” that behaves in the way described up there that is an actual Christian church. If the author found some real believers in Christ s/he may come to a different conclusion….better yet, just study the books of the NT to see how a church is to function….

  122. CatheeNo Gravatar on 12 Dec 2009 at 11:27 am #

    Churches are designed by humans to serve humans, and in many cases to control them. True spirituality doesn’t need a building, dogma, or any of that other stuff of this world. Some churches are worse than others, but they all try to exert control over you, whether overtly or covertly. When you truly feel the Divine in your heart and put it into practice in your life, you will feel the connection to the Lord and the divinity of the Lord’s creation, and find less need for the group “spiritual masturbation”. (Imagine if all those spending time in a building on Sunday mornings, or those in front of the TV watching those “God shows”, put their time and energy into directly feeding the hungry, or volunteering their time in some other way to better this world!)

  123. EleosNo Gravatar on 12 Dec 2009 at 3:45 pm #

    Actually, the divine aspect to spirituality also requires the complement of human response to God and others. We are given power to form coalitions that are a response to the divine call. In that power the temptation to lord it over one another, as well. This is our lot to overcome temptation through the power of the Spirit.

    So a failing church still has the recourse of repentance, which is turning toward the true purpose of establishing a community that welcomes all and in which all find a place of being and becoming with integrity and grace.

    Spirituality cannot be practiced alone. There must be others with which to commune and to whom to humble ourselves in the offering or our gifts for their benefit, be it money for the poor, companionship for the outcast, or, even, partnership with the powerful to demonstrate to them that their power is not a shield from the realities, but a gift for changing realities.

    Science and scripture both support the notion that human community is in our flesh and bones. So the best option is to work together in love, which sometimes means, after a ‘fierce inventory of ourselves,” lovingly and firmly calling the other back to the intended purpose. Abandonment merely affirms the other’s sense of one’s self-importance and self-survival.

  124. CatheeNo Gravatar on 13 Dec 2009 at 11:51 am #

    Well said, Eleos! Indeed, our relationships with others are our textbook for the realization of our connection to the Divine. I do merely suggest that churches often become a place to “strut our spirituality.” (It is a microscopic few that can truly abandon society and relationships.) It is possible to express and grow in God’s love without joining a church if one lets his or her life be a testament of growth and expression of the Divine in every thought, word and deed.

  125. CatheeNo Gravatar on 13 Dec 2009 at 11:54 am #

    I might add that one’s life is a testament of connection/expression of spirituality, whether or not one is conscious of it. God knows our every thought and action. We do not need others to determine what is or isn’t acceptable, we each know it within our own hearts.

  126. Jay McGeeNo Gravatar on 12 Jan 2010 at 4:51 am #

    Dear Jam, The reason that I came to your site initially, was to congratulate you on your article in the SISTERSPEAK column of Ebony magazine.The article expresses my sentiments on each particular subject that you touched on.It really is time to clean up our mess(OUR MESS).However being a person that loves the LORD I feel compelled to warn you, that although most of your criticisms of the current state of churches, Black, White or otherwise, was on point, some of your terminology and the way you went about it seemed like you’re indicting God along with the churches.In my personal opinion,I don’t believe that most of the churches of today have very much at all to do with the teachings and philosophy of Jesus Christ.Still though, when you call out the churches for how they,re misleading the people who are searching for God,unless you just really don’t believe in God,there’s no need to say GOD#@*,which I will never say AGAIN(I used to) because I have truly learned to love and respect Him. No matter how WE look at things, there are certain requirements that God makes of us, and although tithing is one of them, I,like most people,Christian or non-Christian, can see that it’s gotten ‘way out of hand.I agree that the new economics, especially in our community, is to start a church. This is hurting the true Christian faith because these antics are driving people away from the true cause, which is to save souls from eternal hell,which is rarely being taught in the churches today. I will try to sum it up by saying that anyone who is as bright as you are, isn’t going to church,albeit now and then, with her Mom, only because it pleases Mom.Unless you are a true pagan, you shouldn’t call yourself one,not even jokingly.This is comparable to the “touch the person next to you” thing, just more antics. As far as the homosexuals and lesbians in the church goes, they need to read the Holy Bible, or better still the pastors need to read it to them, so that they can understand how God really feels about that sin.If you will email me I will send you a copy of a Gospel song that I am releasing in the near future dealing directly with these things that are hurting the church.I won’t mention the name or any of that now because I didn’t come here to promote myself.I feel that, you, like a lot of other people,have a desire to know the truth,but, are being turned off by the antics of a majority of imposters.Remember that God is still God and Jesus did die on a cross on Calvary,history proves it by marking time by His birth.Two thousand and ten years since the birth of our Lord and Savior.Let pimps be pimps, seek Jesus. It is only through acknowledging Him that we can begin the journey to salvation. Thank you for letting me take up some of your time, as I know you young smart people have a lot to do.(smile)I hope you read this whether you decide to post or not,it’s all in love.

  127. umi washingtonNo Gravatar on 01 Feb 2010 at 2:59 am #

    Jam..
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