Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Another ridiculous display of "church"

Sigh.

I suppose that after you get passed the whole "So you think you can dance" thing they've got goin' on here, some actual preaching and spiritual uplifting might take place.

Or not.

- ACL

29 "Insiders" spoke their mind. Join in...:

KC said...

Personally, I didn't think that his message about 'stepping into your destiny' wasn't all that bad. All he did was take what people have been preaching all along and adding theatrics to it. That's what black churches have been doing since slavery days.

I'll admit, it looked like the church was doing the hustle or some junk, but I've seen worse at other churches. I also like how he allowed for the youngster to come on stage. Most traditional folks would've tried to hold him back. After all, wasn't Samuel only nine when God called him?

Saved sinner said...

KC, I agree that if this was genuine praise and worship, then so be it. But I have a hard time believing this exhibition was anything less than a workout. I felt like I was "Sweatin' to the Oldies" when I saw this.

There's a lot of running around, dancing, and shouting in many of today's churches. But, sadly, there isn't much truth.

KC said...

Saved: I respect your take on this, but will you please explain to me what you mean when you say this minister, congregation, and/or the message has no truth? Just b/c a church using these method to praise and glorify God for what He HAS AND WILL DO for them doesn't make them any less authentic than any other church.

KC said...

And Andre, don't you think it's pretty mean and frankly hypocritical to call their worship "ridiculous"?

Andre said...

KC: I think there's more pervesity in this clip that what you're giving it credit for. I mean, how can you effectively preach when you've turned your pulpit (and your entire church for that matter) into one big dance floor. When all this nonsense is over, what does a person truly get out of this? Improving your heart rate is one thing. Improving your heart is another.

Where in this 'sermon' (I checked out the other parts of it, just to make sure I wasn't off base) does it address going through trials, growing in God, uplifting fellow saints, taking care of the 'least of these', denying self, repentence, or supplication?

What this message (and many other like it) does have PLENTY of is messages about sowing financial seeds, how to find a mate, getting control in your life, etc; and then dancing around like an idiot in declaration of it.

These pimps in the ministry are GOOD at what they do...

Saved Sinner said...

"Improving your heart rate is one thing. Improving your heart is another."

Well put.

Natasha said...

Why waste your money paying a cover charge at the club when you can just go to church?

Then again, the church has their own cover charge: offering. LOL!

KC said...

Dre, tell me. Would you prefer for service to be pin-drop quiet? How do you reconcile for the fact that the Bible explicitly tells us to "make a joyful noise unto the Lord"?

Andre said...

KC: You know that most of the time you and I see eye to eye on things. But this time, I just cant' do it. I simply can't sign off on this dance party as being anything but a display of holy ignorance.

Too often, black folks limit themselves to acting like fools at church by running, shouting, sweating, and giving out all of their money. When they're done with that, their reward is a fried chicken dinner and some 'red' Kool-Aid. All the while, the pimps in the pulpit are soaking this all up (tax free, of course).

By the way, I can almost guarantee that this public display of mindlessness came right before they had the offering. But I digress...

Joslyn said...

"What this message (and many other like it) does have PLENTY of is messages about sowing financial seeds, how to find a mate, getting control in your life, etc; and then dancing around like an idiot in declaration of it."

What's wrong with sowing financial seeds? What's wrong with finding a mate? What's wrong with getting control in your life? What's wrong with dancing? Aren't all of these things biblical?

Just because a sermon doesn't address what YOU think that it should address doens't make it bad or wrong, and how do you know that the sermon preached the previous week wasn't about helping the "least of these? Should every sermon be about that?

Andre, make no mstake about it: The church's FIRST responsibilty is to it's members. What good is a congregation to help others, if they don't receive help themselves? One of the main purposes of a church is to "make disciples" of their members. In that, the congregation has to, "get control of their life" before they try to help anyone else take control of theirs.

You don't know what out-reach ministries this church has, you don't know how their funds are allocated, you don't know what how mch the preacher receives every Sunday (or how he chooses to use his money)

Sadly, you made a judgement based off of 6 minutes of a worship service.

Joslyn said...

Speaking of which...

Andre, where on your blog can I find where YOU give the plan of salvation? Where on your blog can I find tips on helping the "least of these?"

The point that I'm making is that you reach people in the way that YOU find effective. So do the various churches across the country. I wonder how many people have you prevented from stepping into a church because of your words. Please make sure that you aren't being a hinderance to God's plan in reaching the "un-saved." How many people may have been on the verge of going to church, but read what you wrote and decided aginst it?

I'm saying all of this in love, because you KNOW that I love you but I feel that the Lord has placed these words on my heart.

Andre said...

Jos, the point behind my statement is simple: People (I won't limit this to black folks, though I'm pretty tempted to) need to get off their asses and make things happen instead ridiculously 'leaning and depending', then actin' like fools like waiting on God.

Yes, "the Earth is the Lord's and the fulness there". Yes, we are to "wait on the Lord." No, God won't just hand it to you. But these are the messages that are constantly being spewed out of pulpits all over the country. From Creflo Dollar-Dollar bill-y'all to Benny "I'm so fake it's scary" Hinn, people buy into the sensationalism of the church (small "c") and all the stuff about breakthroughs, blessings and deliverance, being conquerors, etc; and lose sight of what they need to do themselves. The end result is often people throwing their hands up in "praise", shouting, and actin' a fool at church only for them to go home powerless, and most likely in the same spot they were before they got to church in the first place.

You don't have to watch a 6 minute clip to see that. All you have to do is look around...

Joanne said...

Admittedly, I've witness many people (friends and family alike) pull back from God and the church when things turned out less than perfectly. One of the problems I've noticed with the church (this video is a clear indication of that) is that people are often promised by pimps (good word, Andre) that they would receive materialistic goods, "deliverance" and "abundance" without mentioning all of the troubles they would have to face. Church has become too "feel good" and less practical in Christ. It doesn't help that pimps in the pulpit twist and manipulate scripture so they can buy a jet.

Good post, brother

Joslyn said...

Andre,

Please understand that God gives everyone a specific ministry, and that ministry caters to the congregation, according to its needs. A pastor in Ethiopia wouldn't need to preach about helping "the least of these" as much as a pasotr in Beverly Hills might need to.

There are PLENTY of church's that preach of the things that you spoke about helping the least of these, self-denial, etc. For instance, when I was living in ATL, I visited a church that rented out the GA dome. During that weekend, the church sought out every homeless person that they could find. The hair stylists from the congregation were cutting and styling hair, people who owned shops donated many clothes, manicures were given, and workshops were given, all in the name of helping these homeless people off the street and giving them jobs. Many homeless people found jobs that weekend, and many more were helped (battered women, sick people fighting disease). Whatever could be done to help those, it was done.

But I'm sure that you can find a clip of them "dancing idiotically" and make your presumtions.

Andre said...

Hi Joanne: Good to hear from you again.

*I know I need to be getting some work done, but you've compelled me*

What bothers me about the agenda of many evangelicals (who, by the way are sooo not prophetic) is that they seem to conveniently avoid talking about patience, long suffering, and living for the Kingdom. The message has become about planting seeds and getting your worldly blessings. If our true abundance as believers comes through living in Christ and securing a home in the kingdom, what's all this hub-bub about 'crossing over' to all that stuff he talked about?

I guess that people seem to forget that Jesus', His disciples, Paul, and many great servants of God all lost their lives for serving God. Somehow we seem to think that we deserve a bunch of money, cars, homes, and jets for our troubles. Imagine that.

Andre said...

Jos, I'm not in disagreement with you at all. I'm just pointing out that the 6 minute clip told more to the world of non-believers about what that church was about that any positive things they could ever do. Sadly, the image left to world is not of people doing great things in God, but rather people dancing around like morons.

Wasn't you who once told me that it's just as important how you deliver a message as the message itself? What message will a bunch of barefoot, dancing, sweating people putting money in a "building fund" send to the world in understanding the Christ we serve?

OK. I've really gotta get back to work. Return my damn phone calls...

Anonymous said...

A day for the ages: I actually agree with you on something.

Joanne said...

Hi Andre,

Like you, I'm pretty compelled by this post. There a million other things I need to do, but I keep checking back to see responses.

Truthfully, I'm a little afraid for many of these ministers. This game that they're playing where they manipulate the Word, shape it and mold it to satisfy their agendas is a scary thing. Even more scary is that people by the millions buy into it. Emotions are a powerful tool. If an influencial person in the pulpit can control, manipulate, and exploit that emotion, they can get people to do anything for them. For many of these ministers, their game is air tight.

Andre said...

@ anonymous: Unless this is another crank post from a jokester, I have to say that I'm shocked that we actually agree on something. I think I'm about to break out in a holy dance.

*Andre pauses to do his version of the Holy Hustle*

Man. Where's the "shoutin' music" when you need it?!

@ Joanne: Hustlers in the pulpit can only go as far as the congregation allows them to.

KC said...

Dre, while you're on things that people "conveniently" left out, Joslyn made an important point that you didn't address: Before you become too critical of these churches based on what you see in this clip, you should examine what they do in the community and the surrounding area. Dancing, singing, shouting, and pouring out money is not all the church is about, even if that's how its depicted.

Andre said...

KC: To address that concern: you all may have a legitimate point about preacher pimps. They may be using the church's income to do positive things in the surrounding community. But if it's all made possible by money they had to pimp from their congregation, does that make the pimping any less wrong?

About seven years ago (I'm passed this now, so I don't have a problem talking about it), I was fired from one of my favorite jobs (low paying as it was) because I was caught stealing money. Even when I was doing it to help with paying for my textbooks in college, could I really call my stealing justifiable? Really?

Good actions that come out of bad deeds are fruit from a poisoned tree.

But all that aside, the bottom line is: whatever happens, the hustler in the pulpit still looks good while the congregation pours their money into his mouth.

Kim said...

After being in Cincy for over 4 years, I finally found a church that I wanted to be apart of. I chose this church b/c there is a strong emphasis on "The Word". My pastor does not do the whoopin' and hollerin' scene at the end of the sermon. That's okay if you like that kind of thing. I grew up in a black church, I know the drill. Some people need those kind of theatrics (ie mama), I don't. But I don't pass judgement on those to choose to express themselves in this manner.

We have an 8am and 11am service. We often go to 8am (for selfish reason), it's a shorter service, the pastor's choir (older people) sing hymnals, I hear "The Word", go to Sunday School, home by 11. Sometimes I want to go to 11am, just because it is a more spirit filled service. The mass choir sings (and A, B, C & sometimes D selection), there's a bigger crowd, more people catching the Holy Ghost. For whatever reason, sometimes I need an 11am service in my life.

If this kind of church is not what you need or what you particulary care for, then don't go there. I don't go to churches where people are falling down on the ground and someone comes and throws a blanket on them, and people are speaking in tongues and rubbing oil on each other. That's not a judgement, it's just not what I'm used to. I didn't grow up in a church like that. But, if this is how some worship, who am I to say that it's ridiculous and their wrong. As long as their giving honor and glory to God, what's wrong?

It is not my job to judge whether or not someone else's praise in authentic. That is God's job. My job is to go to church and make sure that my praise in not fake, that my heart and spirit are right, and not worry about how genuine the person sitting next to me is.

Kim said...

By the way, if you tithe does that mean that your being "pimped by the preacher".

I remember once telling a co-worker that I tithed 10% of everything that I earned. She told me that I was crazy to give those preachers my money so that they could go out a buy a new Cadillac.

I told her that it didn't matter if the preacher took my money and bought a new Cadillac. I would still receive my blessings for being obedient. He would have to answer to God.

Andre, why are you so bitter? I know that you've been burned by the church, but there are still some good churhces and preachers out there. I know, because I go to one and have one.

Greeneyes said...

ANDRE ~mY Handsome Greeneyed KING ,

The pot is getting hot !
Great post ,I am very neutral towards church "services" but agree with you on this one , there is so much grand standing and Theatrics that God doesnt seem to get much of a chance to be heard . Money seems to be the major player in services like this one and The bigger the show the bigger the bucks !

the debate in here (looking above ) is a great read ,everyone is entitled to their own view ,just like choosing religion .

Have a Great Day Andre ,God Bless

Greeneyes

Cynthia said...

"I guess that people seem to forget that Jesus', His disciples, Paul, and many great servants of God all lost their lives for serving God. Somehow we seem to think that we deserve a bunch of money, cars, homes, and jets for our troubles. Imagine that."

You know, that's a GREAT point that I never really thought about. I guess its because my pastor is the exact opposite of most of the "name it and claim it" type of ministers out there. For one, he's incredibly humble and centered. My pastor tries to focus less on what we can get out of the world and more on what we can contribute to it and what to expect when we do so. Those types of lessons keep our hearts and minds fixed on what we need to do for this world. He's a great man for what he does.

Very interesting commentary on this Dre.

saved sinner said...

Its funny that this discussion came up. Not that long ago, one of relatives told me about how Benny Hinn is trying to buy a new multi-milion dollar turbo jet; claiming that it helps him to spread the Gospel. That's hilarious to me given that Jesus walked just about everywhere He needed to go.

HeiressChild said...

hi andre, sorry i missed this post yesterday, so i'll leave my comments now.

psalm 150 says it perfectly--to praise God with musical instruments and in the dance. who are we to judge whether people are truly praising God in their dance? there are times the Holy Spirit moves and people are healed and delivered from whatever they need to be delivered from thru services like this.

sometimes when people are so frustrated and dissatisfied with what's going on with everyone else, they probably need to check out their own RELATIONSHIP with Jesus. relationship, not religion; there's a big difference. i agree there are some pastors/preachers who're not doing right, but God will be the judge of them. judge not, lest ye be judged!

joslyn and kim, i agree with your comments. i'm with you both all the way.

Andre said...

@ Kim: I'm not 'bitter' nor have I ever had a rocky relationship with the church. I just think that it can be full of...uh...stuff...sometimes. It's unnerving to see how people molest the Word for personal gain (pimps have a tendency to do that every now and then), congregations eat that up, and then people who get critical of this and (God forbid) raise questions get labeled as being "judgemental". I wonder if Paul, Peter, and John has to resort to some of the same tactics to be successful.

@ Greeny: Truthfully, I'm not trying to change anybody else's minds. One of the good things about our faith is that we are free in the Spirit to believe whatever we want. In my case, I just happen to think that a lot of those false preachers that James warned us about are starting to come into the fold.

@ Cyn: I think that our sense of entitlement for doing God's work is pretty justified. But the rewards for which we work don't come in the form of cars, houses, and jets. That junk we can get from holdin' down a 9-5. A home in the kingdom is not something I can earn by making an impression at a job interview.

@ Saved: I'm not even going there with Benny Hinn today. I don't have words for him right now.

@ Heiress: If that's what you call 'praise', so be it. Far be it for me to tell you otherwise.

But the 'judging' line, I think, is one of the most misinterpreted passages in the Bible. If you remember from the Beatitudes, Jesus never told us not to judge. He told us not to judge hypocritically. There's a bit of a difference. He essentially told us that we can't focus on the speck in somebody else's eye until we remove the plank from our own.

How can we identify sin as being sin if we don't make an assessment of it. Making an assessment leads to making a decision about the situation (or -- in other words -- a judgement).

As I see it, many preachers are hustlers. I'd be a hypocrite if I was also out doing the same thing.

Megan said...

This video is not only a good critique of black churches, but many churches across the country. Curiosity got me to following broadcasts of a few evangelists; many of whom twisted and molded the word like play-doh while the congregation sheepishly followed. It's almost like David Koresh sometimes.