The Black Church is Exploiting Our Community and Robbing Us Blind
We can't overlook the fact that it's in our heritage as African Americans to be slightly foolish when it comes to Christianity. Some of us actually believed the Southern Baptist slave master pastors when they said the Bible supports the idea that being black is a curse. We believed that white Jesus designed us to be slaves. They gave us bibles and took all the land and we went along with it. I'm not saying absolutely nothing good came from the slaves using Christianity to get them through their hardships. I'm just saying it's in our DNA as descendants of slaves to be a bit more relaxed about certain things concerning grey areas and faith. It's also apart of our heritage to look to the sky for the day God will deliver the magical answer to all of our problems.
My younger siblings, Maurice and Mario, attended a private Christian school on the south side with a pretty open-minded pastor during their elementary school years. I was older, so we didn't go to the same school. But I liked the pastor, even though I was never the biggest fan of going to church, because I didn't feel any intellectual stimulation from sitting there. I'd rather watch a documentary about the Bible or read scripture in my own private time.
My family ended up relocating to this church after our original church closed due to a financial scandal. That church had an ambitious and charismatic pastor. You know, one of those black pastors who solely preached about money and prosperity. Poor blacks love to go to church and turn Jesus into a money machine. I watched that pastor drive by us one day as we all struggled to carry groceries home. He pulled over, looked at the bags, rolled down the window of his shiny brand new Jaguar, stuck his head out the window and said to my father, "You need to get you a car, brother!" He drove off, and from that day forth I believed something was shady about this man.
The church ended up closing, as the pastor stole all the money from the building fund and seemingly vanished from the face of the Earth before the congregation could catch up with him. For years in a desolate off-road section of north St. Louis county the beams constructed for the new building stood half-built as construction for the new church was ceased. I saw my father save 10 percent of every paycheck to give to the church in the name of God. He never missed a beat with this and believed strongly that this was God's money and not his. I'm not slandering my father for being a man of faith, but I am slandering the church for taking advantage of his eager desire to please God.
Many years later we ended up switching to a predominantly white congregation at our new church and the energy I felt at the previous church wasn't there. The preacher did more than preach about money night and day. There was a real community spirit and the energy was warm and comforting. Although I'm sure more than a few of the church-goers were a little apprehensive about us since we weren't from this particular community, at least the pastor wasn't juicing us and trying to sell us a miracle he couldn't produce. People paid tithes to the church but the sermons were very seldom about wealth or God's ability to produce money.
I left the house at an early age and drifted away from my family structure. I wandered into the world attempting to become a professional musician when I was seventeen years old. During the course of this process I learned about the world and the many different forms of religion and spiritual experiences one can endure through the quest to discover oneself. Last week I saw a video of Tyler Perry gifting T.D. Jakes a million dollars and it just rekindled my annoyance with mega churches.The entire video is a joke; it's Tyler Perry shelling out money to the black church world to protect him from the rumors that he is gay and hide his sexual preference from the black Christian community.
T.D. Jakes is the leading authority in the black church today, so giving him a million dollars (versus giving this money to a small struggling church that actually needs financial help) should be a sin within itself. This was a political payoff and a total mockery to God. Even still, the truth is some would say there's nothing wrong with T.P. giving T.D. this much money if he was honestly moved by the spirit to do so. I'd say that if these two jokers wouldn't have made such a spectacle of it the move might've seemed sincere. But instead they decided to turn it into a circus of North American Negro ridiculousness. I was watching this and waiting for Sambo to come out onstage tap-dancing with his lips painted white. The pastor's wife gets on the mic and turns into Lil' Jon with her hypeman tactics. The is the greatest show on Earth, folks, and it will never stop.