*And by this I don’t mean MY church. My church ain’t half bad (although it could stand to do a lot better) – I mean Christianity as an entity*
This weekend I had the rare opportunity to sit down and watch TV between dashing out of the door to take the kids on an outing and working my PT job. Since we’ve downgraded to the most cable package in a bid to save a few dollars, our viewing choices are pretty limited. Without premium cable, all the other channels that typically go ignored in our home are now front and center – one of those being TBN (Trinity Broadcasting Network).
This weekend, TBN was in the throes of their spring “praise-a-thon”, which seemed less about praise and more about raising money. I don’t have a problem with the church raising money. We need it to perform the mandates that God has for us to do. I mean, how are we supposed to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and care for the orphans and widows without money?( Matthew 25: 31-46 http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2025:31-25:46&version=NLT) My problem with their praise-a-thon was that is represents everything that is wrong with Christianity today. And that problem is that IT SUCKS. All these pastors with their wavy hair, shiny suits, and auction/snake oil salesman style of parting you from your money ALL SUCK.
So you have “bishop” Clarence McClendon on there, the adulterous liar who left his wife to re-marry in a ceremony performed by his spiritual father (and coincidentally another adulterous liar) Earl Polk, hollering about what he heard the Spirit of the Lord saying to him. Naw bruh. I can’t receive that from you. I don’t think the Lord told you nothing. Just before he took the mic, another pastor/bishop/spiritual poverty pimp was whooping and screaming, commanding the congregants at the camp to get their “offering ready, ready, ready!” because there was “power in this place now!” and God was going to give them a blessing now!” and God was going to eliminate their debt now!” As you can see, there is an emphasis on the word “now” in modern Christian circles. I’m sorry. I thought my bible said in Isaiah that those who waited on the Lord would have their strength renewed…and then there all these other pesky scriptures that have the word “patient” sprinkled in there that speak contrary to this rabid “NOW” philosophy that is being permeated and peddled throughout the modern church.
Here’s something you can do right now: Instead of asking God to heal you from your diabetes (or any other ailment caused by poor eating habits), why don’t you put down your pop tart and pick up a pomegranate. Proverbs clearly tells you to. God doesn’t like sloth. Additionally, if we had pop tarts and ding dongs in OT times, I’m sure God would have added them to the “don’t eat those” list along with snails and pigs.
This is basic Christianity, but we don’t do it. Why? Because modern Christianity SUCKS. It’s far easier to look forward to a miracle than to do what’s right in the first place. I mean, let’s give God a reason to “show out”.
Oh here’s another one I just love. Give so that God can eliminate your debt! As Christians, we should all tithe and give offerings. But we do not tithe and give offerings so that we can get something back from God – we do it out of a loving heart that wants to please him. Why don’t you try this instead: read Proverbs 31, get industrious, make some money and stop spending the majority of it on frivolous crap you can’t afford. It’s really that simple. But we can’t do that nowadays. Why? Because modern Christianity SUCKS and no one wants to be disciplined about their finances. It’s far more exciting to give a testimony in church about how God wiped your credit card debt clean after you declared bankruptcy, isn’t it? #no integrity.
One of the tasks (and for me it is a task) that my husband and I are meant to be undertaking when we get to South Africa is to start a new church. This would be a great opportunity for me to say that I am SO not looking forward to that aspect of our relocation. The idea of constructing yet another physical structure where people come to perform their perfunctory religious duties (2 fast songs, 1 slow song, an offering message and then a sermon) makes me cringe inwardly. I know that that is the expectation. That I will dress up in a nice suit and always be sweet and give encouraging speeches and always say “the right” thing. I’d rather be like the ancient church: underground (no literally), gritty, moving, doing the work that is going to show God’s goodness and glory – not this sedentary monolith that everyone attends on Sundays and one other day of the week. Let’s face it: with few exceptions, modern Christianity has become about putting impressive church edifices, crusades and a television ministry.
Prove me wrong. When you’re in a bind (pick one), what’s the first group of people you think of to have the solution? Is it your church? Is it any church?