What I’m touching on next, you might wanna leave the kitchen. Cause I’m touching on that touchy subject that they call religion. Kinda touchy like that religion that’s touching on yo’ chill’uns.
It’s been a long time everyone, been kinda busy as of late, but I’m back. In light of recent news about Eddie Long’s settlement, I’d figure now is a better time than any to talk about a subject that most people tend to shy away from, Religion. Now before I begin, let me preface by saying that I’m coming from a position as someone who is a member of a church, pays tithes, and tries (as much as my schedule will allow) to be active in the church. No, I’m not perfect, no one is (more on that later), but I’m trying to be the best I can everyday. With that out the way, let the discussion begin!
Let’s start with the obvious topic of hypocrisy in the church. Most people I know who don’t go to church say that they are not “religious,” but “spiritual.” To back their reason why they don’t go to church, they point out the mega-church leaders and all the fancy cars, jewelry, planes, etc. They would then say, “Why would I go to church when the preacher, himself is no better than me or the pimp on the corner?” Another obvious reason is when someone who is looked upon at a much higher standard than the rest of us falters. The clear response is “Why even bother going to church, when the preacher is doing more shady stuff than those in the street?” To them I say you’re absolutely right.
The Bible warns against false prophets, and we see them all the time. They’re the pastor driving the most expensive cars, private jets, living in the most ridiculously expensive homes, not officially ordained (or sometimes they are), and basically abusing their power. They feed off the weak and prey on the proverbial sheep of the Lord’s flock. These are the ones who try to force feed people religion (which turns people off), but yet they are the ones sleeping around with other women (or even boys, EGHCK!) in the church. Obviously we all know that this is wrong, and wonder why do these people fall for this, but you have to consider how easy it is to get people to follow you. You take someone who is mentally broken and down on their luck, take the image that Christianity represents and use that to mold this person into what you want, and not what the Lord wants. At that point, this person now sees you as their “savior” and not necessarily Jesus. The key factor is keeping said person from thinking for themselves and keeping them as mindless sheep. That way they can give you, and not the church, their money and have them think that they are paying tithes. The key thing is that they don’t realize or ask where their tithes are going. They don’t see the church doing anything in the community other than gaining new members and better cars for the pastor, which is missing the point of Christianity all together.
No one in this world is perfect, the only perfect one was Jesus, the rest of us are just striving for perfection. Is that not what we do when we say “What would Jesus do?” Now the problem lies when people put their faith and belief in man and not in Jesus. Let’s take a look at the Eddie Long situation. He recently reached a settlement with the young men who accused him. Some people can (and probably did) use this situation to justify their reason for not going to church. That alone is wrong because he is a man, no different from the rest of us, and is capable of making mistakes. Although he shouldn’t make these kind of mistakes and should know better, he is still a man and honestly it shouldn’t surprise people. Yes he deserves to come forth, be truthful with whatever happened and move on. And yes it is expected that some people will leave his church and lose their trust in him, but you can’t take his actions and superimpose it onto Christianity as a whole. Some people’s faith have also been shaken because of this, which is sad because now their view of church and Christianity will be skewed for God knows how long. This ties into what I mentioned above about seeing ‘man’ as the one who saves your soul, which will put you down the wrong path from the get go. Then when said person makes a mistake, as they eventually will because they are human, one’s entire faith is shaken. Similar to the story about the house built on sand and the house built on solid foundation. When your faith is built upon the wrong foundation, then it is inevitable that you will fall. Faith is the basis of Christianity. If we could see Heaven down the street and actually physically see God as we would another person walking next to us, then what would be the point of faith? If your faith is built on the right foundation, then when the storms eventually come along, you will remain strong.
All of this combines to drive people away from the church and to become skeptical of Christianity as a whole. Are there churches and pastors like this? Absolutely. Is every church and pastor like this? Absolutely not. What people need is a little discernment and to think for themselves. There is such a thing as bad religion. Most of the most heinous acts in world history were backed by bad religion. Think about it, you had early Christians being persecuted by the Romans, then roles are reversed and Christians were persecuting Muslims during the Crusades. In fact, the first slave ship to reach the Americas and begin the British Slave Trade was captained by John Hawkins and was called none other than “The Good Ship Jesus.” I say this to point out the fact that it is people who pervert the Word of God and not the Word itself that is perverted.
So what do you think? Please share your thoughts.