Sunday, December 21, 2008
Pimps or Prophets
"Chuuurccchhh's Chiiickkeeennnn" - Kirk Franklin & the Family in the early 90s Church's Chicken commercial
Do you remember the character Reverend Leon Lonnie Love from the tv show Martin? He was a preacher with noticeable flaws :-). One line that I will always remember is when he said he use to be a pimp but now he only pimpeth for the Lord. In some ways he represents some of the false prophets out there supposedly spreading God's message but really all they doing is pimping those good natured Christian folks for their hard earned dollars.
Now let me set the record straight. I was raised as a Christian. In my family, going to Church (and IHOP afterwards) was mandatory. It didn't matter if Mama and Daddy got in late from their Saturday night out, if the family woke up late, if there was no more hot water because my sister used it all up, or if you wanted to eat before Church, YOU WERE GOING TO CHURCH. As an adult, I have been trying to get back in that mode since somewhere between college and now, I stopped going because of my conflicts with some of the church leaders. Some of them I feel are really good preachers, carry a strong message, and portray themselves correctly as messengers of the Lord. Others I feel are no different than a Pimp named Slickback.
For awhile, I have been searching for that moment in Church where that bulb goes off in my head and I go "I GET IT". It's almost similiar to that feeling that Hiro Nakamura from Heroes had when he learns to master time travel and screams YES at the top of his lungs. Unfortunately, for the most part, when I go to Church, my Spidey sense starts tingling that something is wrong and I'm about to get a pimp lecture from the pastor and his associates. Instead of listening to the message, I find myself wondering when I should shoot the pastor with my web slinger, string him up in the air like a pinata, and let the church beat him with a stick to get their money back. And I say most part because I have been to a few churches (most recently Friendship West Baptist Church) and the pastor was phenomenal. Very real, great message, and no appearances of phoniness.
But Lord you have some false prophets on the other hand giving very mixed signals. I attended a friend's Church and the pastor's sermon was about how wrong it was to say Happy Holidays. That's not a misprint. He started off by saying that he got offended at someone for telling him Happy Holidays instead of saying Merry Christmas. Out of all the wrong things to talk about the Christmas season (more emphasis on gift buying instead of celebrating the birth of Christ come to mind), he focused on the phrase Happy Holidays. Now maybe I'm not understanding the message and it may be just me....Naw that's crazy talk, it's all on that dude. But yet I'm supposed to tithe for that. Puhlease, they should wait to pass the basket around after church and let us decide how much we should be give based on the message. "Aw that sermon was worth about a dollar so I'm giving him a dollar." CHUUUCCHHH.
Besides that specific example, you have situations where preachers have been accused of embezzlement, molestation, infidelity, etc but yet these are the folks who are supposed to be giving me the daily Bread of Life. Now true it's on me to do my part and come with an open mind but it's kind of hard to do that when you are staring at someone who's about to be registered as a sexual offender.
I don't know if I need to be less critical of these pastors or not. Lord, I'm definitely one of your Children but Brother Waldini needs a sign. Help me see past the foolishness, the nice suits, the nice cars, and fancy wordplay, and see that you indeed have a message for me. And let the Church say AAAAMMMMEENNNNN.
To quote the "great" Kirk Franklin, Silver and Gold, Silver and Gold, Iiiiii rather have Jesus, than Silver and Gold....Be on the lookout for me at church. I may just do a Terry Tate and knock the pimp out of the pulpit if I feel he's not really representing the Good Word.