Why Black Churches Are Being Called Entertainment

Why Black Churches Are Being Called Entertainment

Put on your Sunday's best, cause you're going to be here a while.
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Being that I am a part of the black community, I have attended my fair share of black churches. I tend not to invite my friends because I figured I wouldn’t make them starve for four hours as I have. Most of the time, my family would wake up around seven o’clock to get ready for church that began at nine. First Sunday was always the worst because I knew that we would be there longer than usual. While I remained at one church for a good portion of my life, I did happen to notice quite a few similarities as I jumped between church homes. This is the typical course of events that validates the accusation that black churches are 75% entertainment.

Forewarning, praise and worship will last half of the service. The choir director will conduct the purple and gold robed mass choir so hard that her wig might just fall off mid-song.

Next, the praise dance will be led by the children’s church. This will not take long because little Johnny will forget the steps and two of the other little kids will be too shy to move.

When the Pastor starts spitting, hollering, and acting as if he’s having an asthma attack.This usually means he has caught the Holy Spirit, is feeling good about his message, or the congregation is too quiet.

Deacon Johnson will jump up from his seat, wave his hands and yell hallelujah.This is his best attempt at backing up the Pastor and stirring up the crowd; oops, I mean, congregation.

Aunt Bertha will then start doing her praise dance around the pews. She has now caught the Holy Ghost.

Sister Mary Jenkins will begin yelling “preach it Pastor” after his every sentence.

Ms. Felicia Jones will be in the back with her three kids and crying baby that she can’t seem to hear.

And just when you think church is finally ending; offering will be called twice in between the four alter calls, thirty-minute-long announcements, and communion.


But congratulations, you have lasted your entire First Sunday at Good Hope Missionary Baptist Church Pentecostal Tabernacle of Faith on the hill down the street Overlooking Zion House Assembly Full Gospel Missionary Baptist Bible Church! Please enjoy the reception in the dining hall consisting of spaghetti, fried chicken, green beans, red punch, and chocolate cake made by Sister Bernice.

While I have made light of all the humorous things that occur in a common black church, this is not to say that they do not change people’s lives and are to be treasured. However, I have to ask, since when did God give us a schedule of the course of events to take place in service and how long it needs to be? The purpose of church is to fellowship with other believers and get refreshed from our hectic weekly schedules. But now it seems like we can’t leave the pews until we have caught the Holy Ghost. It seems as though we have made more time for theatrics than Christ. We seem to like being entertained by the word and the church, rather than receiving it. (All names from this article have been made up and are to merely reflect the characters that are found in the church. I apologize to anyone who takes offense to this, it is for humorous purposes only. I also apologize to anyone with the names in this article, I was not talking about you).

Cover Image Credit: blackartdepot.com

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12 Bible Verses For Faith In Hard Times

Remind yourself that God is always with you.
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Lately, I have felt lost at what God wants for my life. Ever since I've come back to UWG everything has been horrible. It seems that I can't catch a break. I'm trying my best to focus on school, work, and extracurricular activities. But it's hard when I'm having issues with my apartment/roommates and knowing my family back home is struggling and needs many prayers. All, I keep thinking is maybe Carrollton isn't where I belong anymore. I've asked God if He can guide me in the right direction. Below, I have found Bible verses that have helped get me through these rough, past couple of weeks.

1. Isaiah 43:2

"When you go through deep waters, I will be with you."

2. Psalm 37:5

"Commit your way to the Lord. Trust in Him, and He will act."

3. Romans 8:18

"The pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming."

4. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed in strength, and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future."

5. Joshua 1:9

"Be bold. Be brave. Be courageous."

6. Ecclesiastes 3:1

"There is a time for everything and a reason for every activity under the heavens."

7. Isaiah 41:10

"Don't be afraid, for I am with you. Don't be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand."

8. Isaiah 66:9

"I will not cause pain without allowing something new to be born, says the Lord."

9. Psalm 91:4

"He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings, you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart."

10. Psalm 62:1-2

"My soul finds rest in God alone, my salvation comes from Him, He alone is my rock and my salvation."

11. Philippians 4:13

"I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength."

12. Jeremiah 29:11

"For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Cover Image Credit: pixabay.com

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9 Things I Learned At Passion 2019

God is awesome. Even four arenas full of awesome.

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For those who may not know, Passion is a Christian conference that seeks to bring together college students for "worship, prayer, justice and spiritual awakening". This year, the conference's attendance sold out four arenas - two in Georgia, one in Texas, and one in Washington D.C.

Passion is so massive for a reason: it offers Biblical teaching, community, support and service opportunities to a mass of college students searching for God's heart in such a crazy time in history. While I did not vet to attend the conference live, I did follow the live stream. Many of the things I learned at Passion I had heard before, but had not been ready to receive with my heart. God had begun softening my heart about a month before Christmas, and Passion came just in time to solidify that new spirit. Here are just a few of the little nuggets of truth that my heart received at Passion this year.

1. If God's not in it, I don't want it 

"If you're not in it, I don't want it." This was a lyric sung by Kari Jobe, and it just resonated with me, especially after all the beautiful reminders this weekend that God has both my own best interest at heart and the interest of all his people. Why would I want anything less than that? As Louie Giglio said, "There is an enemy that also has a plan for you", and I cannot afford to follow any road map but the one that God has laid out for me. (Philipians 4:8)

2. Worship and justice are on the same side of the coin 

I've always thought of spiritual concerns as mostly separate from political or socioeconomic issues, but God wants to see wrongs made right, but through His power. Passion always picks a platform to raise money for in the name of both worship and justice. This year, attendees raised money for the Deaf Bible Society in order to share the gospel with the deaf communities of multiple countries and give them Scripture in their heart language. We raised just under $450,000! College students with no money make for a "loaves and fishes" kind of awesomeness. As Lecrae said, or rapped on Night 2, "Being broke made me rich". (Isaiah 1:17)

3. Joy does not equal happiness, because joy is better than happiness 

Seeing four arenas full of young adults who are as hungry for Jesus as you are gives you a joy I cannot explain. I have an 18 hr course load, a job, and three huge projects this semester, but I am joyful beyond belief because I serve a God who loves me even when I fail miserably and sees me seeking his heart even when I don't feel seen by anyone else. How cool is that?! (James 1: 2-3)

4. An attitude of gratitude changes EVERYTHING!

I've decided to make "gratitude" my word for the year. I've spent a lot of time looking at what others have instead of what immense blessing God has laid right in front of me. I know I'm not the only one that struggles with this, and I just want to shout from the rooftops that thanking God daily will not only delight His heart, but yours too! Thanksgiving heals wounds, y'all! (Colossians 3:15)

5. When you let God remove something destructive from your life, you have to replace it with something better 

It's great to do a clean out of your heart and get rid of things you know will hurt you, but if when let that empty space sit unfilled by God, it will just get refilled by whatever was in there before. (2 Cor. 5:17)

6. Temporary solutions don't work for your heart; it needs a permanent fix 

The only thing that can put broken hearts back together is God's love. It sounds crazy and a little like an episode of Veggie Tales, but it's true. When you bring all your brokenness to Christ and ask Him to make it something beautiful, He shows up and shows out! (Psalm 147:3)

7. You run to who you trust 

Who do you go to when you're having the worst day of your life? Who is on speed dial in your phone? Who do you need in an emergency? Those are the people that you have placed your trust in? In the same way that we are careful who we place our trust in physically and emotionally, so should we only place our spiritual trust in Christ because He has already proven Himself to be our sole means of salvation. (Matthew 6:21)

8. Hope is the architect and faith is the builder 

This one might seem cheesy, but stick with me. Jesus became our architect when he offered us His plan of salvation. His death means that if we surrender to his design, we can have new life! But, we have to put our faith in Jesus daily in order for the structure to be built. Of course, we will all fail miserably sometimes and come very short of perfection, but God's grace is big enough to override all the messes we make.

9. Humans have incredibly short attention spans, but God knows that 

The world "Behold" is a lot in Scripture because God knows that it is difficult to get our attention! Thank goodness He has an abundance of patience with our stubborn hearts.

In short, Jesus is *literally* life, it's not about us, and love wins every time.

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