Has the church gone too far?

I attend a small Baptist church. You know, one of those small churches that sit on a hill, the ones that make you think of the Color Purple when Shug and the juke joint folks ran down the dirt road to the church where the choir was singing Speak to Me.

didn’t that chile sing that song!

My church is based on what I like to call old time religion. No pop locking because the choir is singing your favorite song, no huge bands playing R&B mixed with Gospel, no songs that straddle the line between secular and gospel and last but not least, no pretense for participation. My pastor will not wear fancy suits and buy a new car every year just to get attention. It is a bible based church and that’s the way I like it.

I say all of that to ask a question, has the church gone too far?

First let me say that this post is in no way meant to offend anyone or personally attack any specific person’s religious preference, place of worship or religious beliefs.

Not too long ago, World Overcomer’s Outreach Ministries Church here in Memphis, TN caught quite a bit of flack for a statue they had built in front of the church. The Statue of Liberation Through Christ cost the church a whopping $260,000.


The 72 foot statue which is a replica of the Statue of Liberty holds a cross in her right hand and the Ten Commandments in her left hand.  You can find the complete breakdown of the statue’s attributes and symbolism here.

Some were outraged by the placement of the statue and called the statue a form of idol worship and proclaimed that the church should be ashamed. My first thought was wow $260,000 that money could have built some low income homes or provided home placement or other necessities to families in need or even a shelter for the homeless….

The same church also came under heavy scrutiny when the pastor and his wife put on a play which sought to teach husbands and wives about their sexual relationships and how to keep your spouse interested. The stage where the pastor normally preaches was set up as a bedroom and the pastor and wife entertained the members of the congregation.

At this point many people felt that it was no longer a question it was true, the church had gone too far!

Then there are the churches that proclaim that the youth must be reached. These churches seem to be willing to bring anything into the church to get the youth to feel welcome and comfortable during worship. They allow things like this to take place in the church:

True, the youth do need to be reached, but is the only way to reach them is to let them lean wit it rock wit in on the church platform?

Along with sex plays and hip hop dancing there is also the lavish lifestyles of many of the pastors that have the eyebrows of many raised and wondering.  A while back WLMT Memphis news anchor Jeni Diprizio covered the story “Preacher’s Pads”  (which I cannot find the article anywhere, still searching though) where she investigated just how large pastors were living. After the research, the conclusion was that preacher’s were living VERY large. They had huge homes, multiple cars and many of the home’s mortgages were paid by the church. This was no surprise to many because they were members at some of these churches were the preachers drove Escalades while the members struggled to pay utility bills. However for some this was even more proof that church is no longer based on religion and worship but for the most part it is just a paycheck for the preacher and an entertainment outlet for the congregation.

Then there is TBN….

It has been around longer than I can remember and honestly the network does nothing for me. I know that they have a very faithful audience, some who contribute dutifully and others who tune in just to hear the word, but personally some of the stuff broadcast on TBN rubs me the wrong way.

There are a list of reasons TBN doesn’t provoke a Hallelujah from me, a few of the reasons include the prayer cloths, trinkets for donations and astonishing healing services I have an awkward feeling towards the Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN). Remember this is the same network in which scandalous Jimmy Swaggart  proclaimed to heal souls and live by the word

did he say he would kill a homosexual????

AND the same network that allowed adulterous Jim Bakker to preach the word for so many years.

With the lavish living, sex in the pulpit and the uncountable number of Unholy Rollers, many people have given up on the church. They no longer believe that it is a place to worship or profess their love for God. These are the people who crinkle their noses at you and quickly say no thank you when invited to worship service. These are the people who believe that religion is overrated and most church services are artificial.

Has the church gone too far?

    • Black Girl Thinking
    • November 14th, 2009

    @SusiQ thanks for stopping by and commenting
    This post was written just to allow me to talk about my thoughts of church and to spark a discussion on other people’s thoughts of church and christians today.

    To state your opinion is not to judge. It is definitely true that we should not judge for God is the one true judge. We all have work to do as far as our own lives, so no one has room to talk or pass judgment.

    …again thanks for stopping by

    • SusiQ
    • August 28th, 2009

    If I may, a word I need to share out of love :

    Stop looking at other people and start keeping our eyes on Jesus then our own faith and belief would not be shaken.

    ALWAYS remember pastors, preachers and members of churches are human and therefore failable. Stop looking to them and judging them when they fall. Rather judge your own self like the Bible says and start correcting your own ways. Please don’t talking about other people’s wrong doing and learn and follow God’s Word instead.

    “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven.” Luke 6:37 (NIV)

    “Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.” Mat 22:37-39 (NIV)

  1. Thanks April for stopping by.

    I agree with you 100%. That is the main reason I love my church, my pastor teaches bible. The service is based on learning the word of God and applying it to your life. We don’t have all kinds of entertainment services. It actually feels close knit and like you said a spiritual family. That is the main reason I enjoy attending.

  2. This was a very awesome read!
    I can sympathize with other people about how they stay clear from church because of the things you have mentioned in your blog. In fact, the entire “spectacle” that you see in many churches was one of the reasons that I myself was very reluctant to study out the Bible. For me, I saw people who were not following God with their heart but for their own self-centered, selfish ambition.
    After much searching, I’ve finally found a church where God is the primary focus. What was different about this church from the others I had been to was the fact that each sermon actually studied out the scriptures and applied it to our lives. The church was like having a spiritual family.
    Personally, I think it’s really unfortunate that the true focus of many churches isn’t on God at all but how to be the “best”–in doing so, they’re steering people away from wanting to go to church (which defeats the purpose all together). But this is why it’s so imperative for those of us whose focus is God to “set the record straight” (so to speak) and share our faith with others…

  3. @ Nyela Goodness. Thanks for stopping by.

    I’ve heard about Creflo and his mandatory tithing. But calling people up and putting them on the spot about not paying their tithes..wow!

    I have heard of other MEGA churches that will send you notices in the mail about tithing and at some your membership can even be revoked if you don’t pay your promised tithe amount.

    • Nyela Goodness
    • January 14th, 2009

    Good read! I, too, hate the commercialism of church. I have to say, though, that the church can only go as far as its flock allows. The members that continue to build up these churches and feed into the crazy events/actions/mess of which you speak have lost sight of their own personal relationship with God (or, perhaps, never developed in the first place) and have, instead, become too dependent on the carnal relationships (with their pastors); ultimately, falling into the realm of idol worship. Unfortunately, too many of our church leaders have taken advantage of the missteps of their members, and—rather than being humble, seeking God, and correcting these missteps—are thriving on them.

    A few “gone too far” moments:
    -World Changers (Creflo D.) will call you, if you’re not up to date on your tithes
    -New Birth (Eddie L.) is like a cult. I’ll never forget being in the book store and talking about how he looked a little aged on the TV, and one of this members said to me (and I quote), “Don’t you talk about my Pastor. He is at the right hand of God, you hear me?!” I’m sorry, but I don’t remember his name being Jesus. Thanks.

  4. Thanks for the comments everyone.

    Once I re-read this post I realized that there is so much to be added. I actually plan to also talk about the popularity contest (fashion show, reputation and status more) And also what is actually being taught because recently I sat in a church service and heard some things that I knew weren’t correct or moral, but they came from the mouth of a pastor. So I will definitely be touching on what is being taught (sold) in the church just to keep people coming.

    • slimjackson
    • January 14th, 2009

    Very well put together post. I don’t really do church nowadays for a variety of reasons. As was said, you’ve outlined a few of them. The fashion show has to be one of my biggest peeves. I cringe thinking about it. I will be passing this post along!


  5. For a long time, I thought the church was doing too much outside of their realm of expertise. I shy away from going to church for many of the reasons outlines in this post.

    Excellent work on this. I have to pass this on.

  6. @ Glennisha I have family members that attend a MEGA church and honestly they love it. I guess to each his or her own, but I don’t do church that is more of a fashion show and whos who than serving God. A lot of these people just want the status of being a memeber of that Mega church. It isn’t even about religion or spirituality, its about status and reputation.

    @ King Politics

    Many of the members do feel served. They flock to these churches because they love the attention and the notoriety of being a member of a mega church. They want to be entertained and be whats hot and these churches are whats hot. Si if you ask most of them they love their church and their pastor.

  7. I guess the real question is do the members of these churches feel served by their leaders?

  8. Funny, we were just talking about MEGA churches today at work. Along with everything under the sun that goes on makes you braise your eyebrow.Ahhhh prime examples of why I don’t do church.

    • wistle
    • January 13th, 2009
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