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Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Black Churchianity
This is probably going to be unpopular, but oh well...

Before I get into this, let me preface by saying, yes I am a Christian and I have been attending Black Church(es) for the majority of my time on this planet.

There is a level of control exerted by Black Holiness that frightens me. I see so many of my counterparts participating in this type of "Churchianity" that just is beyond my comprehension. I understand that as followers of a religion, some people will take their pastor's (or deacon or bishop or whomever) word as the Gospel, and will essentially follow those tenets rather than listen to that along with what they hear God tell them.

For the past few years, I've been researching other religions and examining my own spirituality. In my eyes, this has made my bond with God that much stronger. God has given us a full gamut of religious beliefs to examine and or adopt, and from what I understand, it's more than okay to adopt a type of spirituality that suits you and your lifestyle. You can be Baptist and have some Buddhist or Muslim sensibilities, and you won't fry in Hell for it. I don't always go to church on Sundays, but my relationship with who I refer to as The Supreme Being is not weaker for that.

I've discussed this at length with many of my friends and elders, and for the most part their consensus has been that I'm wrong for wanting to learn about other beliefs. A lot of them say that because I'm not always sitting in church for an indeterminate amount of time on Sundays, dressed in my "go to meeting best" that I'm something less of a Christian. I do not understand this. I also don't understand the lack of openmindedness that runs rampant with the people I call "Churchians". Basically these people tell me that there is no need to examine other religions or investigate MY OWN spirituality because everything I need to be fulfilled spiritually comes from Church and what the Pastor says in a 20-40 minute sermon. Also, according to them, believing anything other than what's spelled out in Black Holiness Dogma (I use Dogma for lack of a better word) is wrong. But they can't give me a good reason WHY it's wrong. "It just is, and Pastor so-and-so said so, therefore it must be true"

Frankly, I see a whooole lot of wrong going on in Black Churches (I'll post more on that another time), and hypocrisy is just one of those wrongs. I see so many people rearranging their lives to fit in Church and doing what they are told to do in said Church, but they know absolutely nothing about their religion. I haven't run across too many people who know exactly how to act in church and can get around the "stand up, sit down, pass the collection plate" pomp and circumstance like a champ, but can tell me why they are a "New Testament Mission Baptist" and not a member of the Church of God in Christ, or even the difference between the two. Very few can tell me who Martin Luther is, and I don't mean the dream-having Dr. MLK, Jr. Even fewer still know Bible history, but they sure can spit out Bible verse and not necessarily know the context in which the verse was used or even what the verse actually means.

I'm not saying that in order to be a believer you need to know the whole history of your religion and need to be a theocratic scholar, but it does help to be able to know some basic facts other than how the ushers march in at the beginning of Sunday Service. Seriously, without some facts like those on your side, how can you tell me that getting familiar with MY OWN spirituality and faith is wrong? And how can you tell me what is right and wrong for me to believe? I may not always know the proper usher etiquette or which direction to pass the ump-teen collection plates that go around, but I'm a Christian, not a Churchian, and that's good enough for me.


Blogger Soul said...

amen ..amen amen.
I was speaking to my deeply religious sister about this..
A few years ago it was a bone of contention between us.
2 days ago..
she actually said. People use the church like it is a cult. They don't believe but they just keep coming

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