*Disclaimer: I never intended for this blog to be a political blog and it’s not. This blog is to bring awareness to how the Church puts religious practices, traditions, and personal ideologies before showing people Jesus Christ. The views of this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of Antonio T. Smith Jr., the ATSJr brand and its affiliates.
This past weekend was the first time worship and religious leaders had face to face contact with congregations since the inauguration of the new President of the United States. If you are like most people I follow on social media, a message that somehow ties into the inauguration was preached, hinted at, or referenced to. Unless you have disconnected yourself from everything and everyone, chances are you saw the Women’s March from cities and countries all across the globe, watched protestors break windows at a Starbucks, post and discuss their disappointment in this moment in history. While the people are either cheering or in disbelief about events revolving around this presidential election situation, where does the Church stand in all of this? Telling people that God is still on the throne? Okay? What does that even mean to someone unchurched, unfamiliar, and tired of church lingo?
Instead of bowing your head and praying about our future now, I’m here to get in your face and push the envelope a little and tell you that the Church in America failed miserably during this campaign and election season. The Church should have BEEN praying AND working before this mess even started.
Where were our readers when it was time to get people registered to vote AND encourage them to get out and vote? A simple announcement in the church isn’t good enough. Black preachers, did you remind or even educate the community in which your church sits, about the fights, struggles, and deaths that occurred for us to even have the right to vote? I know that there are always exceptions, but the overall consensus is no. Referencing back to my first blog post, can we talk about more than our homosexual brothers and sisters from the pulpit?
Being placed in a leadership role brings leadership responsibilities. Once upon a time, people would look to the Church hoping someone can help make some sense out of the chaos in the world. However, 2016 displayed interesting traits of the Church and honestly why should they bother coming?
The church protests loudly against same-sex marriages but is mute on molestation of kids, cue Bishop Eddie Long and the Eddie Longs’ in your church and community. The Church stands up for the Bible and what they think is in it but doesn’t study it long enough to be able to share what is actually in it.
You want to be a pastor during pastor anniversary day/week/month, you should also want to pastor when it counts. What if Jesus only came through when it was time to receive recognition and royalties? Consider your ways. (Haggai).
No offense, but telling us to pray for our country “now more than ever” is a bunch of BS. We SHOULD have been praying, we should have been coming together. Besides, praying is only part of the battle. It shouldn’t take someone being murdered by cops, or someone newly installed into a position for us to come together. Especially while watching the outgoing position holder be disrespected every day while the Church sat back and do nothing. Why? Because he allowed everyone the opportunity to marry the person they love? (Marriage equality). Where were our “come together” pep talks 8 years ago?
Faith without works is dead. Yes, God is in control. Yes, He hears our prayers. Yes, He can do all things. Yet, what is your contribution going to be? You can have all of the prayer meetings and candlelight services you desire, but what’s wrong with an action meeting? We need one. What is wrong with encouraging your communities to get involved at the local-level and remind them that mid-term elections are just as, if not MORE important than presidential elections. Since it is actually the state and city governments that actually affect our daily lives.
God won’t punish us for standing up for something in which we believe. If you really want to see a better future, I challenge you to do more than pray. Be an example and lead people back to hope and stop using prayer as a cowardly approach to what is going on in our communities and across our country. Be the change you are praying for or stop praying for a better future if your laziness outweighs your belief in change.
Your Sister In Abundance,
Tempestt S. Smith