Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Has The Black Church Gone Too Far To Fit In?

The church has been the bedrock of the black community since the first recorded black congregation organized on the plantation of William Byrd near Mecklenburg, Virginia. Indeed, the church has gotten us through some of our toughest times: slavery, segregation, the great depression, just to name a few. I would say it is the most fundamental institution in black society--then and now. But, just what are the limits one can go to inspire attendance?

I understand that the church has a calling to reach out and bring in followers. With that, I can understand the need to attract young people to the church as well as the need to keep congregations interested and motivated. However, the video today goes far beyond that. Now, I'm not saying that this church or pastor's heart weren't in the right place. I just think they crossed the line and failed to maintain the dignity and decorum of the church. But, you be the judge. Watch The Greater Travelers Rest Baptist Church Anniversary Dance and let me know how you feel.

Did they cross the line? Were the youth congregation sent a mixed message? Will this dance come back to haunt the church in some form of youth rebellion? Or, was this simply an uplifting way to entertain the congregation and motivate young people to attend? Come on saints, it's time to testify.

2 comments:

T L said...

I think people, particularly African Americans, have forgotten what role your religion and your faith place in our lives. The church is a place to come worship - confess and repent our sins, bring us closer to our God - in a holy and reverent manner. The church can go out in the world to change the ways of the world, but not bring the world into the church to change the ways of the church.

It's not to say that the concept was not good - bridging the generational gaps, but I think the sanctuary was not the place for this type of display. This type of activity would have best been out in a fellowship hall.

What message does this send to people looking to associate with this church? I think I recal the minister that 'you won't go to hell for one day'. Boy, what a powerful message from the mouth of the man of the cloth! Yes, the Bible does speak about singing and praising, yes even dancing before the Lord, but songs such as 'Darling You Send Me' and 'When Dove Fly' are not what the ones to sing and dance before the Lord. Furthermore, there was nothing in any of these songs that even remotely acknowledges God. No, the church doesn't have to be all fire and brimstone, but it should be the place where you give up the ways of the world to take on a better, greater, more fulfilling and richer way of life here on earth and when we leave this earth to join our Lord in Heaven.

Hopefully, when this church plans next year's anniversary, I hope the congregation will reflect on this year's program and do something more appropriate.

Iam Robert said...

TL:

I totally agree, the church is a place where people should behave with the proper decorum--reverence, humbleness, respect, dignity, and servitude. I also agree that the concept was good, but the setting entirely wrong.

But, like you, I'm concerned that this sent the wrong message to the young people in that church. After all, young people can't quite see what's wrong with secular living and turn to us adults to guide them. As adults, we know that thug living, street living, gangster living, and all the other lead to misery, poverty, and death. These are the darker things in life and the church should be leading us toward the light. The church should hold people to a higher standard and most certainly someone shouldn’t be “crip-walkin” in the church. Personally, I'm trying to steer my three daughters away from such images and on to more positive ones like the Obama's.