My great aunty had to have hip surgery and it wasn't planned. She knew she was going to have to have it at some point but Monday morning she was walking to her car from the grocery store and she tripped. Ended up skinning her knees and hands and breaking her nose. She swears she didn't faint and just tripped. But she is getting up in the years and since they took her in an ambulance to the hospital Monday she went ahead and decided to have the surgery she'd been putting off.
Her doctor scheduled her for Wednesday and I didn't even go to church Wednesday night because we were all trying to be at the hospital as much as possible for her. She's the oldest person in our family and I was real glad to see that everyone made time to visit before the surgery and after the surgery. She seems to be doing well but if you're wondering why I haven't been posting it's because this came up and it wasn't expected. I put pretty much everything I could on hold to make sure I could be there as much as possible.
If that hadn't happened, I would've been noting a great column by Jasmyne Cannick earlier this week. This is from The Chicago Defender and the title of the column is "Pimpin ain't easy: The new face of the Black Church:"
"We're not just a church, we're an international corporation. We're not just a bumbling bunch of preachers who can't talk and all we're doing is baptizing babies. I deal with the White House. I deal with Tony Blair. I deal with presidents around this world. I pastor a multimillion-dollar congregation. You've got to put me on a different scale than the little Black preacher sitting over there that's supposed to be just getting by because the people are suffering." Bishop Eddie Long, New Birth Missionary Church, August 2005.
The sad thing is, he's right.
Today's New Black Church is the offspring of the civil rights era but can easily be identified by its debatable and sometimes laughable theology, superficiality, greed, materialism, heavy involvement in politics, tricked-out arena sized church, ten thousand or more member congregation and of course, its superstar pastor.
Cannick's got a lot of guts to speak it straight with no effort to pretty it up. The church is not supposed about the pretty shoes TD Jokes has or all the money he's amassed. It's also not supposed to be about bowling lanes. It's supposed to be about a relationship with God but too many preachers and pastors and congregations seem lost in the very bling-bling thing they scream and yell at rappers about.
All they seem to care about is money. How much do I got? How much can I get?
I think a church is about doing the kind of work Jesus would do. That means you help out the less fortunate. That doesn't mean it's your goal to build the biggest (and ugliest) church in the city or to be the richest man in the world but check with some of our black preachers. Not what they say but how they're living.
Nothing wrong with making a decent living. But the only thing anyone should ever get rich on from a church is God's love and their understanding of Jesus Christ.
For all the griping they do about rappers lowering the standards, I look around and see a lot of black preachers who are lowering standards a lot worse than any rapper ever could. Why is that? Because we expect leadership from our preachers in the community. And they aren't providing it. A lot of them are close to becoming as morally bankrupt as they are rich.
I e-mailed C.I. to note the item and said I planned to write about it and hoped to write about it Tuesday night. As always I want to thank C.I. because I didn't have time on Tuesday. But C.I. linked to it at The Common Ills. I'm sure some visitor probably already complained about, maybe more than one, saying it had no place up there or some nonsense.
This issue matters to me. I'm tired, my eyes are narrow slits and I just wanted to crawl into bed when I got home tonight but this is an important issue and all week I've meant to note it and hope that people would think about it.
So I'm putting it up here and wish it weren't so late in the week.
the chicago defender
the common ills