Skip to main content

Part Two: Amen Pastor!

By Okodee Mmowere ~

In part two of this series, entitled “The Tower”, we look at a Sunday morning that many people have come to recognize. Ah, Sunday morning, for some it’s the day where they swear they will never drink again. For others it’s time to go to church and for many generations of black men, women, teens, children, and elders, going to church on Sunday morning became a tradition that for many continue to this very day. For many in the black community, church meant more than just going into a building at around nine or ten in the morning, it was the equivalent of going to a concert. People dressed up in their best suits and dresses, and wanted to look their best, for whom, I was never too sure; judging someone on their appearance while in church isn’t exactly considered “godly” nor is lusting after the opposite gender while praising the lord. The black church is full of a laundry list of characters that sound like the cast of a play that airs on BET on Sunday afternoon. For starters, we have the Sunday school children, yes, Steve Harvey, who mentioned these little hell raisers was dead on when he described these children on a particular stand-up performance as “them badass kids”. I wasn’t one of them; however, I went to school with a lot of these children he described in a very blunt manner. There is also the Sunday school teacher, whom, in my experiences varied in age, most of the time. Sunday school teachers tend to range from their late twenties to even the age of sixty or older and in my experience Sunday school teachers tend to be female more often than not. In this case, it seems that Sunday school and public school mimic each other in that there is small number of males teaching Sunday school when compared to their female counterparts.
There are the ushers who usually where white gloves and for some reason still sport jerry curls and then there are the members of the church, we have the elderly women, not just any elderly women; these are the women that every ex-Christian knows about whether they went to church once or their entire youth. These elderly women are usually revered and respected, they are humble, they are kind, and they are also tough because of the things they’ve been through in their lifetime, however, many of us know them under a different name, the church ladies with the hats. It is also more than likely your mother probably knew who they were. “That’s Mrs. Jackson from down the street”, “that’s “john’s mom, we grew up together!” Even though it’s the first time you’ve seen them. These ladies are dressed as if they are at banquet and are trying to meet the grim reaper, the hats they have on usually cover up bald spots and grey hair and if they aren’t in a wheelchair, they are usually on a cane and they’re probably the reason the line to the entrance to the church is usually overcrowded with attendees that are engaged in conversation or just simply standing around waiting for church to begin and end so that they get home and watch the game.

Those hats, how does one begin to describe the flamboyance of these hats? Well, I can tell you this, if happen to sit behind an old lady with a plantation hat that resembles a flower bouquet repeatedly saying “Amen!!” loudly, you know have just found one of these church ladies and her hat. These hats come in very many shapes, colors, and sizes, and usually have anything from flowers, bows, and probably even the entire bible sticking out of them, and that’s just one hat, I don’t think I want to know what granny might be packing in those other ten ton hats she has laying around her house.

We also have the guests. If you’ve ever been a guest in a church, it is extremely awkward when the pastor or the announcer has all the guests stand up. I’ve been in that position a number of times and it’s rather strange to have everyone looking at you while you’re still waking up from either staying up too late or having your usual weekend meetings with Jack Daniels and Captain Morgan. We also have the church piano player, an old lady usually playing a wooden piano that dates back to the civil war and usually playing a bit off key. And now, without further ado, we present to you, the heart of the black church, the reason everyone in the church stands up, the reason you know at least 100 old time church songs, and the reason your grandmother is singing loudly and the tambourines are shaking loudly, hailing from various parts of the United States of America, the church choir!!! And, introducing the head of the church, allegedly representing Jesus Christ formerly a pimp, a drug dealer and gang member who apparently found Christ while in prison, he’s the reason your grandmother says amen every Sunday morning , the pastor!! Well, it’s Sunday morning and the pastor is preaching and you know the routine, today’s sermon will be about the good lord, and Jesus Christ and all his blessings!! We will talk about how he blessed all of you and led me out of the mean streets of Tulsa, to jail, to his anointing, his blessings, and this two hour sermon this lovely Sunday morning!

Open your bibles to genesis, and we will start from the beginning, how god created the earth, how Adam and Eve sinned, and how our community is in shambles because apparently a woman bit on an apple after being tempted by a snake in a garden about 6,000 years ago. That woman sinned AH! In the garden AH! And after sinning AH! She apparently, caused a curse to come down upon us! And we have all fallen short of the glory of god because of one woman!!! THAT JEZEBEL!!! Evvvvve...ah!! Our community is in shambles because of this woman, our children are killing each other because of a woman eating an apple in a garden and disobeying god! Now I’m going to explain this logically, because a woman ate an apple in a garden, and because we didn’t pray enough, we have fallen short of the glory of god. It is now time for the collection plate to make its way around; now, we at the church are not interested in money, but furthering the kingdom of God through tithing. Now when you tithe, remember that you are contributing the kingdom of god! Not to my wallet. Now what is this kingdom of god? The kingdom of God is the kingdom that you will see when you leave this earth! Hallelujah! Amen! Now, that the tithing is done, we can get back to worship! We can get back to getting the Holy Spirit! Yes, we are coming to the end of the service, but don’t forget about god when you leave the church! Can I get an Amen in here?! AMEN PASTOR! Church is dismissed!

This is some insight into a black church service, although, experiences may vary from person to person. Now that you have left the church feeling good about the sermon and empowered, you feel blessed and think Jesus is going to save the day again. Unfortunately, that’s only a dream and reality sinks in. You drive through the neighborhood and see the same horrible, downtrodden, broken reality of a poor working class neighborhood, you see the prostitutes walking around the streets, the drug addicts, the Nation of Islam members pushing their Final Call newspapers on one corner, and the Hebrew Israelites on the other corner preaching about god and his wrath, the bootleggers slinging their bootleg, or even stolen DVD’s CD’s, cologne, perfume, shoes, clothing and jewelry, the Jehovah’s Witness members walking from door to door. As you get home you hear the all too familiar sound of emergency sirens blaring loudly, and a helicopter flying over your house. Now, you’re thinking to yourself, why is this all happening? Why is there so much chaos? With all these churches, mosques, preachers, ministers, and the power of God, why is there so much chaos? I pray, I fast, I tithe, but, why is there so much chaos? It’s the work of none other than… pom, pom, poooommm… THE DEVIL! That devious, evil creature with a pitchfork is once again causing all of these problems! Alongside his army of demon minions! We have to prepare to battle the enemy! Who is the enemy?! The devil and is demons that come in many forms including but not limited to, drugs, prostitution, gangs, gossip, and that evil spirit of homosexuality! I don’t see the logic in all of this, but this is what the pastor said to do and that it is the will of God and his son Jesus! So I must follow his orders. This is some insight into the mindset of some, but not all of the Christians I’ve come across; however, this is only an ice shard in the large river of Christianity and its history within the black community. I will address a large amount of almost cult like behavior from black Christians, and much more.

Coming soon: The Tower Part 3: Smoke Fills the Building.


Popular posts from this blog

Are You an Atheist Success Story?

By Avangelism Project ~ F acts don’t spread. Stories do. It’s how (good) marketing works, it’s how elections (unfortunately) are won and lost, and it’s how (all) religion spreads. Proselytization isn’t accomplished with better arguments. It’s accomplished with better stories and it’s time we atheists catch up. It’s not like atheists don’t love a good story. Head over to the atheist reddit and take a look if you don’t believe me. We’re all over stories painting religion in a bad light. Nothing wrong with that, but we ignore the value of a story or a testimonial when we’re dealing with Christians. We can’t be so proud to argue the semantics of whether atheism is a belief or deconversion is actually proselytization. When we become more interested in defining our terms than in affecting people, we’ve relegated ourselves to irrelevance preferring to be smug in our minority, but semantically correct, nonbelief. Results Determine Reality The thing is when we opt to bury our

So Just How Dumb Were Jesus’ Disciples? The Resurrection, Part VII.

By Robert Conner ~ T he first mention of Jesus’ resurrection comes from a letter written by Paul of Tarsus. Paul appears to have had no interest whatsoever in the “historical” Jesus: “even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, we know him so no longer.” ( 2 Corinthians 5:16 ) Paul’s surviving letters never once mention any of Jesus’ many exorcisms and healings, the raising of Lazarus, or Jesus’ virgin birth, and barely allude to Jesus’ teaching. For Paul, Jesus only gets interesting after he’s dead, but even here Paul’s attention to detail is sketchy at best. For instance, Paul says Jesus “was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures” ( 1 Corinthians 15:4 ), but there are no scriptures that foretell the Jewish Messiah would at long last appear only to die at the hands of Gentiles, much less that the Messiah would then be raised from the dead after three days. After his miraculous conversion on the road to Damascus—an event Paul never mentions in his lette

Christian TV presenter reads out Star Wars plot as story of salvation

An email prankster tricked the host of a Christian TV show into reading out the plots of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and Star Wars in the belief they were stories of personal salvation. The unsuspecting host read out most of the opening rap to The Fresh Prince, a 1990s US sitcom starring Will Smith , apparently unaware that it was not a genuine testimony of faith. The prankster had slightly adapted the lyrics but the references to a misspent youth playing basketball in West Philadelphia would have been instantly familiar to most viewers. The lines read out by the DJ included: "One day a couple of guys who were up to no good starting making trouble in my living area. I ended up getting into a fight, which terrified my mother." The presenter on Genesis TV , a British Christian channel, eventually realised that he was being pranked and cut the story short – only to move on to another spoof email based on the plot of the Star Wars films. It began: &quo


By David Andrew Dugle ~   S ettle down now children, here's the story from the Book of David called The Parable of the Bent Cross. In the land Southeast of Eden –  Eden, Minnesota that is – between two rivers called the Big Miami and the Little Miami, in the name of Saint Gertrude there was once built a church. Here next to it was also built a fine parochial school. The congregation thrived and after a multitude of years, a new, bigger church was erected, well made with clean straight lines and a high steeple topped with a tall, thin cross of gold. The faithful felt proud, but now very low was their money. Their Sunday offerings and school fees did not suffice. Anon, they decided to raise money in an unclean way. One fine summer day the faithful erected tents in the chariot lot between the two buildings. In the tents they set up all manner of games – ring toss, bingo, little mechanical racing horses and roulette wheels – then all who lived in the land between the two rivers we

Morality is not a Good Argument for Christianity

By austinrohm ~ I wrote this article as I was deconverting in my own head: I never talked with anyone about it, but it was a letter I wrote as if I was writing to all the Christians in my life who constantly brought up how morality was the best argument for Christianity. No Christian has read this so far, but it is written from the point of view of a frustrated closeted atheist whose only outlet was organizing his thoughts on the keyboard. A common phrase used with non-Christians is: “Well without God, there isn’t a foundation of morality. If God is not real, then you could go around killing and raping.” There are a few things which must be addressed. 1. Show me objective morality. Define it and show me an example. Different Christians have different moral standards depending on how they interpret the Bible. Often times, they will just find what they believe, then go back into scripture and find a way to validate it. Conversely, many feel a particular action is not

On Living Virtuously

By Webmdave ~  A s a Christian, living virtuously meant living in a manner that pleased God. Pleasing god (or living virtuously) was explained as: Praying for forgiveness for sins  Accepting Christ as Savior  Frequently reading the Bible  Memorizing Bible verses Being baptized (subject to church rules)  Attending church services  Partaking of the Lord’s Supper  Tithing  Resisting temptations to lie, steal, smoke, drink, party, have lustful thoughts, have sex (outside of marriage) masturbate, etc.  Boldly sharing the Gospel of Salvation with unbelievers The list of virtuous values and expectations grew over time. Once the initial foundational values were safely under the belt, “more virtues'' were introduced. Newer introductions included (among others) harsh condemnation of “worldly” music, homosexuality and abortion Eventually the list of values grew ponderous, and these ideals were not just personal for us Christians. These virtues were used to condemn and disrespect fro