* Politically Correct
* Detroit area dentist is no longer smiling
* No Fault reform plan
* Who's reading Urban Teen
* Women of Color honored
* Herbs and their Uses
* Choosing after-school activities
* NAIAS high school poster contest
* Speaking your truth to power
* Prayer from the pew
* Da Rumor Mill
Beauty & Barber:
* Hair Talk with JoJo Lanier
* Are you carrying the right credit card?
* Leasing vs. buying a vehicle
By Larry Gore Jr.
SPECIAL TO THE SUN
In these last and disheartening days, so many people are trying to find peace and refuge from life’s calamities, especially in an economical-depressed city such as Detroit. One major source that offers, or should offer peace and refuge is in the house of the Lord, but why are there so many people turning away?
The reason is because you have countless number of pastors and preachers profiting off the people; purchasing houses, plush vehicles, and living affluent lifestyles without giving nourishment and words of life for the soul. You have many individuals who are in dire need and in a desperate state of spiritual and emotional stability, but when the word “church” comes to mind, they shy away from it because of all the negative talks, the common misconception, and the bitter experiences the church have bestowed over time.
Church is a place where the spirit of God resides; a place of worship and fellowship, but so many have used it for money, power, pride, and greed. If you were to listen close to the sermons that are being preached on the radio and television, they are mainly pertaining to prosperity; if you pray to God for a better job, then a better job means more income and more income mean bigger tithes and offerings and bigger tithes and offerings mean more money for the ministers. In today’s church world, you have the likes of big named preachers such as Creflo Dollar, Joel Osteen, TD Jakes and many others that seem to have good intentions, but their faithful followers continue to sift through life’s financial woes and mishaps.
Why does it always have to be about money when it comes to the subject of their sermons? That is the question many people ask who are in need for genuine deliverance from some of life’s ragged strongholds such as drug addiction, alcoholism, sex, and criminal activity. In the King James Version of the Holy Bible, there is a profound scripture located in Matthew 7 verse 15 that says “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening (predatory, greedy) wolves. You have many bishops, ministers, and priests that use the church as a prospect to prosper from the very people that are sincerely coming into the house of the Lord to hear the word of God and to better their lives. Another controversial topic that affects many churches is the issue regarding sex.
To disprove the fact that sex and money go hand and hand with many of today’s drama, including the church would be a tough argument to win. In every medium in the world today, especially in magazines, music and in motion pictures, sex is a primary topic of consumer interest. The adult film industry remains a multi-billion-dollar beast and shows no sign of slowing down, the debate continues regarding whether or not pornography leads to sexually deviant behavior. Many sex offenders were abused and fondled when they were young and grew up believing that love was demonstrated that way. One place in particular that should speak out about the perils of premarital relations and perverse sex is the church. A number of pastors have refused to speak on the subject for fear of losing members of the congregation — which according to some pastors — is equivalent to losing the money derived from tithes and offerings. In this modern-day age, marriage is disparaged, virginity is ridiculed, abortion is an option for an escape from responsibility and homosexuality seems to be exempt from rebuke. Too often pastors don’t dare to confer on the matter and have become weak when it comes to speaking the truth that could deliver souls from the strangleholds and pitfalls of fornication, adultery, and homosexuality should be thoroughly preached behind the pulpit. Bottom line is that preachers have a greater responsibility than what they think they have, which is protecting the flock and reaching souls through the word of the living God.
Sex has plagued some of the most famous men who represent God on a worldwide platform. World renowned gospel artist Kirk Franklin confessed on Oprah to pornography addiction, and award-winning gospel singer, Donnie McClurkin’s experience with homosexuality are just a couple of examples. Most recently the scandal regarding Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Atlanta has made worldwide headlines. Even political activist Reverend Jesse Jackson fell from grace when he cheated on his wife of 40 plus years with his Rainbow Coalition secretary and had a child out of wedlock.
Sex is to be reserved for married couples, not to be confused with having it at will in unholy, uncommitted situations. Lesson: sex shouldn’t drive decisions. Physical intimacy brings emotional and spiritual attachments and lying up with someone you are unfamiliar with will always end in disaster. There is nothing inherently wrong with sex, because it is a gift from God. But is for married couples to enjoy, based on sound love — and to reproduce, but man has a way of counterfeiting and destroying the things God originally created for our good.
So while many are left alone to maneuver themselves through a weed strewn field with no direction, some may ask are the sheep in the church being guided by a true shepherd of God or are they being led astray by a pimp in the pulpit?