It must be very comical to other communities and cultures when they observe how overly religious Black people can be almost to the point of superstition when it comes to the name of Jesus.
Now don't get me wrong, I a not blaspheming the true power of His name nor am I making fun of the true soldiers of the spirit who understand what serving God is really all about.
But the challenge in speaking about the frauds who prostitute the name of Jesus for their own benefit and/or use His name as a cloak and shield for their own strange practices and idiosyncrasies has made it difficult to call them out because it's really a fine line in appearance between who is authentic and who is simply outright fraudulent.
When it comes to religion, it is such a gray area that many people will refuse to call the frauds to task so they usually indirectly give them a pass to continue their buffoonery in Jesus name.
.......and deep down we know who the frauds are and allow them to operate alive and well in 2014 all because we don't want to be labeled as someone who is sacrilegious or discriminatory.
For me, I do not care about that at all and am not afraid to blow the whistle on the traveling circus that has ripped many off in the Black community more than any predatory mortgage loan company or insurance scam ever has.
It seems to me that when times get tougher as far as the economy is concerned, the business of Jesus becomes even more pronounced in the Black community because being entertained by the spin-masters of hope makes more sense than to execute the virtues of sound financial practices, living below one's means and facing/correcting the bad habits that brought you into that sorry state of affairs in the first place.
While this phenomenon is a worldwide epidemic, I have singled out Black Americans because it appears that we are at the helm of being the biggest group exploited in the Jesus business and really don't have a clue as to how much hot air is blown our way as we suck up every drop.......hook, line and sinker.
I've singled out Black American's because I know them all so well.
We are a religious people so much to the point where most of us are living in a fantasy world.
We bend scripture to excuse our shortcomings and will even put words in God's mouth in order to support our sin.
Like I said a second ago, we can literally wreck ourselves monetarily because of our gross financial ignorance, yet we expect "Jesus" to come in and save us without seeking the knowledge that we were told to pursue that would have kept us out of ever being in that dreaded place of dire straits in the first place.
They have Jesus like some all knowing multipurpose handy man with a spiritual tool belt hanging from His hip who swoops down to paralyze a bad situation to save the day at the mere calling of his name!
We don't really seem to want to be bothered with him until we see no way out of the mess that we've created through our disobedience.
We will sit down on our asses from sun up to sun down to execute the same ineffective and non productive efforts, yet expect for "a breakthrough" to transpire in our lives without ever changing anything to cause it to happen.
That my friends is the true definition of madness personified!
But more so than it being madness - which I can accept - let's just call it for what it is.......STRAIGHT RETARDATION!
Why is it that we can witness the obese and overweight self proclaimed dedicated "church ladies" going to service after countless service eating up all of the potato salad, fatback and pork, yet when the hypertension, diabetes and strokes begin to become the weekly news of every service, they will all "blame the devil" or shout out that "Satan is a liar!"
No! Your ignorance to leave that slave food and processed cuisine alone is what put you into bad health as it has little to do with what Jesus recommend that you consume and more to do with your lineage back into a time when all you received was the cheap scraps of food that was tossed out to you in the dirt from your slave-masters dinner table.
So to make it taste like anything you re-fried it up and salted it down heavily and because your praise and worship ceremonies commonly had this type of food as the offered cuisine around the service in that day and age, you now feel that it was a holy thing to consume and put Jesus all up in it.
Your ignorance is really what's taking you to the grave before your time and NOT THE DEVIL!
You will say that we never had the physical issues in slavery when we were eating this kind of food as a reason why you refuse to leave it alone right now.
Well when we were in slavery we were working from sunrise to sunset and didn't have a fast food joint to drive up to and a television to sit down in front of to watch The Real Housewives Of Atlanta while we shoveled that artery clogging gunk down our throats!
But we pray over it and feel that Jesus will protect us from our sugary laced meals that has enough lard in it to fry a cow!
We get ripped off in the name of Jesus on a regular basis more so than we will ever admit because the wise pimp preachers and congregational shysters know that the name of Jesus is like a pass-code that will give many an instant access into the lives of people who are otherwise suspicious of strangers.
Isn't that something?
This is comparable to spending $50,000 dollars on a space age high tech security system on your front door while leaving all other doors and windows open while away from home with your life savings in full view as well as your valuables as though that will stop a thief from taking an alternative route to get the valuables.
You won't ever trust that stranger, but if that same stranger jumped around in the spirit at church and shouted out the name of Jesus while frothing at the mouth, you'll probably be ready to give him your debit card and pin code for the asking because you know that an apparent man of God wouldn't dare take advantage of you and your kindness.
This is why so many Black Christians here in America take in strangers in their homes not knowing who and what they truly are in their hearts only to have a horror story that they are too embarrassed to share because they were fooled by the verbal Jesus talk that allowed them unlimited access into your life.
For me, when I see someone coming at me and pushing the name of Jesus so hard as though they are using it as a shield to conceal some other hidden motives it causes my mental red flags to raise up and fly through the roof.
I will them test them by giving them my best Nation Of Islam/ Fruit Of Islam personification and demeanor and if they are a fraud they will run away so fast because they will know that anyone who is a follower of the most honorable Elijah Muhammad won't ever be receptive to their utter foolishness one bit! LOL!
But whether you know it or not, every shrewd down and out hustler knows that the church is the best place to find a clean safe residence to live when you simply don't have a roof over your head.
They know that with the amount of single - and strangely enough, some that are married - women who are secretly burning hard for a good man (and a sweet hard piece of in-house dick) in their lives will be so very willing to take in any old broken down piece of an unproven bum in the hopes that this Jesus talking man of God will turn out to be the Boaz that they've been waiting for their entire life.
All he has to do is to claim that he has been through some very rough trials and tribulations and that he truly knows that Jesus has a mission for him and he has rededicated his life to serving God and preaching the gospel where ever he goes.
This my friend is like a mating call in the Black Church!
Some of the women who are secretly craving a man in the express lane are so willing to see this man as some up and coming man of God even to the point of visualizing the both of them on a huge billboard as the premiere power couple of the Lord living a life of luxury beyond her wildest dreams.
She will think to herself: "I better catch him now while he's down and if I have to bend the rules a little to get him then so be it because I can repent and ask for forgiveness afterward to make it all right!"
And while I will be the first to say that the church is full of women of all ages who definitely do not think like this, unfortunately there are far too many who do and will blend in with the crowd to play pretend while secretly "going for theirs."
Yes, this is the truth. All under the banner of the name of Jesus and then some.
And since I'm on that subject, I will say that it has been my personal experience HANDS ON that there are many women who populate the church who live in this fashion.
It's ironic that the same way that those in particular will jump around in the spirit is the same exact way that they jump around when the sensations of receiving some good oral sex hits their brain to knock those erotic cobwebs away in a manner that their nightly bouts of masturbation never could.
It can be very comical at times when you observe the inner workings of a congregation that has their own set of unwritten rules that have absolutely nothing to do with spirituality and the true seeking of God's face.
Somewhere along the line we have lost that connection to the divine mission that we had in our lives and in the church in our unity with one another.
Where once the church was that unifying place that we all could look to in our times of need, now it is more of a fashion show and social club replacement gossip spot where the activities there supersede the decadence that the worldly nightclubs are known for.
I've heard many through text messages and emails who defend the Black Church in its present ask me the question of what would I do better if I were in control of the church.
Those who have reached out to me were obviously upset that I wasn't afraid to speak on what I saw there and attempted to put me on the spot by saying that I was probably envious of the preacher and the attention that he received or maybe the lifestyle that he lived as the pastor.
First of all, I am not envious of the position of any person who oversees a church.
That - in my book - is a tremendous responsibility and task over and above anything else that I could think of if that individual is doing the right thing by his trusted position.
What would I do better?
Well first of all, I would remove any sense of worldly status and wealth that is paraded there every week by requiring everyone to wear the same colored sweats as though they were going to the gym.
Now depending on the location, weather conditions and climate, that would decide if heavier or lighter gear would be worn but the bottom line is this practice alone would remove the need to stand up in front of the mirror for hours on end getting ready for a service that is supposed to be about praising God in a very selfless way.
This cuts the need to go shopping for an outfit and this removes the potential embarrassment from a person who doesn't have much which might prevent them from going to the service in the end.
Men and women would be seated on separate sides of the sanctuary.
Yes, I know that this would be a big change but it will remove 95% of the covert sexual tensions that are forever present in most churches.
Between the loose fitting sweats and the reduced proximity between the sexes, I think that we would find out by the level of attendance after a short time who is there to to truly worship as opposed to who attends the service for attention or even seduction.
Tithes would be given either before or after the service in a specially designated area that would eliminate the focus of who goes up to contribute or not even though those in the know understand that it is not required.
I would require the congregation to collectively go out into the community in an organized fashion to help out those who are homeless, poor health, elderly and our youth in the same manner that many churches do but with total financial transparency in reports posted online for everyone to see how the funds are designated.
I could go on and on but what I'm really trying to get at is that we need to remove the buffoonery that has taken up residence in the Black Church.
You see, I grew up in the church and it hurts me so bad to see what it has become in this day and age in the year 2014.
So do not think that I hate the church, I just dislike severely what is has become.
It has been reduced from being the cornerstone and life support for Black people all through slavery up to the civil rights movement to being a watered down version that it is today that at best has become an entertainment alternative to keep us tickled and distracted from the pain of living in such an out of control world.
And for those who are still angered with me for pointing out some of the foolishness that we do in the Lord's name understand this, with all of the churches lining our streets in the Black neighborhoods in every city in this country and across the globe, why are we in the same - if not worst - condition that we have been in with literally no progress made whatsoever?
With poverty, homelessness, drug addictions, murder, hopelessness, illiteracy, disease, teen pregnancy, self hate, racism, lack of affordable healthcare and housing, unemployment and too much more to list, am I really supposed to sit down somewhere and give my hard earned money to a preacher who after the service will drive through the aforementioned conditions to which my people live in to go to a luxury home somewhere far away?
I'm sorry, Jesus wasn't trying to be a rock star or entertainer and I refuse to support any organization who feels as though God Almighty has a pimp preacher middle man for me to attain a higher sense of spirituality in exchange for my hard earned cash.
Peace & Righteous Love,
Your Trouble-Making Brother,