This Is Why Folks Don’t Take Church Seriously

Me and my friend used to joke that they should a have a musician’s form of BET’s “Sunday’s Best” where they get everyone together and have bands from churches compete for the best shout run.  I mean, type in “church shout” or “praise break” on YouTube and you’d hear stuff that’ll blow your mind.

And this show could do an actual showcase where you could show off black designers and what their hats and suits looked like.  I mean, make a formal competition-type of thing where people could possibly get contracts as opposed to just having random people show up at the conventions and cram all into one of the showcase halls.  And it would give some smaller businesses a national platform.

But, instead of making a show out of it, instead we get this:

Seriously, I don’t know what to do with this.  I mean, while I’m all for having fun in church, making jokes, even bringing in a comedian, I don’t have a problem with singing “secular” music in the church, but that just didn’t make sense to me.

And the church wonders why non-church people don’t take us seriously.

Keep it uppity and keep it truthfully radical, JLL


14 thoughts on “This Is Why Folks Don’t Take Church Seriously

  1. This is why I love the solemnity and reflection of a traditional Catholic Mass; even at our church we have a service that cater’s to the alleged ‘cultural preferences’ of Black folk to ‘praise the Lord with a joyful noise’, and that Mass tends to run close to 2+ hours since ‘errrbody in ‘da club’ wants to get up, testify, or preach whenever they can. While I do often enjoy the spiritual uplift from our musical traditions, the bombast and embellishment often blinds and deafens one to the message, ‘kinda the way that super-hot barbecue sauce keeps you from enjoying the flavor of the meat ’cause you’re preoccupied with the heat.

    1. @adinasi

      Now, actually, I wasn’t raised in a church like that. In fact, the Baptist churches I was raised in were relatively calm. Don’t get me wrong, folks would start shouting in their seats, but I definitely don’t remember folks speaking in tongues and running around doing laps and having praise breaks. Me and a lot of my friends at school really don’t have a problem with that, I just think the intellectual side of many of us has started to kick in and we raise the simple question: what’s the edification in all of that? I mean, seriously, does one have a different outlook on life because they ran a lap around the church? And if you ask someone who does that that question, they get insulted and highly defensive.

      Also, many of my friends, the “intellects” of the campus seriously have no problem with all of that, I just think we happen to have the foresight to see that non-church folks don’t necessarily “get” what they saw in that clip.

  2. This type of stuff is why I don’t do random YouTube searches. No telling what will come up. At first I had no words for this foolishness. But then I found some…
    This is exactly the reason some non church folks don’t take church seriously. Church should not be the let out after the let out after the club. Some of the same people acting a fool the rest of the week then going to church on Sunday to dance/get their praise on.

  3. ‘upon further review,’ what they appear to be doing is a variation of a dance the Cali kids call ‘the reject’; I’m more impressed with the rhythm section maintaining such a frenetic pace for so long. Does this inspire people to ‘go forth to love and serve the Lord?’ I sincerely hope so.

    1. @adinasi

      I guess I need to do a whole post about “praise breaks” and “shouts” in the Black Pentecostal Church.

  4. I guess I am able to see the negative and the positive in the video above. I agree with adinasi about the the heat vs. meat conundrum (which by the way, I enjoyed the metaphor) in that sometimes this is all churches shoot for, they cater Orders of Worship, songs, sermons, etc., all for the ultimate goal of getting at least ONE good praise break in before the benediction (TWO if we can help it). Honestly, dancing for some is just another way of praising the God they know (a connection to West Africa). I would agree that it is another practice of the church (and there is a surely a long litany of practices of the Black church) that have been taken, abused, and stripped of value, I would not chalk it all up to “foolishness.” If these people (whoever they are) want to have a “shouting competition,” more power to them. Are they really hurting anyone? If this is all it takes to ruin the name of the “Church” then the church has other problems than just a few people dancing. In the end, is God getting glory from this? I don’t know, ask God.

    1. @St.Marcus

      I think you hit the nail on the head–the church has more problems that have manifested themselves in the form of this wanton foolishness. And yes, that’s all it takes to ruin the name of the church, let alone that of God. And personally, I’m not convinced that God is all that impressed with how well we shout, or 30 sec praise breaks and what not.

  5. As long people bear witness to Christ by living HIs Word, if their expressions of Glory inspire them to live as Christ, then stomp and skip a hole in the floor of the altar!

  6. There is a fine line between bearing witness and foolishness. I agree with uppity, this is not a true representation of what pleases God. Go feed the poor, Give clothes to the homeless, Give a testimony. And you can do all of that without pop locking or doing the Harlem Shake.

  7. @ Citizen Ojo,

    That’s what I was implying. One negative stereotype of all church goers is our superficial sanctity on Sunday that only masks our insincere Christianity Monday through Saturday. For example, how many of those young folks ‘touched by the Spirit’ on Sunday will be similarly ‘touched’ and resist the temptation to address someone as ‘nigga’ or ‘bitch’, or maybe remain attentive in class and give no audience to the class clown?

  8. great post…this, among other things taking place in the church today, are what bothers me every sunday. so much show, so little substance. and what makes videos like this even worse (for me at least) is that you have a pastor (in this case “bishop” hezekiah walker) playing right along.

    don’t get me wrong…any person who has grown up in a pentecostal or apostolic church can mimick mother so and so or brother so and so, but that is only really funny up to a certain point. doing all this during sunday service or some concert just doesn’t do anything for me. to each his own, i guess.

  9. looks like a bunch some jigga-boos at a were da chick’n at shuck’ n and Jive’n minstrel show.
    Yes, I know religion carried us through some dark dark near death times when nothing but freedom could.

    But today’s religion in the Black community does more harm than good. Mostly its a pyramid scheme where religion is a substitute for socratic thought. If more people read the Miss Education of a Negro and Black Bourgeoise as opposed the the bible, America would be a much better place. Religion in the Black community keeps Blacks in their “place”. Karl Marx was right.

    p.s. I bet the Minister drives an expensive imported car

  10. I agree and disagree with some of you. Anyone can feel or manifest the holy spirit because its a gift however I believe that the church sometimes does misunderstand the Holy Spirt. Yes, when you feel the Holy spirit you cry you shout you shake you speak in tongues because that is the manifestation. We all need to remember though that the Holy Spirit is here to guide us. Remember on the day of pentecost when all of them in the upper room started to speak in tongues and the people passing by were basically saying that they were foolish and they were drunk but when they started to hear their own foreign languages they understood what was going on.

    Im sorry to say that those people who shout on sunday and cuss 30 minutes later either faked what they felt or they were just caught up in the moment and doing it for show in order to feel so left out. God will deal with them for their mockery and there blasphemous actions.

    When you nurture the holy spirit within in you through praying and songs and you put the flesh under subjection the spirit does become strong so when you feel like cussin someone off because they pissed you off, you wont do it..when you aint got two dollars to your name and you are in the store and you want to steal something and put it in your purse you wont do it….when you feel like calling pookie and them to gossip about so and so’s husband having an affair with sister keylolo you wont do it beause the Holy spirit within you wont allow you to…thats the power of the holy ghost!

    Yes the word of God does not lie when you are in Christ you are new creature however dont forget that God also gave us free will and in His fairness he laid it all out for us. Im a firm believer in this saying ” God helps those who help themselves!” No one ever said that being a Christian was easy. You could be in the church for 30 years and still be a hot mess because you never opened you ears to Gods word nor have you really given your heart to God.
    One cant assume that just because you go to church that you are all that and a bag a chips….thats what the pharisees in Jesus’ time acted like
    What we need to do is live according to His word seek His truth let go and let God. We care so much about what other people are doing that we lose focus on ourselves. Lets stop judging each other because at the end of the day God has the final word not us.

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