The Irrelevance of the Church

Ask an African- American of 2 generations ago who Jesus and they’ll probably tell you their Savior; their Messiah; the one who got them through some hard times. Ask a young person the same question and you’ll probably receive a halfway thought out answer, nothing significant. More times than not, I’m finding that young folks are turning away from organized religion and reaching for something that they believe has tangible or quantitative value. Why?

Attending church or just having plain faith has brought us an African people through many situations. From our singing of spirituals to keep our minds off of the cracker and his whip who was greedily watching our every move during our enslavement and Jim Crow, or while marching against injustice during the Civil Rights Movement, the belief that someday Jesus will come back and deliver us all out of this world to a place called heaven has given us a peace that surpasses understanding…. Now that the civil rights struggle has subsided due to the tokens given to shut us up, we look less towards the church and a risen savior. It’ll require more research to find out what we are turning to exactly, but more often than not the church is seen as the place to catch up on gossip, perpetrate righteousness, and see family and friends on certain holidays or to get a “word” from the Lord like your fix for the week.

There are many ways to get to the same end result. It’s no different when it comes to spirituality and seeking the glory of God. As I stated before, our people’s spirituality has gotten us through many dark days in our past, but that worked then. What have we gained now? Young people have questions that require answers, and the belief that someone with special powers is coming back to save us from the everyday hell the majority of African Americans live in just doesn’t suffice as a remedy. I’m in no way demeaning who Jesus Christ was in the history of human kind, but I don’t believe that  believing that he is coming to save humanity will really save me from this Hell. Its up to me to elevate my mind from looking toward worldly things and keep myself from destroying myself with them. This is  the core of what Jesus Christ taught. The renewing of your mind? What was his purpose in asking for heaven on Earth if the intention was to wait until we die to receive the glory of heaven? Do you really need to worship him gain a new perspective? Of course not.

The church is irrelevant because few pastors offer practical solutions to the problems young people are facing today. Your life doesn’t get any better or worse depending on your attendance at church and the truth is, just like any other business, the church of today needs your money too to stay valuable to your communities.

I’m no atheist, I believe in God. I was raised in the church, son of a pastor, read The Bible back and forth. I can quote scriptures and I’ve given a sermon (not one of my brightest moments). I say that to say I’m in no way bashing anyone’s religion. I believe all religions, no matter how kooky they’re perceived to be by those not practicing them, can have some truth. Its a fact that humans who believe in something even if its themselves have a better quality of life. We all should believe in something. Before to can find what that something is for you, do a little shopping. Not everyone is destined to say “Jesus is my Lord and Savior.” Or “Allah is all knowing.” Or whatever the case may be. Its OK to shop around and see if religion is right for you. If we teach that instead of cramming church down people’s throats I think we would live in a lot less guilt and the elevation of one’s mind would be a lot less stressful.

This is the first installment of InsideNianda. Please comment, share your thoughts, and pass along. I pray that i got off everything I wanted to say in a clear manner. Thanks for reading.

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3 thoughts on “The Irrelevance of the Church

  1. I beleive that salvation is individual; most people go to church because they are looking for a place were they can feel the love of other people or a place to belong to. After attending church and hearing the word of God most people decide to follow Christ . A church is a place were you come to fellowship with others because everyone needs somebody in this world. You can stay home and watch a sermon on TV it is ok but it is not the same as being in the church and feeling the spirit. You are right that our generation did not give you a choice to decide if you wanted to go to church or not but the bible also says teach your children the word of God so they will not depart from it.We have seen that many times our children decide to do their own things soon or later they wind up in the church because mama or grandma was fasting and praying for them. W e are not the judge of what religion is best ; we will be surprised who we are going to see in heaven or hell someday because God can use anybody to demonstrate his power and to let us know that he is a true God.

  2. I think there is a misunderstanding of what the church is to be about. First off, God never changes and he gave his son Jesus Christ to save the world so that they can have an everlasting life. That still applies today and forever. I think you’re only singling out the “black church…” Christ built his house as a place of refuge and a place of worship and fellowship. I can be the first one to admit that within the black church and some other churches for that matter, there are evidence of judging and hipocracy. Christ didn’t build the church for that purpose. Everyone is destined to have free will, but doesn’t mean it’s always right. You’d be a fool to believe that you can do things on your own. King Solomon asked God for wisdom so that he can make tough. Th renewing of your mind interprets as, Lord make my mind right so I can please you and not man. There’s a difference between just reading the word and reading, studying and understanding the word.

    • You’re very right. There is a misunderstanding of what Jesus Christ meant by the church and what Christianity has become since the leadership of Catholicism around 382 A.D. or the indoctrination of the King James Version of The Bible in 1611. Its very different. Christians have more so a fan of Christ and not followers of what he taught. This has contributed to the mass exodus from church in our generation I will agree with that.

      Renewing of your mind is not a matter of fact. Its a matter of ooinion and belief. Whatever, however you decide to this doesn’t matter, as long as it makes you a better human being. I single out the “black church” because most of us have been taught from day one, go to church, accept Jesus in your life, know that you are not worthy of his love but he loves you anyway and follow his teachings. This will make you a better person. Thats how most black people, in various ways, are taught to become better. The truth is Jesus isn’t the only the way though. There’s Muhammad. There’s Buddha. There’s Krishna. There’s many different ways to get to the goal of renewing ones mind and many teachers of how to do it. Its matter of opinion and belief not fact that Islam is the only way to renew ones mind. Or Buddhism is the only way.

      Alan Watts said that ” if we argue about this as to which version of the truth(religion) is the correct one, we will always end upin an argument in which judge and the advocate are the same person.”
      Meaning no one human or group of humans can say for sure that they know which religion is the correct way to God or the renewing of our minds. Its an opinion that we all are entitled to have. And knowing that truth, instead of relying concretely on the truth that’s been handed to us by our culture’s standard of morality.

      Again I’m not here to bash anyone’s religion. Its just an alternative stance on a major issue. Thanks for your comment

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