Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Counting Sheep At Church
Yes. I'm going to attempt to blog about everybody's favorite topic, religion.
Monday night I went to New Birth (NBMBC) to check out a special invited guest speaker. His name is Ravi Zacharias. He is a world rekown Christian apologist and evangelist. Google him.
Anyways, he spoke at NBMBC and the topic was The Good, the Bad and the Power of the Media. Overall dude was good. I wasn't necessarily blown away because he didn't say anything that my dad father hand't told me before. I'm convinced that I've inherited my natural skepticism, story-telling and occasional long-windedness from him. All good though.
But yeah, Zacharias broke his "danger of the media" down into three areas:
Problematic Induction-meaning that most info is presented in the form of a lie
Devestating Seduction-meaning that overt sexuality in the media, mainly pornography, tears households apart
Inevitable Reduction-meaning that media reduces your intellect to the point that you either don't believe in anything any more or trust the television to tell you what to do.
I came to the lecture ready to take notes, but when I looked at my notebook at the end of the night, I realized that I hardly took any. Why? Because I already kinda knew what dude was talking about. But, still, overall, the lecture was cool.
Afterwards they opened the floor for questions from the crowd and that's when I realized...
People in the Body of Christ are sheep, for real. These folks asked the dumbest questions possible. I know that sounds mean, but I'm sorry, they were dumb ass questions. Half of them were asking questions that Zacharias already addressed in his lecture. I'm assuming that his vocabulary threw them off, making them think that he was "deep" when really he was saying very basic things that anyone with two eyes, two ears and a brain in between them should already know. The other questions were so dumb that the panelist themselves had a hard time answering them, because, they were so asinine that they were beyond answer.
These people were basically going up there wanting to be told what to do. Which is what happens when you only go to church on Sundays or only crack open your Bible when you're at church. It ain't like when you go to church on Sunday that you get to raise your hand and ask a question or make a comment. You're basically just sitting there listening to one dude talk for two hours. If you don't read for yourself at home or on your spare time, you're going to become a sheep the same way that people who sit at home and watch TV all day become sheep.
But yeah, back to what I was saying. The people in the crowd who were mainly NBMBC members showed how sheepish they were last night, which was a let down. This was one of the few settings at church where people could actually spark dialog and none really went down, because not many had anything thought-provoking things to say.
But, one of the main things I kept hearing audience members ask and speak on was "how can I spread the gospel" or "how do we bring back wholesome television" or "how do we get rid of evil" i.e. sex and violence.
I wanted to get in the question line and make suggestions to these folks, but I couldn't because by the time I got up to get in line, one of those three-piece suit with the ear piece wearing brothas smiled and said "no more questions."
But, since I'd been talking a couple of people ears off all day about what I saw last night, I figured I'd share it here...
If the body of Christ really wants to make an impact on society they have to sharpen their tools and change how they do things:
First, they need to stop selling every damn thing. Everything in the body of Christ is FOR SALE. While all of the "evil" stuff is FOR FREE. Case-and-point. I can't lie, I don't make it church EVERY Sunday. Sometimes I don't wake up in time, other times, I just don't feel like going and I'll read at home. Everyonce in a while I'll watch it on the internet via StreamingFaith.com.
Now say if I didn't catch the service on Streaming Faith for whatever reason. Would I be able to go back and watch it? No. Why, because its only streamed. I can't email a link to anyone or anything, its gone. I can't download it and email it. Its not embeddable to put on my blog or others. If I didn't see it, its gone. Well, not completely...I could spend about what $5-$10 on the CD/DVD of the service at church.
On the flipside of that, the media content that the church says is destroying and perverting the youth is available 24/7-365 FOR FREE EVERYWHERE. If I miss the online premier of the latest NSFW music video at 10pm tonight? That shit is gonna be waiting on me when I get home. Ready to be embedded, emailed and tweeted. And its going to be sitting there every day after that.
I've seen that some churches are making their sermons available for MP3 download, but just like iTunes, they are for sale. On the flipside of that (not trying to call the man the devil) I get at least 2-3 new FREE Gucci Mane or Lil Wayne songs emailed to me daily.
The only thing free about church is the actual act of going. Everything else cost. I feel that if they want to make this impact that want to make so bad, they have to get with the times and stop selling everything all the time. I'm mean even Jesus himself wasn't cool with that (Matthew 21:12)
Secondly, I heard people blaming the media for what's wrong with the world, due to the images and messages they put out. The only suggestion they could come up with for combating this was to protest. Protesting only goes so far in my mind. At the end of the day, you need money to fight any kind of war, whether it be intellectual or physical.
If the church has a problem with Trojan condoms, Victoria's Secret or whoever else having commercials playing at times that their kid may see it, then they need to start buying advertising too then. Some may feel like that's "feeding the devil" but I disagree. Protesting the TV station, or even the companies advertising don't do nothing. All they do is find another way to get the message out. If they want to make and impact, start using some of the money they generate via tithes, offering, book sales, DVD sales and conference ticket sales and start buying up some advertising spots. It ain't like they have to pay taxes on their income.
Granted, I've been in the media for less than a decade, but I've gathered that media companies are loyal to whoever is paying the bills at the end of the day. If Def Jam is buying ads at a magazine, then dammit, you're gonna see some Def Jam artists all throughout the magazine. If Gospocentric Records or whatever church decided to start buying ads at some of these mags, I doubt that the higher-ups in the organization are gonna be like "nah, go'on somewhere. we don't accept that Jesus money."
The third thing I gathered from attending this lecture is that alot of people in the body of Christ confuse being "good" with being "christ like." Every other person that went up to speak complained about not enough "wholesome" or "good" or "christ like" television being available. The truth is, there's plenty of that stuff available, but no one, including them, watches it...because its usually corny as hell. Or shied, just flat out loony and terrifying.
I think I'ma stop now. I started on this blog yesterday and forgot whatelse I was going to say. Plus, the third thing, I probably need to develop my thoughts a little bit more before I speak on it.
But, I'd like to hear what you have to say, if anything at all. If ya'll know of some places doing the things I mentioned, by all means share the knowledge. Peace.