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Are Pastors contributing to the divorce rate?

March 12, 2012

Let me start by saying that I do not feel success, competence or performance is gender-based. I think either gender can yield results in any area not requiring gender biology or anatomy to make it happen. Critical thinking, inventing, organizing and creating all comes from the brain, which I truly believe are designed pretty much equally. However, what I do believe is when an emotional cord is struck within either gender, exploitation can take place. Hence, many corporations segment their marketing and deliver their advertising message based on what they are selling. Some view the female as the number one consumer decision-maker in the home. It is because those companies do a great job packaging products that tap into the emotional component of the woman prompting her to take action. This is done in business. But I am now wondering if this is taking place in the church as well.

I am writing this from my assessment, and would actually like feedback and what you believe. Over the past few weeks I’ve attended a couple of church services that had a great message but were riddled with suspicious subliminals. Without getting too deep into the sermons, one of the pastors used individual purpose as his message. He mentioned that a female gave up everything, her relationship, family, & career to leave the country and serve an impoverished nation. She did this over five years ago and haven’t returned since. It sounds inspiring don’t it? While I do believe each person should follow the mission God has for them, he, and other pastors, encourage this too. But yet every Sunday we see “their” wives in full support of their “calling” sitting in the front pew, leading “his” church ministries and delivering church announcements. (Oh, let’s not forget her parking space.) If you know of a church where the 1st lady is never around the church and off doing her own thing, please let me know.

Another message shed light on the Garden of Eden. The minister called Adam too laid-back for allowing Eve to sway him into eating the forbidden fruit. (The women cheered!) Now this, I agree with contextually but is there any mention of how long Eve was pestering Adam to eat of the tree before he gave in? Men try to please their women, and women will “bless” men that take care of them, so with this innate masculine trait, how wrong was Adam? I hear messages of men being the leader of the home but then I hear pastors negating this fact by feeding the emotion of the woman to do her own thing. Is this contradictory? None of us can blame Adam or blame Eve for what took place in the garden since none of us were there. And if we want to keep it real, the devil only tempted the same person Pastors target!

The last thing I heard was an urgent plea from a pastor for members to volunteer a significant amount more of hours at the church. He said giving more of your time is Godly. I definitely agree that church members should volunteer their time but to pull at the member’s heart strings that result in guilt, to me, is irresponsible. Meanwhile, the pastor is being paid to be at the church. This is like me telling unpaid people to spend more time at my workplace and if they don’t, they are not supportive of my work. Is this a fair comparison? Things like this can drive a wedge between families but that leads to my next question. Does service to church come before the marriage? I didn’t say service to God. I said service to the church. And where does the line between service to God and service to the church start and end?

Since I am not a theologian questions like these run through my mind unanswered, not clear if these questions posed to church leaders would be deemed offensive or blasphemous. I tend to view marriage/relationships as team efforts but when is it acceptable for that team to become individual players? Other issues like, shouldn’t we be loving Jesus and worshipping God? I see Christians actually worshipping Jesus and I think that is against one of the 10 Commandments (Have no other gods before me-yes, even His son!) but I won’t get into that on this column. I chalk it up to people being so “ritualistic” that they don’t realize what they are saying, like calling God AND Jesus, Lord. Who is the real Lord? I digress. So, should a man’s (pastor) word who ideologically walks on water and says he/she brings a message directly from God be taken literally? Anyways, just help me with this division in the home question. Are irresponsible pastors contributing to it, thus creating Holy Unmatch-trimony?

11 Comments leave one →
  1. Chandra permalink
    March 12, 2012 10:42 am

    In Isaiah 43, God reminds Israel “I am the Lord your God” throughout. Translated, Lord means master, one who is in position of authority. Many instances in the New Testament Jesus is also Lord. God is Lord and Jesus is Lord are not contradictory statements but are complementary in Scripture.

    God’s revelation of God’s nature we cannot fully describe. The book of John helps us to understand the dimensions of God through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The context for having no other god’s before me was concerned with worship of pagan deities. It was difficult for Israel to remain distinct in holy acts of worshipto God (they were distracted) because their neighbors did otherwise.

    Pastors are meant to be shepherds of the called out of God. I am not a theologian but I am a woman in ministry. I am also working on a Masters of Divinity. Many of your questions posed have so much to do with Christian ethics and congregational leadership. We (the church) can do better in this arena. We can try to help more effectively.

    Women tend to be more vulnerable to predatorial comments by those in authority and church environments are not excluded. Men and women battle many pressures in daily living. Many marriages are strained. Your comments remind me of that. Your comments also remind me of how important it is to offer help to the strains felt.

    Although, I can’t answer your question. I am glad you are asking important questions of duty and commitment.

  2. Leroy Glenn Prentice permalink
    March 12, 2012 11:05 am

    I agree with you, however, men and women are wired differentl; women use both side of their brains and are more emitional. Advertisers know this and attack. I agree with everything else.

  3. Deb permalink
    March 12, 2012 5:07 pm

    You have hit it now- you need a radio program and I need to be a guest with some of those Pulpit Pimps and we can have a discussion from my perspective as a female and as a Pastor that deals with those Pulpit Pimps- thats why brothers don’t want to attend church – YOU- Yes, I said YOU men know your brothers and you come to church and see the real man behind the robe and say “to hell with that, he’s hitting it just me”- is there a witness?

  4. March 12, 2012 6:17 pm

    What I am about to say is from how I was raised, agree or not, but the man of the home suppose to be the head and make the finale decisions. As he is submissive to our God (Yahweh), as woman is submissive to her husband.
    Ephesians 5:22 : “Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church.
    This should still stand and of course in today’s world, the wife now does give input and suggestions that a good, wise husband will consider in decision making if it merits over his own., but he do have the final say so if they can’t come together in agreement.
    A wife suppose to help create an atmosphere of love in the home. Can this be done if they are putting other responsibilities ahead of her home, her husband? I don’t believe so.

    Advertisers tactics to target women are very wise in doing so. I am sure through research they found women being emotional creatures, could put heavy influence on their mate to make purchases that may not be economical realistic.

    I witness in other churches where Pastors do use this same approach in getting women to donate their time to the church and help push their husbands as well. I agree too, that service is a big part in serving our God, but I don’t believe that such time should interfere with the sanctity of marriage. This will not be pleasing to God, and those that is held part of doing so will be held accountable. So its never acceptable for one party of a marriage to make decisions on individual basis that will affect his/her marriage. Pastors are not honoring God by making members (mainly the wife/women) feel they are dishonoring God by not donating as much time that the Pastor see fit. My Pastor doesn’t teach this. In fact, my Pastor teaches that women should honor their husband and not put even He, HIMSELF, in front of her husband. And yes, Devin to you asking, our 1st Lady, my Pastor wife, has her own life and he insist that she shouldn’t always be by his side or she couldn’t do what she needs to do for herself and keep the home in harmony. We have two services and she does not attend them both or sometimes neither one and when she does, she is not glue to him.

    On the topic you will not touch now, but yes, that can be another topic, but I would say some people are misconstrued in their practice of religion.
    Ephesians 4:4-6 : “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of ALL who is above ALL, and through all, and in you all.” Jesus is the SON of God, being under God his Father, our Lord, (Yahweh). Many Blessings Professor Robinson.

  5. Teria permalink
    March 12, 2012 7:05 pm

    Hi Devin

    I can understand how you could be perplexed so were some of the Pharisees in Matthew 19:1-12 (please read). The Pharisees asked similar questions about divorce and why Moses granted this verdict. Jesus answered them and it can help you get the answers you are looking for. Also, if you get a chance to research the definition of the Trinity (Father, Son, Holy Spirit)… one love 🙂

  6. March 12, 2012 7:16 pm

    I’m sitting here reading your column and just chuckling inside. I joined a “holiness” church when I was 15 yrs old. I am now forty five. I’ve served from the choir, to Bible class teacher to Minister and Elder and Assistant Pastor of the grand ole’ Church of God in Christ. I remember when I wholeheartedly gave my life over to Christ I suffered persecution by not only friends and family but also by church people. I desired to know God and I abstained from all sorts of things life had to offer. I didn’t drink or smoke have pre-marital sex went to prayer spoke in toungue, hosted holy hip hop conferences and won many young souls to God. Because of my strong desire to know “more of God” it prompted me to leave my church after 3 years because all the Pastor spoke about every Sunday for two of those years was “the building fund and how God gave “him” a vision. I joined another church, this Pastor knew his Word and he preached you under the pews…unbeknownst to me he was meeting most of the women under those pews during private counseling sessions-that same preacher had another son his wife two kids and his other son’s mother attending that church. One of the ladies the Pastor was getting down with had a daughter who eventually married this Pastors son-turns out he was screwing not only that mother but the daughter as well…keep in mind he knew this child ever since she wast 8 yrs old-the son (legitimate one) thought his baby was his but turns out to be his Daddy’s baby- he oftentime took my girlfriend into counseling. Of course I ran from there like a mouse running from a starving cat. Ok I joined another church the Pastor placed me in charge of the finances- everyday he came to me to go to the bank to get money so he and his wife could by clothes, go out to eat, put gas in the car etc, when time came to pay the rent the account would be depleted, I quickly became tired of this. I took some time away and decided not to join a church for awhile. After sometime I did join another because I listened to people tell me “well you know you need a church home”, also my favorite one “no church is perfect”. This last Pastor seemed to really have it together, you know the type of leader you can respect and admire. If I mentioned his name many of your readers would have heard of him. Now he didn’t have all the issues the other Pastors did although he had his time back in the day where he was so enthralled with tradition it almost cost him his ministry and family. But even with him he was so limited because of the very traditional mindset preachers have that you mentioned in your column. Pastors tend to have this God complex- serving their vision equals serving God because he/she is the called man/woman of God. And your right there is a sense of guilt used. But to be real honest, people of the church including women buy into this because she is supposed to ” cling unto her husband”, many women get caught up in the fact that a man is a minister because they have these desires to be a preachers wife. Many people become Pastors because they don’t want to work a full time job, they like the idea of being a leader and in charge and the title is somewhat prestigious. The culture of the church has a specfic’ type” of role that women play…and it stands because women fall subservient to it-they embrace it because somehow if they buck against it then they are going against “God”. Many women are just as guilty because they have ulterior motives as well. Many Pastors are running the homes of his parishioners. Again people don’t challenge it because they believe it’s the right thing and God has ordained it. Many homes have been broken and many women have lost good men because they got “saved” and listened to the Pastor as well as other members of the church leadership. I’ve always asked the question since God is all knowing-didn’t he know that they were going to eat the forbidden fruit-(I already know some of all’s response) but think about later when he repented he made man because of so much sin-didn’t he already know what was going to happen, didn’t he know that Christ would have to eventually die on the cross to redeem man. I’ve sat up many nights thinking, analyzing questioning and researching and somethings not adding up. I eventually abandoned my faith-now I said my faith which means my belief system-however it made me more inquisitive about who God really is. In my heart I know not to kill, steal, covet dishonor my body. I didn’t need to be apart of a group or organization to provide those moral and ethical standards like I thought I did. Many people continue to do those things they know are wrong but still do it. Some people need something like church or religion to believe in to keep them in line, But others believe that God is indwelling and that they don’t need outside third parties to give them direction for their lives. It all boils down to where your faith and strength lies. If people open their eyes and be honest with themselves alot more changes would come. When your in church and you hear people speaking in tongues, take notice, haven’t they been uttering the same tongue for years-What, God ain’t got nothing else to say? Something ain’t adding up. I have become more interested in Deism rather than Theism. Man’s nature ain’t right.

    • March 12, 2012 11:14 pm

      Philip reading your comment about the pastor with the women counseling sessions, made me think of this Pastor at a church I won’t mention who was persistent about me visiting his church. 3 weeks ago, I was at one of the properties of the company I work with which is across the street of the church. The pastor asked me over to talk about the house but the conversation quickly turned a little personal. He wanted my number and kept wanting me to promise to come. I done neither because I told him I have a church I attend. I don’t waste my time on anything where there is no invested interest. Maybe your previous Pastor is him wanting those women to “SERVE” him in reality and not the church. Mmmm. I went through that at age 26 and when I went to Deacon about it, they wanted it to be kept quiet. I left that church. And it was a Holiness church as well. And you are right. It is some of the women fault. Some women need to pray for wisdom and understanding of what God really has for them and not rely on everything their Pastor preach. I also took a break like you did. I am now happy where I go and my Pastor is a good TEACHER. I don’t go to church to feel good which is what i think some Pastors do. They say things to their church to get feel good responses.

      • March 13, 2012 10:15 pm

        Oh yeah you are absolutely right he did want the women to “serve” him he wanted them accessible. The reason he wanted them at the church is because he knew that they would be easy to control and manipulate-he could screw them when he wanted and the biggest one of them all “TITHES”. He was smooth with it too you know a pretty boy preacher. Churches have become like multi-level marketing schemes and everybody wants to be a bishop or apostle. The more churches under them means more tithes. I know this one Pastor in Milwaukee well known for having alot of “boys” around him, these “boys” were flames ain’t no if ands or buts about it. Now I don’t presume to know what people are doing behind closed doors but what I saw in public you didn’t need to see behind doors. Now this Pastor who is an apostle ordained all these flaming boys to be Pastors now they are aspiring to be Bishops, when I say it’s messy trust me with a capital “M”. Now i mentioned this for a purpose and not just bantering and I realize not all churches have this going on but I see women in the church befriending these flames, many of them are serving publicly and as soon as a scandal breaks out they are the first to holla Satan the lord rebuke you and the first to gossip about it. My point is that churches have really lost their purpose- they claim to be institution for God but Pastors goal is to preach you happy, hopefully you’ll become impressed and join-cha ching more tithes and offering. Many church leaders preach their opinions instead of “the word”. There is always a building fund and most haven’t filled the pews they currently have. You can have ten churches on one block but how many of those Pastors even know each other. Some preachers won’t even allow “their members” to visit another church. They mostly exist in dilapidated neighborhoods and while driving through they give no thought to the young people hanging out- oh they will say ” Lord Jesus help them and send them to church” but most won’t do anything to go after them. Church people have abused their power of influence, it’s all about membership under the auspices of “Spreading the Word of God”. All the money they generate from the building funds and Pastor’s anniversary and musicals can be used collectively for job training, entrepreneurship education. Pastors can bind together to influence politicians to provide opportunities to build an infrastructure that economically empowers the very neighborhoods they worship in. But they are too busy wasting money are things that depreciates in value. Now some people say that the only purpose of the church is to bring people to Christ. But doesn’t the very Bible they read say to bring all the tithes and offerings in the storehouse so that there may be meat for the people to consume and not just literal food but things that bring nourishment for healthy living. Young black males are graduating from high school at a near 50% rate. Children growing up w/o fathers in their lives-black parents getting strung out even more- incarceration rates still high among blacks-we owned more businesses in the 20’s and 30’s than we do now. The most influential institution among blacks are the churches-where are they? what are the priorities to the people? Most Pastors don’t care about anyone unless they are apart of their congregation?

  7. ANDY permalink
    March 14, 2012 12:56 am

    Ok,here’s the deal.
    You have alot to say and email is not going to get it. Are you familar with BLOG-TV.

    Pastors have mastered the art of going straight to the females heart. Once in,you are toast and left behind.

  8. Diva permalink
    March 16, 2012 12:41 pm

    Having faith in ones God and living a dedicated life to him in service to man while bringing Glory to the father is one thing.

    Functioning in organized religion is just that functioning in an organization. While corruption, and or success can be found within any organizational structure; the seeming corruption that arises from organized religion most often exist because there is no check and balance.

    Power regardless of the sector that has no check and balance will eventually consume itself and the partakers.

    Now, I very well know, sin, corruption misdeeds etc. are colorless and can be found across the board at any church house regardless of color. However, I can’t help but take note in my own community and various surrounding areas white folks don’t whine about paying tithes,( marquee reading $18,930 last Sunday offering) ( this is good for the country) there are just as many white men present as white women and children. The system is set up like a government with various heads over each department designed to keep order and establish boundaries therefore the pastor is neither the absolute power nor his wife, they have outreaches that impact the community and they have in house activities outside of just worship service that speaks to the needs of all the members.

    However, our constant define (black church) is : whoring, money greedy preachers with silly, lonely desperate sisters with children and absent black brothers; not to mention the marquee reading $6.00 last Sunday offering. (Unless it is a mega church) Talking about info-structual change the black church needs to get in line with everything else we label as black in America and experience an overhaul.
    Until we realize, ones sexuality is not stifled because we are Christians therefore we need order, and until we realize no one man/woman should assume absolute power in any given situation church house included we will continue to have issues. Until black men realize they need to attend the house of worship with their women in order to bring the much needed check and balance their will continue to be issues. Without the check and balance in place and functioning some of us as a people will continue to curse ourselves as we abide in ignorance, stinginess and selfishness . As always, I’m just saying.

  9. Diva permalink
    March 16, 2012 12:44 pm

    *Clarification the ( good for the country) is as it pertains to a rural area.

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