Church, Misogyny, and Millennials
Talks of religion and church are touchy subjects these days. Between the rough political climate, sexual assault running rampant in religious circles, and the abuse of power from church leaders, it’s understandable why more and more people are leaving the church in masses. As a millennial, a good portion of my friend group has opted out of attending church and organized religion all together. I don’t blame them. I’ve been in church my entire life and witnessed everything you can imagine. Abuse of power, financial fraud, misogyny, and a lack of guidance for the people run rampant not only in the black church, but across church PERIOD.
Don’t me wrong. I enjoy my black church experience and faithfully attend services on Sunday. However, I’ve grown enough in my journey to see the church for what it is, which is a business. I’ve been to so many services and experienced different pastors, and I’ve come to the realization that church has become performance art for a lot of church leaders. What I mean by performance art is that a lot of pastors and ministers are not genuine in their actions and words. They say and do whatever in order to keep their audience coming back, even at the risk of misleading them. Some people may shrug it off as just being church, but we are in an age where people aren’t just believing everything they are told. They are pushing back and asking the hard questions.
Another disconnect with the church and millenials is the overflow of misogyny that is still being preached from both male and female pastors. Times have changed and women are doing more than just being pastor’s wives. It’s so annoying to hear a pastor get on a soapbox and talk about everything women need to do in order to find a husband, our role in the home, and how we need to be mindful of our appearance. It’s even worse when it comes from a woman. Where is this energy for men who, to be quite honest, need this advice more than women? There’s a portion of men out here who are still struggling to pay their bills on time, but still expect to be head of the household. I won’t go down that road today, but you get what I mean. Some of your favorite preachers are frequent violators of this kind of speech and I would name them outright, but I don’t feel like going back and forth with yall right now.
I’ve experienced a lot of hurt and disappointment from church. I’ve lost a lot of family/friends due to church drama, greed, money, and overall mess. The phrase “there’s no hurt like church hurt,” is accurate. Thankfully, I’ve come to see the church and pastors for what they are and just focus on my relationship with God. These people aren’t perfect and will make mistakes and as long you keep that in perspective, it’s ok. My church experience these days consists of me attending service, paying my tithes, and then going home. That’s it. I don’t need to be involved in the day to day of the church, I don’t need to be recognized personally by the Pastor. Been there, done that, and I can write a book about it.
I don’t know what the future holds for the church. It seems that churches and Pastor’s are still having a hard time adjusting to the changing times. The message of “Love Everyone” is being traded in for fame and the message of wanting to help God’s people is being lost. It's a mess and if the black church doesn’t fix itself, they are going to see nothing but empty pews in the future. My hope is that one day, the church gets back to caring about the people. More community activism than tv appearances, actually learning the gospel (cause Lord knows), and loving everyone right where they’re at. Is it possible? Who knows, but until then I’m good right where I’m at which sitting in my seat and minding my business.