Tuesday, November 20, 2007

It Is What It Is

Wow. Where do I begin? I've been meaning to post this for a while now.

Last Sunday, I went to a church in NY that I had never been to before: just wanted to check out a different church while in the city, and a friends mom referred it to me. Anywho, I'm running a little late (everything that could have went wrong on this morning-did), and I'm welcomed into the church by a WHOLE LOT of singing. Being considerate of the fact that I'm late, I tell myself that this is probably just the period of their service where they sing selections.

After more then a few songs, they have alter call. Now I'm not quite a Bama, but I've spent the last 3yrs. at a small church in North Carolina, and I'm used to what I'm used to. At my church, altar call usually takes place after the message. I spoke to my pastor about this though, and he informed me that some people have altar call before the message so that the congregation can be spiritually prepared for the message it is about to receive. So, they're having altar call. If you aren't a church goer, altar call is basically what it sounds like. The pastor calls people to the front who would like to receive special prayer over a special situation, or just want prayer in general (who doesn't need prayer? I mean, really). I believe this is supposed to be a personal decision, and I also don't care too much about random people praying over me. So, I decided to stay seated. An usher walks over to me and says, "Girl, don't let everybody receive a blessing but you." That got me... and before you know it, I find myself at the altar- awaiting prayer.

They sung a song. The end. No prayer of any sort, and I was completely blown. And I'm saying to myself, "Brandi, this isn't your church- the pastor can't address each person individually, just wait to hear the message." Nonetheless, I was getting a bad vibe. Then, to make a bad situation worse, there are two women "feeling the spirit", and the ushers are bringing attention to the situation. I, in no way, down a person getting their praise on in church if you know what I mean. Excuse the slang, but I surely aint mad at a person who catches the Holy Ghost either. However, I'm not quite a believer of those who speak in tongues. So, as the ladies are having their "episodes", the ushers are kind of egging them on. Then a woman starts speaking in tongues (a gibberish language you can't understand that supposedly God can). I'm still telling myself, "hold out til' the message comes."

Here it is. The message. The preacher stands in the pulpit, does some high pitched- what I believe was supposed to be- singing, and reads a passage from the scripture. He begins his message, and (I kid you not) is done within 3 minutes. He could not have said any more than 5 sentences when he decided he was done, and it was time to close the service in prayer. It's bad enough there was no correlation between the scripture and the message, BUT THERE WAS NO MESSAGE! On top of that, he didn't call members to the front for salvation. What purpose does church serve you if you aren't offered the chance to be saved and renew your spirit in the eyes of the Lord? Bottom line, the church seemed down right blasphemous. It was crazy. Definitely an experience I won't forget.

Initially, I thought I was being too closed minded. However, as I looked around- I noticed I wasn't the only person who seemed blown by this entire "production". I always wondered how you were supposed to compare churches. A building intended to deliver God's message was just that; what could make one worse than the other? The answer I received was that the difference comes in what feelings are stirred up as a result of you being in the building. It is what you make of it and what you get out of it. Furthermore, take note of your surroundings. If the members of the church don't seem to be getting any more of a message than you are, or they just seem too influenced when nothing appears to be happening- that is a clear sign of what's really going on. With that being said...

"The first time someone calls you a horse, you punch them in the nose. The second time someone calls you a horse, you call them a jerk. But the third time someone calls you a horse- well, then perhaps it's time to go shopping for a saddle." Lucky Number Slevin

2fingers and blessings,


  1. Brandi-
    It is so interesting to hear your descriptions of church. It is a little bit of a foreign world to me. I was raised Catholic and then went to Quaker School. It reminds me of hearing people speak in tongues in ghana this summer. If you want to read about it on my blog it is at
    the post is from August and it is titled Engagements and Demons.
    Have a good Thanksgiving,

  2. First off let me say, I feel you! When you are used to a place where you can feel the annointing, it becomes very easy to tell the real from the fake. Secondly, because you know I got to get you.. You're not quite a BAMA, but you've been going to a church in NC for the past 3 years.. yeah what you trying to say? Don't be getting brand new cuz you in Philly now. VA is the south too honey, don't forget where you came from! And that's all I got to say about that, lol. Love ya boo!