As many know by now, COGIC (Church of God in Christ) just celebrated its 107th National Holy Convocation in St. Louis Missouri. In the video, which was taken down, Bishop Brandon B. Porter allows a young man, Andrew Caldwell, to share his testimony about his deliverance from homosexuality. Now while I do believe in the power of Christ to deliver one from homosexuality and related things, I believe that the way this part of the "testimony service" was handled was not good. After watching this video too many times, I had to ask myself, Why would Bishop Brandon Porter allow Caldwell to take the mic and basically "preach" his testimony? In my opinion the young man seemed too theatrical to be sincere. It seemed more like a show than a real testimony. Aside from the bad grammar he put on display, his whole speech about not putting on make-up and not carrying a purse, and how much he loves "women, women, women" was a bit extra. I'm not trying to say there are rules about how to give a testimony at a church service, but if he simply shared in a calm voice about how he struggled with homosexuality for a long time, but the Lord dealt with his heart about the issue and set him free, then simply handed the mic back to Bishop Porter, that would have been fine. But no, instead, we get a bunch of yelling and a bit about how he now loves women and he's speaking in fake tongues.
What doesn't help is that the "black church" has a history of having preachers who feel like they have to yell and shout everytime they preach. Why can't they just speak calmly to the congregations? We have all this yelling and hollering and a bunch a runs in long-winded sentences, and poor diction and syntax, that when you ask the average church member what the sermon was really about, he or she cannot even tell you. Really? Not cool.
So that set the stage for what took place at that COGIC convocation. Later after I watched the video, I found out that Caldwell received money after giving his testimony. So we are basically paying people to give testimonies now?
Then another video was put out that was a remix song of Caldwell's testimony. It went viral, of course, and it received a lot of negative attention, so much that when the song made its way to iTunes, the Church of God in Christ threatened to sue Caldwell for it. This is crazy. This is exactly why we don't need people acting out in church. It can lead to people trying to make a profit off of a remixed version of the audio from a viral video and lawsuits.
And we wonder why so many people don't take the church, especially the black church, seriously. We have a long way to go. But in spite of this, I remain optimistic about the growth in spiritual maturity of those in the body of Christ, no matter their race.
I just want to encourage and inspire as many people as I can for Jesus Christ.