Tag Archives: black church

Eddie Long is Dead…what will be his legacy?

Bishop Eddie Long died this morning but his influence was diminished years ago. He was accused by several boys of having improper contact with them. In the midst of the crisis Long maintained his innocence but he settled the cases with the accusers. He moved on with his ministry but many questioned his innocence. So how will he be remembered? A progressive minister of a mega-church or a sexual predator who took advantage of the vulnerable? Share your thoughts.

Kim Burrell is now a household name and she probably hates it

Kim Burrell is a big name in gospel music and she has recently started to make inroads on the secular side of the music industry. That came to an abrupt halt when a videotape surface of her preaching to her congregation last week. She called homosexuals and lesbians perverts. The response from the gay community was swift. She was scheduled to appear on the Ellen show. That performance was cancelled. Some are saying she is being persecuted for expressing her right to free speech? In this country she is has the right to express her opinion but so do others, and if you are going to appear on the Number One Lesbian in the country television show you can’t call her a pervert. She had a radio show which has been cancelled. So is Burrell getting what she deserves? Share your thoughts.

Why is AE glorifying the Klan with “Generation KKK”?


Where are the fathers?

Over the years we have watched as young people have been shot to death by members of their own community. Some have been the victims of wrong place wrong time, and stray bullets have snatched their lives. some have been the casualties of senseless gang wars. Fighting over territory and turf that does not belong to either group. Too often babies and young children are orphaned by the brutality of street justice. Somebody has to step up an parent these children, and the grandmothers are stepping into these parental shoes, but in some cases we are left to ask where are the fathers? Why aren’t we seeing fathers stepping up. Is it because so many of them are also victims of the streets? Or are they avoiding responsibility because the women they impregnated never asked them to be a part of the family? So many questions and so few answers but grandmothers are dying and some are still getting their groove on and there may come a time where there is no one to step up and then the state takes over and that would be the biggest tragedy.

Is OWN Greenleaf just another hit job on the black church?

Last night I watched the first episode of OWN Greenleaf. Sadly, it is simply another hit job on the black church. The media portrays the church in two ways: Comedic foil or cesspool of sin. The fictional church is populated with heartless hypocrites who have amassed their wealth through the loyalty and ignorance of the members. Rarely, is their a depiction of a minister who is committed to kingdom work. That probably would not make for good television.

Did Rev. Jamal Bryant deserve this?

People don’t respect the ministry and many people have issues with the media loving Jamal Bryant, but does he deserve this? Did Bryant do the right thing by simply walking away. Watch the clip and share your thoughts.

Has Kirk Franklin evolved beyond the gospel world?

Kirk Franklin is currently celebrating 20 years in the business. He has evolved from gifted songwriter into the ultimate entertainer. Is he still about the gospel or is he more about the entertainer? Share your thoughts.

The Problematic Partnership between Kanye and Kirk Franklin

To be sure, one of the most influential contemporary Gospel artists of our time is Kirk Franklin. Like Thomas Dorsey, Andraé Crouch, The Edwin Hawkins Singers and The Winans Family before him, Franklin’s innovative style has pushed the limits of Gospel music.

As is the case with other Christians in the “industry,” Franklin has collaborated with various secular artists. The list includes the rapper Salt of Salt-N-Pepa, Mary J. Blige, R. Kelly and Bono. For this, Franklin has drawn some criticism. However, news that Franklin appears on the new album of hip-hop artist Kanye West has drawn the most passionate criticism Franklin has faced during his career.

So, the question is, are any of the criticisms levied against Franklin warranted? To address this question, I believe we need to begin with how Kanye West has portrayed himself publicly, and end with how Franklin has responded to his critics.

In 2013, West was interviewed by Kris Jenner – who is now his mother-in-law. In this televised interview, West declared, “I’m a Christian.” Some Christians will see this statement and say something like, “Praise God! He may not be the best role model, but at least he’s saved.” Others will point to West’s song, “Jesus Walks,” as evidence of Christian faith.

But, wait a minute. If a person says, “I’m a Christian,” does that make such an assertion true? No. In fact, Jesus said in Matthew 7:21-23, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’”

Anyone can profess to be a believer, but only a true follower of Christ possesses the gift of salvation. Further, whenever people say, “I’m a Christian,” we need to determine how he or she defines the term “Christian.” Their concept of Christianity may very well be a departure from the true Christianity presented in the Bible.

There are two statements West has made about Jesus that I find to be particularly problematic. First, in the lyrics to one of his songs, West states, “My Jesus likes sex, so he didn’t die a virgin.” Such a statement is clearly antithetical to Scripture. West also said, “I believe in Jesus as an icon, but I don’t feel I need to take responsibility for my own successes or failures.” Jesus is no “icon,” He is the Son of the living God.

In keeping with his controversial persona, West appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone with a crown of thorns on his head and blood streaming down his face, thus making a mockery of Jesus. Additionally, West’s sixth studio album is called “Yeezus.” On it, there is a track titled, “I Am a God.”

On numerous occasions, West has been seen wearing jewelry that depicts a pagan deity, and he has openly displayed occult imagery. Conspiracy theorists have even claimed that West and other entertainers are a part of the Illuminati. That notwithstanding, there is much about West that ought to concern every Christian.

In an interview with Big Boy radio, West made the following statement about Franklin’s appearance on his new album: “When I was sitting in the studio with Kirk, Kirk Franklin, and we’re just going through it. I said this is a gospel album, with a whole lot of cursing on it, but it’s still a gospel album. … The gospel according to Ye. It’s not exactly what happened in the Bible, but it’s this story idea of Mary Magdalene becoming Mary.”

Dude, really?

So, how has Franklin responded to his critics? In an Instagram post, Franklin said, “Kanye is not me. I am not him. He is my brother I am proud to do life with.” Franklin continued by saying, “To a lot of my Christian family, I’m sorry he’s not good enough, Christian enough, or running at your pace, … and as I read some of your comments, neither am I.” In another statement, Franklin said, “Don’t judge me for working with Kanye.”

Essentially, Franklin is saying that no one has the right to tell him he’s wrong for connecting with West in this way. That is a rather prideful position for any believer to take when engaged in questionable activity.

Franklin’s appearance on the track, “Ultralight Beams,” sends the message that he is comfortable with the lyrical content of West’s entire album. Yes, it is true, Jesus ate with sinners. However, He never publicly or privately endorsed their sinful practices.

Franklin doesn’t seem to understand that Christians in the public eye are to be held accountable for how they use the platform God has given them. This includes preachers, politicians and musicians. Apparently, Franklin’s fellow Gospel artist, Kierra Sheard, also lacks understanding in this area. Upon learning of Franklin being in the studio with West, she said, “I was super inspired. … Kirk Franklin was chilling on the wall. … He did nothing that let his good be evil spoken of. It was perfect.”

By virtue of his influence within popular culture, Franklin’s affiliation with West will likely lead many impressionable and immature Christians astray.

If I could say something directly to Kirk Franklin, it would be this: Kirk, it’s one thing to minister to a celebrity, but it’s another thing to associate yourself with his music that twists Scripture and blasphemes the name of Christ. In 1 Corinthians 15:33, it says, “Do not be deceived: ‘Bad company ruins good morals.’”

I would also say to my brother: Please don’t take Jesus’ discourse on judging in Matthew 7:1 out of context, like so many have. Jesus was speaking against judging others wrongly; not against judging altogether. In fact, later on in that same chapter, Jesus encourages His disciples to make sound judgments by discerning the difference between true and false prophets.

In closing, I would say: Kirk, I have examined the fruit Kanye West has borne throughout his career, and I have judged it to be rotten to the core. While God is the only One with the prerogative to condemn, I do have an obligation to inspect another’s fruit. Since I have people who follow my leadership, I, too, am not exempt from fruit inspection.

So, are any of the criticisms levied against Franklin warranted? Of course they are. Let’s pray he gains much-needed discernment concerning those with whom he chooses to collaborate. Let’s also pray that souls are not misled because of this lack of spiritual discernment.

The Rev. Joel A. Bowman, Sr. is founder and senior pastor of Temple of Faith Baptist Church in Louisville.

Bishop Eddie Long thought about suicide, but the love of his congregation lifted him

In 2011 several young men claimed to have had sexual relationships with Bishop Long. News accounts say the church settled. He lost members but some stayed and for that he is grateful. If your Pastor was involved in scandal would you have stayed? Share your thoughts.

Virgin Bride sparks outrage, but Louisville mom pimping daughters doesn’t…what’s going on?

Read the linked story and share your thoughts.