Faith

"GOD TOLD ME TO MARRY YOU"...AND WHAT GOD REALLY SAID

"GOD TOLD ME TO MARRY YOU"...AND WHAT GOD REALLY SAID

Long, long ago, I belonged to a church where it wasn’t uncommon for members to “know” the specific person “God” told them they were destined to marry. A good friend of mine at the time believed God revealed to her that our pastor’s armor bearer (assistant/Bible toter/water getter/forehead wiper) was her husband to be. Another member said God told her she would marry one of our church’s ministers. And I believed the Lord told me a popular radio personality (and church member) was destined to be my hubby. Suffice it say, each of us found ourselves looking like an idiot as time and circumstance played out.  The pastor’s armor bearer ended up marrying another woman within six months of meeting her. The minister simply used the other young lady for sex as she pined away hoping he’d one day see they were meant to be. And my radio personality hubby-to-be told me flat out that I wasn’t “the one”, went on to marry a gorgeous gospel artist and (10+ years later) they remain married and have an adorable family.

Since leaving that church, I’ve come to learn that our embarrassingly mistaken “revelations” aren’t uncommon among professed believers in other churches, either. I’ve since met another young lady who so sincerely believed God told her a specific guy was her husband that she remained single and waited for him for 13 years! (THIIIIIIIR-TEEEEEN...YEEEEEAAAAARRRRSSSS!!!!) Meanwhile, that gentleman barely knew her name, and if I recall correctly, he also went off to marry someone else.

Stepping into the New Year Like..."I WILL Have Trouble?"

Stepping into the New Year Like..."I WILL Have Trouble?"

As I’ve scrolled through my social media feeds these past few days, I haven’t been surprised to see one celebrity pastor after the next declaring nothing but great things for you (whoever you are) in the New Year. They do this madness every year.  But, honestly, this year their shenanigans actually caught my earnest attention, namely because I know first-hand how what they “declare and decree” each year is so off base from what the Lord has already promised His children.  

"No. Women May NOT Be Pastors." But Can They Be Deacons?

"No. Women May NOT Be Pastors." But Can They Be Deacons?

If I had to do a year-end review of my most controversial piece of 2018, No. Women may NOT be Pastors.” Where’s the Lie? would easily make the list. To be clear, I don’t set out to be controversial. Trust me, I get beat up so much by detractors I certainly have days when I’m tempted to never say or write another word (not out of fear, but out of frustration). But then there’s this whole “fire-shut-up-in-my bones” thing happening that won’t let me stay quiet long, and I’ve come to accept that repeating God’s Word is by virtue a controversial feat. As such, during Women’s History Month this year, “No. Women may NOT be Pastors” went live, and even after all of the backlash I’ve received for it since, I still stand by it. I know that most with a solid handling of Scripture do as well.

Yet, while there are those who would agree that Scripture prohibits female pastors, I recently learned that some of these same individuals would argue that women can be deacons, per the qualifications for the role outlined in 1 Timothy 3.

Social Justice: Why Jesus Didn't Pursue It + Why the Church Shouldn't Fight for It

Social Justice: Why Jesus Didn't Pursue It + Why the Church Shouldn't Fight for It

“Social justice” is a term often thrown around, but very rarely defined, explained or even clearly understood in daily discourse. Yet a clear definition of this concept is necessary because there is indeed a such thing as social justice -  and then there is justice. Contrary to popular delusion, there is a difference between the two, for if they were indeed one and the same, the term “justice” would be sufficient. No qualifier or modifier would be necessary. But I've found that most often conflate these two concepts, which causes much confusion, contention and debate amongst Believers regarding our charge as Christians. One might argue that it’s just semantics, but I’d passionately beg to differ. And I am sincerely alarmed when professed Christians not only claim “social justice” is what the Body of Christ is charged to pursue, but that they’d dare argue it’s what Jesus preached or supported during His earthly ministry.   

"Hello, I'm a Christian and Physical Attraction is Important to Me"

"Hello, I'm a Christian and Physical Attraction is Important to Me"

As a Christian woman, it’s hard to admit that physical attraction is one of my non-negotiables. I'm often made to feel like I’m confessing some secret sin from which I require immediate deliverance, as if wanting to be attracted to my spouse makes me carnal, superficial or “loose”. Now, it is quite possible my present perspective on this topic is spiritually immature. I might look back on this piece years from now, perhaps after I’m married, and find that my current priorities are slightly out of whack. Nevertheless, I feel very strongly about this at the moment and, even on the chance that it isn’t the most mature perspective, I’m certain it isn’t a sinful one.

Ummm...That Ain't in My Bible: Stuff Lukewarm Christians Say (Part 3)

Ummm...That Ain't in My Bible: Stuff Lukewarm Christians Say (Part 3)

I began this series two years ago to examine popular, albeit non-biblical, phrases and contextually inaccurate scriptures often uttered by many Christians and non-Christians alike. I'm finally back with a new installment debunking phrases which undermine objective truth.  

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Self-Segregation / When the Gospel Is Enuf

For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Self-Segregation / When the Gospel Is Enuf

I truly appreciated the diversity I witnessed at The Gospel Coalition’s Women’s Conference this year. Granted, this was the first TGC conference I’ve ever attended, so I’m not sure what the attendee and speaker demographics looked like in years past. But I was honestly blessed to see women of a myriad of backgrounds all up and through that place - speaking on the main stage, facilitating workshops, walking through the halls, leading praise and worship, checking in at registration, volunteering - all over.  I saw a beautiful tapestry of women who varied in age, ethnicity, marital and parental status, education and vocation, ministries, and time in Christ. Yet, as I basked in the beauty of the diversity in the sisters around me, ironically, I found myself quite disturbed by an event the conference held for women of color.

Self-Check + Encouragement for the Weary Christian

Self-Check + Encouragement for the Weary Christian

Proclaiming Christ, defending the faith and sharing the deeper mysteries of the Gospel give me absolute life. I sincerely enjoy it. But, admittedly, I recently experienced a bout of near exhaustion, and I noticed that I was becoming easily frustrated by those who rejected the truth. It's disappointing to see many willingly remain in sin and confusion even after you’ve taken them through the Scriptures - line by line, precept by precept - to show them that Jesus truly is THE way! And it's all the more infuriating when you're demonized by those who, themselves, do the work of satan by suppressing the truth! It's enough to tempt one to grow weary in well doing!

Blessings and Cursing and the Rise of Cardi B

Blessings and Cursing and the Rise of Cardi B

With Cardi B's rapid rise to success, it's easy for many to presume she's being showered with God's favor and blessings. At least, that's how she and many of her fans tend to see it. Yet, as I watch fame, money, and influence inundate this young woman at warp speed, I've grown increasingly and genuinely concerned for her. Not that my concern should at all matter to her, but I share it knowing that Cardi professes Christ, yet lives a life completely counter to His Word. And because she's super vocal about every and all things - and her fans tend to hang on to her every word - I would be remiss if I didn't respectfully interject where Cardi believes her faith and her career intersect.

The Great Awokening: On Black Panther, Black Identity & the Black Christian

The Great Awokening: On Black Panther, Black Identity & the Black Christian

Black Panther did well to bring black representation to the big screen, and I was delighted to see men and women who look like me playing roles that weren't of the “thug” or “slave” variety. Black despondence nor dejection were on the menu for this film, and I am 100% here for it. I’m also here for the diversity this film brings to media and entertainment. As far as film productions go, Black Panther was quality all around, and I sincerely believe it is Oscar-worthy. It really was THAT good!

But as other moviegoers across social media have shared their feedback on the film these past few days, the hype has reached a level that has caused me concern for my people - my Family in Christ.