You can go to any Baptist church, on any given Sunday, and find the pews filled with throes of Black women shouting hallelujahs and amens to the high heavens in support of their Pimp—I mean pastor—in the pulpit. Most of these women are single, never been married, divorced, or in otherwise unhappy relationships. The Pastor, in their eyes, embodies one, if not the only, quality “Good Black Men.” They cling onto his every word, shouting and jumping, carrying on as if they’re experiencing a real, live orgasm from the messianic words that are spewing from his mouth.

Some of my sistren are living paycheck to paycheck and can barely afford childcare for lil’ Hakeem. For some, their lights are about to be turned off, but somehow that does not stop them from faithfully cutting a check to Greater Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church of the Burning Flame at least once a week. In fact, a sister probably drove to church in her Hyundai Sonata with a quarter of a tank of gas to experience the hooting and hollering, and other shenanigans, theatrically presented by the ‘Bishop’ in the Holy name of Jesus Christ. (When did Pastors start calling themselves ‘Bishop’ anyway? I’m just waiting on one to crown himself Pope, but I digress.) The point is that my sistren are being pimped. Plain and simple.

I have stopped to think on many occasions that this must be orchestrated. The order of service begins with a few praise filled animated songs from the choir. The organ starts crying and the drummer gets the base jumping. The Pastor starts humming. Everybody is feeling good, and then like clockwork—time for the offering!

I expect there was some discussion at a grand meeting of clergymen where it was unanimously agreed upon to take the offering at this particular time, and then get the congregants all riled up again in this same manner after the sermon, to take a seed offering. These pimps posing as pastors peddling propaganda from the pulpit know exactly what they are doing. It’s so obviously formulaic, which is why I believe many men are absent from the church—because ‘game recognize game.’

Now, do not get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with receiving your daily bread and fellowshipping with other like-minded worshipers. The Bible (basic instruction before leaving earth) has some powerful contents that we all can benefit from subscribing to, but what part of the game is giving a man 10% or MORE of your money week in and week out, at your choice of sunrise, 8:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m., or evening worship service? Oh, and lets not forget the seed offering and the obligatory building fund. It doesn’t stop here though. Some of my most devout sistren don’t miss Wednesday night Bible study, weekly choir rehearsal, the usher board meeting and any other auxiliary meeting where the collection plate is indubitably passed around. It’s like the church house is charging an entry fee just to get in the building—and isn’t that why Jesus drove out the money exchangers from the synagogue? I’m just saying.

It is not my intent to offend anybody, because I know folk are sensitive about Jesus. But let’s make a clear and succinct differentiation of what is going on. I totally understand and support contributing to the welfare and upkeep of the church and the activities housed therein, but if you were in a squeeze, can you go back to the same place where you have dutifully invested your hard earned money to assist you in your time of need? What is the ROI (return on investment) of your tithes and offering? Or are you simply lining the pockets of a mega pastor who was probably chauffeured to the tabernacle in a Bentley that you’re paying the note on, from a home in some palatial estate that your ‘seed’ offering finances?

To be fair there are many pastors who devotedly deliver the word of God to their flock, but don’t be duped by some of these pimps in pin striped suits proclaiming to be men of the cloth, while simultaneously playing off of your vulnerabilities to line their pockets with money. Pay yourself first!

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