Summer Movie Review: American Gospel
I watched the film “American Gospel” over the weekend. I would recommend the film but wouldn’t describe it as good or enjoyable. The film is sad and disappointing but it is informative and eye opening. “American Gospel” is worth the watch.
“American Gospel” does a good job of presenting the gospel. Then it goes into the way the gospel is shared by well known American pastors. There are sharp differences. America’s most well known pastors are sharing a false gospel and their message gets shared around the world.
This movie shows clips from celebrity preacher sermons. The sermons can be described as blasphemous. They can also be described as scams. There are testimonials from people that have followed the teachings of mega church pastors and their regrets. A nephew of so called faith healer, Benny Hinn, who worked in his uncle’s ministry also tells his story in hindsight.
I don’t follow the ministries of celebrity pastors but for the most part I’ve given them the benefit of the doubt and hope that some good comes from their ministry. The exception is Benny Hinn who is obviously a long time charlatan. The revelations by his nephew are worse than I imagined. They are heart breaking.
There were people in “American Gospel” who shared their experiences following mega church teachings. One woman ruined her career and financial standing. I don’t think she worked for the church but she followed the teachings of a popular preacher and quit her job believing she would be miraculously provided for. She wasn’t.
The bottom line of the film is that the popular American Gospel isn’t following scripture at all. They preach a message that is designed to sell books, get clicks and views and garnish donations, not teach the Bible and save souls.
The film also includes the testimony of a family where the wife is terminally ill and their faith and studies of the Bible. Their story isn’t miraculous and wouldn’t make anyone feel like a special snow flake. But they share what God’s word did for them and their family.
I would recommend watching “American Gospel”. It’s well researched and presented. I think it is fair. I think that viewers can learn a lot about the gospel and the difference between what the Bible says and the message being shared by popular preachers.
Hot Girl Summer: “Woman of Virtue”
Summer 2019 is behind us and you know what, I didn’t do a darn thing. I didn’t visit one beach, pool or amusement park this year. My “Hot Girl Summer” consisted of going to work, going to church going to brunch a few times. All of my adventures and drama came from reading. That’s a good and bad thing at the same time. Ice could have been covering the ground and it would not have made much of a difference to me. I’m going to share and review what I read this summer.
Woman of Virtue
I found this book in Hoopla, my library’s digital book database. It popped up when I put Proverbs 31 in the search engine. The book is a Biblical guide to being a virtuous Proverbs 31 woman. For the most part I enjoyed and I would recommend the book.
I like the perspective of the book because it is an alternate view of modern womanhood. It challenges the influence of feminism in today’s culture and families. The author encourages women to be modest, dutiful and virtuous which is a sharp contrast to the common messages that women get from the media. Women and girls are socialized to be vain, self centered and promiscuous. So the conventional thinking in this book makes it rebellious and counter culture. I’ve always thought of myself as a rebel spirit.
There were parts of the book that were a bit outdated for my liking. For instance, the book discourages women to work outside of the home. I believe this is the ideal and I respect homemaking as a career choice but I don’t think I could ever trust any man that much. The book also encourages women to tough it out and stay in your marriage if you find yourself married to a jerk.
Perhaps I interpreted Mrs. Brackley’s words wrong but I don’t think anyone should remain in a relationship where they are being mistreated. I don’t for one minute believe that the Lord called anyone to be in an abusive marriage. (I don’t specifically recall the author writing about abusive relationships.)
If a spouse is not keeping up their end of the bargain by not honoring their partner I don’t think it’s the other spouses place to try and make up for that deficit in order maintain a marriage. Marriage just isn’t that important to me. That’s a big part of the reason that I think that women shouldn’t stay outside of the workforce for very long unless you’re married to a millionaire that can pay a large settlement in the event of a divorce.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. It is thought provoking and challenges the reader to rethink contemporary culture and women’s roles. I agreed with most of what the book had to say even if I don’t think it was entirely realistic and practical.
Black Social Media: Help or Hindrance
I am Black and a bit of a social media junkie. Social media outlets have pretty much figured out that I’m Black and they suggest pages, channels, people, places and things that other Black people frequent. I follow them as do others in my demographic. It creates little virtual communities and there you have it, the Black social media sphere. It has been fun, entertaining, and educational in good ways and bad. Black social media can be a useful and entertaining tool. But it can be very toxic.
I’ll start off by saying that Black people are not given enough credit for being so witty and creative. When I was a big Facebook and Twitter user my brothers and sisters would absolutely have me cracking up with their unique takes on various hashtags. Some social media users reminded me of the glory days of hip hop when being a little street or ghetto or whatever you call was meshed with intelligence and insight. We don’t get to see that much in the media anymore. I miss it.
Black social media users have also brought attention to injustices in America such as police brutality and racism in common places. Cell phone video and social media has given justice to many Black people that never would have gotten it otherwise. I think that is wonderful and heroic.
But I’ve decided to not follow a lot of Black social media pages due to the nature of the speaker or his or her followers. I blocked The Shade Room on IG years ago and my quality of life immediately improved. I stopped following the 1990s rapper David Banner because I got tired of being a defender of the faith. I blocked The Amazing Lucas on You Tube because he is trying a little too hard to prove that he is a conservative Black man. It’s sad to watch a Black man pander to people that way.
It’s difficult to build a social media following unless you already have some sort of claim to fame, an amazing talent or you fit a particular beauty standard and decide to flaunt your body for the sake social media popularity. I’m guessing that it may even be more difficult for non celebrity Black people to build a large following because I rarely see Black people discussing things that wouldn’t be considered a Black interest on social media. I’ve figured that the best way for Black people to gain a social media following is by being controversial within the on line Black community.
I think Black men have it the hardest in the social media world. It’s a little harder for them to find their social media niche. Many Black women and feminine Black men have gained social media notoriety by creating celebrity gossip outlets, make up and hair tutorials.
But I don’t see many Black men creating channels that aren’t about dissecting matters in the Black community. It seems to me that the easiest way for a Black man to gain a large social media following is by talking about such matters and blaming Black women for them. Some of the most successful Black You Tubers that I’m aware of are men that think that Black women are solely responsible for every single problem in the Black community. Like, seriously every – single – one. The mental gymnastics these guys do is impressive. Actually buying into it is a personality disorder of some sort.
I’ve never followed members of the He Man’s Woman Haters Club but men that follow these ideologies show up in the comment sections of other vlogs such as gossip channels or a channel that is talking about current events to a Black audience. They drop nasty remarks about Black women’s appearances, marital status, “attitude” or whatever. They even put Black women down for going to college and pursuing careers. I would like to think that most of these remarks are coming from trolls in Moscow but I know my people and this can’t all be blamed on the Russians.
It’s like some of these guys (to be fair, I’ve had Black women make rude remarks about my appearance, especially my hair as well) know that Black women are trying to avoid them so they come to where we are in order to insult us in some way. I’ve made what I thought was an innocuous comment and have had my personal appearance attacked by my fellow social media users. People like that are usually hiding behind an anonymous profile so I can’t be sure of who they are but I’m guessing a lot of the insults based on skin color and hair texture are coming from people with similar skin color and hair texture.
After degrading Black women these gentlemen go on to put fairer skinned women on a pedestal. I don’t understand why they didn’t do that in the first place and just left us out of it. No one needs to justify their dating and marriage choices to anyone. And you shouldn’t have to put someone else down in order to express your love for someone else. Black women return the vitriol. They too have set up channels and make comments tearing Black men apart. There is no way to have a community if men and women hate each other.
Another topic that’s caught a lot of traction on Black social media is “woke” Black people telling Black Christians to stop believing in Christ. I had to block the 90s rapper David Banner for this reason. People like him are arrogant and patronizing and always use the same two or three reasons to justify their opinions.
Their reasoning displays their ignorance about the Bible, geography, human history. This “woke”, afrocentric community are the ones that believe in a White, European Jesus. Not those of us with the understanding that Bethlehem isn’t in Europe. Once again, all they need to do is follow their heart. There is absolutely no need to degrade someone else in order to justify a personal choice. Leave us out of your personal choices and I’ll leave you out of mine.
I ran across a You Tuber named The Amazing Lucas one day and I decided to follow him. After watching a few of his videos I blocked him. I don’t need anymore of his videos. He’s a young Black man that would probably describe himself as being conservative. But after a while I guess he had to work harder to prove himself.
He’s too emotional about things that aren’t that big of a deal such as the political opinions of NBA players that he’s never even heard of. Lucas is of the belief that racism is all a figment of Black America’s imagination which I find to be a very condescending and delusional view point. The Amazing Lucas doesn’t seem to understand that racism is an economic and sociological matter.
I don’t know who runs The Shade Room but they are a horrible human being and their followers are complete morons. It’s hard to find a dumber group of people on social media than what you would find on that IG page. I blocked them a long time ago because they were on there making fun of Simone Biles body. That’s right. They body shamed a world class athlete.
People that enjoy The Shade Room only like women that look like strippers. It’s all they care about or respect. They absolutely love people from the Love and Hip Hop Series and various young rappers that I’ve never heard of. But they trash an Olympic champion because she’s not so called slim thick. They trashed Gabrielle Douglas as well. I believe they came for her because she mentioned something about women should dress modestly and they went berserk. I don’t share the values of most people in The Shade Room so I had to block them.
The death and funeral of rapper Nipsey Hustle and the trials and tribulations of TV personality Wendy Williams have dominated Black social media the last few weeks. Meanwhile three Black churches in Louisiana burned mysteriously and the son of a police officer was arrested for the crimes.
I was on a You Tube channel yesterday that fashions itself after a news broadcast. The host discussed the church fires and people in the comments section were talking about their disdain for Christianity, especially Black Christians. They are clearly missing the point. But if they are that stupid why bother talking to them. I blocked the channel. I think we need to shift our values a bit. Our community suffered a terrorist attack and
I understand that the death of Nipsey Hustle is yet another urban violent tragedy but last weekend six were shot at a baby shower in Chicago. I haven’t heard Black social media say a word about that. I didn’t know who Nipsey Hustle was until he died so his death is no different than all the other murders that happen in the Black community.
I think that we should use the powerful medium of social media to discuss that to the point of beating a dead horse like we do stupid topics like fake hair, inter racial dating and twerking. And men that are obsessed with women that they don’t like need to be the ones doing the talking instead of blaming everything on single mothers.
I wish that Black social media communities would just stop trying to tell others in their community what to do. Stop thinking you know what’s best for someone else. If we all do our part, Christians, Israelites, Agnostics, LGBT, feminists, etc. we can all make improvements to build a better future for everyone. But this intra racial at least snarkiness and at most hatred should stop. We need to learn to respect each other more. I don’t feel like Black people appreciate our differences.
Some of these conversations that take place have been going on for years and we have come to no conclusion or made no progress. They are trivial matters anyway so we should just move forward. I think there are a few things we should be able to agree on such as if you’re mad at someone you shouldn’t shoot up their baby shower and let’s discuss those matters. The rest of if is all just drivel and a huge waste of time and I refuse to participate in it anymore.
I see a lot of videos on You Tube that focus on men complaining about women. It’s truly fascinating to hear how some men feel about the dating and mating game and their frustrations with the matter. Most of these complaining men would describe themselves as MGTOW. Men Go Their Own Way.
I ran across a video today titled “Pretty is No Longer Enough” which I didn’t have time to watch but I read the comments. Men expressed that they felt women valued looks and sex too much. They also said that they didn’t trust women that were attractive because there they have too many other options. These men also resented what they called simps. To my understanding simps are men that cater to women in order to win them over.
MGTOW makes some valid points. I agree that women put too high of a premium on outward appearances and sex. But with most of what MGTOW says their theories fall apart once you dwell on them too much. MGTOW resents attractive and sexually adventurous women because they are playing men’s games. Men trained women to dwell on looks and sex because that is where a great deal of a man’s focus lies.
I’ve seen this play out in nightclubs and on social media. Women who act slutty are the ones that get male attention. Modesty doesn’t cut it. If men were interested in a women’s character porn wouldn’t be the profitable industry that it is. Men can’t get enough of female sexuality on display.
Men are very interested in how their female partners look. When you look at successful men their wives are often interchangeable. Look up the wives of NFL quarterbacks and most of them are blonde, blue eyed, young and thin. Or she is light skinned, slim-thick with “good hair”. That image of womanhood gets promoted and other men want a women like that in order to feel successful. So why shouldn’t a woman that has the look of a successful man’s wife hold out for a successful man? She would be a fool to not do that.
I made the decision several years ago to not engage in sex unless or until I marry. When I’ve told men that they have completely evaporated. I’ve tried my luck on dating websites and men have asked me what I was looking for on the site. I said I would love to find a husband. Some of them immediate unmatch me. They aren’t looking for the same thing or at least they are not looking for a commitment from me.
I’ve been told on dating websites, by men that have slid into my DMs on social media and gentlemen that I’ve met here or there that they want to be friends with a woman first and then see where it goes. This translates into I want to have sex with you while I get to know your personality and if I don’t get tired of you after a few months maybe I’ll take you out or something. Sex is at the forefront of most men’s minds when meeting women for social purposes. They are not primarily looking for a sweet, submissive nature and good wholesome morals like they say they are.
MGTOW men are bothered because a lot of women are playing the game. Most women do not set the standard of purity until marriage. They have decided to go ahead and sleep around and see where things lead the way men do. And a lot of young women don’t make commitment a priority. I don’t know if that is what they really want or if they are just taking what they can get because they know that most young men aren’t interested in commitment.
The MGTOW men that I’ve seen on YouTube are between thirty five – fifty. I have a feeling that they avoided commitment to women during their younger years and now that they are older they want a woman with old fashioned morals and values after they, themselves have probably had numerous lovers.
They blame feminism for the modern mores of women but I bet many young women wouldn’t really think of themselves as feminists. They are simply following where men lead and playing the game that men laid out. Unless a woman has some sort of religious standard that tells her to wait for marriage it’s unlikely that she would value chastity. Maintaining purity is an uphill battle and it comes with a lot of rejection.
I don’t blame young women for behaving as they do and men shouldn’t either. Most probably don’t know God so they are just doing what they think will make a man happy. They focus on looks and sexuality. They are competing for the best mate on the marketplace and they have been trained to believe being pretty and making yourself sexually available to men is the best way to do it. Women haven’t been taught differently and without God’s word they won’t see the folly in their ways.
But it’s highly hypocritical for men to be angry at women for playing the game that they take advantage of until they age out of the system. If men really want to see changes they should live up to their own Puritanical standards. It seems to me that if they did that everything would fall into place.
Watch “Introduction 1 Samuel 16:7” on YouTube
Watch “John 3:16 and 17.” on YouTube
Watch “Proverbs 31 10-31” on YouTube
Watch “Ephesians 5:22-33” on YouTube
No Make Up Lent 2018
I am not Catholic but I decided to observe Lent this year. I was inspired by a short video that I saw on Twitter of a priest discussing the topic. On a whim the day before Lent began I decided to not use make up for 40 days. I took it as a new experience and challenge.
I am a light make up user. I don’t use concealer, powder or foundation. But I do enjoy black liquid eyeliner, black mascara and a nice bold lip color. Getting ready in the morning is my favorite part of the day. I have fun choosing what I’m going to wear and applying my make up. I think of it as my time to spend on myself before I go out and try to satisfy the world.
The first few days of Lent I was very uncomfortable. It was shocking to see my reflection when I passed a mirror. I felt like a few people that were use to seeing me with make up looked at me strange. I felt like I needed to explain my appearance but I didn’t because I would have seemed very self centered because they probably didn’t think anything of my appearance at all.
I didn’t feel like I was doing my best when I wasn’t wearing make up because I feel that I look better with it. I wanted to give up on my challenge early on and throughout Lent. I didn’t feel like I was becoming spiritually enlightened or closer to God. I just looked plain in the face and I didn’t see any value in that.
I wish I could say that I spent the time that I usually spent applying make up reading the Bible or in prayer. I didn’t. And I didn’t show up places fifteen minutes sooner than normal either.
I was really happy once Easter arrived and I could wear make up again. It was like being reunited with an old friend. Observing Lent didn’t have an Earth shattering spiritual affect on me but I do feel like I learned some discipline and I learned to put aside vanity for the sake of honoring God. I removed a part of my life that is important to me and glorifies myself and put it to the side for a while. I’m glad that I observed Lent this year and I am actually looking forward to doing it again next year.
The experience reminds me of one of my favorite Bible verses:
Galatians 2:20 New International Version (NIV)
20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God,who loved me and gave himself for me.