Monday, October 4, 2010
Drinking the Kool-Aid. . .or not
Until the recent scandal involving alleged acts of seduction and sexual impropriety, I knew only vaguely of Bishop Eddie Long. I’m not a fan of mega churches. They seem large and impersonal, and I don’t understand why the preachers need things like jets and really expensive cars. Maybe I shy away because as a child growing up in the 70s, my family didn’t do Church. We didn’t start every Sunday at Sunday school and end the day with the evening service. Church for us was Sunday morning radio, Jubilee Showcase and once a year on Easter Sunday. It wasn’t that we didn’t believe in God, it’s just that the path wasn’t straight and narrow. We were raised Christian, Baptist to be more specific but there was a sprinkling of indigenous African religion and some Eastern spiritualism, so I learned that the path to God was a winding one with many forks in the road.
When I was young, I felt that people tried to scare me to Jesus with their Biblical scriptures of hell and damnation, and even though I eventually joined Church and became an active member, something was always missing. As much as I appreciated the preacher’s words, I never became a walking testimonial for the pastor. One of those people who preface everything by saying, Pastor So-and-So or Bishop Somebody said. I never walked in what I think is blind faith. I always had questions. Unlike the Jim Jones followers, I never drank the Kool-Aid. I still don’t. I maybe dip my finger in it, and taste it. I may even sip it, but I never gulp it. I used to feel bad about this, but I’ve come to accept this is just who I am. I respect and admire people for who they are, wherever they might be in life, but I never forget that they are simply people. So, if I sip, I’m less likely to get choked on their humanity. Some of us gulp; some of us sip. Some of us don't partake at all. Drink or don't drink; it's up you.