Dear Pastor, Jay-Z Gave Us What We Wish You Had…

Note: This is NOT to any particular minister or to all ministers in general. (And definitely not to my pastor, because he exposes everything! lol… but this is a major part of the history I’ve experienced in the church.)

Dear Pastor/Church Leader,

We know you’ve judged many of us for promoting and exalting Jay-Z’s latest album, 4:44. We know you’ve talked about us supporting an unbelieving artist more than we support your church or the gospel industry. We saw your posts. We heard the shade. But honestly, you’re the reason why many of us had to go to Beyonce and Jay-Z in the first place.

Jay-Z gave us what we wish you had…

You see, I was 6 years old when I realized that you and many of your comrades have a history of cheating on your spouses. I was in the first grade when I found out that the church was supposed to show you grace, turn the other cheek, and forgive after you turn against your family and betray the love of your youth.

You taught me that lesson while I was learning how to spell my first words. You educated me on cheap grace and the exploitation of the Gospel. You taught me so well.

But I never learned…

…a lot of us didn’t.

We never learned what it takes to stay faithful or how and why a marriage may suffer infidelity. You never gave us insight and showed us what it’s like to fall from the grace of God, but be restored to Him (and our spouses). You never taught us how to repent privately and publicly.

You only taught us to praise.

You taught us to praise, but to not speak about the pain. You taught us to shout, but not how to scream out to God for our hearts to be changed. You taught us to dance, but not how to stay out of someone’s bed.

You didn’t teach us how to apologize. You didn’t show us how not to follow in your bad footsteps. You just promised that when we would fall, that we could “praise our way through” and write a hit song to be forgiven by those who have entrusted us as their leaders.

You taught us that the spouse should live in silent pain for the issues that we refuse to expose. You taught us that our followers don’t need to know about our struggles because they couldn’t handle the weight of the “mantle” … even though they all know about the public sins.

So yeah… we turned to Beyonce and Jay-Z instead.

At least Beyonce would teach us something different. She showed us that even the “baddest chick” could be heartbroken. She exposed her seven stages of grief and then gave us a sneak peak into what forgiveness looks like. She actually let us know that real reconciliation is possible. She showed us the practicality of the Gospel while you offered us stale church cliches about throwing our sins into the sea of forgetfulness.

And Jay. Well… Jay told us that we need to die. He told us that he had ego and insecurity issues that hurt those closest to him. He announced that it was time to “Kill Jay Z” while you only preached prosperity and refused to show us the depths of Sin’s wickedness. He, at least, showed us that unchecked sin could ruin us and everyone we care about. He told us that our flesh needs to die.

And then…

…he apologized.

He apologized even though he’s not our shepherd. He never asked us to follow him, but he knew many people did. He never told us that he would lead us to the light, but he still apologized for living life in darkness. He told us sorry. He offered insight into why he’s been the person he’s been and what he’s doing to change.

And we learned…

We learned that it’s not ok to have an “eff everybody attitude” or to punish friends over small disagreements. We learned that a moment of sexual pleasure isn’t worth potentially destroying our future and families. We learned that we shouldn’t wait so long to apologize when we know we’re wrong… and that someday our future kids will have to see us for who we are… that our current choice will affect their future joy. We learned that even billionaires are accountable for their sins.

We learned….

…. We learned what you never taught us.

Now, Church Leader, don’t get us wrong. We don’t hate you for making mistakes. We aren’t here to point the finger in pride. As a matter of fact, some of us are still paying tithes to your churches. We just…we just expected more from you. We’re still hurting and we thought we meant enough to you for you to be open with us and heal with us. But we’re still in the dark… and “you can’t heal what you never reveal” (Jay-Z). 

So, yeah. Jay cusses and Bey is half dressed sometimes (or most times). But at least they exposed their hearts to us. At least Jay gave us a bit of a Blueprint as to why he fell into sin and why and how we should avoid it.

We’re still waiting on yours…

Signed,

A Tired Member of the System

Note: This is NOT to any particular minister or to all ministers in general.