Give Me that Old Time Religion By Cristina Arra

When I think about organized religion and my experiences in some of the churches that I have visited in the past three years, I think its based on control and manipulation, the religious aspect is just for show. Many churches are like corporations, their staff are paid salaries, and the pastor keeps record of each member’s salary and how much they contribute to the church. Some churches even penalized it’s members who aren’t contributing their fair share according to the bible. Using the bible for profit and as a tool of manipulation and control. I recently moved back to Charlotte, NC from Tallahassee, Fl and my experiences with organized churches there (Tallahassee) were the same once I returned here.

The nondenominational church I attended in Tallahassee, Fl was lead by a young pastor whom the members seem to have a misguided respect for. They called him “Daddy” well the women do. Mainly because they are young college students, or young women who were fatherless and seeking family something to be apart of. These women seems to very naive, vulnerable and manipulated. Their every other word when speaking to them about church was “the Pastor” or “Daddy”. The guys seems to spend the time when not attending church looking for ways to get recognition for the pastor on Sunday just as elementary or middle students behave when working on a project and they’re want to be recognized for. It was insane.

One of the women “leaders” in the church who at the time was only twenty-three. She and I worked together. I had won a fifty-two inch TV in a raffle at a work function. She was hurt that I won. She told had she won she was going to give it to the Pastor. Then she tried to convince me to give it to the Pastor. I told her no the she asked me what I was going to do with a TV that big. I responded by saying “the same as the Pastor, I am going to put it in my living room and watch it”. That really upset her. See she was competing against the other “leaders” of the church for Sunday “recognition” so she had to do something big. When did church become competitive?

I know the lady’s in some churches especially baptist churches compete silently over whose wearing the most fashionable, show stopping hats. However this wasn’t that type of competition. These kids were being taken advantage of by their leader. After each offering service the pastor would say to the congregation stand up if you gave a hundred dollar offering and those that did will follow instructions and stand and he say the same then for fifty and twenty five and I swear as each person stood he was calculating the amount of money he was to expect just in case those who were in charge of counting the monies decided to keep something for themselves.

I stop attending the church one Sunday the Pastor preach his sermon based on things I told the same girl who wanted to give my TV to her Daddy. I knew then those kids were under his control and I wasn’t trying to get involved in that by no means. But it wasn’t that easy this man, the Pastor used member of his congregation to watch and monitor to me until the next time I decided to visit that church again (Hamilton, 2009).

I grew up in a Baptist church Greater New Bethel Baptist Church, Rev George David Horton and it was nothing like what I have experienced as an adult. All of the members took care of one another it was more a religious family organization which seem to care about the youth and the older members. After attending/visiting churches in the Tallahassee area I understand how Jim Jones could manipulate his followers into committing suicide. If the Waco massacre happened they way the media wants us to believe I can understand this too it seems people in today’s society use organize religion to their advantage by brainwashing and controlling the minds of the followers and using them to recruit more followers.

In the past organized religion has caused wars, motivated terrorist attacks, for example 911. Osama Bin Laden has issues with how America is a country where people can pick and choose religions that practice and demonstrate various beliefs which in turn causes chaos and confusion within this country’s government, education and how we conduct our selves socially. It’s mass confusion and if I were on the outside a foreign (leader) trying to understand I would be confused too.

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