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Maryland mega-church Pastor Jamal H. Bryant took a page out of the Book of Breezy to supplement his Sunday sermon this weekend.

“Every sister just elbow another sister, ‘he should have listened’. Every brother tap another brother and say: ‘I should have listened to her,’” Bryant began preaching.

Then the Empowerment Temple Pastor shocked the congregation with this line:

“Old saints, ya’ll forgive me but I got to tell you these hoes ain’t loyal!”

Yesterday Pastor Jamal Bryant took to social media claiming the fact that the whole sermon was “sensationalized”.

This morning a scathing editorial from Ebony Magazine writer Brooke Obie  lights Rev. Bryant up and challenges church goers.

This topic actually begs a few  questions.

Does every pastor have the authority of being a teacher without reproach? Are people rising to judgment over a few words in a sermon? Can a pastor teach in the present vernacular without risking scandal?

There a few things that you need to understand. The first item to grasp and understand  is what he biblical and theological  ordination of a pastor is and is.

The biblical  calling is:

1 Timothy 3:1-7  It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do.  An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, uncontentious, free from the love of money.  He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?); and not a new convert, lest he become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil.  And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he may not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

The theological calling is:

Exhorting God’s flock in sound doctrine is how the people are fed nourishment from the Word, but an overseer must also be able to protect the sheep from ravenous wolves who appear in sheep’s clothing, or from deceivers, rebellious men and empty talkers who upset whole families and draw away disciples after themselves

The primary goal of any and every  minister is to live in undivided surrender and devotion to the Lord Jesus Christ. That means His purpose not yours! That means your life and ministry must reflect the supremacy, centrality and glory of God, and serve as an example in a world of temptation and evil. I don’t want to over-romanticize this idea.  Think for a moment of the pack of mega churches in the country. How did they become “mega”? They became mega because they have a charismatic preacher who “inspired” their attendance. I have questioned and re-questioned my feelings towards mega-churches; personally, I am not a fan. I don’t think they are suitable places for faithful pastoral practice or deep spiritual formation of people in the way of Jesus. I don’t subscribe to this constant “entertainment praise” we have fallen into. When you go into a sanctuary expecting to be exteriorly moved not internally changed you are entertaining the flesh not the spirit. You are welcoming in  pastoral lessons taught in a “contemporary tongue”. So contemporary in fact, that we get what has happened  with Rev. Jamal Bryant.  I am sure he thought his sermon through. I am positive that he practiced it. I am sure he didn’t intend to cause “scandal”.

Unfortunately, these are the immediate by products of a pithy sermon preached in a “social media world”.  Sound-bytes  rule the waves. Pastors would do themselves great service to avail themselves of quoting scripture and not rap songs. Yes,we can all lean from the secular.   The best lessons are taught from  real world examples. That is exactly why the Preachers Of L.A. is so successful. They opened the world to the reality of preaching, prayer and  behind the veil. You can criticize them for being o screen, but when was the last time you saw a pastor struggling with leading a member on screen? We cannot act as if these things are not real and happening. We must approach everything with the intent of honesty and prayerful direction.

In other words, you must be careful what real world example you quote carefully.

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