Torrence’s Take On Bishop Noel Jones and LisaRayePublished by Torrence Glenn on Monday, November 21, 2011 at 10:58 pm.
Today (Monday, November 21) the internet went crazy (and understandably so) with news of a rumor that the Bishop Noel Jones (Pastor of LA’s megachurch City Of Refuge) was engaged to actress and reality TV star LisaRaye. I’ll admit I was equally drawn to the story and even more surprised but not for the reasons you may think. First, let’s get this out of the way. I spoke to sources close to the situation and yes they are dating. But no, they are NOT ENGAGED at this time. Now that would or should be the end of this post right? Well no… Blogs and websites (gospel and mainstream) have already covered the rumor of engagement part, no need for that from me. So like always, I want to tackle this thing with a little “perspective.” Ready?
So aside from the initial shock of “Bishop Noel Jones is marrying ‘Diamond’ from The Player’s Club,” (Own it, that was the first thought that came to your mind too…,) I got a bit concerned about something else. Something way more “interesting” (and important) in my opinion. I began to worry about how this news would affect some “church girls.” What do I mean? Well let me explain. (Warning: I’m going to talk frankly about some of the not so perfect parts of church culture. If you’re swimming in the deep end of the pool and can’t acknowledge any simple, albeit sometimes unfortunate truths about the institution you’re so passionate about this post may not be for you.) Ok, now that that’s out of the way back to “church girls.” Being the church boy I am I’ve known my share of church girls (it’s more than simply being a Christian male or female.) If you’ve grown up in church or been in church for a long while, especially if you’ve had the opportunity to be a part of a denomination, you know what I mean. As a church kid in general you grow up with certain general and some unspoken rules, truths and assumptions. Sometimes these rules, truths and assumptions can unfortunately create a bit of mania that if not checked will you lead to CRAZY. So when the news of this rumored engagement broke, I knew that chances of “church girl crazy” rising up were high.
Let me explain. Church girls are taught to be “different.” Although we all “sin and fall short of the glory of God” the goal is clear. You’re to be chaste, a virgin until you’re married if you can hold out (we all know how difficult that is), and if you don’t, at least try because one day a man of God will appreciate your sacrifice. Girls outside of church may seem to be having all the fun but you won’t have to go through what they go through. You’ll get a good man. A saved man. It takes a special woman; one who’s prayed up, spiritually mature, pure at heart, etc. If you want a man who’s “strong in the Lord” you’ve got to be a woman who can handle him, especially if he’s a preacher. All these sacrifices will prepare you for “him.”
But hold that thought because then something else happens. There’s a “shift” if you will. Half of your fellow church girls have gotten married, start having children and the other half are made to feel like something’s wrong. Because although they told you to “wait” they didn’t say for how long. They didn’t tell you that if you weren’t married and having children by a certain age they’d start to look at you strangely or hassle you about not being married by pretending to encourage you. So now there’s a conflict. You continue to hold out and do all the right things because it’ll be worth it. It’s at this moment for many church girls is where the “mania” sets in. This is the turning point. She may start giving in to insecurity, becoming the typical mean and angry “old maid.” Or better yet, she becomes 1 of 2 types of desperate. Desperate type 1 chases any good man they can find. He walks in the church, smiles and says hello and next thing you know: “God told me that’s my husband.” (Men run from these women like there’s a fire coming after them!) Desperate type 2 on the other hand wears her desperation on her sleeve and will just date anyone who shows interest… ANY interest. Forget compatibility, he told her she was pretty (or worse, that he loved her) and that was enough. She’s all in.
We all know these women. You may be her or on your way to being her. You’re doing your best to live saved, be a good Christian girl so that you’ll be ready and WORTHY. Then, you look up and one of the “bad girls” scoops in and gets the man and not just any man. But the Pastor, the Bishop, the one who’s first lady you thought would be on “his level” spiritually. You’re busy teaching Sunday School and she’s late to new member’s class. This is enough to drive a ‘church girl’ NUTS if she’s not careful. She looks at the facts and begins to lose it and get discouraged. He’s 60 something, new girl is 40 something. New girl is known for being “sexy,” something you were discouraged from doing because you were the good girl and the man of God wouldn’t respect you if you were like that. New girl just had a big divorce and was just on a reality show trying to find God again, etc. etc. etc. and she gets HIM anyway?
So when the news of Bishop Jones’ and LisaRaye’s relationship broke, my heart broke not for him (clearly) but for the church girls who would see this as a invitation to say “screw it. Clearly this ain’t worth it and this good girl thing ain’t working. Let me just go and do me.” This, my friends is a recipe for and the start of potential crazy. At the risk of sounding oddly deep or unnecessarily churchy, church girls this post is dedicated to you. Don’t let a relationship that you don’t understand (self included) cause you to lose it, think less of yourself or go against what you know is right for you. Trust me, there will continue to be plenty of stuff that will make you go “hmmmm???” Know who you are and trust God’s plan for YOU and not for LisaRaye, Bishop Noel Jones, your aunt Beulah or Kermit the frog. Trust me on this, doing what you think she or anybody else did will not get you what’s right for you. I hope you got it…. And for the those who must have a scripture , check out: Jeremiah 29:11 and Philippians 1:6. Just saying….