Pastor Jamal Bryant suggests new ‘gospel for grownups’ who are 'used to getting some' sex

New Birth Missionary Baptist Church Pastor Jamal Bryant during an appearance on Rashan Ali's“Cool Soror Podcast” on Dec. 7, 2022.
New Birth Missionary Baptist Church Pastor Jamal Bryant during an appearance on Rashan Ali's“Cool Soror Podcast” on Dec. 7, 2022. | YouTube/Rashan Ali

Megachurch Pastor Jamal Bryant of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Stonecrest, Georgia, has called for the Church to “repackage” itself to include a discussion of a new “gospel for grownups” that doesn’t tell single Christians that are “used to getting some” that they need to be celibate.

Speaking in a recent interview with actor and media personality Rashan Ali on her “Cool Soror Podcast,” Bryant argued that if conservative Christians don’t evolve in how they engage the culture on issues such as abortion, sexuality and recreational drugs, like marijuana, megachurches might soon become a thing of the past.

“I had a zoom with all of my singles just this week. … For me to tell 16-year-olds to be celibate is one thing, a 37-year-old who is used to getting some [sex] I need a different kind of gospel,” said the 51-year-old Bryant, who is a single divorced father.

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He then recounted some of what he heard in his meeting with the community of single Christians at his church.

“So the Church ain’t telling me nothing about sex toys; ain’t saying nothing about church telling me to be celibate, but my gynecologist saying something got to happen down there because your stuff’s shutting down. So we gotta have a real gospel for grownups,” Bryant continued as Ali mimicked speaking in tongues and chuckled in agreement.

“The church is not relatable to our generation and down. So imagine, when I was growing up they were telling you, don’t have your phone on in church. I’m telling y’all, turn your phone on. Take a selfie, use #NewBirth now so that we can move forward. … Culture changes every four years but church culture changes every 20, so the average church is 15 years behind schedule,” Bryant said. “So those of you who are watching, your church is so proud to be on Facebook but all the youth are on TikTok. They stopped being on Facebook when their mother tried to friend them. So you got to figure out how am I relevant and how do I repackage.”

Bryant, who was responding to a question from Ali, who was raised Christian but now identifies as “spiritual,” about how he would connect people like her to the faith, said that in the post-pandemic world, people are no longer attending church services like they did in the past. In general, research shows that fewer than half of Americans have formal membership in an organized church even though they remain highly religious. Bryant insists that it’s because of the church’s conservative message which he compared to Puritans.

“This is the largest demographic of Africans living in America who don’t go to church. And it is testament not to you but the failure of the evolving of the church. I’ll give you one example. Black Lives Matter is a stumbling block for the church because it is the very first civil rights movement in the history of America that 1) Did not come out of the church and 2) is not led by a religious figure,” he said. “My grandmother would put it this way, your slip is showing. The black church has exposed that they don’t know how to support what they don’t lead.”

Bryant, who said a lot of black churches are “white evangelicals in drag” because of their conservative Christian beliefs, suggested that they can still support Black Lives Matter even though the group advocates for LGBT values.

“I think the black church needs a real come to Jesus meeting and get into the 21st century. After the Supreme Court ruling [on abortion], New Birth and me are pro-choice because Jesus is. He said, behold, I stand at the door and knock. If you decide to let me in. That’s pro-choice,” Bryant said. “God, in the Garden of Eden, said to Adam and Eve, all of these trees are available to you, I want you to pick those. I’m not putting this tree behind barbed wire and an ADT alarm. Don’t eat it, but that’s your choice.

“Christianity in itself is pro-choice, but we don’t say anything because a lot of black churches are white evangelicals in drag. And they don’t know who it is that they are because their politics are thrown off and don’t really speak to what’s happening in the culture,” he added.

When asked what he was doing to change Christian culture, Bryant said that his strategy does not involve engaging Christians but the many people who “don’t go to church.” He even suggested that he has considered growing marijuana on church property to bring young black men back to church.

“I’m mindful that I’m not after Christians. I’m after the people who don’t go to church. And a lot of churches are just recycling people from other churches. That’s not who I’m after. I’m looking for people that smell like weed,” the Georgia pastor said.

“New Birth is the largest land-owning black church in America. And so my position to my deacons is why we are not raising cannabis. I’d be able to bring in black males. They are able to do it legally. I’m teaching them farming. I’m helping them to enhance the eco-system,” he argued.

“So if the black boy” hears “they growing weed at the church” he’s going to ask, “Where do I join? I don’t need no pamphlet for him,” Bryant said with a matter-of-fact laugh. “He coming in.”

When Ali notes his approach is “different” but acknowledges that Bryant has been “different” from the beginning, he replied: “Christianity is supposed to be different. We have made Christianity politically correct. That it is a puritanical gospel. That is reminding us of the 13 original colonies.”

Bryant continued: “We’ve got to repackage or repurpose or else we are getting ready to witness the death of megachurches. Our children will not be going to megachurches. They will be watching online. And that which used to be sanctuaries will be studios. So those who are caught in these wooden pews get ready to sell them on eBay. … If you don’t repackage then your church is going to be a condo.”

Bishop Patrick Wooden Sr., founder of the Upper Room Church of God in Christ in Raleigh, North Carolina, was among several voices online who found aspects of Bryant’s message problematic.

In a message delivered on YouTube two Sundays ago, Wooden said if Bryant is serious about growing marijuana on church land, he is “depraved.”

“Everybody is talking about Jamal Bryant and his saying that New Birth should take some of its vast land and use it to grow among all crops, grow cannabis,” he said clearing his throat and adding “marijuana.”

“I’m holding out for this, and maybe it’s just wishful thinking, I’m holding out for this to be revealed as a joke. I really am because I’m thinking no preacher could be serious. No preacher could suggest such, and with all due respect to my brothers and sisters of the lighter hue, no black preacher would suggest that his church use its land not to plant corn, okra, green beans, collard greens, tomatoes and all that. But marijuana?” he asked. “I’m holding out that this is like that Babylon Bee thing.”

He then explained why he disagreed with Bryant’s cannabis idea.

“If it is not [a joke], then I believe what we are witnessing is what happens to a man when God turns that man over to himself. And God turns that man over to a reprobate mind as it said He would do in the book of Romans [1:28-32]. The worst thing that God can do to you or me is to turn us over to ourselves. For that means the Holy Spirit will no longer tug at your heart. The Holy Spirit will no longer bring any conviction,” Wooden said.

“If it’s not a joke, if he’s serious, he’s depraved. And that’s wicked. That’s wickedness. Marijuana is not good. It’s not a harmless drug. The numbers show that it’s not good. Depressions are up, ruining high school students, messing up their minds, messing up their development. Depression is up, suicides are up. It’s a gateway drug into other drugs. But if it don’t lead you to other drugs that drug in and of itself is bad.”

Contact: Follow Leonardo Blair on Twitter: @leoblair Follow Leonardo Blair on Facebook: LeoBlairChristianPost

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