Meagan Good, of Think Like A Man fame, surprised people when she revealed she was going to marry a Seventh Day Adventist pastor Devon Franklin. She topped it off by revealing she was going to even stay celibate until her wedding night. Bloggers applauded her for such a rare decision in Hollywood while some asked if a sultry actress like her is morally fit to be a pastor’s wife or if she knows the responsibilities that come with being a pastor’s wife.
She might not have realised on May 25 how much she was pleasing her critics and some judgemental church folks when she seduced a female and male audience at her bachelorette party in Las Vegas, with the Pussycat Dolls. She is accused of not knowing her duties as a pastor’s wife for the sexy dance she did at the party. As part of her response, Good shared a church banner from her WhoSay account that read “Jesus. Relationship. Not Religion.” She defended her sexy moves a day after the party by posting a note on her Facebook page:
Let’s get something straight … I wasn’t half naked last night … I was actually very covered up, not showing anymore than I show when I dress up to go to events .,,and let’s get something else straight .. I’m an actress ., there will be many things narrow minded people deem unholy or not 1st lady like … But this is not so..it’s about your relationship with God and your personal convictions …If you see footage, you will see I was covered up having fun dancing and enjoying myself with my friends and family and absolutely not doing a striptease …smh people are ridiculous .. Can’t a girl enjoy her bachelorette party in peace?
On the day of the party, Meagan sensed that some religious folks were going to be judgemental but probably never thought it was not going to be so harsh she would still be making interviews defending herself about the night now two months after the party. She said on the day she was going to be a Bachelorette for the last time in Vegas:
I’m actually not going to undress. I’m going to be a Pussycat Doll, the OVERLY dressed Pussycat Doll. I am only going to be doingsome burlesque dancing, but I WON'T be doing any stripping of clothes. Las Vegas will just see just a bit!I don’t know how some church folk are going to be, but at the end of the day it’s between me and God and my husband.
Divisions in understanding the bible
For Meagan and those who saw nothing wrong with her last single night with the Pussycat Dolls, their main scripture of choice was Matthew 7: 1 which says, “"Do not judge, or you too will be judged” (New International Version 1984).
Those who were judgemental were sticking to verses in the bible that talked about dressing modestly and being covered. But, even those verses are problematic because some say that they are relative in time. The bible talks about women not having to shave their hair, braid, wear jewellery and having to always keep their heads covered, rules that many Christians break.
Some Christians say that this is relative in time since today people no longer have to cover their heads but how do we choose what is relative in time and what is not? If braiding, women speaking in the church and wearing jewellery is relative in time, could we say the same about gays? What about wearing a bikini to the beach? Is it a sin or relative in time? What about shorts in summer? Who decides what is relative in time and what values must be preserved?
Meagan’s situation was important in reminding us how divided Christians are in terms of their understanding of the bible and how, like the division between Freedom of Expression and a Right to Privacy and Dignity, it is common for Christians to avoid certain scriptures in favour of others that fit their lifestyles.
Meagan might have been hurt but this incident was a good case study that exposes divisions in the church and must make Christians realise that there are still some unclear issues to deal with.
Religious leaders versus surveillance
While the rise of social media has been beneficial to pastors, religious leaders and church members, the amount of surveillance has made it difficult to enjoy human imperfections without being scrutinised by the public. There was time in history when religious leaders were not questioned and when they enjoyed living in the comfort of privacy. It was assumed that they were the ultimate choices from God, some forms of demi-gods, who were immune to downfall.
With the rise of free speech and the phrase “I am entitled to my own opinion”, pastors live under the microscope. The belief that pastors are demi-gods has been replaced with the desire to expose them as false prophets and to reveal their mistakes to prove that they are flawed people like us. The media watches and comments on their moves and everyone can start a social media group against any other leader on the planet without any hindrances. Social media has given average Joe a platform for criticising and pointing out what is wrong and arguing under the privilege of freedom of speech.
Time will tell if the sensitive Meagan will watch her steps next time before she does something in public. Whether she appears more modest in fear of being criticised or not, she has learnt her lesson and her responses show that she was hurt by the judgement.
Bride-to-be Meagan Good: ‘I’m going to be the overly dressed Pussycat Doll’: http://www.whosay.com/meagangood/photos/179103
Meagan GoodSpeaks On Judgemental Religious Folks & Burlesque Backlash: http://necolebitchie.com/2012/07/30/meagan-good-speaks-on-judgemental-religious-folks-burlesque-backlash/
Meagan Good’s Christianity Questioned After Saucy ‘Vegas Party (Video): http://www.eurweb.com/2012/06/meagan-goods-christianity-questioned-after-saucy-vegas-party-video/
Meagan good addresses criticism about bachelorette party not being first lady like/: http://365voice.com/meagan-good-addresses-criticism-about-bachelorette-party-not-being-first-lady-like/