Bird on a Bare Branch

Attempting to fling a frail song in my little corner of the world

Preachers from my Country March 27, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jen @ 8:01 am

There is an annoying conversation that I have regularly with Mozambican Christians.  It has to do with American evangelists.  For example, my roommate and I were talking the other day to the man in the telephone company who organized our internet set-up.  He wanted to know if I liked Joel Osteen.  I started laughing.  I explained that Joel Osteen’s church is very near where I used to live in America but that I didn’t like him.  “But why?” he wanted to know.  I asked Marina, “How do I explain ‘cheesy’ in Portuguese?”  I ended up saying something about how I didn’t think he was that deep.  Then this man went on to ask me what I thought about Joyce Meyers, Creflo Dollar, TD Jakes, etc.  Each time I kind of laughed and said I don’t listen to them; I know their names, but I don’t know them very well.  He was shocked (as all Mozambicans are when I tell them this):  “But they are American!  Why don’t you listen to your own preachers?  Why do I know your preachers better than you do?  Who do you listen to?”  My roommate and I explained that there are many different kinds of preachers in America.  The ones he knows happen to be popular in Africa, but there are others who are popular in America who Africans have not heard of.

Last weekend we had some Mozambican colleagues and their spouses over for lunch.  One of them asked me if I like TD Jakes.  I laughed and said ironically, “Oh yes.  And Creflo Dollar and Joyce Meyers and Joel Osteen?”  He didn’t get my tone and was excited that I seemed to know all these people. 

So my question is, do I continue to laugh and become annoyed with everyone’s enthusiasm about these evangelists, and learn how to explain ‘cheesy’ in Portuguese?  Do I lie and pretend I really like them?  Or do I fully engage in the local culture and begin watching the God Channel?        


4 Responses to “Preachers from my Country”

  1. grandplans Says:

    why do they like these preachers so much? is it because they are the only ones on tv?

  2. John Hubers Says:

    No . . . help them understand that these preachers are not characteristic of most American churches. Should open up an interesting discussion I would think as you can then help them understand why . . . . even if you don’t find a good Portuguese word for “cheesy.”

  3. Scotty Says:

    Hey Jen,

    I would try to see what it is about those preachers they value, what message it is they are getting from them then try to see how that lines up with your view of the Gospel. Engage the church, were the inclusionist even for the exclusionists! Let the Kingdom grow!

  4. Zachy Says:

    Where ever you go, you can never get away from Joel Osteen. He’s just always there.

    The other week I get a call from a friend.

    “Hey, you’re from Houston.”


    “I got tickets to see this incredible preacher. You know Joel Osteen. Want to come?”


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