Has the Church Exchanged Love for Stones With Le’Andria Johnson?

Le'Andria Johnson“Sunday Best” winner Le’Andria Johnson has done it again. Recently, she went on an expletive-filled rant against the church and lost her spot at the Essence Festival in New Orleans. In a colorful tyrant on Facebook Live, the singer slammed the church and gospel “royalty” Bishop Marvin Winans. With no holds barred, Le’Andria shared her feelings about church and the hypocrisy of many Christians who attempted to chastise her. As more and more comments surfaced on social media and relative articles, it seems the church has exchanged love for stones where the singer is concerned. Is God’s grace still sufficient?

One thing people seem to forget is that “His grace is sufficient” for everyone – not just when YOU need it. The “I Shall Leap Into My Destiny” singer has since apologized, and the “saints” want to judge the apology. Church folk love to throw stones. Thank God for Jesus, he exchanged stones for love and said:

Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to Me. Get away with Me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with Me and work with Me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace.  (Matthew 11:28-30)

What is really sad is how quickly those who should have pulled her closer, turned their backs in order to save themselves. Instead, they rose up to attack her or tell her to be quiet and not share her truth publicly. It is so much easier to wear the “garment of praise” in public, while secretly dying inside. There is no denying that this entire situation could have, and should have, been handled differently, however when the pain is severe enough normal restraints tend to disappear.

No one can deny that this preacher knows how to stir the pot of controversy within the Christian community. Whether she is dropping expletives in sermons or drinking alcohol publicly, Le’Andria is not afraid to live her life out loud. Some celebrate the singer’s transparency and authenticity while others have continued to plead for the Grammy Award-winning artist to use discretion. Regardless of which side of the pendulum Christians find themselves, it is important to remember that love always out works stones.

When challenged about her behavior, the pastor contended that all people of God, including ministers, have struggles, but they try to hide them. In times past, when speaking of her critics, the “Jesus” singer said:

We have been controlled by this religious beast all of our lives. At the end of the day, there are real people out here with real issues, living in a real world and serving a real God. I am not hiding anything from y’all because I am not scared of y’all. I am not scared of anybody and I am who I am. God forgives me and allows me to be forgiven 70 times 7. His grace is sufficient and is enough for me… Which means, ‘Let the party began!’ The problem is Christians have been around fake people too long. ‘How can you judge me when you do the same thing just in private?

The Stellar Award-winning singer believes hypocrites are intimidated because she does not veil her issues from those who follow her.  Unfortunately, those who live their lives in the public eye do not share the privilege of processing life in private as do many critics.  Everyone is a work in progress.  Although God forgives, many of his followers do not. This leads to the question, “Has the church exchanged love for stones with Le’Andria Johnson?

The “Better Days” singer maintains that many who have rejected Jesus have done so because of the destructive mentality of many churchgoers. Le’Andria makes it clear that these distorted views are not the fault of the “unchurched” but are the result of Christians and their fake persona of perfection. While leaders are “forced” to walk around as if they have it all together, they also war, and often live, with sin.

Le’Andria is a beast on the microphone and unquestionably talented. To her defense, there is verse in the bible which states, “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance” (Romans 11:29). In other words, God does not change his mind about a person’s calling.  When they are gifted, He does not get angry and retract the gift. A person’s actions can limit the opportunities to share the gift, but the gift remains.

Has the church forgotten the central theme of grace and love? When Jesus hit the scene, so did grace and truth. Thankfully, truth without grace never looks like him. However, grace does not remove consequences or excuse sin. Ironically, many followers of Christ seem to love David and celebrate him.  He was not without sin yet was noted as a magnetic worshipper. Even still, in all of his mess, the King of Israel still managed to be “A man after God’s own heart.”

The truth is, people cannot think clearly when they are hurt. Le’Andria is one of those victims. What the Steeple Award-winning singer needs is a community of accountability and love, not judgment. Hopefully, while others were busy hurling stones at her, Bishop Winans was searching for a way to contact the songwriter in efforts of gaining clarity on what role he can play in the healing process. It is time for the church to put down their stones and pick up a mirror while thanking God that his mercies are new every morning.

Opinion by Cherese Jackson (Virginia)

Sources:

CBN: Rhythms of Grace
Ebony: Le’Andria Johnson Loses Gig After Slamming the Church & Marvin Winans

Photo Credits:

Inside Images Courtesy of Instagram – Le’Andria Johnson
Featured Image Courtesy of YouTube