The church itself is a place where people have determined based on culture and personal revelation the heart of God. We know this because there are different sects and beliefs about paths to salvation. In every faith or religion there are people who are conservative or extremists in their thinking and the only way to know if actions are truly aligned with God is to ask him.
The Sisterhood is a reality show appearing on the TLC network formerly the acronym for The Learning Channel. I’m not sure how you officially drop the meaning behind an acronym for a network but I think that given the line-up of shows that they are now promoting they may feel a bit awkward with this self-identification of themselves.
While many well-known church entertainers have spoken out about their contention with the reality show, the real response is coming from the viewers – whether they watch or not, determines the shows stickability.
Domonique Scott is perceived as the “bad girl” of the group. She has been called a lot of names, and portrayed in the commercials as the one who is most unholy but I saw something else. I saw something deeper – this woman has a serious story that the camera is either not capturing or not showing us.
After Domonique saw my article about me being scripture bullied by Tara who is also a cast member of the show, and my focus on spiritual abuse she said this:
You called us [the entire cast] to the carpet.
In her above statement she explains, “we have all missed opportunities to minister during this show, not just Tara.” She continued that my article made all cast members have to take a look at the impact that they are making.
While, Tara’s response to my article was to go completely off on me I appreciate the heart of Pastor Domonique Scott, Christina Murray and Ivy Couch who wanted me to be sure to explain that the actions of one member of the cast are not necessarily the thoughts and approved actions of all cast members. Domonique offered me a formal apology on my Twitter timeline, as did Christina Murray in a direct message.
We must be honest about the fact that having the Sisterhood as a reality show is dangerous because non-believers and strattling-the-fence believers will have access to some of the issues that are behind-the-scenes in ministry.
Many believe that an inside look should not be available to anyone for an upfront view because like reading the bible, everything can not be understood with intellect alone but by the spirit.
However, many christian leaders are saying that this is not at all how they live and it should not be aired as a representation of how all pastor’s wives handle opposition.
While Brian Lewis who is Tara’s husband says that reality television is the new evangelism, I highly disagree and after catching up with some other cast members they do as well.
I’m not saying I’m the representation for all first ladies, I’m telling my story. – Pastor Domonique Scott
What could happen off of the television, behind-the-scenes and in their daily lives will be the opportunity to become witnesses of the gospel to those who find them interesting, empowering and role models. However this position is not exclusive to a pastor’s wife. We should all be ministers and examples of the gospel (good news).
Without getting too deep into understanding evangelism, I will say that the primary focus of the calling and position of evangelism is rooted in bringing souls to christ. I don’t mean as a result of developing a fan base created by popularity that you then bring souls to Christ.
I believe that evangelism in the real sense of the call and position is that your primary focus is to bring others to Christ. In other words, if evangelism is the real purpose of this show we would see people evangelizing. Evangelism and Pastorship are not entirely the same although one person can possess within them both gifts.
Since we don’t see them evangelizing as the primary purpose of the show, we can stop assuming that this show is supposed to be a representation of evangelism and move forward to other elements of the show that may be up for discussion.
As a child sexual abuse expert, my priority is helping to prevent child sexual abuse and to support adults in healing from their past. As someone who was sexually abused myself, I get it. I understand how you can be emotionally and psychologically damaged.
I understand how life is more challenging in some areas because of what you have gone through and how child sexual abuse can lead to a life of homelessness, prostitution, drug addiction, and domestic and/or sexual violence.
For people who have been sexually abused, this is a $124 Billion dollar epidemic that people in the church (and all communities) want to continue to silence. – Ressurrection Graves
Interviewing Pastor D
I struggle in knowing how far to go with discipline. Sometimes we as parents who have not been properly trained in how to respond to them didn’t get the soft words, hugs and kisses or compassion.
It’s easy to mix a bad day with parenting and I need a mommy pause. I will apologize if I snap. Although I have passed the stage of nightmares [from child sexual abuse], I still struggle with self-preservation [in my marriage]. They (the men) all had a motive or agenda.
- Dominique Scott, The Sisterhood
Domonique was up close and personal with me, offering me permission to share parts of her story that were difficult memories to revisit. In this exclusive interview, you’ll read some parts of Dominique’s powerful story that was either uncaptured or edited out of the final version the Sisterhood producers decided to show the public.
Domonique remembers being put into foster homes because her mother was preoccupied with people-pleasing and seeking love from men. We all want to be loved, and when we do not find love in one, it usually translates into multiple counterfeits until we figure out – if we figure out, how to identify “the one”.
Without using the word neglectful, Domonique remembers her mother to be the type of mom who would deny her children (by lying about them) if the man she wanted to be with said he did not like children. She did not meet her father until she was about 7 or 8 years old, and remembers that she saw him once again in 1991. She was born to educated parents who were at the top of their classes, who became drug addicts.
Scott who holds a master’s degree in business remembers that her stepfather’s father was a pedophile and woman-beater. She went into several foster homes where it was abundantly clear that the motivation for their care was money, not love or providing a nurturing environment taking on the role of a mother or father.
In her last foster home before becoming a child prostitute, she was passed around for $20 by her foster-father in Miami. She believes that his child sexual abuse grooming® started about a year before he actually did begin raping her. He would touch her in a way that was abnormal or uncomfortable and usually this happens when a perpetrator is trying to get you comfortable with being violated.
For this reason, we should never take a child’s impulses to report that someone touched the small of their back, their shoulder or another part of their body as innocent if they say that they were uncomfortable.
Domonique remembers his grooming tactics as barbaric stating that he wasn’t particularly nice to her. What he would do however was say yes when the wife said no, or offer her $10 instead of the $5 that the wife gave her in response to her request.
There is nothing wrong with being loving, affectionate or providing for a child. The concern is that the behaviors for the sole purpose of gaining the child’s trust is to sexually abuse them.
Domonique was a prostitute for seven years. She was in a relationship with her pimp. He never beat her. Her first “John” bought her first set of church dresses. She married a man who had just come home from jail, that was a part of her church. He beat her brutally for the duration of their marriage.
The church told her to stay and so she did. Ministries as I have mentioned in the other article here, often tell people to stay in relationships that are filled with domestic and sexual violence.
While as Christians marriage should not be an option, we must also understand the complexities of each dynamic situation where God does not desire for us to be beaten – he did that – for us. Wisdom is necessary to determine if a relationship can be healed from abuse, or will end in domestic violence.
It wasn’t until they [the church] told me [to], that I left. If I say anything to women who are being abused, leave him in bible study. And, I want women to know that they should not wait until they cannot take anymore beatings. Leave! – Domonique Scott
Domonique left after her ex-husband rammed her car with her and the children in it causing them to spin around seven or eight times. She miraculously walked away from the incident. The day she left her ex-husband beat her face in, to the point where she could not see out of one of her eyes.
The men of the church went on a hunt for him, and he was in the house the whole time hiding. He jumped out with a knife to kill her, and not realizing that one of the men of the church stayed behind in case he came back. She remembers that one night he woke up in the middle of the night saying, “I feel the spirit of murder on me, you better pray.”
I asked Domonique how she believes that the church, and those who are in the church can heal from child sexual abuse, and domestic violence. She said:
Rehabilitation never starts from inside the institution. It starts inside of you. Even if it hurts the church has to be honest. The bible says that if I [God] be lifted up, I [God] will draw all men. Don’t put preachers on altars. Christians are lazy. You want to be a prophetic junkie. You don’t want to study to show thyself approved unto God.
If I may interpret her heart in this interview, her desire was not to discredit other pastors, rather to put an accountability for us all to be more intuned with our personal relationships with God, building that intimacy so that we don’t need a prophet in areas where we can seek God for ourselves.
Domonique met her husband at a famous comedy club in Atlanta. He showed interest. He was different from her DMX – type past attractions and eventually she had a light bulb moment that he was indeed the one.
While they have had challenges in their finances, ministry and even their relationship because of the external struggles which come from life-learning, they have maintained their strength, and renewed their love. They are re-opening Good Life Church on February 17th, 2013.
Every woman is a first lady, and every man is a pastor at our church. We’re all in this together. We don’t act like we’re scholars of the word. We’re child-like and passionate in our teaching. – Pastor Domonique Scott, Good Life Church
Scandals and The Sisterhood
As I look at scandals within the real-life church that fill our inbox’s like Jamal Bryant, who impregnated a child and then took a hiatus from the church to do a speaking tour while the dust settled or like Eddie Long who is a homosexual-pedophile according to the allegations made against him by five young men, who sat down for a while and then returned to be crowned as king by some Jewish Rabbi with an unoriginal article of his culture that Long’s congregation sat in amazement to observe in ceremony.
As I look at people who I can be honest that I was disappointed in like Tye Tribbett and his wife, Da Truth who slept with Tye Tribbett’s wife, Deitrick and Damita Hadden, and Isaac Carree who was sleeping with Damita are examples of harmful disclosures to the body of christ.
As an aside, Isaac Carree just came out with a song who sounds just like R. Kelly and Deitrick Haddon who just wants to make it to heaven (sounding like Prince) is remaking everything R&B like “Climax” by Usher and “Adorn” by Miguel.
The report of James Fortune being sued was quickly quieted as people were satisfied with his response to his admission of child abuse. He never mentioned being delivered from anger during all those songs where he said he was delivered from homelessness. The child was so badly burned that he was rushed by helicopters to a hospital that specialized in burns.
The child is still disfigured which was the complaint of the biological father who was suing for $5 Million. From a ministerial perspective it becomes confusing when people say they have committed to a lifestyle that is holy, but their actions are not parallel.
The list is ridiculous and unnecessary, but the reality is that we did not need a “sisterhood” which would reveal our “secrets” as ministers to discredit the kingdom of God.
People who are making music without the presence of God being experienced through it can be thought of as contributors. People who walk around claiming to believe one thing, having created their own variation of the word can be held accountable. As I’ve stated before, as pastors we should look different from those who are coming into the church to learn how to live for God.
Yes, we do all make mistakes however I believe that there is a preparation for ministry and if you are sincerely struggling there is a way of escape – SIT DOWN! You sit yourself down so that God doesn’t have to expose you.
He will give you opportunities to overcome your personal trials but when you take on the attitude that you are too big and bad to be dealt with, he’ll remind you that he’s God and in truth it is His ministry. I believe that you must develop both your nine fruits of the spirit (character) and your gifts of the spirit which are carried by the anointing.
The Sisterhood is not to blame for the negative view of any church let alone the black or evangelical church. My hope is that you will continue to find foolishness unacceptable no matter who it is, and where you are, that you would see yourself as peculiar, and that you would begin to line up with that standard for your life.
The benefit of the Sisterhood is not to get an inside view of preacher’s wives so much as it is an opportunity to see women who believe they are called to ministry grow into their personal best while telling their stories.
They love God, they just don’t love God’s people. Our ability to love and forgive are the only thing that sets us apart from the world. – Domonique Scott, Pastor of Good Life Church
She said of the argument about the name of the Rutherford Plantation home:
The argument with DeLana was edited out. My daughter almost drowned at their house. Her husband got in the face of one of the cast members’ faces. No crops are on their land. They have a swimming pool.
Her comment was stating that the question about the word “plantation” was relevant because they do not have one. In the episodes concerning her tattoo she said:
I don’t have other tattoos. That was my first one and it says “free”. And, the Rutherford (cast members) have tattoos all over their bodies.
During the trip to Miami where she had been a drug addict and prostitute, she heard an overwhelming emotion come over her like, an audible God-voice which said:
You have forgiven. You have released. You have pushed forward but there was one person that you have not forgiven. You still have not let Domonique go. Forgive little Domonique.
This visitation to her old stomping grounds served as a life-changing event. She began to realize that all the child sexual abuse, the conditions of her childhood and her parent’s physical and emotional absences were not her fault.
One thing is true, we as a body of christ must began to understand the difference between opinion and discernment, struggle and living in sin without conviction, culture or tradition and Yahweh. -Ressurrection Graves
Ressurrection Graves is a child sexual abuse expert and H.E.A.L.E.R.® who speaks on topics surrounding healthy relationships, overcoming homelessness, child sexual abuse prevention, adult healing, and awareness. Ressurrection is available for radio/television interviews, or ministry/conference/keynote speaking engagements nationwide by telephone at: 202.717.7377 (RESS) or please email: ressurrection dot wordpress at yahoo dot com.