Pull up a seat and have a steaming cup with me as we discuss issues central to the west-indian community, the african-american community and the LGBT community.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

"Belly Yuck" To Keep Your Man? (Only in the Bahamas right?)

By Nadine Thomas-Brown, Nassau Guardian Religion Reporter, nadine@nasguard.com

City of Praise Church pastor Arthur Duncombe drew the ire of many Christians after he brought a popular Jamaican female deejay to The Bahamas to allegedly demonstrate the dance move known as the "Belly Yuck" to his congregation.
Pastor Duncombe was a guest on Joy FM's "Joy In The Morning" show with Kevin Harris, last week, where he defended his actions, saying that teaching his congregation the "Belly Yuck" was a means of helping them to keep their husbands from being enticed away. He also said that he had contemplated bringing in Indian dancers as well as Hawaiian dancers in consecutive years to help the members, comments which spurred furious calls by members of the public to the program, who were concerned that a secular person was being brought in to teach Christians anything.
Jamaican female performer "Macka Diamond", a dance hall singer known for the popular song "Bu'n Him" was the deejay at the seminar entitled "Angels By Day, Monsters By Night" conference held for married and engaged couples of Pastor Duncombe's church on Ajax St.
Duncombe told The Nassau Guardian that the conference gave Christian women some "know how" in the battle to keep their husbands interested in them sexually, a concern he said many Christian men and women had brought before him over the course of his eight years as a pastor.
He was quick to defend his stance. He said that many Christian women were so caught up in their "Christianity" that they were neglecting their spousal duties and this was his way of trying to teach his congregation that intercourse between married couples was ordained by God, and that the very nature of how humans came into being should show that our maker had no problems with the act.
Despite the uproar in the community, members of the congregation said that the performer only spoke to the congregation, and did not dance. Joann Ferguson, 39, a Christian woman who has been married for five years attended the conference and said that she believed that it was relevant and extremely important to Christian couples. "It was enlightening, interesting and very informative."

"We have a lot of Christian marriages which are falling apart and sex is a very important part of marriage," she said, adding that while many women were Christians, many of their husbands were not and that realistically they had to, "rest the Holy Ghost down and perform the duties of a wife. You can't be too sanctifies to satisfy," she said.
As to whether Diamond was the right person to bring in to speak to the group, Ferguson said that throughout daily we take advice from people who were also in the secular world, and that adults are capable of listening, and inevitably making their own choices with the help of God. "We would save more sinners if we as Christians were more real," she said.
Ferguson said that the women and men were split in two groups for the conference, with "Macka Diamond" responsible for the women while, Pastor Robert Coakley from City Of Praise Church instructed the men.
Sheryl Christie-Smith, 49, who has been married for two years said that she found the conference educational, especially for a woman who has been in the church many years, and lost one husband, partly because of the lack of communication on sexual matters. "He was a Christian as well, [but] both of us were just too holy to commit or share our intimacy feelings with each other," she said.
With her new husband who is not saved, Christie said that she had come to realize the importance of that aspect of married life and was determined to learn all she could to keep the fires burning. "You have to keep your bedroom business, and marriage is honorable in the sight of God and the bed is undefiled," she said.

The "Belly Yuck" is the focus of a song of the same name by singer Kirkland "KB" Bodie, and one of the key elements to doing the dance is putting your back and shoulders on the ground, lifting your waist or hips and gyrating. Acknowledging that he has heard the severe negative criticisms, Duncombe says that he has also received positive comments from members of the community. This is the second such conference that Pastor Duncombe's church has put on.

However, "Joy In The Morning" host, Harris, said that it was unfortunate that the conference went ahead despite the outcry by so many people. "There is a need to address sexuality within the church and to be open and transparent about it and to help Christians who are struggling. Singles who are approaching marriage should be told within the proper confines but I was totally against the idea that we needed to have a secular reggae artist into the four walls of the church, or anywhere that the church was holding an event to explain, show or demonstrate anything as it regards the fulfillment of one's partner."

Harris also believes that Duncombe should have sought more counsel before he went ahead with the event. He also said that Duncombe now risks a double standard as it relates to the youth because the pastor could not expect the youth of his church to listen to him when he told them not to listen to [Reggae] music which he [Harris] views as inappropriate for young ears. Nevertheless, Duncombe argues that other secular people have been brought in over the years by pastors to teach Christians in other areas such as finance. A point that Harris says is invalid.

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