I recently spoke with Cheron Griffin of CheMedia Group, the producers of the highly controversial, upcoming reality show the "Preachers' Exes."
I have to say it was a pleasure getting to hear from Ms. Griffin on this highly-talked-about show. Cheron Griffin is a very pleasant, caring woman who has a heart for women and their healing. It is truly a shame that the church world has grossly misinterpreted what this show is all about....but the persecution and attack on these women does not surprise me.
I myself have been there and done that...and that's what led me to speak with Ms. Griffin. The world needs to hear what's REALLY up....and NOT through religious filters either!
I asked some questions of her that would help bring some insight and perspective into what inspired this show.
You all know where I stand as far as the show airing is concerned: I am 500% in support of this show and feel it is LONG overdue. For way too long, the church has sought to mute the voices of its women and children.
Me: "WHO is Cheron Griffin? Tell the world about the creator and producer of 'The Preachers' Exes.' What events led you to this place in your life....you went from being a first lady - TWO times - to here....HOW?"
Cheron: "Cheron K. Griffin, first, is a woman who loves God contrary to popular belief. She's a spiritual woman that is led by God and by her faith in God. She is NOT RELIGIOUS."
"The events that led up to the upcoming reality TV show Preachers' Exes is not only her book "3PM: The Preacher. The Power. The Penis & Me," but the fact that her ex-husband is not following through in his legal obligations regarding their divorce decree. In the time of distress, one will either sink or swim. Cheron swims very well. Preachers' Exes is her lifeboat."
"As far as being married to two preachers, Cheron married the men, not the title. And as far as being in this position called divorce, it was sanctioned by God. God says that we should have the abundant life, not one full of abuse and misery. The "church" has it wrong. How can we be victorious, if there is no victory. How can we live when we are dying? It's impossible. How can a man say he loves his wife when he abuses his wife? Maybe I have it wrong, but I'll take the risk so that others can live."
Me: "I wrote another article on your show, entitled 'Leave the Preachers' Exes Alone: God is Using them!' In it, basically, I said that God is judging the organized church system as we all know it...and one of the ways judgment is being administered is by means of EXPOSURE. So many people have a negative perspective of EXPOSURE, in particular, when it comes to the exposure of THEIR pastors and churches. When someone has a wound, unless its broken or a fracture, a doctor usually will encourage a patient to NOT bandage up the wound. Our grandmothers used to say, 'Let the air and sun hit that scab; that's the only way it will heal properly!' Yet, many in the church are AFRAID of exposure! They think that the light of the truth, the exposing of mistreatment of the women and/or children of the church, will somehow be of detriment to the institution of the church. But no one is concerned about the well-being of the ones being HURT in the system. Exposure is the ONLY way that these women and children will be healed of the many wounds inflicted upon them within the church....what is your take on this? Was this the driving force behind creating the show?"
Cheron: "I believe that judgment starts at the house of God first. I think that it's about time that women take a stance and tell their truth as opposed to being quiet like many of us are taught. A baby has more sense to scream out if pain is inflicted, but somehow, we (women and children) have been muzzled by sayings like, "What goes on in the house stays in the house." That saying alone has caused so many to be depressed, oppressed, mistreated, abused, etc. I say, "MAKE SOME NOISE AND SCREAM OUT LOUD!" We no longer have to suffer in silence."
"My driving force is always exposing the injustices of mankind. I want women to share their stories so that healing can begin to take place and those old wounds can become scars. Scars are the representation of healing, but open wounds become infected. We have many infected individuals in the pulpit and in the pews."
Me: "That's a mouthful right there!
"There is obviously a lot of controversy surrounding this show-a lot of concern from churchgoers that the church would be made to look 'bad' in the public. Some have accused the ladies of being 'carnal, bitter and having an agenda to retaliate against the church.' I, personally, understand what you're doing...and commend/applaud it. But let the readers know... Is that really the case? Are you trying to 'malign' the church? If not, what was the inspiration behind your creating this show?"
Cheron: "Any time there is exposure, people will come against it; however, the premise of the show is empowerment through our testimonies. Personally, I am not bitter and if I was, I have a right to be. It's really not about the preachers we were married to, but it's about a camaraderie of women experiencing their healing together and stepping out into their own. It's about learning to love ourselves and walking into destiny. It's about showing the world that we are not afraid to launch out into the deep. It's about LIVING. How many people do we know that really have the chance to LIVE, not many."
"As far as the church, it's already maligned. I don't have to do that. If it was not maligned, God would not have said that judgment is going to start at the house of God first. I must add, we are the church and the building is simply a place of corporate worship. Again, the inspiration behind creating the show is so that many can be healed. It's really that simple."
Me: "I see that you are into women's empowerment, holding seminars that help build the confidence of girls and women. Having been a minister in the church myself, I know the lack of QUALITY mentoring and ministry to girls and women. All that the girls and women are taught is how to be a first lady. How to snag them a preacher. How to be 'a woman of God.' Do you believe that the church culture - particularly in the African American community - oppresses women and fosters an environment where women are consistently exploited, abused, persecuted and mistreated?"
Cheron: "I believe that the church is an entity that oppresses women. I cannot say all churches, but I am going to say many. I don't believe in religion, but I do believe in having a relationship with Christ and I believe that that relationship is personal. I believe that in the urban church world, many women are taught to serve their men and to be submissive. I love the culture of the agnostic and the atheist that simply believe that men and women are equal partners. Actually, atheist and agnostics have less divorces than the Christian community. I believe in the liberated woman who is experiencing her freedom with or without a man. I believe in the wholeness of a woman who is experiencing God's best for her whether she's married or single. I believe that the urban church has put God in a box and many women in a square. I want women to experience the freedom I have and to LIVE OUT LOUD. It's a great place to be."
Me: "What would you want to say to a 'first lady,' or a woman in leadership in the church who HAS or IS being misused, abused, or has been molested, raped or discriminated against solely based upon the fact that they are women. Is there healing within the four walls of the church for a woman who has been BROKEN by the church?"
"In many cases, the healing of the brokenhearted in church cannot get their healing in the place that hurt them. Many say the church is the hospital for the sick, but I say God is a place of healing and God is everywhere. He's in our hearts and He's a safe haven. He's in our homes. He's in the workplace. He's where we are. The word simply says that where two or three are together in my name, I am there in the midst. This scripture alone gives me hope because God can speak to us and usher in our healing wherever and whenever. Personally, I am not against the church, I simply eat the meat and spit out the bones when I go. I don't look to man for what God can do. I received my healing on the dance floor with a margarita in my hand. And yes, I do love God."
Thank you so much, Cheron Griffin, for sharing your heart with us today! You have truly shared some powerful truths. Godspeed, Ladies!