Pleasant Grove tells ‘bad girls’ story

The deaconess and first lady of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church of Ruston presented a program entitled the Bad Girls of the Bible on Sunday, April 20. Eve, Jezebel, Lot’s Daughters, Drusilla, Delilah, Mary Magdalene, Bernice, Athaliah and Bathsheba were the “bad girls.” They were presented and represented by Jenell Joe, Debra Crowe, Sarah Hassen, Renda Hicks, Katina Crowe, Jane Andrews, Ida Ary, Latricia Kilgore, Barbara Manning and Altha Madison. The theme for the program was the “Umbrella of Faith.” D. Crowe, mistress of ceremonies, said that just to have faith is not enough because without works, faith is dead. “Having faith is praying for rain and then taking your umbrella with you,” said Crowe.

Reflecting on some of the behavior of females, she said there are some interesting stories in these bad girls and that Jezebel and some of the other bad girls are still alive today. “It is not so bad being bad if you redeem yourself.”

Joe presented Eve first since she was the first woman mentioned in the Bible. “Eve’s first sin changed the life of all to come. Man’s bond was broken with God, and Eve’s bond was broken with Adam. There was enmity among all,” she said. “We are like Eve. We are tempted, and like Eve, our sins reach further than we can see.”

“Woman was not created from man’s feet, which meant she was not to be walked over. She was not created from his head to boss him,” she said.

Hassen and Hicks presented a skit that focused on how Lot’s two daughters got their father drunk on wine, engaged in sexual intercourse with him on two successive nights, became pregnant, and eventually gave birth to two sons Moab and Benammi.

Crowe said, “How many of us make decisions without consulting God? This is where we get the saying two wrongs do not make a right, from Lot’s daughters.”

Next, Andrews said Delilah was a hard hearted girl whose actions reduced the man she loved to a life of self-degradation. She spoke from Ephesians 4:18, “Jesus warned that when our hearts become hardened, it is difficult to see what is true.”

Kilgore spoke of Bernice, the eldest daughter of Agrippa I.. “Her name means ‘victorious. After the early death of her first husband, Marcus, she married her uncle, King Herod of Chalcis. After his death in approximately 40 AD, she began another incestuous relationship, this time with her brother, Agrippa II,” she said.

It was before that brother/sister/husband/wife couple that the apostle Paul made his defense at Caesarea. Bernice was later briefly married to King Ptolemy of Sicily, before returning to her brother. Thereafter, she became the mistress of the emperors Vespasian and Titus.

Manning presented Athalia. She said that Athalia, Jezebel’s daughter, seized power and killed all members of the royal family who were possible rivals for the throne, all except Joash, the infant son of King Ahaziah, who had been rescued by his Aunt Jehosheba.

The last bad girl Bathsheba, was presented by Madison. “Bathsheba is the link between two kings, David and Solomon. She was a lover and wife to the former and a mother to the latter.”

David, while walking on the roof of his house, saw Bathsheba, who was the wife of Uriah the Hittite, taking a bath. He immediately desired her. David then committed adultery with her and she conceived.

In an effort to cover up his sin, David summoned Uriah in the hopes that Uriah would sleep with Bathsheba, and thus the child could be passed off as his.

However, Uriah was unwilling to violate the ancient kingdom rule applying to warriors in active service, and David had him killed, and after Uriah was gone, David made the now widowed Bathsheba his wife.

Afterwards the presentations, Carol Sapp, the first lady, sang about “a girl with a bad problem who managed to touch the hem of his garment.” Also, the North Louisiana Workshop and Pleasant Grove choirs sang.

Reddie Owens, president of the deaconess ministry said that she decided to choose the bad girls presentation as a fundraiser after she had seen it and Cheryl Nickerson gave her a program. “This program was nice. I was pleased with the presentations,” she said.

This was a program that both men and women appreciated and gained a greater understanding of the bad girls in the bible.

Shirley Daye said, “I learned a lot about the bad girls. I really didn’t know a lot about them. I heard a lot, so it was informative.”

Kenneth Sapp, the pastor of Pleasant Grove, said that it was interesting to hear about the bad girls from a biblical perspective. “We can learn a lesson from them. This program has taught us that when we read the word of God and search the scriptures, we can really find some interesting things,” he said.

“It showed that even at that point in biblical history people made mistakes, but that same God is still forgiving,” said Sapp.

Adam Collins said that it informed people that everything in the bible was not nice, and everyone in the bible was not good. “It shows there is room for growth. It benefits us to realize that we are flaws, and our flaws are not new flaws; our challenges are not new challenges,” said Collins, who is a deacon at Pleasant Grove.