Monday, May 21, 2007

Organized Religion (So Throwed)

"I do not pretend to be a divine man, but I do believe in divine guidance, divine power and in the fulfillment of divine prophecy. I am not educated, nor am I an expert in any particular field..but I am sincere and my sincerity is my credential."
- Malcolm X, March 12, 1964

If I was to walk into some dude's house and I found that he was kneeling down and praying to a chia pet, I wouldn't start laughing in his face or nothing like that. I believe in giving people their proper respects when it comes to the various gods that are served.

Although they may be different from the God I serve, I still believe in respecting other's beliefs. Now the part that DOES kinda set me off and make me start tripping a lil bit, is if they try to persuade ME to bow down to their chia pet. Scurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Slow yo roll podna, cuz as a matter of fact, I was thinking of the best way of introducing you to MY God.

A lot of people who have been reading over the years have made comments in regards to my religion. I actually have never considered myself very 'religious'. Much like Prince, my common lament was that there is no joy in repetition.

The things you do religiously, are the things you do regularly, regimented practices.

Most people associate this with the folks who religiously attend a church, synagogue, mosque, etc, at least once a week.

In the Southern Black Baptist church (from whence I was raised and continue to serve in), the level of your religion is even more closely scrutinized.

Do you go to church like those people who show up only on Easter, Mother's Day and Christmas, right before the choir sings and leaves halfway through the sermon and never pick up a Bible at home? Or are you hardcore: 'Prayer Breakfast, Sunday School, 11'oclock service, 3 oclock service, BTU, Prayer Meeting, Bible Study, Missionary circle meeting, Friday Night of Faith, whenever the doors are open you are there type of religious person?

It's definitely different levels of the game.

On one end you have the more carnal man, on the other the more holy.

I'm still striving to get to the more holy end, but it is because of religious questions that I decided to post my Statement of Faith on the website. It breaks down what I really believe about the God that I worship.

I've had some ministers approach me after reading my material and assail me with all the ways that I am falling short in my walk. I've also had some ministers who have given me their full endorsement of support, "That's it Brother D! God wants all of His soldiers to get on the battlefield!! Keep serving the Word!"

What I've realized is that there are some Christians who are so focused on being holier than thou, that they have lost their ability to witness to people, because no one takes them seriously.

C'mon man! Ain't NOBODY perfect, we're all still men in the flesh!!

I remember as a child sitting in church miserable. You couldn't talk, laugh or play. You just had to sit in the pew in some uncomfortable clothes and listen to some fat, sweating spitting preacher talk about how we're all going to hell if we don't repent.

I actually used to think to myself, "If Heaven is just like being in church all day, I don't want to go. Boooring."

I carried these same sentiments all the way into my 30's.

It was easy too, to have these 'anti-church' sentiments, because it was so common to see all of the janky preachers and 'church folks' that were out peddling their wares. Selling healing towels and prayer oil. Everytime they show up to church, they're devising ways to get more of your money. Pay your tithes (pre-tax), give a love offering, we selling fried chicken plates on Friday!! It seemed rather ridiculous to me. I sometimes wondered why God didn't send a bolt of lightning down and strike all these janky church folks dead in their tracks.

My superior attitude was stablized by my belief that there IS a God. I believed in God just like any priest, why should I have to go tell some mortal man my sins?? I don't need to go sit in no closet and talk to some dude. I can talk to God myself!! I know how to pray!

And such was my walk. Thanking God for my food, thanking Him for allowing me to see another day. I became religious in my prayer life first.

But alas, at some point your soul is going to thirst for more. Prayer and meditation is a good thing, but you're going to reach a point where you need more substance. A Rock to stand on. Otherwise you're going to start worrying that you're not praying to God, but only talking to yourself in your head.

And it was about that time that I picked up the Bible and I prayed for God to guide me and direct me toward the truth, and I read it for myself. And it is upon the Word, that I rest my faith.

A lot of people talk down about the Word and Jesus, because they have so many Da Vinci code conspiracy theories embedded in their brains, that their minds are clouded from the Truth.

The other big hurdle that I had to jump was that of the growing spread of Universalism. The false claim that there is no Final Judgement. EVERYBODY IS GOING TO HEAVEN!! YAAAAY!!!

A lot of people are ready to adopt this belief, because it gives them more peace about what happens to other folks in their lives who may have already passed. People who have non-Christian loved ones are going to have a harder time accepting the Word. But it can be done, as the testimony of Believers across the nations have attested to over the centuries.

"The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; and the knowledge of the holy is understanding." - Proverbs 9:10 KJV

That's when you have to stop being a damn fool and sit down and study the Bible for yourself. It's not enough to just say that you believe 'in God'.

"Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe and tremble." - James 2:19

If you're going to present your soul approved to God once you take your last breath, then you're going to have to study the Word for yourself.

"Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needed not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." - 2 Timothy 2:15

It doesn't matter if your pastor was just caught on tape doing drugs with a gay massuese (although you should be VERY careful of who you study under), you still have to have your own PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with God that you need to focus on. The biggest lie that 'organized religion' pushes on people is convincing them that their salvation has to go through their church coffers or this preacher. That's a lie. The veil is torn, we all have access to the Holy of Holies.

"For there is one God and there is one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" - 1 Timothy 2:5.

And once you start to earnestly study the Word for yourself, your faith will be strengthened and your path will become more clear. I'm not telling you something that I just heard either. I am a living witness.