Sunday, May 18, 2008


RELIGION. This is something I decided to Blog about. Some things happened not too long ago and with recent events in my social life and private, it seems like the thing to write about this posting. People who know me can respect that I am very Spiritual. I know Religious people don’t like to hear this and often do not respect those that Stand To Be Spiritual, as if being Spiritual was the gateway into worshiping the Devil or something more insidious.

I argue that the essence of Spirit is that Gift that GOD gives the individual Man and Religion is the piety that Man gives back to God for his spirit. In a perfect World this would be a simple exchange of gratitude but with the inherent flaw in Mankind, this simple exchange of sacred homage can never and has never been that easy, especially in a Nation where tolerance is suppose to be what everyone aspires to posses.

Not long go I had an online exchange. It just popped up on my screen while I was working on a Writing Project:

Internet Buddy: Ephesians 5:15 encourages us to “be very careful how you live, making the most of your time.” Each and every one of us is going through tough times right now, but God is getting ready to bless you in a way that only He can. Keep the faith. My instructions were to pick four (4) people that I wanted God to bless, and I picked you. Please pass this to at least four (4) people you want to be blessed and a copy back to me. This prayer is powerful, and prayer is one of the best gifts we receive. There is no cost but a lot of rewards. Let's continue to pray for one another
Internet Buddy: The prayer: Father, I ask You to bless my friends, relatives and those that I care deeply for, who are reading this right now. Show them a new revelation of Your love and power. Holy Spirit, I ask You to minister to their spirit at this very moment. Where there is pain, give them Your peace and mercy. Where there is self-doubt, release a renewed confidence through Your grace. Where there is need, I ask you to fulfill their needs. Bless their homes, families, finances, their goings and their comings. In Jesus' precious name. Amen If the Lord lays upon your heart to send this to more than four (4) people, you are truly blessed
Me: You got something for those that aren't Christians to become inspired from?
Internet Buddy: Don’t worry ..... We all worship a faith, it was not to disrespect you at all ... just fill in what you need to fill in ok
Me: Not really. I have had this conversation with several people before ... I am not offended at all and I do agree, Spirituality is what it is .. I just notice that people whom are Christian tend to "assume" that everyone is of the same faith and when they are corrected ... it’s almost like a blow off that they could possibly make an error in judgment and want the “offended” person to excuse them for it and move on without learning.
Internet Buddy: oh no ... I know differently Man ..... no worries
Me: just opening up conversation. I'm not attacking or debating you; I just wanted to see if you ever thought about it or how you try to save heathen souls?
Internet Buddy: lol

This was where I took stock and though about the idea of challenging my Internet Buddy. You see, when you dance with the subject of Religion, you can come away from the battle beat down, bloody and often empty from the amount of energy behind it. All of this, as well as loosing a friend over something that intrinsically, we are all in agreement with. The hard part in challenging one’s norms with Religion is that when you hit the one spot where you can SHAKE the foundation, the panicle of one’s faith, you inject a fear deep into a mind, body and spirit of the individual, the collapsing of the underpinning of a body’s existence and then leave them abandoned in a wasteland of doubt. This is why people fight so hard to preserve their Religion. Who wants to be alone, abandoned, homeless and not able to find your way to GOD?

Me: I appreciate what you were extending to everyone you know
Internet Buddy: kool'
Me: but I am just saying, if I had sent you a saying from the Torah or Quran what would your initial reaction be?
Me: The initial reaction.
Internet Buddy: I would ask what it means?
Internet Buddy: People take thing too seriously yo
Me: Religion is personal.
Internet Buddy: I have traveled to many places, experienced too many cultures and backgrounds to disrespect anyone's believes
Me: Christians usually respond that way to non-Christians when they assume or cross that line and are challenged for it.
Internet Buddy: Always know this that everyone’s the same
Internet Buddy: and with that not all Christians think alike
Me: visiting other lands and cultures is one thing. Digging deep into the differences and applying it is another.
Me: Which is why some cultures are offended when Christians come into their cultures
Me: because there is always that need for conversion that comes with it.
Me: So like I said, I do understand and appreciate Spiritual lessons in faith BUT when it comes in a blanket assumption here in America ... it comes off offensive.
Me: I think I'll make that a BLOG topic for this week.

From the perspective of the non-Christian, the sense of being an outcast is as personal as a single minority in a room full of a majority. Oh, the person may be assimilated into the crowd and fit in but the reality is, you know you stand out like a neon light in the dark and as long as you keep the light off or at a low ebb, you won’t be noticed. That’s just how the majority would like it to be. If a person can't be Christian in America, one needs to accept it, consider changing that little defect in one's character (or BURN IN HELL) or be out of sight and mind.

When I was younger, I would be un-easy when I had a Christian approach me with ideas of converting me into a flock or bosom or a grace assigning me a pew all my own. I would sit silently while they recited passages from the Bible with the word of GOD washing over my conscious. And out of my “respect” I would listen knowing I had no intentions of going through the conversion since I knew my Spirit and my Religion was well established. At no time did many of the “converters” asked if I had an established BELIEF or opened up with dialogue about faith and religion just to see if I even had a SOUL needing saving. Years later, I became bold enough to shut it down from the gate. I once had an encounter in a steam room after a long workout at a gym in Chicago where a well to do Black Man and his friend opened up a conversation with me. I am usually the silent type after a workout so initially I wasn’t in the chatting mood, but again, out of respect (and the three of us being the only Black folk in the whole place) I engaged. As we talked for a minute, out came the pitch, “Tell me, is Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior?

I responded, “No he’s not”.

With that response I might as well had my head spin on the axis of my shoulders and spit pea soup. The mood in this 100 plus degree steam room suddenly became chilled like the tip of the South Pole because in their eyes, I would not leave that room until my SOUL WAS SAVED.

And why not? Do you know who Jesus is?” the Older of the two addressed me.

I do. I am very aware who Jesus Christ is.” I commented back while whiping sweat out of my eyes, "He just isn't my Lord and Savior".

Oh my Brother, you don’t know who Jesus is or you would not have said what you said.”, the Younger Man said moving closer to me.

Now for the next 15 minute (mind you, I am in a steam room loosing a pound a minute) as the two tagged teamed me into turning away from my "wicked" ways. I was told every story worth mentioning of Jesus, his sacrifice, the soul savings, Black Peoples fundamental allegiance to the Son of God, how Jesus speaks to the Body, Mind and Soul of everyone, how my very salvation and admittance into Heaven was based upon my acceptance of Jesus in my life. By the time I had gotten to my level of tolerance from the heat of the room and my interrogation, I decided to excuse myself from the room, which originally was a metaphore for taking me to Heaven but ended up being my Seat in Purgatory, but before I did that I said the following:

You know, I do respect the fact that you are dedicated to your faith but did you in your pitch to gain one more member for your church and another notch on the soul saving list “ask” me what my faith was? No. You didn’t. You just assumed that I was a heathen, a zealot, agnostic or didn't believe in GOD, which I am neither.

Just to enlighten you, I have an established faith that I have practiced since I was consciously aware of as a child. Even more so, I have gained great praise, blessings and total awareness of the World around me and I don’t see any need to change it. Especially since in my FAITH its tenets is that of NON-CONVERSION; the example of living by example is its only conversion. This is the respect it has giving me, of myself and of other religions for in my faith, as long as you ACCEPT GOD and put it before all others, you are following the Creators WILL. I know Jesus, I acknowledge Jesus, I respect the words of Jesus and his place in my faith but GOD is the ultimate LORD over me and is my only Savior.

So let me leave and go cool down outside and when I do, I’ll come back and continue our discussion on Faith and Reasoning.

I exited and while downing a bottle of water, cooled off for a few minutes and arrived back into the steam room. Once back in a cloud of hot steam, there was a thick silence in the room. Thick and uncomfortable, not so much because of me, but by the two Men (and a few others whom were also relaxing there as well). I made my way back to my original place ready to begin where I left off. I could have begun the exchange anew but I sensed that this was not the conversation either one of the Men wanted to continue with and I was obliged by keeping the peace since my purpose was to detox from the outside World and its madness.

As part of this CHANGE that America is desperately looking to become part of, I have to ask, IS IT READY? There is the Economy and the War, Race and Gender, Immigrants and Native Born, Sex and Sexuality, Age and the Elderly, Health and Sickness and then there are the conversations dealing with Religion. Can we really afford to deal with this HOT BUTTON issue rationally, especially when at its root, it has done so much damage to so many people around the World for centuries?


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Shazza Nakim said...

I thank you for the support and I am feeling your Blog, u have a great post on a Harlem icon and will bookmark it for future reading.

One Man’s Opinion said...

“As if being Spiritual was the gateway into worshiping the Devil or something more insidious.” And “This is why people fight so hard to preserve their Religion. Who wants to be alone, abandoned, homeless and not able to find your way to GOD?” Two of the many great things you have said in this blog. Wow, religion is a tuff topic to blog about, because people have such power feeling on the subject. I guess that’s why it is one of those things they say you shouldn’t discuss. I love to talk to people about their religion.
At city court, there use to be this one lady who was a Jehovah’s Witness. While waiting for the city attorney to come in and speak, her and I would sometime talk about topics that broached on religion. It was funny, in all of our conversation, until she handed me one of her Watchtowers, I had no idea that she was Jehovah’s Witness and didn’t care afterwards. I love good conversation. I like to believe that my faith is so strong that “your never gonnna break my faith”. That’s just me.
Good post. I would love to sit down and have a conversation with you. I just know it’d probably make me feeling inadequate.
Long ass post. LOL

jjbrock said...

Poet a great article. I could tell from your first comment on my blog that you had a different belief than my self. Your comment was that prayer don't work for everything which I strongly disagree with I believe that prayer changes everything but that had nothing to do with the powerful comment you left.

From reading my blog you can tell it's not about hitting people over the head with what I see as the way. Too each his own because on that day in the future as I believe we all will have to give an account for our choice.

I believe in prayer and I strongly believe in Jesus Christ as being the only way to the Father. Thanks again for a great article.

Shazza Nakim said...

.. and to that, as long as your (peoples') belief makes you a Good person and the Blessing reigns down upon you .. that is all a GOOD THING for you and all of Humanity. I just like to note that Religion is suppose to take you to GOD not to Hell. Too often, Non-Christians in America are seen as people going to Hell rather than Heaven and that is a shame because it is in every aspect of this Multicultural Nation.

Shazza said...

Born a Christian myself I have come reject a lot of it’s teaching, mainly because of the perceived notion that if you haven’t chosen Jesus Christ as your saviour, you will BURN…I consider myself to be spiritual and have a very healthy relationship with him…and get offended when Christians are that narrow minded about faith.

I recently got into it with a devoted Christian.. who wouldn’t stop reminding me that Jesus Christ is the Only way…I soon learned that, this is a subject we are both better off discussing