Join me every week as we ask the hard questions about who is God? Does God exist? Does it matter if he is a He or a She? Is there a hell? How do we get into heaven? Is that what the end result should be? What is this life? And why are so many people leaving the church?
When I was young and growing up in church all I remember was that we were to remember that there was a Jesus and you loved him and he loved you too. We were never asked if we could see Jesus or if he was in everything we could see or if he was in us. Never once did a Sunday School teacher or a Bible Study class tell us to question why we believed in God. And for years I didn’t think it was safe to. So my journey has included trying to deprogram myself, trying to figure out who this God is that we say we love, this God we say we praise and we say is worthy of everything. How do we praise a God that we don’t even know? And as sad as it is most of us no matter how long we have been in church don’t know who and what God is. We know what the scripture says, but have no idea what the scripture means, we don’t know where the scripture comes from and who it’s for, or why it’s even written, even worse the one given the task to preach the gospel don’t know it either, aren’t concerned with finding it out and don’t care to share that they don’t know. when was the last time you heard a pastor say I don’t know? Why is it that the word doesn’t grow with us, that we insist that it stays stagnant and never expands like the minds God gave us? Imagine being able to tell children you can see God, imagine that church didn’t start with telling people to memorize the favorite scripture but to question why they are in church in the first place. I imagine my walk with God might’ve been different. But to be honest I don’t regret the walk I do have, I don’t regret what I’ve experienced, the Fire and Brimstone God, the God that doesn’t speak to you, he speaks only to the pastor, because I met that God I can now enjoy learning about my God, the God who says read, work, learn, question, and keep learning . . .
I’ve been on a journey . . . trying to find myself . . . trying to find out where I fit in where religion is concerned. You hear often “I’m not religious, I’m spiritual“, it is the dis-claimant that is used to set people worlds apart from the lack of compassion and hate that seem to come linked to Christianity these days. It is the answer that says so much in so little, yet still leaves the question truly unanswered.
Well who am I? Some days I am still trying to find out, but I can tell you about my journey to get where I am. It has been long and it has required that I strip myself naked, be vulnerable and be ugly in front of the world, in front of my mirror. I can tell you it has taken me on a journey where you have to ask tough questions and have to allow others to answer them for you sometimes with answers that you find untruthful. So yes I am spiritual and I practice religion as we know it . . . Almost every Sunday I find myself in a pew in a sanctuary in the old rendition of what it is to be saved and sanctified and holy ghost filled . . . And though I am there,where my heart and my mind are tend to be miles away from what I was raised in.
I was born in the church raised there, with communion, and King James bibles, with Stewardess white dresses, usher gloves and stockings in summertime. I was born in the church where fire and brimstone was the answer and the way. With afternoon services and Pastors Aid days and Trustee Anniversaries. I thought this was the gospel. No one taught me doctrine, you simply lived and breathed it, it was what you did. It took me years of shedding and peeling back layers for me to understand what we call the gospel was simply learned behavior.
As a person of color when we speak of Christianity there are layers to peel back. The use of the bible as a weapon among slaves, the adaptation of a white world and how we learn how to adapt culturally to a God who proclaims we are made in the divines image. When we pray do we shed how our ancestors prayed in order for this new God to hear us. Is God white or Black, does he care about color, is God a just God, and if so why did God allow men to think that being created first means they were created best? I needed answers. Why would God create gay people especially if it was against the Almighty’s will? Are we reading and interpreting the bible the right way? Why can’t people believe in Buddha and why is it not feasible that Gabriel reallydid come to Mohammed and tell him about Allah (God)?