“Showing Vs. Growing” How I Feel About: Religion


It was never my intention to grow up and grow out of the church.  I was raised there.  Had some great times there. Loved mostly every minute of it.  As children in my home we figured out going to church at least on Sundays was NOT AN OPTION we [well I at least] began to look for a way to get involved and start enjoying it.  Because let’s face it, there are some things a young child just isn’t going to understand right away.

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In Zion Rest Missionary Baptist Church, I learned the values of friendship, fellowship and worship. Nothing weird.  Nothing cult-like.  Just… church, fun, and togetherness.  I was at the church 6 days out of the week for a long period of my childhood.  I was an usher, I sang in the choir, I played the drums, trombone and keyboard for the choir.  I attended Bible study, JCIA [Junior Christians in Action] and tried my best to eat all the food there was to offer when the fellowship hall offered it.  My mother cooked most of it so… of course.

As a young adult, we’d go on trips together as a church, hang out together, go to revivals and just… go through life, with our church family!  I didn’t really have any friends outside of that!  School was just… school, not some place to be social.  Church was where I was social.

Getting older, I got wind of a few things.  And it all went downhill from there.

Being so involved with the church, I heard a lot of talk, and witnessed some things.  And my mother, being the go-to- woman for nearly everything, she was involved with a lot herself.  She’d never admit it, but she’s somewhat of a gossip… like many other ladies of the church.  One thing I can say is, my mother’s gossip always revolved around the truth. I’ll exclude everything I heard, and just focus on the things I know happened.

My sister, Constance was apparently the first woman in the history of man to ever have a baby ‘out of wedlock’. Some of the mother’s at the church didn’t like this.  They began to make it extremely hard for her to continue to praise and worship there like we had for amany years before the occurance.

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My ex-wife’s cousin, Sharee, had come out as a lesbian publically. The same thing happened.  Now, Sharee was really something.  When it came time for choir practices, she would come pick me up in her personal vehicle, then make rounds to peoples houses picking them up.  To come to the house of the lord.  For praise.  Worship. Fellowship.  The things we’re supposed to do.  A small group of adults and some of the clergy at the church systematically ousted Sharee from the church.  Firstly moving her out of the choir.  Then basically alienating her until she decided not to come to church anymore.

Even myself.  Was accused of being a child molester in a matter of words because I got along with all the kids in the church, and two particular girls wanted me to buy them ice cream one day, and I told them to ask their mother if it was ok.  Instead of seeing them again for an answer, the next I hear my mother is firmly chewing someones ass for bringing this matter to her attention.

Why do people do this? It’s not just Christians either.  “Religious” people are known for being overly judgmental, pushy, and seemingly only wanting people who they consider ‘perfect’ in the church.  That’s not what church is for!  The sinners… NEED to be in church. When they found out Constance was pregnant, those women should’ve wrapped their arms around my sister and lifted her up with support.  Lending a hand… advice. Love.  Not bashing her and calling her a bad influence!  Hell, it’s a strong possibility a number of those very same women were shitloads more loose than my sister could ever dream of being!

When they found out Sharee was gay, they should’ve invited her to stay!  Maybe not encouraged her lifestyle, but still not excommunicate her!  They should’ve been a reminder of GOD’s love… tried their best to keep her around, keep her involved.

 

But no… All the things we preach GOD is, love.  Patience. Kindness. I rarely saw exhibited by the people who called themselves “Christians”.

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Now, as for myself.  I know there’s a GOD.  I’m not sure which doctrine he, she or it exclusively endorses, and frankly I don’t care.

I just don’t go around calling myself a Christian, or a Muslim or anything else because I feel I’d be a bad representation of the diety from any of these factions. Take my marriage for instance. I allowed the fact that my ex-wife was substandard and unsatisfactory as a justification for me cheating on her repeatedly; Instead of being a good leader and making a Godly decision about our relationship.

I’ve dabbled in a few religious doctrines.  Perhaps none of them are 100% right.  But aren’t the basic principles of any religion kinda helpful?  Not the rituals… the superstitions… the threats… and even the promises…

But the basic rules.

Don’t kill.  Don’t steal. Be kind. Get married. Obey your parents. BE GOOD parents. Give to the poor and be benevolent. Don’t cheat.

Hell, you don’t even have to subscribe to a religion to do all that, do you?  But religion is a show now.  From the things people wear, to the practices and all the OOGA BOOGA! In the Islamic faith, it’s customary to say “Mash’allah” after giving someone a compliment.  Because if you don’t give that honor to Allah, then he won’t bless or in turn curse whatever it was that you complimented.  In Abu Dhabi, one man got angry at one of my coworkers because he said the mans child was cute.  He didn’t say “Mash’Allah” and a week later the kid got sick.

That, is bullshit.  Sorry.  No offense to my Muslim brothers and sisters but that’s just a superstition. Buddhists… they’re religion is FILLED with superstition. Christians too.  I know in southern baptist church’s, if one needs to excuse themselves from the sanctuary during service for any particular reason, they put their pointer finger in the air while walking out.  That’s nothing. It’s actually kinda holy-1264262_1280retarded. It makes your interuption no less disturbing or disrespectful.

Prayer beads.  Rosaries.  Kufiya’s.  Turbans. Kippah’s (Yamulke), hijab… it’s all just for show.  None of those things are going to increase your chances of going to heaven or make you more Godlike or favorable.  It’s just for show.

Kneeling, or putting your hands together during prayer.  It’s doesnt speed up the process of sending the prayer.  It’s just for show.  Or when Catholics motion the cross from their foreheads to their chest… means and does absolutely nothing.  It’s all just for show and symbolism.

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But what is all this show supposed to help? What is it people think they’re doing by following all this garbage?  Is it helping you grow?  Whenever I speak to religious people I find out just how little they know about their religion.

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Since I read the Koran and the Bible I like to quiz Christians, Catholics and Muslims. Because for some reason, millions of peoiple in the world think that being part of a certain religion only means to follow the things their parents and other people tell them to do.  But not to actually read the book their doctrine is based upon.

 

I had an ex-girlfriend whose mother was a complete lunatic.  A catholic Filipino woman who swore up and down she was the most perfect and relisious woman on earth.  Called herself down-talking me because I was getting a divorce and talking about marrying her daughter. She said that as a Catholic woman she knew that divorce wasn’t allowed.  And wrong. I felt I needed to remind her [even quoted scriptures from the bible] that divorce was not only ‘allowed’ but also, the bible gives guidelines to when it’s allowed and under what circumstances. It’s quite sexist actually, and I wasn’t in the wrong whatsoever… other than the fact that I was porking her daughter already.  So were several other people I found out later, but that’s besides the point.  Point is… she claimed she was making her judgments based on her religion… but knew absolutely dick about muslim-397945_1280the bible!

 

Or Muslims who like to say it’s mandatory for women to cover their heads and or hair.  But thats not a mandated thing from the Koran, from my understanding that is mandated by Sharia Law. That’s not the same thing at all lol.

 

People want to pick and choose which things thery follow out of these good books.  So, what do I figure the solution is?

Believe in your GOD. Practice the basic principles. Which are basically the major laws of the land.  Keep all the supersition to yourself, don’t put it on others, and just TREAT PEOPLE HOW YOU WANT TO BE TREATED!

 

It’s very simple.  The church is the people.  Not the building.  The religion is the practice, not the relationship.  What youre seeking is a relationship with GOD.  Not to please other people’s idea of one.  This is why people can’t discuss religion without fighting… Everyone thinks they are right!  There is no right.  Not when it comes to whose doctrine is ‘the best’. Islam is not perfect.  Neither is Christianity.  Or Buddhism, or Sikhism.  The GOD’s they believe in maybe… but not the doctrine.  And even if they were, once it filters down to people’s interpretations of them… it’s all fucked at that point.  Just walk your own path, and don’t impede anyone elses with YOUR bullshit.

 

That’s all I have to say… for now.

 

Scream at me

 

DON’T BE SHY, COMMENT! GOD WANTS YOU TO!

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picture of wooden cross: Huffingtonpost.com

Church folks: http://www.funkydineva.com

prayer beads on religious textbook:Pixabay artist> Kaheel7

hijab clad woman: pixabay artist > ebrahim

 

 

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11 thoughts on ““Showing Vs. Growing” How I Feel About: Religion

  1. Cami says:

    Yes yes yes!! Some people get so wrapped up in their interpretations and hide behind that to justify their cruel actions. Case in point….. Westboro Baptist Church protesters. They forget the fundamentals of whatever religion it is they practice and lose the kindness and love that all this is supposed to be about. It’s quite disappointing and frustrating. Why should we have to “advertise” ourselves as part of any religion or “believing” in any God… That should be something that we choose to do or not to do without fear of being openly ridiculed, hurt, or worse. Take social media for example…. Like this post if you believe in God…. Share this post or you’re not a true Christian. Are you effing kidding me. Anyway….. To me God is the force of all Love and all that is good in this world. The Bible is a great tool to use to base your life on. BUT…. we are all different and interpret things differently…. Who’s to judge what is right or wrong? Some people need the belief that there is a physical being in the sky to judge where you will end up when you pass on in order for them to not kill or hurt someone. It’s not my place to say what the truth is. The truth is the truth and won’t ever change due to what one’s “beliefs” are. But… I can tell you that if you are following Rooks’ Base Principles of Life 😉 lol… I don’t think you can go wrong. No matter what God or Gods you praise… It’s more than likely all branches to the same tree. The Tree of life.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Farrah says:

    This blog made me think…a lot. I’ve often wondered why some people in churches are quick to cast judgment, look down upon others, and aren’t very welcoming to people who don’t “look” the part. I’m guilty of judging others myself and not proud of it. It’s definitely something to work on. For instance, when I saw Joel Osteen on the t.v. at breakfast last week, I was quick to say something along the lines of “Ugh, he’s so fake and I can’t stand him.” WHOA. Who am I to judge anyone and especially someone who portrays himself as a man of God and the leader of a church? I just have this weird (judgmental) feeling that mega churches are all about show and making money, and not necessarily trying to reach people for Christ. That’s not my place though. After conversation, I’ve learned that no matter how big your church is, what denomination or religion you are, as long as you have a relationship with God, that’s all that really matters. I also used to think when I went to church I should be nicely dressed or I’d feel akward. I’m sure you’ve heard welcoming phrases from churches along the lines of “come as you are.” And, yes! That’s how it should be. Like you mentioned, our job as Christians is to try and reach the lost and bring them to Christ. It almost seems as though people try and point out the faults of others to divert the attention away from the faults of their own. It’s my prayer, we, Christians, will have a change of heart and stop discouraging lost souls from walking into the doors of any church for fear of being judged. It’s OUR job to reach these souls and how can we do that if people have such a negative opinion of people in the church? It’s time to turn this around and begin loving people again. No matter what sins they carry. Because if you genuinely look in the mirror, your life is full of sins also. Thank you, Rooks, for this very enlightening blog. Also, for the challenge to not be one of those stereotypical Christians anymore.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Robert Lovelle Rooks says:

      Glad I was able to help. And as in all things, we all could stand some improvement in this area. It’s just good you can recognize the errors in your thinking. Now you can start working on it! Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Like

  3. Jim Fish says:

    If I were Satan, I would create varying belief systems and prophets to propagate their ideologies to those that would allow belief and blind faith to filter and distort the truth and the interpretation of the experience our five senses.

    If I were Satan, I would implant those beliefs so firmly into the psyche that the average person would not be able to recognize the truth and reality the universe presents to every individual on the planet, every instant of every day.

    If I were Satan, I would implant the belief that their god is “The One True God” and it is an imperative that all other belief systems are wrong and their followers should be annihilated.

    If I were Satan, I would keep mankind divided at all cost and killing one another throughout time so that he may never realize his full potential as a positive force within the universe.

    However, I am not Satan and I feel humanity (in its entirety) is not yet mature enough to manage even a single belief system, let alone the the numerous religions in place that prey on the unsuspecting minds of men.

    Like

    1. Robert Lovelle Rooks says:

      Jim, once again you’ve brought my understanding of my own topic to a higher level. And I agree. Even religion can be a tool used for evil if the minds of the people aren’t ready to understand what’s being fed to them. Sift through the b.s. seperating tactics and focus on the truly important values of life. Thanks for reading and commenting, Jim!

      Like

  4. Climmie Rooks says:

    What a touchy subject, but one worth reading about. You hit the nail on the head and I saw it more often than I cared to. One important thing the pastor would always say “never hit someone when they are already down” this unfortunately was one thing some suppose to be Christians was more than ready to do. Church is suppose to be our spiritual healing hospital, I don’t know who is willing to pay to go to a hospital and come out worse than they were when they went in. I’ve been in church every since I can remember, loved it as a child and still do but back in the day (where I grew up anyway) all this mess wasn’t going on. It was a place where you went to be with extended non-blood family members and had a great time and could not wait until the next time we could be together. I held many positions in the church and loved each and everyone of them I had a God given gift and used them, not for show but because I was doing something for God’s house. I saw a lot of things that was utterly wrong, but this was my church home and family, and just as most families not all members are on one accord. I just tried to do what was expected of me and what I knew was right. I have never been a fan of clicks,

    The Godly spirit has to be in your heart, not in your wardrobe, or type of vehicle you drive. You have to have a sincere desire to do what’s right, to be willing to lend a helping hand. I fed many children at my home without a bling of an eye, didn’t give it much thought just as long as they got fed.

    For the life of me I cannot understand why some adults feel it’s ok to approach a child instead of that child parent, to me that is a form of bullying, and when it come to my children your status or standing in the community or church will not keep me off you, especially if you accuse them of something I know for a fact was as wrong as two left shoes. Was my children prefect? No, but as their mother I pretty much knew what they were capable of, that was my job as a mother.

    As Robert stated it is very simple “Treat others the way you want to be treated”. Do not steal, do not kill, do not cheat, do not lie. It’s simple.

    Last as surely not least, when prayers go up blessing come down. I pray everyday not on my knees because I want be able to get up, cut non the less I still have the ability to pray. It’s the position we are in when we pray it is however what’s in our heart and what we are praying for.

    Good read Robert, keep the coming

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Queen Balie says:

    I love most of your articles but this one really had me thinking. It’s sad that many churches get so caught up with “routines” and forget about the two main commandments Jesus gave: “to Love God with all your heart and to love your neighbor”. God has been working in me and taught me along the way that the true meaning of Christianity is to have a relationship with God through Jesus Christ and to build that relationship! Church is a place for fellowships and in those fellowships, we learn and face challenges. What I see most Christians (my opinion) fail at is looking at themselves! Once they carry that “I am a Christian” title, they now feel a little holier than others. What we ( I say we because I’m included) shouldn’t forget is to look at ourselves and never forget that “I AM A SINNER”. I always remind myself of what I have done in the past, not to dwell in it but to remind myself of how much of a sinner I was. But I am forgiven because of Jesus! I am in no place to judge others as I was once a sinner. We are ALL sinner, we ALL need Jesus! Jesus came to show us how to love and how to humble ourselves, the Pharisees were the judgemental people. We choose to either be like Christ or like the Pharisees. And in the Bible, it tells us, once you have that relationship with God through Christ He gives us the Holy Spirit to guide us. So yes, we encounter “Christians” who don’t portray the true characteristics of being a Christian but ask God why you witness such things… Because in belief, it only gives you a reason to exercise God’s love towards them and pray for them. Thanks, I enjoyed the article.

    Liked by 1 person

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