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Monday, October 4, 2010

No Disrespect Intended But... Please Put Away The God-kit, Yo!




Okay, so check it: After a prolonged disappearing act, a (formerly) close friend of mine recently resurfaced, right? Only, this person who appeared before me was the new and improved dude. You see, it was that whole other person version, because apparently they've now had a religious conversion. In fact, I received the Miraculous news that they have recently been “Saved."

Amen.


Wow! Will wonders never cease?


Now, MY end of the convo went a lil sum’m like this: “Wow! Saved? You? For real?” This was followed by a short GTFOH chuckle. However, internally, trust... I was busting a mad gut and cackling with a big ole guffaw. And although this was Zen laughter on my part, I was hoping the amusement at this concept doesn’t show on my face.

However, in return, only this seriously dour no-nonsense expression flashed back at me.

“Oh. You’re for real? oTAY. My bad. Then let me say, congratulations and Amen, my brotha."

Somebody shout hallelujah up in here!


BUT... then it came. The pointed, accusatory, wholly judgmental question: was I “prepared for Judgment Day?” Had I gotten *my* "house in order?"

Well, urruh, I'm lookin into coppin some new furniture, but... Oh no!

Already, I could FEEL it. IT was a-heading my way: some ass-backward, misreading, misinterpretation of Biblical scripture thrown in my face. It was something I'd heard enough times to be accustomed to it, but something about it didn't ring true. Was he even remembering correctly? Ummm... I think not.

Check please! Gotta go. Bub-bye.

No, I'm not completely jaded, but somehow, I *do question* that person’s new conviction. Why? Because in this case (and others) it’s usually such a foreign entity that's 180 degrees away from the person they’d always shown themselves to be. It’s almost always some violent diversion from the norm or the soul I’d come to know. So, it sometimes becomes difficult to fully wrap my brain around this new person, and this new flow.


Now, far be it from me to question anyone’s convictions, religious or otherwise. As far as I know, it COULD very well be legit. At least, THEY believe it to be. So, more power to them! I just find it amusing and yes, *amazing*, that it's always the ones who went buck-wile, who were *known* at the party, who had the baddest rep, who you'd usually cross the street to avoid, who, back in the day, were voted Most Likely to Commit a Felony or an atrocity (& in some cases, they actually DID!). These tend to be the people who up and suddenly find The Light. I mean, what's up with that? Why is it them — and always those somewhat unstable, part-time criminal, carnivorous, predatory, sexually— urruh-- liberal, bed-hopping, hemp-smoking, coke-sniffing, smack and crack-abusing hellions? Huh? Why those folks!

Hey… How bout we regular folks, huh? How about the one’s who go from day to day being regular, thinking regular and treating people and the world as humanists do? How about those of us who are not abusing anything or anyone, who DO have a belief in a Higher Power, but feel no need to SHOUT it from the highest tower and have to make it our mission to convert errrbody in our path?

I need to understand the impetus for these so-called conversions, yo.


Okay… the obvious answer is, they’d hit rock bottom with a pronounced BAM, BOOM! They had to go through some mad and daunting utter darkness to get to the other side of it. I can respect that concept, and I accept that answer.

So, if you truly had that redemption experience, and you have changed, that's a Beautiful Thing.

Just please don’t go around viewing me differently or calling me out, or describing MY ways as “sinful"... when we are ALL sinners! True Story: Perfection will always elude us!

So, don’t go approaching people in your orbit and commence to whipping out your God Kit!

Yo! Get back! It's tired. Just put it away! Aiight? That shit don’t fly with me.

If I KNEW you back when you were a stone hell-raiser, and I liked you, dug you, and accepted you as you were, don’t suddenly start quoting scripture (incorrectly!), chapter and verse to me! You ain’t-- repeat... you are NOT anyone’s Biblical scholar. Aiight? Don't make me speak my mind, and then dare tell me it’s flawed... simply because it doesn't fall in line with your newfound (so-called) Enlightenment!

The Bible is a Wonderful and Wonder-filled Book, that is, in many ways archaic. And beyond all that, face it: it’s been translated from its original text, retranslated, regurgitated, updated, revised and remixed by MAN— dig? So would it not stand to reason that some crucial Truths have to get lost in the mix? Does it not make common sense that some other human’s agenda gets thrown into that sauce?


Please don’t hate on me or see me as lesser than YOU simply because these days we seem to be thinking quite differently. I’d love to debate you about words and freewill and other complexities within the text, but it occurs to me, you ain’t nobody’s theologian nor a preacher, yo. So, just calm yourself! Just breeeeeeeathe, baby! Don’t make people avoid you like the plague, or begin to *hate* on you because you’ve suddenly turned all Holy and Sanctified. Aiight?

Besides, so many times, far too many times, in fact, all that self-righteousness and holiness tends to expire. Much like a loaf of bread, it feeds you, gives you sustenance for a while, and then… it gets old, begins to mold, becomes rancid, and you throw it away. When all that crumbles into dust, then WHO are you?

What happens then?

Well, most of the folks I've known end up just as fugged up and disillusioned as they ever were, or even more so. But don’t blame The Man Upstairs because your God-kit is in the repair shop, in disarray, in shambles. Aiight?

So your preacher, pastor, rabbi, guru, bishop, priest, spiritual leader shows himself to be a fraud. Oh no! Oops! There goes your religion. Right? Wrong! You've simply placed your faith in man, again. And just whose BAD was that… God’s? Or yours?

ponder

So, you’re Holy, now? Wow. You're redeemed! You’ve found The Way? Cool. You’re Saved. Wonderful. Wunnerful. Wonder-filled, I say.

Just please make sure your God Kit stays intact; that your Deep Conversion Mode is not some flavor-of-the-month-demi-holy act! Try seeing to it that your belief system doesn’t shut down in a time of Real Crisis, and you get weak and revert back to type! Should any of this happen (& it often does!) then, my friend, you’ll be just another fraud who ain’t really down by anyone’s law. Then, you really ain’t Saved. You’ve simply just put your wild days, wile azz and wile ways, on layaway.

Aiight? Bless up, and have good day!

Whew! I just had to get that one off my chest.


One.

21 comments:

Val said...

Yep, the bible has been altered many, many times for many reasons by more people than we know. And yet most people will not even consider that its not the word of God.

Well God gave us the ability to think. So people accepting the bible word for word aren't using that ability.

I'm going to stop now but I could go on and on about this topic.

ninamm said...

Zeal without knowledge is a blower. Love is the message. Good post, yo.

Chet said...

Hallelujah! I said let the church say "hallelujah!" I know what you mean man about these kats running around toting their Bibles and misquoting the scripture.

I do understand that one can be saved, yeah saved from his or herself and the self distruction they were heading for, but to preach in the streets about being saved strikes me as irreligious or even sacrilegious.

Finding peace and strength is one thing and yes many turn to the Bible for spiritual guidence, but this shouting down the aisles about being saved is a bit much.

There is God in everyman.

Reggie said...

Perhaps it is a sincere, much needed conversion. A conversion that will last a lifetime and be a benefit to all those around him.

But........is it just me or does it seem like no one ever wins the lottery and then finds God?!?

rebecca said...

First, let me just say I could sit and read your words for hours. You have such a great voice.

Second, I worked with someone who had been "saved." Thank God she's no longer there! Judgments, criticisms and lack of understanding for others were her "preachs" of choice. It was tiring. Hers was the right way because it was God's way, yet it wasn't God's way at all but just her own interpretation....like the Bible.

And don't get me started on the veracity of the Bible. Let me end it here and now. I think it best.

I'm so glad you put into words what some of us want to say when confronted by others who deem themselves "higher" than us.

And you got my "Amen" brotha....

CurvyGurl ♥ said...

Alrighty now, Lin, this really got to ya. I've been on both sides, so I can honestly say that I experienced a transformation of heart and mind when I chose to give my life to Christ. I, too, wanted to shout it from the mountaintop and (sincerely) wanted all those I love and am connected with to experience the same state of renewal. There's no doubt that there are some folks who come across as shady simply because of the things we know about them firsthand, I'm quite sure I did.

As time passed I realized my intent was clouded and not only required soul searching, seeking knowledge and opening my eyes to understanding and compassion. The major lessons I learned were to seek your own relationship with God (passa can't do it for you), form your opinions based on what you believe to be true based on the knowledge you *actively* seek and above all things have a spirit of love toward others....dang, that one is hard sometimes :-)!

Religious I'm not, but a believer who knows the power of faith and love I am. Like Val said this is a topic that could take days to hash out, but I hear ya and respect your thoughts on this.

As "they" say, I'm a work in progress...but that's ok, we all are.

CareyCarey said...

Well Moan, this is not the type of post I can give breathe to. I mean, you made a lot of valid points, but there are many I question. But believe me, I've raised many questions (in past posts) about those that feel a need to tell others they are a Cristian. Dick Gregory said he wouldn't know a Cristian until they told him they were one.

On a side note, I believe it's human nature to think most people do not "change" 180 degrees, because in reality, it very seldom happens. Really, very few people really change, because most believe they are fine, just they way they are. Or they think they just need a little adjustment. However, like you said about your friend, he was a handful, but it's been my experience and observation, that only when a person's back is against the wall, will they accept the fact that true change must become a necessity, and a priority.

In reference to the Bible, it seems that those that try to analize it and pick it apart, have not read the Bible and consequently have an opinion based on what they preceive the bible to be. It's not about stories. It's man purpose is not about heaven or hell. There is NOTHING in the Bible that suggests a person should do wrong. Understanding that, and moving away from the word "religion" a person can find great rewards in the Bible.

I have more respect for those that Mis-quote the bible, than those that talk badly about it and have never read it.

Comment: "Well God gave us the ability to think. So people accepting the bible word for word aren't using that ability"

That makes no sense at all. That's certainly an oxymoron.

What words shouldn't they accept, and why? I am not asking for an answer to that question, I am questioning/asking for the motive behind the question.

Moanerplicity said...

Greetings Curvy One:

Congratualtions for finding your way and doing it with a renewed sense of Grace. I think you said it all when you wrote the following:

"As time passed I realized my intent was clouded and not only required soul searching, seeking knowledge and opening my eyes to understanding and compassion. The major lessons I learned were to seek your own relationship with God (passa can't do it for you), form your opinions based on what you believe to be true based on the knowledge you *actively* seek and above all things have a spirit of love toward others....dang, that one is hard sometimes :-)! "



This is the point of this entry. It becomes so vital & necessary for people to tap into all the things that make them human & not robots or lemmings spewing verse that they don't even comprehend as it's originally MEANT to be rec'd. A personal relationship with Christ is so much BROADER than the limitations many people place upon it, and does NOT include judging, dismissing the ideas of other with rhetoric or seeing oneself as holier than thou.

INDEED we are ALL "works in progress," and the arrogance of many (NOT everyone, but MANY) w/ a sense of newfound Christianity is often NOT based upon compassion, open-mindedness or any sense of tolerance for others, but instead one of BULLYING others to see & think and do as THEY do.

NOT very Christ-like, IMHO.


@ Carey: Your comment seems to be in agreement with much of what I've already stated, brotha.

You wrote: "In reference to the Bible, it seems that those that try to analize it and pick it apart, have not read the Bible and consequently have an opinion based on what they preceive the bible to be."


EXACTLY! And that, to my mind, at least, reminds us that a LITTLE knowledge is indeed a DANGEROUS thing.


Living in a world of sin, one's personal coping system is put to the test, daily. If one chooses to depend solely upon rhetoric and misunderstood dogma to get them through difficult times, without a STRONG personal foundation to rely upon, then they so often fail, falter, fall, and lose their way.

I've seen it, witnessed it, and know this to be true.


So it's the height of hypocrisy to think of one's self as better or above anyone else, to THINK they are favored, or to roll call the sins of others w/out taking into account their own shortcomings, or to imagine they have a more assured entrance into Heaven, if they, in the name of spiritual belief, continue to bear false witness, if they, in the guise of spiritual awakening, continue the all too common pattern of discounting, dismissing, and forgetting their sense of humanity, no matter what religion they might follow.

One.

CareyCarey said...

Yeah Moan, I was agreeing with much of your post. However, as a brotha of the struggle and prone to run my mouth, it's difficult to address the issues that I though needed more clarification, without writing 2 pages.

Also, in posts of this nature, they seem to attract those that want to vilify the black church or the Bible without knowledge of what they are talking about. So that's basically what I was trying to address.

As you pointed out, I did however like the way Miss Curvy approached the subject.

I agreed with much of what you've said because I've witnessed those that become holy rollers over night, and that has always been a turn off to me.

Even some individuals in the church(long time) raise their hands in the air while they shout and talk in tongue (for 2 hour), but at the end of the service, some are back to business (mess) as usual.

So in essence, I was feeling the post, but as I said, I had a few objections. Your reply to me summed it up.

Lovebabz said...

We are all called to walk the journey. And, my friend, there are no roads. Roads are made by walking. It is only in walking the journey that we come to know the answers. They are not always neat answers, they are not always "head" answers They are most often "gut" answers They are meaning. They are life.

Have more respect and patience with those on the journey. You do not have to point out someone's used-to-be ways in order to make your point of disbelief.

I cannot prove to you with any kind of logic or by any bit of philosophy that the bible is, in fact, the Word of God. But I can tell you to step out and trust, to listen and say, Lord, if you are in fact the Lord, then show yourself in my life and speak to my heart. Only when we have trusted God, put him first and allowed him to be the Lord, have we in fact known the power of his word. Only then have we seen power in our lives.

Being "saved" simply means, that this person has entered into a sacred and personal dialogue with God. See it as a gift to you. That in his limitted way he is sharing with you a gift that he has recieved for himself. Isn't that what friends do?

Rather than see him condeming you for your current state of your life. See him inviting you to explore the beauty and power of God's abundance, care and concern for your soul. So what if he quoted scripture right or wrong. The gift is in the sharing of his ignorance and his willingness to learn and become more worthy of standing up and sharing the good news.

You projected your own baggage into this encounter and you left feeling out of sorts. Perhaps God was trying to tell you something and you didn't hear it.

Moanerplicity said...

@ Carey: thanks, brotha, for your further clarification. In essence we agree more than disagree. It's all about degrees.

@ LoveBabz: Greetings, & thank you for your rational & sensitive comment. I KNOW it comes from a place of personal experience.

PERHAPS much of what you've said here is true. I even allowed for that possibility in my entry, b/c, as stated, it's not my place to know.

I do however trust my ears, my eyes, my heart, my perception, my instincts, along with the data coming at me, and from whom. Since I possess no special powers, those above qualities remain my best b.s. barometer.

We are all on a journey of spiritual enlightenment and personal discovery. The reality is, once someone KNOWS better, they begin to do better in all their earthly encounters. Their purpose becomes steadfast, clearer to themselves & to others (who are willing to receive it). It is not laced with negativity. They begin to reflect God's message, and Christ's viewpoint. That said, stepping to someone (me) and hurling judgments is NOT productive nor does it invite my compassion, empathy or understanding. THEN... to wrap that up in GOD becomes a personal affront to me. The God I believe in is first and foremost about LOVE.

That wasn't what I received.

Had Love and compassion been the core message, my impression what have been completely different. So, if this person were a True Messenger for or from God, then sadly, the delivery of that message got lost in transit (because it was, in part, corrupt). Since God doesn't make mistakes... then it's the messenger who becomes suspect.


PERHAPS w/ the passage of time, said friend will learn to DO better, to Love purely, for real, without condition or exclusion, and in all earnestness, and not dictate in some flawed spiritual agenda that only invites a counter-reaction from myself and others.
That is my wish for him & for those on the same path as he.


Until then, I remain open (in heart and mind), and faithful, but not so desperately simple-minded or self-righteous as to believe I'm better than anyone else.


One Love.

Lin

Lovebabz said...

...indeed.

Mizrepresent said...

Wow this post encouraged alot of discussion, passionate discussion...it's funny, my comment i left yesterday that didn't seem to arrive did not do this post or your postees justice. I enjoyed the discussion, and the passion of it. I think all has been said here, so i won't add anything further...only that i did get what you meant.

Wizardress said...

I don't think I can say anything that Curvy hasn't already said..

This is something that I could talk about for days, as like many of the others who commented here, but you are right when you mention in one of your comments that God- is love.

We all have to live by the convictions that we feel and what one person may feel is 'wrong' may not seem that way to another.

I often see that those who may have the best intentions sometimes do more harm than good simply because of the way they present themselves.

Love you my friend :) Hope you are having a fabulous week.

Felicia Monique said...

Greetings! Another great piece of heartfelt, thought-provoking, and entertaining writing. As others have stated, this topic could be discussed ad nauseum.

I mainly popped on the site tonight to respond to your recent comment on Mariposa Tales. "Where she AT?" My smile was a mile wide when I received the email on my cellie. It's nice to be missed. My new position has me so, so busy...but I'm loving it. One day soon, you'll read all about it...

nachalooman said...

Hi Eastside Brova!

"Well, urruh, I'm lookin into coppin some new furniture, but... Oh no!" This is too funny Lin!! ;-)

But on a serious note, I think that when we are first converted, we're all fired up, but with little maturity on how to talk to people about Jesus.
I was just like this, and luckily for me, my Christian husband didn't leave my "holier than thou" butt!
Maturity has to take root. Studying the scripture has to happen. Time has to happen.

"So it's the height of hypocrisy to think of one's self as better or above anyone else, to THINK they are favored, or to roll call the sins of others w/out taking into account their own shortcomings" Well stated, Bro!

Jesus stated it similarly:

Luke 6:42 "How can you think of saying, 'Friend, let me help you get rid of that speck in your eye,' when you can't see past the log in your own eye? Hypocrite! First get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend's eye."

We who are mature have to have patience with the immature, Brother Lin! :-)

@LoveBabz--"The gift is in the sharing of his ignorance and his willingness to learn and become more worthy of standing up and sharing the good news."

Very well stated! I might have to use this! You've opened my mind just a little wider with this!
God uses the foolish things of the world to confound the wise 1Cor 1:27.

Much love and much respect for being so REAL Brother Lin!!

Moanerplicity said...

@ Sista Westsiiiide:

Hey Anna, thanks for weighing in on this issue.

Yes, I CAN understand when something is brand new & positive that there's a tendency/desire to share that Good News w/ others. I also agree that when one doesn't approach the subject of being Saved with any kind of experience, humble nature, reserve, wisdom or couth they can & DO end up alienating others, because that has been my personal experience.

The Greater Reality is the egg isn't yet fully cooked. The info/good feeling is raw, partially unformed & the journey is still in the process of BEING formed. This is so often reflected in the way the newly converted tend to approach others.

Personally, I'm much more receptive to those who have been tested, who've had to call upon their faith, numerous times, & who can offer accurate, anecdotal testimony based upon tried & true experience... rather than some new jack, still-wet-behind-the-ears Bible-toting, misquoting neophyte demanding that I GET MY HOUSE in order.


The hard-sell, when it's wrapped up in God & personal judgment just doesn't appeal to me. Sadly, it often provides the opposite reaction, & that, ultimately, defeats the True Purpose of (any) religion.


As I stated earlier, when one lives enough to KNOW better, they tend to DO better, as they have a larger amount of personal experience, have endured crisis, known self-doubt, experienced bouts where their survival is tested & redemption is etched in their history. It's those folks who have a vast bank in which to draw from... along with a deeper knowledge/ better interpretation of the text in & of scripture.

It's usually those who are well-versed, not only in Christianity (a relatively new religion in the scheme of things), but in various dogma, because it's then that one develops a more open, a more personal, then a more expansive, a more far reaching depth, & a much greater amount of insight into the natural & spirit world.



Thanks again, Anna & to everyone who has been moved or compelled enough to express a cogent opinion here.


One Love.

L

Daij said...

Good post! I feel u on this one. I'm a Christian, and still I say "God please protect me from your followers."

nachalooman said...

See, that's why I love you boo!
You're just real about yours!

"The Greater Reality is the egg isn't yet fully cooked. The info/good feeling is raw, partially unformed & the journey is still in the process of BEING formed. This is so often reflected in the way the newly converted tend to approach others."

I love listening to you talk, Lin!


Hopefully your "friend" is assessing his approach. If he really wants to show Jesus' love, then he has to know that he didn't do so well with you. I hope he's praying to do better with the next person!

Another good post!
Blessings

Moanerplicity said...

Well, thankyavurrrmuch, Sista Westsiiiide!

(smiles)


One.

Lin

Moanerplicity said...

@ Daij:

Thanks for weighing in. That's a very wise & knowing stance to take, my brotha. We have to BEWARE of all the talkers & pay closer attention to the walkers!


One.