WHY WE WORSHIP: THE CULTURE BEHIND RELIGION

Close-up of Hands

“Why do we need it.”


religion

As a child I would go to church with my mother and watch how people would worship. And there was something of interest the way people would extend their hands up to the heavens. And it dawned on me what people were doing. It is a form of submission and asking for help. But why were people begging for help?

Religion is one of those debates that get started as with politics that there is no real answer to in life. It is the dealing with people and their faith base, and that’s that. But why do people worship to God? What is it that makes people place their hands up. It is the one thing that all religions have in common. The need to look upward.

congregation

The meeting places of where we go to worship is quite exquisite. These regal style buildings that have paintings and glass sculptures of Jesus Christ. And every church mirrors that of old world Europe. The pews where people sit are all directed forward to hear the pastor speak. And the organs which jute into the air carrying the sounds of the piano playing.

And then there are the people who come in droves to hear the words of the bible spoken to them through the mouth of a pastor/priest. That coming together in this one place has a very fraternal/sorority feel. We all have this one group, one belief, one moral code, moving forward.

disappearing rapidly

 Living in New York City, I was watching the news where a lot of churches have been closing their doors. Problem is, is that the rising rent is pushing them out and members are not coming into the house. That means once a generation ages no one is replacing them. So what happens, the doors close. So are we seeing that now?

Are we seeing a dwindling down of the culture that has been around for so may centuries? Maybe, just maybe we might be living through the end of an era.


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REVISIONIST BIBLICAL HISTORY: LET’S ASSUME THAT THE BIBLE WAS USED FOR NON-RELIGIOUS INTENT

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“Guide to life, not to preservation for death.”


The Christian bible has been pondered over for centuries regarding its authenticity in society. The believers say that it is the words of prophets and God; while skeptics say it was merely man. And that man created this as a template in how to live your life on Earth. And that’s what brings me to the topic for today. What if the Christian bible was just that in society? What if it were just a template in how to live your life? That would mean that all the miracles were just more imagery that is supposed to serve as something else in our lives. And what is that something else? Because the bible was written to be unchanged, and is supposed to last for the life of humanity.

But how does a book last for the life of humanity, when humanity in itself is constantly changing. So let’s explore the idea of what life is like for the bible as just a template in how to live your life. That would mean the miracles weren’t true and neither is the notion that we’re created in God’s likeness. Which would further go on to mean that Earth was not created in seven days. Does that devalue the meaning of the bible any less? Could people still believe if that were the case? And does that mean life as we know it for people is over because this is it? And that’s what clouds people’s minds on this topic, is what does life hold for me?

Is that something that people who were the scholars understood about the past? Maybe they knew that man needed something to believe in that was much higher than themselves to define their lives. Because humanity is just as fragile as any other creature. Only problem is that humans are given a conscious. And with that conscious we have the ability to make what we feel are rational decisions. And another aspect of that rational mind is knowing and understanding that we all will die one day; our mortality. Knowing and understanding that this is it for us in life, and nothing else. So here one day and gone the next, not experiencing any real fulfillment out of life. And here is where belief becomes strong in a deity.

Not being able to come to terms with not mainly your ending, but your existing. We hold on to religion because it does in part gives us the reason to exist. We say, “Without God, where would I be.” “Or you’re never alone when God is near.” But how is it that in a world of so many people are we alone and no one to depend on. So the idea of the bible serving as a non-religious text, but more so just a basic moral code, still creates disconnect. Because the moral code is fine and all, but what about the living. We have something in us that goes far back in the DNA chain that makes us who we are, that is the reason we tend to be alone, not like other people, or ignore another person’s existence. And yet we need that friendship and companionship.

See, in the end, I don’t see religion going away. And when I say religion, we think about the major religions. I mean a new religion, or one growing in popularity that is already here, yet small may not go away. People are always searching for something outside of self. It’s something that both believers and non-believers both agree on. Once we feel know we know all there is to know about us as a human species, you’re now interested in something greater. Greater than you, me, this Earth we live on, and beyond.


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SINS: ARE THEY REAL OR ARE THEY DEEPER INSIGHTS INTO WHO WE ARE

Image result for sin

“A look into yourself.”


Most of us are familiar with the seven deadly sins. The cardinal sins that would most definitely banish man to hell. They are pride, lust, greed, sloth, gluttony, envy, and wrath. And at least once in our lives we have come across one of these sins, if not all of the sins. But what I want to know regarding these sins is are they real, or just deeper insights into man. Was there something man knew about ourselves in the past, that is only being magnified in the world today? Because life was quite local in the days of early Christianity. So how did man know so much about us? But human nature is a universal characteristic. How do these sins tell us who we really are in life?

In the case pride, one carries an excessive sense of accomplishment. They are quite boastful in what they have achieved, almost to an intoxicating level. They Related imagenot only have to let others know, but they also have to accumulate tangibles as a means of showing themselves off to the world as well. But, don’t we all have some form of pride? Pride is the satisfaction you get out of winning a race. Pride is the fulfillment you get when you lose weight. And pride is the gratification you get when receiving a gift from someone close to you. So why is pride such a cardinal sin? Because pride is only a problem when it takes over your life. Or, it becomes a sin the moment you have allowed your pride to turn into hubris.

Well, what about lust; lusting is a sin. But how much lust is bad and how much lust is good. See, I lust, but to what degree makes it a sin? Is this lust going to lead down a road that will hurt me in the end? Or is the lust the yearning and wanting I get from seeing a box of chocolates. You see, lust is yet another Related imageambiguous sin that only becomes problematic once it grips you where you can’t shake it loose. Lusting over strawberries is different than lusting over a woman I might see on a job. Because those strawberries will satisfy my hunger pains and keep me until I consume a meal. That women might get me fired if it goes too far.

Next comes greed, which is the need to want something in excess where it leads to selfishness and control. Well is it wrong; once again, it’s all in context. Wanting to make a lot of money to leave for your descendants so they are not thrown into Image result for greedpoverty is greed. Why because you are taking more than you need. Yet, is it really sin if you are trying to protect family. Difficult to say considering money is a tough topic. Anyone that makes a lot of money, yet reworks their portfolio to make more can be seen as greedy. But true greed is taking more than you need for the sake of having. There is no use for it, you just don’t want anyone else to have it.

Then there is envy; which is the longing to have something that someone else possesses. Yet another sin that can be both bad and good. For example, I grew up in a poor household. I often wanted the lives of friends I had went to school with as an adolescent. But in the bible that can be seen as sin. Or is it really a sin? I Image result for envydidn’t wish to be them, just had a desire to have more than barely surviving. And that is the difference between the good envy and bad envy. Sinful envy is you have it, I want it, I’m going to get it if I have to take it from you. There is nothing wrong with seeing someone with something you want and don’t have; it’s human nature. Yet, there are limits to how far you can go before it’s a sin.

So let’s continue on down to sloth. The lazy and the indolent. Those who sit back and want everyone else to do their dirty work without putting in an effort. They let themselves go by the waist side. From their home life to their outer appearance; Related imagenothing is kept together. Then there is the good sloth which is, being tired. You work all day and sometimes don’t want to clean or move. You are not of sin because you have a legitimate reason for not getting up and making a move. But this is what we describe as taking a load off. Resting until you get up to make moves, which is sloth on a low level. Sloth on a high level is trouncing around in filth; almost in comparison to a pig.

Image result for gluttonAnd of course we all know gluttony. The overindulgence in eating, almost to the point it will cause you to develop an ailment. There is a difference between eating to live and eating just to eat. Eating to eat leads to health problems; while eating to live keeps you in line with having good health. And of course from time to time you indulge, yet you never veer off course too much. So as to not be led too far astray where you have hit the point of no return.

 

And last but not least, wrath, which is that strong wanting to punish someone. That inner hurt you feel that someone else must feel in the moment. Now wrath is tricky because is there ever a time to want to dole out punishment without sin? And the answer is yes. In the case of being a parent, the wrath is often brought down and is justified. Not only in biblical text, but even among non-denominational people. But when you want someone to feel pain because of your Image result for wrath sinown internal struggles, then you become the true face that is wrath. See, in the end, all seven sins not only are of biblical context, but they say something about us all. Interestingly enough, you can’t go through life without having one or more seven sin qualities. But it’s not having these sins, but more so an excessive sin trait that becomes problematic. Because that is the point where you start to lose control.


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ALTERNATIVE FAITH BASE: WHAT IF GOD EXIST, BUT NOT OUR BELIEF IN HIM

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“He might exist, but we could be wrong about him.”


The alpha and the omega, the creator of the heavens and the Earth; God. The age old questions, does he exist? Did God create us, or was he made up for humans to have purpose in life? But what about the alternative to both views. What if God exist, just not how people of faith see him. Meaning, what if science is wrong about his existence? But also, what if people of faith is wrong about his existence as well? Whoa, how could that be possible? Well, I have come up with a few scenarios as to why both sides could be wrong. One of the ways both could be wrong is his existence.

His basic existence could be something different on the scientific side and the religious side. Let’s first start with the scientific side that says there is no Blue Orange and Red Outer Space PhotoGod at all. Well, just as much as religion can’t prove his existence you can’t prove his nonexistence. Science can aim to disprove his existence as to how people interpret him. Meaning, humans were created by a deity is the religious faith base. But what if God is the all seeing, all knowing, who created the earth, and all creatures. But, he may not be the deity we see him as, but more so the force keeping all of existence of everything in order. And our scientific understanding of the universe, is in essence an understanding of God.

We could be slowly figuring out God, just from a scientific standpoint. Our human minds could have created the scientific theory for what he the creator have wanted us to find out. Our scientists just are picking up the bible, book, chaptercrumbs of what he left for us to figure out. It’s doesn’t remove science, but it also doesn’t remove religion as well. Which brings me to the religious aspect of who God is. And that is interesting in itself. What if God exist, people of religion would be ecstatic. But what if he is not the God we want to accept? What if he is more so one faith, than the other? Are we all ready to accept what the all-seeing God truly is as a deity? And what do I mean by accept who he is.

Let’s say you’re a Christian, and you die. You stand before the voice of the Gold and Black Crucifixhigher power. And then God says to you, “You have to past these series of test.” Makes sense because our religious beliefs always imply that God gives us obstacles. So, your first test is standing before God. Then your next test is
standing before Jesus Christ. But one more test you must face, and you’re ready for that test. Then out walks the Prophet Muhammad. Now, here in book, close-up, faiththis moment, you can’t accept that. Why would a challenge be to prove yourself to Muhammad. Now, your human belief says this must be wrong. But religion says God makes no mistakes. So what do you do? Because you can’t challenge God, it’s his house.

So, accept what he has placed before you or remove yourself from his kingdom above. Because he doesn’t need you, you need him. And what I could have just said would be the same for Muslims and Jews mixing the bible, church, handsdifferent deities. You might reject what I am implying in this moment. But what would you do standing before God. So even in our own belief of not challenging God, you’re ready to challenge him. Yet remember what I said, God makes no mistakes. So if you shall prove yourself to these other deities, then so be it.

And in the end, that’s what has so many people stuck in thought. We control so much on Earth, that we want to now control the afterlife. But you don’t control the afterlife. We all have beliefs and theories of what takes place after you die, and who you answer to when you die. Science says no one, this is it, and religion says God. But neither is ready to deal with both sides being wrong.


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RELIGUGATION: HOW RELIGION HAS BEEN USED AGAINST THE BLACK COMMUNITY

Image result for black church

“Why we worship.”


Throughout American history, Black people have always turned to the church as a way of coping in this country. It has served as a sanctuary for us to congregate to praise God and also a meeting place for community issues. But with what has come of the church that is good, there is a darker side to Black people and religion. And that downside comes with subjugation from a time period when we were considered less than human. So why do so many of us believe in the Christian beliefs of America given our volatile history of the past? Well, it first starts with the way we were inundated with the belief.

When Black people were first brought to the New World, we were bought and sold at different ports throughout North and South America. And depending on what country you were sent to, you had a belief that effected you in a different way. As far as the United States, beliefs that Black people took on were either forced or we assimilated to. But just the believing is not enough to understand our relationship with it, but how it effects us. One way is how we have raised our children. And one of those methods of dealing with children is chastising your child/children. Whooping your child is commonplace and not necessarily because they did something really bad.

For example, I remember asking elders say that you couldn’t question adults. You couldn’t just ask an older person a question regarding adult things in life. But if you look at African cultures where young people are supposed to ask elders questions, why do we here have such adverse reaction to our children. During slavery that link between old and young was cut. So the elders in America whooping children is what was done here in this country as a means of surviving under duress. But is that a good thing to whoop a kid for something so simplistic. No it isn’t, but the whooping was to put fear of the “idea” of what White people “could do” to our children.

This is scary because it aims at understanding the fear, guilt, and shame. That same fear, guilt, and shame is correlated with the bible. So it was a perfect combination to keep Black people mentally impotent. So with what has been said, do we continue to believe? Or, do we ditch the faith base all together and start fresh. Because we are no longer slaves and why not. Well, one reason to continue to this is all we know. and the other is the loyalty to the people who came before us. Those past people used Christianity, even if forced on us, in our own way to create joyful music, raise children, and get us through troubling times. In the end, the choice will be up to the person believing in the faith base. But as Black people, we cannot hide the fact religion has had a strong impact on the Black community.


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EXCEPTING YOUR END: HOW WE COPE WITH DEATH

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“Are you really ready for the end?”


For the longest, people have tried to find methods of coping with the idea that we as people will eventually meet our demise. No one, no matter how long you live, is ready for the time when they will die. We all love existing and hate even thinking about a world where we don’t exist. So for thousands of years we have sought to try to understand something. Anything that will point us in a direction leading to our end. Religion has its viewpoint and science has its viewpoint. But even with both views, all of us walk away with the same feeling. We either fear dying and/for we don’t want to die.

Well why, why do we fear the end of our lives. None of the past frightens us, yet we are totally afraid of all the future. Me my self, I was not afraid of the year 1920 so why am I afraid of the year 2120. I won’t be around which creeps me out. But what will happen once we leave this Earth. Is there a collection of energy that goes somewhere, or do we past and that is it? Do we ascend to heaven as the bible speaks about, or do we disintegrate to nothingness? The idea of this being the end for so many people is scary. But how do we cope with the idea of an ending. Let’s look at a few ways people cope with themselves passing away.

The bible is written about us ending and going to heaven. Once we die in this world, we pass along into another. The Christian text calls it the land of milk and honey. In the Lord’s house there are many mansions. This sounds great if you’re a person of the Christian faith. Furthermore, if you belong to any other group, they have their own beliefs regarding the end of life. Yet there are the skeptics. These are the people who come into the loop and present to the world their alternative facts. To them they have a more scientific means of explaining the end of ones’ life.

The science community aims at looking at humans as a carbon based life form that will come to an end as well. Unlike the religious community, science theorizes that nothing supernatural happens as the body dies. Carbon is released from our bodies like any other dead organism back into the atmosphere just as with plants and animals. This is of benefit to us and any other plant and animal life on Earth. So, to them, this is it, so make the best of it. Because when the lights go out, they’re out for good. Anything other than that is seen as nonsense and should be viewed as such.

In the end, what will it take to get people to cope? Will there ever come a time when people can cope with their end? Or will we forever be locked in our emotions about what happens after we die on this Earth? There is one thing that people everywhere can agree upon. Is that this body we call ours will not be here forever. And I don’t mean just me in the moment. I mean the Earth as we know it has an expiration date. Eventually the universe will reach maximum growth before it ends itself. And that’s life, everything has a beginning and an end. How all of ours will turn out is unknown. So for now, we live. Go to sleep and wake up, until the day comes where those eyes won’t open again.

TRANSCENDENTAL SEDUCTION: OUR BELIEFS VERSUS OUR LOGIC

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“Which do you fall under?”


In the world we live in today, we have the two sides with conflicting beliefs as to how we as humans came about. There is the side of the science and side of the religion. Science aims at knowing the truth as to the beginning and those of faith seek to have a belief in to how their beginning started. I grew up in a Southern Baptist family, even though I reside from the Midwest. My family came to the Midwest back in the 1940’s from Mississippi. And since then, the belief has not changed. That is until the next generation steps forward. Now, all sorts of questions tend to arise as to who is more in alignment with the beginning. Or not just the beginning, but why we need a faith base.

Well, before we observe the reasons why people believe in a higher power, how come you need more. And when I say more, I mean another life after this one. If you observe humanity, upon ejaculation, seven million sperm is expelled from the male genitalia. Of the seven million, only one will fertilize the egg. And by one, I mean one, not one million or one hundred thousand; just one. Now, even when that one sperm reaches the egg, there’s no guarantee it will fertilize the egg. Yet if it does, from that period until her ninth month, so much can happen that will keep birth from happening. Yet a child is born, and you live through childhood. You live through adulthood, and middle age, while the human body is only built to live 40 years.

The average human lives to be 78 years of age, but due to scientific breakthroughs, we are living longer. Now, with all that said, religion says there is an afterlife. Science would not only disagree, but would call that selfish. The fact that you are here and the chain of events to get you here, shouldn’t we accept this as it? Why is it so hard to accept this as the final when we have beat so many odds? A lot of non-religious people just don’t understand why you need more. But people of the religious side would say different. They would look at the chain of events to get you here as accepting this as it.

In the religious communities, they feel that the chain of events that got you here is pure, yet you’re merely passing through. Passing through this world and heading on to something better. And this temporary housing place will be the place you will be judged for your spot in the afterlife. Now, me explaining it like that would cause scientist to dismiss my claims. Yet if you are one of the religious communities, you have a deeper faith in the belief. You see, the transcendental theory, points to people who feel a certain way, something must be that way. Meaning I see the bible, feel it, believe it, therefore it is real. Science goes, there is a world out there, bigger than myself, that I don’t know about.

In the end, we have a hard time in seeing that this life is it. It’s hard to accept that belief because depending on your quality of life, it can be difficult. The other reason is we lose people close to us, and have high hopes of seeing them again. So knowing this is it is a thought ignored by the masses. For the time being at least, there is still a conflict between the science and the religious.