BELIEF IS ACTIVE: HOW WE LEARNED TO WORSHIP AS PEOPLE

Bible on Stand Between Candles Inside Hall

“God culture.”


how we came to belief

As humans evolved we came to understand there must be some form of force that is greater than I, that keeps us all in alignment. And in that moment we designed a culture around our belief systems. We have forever wondered why we are here on Earth. No other planet in our reachable distance can life sustain like here on Earth. So we have for the longest felt there must be some type of divinity connected to living on Earth. So where did our beliefs initially come from? Do we have it as a human, or is there something that placed our belief in us? Whatever the reason, we have for thousands of years built our cultures around the idea that our beliefs are active.

methods of worship

Anthropologist still today unearth sites where early humans have used spots to praise some form of God. It must have been a little more majestic, but today there is nothing mroe than just a large group of rocks, stones, and dried out mud. But at the time, there were much larger monuments that were indoor and outdoor venues. We preserve things today, but in the past not so much so. Reason being is that we never thought that life would change from that existence we were living. So you get a chance to see how people built structures, and designs that served as a grounds for prayer. The designs in itself represented the belief, where some places aligned itself with the stars in the sky or even the seasons.

devolving beliefs

As more and more time progress, the idea of our beliefs system shift form higher power, to the idea that this is it. And it (past beliefs) becomes part of the culture that we study today for the future. Humans are an evolving creature and are knowing more and more because our minds are expanding. Who knows what our culture will be based around in hundred or even 1,000 more years. But it will not be the present belief that we have today.


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GAY IN THE COMMUNITY: HARDSHIPS OF BEING GAY IN A TRADITIONAL BLACK COMMUNITY

Two Men About to Kiss

“Out ain’t easy.”


gay under conservatism 

In the Black community, we have long been so governed under the Christian faith that anything that goes against the grain has been ostracized.  And the issue that falls under this topic would have to be gay relationships. It exist in a community, but not widely talked about in a community. You are refrained from really discussing it, but it’s so in your face in today’s society. But how does it feel to be a member of the LGBT community in such a conservative environment? Me being a heterosexual male, I can’t relate to this, but have heard stories told.

biblical fears

The bible has its many uses, but in certain communities the bible was used to do two things. It was used to enslave and it was used to uplift; crazy right. The enslavement of Black people through Christianity in America was a justified, but the religion has also been used to uplift a community. So the the fundamentalist fears that stand keeps a people from delving too deep into LGBT rights. Since the bible states that it is against it, then most likely there will be a push against it.  Which means there is a clear separation between how one feels as a person and how one views the relations via the bible.

generational shifts

There is something to be said about the change in times. Because this is more of an issue to an older generation. Because if you are under a certain age, then this conversation is more of a non-discussion. Because to a younger generation you’re used to seeing Gay couples. Rather it be on television, film, or in our daily lives. So to hear our parents, or even grandparents not accepting is a shock to us. We love our grandparents, and pride ourselves on being open. We even push back against those who speak out against the LGBT community, but we are not ready to deal with our elders who fight against the movement.


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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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IN THE LAST DAYS: WHY IS RELIGION DYING OFF IN SOCIETY

Grayscale Photo of Church

“Rapidly going away.”


As a young man growing up in a Christian household, I can tell you all sorts of stories of the important role Christianity played in my upbringing. But there is something taking hold in society that generations did not see coming. And that is that religion is rapidly dying out in our society. What is it attributed to? In my opinion, the reason for religion taking such a plunge has a lot to do with the advancements in science. The more we understand about ourselves in relation to the planet, the more religion takes a deep fall. In the past, we knew little about the planet in which we reside. But now that we are starting to know more and more, the less religion is serving a purpose. Are there any other reasons for the shift in religion declining?

Another reason for the sharp decline has to do with the level of terrorism in the world. Terrorism today are faith based initiatives that require people to have the faith of what they are doing is right. Whether you believe it or not, if all you need is to believe and make a decision without having to fact check with anyone else, it creates problems. Meaning, in my heart of hearts I feel that the bible dictates one aspect of life, and effect your life according to my belief. That causes people to stray away from religion because there is no intervention of any kind. You’re taught that a house in which children reside won’t go without food or be harmed. Yet that in itself has been proven wrong. So now, people of religion have found themselves in a tough position where they have to address things that take place. Why? Because a young demographic is starting to get turned off by the idea of religion.

Well then, will we eventually see a time where people have come to an understanding that this is it? Or, will people take on new beliefs that will replace the ones we have today? Because at the rate we’re going in the present tense, the three majors (Judaism, Islam, and Christianity) are at risk of falling. And it’s not people form the outside that’s causing the problems. It’s the people on the inside that have religion in jeopardy of falling off. See, in the end, man’s intellectual capital is climbing, yet the religion is lagging behind. A major reason that has not been expressed yet, for the decline, is religion never changes. In an ever changing civilization, something that does not change is always at risk in an evolving landscape.


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

bible, blur, Christ

“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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LAST WISH: IF YOU DIED TONIGHT HOW HAPPY ARE YOU WITH YOUR LIFE THUS FAR

ancient, architecture, columns

“I’m fine with my life, how about you?”


We all think about death and whether we believe it or not, we fear on some level. But is there ever a right time to die in life? Is there an appropriate age to pass away. My great-grandmother was shy of her 100th birthday when she died. The average person lives to be 78, so nearly 100 years on this earth is a big deal. But I have a theory when it comes to death. My theory is that people are not more so afraid of death than they are dying young or leaving young children behind. Living a long fulfilling life is important and seeing your children grow is important.

When you are a young child and first learn that you will die some day, there is this fear that sets internally. But you grow to understand that most people die old. That’s until you start to see people around you die at young ages: 30 years old, 25 years old, or even 18 years old. Then you start to cringe at the idea that life could be that short for yourself. You lose someone at that young of an age and then mortality really sets internally. You have fear, but you also have a sense of urgency as well. And what about children; we fear passing and leaving behind a small child or children. As long as the child or children of ours is an adult and can care for themselves, we’re fine.

But the real question I want to ask is how good are you with life thus far? If you had to exit this Earth today, where is your at this moment? Or better yet, as you look over life thus far, can you say it meant something? A lot of people can’t say their lives meant something. The movie All Eyez On Me, the biopic chronicling the life of rapper 2Pac Shakur was recently released. He was killed at the age of only 25, but his name is ingrained in history. How many 25 year olds have a global impact on people that has lasted over 20 years? So it’s not just age, it’s your time spent on this Earth. But what if you didn’t live the life you wanted?

There are so many people who are not living their full life. So if they were to die today, their whole lives were for nothing. What heartache that must be; to live a lifetime and then realize it meant nothing. I guess that’s why people’s belief in God is so strong. Because if you can’t see more with here and now, then maybe there is something for you after. Now when asking myself this question, I am kind of on the fence. Thus far in my life I am living a fulfilling life, but I also have so much I still want to accomplish. I know the ideas in my head I want to cultivate even though no one else does.

In the end, we fear dying so much because we don’t want the end to mean nothing. There is a poor guy somewhere that no one cares about. I live in New York City, and you see it everyday. And when he dies that is it. No one will care and his body will be placed wherever there is room for him, if any. That must feel awful for that person, because I know there are people who love me. And if only those that have little to lose and gain could feel that same love, they would be better off themselves.


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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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