Religion and Relatability (or the Lack Thereof)

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My mom and aunts never forced us to go to church. Except for that one year we moved from the projects to a new apartment. My aunt seemed hell-bent on giving us the American dream. I suppose after the trauma of growing up in Robert Taylor, if she couldn’t give it to us in total, she’d try to provide us with the next best thing. To her, that meant bump beds, new clothes, our own rooms, going to church every Sunday, and choir rehearsal every Thursday like all the other “good Christian folk.”

We hated it.

8 Year Old Me

The first time I got baptized, the church came to scoop the project kids up in these school buses, took us to some building, separated the girls from the boys, and made us undress and put on long, white t-shirts with no underwear. 

Right.

So when the new church tried to baptize me, I was so terrified that my entire head didn’t go into the water. 

Fortunately for us, that was the only time in our lives we were ever required to go. As we aged, going to church became one of those decisions we could make ourselves. We got to decide what or how we would believe. Later in life, my cousin decided to be a Jehovah’s Witness.

Easter, 1995, Robert Taylor Projects at 4947 S. Federal

I think choosing our belief system and the freedom of being able to explore religion outside of Christianity was one of the healthiest things the surrounding adults could have done for us, which we totally overlooked growing up.

There was so much trauma I think we missed this critical sort of autonomy our parents afforded us. And I think they missed it too. With all the drugs and abandonment, there were still these glimmers of hope we didn’t realize were diamonds in the ruff.

To make a long story short, I’m an anomaly to most people because while I am obviously spiritual, I am not religious (and I believe there is a difference.) Because no one had ever forced religion on me, I’ve never been devout in the traditional sense. I can talk about the bible all day, but I’ve never been the “church lady,” nor do I live my life that way.

And no, you don’t have to be a Christian to be a “church lady.” Ya’ll know what I’m talking about.

I have zero interest in being the embodiment of that fake piousness too often present in mainstream religions. This pretentiousness, in my opinion, causes many to lack the ability to be relatable.

Take my most recent Instagram post, for example. (If you read this later, it’s the reel with the God Did song by DJ Khaled featuring Rick Ross, Wayne, and Jay-Z…whose part was too long and not as great as everyone says, but I digress.)

In general, I don’t listen to a lot of mainstream rap. I think most of it is trash. Give me some throwback Common or Talib Kweli. I’ll even take College Dropout Kanye.

But pairing that song with the message I had for that day (and doing it on a Sunday when most people’s minds are religiously focused), I thought it would relate to people more deeply. 

And it did. 

I should point out that being relatable does not mean compromising your own beliefs. I see it more like being able to connect with something others might find familiar for a greater, more clear understanding.

My internal motto is: “You (your actions, how you carry yourself, think) will be the only bible some people will ever read.”

I hope one day more of us could consider this point of view in all its layers.

Did YOU Know? ….. National Sunday Law

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The streets are empty of people, and the grocery stores void of movement. The people seemed to have vacated the Earth; perhaps they have residence on the moon. (I wonder if it really does taste like cheese.) The automobiles have stopped dragging their tires to the next corner for fear of being arrested, disassembled and then thrown into the nearest junk yard. (We do not accept gas as bail payment….sorry).
Why is Sunday’s so quite? Why do the people lock themselves inside their homes as if the taste of air itself will chock them? Why are the streets empty?

National Sunday Law

Many believe it is because it represents the seventh day of rest; a day to relax from all our labors, and to focus our thoughts on the thoughts of the almighty. But is this true? Is Sunday our day of rest? Is this why the people have vacated earth, the reason the stores have shut their mouths, and the vehicles have stopped running?

 

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In A.D. 325 Roman Emperor Constantine held a worldwide Christian Convention with the Council of Nice. Great dissension arose among the pagans at that time about when to celebrate holidays and how to worship the Gods. Troubled by this, Constantine as the Pagan High Priest, held a convention in Nicaea in Bithynia, to which Bishops were invited from all over the world. It was a meeting that would culminate in the current Christian belief system by merging scripture with pagan beliefs in order to solidify the many viewpoints of the council and appease the Pagan priesthood. It would also result in the death of many openly Pagan groups so that the revelation that this new religion included Pagan beliefs would not be revealed. Constantine commanded that the pagan temples be destroyed and the people killed.

 

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A Pagan is someone who worships Gods and Goddesses, or they may worship Satan altogether. As a Pagan, Constantine worshiped the sun-god Apollo, having the image engraved on his coin. Issued in A.D. 321 as part of the decreed, Constantine instituted our current legal institution of Sunday as the day of rest as a National Sunday Law; to which he called “The Lord’s Day”, or “Dies Solis”, that is, “The Day of the Sun” because he worshiped the sun-god. From this point on, people began to keep the Sabbath Day on the first day instead of the seventh day to which it was originally established according to biblical law. Constantine ordered that stores be closed and that activity of labors cease on Sunday. It was Constantine who first made a law for the observance of Sunday as the Sabbath who appointed that it should be regularly celebrated throughout the Roman Empire. Before this, as stated, everyone properly observed the Sabbath day as it was instituted by the almighty from the foundation of the world.

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CONSTANTIN’S SUNDAY LAW, ISSUED A.D. 321, WAS AS FOLLOWS:– {GC88 679.1} “LET ALL THE JUDGES AND TOWN PEOPLE, AND THE OCCUPATION OF ALL TRADES  REST ON THE VENERABLE DAY OF THE SUN; BUT LET THOSE WHO ARE SITUATED IN THE  COUNTRY, FREELY AND AT FULL LIBERTY ATTEND TO THE BUSINESS OF AGRICULTURE;  BECAUSE IT OFTEN HAPPENS THAT NO OTHER DAY IS SO FIT FOR SOWING CORN AND  PLANTING VINES; LEST, THE CRITICAL MOMENT BEING LET SLIP, MEN SHOULD LOSE  THE COMMODITIES GRANTED BY HEAVEN.” {GC88 679.2}

 

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Let me make it clear I am not a Christian (nor am I a Jew). I do however believe in the principles of the bible. As such I must say, that to observe Sunday as the Sabbath day is not in accordance with the commandment we have been given. If you believe in the bible not at all, this post does not concern you. But if you consider yourself a bible believer, and you wish to keep the commandments as they have been issued to be kept, keeping Sunday as the Sabbath day is transgressing the command to keep the Sabbath day set apart because you are actually not keeping the Sabbath set apart, you are instead observing The National Sun-day Law, and worshiping the sun.

Biblical Quotes that are actually not in the Bible

“Adam & Eve ate an apple”

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It actually doesn’t name the forbidden fruit, just says fruit– Gen. 3:1-6

“The 3 Wise Men”

The Three Wise Men

The bible does not give a number; it just says wise men-Matt. 2:1

“The Lion shall lay down with the Lamb”

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The bible says that the lion and the wolf shall lay down together, not the lamb

– Isa 11:6, 65:25

“Money is the root of all evil”

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Scripture says the love of money is the root of all evil, because it will become your God, you will do anything for it, and you will put it above the almighty.

– 1 Tim 6:10

“Spare the rod, spoil the child”

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I know I know…this is definitely in the bible…right!?
No. The bible says that if you spare the rod you hate the child, not spoil him. The spoil part came from a 17th century poem and has been quoted as a biblical verse ever since.

“The 7 Deadly Sins”

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Loosely based on Prov. 6:16-19, there is no such thing as the seven deadly sins. You will not find this in the bible.

“God has many names”

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Everyone like to quote this in defense of their religion, but its not in the bible that “God has many names”. It does however say that there’s only one name under the heavens given among men by which we may be saved- Acts 4:12

“The messiah was born on December 25th”

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Yea, sorry to cancel Christmas but it’s true. It’s no where in the bible that the messiah was born on December 25th. He was actually at least 2 years old when the Magi visited and King Herod ordered his execution and his parents were commanded to hide him in Egypt.

– Matt. 2:11-13

“Cleanliness is next to Godliness”

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There is always a reason to be clean, but this quote is not in the bible. It’s always about a man’s heart first, not his outer appearance.

These are just a few of the many biblical quotes we can be heard repeating on an everyday basis that are actually not in the bible.