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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Believing is a choice (Part2) Oldest Religion

Religion goes back as far as human civilizations. Nobody knows what the first religion was. The Egyptians predate the Jews, The Mesopotamians predate them. The Chinese predate them…

The religions with a creation story often claim to be the oldest of the religions since the world began with that creation and with the god or gods of that particular religion.

Others say that animism would be the oldest known type of religion. This is a primitive religion, which sprang up independently in many areas of the world, but in most countries has mainly been replaced by more formal religion. In animism, spirits are considered to inhabit familiar objects in the landscape. For example, Australian aboriginal beliefs probably go back 60,000 or more.

Many scholars have suggested that remnants of animal worship survived in Judaism and Christianity. Satan was a serpent; Jehovah, like Osiris, was worshiped as a bull; Christ was the lamb of God, and the Holy Ghost appeared in the form of a dove. As you can see, all of these are animals represented by spirits inhabiting them; which is what animism is. However, these are only symbols of the worshipped object, and are not worshipped in themselves as would have been done in true animism.

The Egyptian religion can also be considered the oldest religion. Its origins date back beyond 3000 BCE.

When trying to determine the oldest religion, researchers take into consideration who had the oldest written language. Since Sanskrit is the oldest written language, as far as religion being written down, and as far as organized religion is concerned, it would be Hinduism. It is said that when Rama appeared, according to our calendar, it’d be a million or so years (not sure the exact date, but it’s a long time!) And Krishna, god himself according to the Vedic scriptures, appeared here 5,000 years ago. Buddha, about 500 B.C., Jesus, about 2,000 years ago.

Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are all Abrahamic related religions. Abraham dates back to 1800 BC. Abraham was told directly by God that He would be the God of his people in Genesis.

The Epic of Gilgamesh is the oldest writing (not religious) found on clay tablets dating back to the 1st millennium b.c.e. He was a Sumerian king. For this particular area Ishtar would become the most important goddess of Babylonia (Mesopotania). The Easter holiday includes egg rolling which was actually a ritual performed for the goddess Ishtar for ferility purposes. Many Christians today refuse to celebrate Easter but prefer to call this time the Passover (the time of Jesus' death and resurrection)


4000 BCE
Earliest date attested to composing Rigveda.
4000 BCE
Estimated by the summing of ages of kings and families in the Judeo-Christian Holy Bible, 4000 BCE represents the time when Adam and Eve were first given souls after God's image. This marks the end of the sixth day that God took to create and form the world.
3000 BCE
Sumerian Cuneiform emerges from the proto-literate Uruk period, allowing the codification of beliefs and creation of detailed historical religious records.
2494 - 2345 BCE
The first of the oldest surviving religious texts, the Pyramid Texts, are composed in Ancient Egypt.
2150 - 2000 BCE
The earliest surviving versions of the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh (originally titled "He saw the deep") were written.
2000 - 1850 BCE
The traditionally accepted lifetime of the Judeochristian/Islamic patriarchal figure Abraham. Likely born in Ur Kaśdim or Haran and died in Machpelah, Canaan.
1300 - 1000 BCE
The "standard" Akkadian version of the Epic of Gilgamesh was edited by Sin-liqe-unninni.
1250 BCE
The believed time of the Hebrew exodus from Egypt. The first books of the Torah are composed
950 BCE
The Torah begins to be written, the core texts of Judaism and foundation of later Abrahamic religions.
393 AD
The Synod of Hippo, the first time a council of bishops of early Christianity listed and approved a Biblical canon.
405 AD
St. Jerome completes the Vulgate, the first Latin translation of the bible
1500 AD
African religious systems are introduced to the Americas, with the commencement of the trans-Atlantic forced migration.

It is clear to see there is a long history of religions. One of the great things about Christianity is that it managed to thrive and flourish even amoung many ancient beliefs. To nullify the origin of religions from different regions is not necessary as many religious people tend to believe. Having discussions on various religions from around the world going beyond the bounds of "THEY ARE EVIL" should be a part of the Christian experience. Many young adults go off to college believing that their particular religion is the only religion and others randomly choose to worship sticks and rocks. These young adults were never told that other religions have an old and sacred origin that goes beyond praying to sticks. In their belief systems their faith tells them to believe no matter what else they are presented with also. For some, their eternal soul is at stake to them in the same way as the Christian believe's. The young adult may be shocked to find these people, who may live spotless lives, in comparison, is doing no more than they themselves. The CHOICE of who they worship is the difference.

For me to choose to worship the Christian God was a decision of heart, mind, and soul. Many continue to separate academia from religion (which I do not believe are enemies of each other), but the book knowledge of various religions made my faith even stronger. I was exposed to the knowledge of several gods and still chose my God. To me that is a great testimony. Given complete and total choice; I still decided to worship the God of Christianity.

Being an African American, I never was exposed to the religion of my ancestors. I studied how the Indians and African slaves were evangelized in the United States. Many Christians at that time were afraid to share the gospel with the slaves because it teaches in the freedom of Christ and fellow man. They feared if the slaves were aware of this they would become Christians and want to be considered fellow brethrens of the slave owners, and expect freedom, so the Indians were the better evangelism candidate. This bit of history reinforces the great gift of free will and choice valued in the Bible.

I have looked at some of the creation myths from various areas of the world and would like to share with you some of those myths. I will start with some of the creation myths from Africa.

Monday, November 29, 2010

You believe because you CHOOSE to believe

Many people laugh at Christians for choosing to believe in a God they cannot see. Secular society will use education as their reasoning for saying faith in a deity is for those of no or lower education. Once science is introduced faith should crumble in the eyes of the educated. These statements are met with anger by those who do hold their religion dear. In many of my rants, I myself become angry at Christians who believe higher education causes young Christians to walk away from their faith.

Since the introduction of God in the Bible, He has offered creation a choice. Moses, who heard the voice of God in the burning bush, came from an upbringing in Egypt that was filled with a pantheon of gods to which images of their likenesses were made. Yet Moses chose to follow and obey the God He had never seen, or no one else for that matter. He believed because he chose to. Abraham wasn't any different. His brothers made the idols for worship of gods for the community. Yet, Abram heard the voice of the invisible God and chose to follow him.

The God of Israel, in that time to many, was just one more God added to the pantheon of gods, the difference was in those who chose to believe in God. Can you imagine when Jesus lived he was just seen as a little boy in a town and then one day he declared He was the Son of God with an offer of love and eternal life? Well, the Jews did not make a choice to believe that message while the Gentiles embraced it

Since the begining of time man has attached a higher being as being in control of the things that they themselves could not conquer. In their lack of or little knowledge, they knew there was something greater than themselves. That feeling still exists today. The origin of ALL has never been fully explained by science.

The Theory of Evolution has been presented and has points in it that has pushed mankind to a new level of understanding. The flow of thought is logical and feasible. But it cannot answer every question and yet many choose to believe it. In the Big Bang Theory there are valid points. But who created the matter that exploded? Again we are faced with a choice in what to believe. Who has and where are ALL of the answers?

Christians being exposed to secular education will not cause faith in God to crumble. No matter what is presented to any person, a choice has to be made. There is someone or something greater than man and this universe. There is something or someone that began before man and the universe. Ususally science is only true if it can be reproduced and no one has reproduced another universe yet complete with life.

In Christianity we are offered an answer for the unanswerable. We are given one supreme being who says all began with me. I'm going out on a limb here, as you know I am prone to do, and tell you a secret of mines. In man's quest to gain some control or order of life and its seemingly randomness, man created gods. There were gods for everything. Man pleaded, bribed, and manipulated these gods in an effort to have them act favorably to them in a world that could sometimes seem hostile with droughts, sickness, and death.

Well the Christian God seems to have been aware of these activities of man because His first commandment "You shall have no other gods before me" Exodus 20:1 tells man not to worship any other god over Him. The ten plagues were directed at the 10 different gods the Egyptians turned to for particular worship and assurance of favorability. God said those gods were only capable of individual acts whereas He was the all sufficient God over all and able to do all. He demonstrated He was the one true God. There were those who even killed their children in an attempt to ensure the gods would answer their prayers. God of Israel said I am greater than them and require less.

God offered love to His creation which other gods did not. You may say there was still a need for rules, the Israelites biggest stipulation was sexual morality. Okay time for another choice- sacrifice of a child or sexual morality? God had rules that needed to be followed as any operating society does. Is there anywhere in the world that is not governed by some type of law? As a parent who deeply love my children, I do have guidelines they are required to follow.

In the end a person believes just because they choose to believe and that is the bottom line. It is not out of stupidity that man accepts an offer of love and assurance from a source they know exists without explaination by limited man. It is the height of intelligence that says there is something greater than that which can be seen with the eye that made all that you see that exists. Is it a stupid choice to believe in something beyond ourselves? No more than it is to believe there is some form of life on other planets that we have not found yet. That belief rests on the fact that we can not be the only forms of human life in the universe.

All science can do is study and try to explain what is already in existence. It has struggled in its completeness in explaining the origin of what it is studying. Science says from nothing came something. God says from nothing I creeated something. These are your two choices and God allows us to choose. But He also said nature itself testifies to my existence. And it is to that very nature - evolution- that science turns to to explain the world.

Don't run from explainations or explorations of what is truth. God did not run from it, He said let me reveal this truth to my creation. God can stand up against anything man can come up with, remember we are in His image. Let your children be exposed to various creation myths; God can handle it. Let people make the choice of God freely. Have faith in God that He is just that compelling and able to draw His creation.

I wrote this post because I am fully aware that Christianity is not the oldest written religion and there are many creation stories in may parts of the world. That is fine with me. I made a choice of what I wanted to believe with this full knowledge.

In an upcoming post I will present the timeline of the evolution of written religion and some samples of those creation stories. I myself will not settle all of the questions that are out there. But the biggest question of heir being something greater in the world than all of us is settled in my spirit and mind and I have choosen to say it is the Invisible God who said He was the "I Am."

Monday, November 15, 2010

God's Wisdom: Don't be your own worse enemy

Excerpts from my book: "The Politics of Prayer Daily Devotional"


Truth, knowledge, and wisdom are only effective when put into action. Luke 2:52 states Jesus increased in wisdom, stature, and in favor with God and man. Wisdom was his intellectual growth, stature was his physical growth, favor with God was his spiritual growth, and favor with man was his social development. Wisdom was a major part of Jesus’ life and should be a part of every Christian’s life as well.
It takes wisdom to pray for our leaders and ourselves. It takes wisdom to make the right choices when engaging political issues. When making choices on political issues we may ask ourselves:
1. Does it help my witness for God?
2. Am I motivated by a desire to help others to know Christ?
3. Is it against a specific command in Scripture and would thus cause me to sin?
4. Is it the best and most beneficial course of action?
5. Am I thinking only of myself, or do I truly care about the other person?
6. Am I acting lovingly or selfishly?
7. Does it glorify God?
8. Will it cause someone else to sin?

“A wise old owl sat on an oak: The more he saw the less he spoke; The less he spoke the more he heard; Why aren’t we like that wise old bird?”

“The highest form of wisdom is kindness.”
The Talmud

“Wisdom is knowing what to do next, skill is knowing how to do it, and virtue is doing it.”
David Starr Jordon

“A man only becomes wise when he begins to calculate the approximate depth of his ignorance.”
Gian Carlo Menotti

“We must become the change we want to see.”
Mahatma Gandhi

“Wisdom ceases to be wisdom when it becomes too proud to weep, too grave to laugh, and too selfish to seek other than itself.”
Kahlil Gibran

“The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The function of wisdom is to discriminate between good and evil.”

“One of the greatest pieces of economic wisdom is to know what you do not know.”
John Kenneth Gilbraith

“The art of being wise is the art of knowing what to overlook.”
William James

“The truest greatness lies in being kind, the truest wisdom is a happy mind.”
Ella Wheeler Wilcox

“Science is organized knowledge. Wisdom is organized life.”
Immanuel Kant

“It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom. It is healthy to be reminded that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.”
Mohandas K. Gandhi

“Wisdom consists of the anticipation of consequences.”
Norman Cousins

“Patience is the companion of wisdom.”
Saint Augustine

“The beginning of wisdom is found in doubting; by doubting we come to question, and by seeking we may come upon truth.”
Pierre Abelard

“I hope our wisdom will grow with our power, and teach us, that the less we use our power the greater it will be.”
Thomas Jefferson

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”
Abraham Lincoln

“By three methods we may learn wisdom; first, by reflection, which is noblest, second, by imitation, which is easiest, and third; by experience, which is the most bitter.”

“A wise man makes his own decisions, an ignorant man follows public opinion.”
Chinese Proverbs

“As for you, if you will walk before Me as your father David walked, in integrity of heart and uprightness, doing according to all that I have commanded you and will keep My statutes and My ordinances, then I will establish the throne of your kingdom over Israel forever, just as I promised to your father, David saying; ”You shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel” (I Kings 9:4-5).

Solomon should have been a man to be envied. He was the first king to sit on the throne of a kingdom at peace, he had been given divine wisdom by God, he built a temple for God (a center of Jewish religion), and he was richer and more prosperous than any king in any surrounding nation. This should have been enough for the man who had it all, but it wasn’t.

Solomon’s downfall came from within the walls of his home; his many wives and their many pagan religions. He married 700 hundred women for political reasons and consorted with 300 concubines (I Kings 11:3). Solomon, in his old age, began to do as his wives did and worshipped pagan gods and built high places of worship for those pagan gods. For Solomon’s sin, God said he would take the kingdom from the hands of his son; all but one tribe would he leave for his son for the sake of his father David.

The lesson to be learned is to be mindful of our associations and how we conduct our private lives. Solomon was his own worst enemy in a time of success and grandeur, he destroyed himself. It is easier to blame our problems on government or others, but we must also look at ourselves.

I encourage you to incorporate prayer for your leaders into your daily prayers asking God to give them wisdom to lead. Wisdom goes beyond just knowledge; it encompasses the ability to make the right choice at the right time. Wisdom is only effective when put into action. Pray that your leaders, as well as yourself, will have the ability to know what is right and to do what is right.


Friday, November 12, 2010

Pray for Christian leaders: Pastors, Apostles, Bishops, Prophets, etc.

ExceRpts from : daily devotional "The Politics of Prayer" SECTION TWO


“Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever….Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you. Pray for us. We are sure that we have a clear conscious and desire to live honorably in every way” (Hebrews 13:7-8 and 17-18). We are instructed to pray for our Christian leaders.

It is never a time of rejoicing when a member of the Christian body falls from grace. As a member of the body of Christ we are called to pray for one another. “My brothers, if one of you should wander from the truth and someone brings him back, remember this: whoever turns a sinner from the error of his way will save him from death and cover a multitude of sins.” (James 5:19-20).

I encourage you to remember to pray for religious leaders whether they have made it to the heights of maga-church pastor, international evangelist, televangelist, or country minister. No one is past the warning Peter gave in I Peter 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world.” To keep our focus on God and what he would have us to do, we must pray for one another to make wise choices as we engage the political arena. We should pray for governmental leaders, spiritual leaders, and fellow Christians.

When we pray for fellow Christians we should :
1. Be thankful for their faith and changed lives (Colossians 1:3)
2. Ask God to help them know what he wants them to do (Colossians 1:9)
3. Ask God to give them deep spiritual understanding (Colossians 1:9)
4. Ask God to help them live for him (Colossians 1:10)
5. Ask God to give them more knowledge of himself (Colossians 1:10)
6. Ask God to give them strength for endurance (Colossians 1:11)
7. Ask God to fill them with joy, strength, and thankfulness (Colossians 1:11)

The word politics comes from the Greek word politika. It is defined as:
1 a: the art or science of government b: the art or science concerned with guiding or influencing governmental policy c : the art or science concerned with winning and holding control over a government. The last few years, America has witnessed drastic changes in the political arena. Some changes and policies instituted have been for the better and some have been for the worst.

The Christian community has championed many causes and has been a strong voice for Christian values. The political atmosphere will forever be a battleground for doing what is right and for doing what is popular. No matter the outcome of politics, the Christian must remain focused on God and his instructions to behave out of love and mercy and to remain prayerful at all times.

“America is always a land of promise in an election year.”

“If you lie to people to get their money, that’s fraud. If you lie to them to get their votes, that’s politics.”

“In national politics it’s not so much how you play the game as it is who’s keeping score.”

“Fortunately for the country, neither political party can possibly be as bad as the other insists it is.”

“We’ve now switched from the New Deal, Fair Deal, and Square Deal to the Ordeal.”

“Millions of Americans don’t vote. They figure they can’t earn their keep under the Republicans and can’t keep what they earn under the Democrats.”

“Politics is the art of obtaining money from the rich and votes from the poor on the pretext of protecting each from the other.”

“The Russians accuse us of being a warlike people because they have been reading what the Democrats and Republican are saying about each other.”

“There are two kinds of Americans: one hopes the government will do something for them, the other hopes the government won’t do something to them.”

“The mess in Washington shouldn’t be blamed on one man. It took real teamwork.’

“Separation of church and state could hardly be more complete. The church teaches that money isn’t everything and the government keeps telling us it is.”

Qoutes from: E.C. McKenzie
14,000 Quips and Quotes, (Grand Rapids: Hendrickson Publishers, Inc., 1980).

“I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it” (Matthew 16:18).

After Jesus’ death, Peter became the recognized leaders of the leaderless disciples. This had to have been a stressful position to have due to the fact Christians were being persecuted for the threat they posed to the pagan society rules of living. He was one of the great voices before and after Pentecost. But Peter was far from perfect.

Peter was known for speaking without thinking. He was quick to dispute Jesus’ claim that he would soon deny he ever knew him. He was also considered to be brash and impulsive. We can not believe those would have been the traits of one of Jesus’ inner group of three. Peter later found it difficult to treat the Gentile Christians as equals.

To us Peter would seem to be just one big mess, but Jesus saw something else. He needed someone with the enthusiasm Peter had, he needed someone who could follow, and Jesus needed someone who did not start out as a perfect person. Jesus needed someone who was real. He needed someone who could be changed by love, thus demonstrating the glory of God, which is “love.” He needed someone to demonstrate the ability of God to forgive, save, and transform.

I encourage you to incorporate prayer for your community and Christian leaders into your daily prayers. There are numerous vices leaders must watch out for as they guide those they have charge over. The vices include: Sexual immorality, impurity, passion, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, disputes, dissentions, arrogance, envy, murder, idolatry, sorcery, drunkenness, carousing, fraud, adultery, homosexuality, coveting, stealing, and lying. Pray these vices will not be a temptation or stumbling block for your leaders.


Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day: reminder to pray for leaders

The following post is an excerpt from my yet unpublished companion piece to "The Politics of Prayer." It is a daily devotional where you can actually write down leaders from various positions in your church, community, state, and nation to pray for daily. I am waiting to see how many people purchase the book "
The Politics of Prayer" before releasing the daily devotional booklet.
This is SECTION ONE entitled PRAY:

There is not a tried and true way to pray. Many suggestions have been given as to how a person should pray, but the technique will vary from person to person. The “how” to pray is not as important as the “you should” pray. I found a suggested pattern of prayer that has been helpful to me that you may want to use as a guide in helping you clear your mind and focus on prayer.

Ten simple rules on how to pray by Deane Edwards, President of The Hymn Society of America (published in 1958):
1. Pray where you are. God is present everywhere and ready to listen.
2. Pray when possible in a quiet spot where you can be alone. It is well to fix your mind deliberately on God, apart from confusing distractions.
3. Pray to God simply and naturally, as a friend. Tell him what is on your mind. Get help from the prayers of others.
4. Pray remembering the good things God has done for you. Reckon up your blessings from time to time and give thanks for them.
5. Pray for God’s forgiveness for the unworthy things that you may have done. He is near to a humble and contrite heart.
6. Pray for the things that you need, especially those that will make your life finer and more Christlike.
7. Pray for others, remembering the situations they confront and the help they need.
8. Pray for the world and its need, asking God to bring better things and offering your help to them.
9. Pray above everything else that God’s will may be done in you and in the world. His purposes are deeper and wiser than anything we can imagine.
10. Pray, and then start answering your prayer.

I love reading quotes about prayer and I found a few to share with you:

“God does nothing but by prayer, and everything with it.”
John Wesley

“Most men pray for power, the strength to do things. Few people pray for love, the quality to be someone.”
Robert Foster

“The greatest tragedy of life is not unanswered prayer, but unoffered prayer.”
F.B. Meyer

“Prayer does not fit us for the greater work; prayer is the greater work.”
Oswald Chambers

“Seven days without prayer makes one weak.”
Allen Varlett

“Every great movement of God can be traced to a kneeling figure.”
D.L. Moody

“Work as if you were to live a hundred years. Pray as if you were to die tomorrow.”
Benjamin Franklin

“Our prayers must mean something to us if they are to mean anything to God.”
Maltbie D. Babcock

“To pray in Jesus’ name means to pray in his spirit, in his compassion, in his love, in his outrage, in his concern. In other words, it means to pray a prayer that Jesus himself might pray.”
Kenneth L. Wilson

Studying men of the Bible in which God favored reminds us of our own stregnths and weaknesses along with God's mercy, grace, and love for us. Let's take a look at a man whom God loved:

King David

“And David realized that the Lord had established him as king over Israel, and that He had exalted his kingdom for the sake of His people Israel” (II Samuel 5:12).

When David took the reigns of Judah and later became king of all of Israel, the territory he ruled over was not a kingdom of peace, it was fractured. David would turn the divided kingdom into a strong united power. He took independent tribes and joined them into a centralized government. The territory David reigned over would go from a people without a centralized place of worship to having Jerusalem as their place of worship. This growth and change did not come without struggles.

David was “a man after God’s own heart” (I Samuel 13:14). He governed God’s people by God’s principles. Even though he possessed strong leadership abilities and a willingness to obey God, he was still human. He struggled with lust, adultery, and even murder. He had problems with a son trying to entice an entire nation into rebellion against him, the king.

When David repented to God for his sins, God showed him forgiveness and his fellowship and peace with God was restored. Though God forgave David, he had to live through the consequences his sins had set in motion (II Samuel 12-20), such as the death of his child with the woman he committed adultery with, Bathsheba.
We see David as an ideal leader of an imperfect kingdom. Then we see an ideal kingdom and an imperfect leader.

I encourage you to incorporate prayer for your national leaders into your daily prayers. Galatians 5:22-23 gives you qualities every person should long to have as part of their character and are the by-products of living for God. These qualities are called the fruit of the Spirit and include: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Paul says there is no law against the gifts of the Spirit. We should prayerfully ask God to help our leaders to have these qualities when we pray.

Make your own prayer list of local and national leaders to pray for.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

For Colored Girls; a window into the soul

Movie critic Alynda Wheat of People Magazine, Nov. 15, 2010 said that the movie For Colored Girls "...fueled a dangerous fallacy that black women are perpetual victims and black men border on villainous...I can't help but wish those tales were better told, and with something resembling hope." I couldn't disagree with her more.

When the movie "Precious" came out a relative of mine said she was embarrased for white people to see the movie. She said now they think we are all like that. I told her from my view of the world many families are hiding abuse of various kinds from numerous people behind closed doors and society tells them your story is too horrid for us to deal with. Keep it to yourself. All that is needed for evil to win is for good people to do nothing. Just think, if someone else's reality is too crude for you, think how difficult that reality it to live in. The shame and guilt must be overwhelming.

People have many opinions and are willing to share them (i.e. me). There are those who believe people should only adopt children of the same race. One psychologist stated "If you do not have people that look different than you, or people who look like the adopted child at your dinner table regularly, then maybe it would not be a good idea to adopt a child of a different race." I think that is something to consider. Bottom line is there are so many children waiting to be adopted into a loving family that race should not be the deciding factor.

I have also had the delightful opportunity for people that are not of my race or my religious denomination to explain my race and particular denomination to me. They give me the history and how the mind set of African Americans developed and how and why my denomination came about and MY way of worshipping. Now, these particular people are proud of their understanding of various ethnicities and denominations and they should be. I applaud them for even having a superficial understanding, but no one knows better than the source. We should not let our academia and observation form our conclusions about others because God is the master of individuality.

I have heard in the last two years many Christians express their disappointment at black Christians for voting for Obama as they say "Just because he is black." I have heard pleas from AFR (American Family Radio) hosts for black people to call in and 'explain' why they would vote for Obama and against God. My thought would drift to "They obviously do not have any close black friends to ask this question and if they do have balck friends, then they may not be as close as they think they are because black people are cautious who they let in to the true mind of a black person as are other ethnicities" BELEIVE IT. We all keep secrets from one another based on ethnicity and even gender.

There is a certain code of silence in all ethnicities. The book "Black Like Me" really relays this fact in the black community as a white man living as a black man diacovers. Many of my close white friends have told me that conversations are different when only Caucasians are present and the reply is 'ditto' for all ethnicities. WHY AM I SAYING ALL OF THIS YOU MAY ASK?

Because of the movie "For Colored Girls" This movie took the lid off of the human experience and exposed all of its ugliness in delicate penetrating poetic artistry. All of the complexities of existence were boldly tackled. The human response to pain and reaching a point of saying 'No more' screamed its way off of the movie screen. SECRETS that cross all walks of life and must be denied at all cost. THIS MOVIE ENTERED THE REALM OF LIES THAT SAY:"These are the problems only THEY have"

The movie wasn't intended to spin a tale it was an attempt to let people in on what takes a person to the brink of suicide a place all people say they would not go, but when the constant drum beat of life deals you less than roses and fairy tale endings that are promised you are left with... WHAT? Those on the outside looking in do not have the scars of the mounting assault. They come in fresh at your end point. they say "There was a better solution." But in these tales of these women on the big screen, we wanted to flee from their lives, we wanted to scream, to lash out, everything but LIVE in it till the rainbow came with a happy ending. Suicide is not the final and best answer for any problem, but what about those people who come to that place and yet have to tell others of this terrible ordeal that words cannot adequatly describe. Pats on the back and future promises seem out of reach or else those suffering surely would have reached them already. The movie delivered on its promise for me "Pain exists, cruelty exists, brokeness exists, and there are many people in that phase of living."

Tyler Perry's movie was intermingled with sheer unabated searing pain but had shadows of laughter masterfully interjected. Those who entered the movie theater to be entertained, came face to face with at least one familiar life situation or one familiar character. People laughed at the images of self in similar situations, they ohhed and awwed at the snatch of the heart the presence of the black male induced, and cringed at the tumble we take when it all comes crashing down or crashing in.

People who want to understand people across racial lines and within racial lines must see this movie. it was not just the experience of colored girls. When you seek to know the 'whys' behind a person's actions think about the pain behind some of those actions. The women in this movie were pushed; some by their own self inflicted wrong decisions and some just victims of another's damaged life and mind.

Each woman in that theater watching those lives careen out of control and finally to some liveable conclusion, could relate. I would love to be in an audience of all white women to see their reactions. I would love to sit in an audience of Hispanics to see their response to the movie. I believe womanhood shares something that goes beyond ethnicity. The characters and their experience were situations faced by many women whether anyone is willing to admit it or not.

There are many war vets returning home right now and many families in chaos this very day. Suicides are on the rise and yet movie critics want a hopeful ending? Someone has to show some reality sooner or later.

The poem on the rapist was beyond description. What happens to the psychi of the woman who does everything right and yet everything can go so horribly wrong. the poem said she was gaurding herself against the stranger and it was the friend she let in that caused her harm. What hopefulness is there for her? Women are raped by people they know all of the time and have the hardest time convincing others it was an assault because they KNEW them. Where are the roses and happy endings for this truth?
The dualing poems on 'I know you' and 'You don't know me" were masterful. women date men and make them into the men they would like them to be in their minds. A cool aloof man who lacks intimacy is labeled the strong silent type. We hang in there to be the ONE he opens up to and he moves on before he opens up. They tell you they they have a quick temper and we say he is so jealous with a giggle as if that is a true sign of love. We don't KNOW half of the people we deal with and are surprised when things go wrong. I always tell my daughters "Believe a person when they tell you they are crazy; they probabley are."

This is a movie for generation after generation of women to share. Don't just watch it, discuss it with your daughters and the men in your lives. Heal and be prepared to heal as life presents the opportunity. Closing your eyes and saying that could never be me allows it to be you. formulate your plan for life and these cruel situations as best you can so you can do your best to have that hopeful ending.

Monday, November 1, 2010

The November 2, 2010 Voting Cult Atmosphere In Politics

With voting at the forefront of the news and the individual's minds, I decided to address a concern I have been dancing around in some of my posts. It seems that many people are susceptible to the influence of people in positions of authority not thinking for themselves. The media has been accused of being too liberal flooding the airwaves with their particular leanings. The Tea Party has been accused of fear mongering; scaring their members into action. If true, each of these groups are exhibiting cult like tendencies.

On American Family Radio, I have heard hosts tell people not to even listen to the President when he speaks, not to allow their children to listen to him, and recently not to listen to any reports on the Rally To Restore Sanity. When someone begins to suggest what you listen to, there may be a problem. When any group gets all of it's information and entertainment from one source, there is a chance of brainwashing. Most people are unaware when they are being brainwashed or manipulated so I decided to define it for you. Many religious organizations morph into cults. But, they are not the only group that can do so. In my book "The Politics Of Prayer" I offer two religious/political groups that went astray: The Peoples Temple and The Jones town Massacre. They began in a climate of frustration and upheaval much like the climate of today. Before going to the polls and as you remain active in politics, keep an eye out for organizations with cult like leanings or followings.

A cult, by modern standards, is any group that incorporates mind control to deceive, influence and govern its followers. Although most people think of cults as being religious, they can also be found in political, athletic, philosophical, racial or psycho-therapeutic arenas.

The mind control, or brainwashing, exerted by cults often take the form of at least several of the following elements:

A totalitarian control over the lifestyle and time of its members - Many cults tend to dictate exactly what its followers should read, eat, how and with whom they should spend their time, and even what they should do in off hours. This totalitarian control is necessary for the leaders to indoctrinate the followers in everything they do, and is also an attempt to separate them from anything not associated with the cult. This is why cults often live together in groups.

****Pushing the news outlet you get all of your news from*****

A charismatic, self-appointed leader with complete authority - Cult members are taught not to question the teachings, practices, or ideas of the leader. Many cult leaders truly are charismatic people, and are able to influence people to believe them. It is common that a cult member is not told everything up front when joining the group, but that they are taught increasingly controlling ideas and teachings as they go. In the case of some of the more well-publicized cults that have come and gone, it is also common that the leader's ideas and demands evolve over time, becoming increasingly controlling and restrictive. One very clear identifying element dealing with the leader of a cult is that the leader will always focus the attention and veneration of the members upon himself or herself. At the heart of a cult usually lies a very self-centered and self-seeking person.

****One person to whom you turn to for the final word, word for the day, issue to get behind, influence over thousands to repeat what they say word by word"

A focus on withholding truth from non-members - Many cults teach their followers to be completely open and truthful within the group, while at the same time they are encouraged to be secretive and evasive when questioned by people outside of the group. This is another form of mind control-instilling guilt in the members if they hold anything back within the group. The members are taught that outsiders wouldn't understand or that they would only make fun of the ideas and practices and requirements for living within the group. Only specially-commissioned members are appointed to recruit members from outside. New members are usually encouraged to keep silent or even lie, especially to their families and close friends.

**I am the ONLY one who cares enough to give you the truth. If you even listen to others you are are a trader to the group****

The three elements listed above are very successful ways to create a group mentality, an us-against-them way of looking at things. This is essential for any cult that wants to keep its members. The more afraid of the outside world the members become, the more strongly and faithfully they will keep within the safe fold of the cult.

For those having difficulty understanding what is a cult and what is not, it is best to keep in mind the idea that cults generally B.I.T.E — that is, they use:

* Behavioral,
* Informational,
* Thought, and
* Emotional control

to obtain and maintain their flock. These four components are guidelines. Although most cults practice these four aspects of mind control, not all will practice them to the extreme.

* On Behavior Control
* On Information Control
* On Thought Control
* On Emotional Control

What is the Overall Effect?

What matters most is the overall impact these thought-stop processes have on a recruit's feelings, will, and ability to make personal choices. A person's uniqueness, talents, skills, creativity, and free will should be encouraged and not suppressed in any healthy group. Cult mind control programs seek to mold recruits into the image of the cult leader(s), although the recruits may not be aware of this. This process is called "cloning" from a psychological perspective.

Recruits' "new identities" within a cult are the result of a systematic process that works to dissociate them from their previous identities, including beliefs, values, and significant relationships. The end result is the creation of a dual identity: a dominant "cult identity" that is constantly at war with the subconscious old identity.

****You are for us all or nothing" Completely liberal or completely conservative.****

Taken from Steve Hassan's Combatting Cult Mind Control (Park Street Press, 1988). Visit his web site:"

The language of the totalist environment is characterized by the thought-terminating cliché. [Slogans] The most far-reaching and complex of human problems are compressed into brief, highly reductive, definitive-sounding phrases, easily memorized and easily expressed.

***Obamacare, socilism, take our country back, tea baggers, fix news, etc.***

The cult invents a new vocabulary, giving well-known words special new meanings, making them into trite clichés. The clichés become "ultimate terms", either "god terms", representative of ultimate good, or "devil terms", representative of ultimate evil. Totalist language, then, is repetitiously centered on all-encompassing jargon, prematurely abstract, highly categorical, relentlessly judging, and to anyone but its most devoted advocate, deadly dull: the language of non-thought. (Page 429.)

n a television interview, Dr. Robert J. Lifton also said that cults exhibit these characteristics:

* The guru is worshiped, rather than the principles or doctrines (on which the sect is supposed to be based).
* The group exhibits thought-reform-like characteristics.
* The members experience heavy exploitation from above.

Loading the Language
Controlling words helps to control people's thoughts.

The group uses black-or-white thinking and thought-terminating clichés.

The special words constrict rather than expand human understanding.

Non-members cannot simply comprehend what cult members are talking about.

Be careful not to limit yourself in obtaining information or data. If the disciples boxed themselves in to only what Jesus said while on earth, Paul would not have been a part of the Christian relationship because he ministered to the Greeks. Most things that are good for humanity is expansive and not for a select group, as is the case in Christianity - it is for all - come as your are.

There are guidelines to becoming a Christian, but even the Bible says to test the people, to compare what Satan is offering, to study the bible to convince your free will of your choice. The members of the religion of Christianity are told how they are to treat others in love in different stages of maturity. Christianity is welcoming not threatening, demanding, or isolating.

Take time for self reflection.

This Could Be Me At Your Next Event

This Could Be Me At Your Next Event
Author And Public Speaker


Do you have an upcoming gardening, church, or women's event planned and need a speaker? Contact me. I can speak on various topics such as:

1. Detangling Ancient Mythology From Christianity
2. The Female Presence In The History Of Christianity
3. Superstitions and Gardening In The 21st Century
4. The Politics Of Prayer: The Bible Speaks
5. African American Geneaology: Pride From The Grave

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