Does God Really Reward Christians?? : ThyBlackMan

Sunday, November 19, 2017


Does God Really Reward Christians??

December 19, 2013 by  
Filed under Christian Talk, News, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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(ThyBlackMan.com) Even as a kid, I saw the cat danglin’ out the bag that let me know that my “pastor” was standing up there in the pulpit spewing a lot of nonsense. Every week he’d stand there screamin’ at us about what God was gonna do for us if we listened to him, and what he was gonna to do TOO us if we didn’t listen to him – and all the while, driving a big car, wearing a brand new suit every week, and wearing Florsheims that cost more a pair than my grandfather made all week trying to put food in our mouths. And even though my grandparents followed his words to the letter, every week, week after week, month after month, and year after year, they showed up at church just as poor as if they’d ignored him. And the irony is, they would have been doing much better if they HAD ignored him, because they were giving every extra penny to him.
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This man didn’t know any more about God than a drunk passed out in the alley behind the church – and he probably didn’t have either as much character, or sense. Imagine how either clueless or deceitful a man has to be to go around saying that God “called him” to speak for him. He’s either a fool, or a hustler – “Man, I’m so tired of having to get up and go to work every morning . . . wait a minute, is that you, Lord!!!?”  That’s how most of them are “called.”  So he wasn’t preaching the word of God. What he was preaching was bribery and threats, to keep you coming, and payingPreachers2013 him to scream at you every Sunday.
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Now, admittedly, I don’t know any more about God than a drunk passed out in an alley either (in fact, I’ve been known to pass-out a few times myself), but I do know about common sense, and it seems to me that if God did tell men what to say, he’d be more interested in telling us how we should treat “OTHERS,” and why you should live a good life – not how to avoid Hell, or how to get into Heaven. It seems to me that God would say, “You should do what’s right because it’s right to do right. But what this man was spewing was religion based on selfishness, or what am I gonna get out of it. So that wasn’t the word of God. That was the word of the reverend, hustlin’ to keep that collection plate full.
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But I did recognize that the pastor was right in one regard – I would indeed be rewarded if I acted more like him, because he was there EVERY Sunday, without fail, begging his ass off. But that too perplexed me. I never understood why he needed to do that. Whenever we needed something, he’d tell us to go pray on it, but wherever HE needed something, he didn’t go to God, he came to us. Even when he wanted to take a vacation – or as he put it, “visit a sister church in Hawaii to spread the Gospel” – he’d pass the basket to us for his airfare and hotel accommodations, to help him “spread the word of God.”
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But even at 14 years old, I had a few questions about that.
 
1). Why did he have to go to Hawaii to “spread the Gospel,” didn’t they have preachers in Hawaii?
 
And
 
2). Why did he always have to come to us for financing? Why couldn’t he just pray for God to inspire America Airlines to let him on the plane for free, and that the people at the Hawaii Hilton to set him up in the Jesus suite? That’s what he told us to do when the rent was due, and I didn’t just keep these views to myself. I used to bring these issues up whenever I got the chance to speak with him, and he never came up with a reasonable answer. He’d simply tell me that the Devil had gotten into me somewhere, and I needed to pray for God to help me see the light. But I did saw the light, only too well.
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My grandfather used to joke about the fact that I was gonna get ‘em kicked out of the church. He was a highly religious man, but I think deep in his heart he was proud of the fact that I was willing to debate the man that everybody else in the church held in such high esteem. I guess it’s just a flaw in my character, because to me, he was just another dude in a black rob spewin’ a lot of nonsense. One day my grandfather told me, Rev. Hill came up to him and asked, “Mr. Wattree, where is that boy gettin’ that stuff? I know he’s not gettin’ it from you and Mrs. Wattree.” Actually, I can’t answer that question myself. I guess I was just born immune to voodoo. I’ve never understood how Black people could become so dedicated to a lie that was taught to them while they were tied up next to the mules. It was obvious that even the people who taught it to them didn’t believe it; it they had, Black people wouldn’t have been in the condition they were in.
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Later that Summer when I was MANDATED to attend Bible School, the reverend assigned the assistant pastor to council me, and according to my grandfather, “After a few sessions the assistant pastor disappeared and we ain’t seen him since.” I just had to take his word on that, because the following Sunday the pastor preached a sermon telling all the pretty young sisters in the church that they needed to stop wearing naturals and all of those short, revealing miniskirts. That was the last straw for me. I left church after that sermon and, except to attend funerals, ain’t set foot in one since.
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But the reverend wasn’t anything else, he was tenacious. When I showed up at my uncle’s funeral as an adult, he preached the sermon looking directly at me. But he stepped over the line. He said, “This isn’t the last funeral we’re going to see in this family.” The meaning was clear, and it wasn’t lost on anyone, but I wasn’t in any mood for that. My uncle was my mother’s youngest brother, so we were more like brother’s, and he had been shot and killed. So I caught the good reverend after the funeral and demonstrated the assorted colors that I had added to my vocabulary since we’d last seen one another, and I never had a problem with him thereafter.
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I went into all of this for the specific purpose of relating one message to my Black readers – if God rewards people for following the gospel as related in the Bible, he must think White people are much better Christians than we are, because he’s certainly compensating them better. That should be clear evidence that what you’re being fed is pure nonsense. So Black people need to get up off their knees, stop giving their money away to these preachers, and start hustling to move forward, because once you free your mind, your ass will follow – but not until then.
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Matthew 6:1-34
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“Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues [churches] and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues [churches] and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward . . .”
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So if you’re trying to “sanctify” your way into Heaven, forget it. God’s got your number. In fact, he’s probably gonna to want to know how you could possibly be so selfish about getting yourself into Heaven that instead of using your money to feed your kids, or dedicating your tithes to helping the poor, you thought you could buy admission into Heaven by making this preacher rich? That’s not thinking about God, or the poor, that’s thinking about you.
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I guess Bible School wasn’t completely lost on me.
 
Staff Writer; Eric L. Wattree
 
More thought provoking articles feel free to visit; The Wattree Chronicle.
 
 

Comments

16 Responses to “Does God Really Reward Christians??”
  1. tcoffy says:

    Black Christians are not interested in the historicity of Jesus, Christianity or the similarity of other savior myths that have populated all cultures. Suspiciously predating in most cases.
    Most shockingly of all; that the religion most so blindly cling to, was bought to us courtesy of the slave master.
    A Church on every corner whilst unemployment, education and family structures decay.
    Gods never helped anyone…Its strategy , realistic time lines and focus that lead to prosperity.

    Anything outside of that is mass delusion.

  2. ROBERT says:

    AS a non religious person I try to stay out of religious debates but where ever my people are I try to get there.

    IF you read all the comments on this article you will see that all of the believers comments are different; which means none of you believe the same thing.

    YOU may all believe that the bible is the word of GOD and that JESUS is your lord and personal savoir ; but that’s where the similarity ends.

    IN the part of town I live in there are black churches that are literally across the street from each other yet there is no contact between them.

    I even asked why and both sides said they don’t believe as we do.

    I have a hard time understanding this because I don’t know what could be such a significant difference that it would keep fellow believers from speaking to each other.

    IF you are all CHRISTIANS and you are all black that should be enough to unite just on those bases in fact there should just be one large black church like the MORMON church there should not be thousands because it breeds disunity.

    MY people are enemies are not religious enemies but racial enemies; they want to destroy us because we are black!

  3. Northern_Magnolia says:

    @Wattree — Remember, even way back in the day, our ancestors had this song:

    “Heaven, Heaven, Heaven — ev’rybody talkin’ ’bout Heaven ain’t going there…”

    My grandmother taught me that song when I was a little child, and it helped me to distinguish between “church folks” and Christians. It is an important distinction, as noted ministers in America have openly said in previous years that as many as 90 percent of people going into church buildings may not have a true relationship with God in Jesus Christ. That would explain much of the aberrant behavior. But then again, the Lord Jesus already warned of that, in Matthew 7…

    Matthew 7:16-21

    16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

    17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

    18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

    19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

    20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

    21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

    About Pat Robertson in Heaven… the book is not yet closed on him, for he is yet alive, and God is not finished with him yet. No Christian living today is yet the finished work of God; if Pat Robertson knows the Lord, the Lord will continue to work on him and make Mr. Robertson more like Christ. If not, well…

  4. Wattree says:

    jdgwisd,

    That is so true, the Bible that Christians Worship today was compiled and “bless” by the Catholic Church, not God. It wasn’t even put together until almost 400 years after the death of Christ. So everything in it is hearsay. In terms of years, they were as far away from the life and times of Jesus Christ as we are away from George Washington. So in reality, they didn’t know fact from fiction, any more than we know whether or not George Washington really chopped down a cherry tree:
    .
    For the first 300 years of Christianity, there was no Bible as we know it today. Christians had the Old Testament Septuagint, and literally hundreds of other books from which to choose. The Catholic Church realized early on that it had to decide which of these books were inspired and which ones weren’t. The debates raged between theologians, Bishops, and Church Fathers for several centuries as to which books were inspired and which ones weren’t. In the meantime, several Church Councils or Synods, were convened to deal with the matter, notably, Rome in 382, Hippo in 393, and Carthage in 397 and 419. The debates sometimes became bitter on both sides. One of the most famous was between St. Jerome, who felt the seven books were not canonical, and St. Augustine who said they were. Protestants who write about this will invariably mention St. Jerome and his opposition, and conveniently omit the support of St. Augustine. I must point out here that Church Father’s writings are not infallible statements, and their arguments are merely reflections of their own private opinions. When some say St. Jerome was against the inclusion of the seven books, they are merely showing his personal opinion of them. Everyone is entitled to his own opinion. However, A PERSONS PRIVATE OPINION DOES NOT CHANGE THE TRUTH AT ALL. There are always three sides to every story, this side, that side, and the side of truth. Whether Jerome’s position, or Augustine’s position was the correct position, had to be settled by a third party, and that third party was the Catholic Church.
    .
    Now the story had a dramatic change, as the Pope stepped in to settle the matter. In concurrence with the opinion of St. Augustine, and being prompted by the Holy Spirit, Pope St. Damasus I, at the Council of Rome in 382, issued a decree appropriately called, “The Decree of Damasus”, in which he listed the canonical books of both the Old and New Testaments. He then asked St. Jerome to use this canon and to write a new Bible translation which included an Old Testament of 46 books, which were all in the Septuagint, and a New Testament of 27 books.
    .
    ROME HAD SPOKEN – FOR GOD – AND THE ISSUE WAS SETTLED.
    .
    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080928064041AATOZUD

  5. Wattree says:

    Northern_Magnolia,

    Now those are the kind of Christians that I like – those who are just good and thoughtful people. But, for the most part, every loud, Bible-thumpin’, sanctified, I-got-the spirit, “Christian” I know are some of the most self-serving, mean-spirited, hypocritical, and judgmental, phonies I’ve ever met. They’re the “Aunt Esthers” of the world, who use Christianity as an excuse to judge and look down their nose at other people. If there’s a Heaven, it would be impossible for those people to be there, because they would make Heaven Hell for every body else. They bring evil into Heaven. Who could feel like they were in Heaven if they had to put up with Pat Robertson?

  6. Northern_Magnolia says:

    Matthew 5 comes before Matthew 6…

    Matthew 5:16 — 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.

    The Christian’s life is not to be a “secret life” — there is balance between the public life and what is done privately, but privacy itself is only from the human perspective:

    Hebrews 4:13 Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.

    Taking the whole of the New Testament, the question of reward comes down to whether or not one’s activities, public or private, glorify God.

    Colossians 3:17 — And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.

    Colossians 3:23-24

    23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

    24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

    I Corinthians 10:31 — Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

    Essentially, everything the Christian does that glorifies God will be rewarded by Him in His time — but the blessings are not always material, and those that are going to church in order that God will shower material goods on them are greatly deceived. But, there are many, many Black Christians who go quietly about their business, day after day, touching the lives of those they meet around them with the love and care of God, demonstrated through their free sharing of their time, talent, and treasure — and most of them will never be recognized in this life, and never become rich. But God has an eternity to bless His own…

  7. jdgwisd says:

    Just to throw out some information:

    The Christian church of today is the result of the Emperor Constantine and his desire to use Christianity as a glue to hold the Roman Empire together. Christianity, in its early years, had several canonical books written by individuals who held the church as a body of free thinking believers as it relates to what Jesus the Christ meant to them and their lives. St. Augustine was the leader of this school of Christian thought. The other school of Christian thought, led by St. Jerome, held that salvation can only be gained though the body of Christ, which in their eyes, was through the church. St. Jerome’s school of Christian thought, which aligned with Constantine’s vision for solidifying the Empire, won out. Any books written by those saints who’s thought did not align with the Body of Christ were considered heretical, and cast out. Books like the Gospel of Mary which restores Mary Magdalene to her rightful place as one of Jesus’s disciples were considered heretical. And one wonders why Jesus was considered such a dangerous radical in his earthly time. Women who stood in equality with Peter and James? The Gospel of Thomas contains many of the verses that can be found in the Synoptic Gospels. The most famous saying of the Gospel, the 70th states:
    “Jesus said, If you give rise to what is in you, what is in you will save you. If you don’t give rise to what is in you, what is not in you will destroy you.” This type of independent thought paints another picture of
    Christianity. One that requires self reflection and salvation through self, not solely association with the body of Christ. When one learns of Christianity is, in all of its forms, you’ll find that the careful manipulation of a few individuals and worshipping St. Jerome’s version of Christianity, we miss out on what Christianity was meant to be.

  8. Wattree says:

    James,

    I counter everything you said with this:

    Matthew 6:1-34
    .
    “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues [churches] and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues [churches] and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward . . .”

  9. toomanygrandkids says:

    Ever since I was younger, I had lots of questions concerning religion. If going to church and worshipping God makes you a better person then why are church members mean? And why do they say bad things about people? More importantly, why do church folks drink, smoke, cuss and its okay yet when non-church folks do those things its considered worshipping the devil? I’m quite sure that I’ve mentioned this before but I know of many ‘religious’ women who fool around with married men. Isn’t that taking part in possibly breaking up a family? Which makes these church women homewreckers. I know of Sunday school teachers who are married to drug dealers and it doesn’t bother them to have quantities of drugs in their homes. Wouldn’t that be considered as going against God’s laws? What about the exposure of these down-low preachers? Is it required that we give our hard earned money to them so they can spend it on the other males they hook up with? I think not. I believe the black church is the devil’s playground black folks use to do whatever they want. All the while assuming that God’s going to forgive them. If that’s the assumption then its no wonder why church folks sin just as much, if not more, than folks who don’t attend church. Its as though being religious gives them a pass to sin.

    I remember hearing black men refer to black preachers as ‘bible-totin’ pimps’. Often I wondered why would they say bad things about a preacher. When I became an adult, I realized that those black men were absolutely correct. You’ve got pastors who are sleeping with women other than their wives. Pastor’s are taking entirely too much money from their own churches to maintain a lifestyle straight out of the pages of the rich and famous. Church is a money game and preachers want to get their hands on as much money as they can.

  10. James Davis says:

    Okay I’ll bite…. Let us have this discussion.

    If I hear you correctly, you are not the expert portrayed in the piece you wrote. You are wanting to hang on to the Lord our God and his principles as stated in the Bible, but you want no part of the religious establishment. It won’t work!!! The reason I say this, is because the Lord our God did not establish His message of salvation and repentance for believers and non-believers to be taken and hidden within the confines of a person’s mind, or that person’s residence, or even restricted to that person’s family or the street the he lives on, or even to the city or region in which He lives.

    When you find God, you find heaven because through His Son Jesus Christ, He talks exclusively about taking the “saved” back to heaven. Therefore He is the embodiment of the heavenly message. It is He says, only through Him can this journey be made. It is a message that once you understand it, you abandon your worldly perception and buy completely into His perception and the way He sees the world. In essence changing completely your sinful habits which you felt may have been of some value to follow the values of the living God. There is scripture that Jesus references when he speaks of this:

    Matthew
    13:44 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found, he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.
    13:45 Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls:
    13:46 Who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had, and bought it.

    Because the message of the gospels are so precious and valuable, once it is understood, the Lord our God commanded any one who has become a disciple of His message to go out and tell world.

    Matthew
    28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
    28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
    28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

    Therefore the Christian religion based on Jesus Christ of the King James version of the Bible can never be privately held or kept to one self. It is the commandment of the Lord our God Himself. Because He knew the end result of His commandment if carried out properly would result in believers who would be convinced of His message, He asked them to gather themselves (which means church) together and in doing this they may draw strength and comfort from each other. The Lord our God sees believers as a part of one big body, with each believer being a functioning part of that body in furtherance of the message of the gospel.
    Hebrews
    10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
    10:24 And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
    10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

    You see, the world will in time come to hate and revile us, just as they hated and reviled Jesus Christ. The reason they will do this is because they will not want to hear the gospels and embody their principles, as when a person sets out on a rampage of sinful behavior, the first thing he does usually is put down the Word of God. The Lord our God says they will not want to “retain” the Word of God.

    Romans
    1:28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
    1:29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
    1:30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
    1:31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
    1:32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

    I answer these questions and others in my book; Hey…God’s Talking To You The Study Book @ http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GYI3VQW. You need to p/u a copy.

    http://www.Jobcreationnow.com . And so it goes…

  11. Wattree says:

    Terrance,

    I’m in full agreement with you.

  12. Wattree says:

    James Davis,
    .
    Since you asked, let me tell you:
    .
    I’m a freethinker on the subject of religion. I’m not a Bible thumper, I never attend church, and I don’t have much use for preachers. In fact, I just can’t see the logic in getting up early on Sunday morning and getting all dressed up just to go pay somebody to scream at me for two hours. I don’t see the logic in that, and I never did, even when I was forced to participate in the ritual as a kid. But I am a spiritual person, because logic, and the night sky, does inspire me to lean toward the belief that there is indeed a supreme force that governs the universe. After all, the universe didn’t just come from nothing. Some force had to caused the universe to spring into existence, and whatever that force was, I’ve chosen to call it God.
    .
    Now, an atheist would undoubtedly tell me that I have no proof of the existence of God. The fact is, one told me that just today, and he was zealously insistent upon it. He dismissively suggested that by embracing the concept of God, it was tantamount to my embracing a belief in the “Flying Spaghetti Monster.” That was clearly a dismissive assault on my intellect, but I recognized that for some reason, many atheists tend to take great pride in being arrogantly disdainful of the intellect of believers. So instead of vigorously objecting, I simply took note. I did point out, however, that his tone sound quite similar to that of a religious zealot, to which he responded, that religion required faith, and atheists have no use for faith. They deal in pure logic. So I thought I’d examine that contention.
    .
    I pointed out to him that it takes more faith to be an atheist than it does to be a believer, because believers do have the existence of the universe to point to as a basis of support for their belief, while all an atheist has is his belief, or “faith” that God doesn’t exist. Thus, faith in the non-existence of God is an integral part of what we have now established is his religion.
    .
    I then went on to point out that in order to maintain the atheist position that God doesn’t exist, he bears the burden of having to prove that something (the universe) came from nothing – or that an effect was “initiated” without a cause – and, from out of nowhere. And since it is my contention that whatever force is responsible for the universe, order, and existence meets the definition God, how can an atheist know with any degree of certainty that nature, and/or the universe itself, isn’t God? After all, is it not true that the universe is responsible for the existence of all living things? That defines God.
    .
    Thus, the debate, I went on, is no longer one of whether or not God exists, but rather, the NATURE of God’s existence. And that, in turn, leaves an atheists with only his “faith” and/or “religious” conviction to support his claim that God doesn’t exist. Therefore – contrary to what atheists would have us believe, and in spite of their renowned disdain for the silliness of religious dogma – atheism itself is nothing more than just another religion clothed in intellectual pretense, and their denial of the existence of God is merely another religious doctrine. That pretty much shut down the discussion.
    .
    But that said, neither do I buy into the way God is portrayed by religious zealots of the opposite stripe. The mere thought that in a universe with over 800 billion galaxies – with each containing an average of 300 billion stars, and with each star separated by light years of space – that God would be fixated on the infestation of a mote in the ghetto of an insignificant galaxy is beyond belief. But then, most religious doctrine go even further than that. They suggest that God is so fixated on us that he’s watching everything that each of us do, jumping through hoops, and performing magic tricks to get us to worship him (I’m using “him” to keep things simple). That takes us beyond delusional – it’s absolutely psychotic – the accompanying mood-setting music in the background notwithstanding. It constitutes an absurd attempt by man to turn God into some kind of circus performer.
    .
    The mere assumption that God is preoccupied with everything we do is merely a reflection of man’s arrogance and exaggerated sense of self-importance, and the very idea of God being obsessed with trying to get man to worship him is patently ridiculous. That would be the direct equivalent of man spending every hour of every day trying to demand the respect of the germs under his toilet seat. That would be stupid, and while God may be many things, I doubt very seriously that stupid is among them.
    .
    Thus, since I view the foregoing perceptions of God as so grossly out of touch with reality, it should go without saying that I don’t believe in Heaven or Hell. The entire concept just reeks of man’s tendency to threaten and/or bribe other men into subservience. And besides, if God was indeed watching and evaluating our behavior, he would have long since hit the delete button.
    .
    So the fact is, we can only know God’s will by what he has done, and as I’ve said many times before, God made birds to fly, fish to swim, and man to think. He anticipated our needs when we were created, so he gave us the intellect to answer our own prayers, and the common sense to live the kind of life that would create our Heaven right here on Earth, if used properly; but if used improperly, we could also create our own Hell, which we have done. So we don’t require a Pat Robertson as God’s Special Envoy and Chief of Staff, nor do we need the Bible as a user’s guide to dictate how we should live our lives any more than fish need a swimming coach or birds need a compass to know which way is south, or a calendar to know when to head in that direction. Again, he blessed us with common sense to be our guide – at least, most of us.
    .
    That leads me to the concept of good and evil. Actually, it’s quite simple. “Good” is to act with common sense, and what most people call “evil,” is nothing more than ignorance. It’s as simple as that. Thus, the key to living a good life is to be an independent thinker, to use our intellectual capacity to explore what it actually means to live a fulfilling life, and to have the good sense to avoid the ignorant machinations of other men. I’ve boiled it down to one sentence – Never give anyone else’s ability to think priority over your own.
    .
    At this point I’m sure that many have come to the conclusion that I have a disdain for religion, but that’s not true – I have a disdain for the ignorant way in which it’s practiced. There’s nothing wrong with religion itself, if that’s what butters your bread. Some people find it comforting and inspirational to “fellowship” with others. But the problem is, man tends to completely ignore the primary point of religion – to inspire one to treat his fellow man with more caring, and to reinforce the idea of living a good and honorable life. He embraces dogma instead, those things that make his religion different from everyone else’s, and that’s not by accident.
    .
    The bottom line is, while we pay it a lot of lip service, man doesn’t want to “love his neighbor.” Due to his personal insecurity, and the resulting need to feel like he’s a part of a special breed that’s been anointed by God, he wants an excuse to hate, feel superior, and look down upon his neighbor, and religion gives him a “God-approved” pretext for doing just that. Man wants an excuse to say, “It’s not that I hate everyone who doesn’t look, think, and act like me – it’s just that God does.” That’s why what we refer to as “The Bible Belt” also just happens to be the most bigoted and intolerant region in the entire country, and you’ll find the same to be true throughout the world – the more religious, the more bigoted, narrow-minded, and intolerant. Does that sound like the work of God? Personally, I don’t think so.
    .
    So I look upon organized religion as a form of ignorance, and as I mentioned above, I equate ignorance with evil. You show me a man who believes in talking snakes, and I’ll show you a man who may be learned, but he’s not very bright, so he can be convinced of anything. So does organized religion have to be evil? No it doesn’t. But wherever you find hoards of insecure and unthinking people, you’re also going to find excess, hatred, subservience, and greed – or in short, evil.
    .
    So James, you might ask next, Where did I get all of this information, so let me tell you. I god it directly from God, because I know where to find him. Whenever you want to find God, you simply look within.

  13. Wattree says:

    Thank you, Papacool,

    That was a very poignant statement, and you have a very health outlook. That outlook is all you need to live a good and God-like life. You don’t have to send anyone to Hawaii, or pay them to scream at you every Sunday morning. It’s man that’s into that corruption and silliness, not God.

  14. James Davis says:

    A lot has been written about the Lord our God and what he means to us. Much of what is written in my opinion is just vapid gibberish, but that is “my opinion.” However, your piece projects you as being an authority on all things God, and all things related to the Lord our God including whether God answers prayer. When you say, “So Black people need to get up off their knees, stop giving their money away to these preachers, and start hustling to move forward, because once you free your mind, your ass will follow – but not until then,” you assume to much. You assume that there are no honest churches in this country which are doing some real good for our community. I personally resent that because I am a tithe paying, every Sunday attendee of Sunday school and eleven o’clock service at my church and proud of it. As a matter of fact, I am a trustee and can guarantee our funds are going where they should go. Since you have placed your self in this situation, as an expert, please answer some questions for me;

    Can you tell me how the foundation of the universe was laid out? You ought know. The Lord our God says He knows.

    Where were you when the decision was made regarding the composition of light?

    Or where does darkness goes? Does it have a place?

    From where does the wind come and where does it go? Is there one circuit or are there many circuits?

    No two people have been founded to have the same fingerprints…Can you tell me how is that possible? What is phenomenal about that is that there are 7 billion people on earth. In order to make the fingerprint of the latest born person different from the existing 7 billion people, you have to have knowledge of the 7 billion finger prints already in existence. Did you attend the meeting where that was discussed? Can you tell me how my DNA is different from anyone else in the world also? Surely you must know.

    Can you tell me why 120/80 is the standard blood pressure of the human body? Why was that number chosen as the average? Did you attend that meeting?

    Can you tell me how does the sun continuously produce energy without burning itself up? You must know. Weren’t you there when that was discussed? Pass that info on to me and I’ll patent the formula and we both will make a fortune.

    I think you get my point. When it comes to God and things related to His creations, you are really not the expert this piece would indicate you are. “What you have is one man’s opinion” and you assume the rest. I am sure you know the old saying about opinions. And so it goes…
    http://www.Jobcreationnow.com

  15. The Black Church is a multi-billion dollar industry. If only they came together and used part of that money to create the things we need in our community, they’d be more relevant and respected today. I know some of them do, but not enough of them and their lies the problem.

    Black Unity means financial independence and happiness

  16. Papacool says:

    First of all thank you so much for a thought provoking article. In my heart, all I know is that God loves us whether we deserve it or not. The focus of everything we do should be based on our individual walk with God and not affected by what others do. Not everyone in the pulpit is ordained by God to be there. As I mentioned before, this article should make anyone who would read it think. The fact that there are wolves in sheep’s clothing is nothing new. It would come as a shock to many that attend a church of their choice, that Satan is there as well. Being the Father of deception, he attends every service front row and center.

    I love to read and hear the Word, but following after another human being is not my cup of tea. If you look at television, especially cable, you will see a series on the behind the scenes look at preachers. Once again there is a certain level of shock value provided to draw viewers in. For anyone of us to think that people go through this life without problems is absolutely insane. Although we all have our burdens to bear, our load increases tenfold when one confesses to be a Christian. All movements are looked at in a cynical manner and if any mistakes are revealed, one can expect the Scarlet Letter treatment. In the end it is the mercy and grace of God that rights the sinking ship of life.

    I have seen quite a few people in my environment give up hope and elect to take an early exit out of this life without nary a warning or word that something was bothering them. This action makes me feel cheated out of having the individuals around as they never knew how they impacted on my life in a positive way. So now, I truly attempt to make it a daily point of letting the people I love know it. Sorry to say, that sometimes it takes a tragedy or two to get us to focus on what is important and how we shouldprioritize our value systems. In the end God’x grace is sufficient for me. I just want the end of my race to be one that is worthy of His caring for me. So call it reward for being a Christian, but I say that it takes a great deal of courage to proclaim ones desire to serve God and follow His commandments.

    Although the world will continue to change, I am thankful that God remains stedfast in keeping His promise to never leave us or forsake us in our times of need. Peace out, Papacool.

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