Saturday, November 12, 2011

#49- The Tour of Faith

I had effectively completed reading the entire Bible by 2007.  I learned that reading for myself was essential in order to find out things.  I had to look for individuals that were as passionate about the things I knew.  Most of my peers could not relate or care about reading the Bible.  They were probably distracted by things in their lives but payed lip service to God and the Bible on the weekends.

By 2007 I had read several books from different perspectives on the Bible and even joined a Freemason lodge.  This was done for several reasons including letting go of past fears and plunging in head first into things to find out about them first hand.

There are some people who don't consider Freemasonry to be compatible with Christianity.  I got my hands on a paper that challenged any Mason that was involved in both worlds.  This gave me pause and I showed the paper to a few brothers in my lodge.  The reception was lukewarm at best.  My lodge was overtly Christian and didn't see any discrepancy with the two positions.  After considering the matter I ruled that Freemasonry's core value were better than Christianity's.  To be more specific, I like the fact the Freemasonry included people from various faiths while Christianity insisted that you follow and worship Jesus exclusively.
Black Hebrew Israelite woman

I also visited a mosque of the Nation of Islam during those days.  Their views on Islam is not orthodox.  They claim to be the latest revelation of Islam with a special emphasis on Black people.  There is a mural in that mosque that is very ominous.  I spoke to the artist who made it and she told me that the original humans were Black, the characters in the Bible were Black, and that White people possessed an evil nature that was evident by their history of treachery.  I even ate a bean pie for the first time while there.  It was very delicious and sweet.

I had a better understanding of the Nation of Islam but I couldn't see my self becoming a member because I disagreed with several things about them.  I had a few White friends and I knew that your skin did not make you evil.  Their take on the Bible was very esoteric.  It was used in conjunction with the Qur'an to promote their programs and ideology.  In other words, it was no different than every house of worship that I have ever visited.  Everyone remixed the holy books as necessary.  I found it hard to imagine how they overcame the Islamic proclamation that Muhammad was the last messenger of Allah.  Wallace Fard Muhammad is said to be God and Elijah Muhammad is a prophet according to the Nation of Islam.  When it came to religion it seemed to be all about a person's personal interpretation.
Elijah Muhammad
I also visited a Moorish temple, several mosques, and at least two Jewish temples.  Everyone was doing their own thing believing that they were right while not talking to the other groups at the same time.  I was invited to a fervent Jewish group after visiting a laid-back Synagogue but I never went because it sounded like they took the Torah serious I didn't feel comfortable going to a place like this by myself.
Black Hebrew dudes

I went to home services of independent folks, Jehovah Witness kingdom halls, and Black Hebrew Israelite home meetings.  The Black Hebrews are an interesting and dangerous sect.  I got kicked out of one of their home meetings when I asked some tough Biblical questions to the leader.

Wallace Fard Muhammad
The only groups that I did not visit during my tour are the Rastafarian and a Vodou group.  Although I had some exposure to these two groups and have since learned more about them I did not know anyone who overtly practiced those religions.  I also grew exhausted of touring because it was all the same after a while.

I still attended my church during that time but kept my thoughts to myself as best as I could.  I struck provocative conversations with people when I thought it was safe to do so.  Overall it was a pretty lonely time.

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