By Lucius Gantt
I have always had a keen interest in religion. I studied philosophy in college with concentration in theology, ethics, logic and reasoning.
I found that everyone’s religious beliefs or having no religious belief at all is a personal matter.
I accept where everybody is and I encourage everybody to live the life that is best for them, value what they value, believe what they believe and I will never criticize, attack, belittle or disparage the choices that anyone makes in regard to their own lives and their own faiths.
Since I believe in a creative force, or a God, I also believe that devils exist. If there is a Christ, there is also an anti-Christ. Some people are good, some people are bad and so on.
In my profession, as a journalist, I have had the opportunity to meet and work with a variety of religious men and women.
I have worked with Preachers, Pastors, Imams, and a variety of so-called Messengers, Prophets, Bishops, Apostles, Disciples and others.
I have been to and worshipped at churches, masjids, temples, synagogues, mosques, ceremonies and other places.
And recently, I attended a meeting of Evangelicals!
Of all of the places I’ve visited, listening to and watching Evangelicals at a “mega church” was an experience I’ll never forget!
On the day I was there, there were thousands of people there also. Maybe there was about 20-30 percent Black people in the congregation.
I always say when you accept a religious belief as your own, you accept the culture, the practices, the procedures and the protocols of that religion.
The acceptance is the same if you’re Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hebrew Israelite, Yoruba, Confucian, Hare Krishna, Satanic, Occult, Santeria. Atheist or whatever else you may subscribe to.
If you believe that God is white, Angels are white, the best and most accurate translators of religious documents are white, religious historians are white and religious messengers are white, an Evangelical church would make you feel very comfortable in your worship activities and events.
There you can find a white preacher, white worship songs, white religious art and religious messages that are appealing the whites in the congregation.
That’s OK. If that is what you like, makes you feel good and makes your life what you want your life to be.
I have to have a personal relationship with God. I have to discover my religious salvation in my own way and in my own time.
I don’t need a a preacher or any religious leader of any color, race, ethnicity or creed to tell me how I need to improve my religiosity.
I can read the Bible, the Quran, The Book of Mormon, The Book of the Dead, Yoruba documents or any other types of religious literature and interpret what I’ve read for myself.
We are all entitled to our own interpretations and religious beliefs but facts are facts.
I can tell you this. All Western religions have African origins and “all” includes Christianity and Islam. The first practices religions can be traced back to Africa just as the first humans can be traced back to the continent.
I can tell you the widely used King James Version of the Bible was not a translation of the original Hebrew version of the Bible that was written by a Godly man.
See The Gantt Continue pg4 King James was a colonial pirate that colonized and robbed people of color all over the world, he was responsible for murders including the beheading of Sir Walter Raleigh and was accused of participating in incest activities like having sex with his mother!
Ancient Bethlehem, birth place of Jesus, was in what is now North Africa and Egypt and Ethiopia are mentioned in the Bible as much or more than any other countries.
I can tell you King James removed most, if not all, references of Black Biblical characters. Most people, including myself, for instance believe that
Solomon, a king of the Jews, and many others in the Bible were in fact Black.
Anyway, I go to places of worship to worship. In Yoruba, it is called “feeding your Elegba”.
I am not comfortable at churches that say Black people should ignore what happened to Black men, women and children in slavery days but say that slave holders, Confederates and people that think Blacks are only one-fifth of what non-Blacks are and are great people that are proud of their racist “heritage”.
I don’t believe that God is a white racist and that poor and Black people should be oppressed, exploited and victimized because “God is in charge” and injustice occurs because God wills it to be.
I don’t believe civil rights, equal rights and justice movements like Black Lives Matter is “negative” and “fake news”. And, I don’t believe that Evangelicals like Pat Robertson, Joel Osteen, Joyce Emery and other Evangelicals are great people that only tell the truth and should be revered.
However, at the end of the day, practice the faith and the religion that is best for you and does what you think a religion should do for you.
All of us will go to Heaven, hell or six feet in the ground by ourselves!
Evangelical and other religious leaders, most anyway, do well on earth.
The masses of people in many congregations suffer on earth and will enjoy in Heaven and that is what they are told to believe by the religious leaders they trust.
By Lucius Gantt