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At varying times in our lives we have situations that occur when we know something is wrong. We feel it down deep in our beings, yet we follow the conventional acceptance because of societal programming. How does this affect our well-being? Well-being is defined as a state characterized by health, happiness and prosperity. The outer effect reflects the inner state of mind. If you repeatedly bury facts brought to your attention because of societal programming they will eventually surface and affect your well-being. Why? Because truth in life flows easily and effortlessly. When human beings manipulate the truth to their own end is when it gets convoluted. Manipulating the truth is what creates resistance to the truth and this is where religions and churches have controlled the masses over the millennia. Churches and religions have become the middle men between God and man. People have sought out religious leaders because they believe they have a special connection to God, when in reality, we all have that special connection.
I was raised in the Assembly of God Church whose sect of Protestantism is Pentecostal. Every week we were hammered with memorization of Bible verses. Yes, we memorized them, but without a clue as to what they really meant. Verses taken out of context to support assertions made by the pastor and his wife. The pastor’s wife was a pistol. During the sixties she translated the meaning of the Bible to whip game over the women in our church. She twisted Bible verses into facts that women shouldn’t wear slacks, go bowling or be forward with men. As a child something felt wrong about this but I went along with the conventional wisdom of the church leaders. I kept observing the women in the church believing what the preacher’s wife said; they took it hook, line and sinker. They would never question her because she was the preacher’s wife and they feared her. Did Jesus teach fear? Hardly. He taught compassion and understanding. Year after year I observed and prayed for understanding about the way these women were being misguided. I asked God to somehow be an instrument in making this woman understand that she was misguiding others and imposing her beliefs on the women in the church. She was teaching what she believed and not what Jesus had said! Be careful what you ask for; sometimes you get it.
Every Sunday the kids in Sunday School had to get up in front of the congregation and recite Bible verses. The preacher’s wife would say a word and we would have to recite a Bible verse from each letter of the word. The boy next to me had an “I” and I had a “T”. We switched letters because we had already memorized verses from those letters. When it came to me I quoted Proverbs 21:9; “It is better to dwell in the corner of a housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.” “Sacrilege!”, she screamed and demanded I quote another verse immediately. I followed with Proverbs 21:19; “It is better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious woman and an angry woman.” The congregation burst out in laughter and she looked up at her husband behind the pulpit and he had his hand over his mouth covering his laughter. She stomped her foot down and stormed out of the church; never to return. The pastor and his family left the church and we never heard from them again. I was terrified that I had done something that had affected so many families. I went to Brother Brown (a Deacon at the church) and cried because God had answered my prayer but I didn’t want anything to happen like this! He said, “God works in a mysterious way, his wonders to perform” (William Cowper/1731-1800). It wasn’t until years later that I truly understood this statement. God will reveal the truth in His own good time. He will allow others to be blinded by those who whip game over others because His glory will be revealed at just the right time! The Apostle Paul’s teachings have corrupted believers for too many years. Even as a child I recognized the contradictions between what he preached and what Jesus preached.
To the first comment by L.E.G. on the last article I would like to say that it wasn’t my intent to label all Christian Conservatives as the Religious Right. But if the shoe fits, wear it. If it doesn’t, then cast it off. The reader provided a link to his article, “Did the Apostle Paul Preach Another Gospel? I suggest readers read this article and the comments that follow. Thank you L.E.G. for responding and providing enlightening material. To the second commenter (IIDHM) I reply, “What about the truth do you not understand?” Do you know who wrote Leviticus? Were you there? Were you a part of the people that experienced life at that time more than 2000 years ago? I don’t think so. Yet you speak with such authority about something that you know not of. Yes, the literal translation of abomination is “God hates it”, but did God say this or did man? You are wrong about sin. God has given us the free will to choose whether we sin or not. What a great God! The fear of sin and God’s reprisal has been the downfall of mankind since the first priests whipped game on the masses with this concept of sin. Like Jesus said when he forgave the adulteress, “Go and sin no more.” God doesn’t hate sin. God loves his most prized and creation. You and me. He is a God of love and not hate. As for the final commenter (G.D.) I say the following: Your attitude can only come from many years of sitting on your shoulders. Pull your head out of you know where and seek the truth. It will truly set you free! My training has been quite extensive, and if you have read any of my other articles I am very well prepared in my presentations. Before I write anything I extensively research it and make sure that I am presenting the facts and not an individual skew presented by Holier Than Thous like Pat Robertson. As far as my arguments being untenable, then please, present your case and I will argue with you ad infinitum about your faulty conclusions. Brush up on your facts because I refuse to have a battle of wits with an unarmed person. People like you are what gives true Christians a bad name. Get off your high horse and don’t blame the Examiner for publishing someone who researches their topics as opposed to someone like yourself who just spouts off at the mouth with no rhyme or reason. As for being an expert, neither I nor the Examiner has ever claimed that I am an expert. By the way you talk, you surely think that you are by your presentation of your facts (which were somehow left out of your comment; hmmm). If you are an expert, then please continue to write your 500 word articles to those who will listen to your skew and B.S. I can only pray for your enlightenment and awareness to the truth of God’s word and not the skew of man’s religious leaders.
For more info: Download my free Wilmington Spirituality Examiner toolbar. “Life is a gift. Be thankful for it and it will be replete with abundance. Encourage others to express creativity, release negativity and embrace pro-activity." Dean A. Banks, MCIWD, DD can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or banksnet.com. Download my free eBook on Articles 1-10 here.