truth-seeking and spiritually minded as my husband and I are, we
neither regularly attend any church nor acknowledge membership to
any particular denomination or building where church services are
We’re not non-believers. We’re not heathens. We’re not agnostics,
atheists or apologists for either.
Instead, we see ourselves as being super-sensitive to truths, believing
that they do really set us free – so much so that we’d rather discover
and uncover it for ourselves and present it to our children rather
than surround them by outright lies and deception by omission.
According to Religious
Tolerance, U.S. church attendance has been on a downward slope
for a while. From 1992-2003, average attendance at a church service
declined by 13 percent, even though the American population grew
by nine percent during that time period. Many black folks love being
affiliated with megachurches, but they are being called to the carpet
as ruthless corporations operating under benevolent pretenses more
often. T.D. Jakes, Creflo Dollar and Eddie Long are being eyed more
critically. Take a look at this.
not quacks. We’re not alternative hacks. I’m not even jaded by the
abhorrent acts of those who have self-righteously waved the banner
of Christianity when convenient, from the “pastor” who tried to
engage in sexual acts with me in his car to relatives who turned
toward materialism instead of what mattered when opportunities presented
We love the Allmighty, pray each day, recognize the Sabbath, read
the Bible, study the Apocrypha, cross-reference with other historical,
anthropological, geographical and other sources, and try to live
according to the commandments and many other dictates and expectations
expressed in the Word.
Our children may not attend Sunday school, but they are schooled
regularly. Little Lady #1 can tell you that people call Christ by
the title of Jesus but his real name is said to have been Yeshua.
She can tell you that God is good, but His name is Yahweh and that
he is also known as Adonai, Elohim and el Shaddai, depending on
your point of reference. She can tell you that most of the stories
of the Bible take place in Africa, even though much of the area
is now known as the Middle East.
When she sees me reading the Word, she can flip through the pages
of the version of the Bible I read and see pictorial representations
of the people so described and detailed, looking much like us, with
their African features – skin, hair and all. She even has her own
children’s Bible with illustrations of Moses, Adam, Eve and others
who look like we do – and like they probably did.
She’s still memorizing the commandments, but can tell you five or
six off the top of her head at any given moment. She understands
not only that idol worship is a
no-no, but can explain what it means to invest supreme belief and
power in an object or other external representation rather than
She knows that married mommas and daddies aren’t supposed to have
boyfriends and girlfriends, not because it makes folks jealous,
but because the Allmighty says so.
She knows lying is wrong, stealing is bad and lying on other people
is bearing false witness. She realizes coveting is being envious
and jealous of others’ possessions. She understands that God is
the maker of all and He provided a roadmap for human beings to be
the designers and doers of their own fates, to a large degree.
People may look at me crazy when I talk about not attending church
and not feeling too conflicted about it. I am inclined to go sometimes
and, when the feeling strikes, we may visit. But I usually leave
feeling like I have yet to encounter a congregation that is laying
it down like we are at home. (If I ever stumble upon that place,
I’ve noticed that preachers tend to talk about what feels good,
is the easiest to candy-coat and is straightforward in accepted
interpretation. Church membership has morphed into a status symbol,
like belonging to a Greek-letter organization or being invited to
an exclusive black organization, like The Links or Jack & Jill,
The community and
camaraderie church attendance may create is no cure-all for concealing
truths. But in recognizing the power of like minds, my husband and
decided to begin having Bible-based discussions at our home for
anyone who wants to come. We won’t act like we’re experts or purport
to know it all. We are on a path toward increasing knowledge and
growth just like many others in the human family.
We’ll talk about the virtuous woman, the type of love spelled out
in Song of Solomon, the commandments, the Exodus and the example
set forth by Yeshua. But we’ll also delve into the giants (Emims,
Zanzummims and Anakims), leprosy, the identity of the historical
Israelites and Hebrews, the iconography of Christ and much more.
We’ll read “banned books,” like the Book of Enoch and the Gospel
Such issues are not ancillary add-ons to salvation. Instead, they
are vital to our esteem, worldview, knowledge base and spiritual
security. This is our great awakening.
“Jesus said, ‘If your leaders say to you, 'Look, the (Father's)
kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you.
If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede
you. Rather, the kingdom is within you and it is outside you.’”
– Gospel of Thomas, Verse 3
What is your religious affiliation? Do you attend church or other
worship services regularly? Is it real and resonant for you and
your family? Is the church becoming irrelevant? Does it represent
what God had in mind? What’s the difference between spirituality
MARRIED MOMMA are musings fromBlackCommentator.com
Columnist K. Danielle Edwards - a Black full-time
working mother and wife, with a penchant for prose, a heart for
poetry, a love of books and culture, a liking of fashion and style,
a knack for news and an obsession with facts - beating the odds,
defying the statistics. Sister
Edwards is a Nashville-based writer, poet and communications professional,
seeking to make the world a better place, one decision and one action
at a time. To her, parenting is a protest against the odds, and
marriage is a living mantra for forward movement. Her work has appeared
MARRIED MOMMA, MotherVerse Literary Journal, ParentingExpress, Mamazine, The Black World Today, Africana.com, The Tennessean
and other publications.She is the author of Stacey Jones: Memoirs of Girl & Woman, Body & Spirit,
Life & Death(2005) and is the founder and creative director of
The Pen: An Exercise in
the Cathartic Potential of the Creative Act, a nonprofit creative
writing project designed for incarcerated and disadvantaged populations.Click
here to contact Ms. Edwards.
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