Why We Don’t Need the Strict Concept of Sin…..
By Brother Tracy Gibson…
``If anyone making the vow is too poor to pay the specified amount, the person being dedicated is to be presented to the priest who will set the value according to what the one making the vow can afford.’’ From Leviticus: 27: 8-9. From the Holy Bible used by Bright Hope Baptist Church, New International Version.
The concept of sin is ole fashioned and out moated. If we have a strong idea of who GOD is and are true Christians or True Muslims we don’t need to feel the Master’s Whip from misguided Preachers concerning the concept of sin coming down on us every five minutes with the ``you should not do’s.’’
We know not to rob We know not to steal and we know not to murder. These things are against God’s Law and in the Bible. But I’m here to tell you that we need to follow New Holy Laws and New Holy Ways. Now when you have to decide who to listen to in listening to what these New Holy Laws and New Holy Ways are, that is when things get tricky and harsh words and allegations start to fly around like paper planes out of control. We usually end up falling back on the Bible or Koran and saying ``This is the Law.’’ But those books were written many, many, many years ago and we have to honestly ask if they hold real and total relevance for today. It is NOT sack religious to ask such questions. When GOD created us He did so knowing we would have a mind and grow and develop and ask questions. He didn’t make us to be unchanging and stagnant. HE doesn’t want, I believe, He doesn’t want us to be just obedient and quiet. He wants us to ask questions, ponder new answers that move ourselves and humanity ahead and forward and still be faithful and decent people…..no matter what religion we are or if we are not religious at all. As long as we have LOVe in our hearts and are not hot-headed in the decisions we make, and as long as we think things out and work every-day at being faithful and decent people, I think humanity Will do just fine. I really don’t think this is Rocket Science. What do you think?
The Bible was used to enslave us, as Africans, in the past [find Biblical quote, ask Will or Minister Brian]. Anyone can justify just about anything by using Biblical Scripture. Certainly the Bible is also used for very, very good purposes as Well. It was also used to tell us that slavery was immoral and wrong, for example [find Bible Quotes from Minister Brian and Will]. . Like I said, you can justify just about anything using Biblical scriptures. People—sometimes good intentioned People-- have twisted things around and manipulated, misrepresented and misinterpreted the Words of GOD. We, as humans and Pastors and men and women of GOD have interjected New words to twist morality around to our own liking and thinking. We have, of course, had our own interpretations of what we think GOD meant in the Bible. As long as we don’t have hate, greed and negativity or power grabbing in our hearts, I think coming up with our own interpretations is only natural. But we need to start out as basically good people and not be hateful, discriminatory or racist in the first place to really do justice to such an honor. I think keeping the Bible as a source of inspiration and a guiding post Will almost assuredly be a fact of life for thousands of Black people until the end of time.
I don’t think I’m ``getting it Twisted’’ by asking you to think of sin—the concept of sin—as oppressive, hurtful and out moated. We go to church sometimes [I can’t say for Mosque or Synagogue because I don’t go to these places with any consistency because I am not a Muslim or a Jewish Person. If you are in fact a Muslim just for believing in Peace and being Peaceful than I guess I am a Muslim in that sense, but I don’t pray five times a day and go to Mosque. I stay in prayer 24 hours a day and attend church almost every week.], we go to church and feel the hot breath of Our Pastor on our neck preaching what we should not do and what we must do to please GOD. But if we have a centered life and believe strongly in GOD we come out even better. I’m convinced that humans have a real capacity to LOVe, grow, be fair, be understanding, not be judgmental, be kind, not be violent, control our lustful behaviors [ a problem I have to work on personally. While I don’t have many bedroom partners, I do think of sex a great deal and I like to watch pornography, which can actually be used as a good hedge against engaging in excessive, overt sexual behaviors, in our culture which is oversexed in the first place.]. As long as we share our money to lift up the poor and down trodden... and don’t hurt others and live and let live and try, very hard, to help our fellow humans, I don’t see where we need to be chastised by preachers hitting us over the head by saying we were born in sin. My parents were married when they gave birth to me and I don’t think either of them were guilty of much sin. I take great offense at anyone who thinks that or who says that, even if they are quoting Biblical scriptures. Sorry, that is just how I feel. If we are good, generous and kind and want to help the human race and want to be fair, we are walking in GOD’s path and GOD is both behind us, in front of us and in us. GOD is with us… I’m not saying we can do no wrong, but it is much harder to be corrupted when you walk thusly WITH GOD and think positively!!!
We can read the Bible and the Koran and still walk such a GODLY path. But I’m trying to put some of the more oppressive ministers and Pastors out of business if they think talking about sin is not in itself a hurtful, vile and evil thing—if taken to the extreme…. Yes there is sin and we should stay away from most of it. But GOD May have some New Ideas that need to be aired and looked at, pondered, considered and analyzed… … ..
I’m going to deal with something here that is magnificently controversial. That is homosexuality. I am a homosexual. I have come to the decision that these are the years of the homosexual and with good reason. It has to do not just with changing morals and ethics. It has to do with numbers. Population numbers. I have to interject the actual numbers here [and I Will at a later date], but do you have any idea of how this ole earth is going to survive and we are going to feed and house ALL the people who Will be on the earth for another 100 or 200 years? I’m not just talking about rich White people, I’m talking about everybody on the Earth—especially good and decent people. We are having a population explosion. There are about seven billion people on the planet right now in September of 2013….. In 20 years that number could double [do the research]. We are ALL, as humans, going to have to put our heads together and stop ALL this racial, religious, ethnic, sexual, philosophical and sexually orientated divides and find solutions quickly if our Earth is to survive and if ALL of humanity is to get good, healthy, decent food, clean fresh water, job and working opportunity and decent places to live. I am NOT sure that Capitalism, as we know it right now, today, in the present, can survive this New World because giving power to just a few people has not worked since it was started. [It may be working for rich White males, and a few rich White females and a few rich people of other various races and ethnic considerations, but in actuality, even they are finding themselves out of the loop of decency as they clutch onto power and wealth that really is not theirs. The People are the real wealth creators, the real wealth builders and the real heart of the wealth machine. The really nasty wealthy people have tried to do away with the People’s importance in wealth creation, not only so we can all have a better life, but to stop having to pay workers. This is corrupted, vile and negative. Most honest People, like myself, WANT to work. ]. There are just far, far too many people left with nothing, scraping the bottoms of trash cans and not having work, a decent place to live and decent, healthy food and clean fresh water. I’m NOT only talking about Black People, but poor Whites, poor Latin people and poor people of every race, religion, creed and ethnicity. [I must add here that although we are told ALL Jewish People are rich, this is not bore out as truth. I know for a fact that there are poor Jewish People and I also know for a fact that some poor Jewish People are also very giving, funny and kind and want the best for the world. If they are Zionist, they need to take a fresh look at that also. But that is for another article or position paper.] The corporate structure, as we know it today, is not working for the masses. The vast majority of people have few opportunities for real and lasting advancement with the system the way it is. We know it, but getting a handle on how to turn the means of production over to the people—at least about 70 % of the means of production over to the People--often gets corrupted and often seems unattainable. We need to work non-violently and methodically—every day--and carefully with selected boycotts; letter writing campaigns; building a new infrastructure; alternative activism, petitions, and alternative advocacy; New Thinking; finding Ways to bake new revolutionary pies [see related article]--and open our thinking and our minds to the positive change we say we want. I think We are Willing to work for these things. We just need some knowledge and direction… and we need to get in touch with the Real God—not someone in the clouds and not George Burns who played GOD in ``Oh, GOD’’.
With the population at about 16% homosexuals we have less children coming into the world. Do you think that maybe GOD knows what He is doing? We continually question and criticize what is happening in the world and leave no room for the Master’s Wisdom to be interpreted properly. We say ``things are not perfect and people are not perfect’’ but we, as humans, have very little idea of what perfect or perfection would look like in the eyes of GOD so our saying things are ``not perfect’’ is speaking from a very, very limited and even often foolish point of view. Especially if we know for sure that GOD has real control of all this here on Earth which we often think of and consider ``madness.’’ Everybody wants to jump in with an opinion, and that is our right [it won’t be our right soon unless we repeal the Patriot Act I and the Patriot Act II and any other laws on the books that are curbing our basic Civil Liberties, Civil Rights and Human Rights as humans on Earth and as North Americans. That’s another article as Well.], but back your opinions up with good solid research—not just your views.
We can start by taking the concept of sin our Pastors are talking about and saying we don’t need it, we can curb our enthusiasm for sin ourselves.
I have a strong suggestion for Pastors who are so worried about who is sleeping with whom, which is really more of a personal choice anyway. Why not worry about equality for the oppressed? Why not worry about People’s rights as workers? Why not worry about People getting food, exercise, work at a good wage and healthy, clean water for the entire world, including India, Africa, Jamaica and the rest of the world? When was, I ask these Pastors, when was the last time you did anything to make sure that there are Black store owners in your neighborhood who have fully-stocked stores and plenty of Black employees? Do you see Black people owning any of the sky-scrapers Down Town in Philadelphia? No!!! Not many, and not known if there are a few…. This is just a brief example of the kind and character of oppression we suffer under this ``White run’’ system of oppression we ALL live under in North America and have come to accept. Do we question? Do We work towards positive change? The inequality is ALL around us. We often hear talk of a Black Gay community. Where is this community? How many shops and stores are owned by Black Gay people, if we really have such a community? There are plenty of stores owned by Gay people in Center City, but Black Gay and Black Lesbian People own very little. What is our government doing to address this inequality? When was the last time you heard a Pastor say ``We should have more businesses owned by Black People and more businesses owned by Black Gay and Black Lesbian People! Let’s work on that. Here is what I’m going to do about it.’’ They don’t say anything about this inequality because People would run out of their churches like their hair was on fire. Churches would lose paying customers, but this is what People need to be told. Have Pastor’s, even Gay and Lesbian ones, enlisted the help of their parishioners on this issue? No, not much, not often. They [The Pastors] are too worried about who is sleeping with who and who is living in what they think in the year 2013 is sin. This is folly and a distraction from what we should really be working on—the economic freedom and financial reconstruction of our Black communities and our Black people…. The Proper education of our children and making sure we have a democracy with some teeth and bite in the Laws that protects the People, not just the rich. The Pastors never much say that they want to help Black Businesses and Caribbean businesses and African businesses get a financial foothold in our not-so-fair country . . . [there were a few Pastors who said this and worked towards this like the famous Pastor of Mount Zion Baptist Church in Philadelphia, I forget His name; and there are others like the Pastor at Bright Hope Baptist Church and as the Church of the Advocate, for example.] Yet there are hundreds of quotes in the Bible that address such inequality and helping the poor. Most parishioners think homeless people are nasty, funky and dirty and would never invite one to dinner or eat at a church mission with one. Jesus did and we as Christians are supposed to be like Jesus. Can you begin to say why I say so many Christians are phony Christians and have strayed away from what is best and wholesome for the church? If you want to talk about sin, maybe THAT is your sin, but, like I said, I don’t want to think of good People as sinners… Such talk is negative and folly and hurtful to the human spirit. That is why people go see Batman and the Green Hornet and stay away from church. We, as Pastors, spend way too much time condemning Gay people and homosexuals and poor people instead of helping those people like President Obama’s ole Pastor has begun to do. Now He may be radical, but that is a man who walks with GOD and who has heard GOD!!! When one considers this, it is obvious to see that the Pastors and Reverends are the ones who have strayed away from GOD’s words, not the people who question them…..
Are Gay people really sinners or are they just taking on behaviors that GOD wants because to have-- more homosexual behavior—in a reasonable, moderate Way with limited partners and an air of decency--to automatically cut back on the population growth. Such a New World may actually help prolong the life of our precious planet Earth. I don’t see another Earth anywhere to move to—do you? Moving to another Planet would be the chicken-hearted thing to do anyway. We need to fix the Earth that GOD gave us. We messed it up with racism, pollution, blatant Capitalist Exploitation and hatred. We can improve on it drastically—especially when we realize that the future of our planet hangs in the balance. Accepting homosexuals and looking at them as an asset instead of a detriment is a start. Working towards healing, Peace, LOVe and equality is a start. Maybe the talk of ``sin’’ can be put aside until we deal with equality first. Maybe we need to teach about ethics instead of sin in the first place. That’s the magnificent controversial statement I’m talking about. As long as Gay people start to marry and raise a few of the children that straight people are having and don’t want [look at the numbers of children in foster care and adoption centers who are not being cared for properly in the U.S. for example.]. And as long as we practice safe sex and don’t go chasing after other people’s lovers, other People’s husbands and other People’s wives, [a problem that some Pastor’s need to deal with themselves] I think it is fine to be a homosexual. We also MUST never take up the idea or the practice of corrupting or sleeping with young people below the age of 21 [I say 35 for myself, which even that is rather young.] And we must never use money for sexual favors. [Another personal thing I have violated, but have made a promise to myself and GOD that I will do better at keeping within the bounds of in the future.] But having the idea that, for the Earth, homosexuality may actually be a planet-saving device, a planet-protecting device--this is an idea that won’t pass muster with the established church very soon—even when I crunch the numbers and prove my point. It could take another 500 years of education and advocacy to even scratch this surface and that is why I ask homosexuals to attend churches that are friendly to their own people [and take your money with you] and to live within the bounds of behavior that are more moderate and acceptable. Having wild sex parties where no condoms are used in the year 2013 should be not so much considered a sin as it MUST be considered not a smart thing to do and not a wise or GODLY thing to do. That goes for Straight People and Gay People alike. It is just that simple. Homosexuals are very capable of abiding by rules and living decent lives within certain bounds…. I used to have parties at my home on Sansom Street and in New Castle, Delaware and there was never once a wide sex party involved. We may have even looked at pornography and talked about sexuality, religion, ethics and morality and homosexuality and a few people may have ``hooked up’’ and been intimate later at another location [you really can’t stop that and I don’t think you should. People need to be treated like adults, not sheep or children.] And there was, once or twice, even a straight person invited who attended, and we ALL acted like decent humans and really had a good time at my parties. The strict religious fundamentalist, be they Muslim or Christian, are ole hat and not working for many of our youth, nor for the rest of us. Things are changing. It is important to read the Bible if you are Christian and the Koran, if you are Muslim. But don’t go around beating yourself up or anyone else if you or they don’t adhere to every line and measure in those books. My concept of GOD is that He is rather cool tempered, jovial, humorous, good natured, happy and respectful or other people’s basic rights and desires. He doesn’t want to see things get out of hand, but is very forgiving. That is in the Bible also. GOD gave us the hormones we have and He wants us to have sex, and I mean often—not just for procreation between men and women. Why else would we have such hormones? That doesn’t give us an excuse to run havoc over an entire city and rape or have sex with three different men or three different women a week or not use protection—no matter if we are Straight or Gay. Acting sensibly is perfectly in the realm of GOD’s wishes. It is wise. I think this is true. And I also think we should not harshly judge ourselves or others too much on this matter. The core belief and hope is to be REALLY honest with yourself and not lie to yourself if you are having an affair that needs to end or if you are being physically abusive to your spouse, children or loved ones. Harsh judgments are not called for when there is so much work to do to build a Black Nation—internationally….. [We need ALL Black People working on this.]. Take those judgments to GOD in prayer or to your Pastor or Imam and they Will work out for a good and positive result. Reasonableness and true GODLYNESS are always contagious, but in a positive Way….