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Under Oath 2: Navigating My Faith-walk in the Midst of Religion

I swear to tell the truth – di wuola chuut and nutt’n but di chuut!

Today, i feel melancholic. I am questioning so many things: the reason for existence, faith and being. These times of darkness sometimes really do help to sharpen one's sense of "vision". Sight? No! Vision - vision that arises out of my own inability to see and perceive the meanings and reasons behind all of the things that I started out interrogating.

I begun to see clearly beyond the cultural and religious baggage and manacles that I had been carrying. And perhaps what was even more profound is that those were the same baggage and manacles that had led me down this path of a version of freedom that I am trying to now walk through.

You see, much of the feelings of insecurity, inadequacy, insignificance, confusion ... was nurtured in religion and culture (Though the two are not mutually exclusive, sometimes religion has a way of hegemonizing/imposing upon cultural expressions). Church, facilitated many of what society called my effeminate traits (the fact that and way I sang; the very romantic terms used to describe my relationship with [The Man] Jesus) for as long as it served their purpose but when "the world" looked at it and said that I was behaving queer, the church turned around and ridiculed me - asking me to change the me that THEY helped to nurture. I learned from then that it was possible for "God" to dispose of people despite their love and devotion to Him. I knew that I can never be used by "Him" if I could not deny my right to self expression. Can you imagine the turmoil in my life at that time?

The days I, like many other well meaning people do, prayed and fasted; changed my wardrobe; tried to walk like "real men should" were many and frustrating. I was fighting an inner enemy - I was fighting me; the me that I grew to believe was not good enough. Many were the suicide attempts. Very low were self esteem and image. Very challenging was life to negotiate and religion facilitated that difficulty. While my faith taught me to speak life and that Jesus came to bring life more abundantly, my reality was telling me quite the contrary. In my reality, following Jesus meant I had to get rid of the "ME" He had given me in the first place. I had to die to meet his standard.

You may say I have some axe to grind. My response is a resounding YES. Yes I have an axe to grind. For me the first step to my own freedom is to ventilate or to "grind that axe. When an organisation that postures itself as the repository of morality and ethics in and to the world, shows a deficit in integrity it must be brought to accountability. Is it not ironic that many Christians (in this instance) will leave many to die by the way side while they are busy on their way to preach a sermon about the "GOOD SAMARITAN"?

I have lived that life where orthodoxy and orthopraxy never meet. It was suffocating. It still is. How do I find the disconnect between God (the way) and religion. I am very disenfranchised right now as you probably can tell. Yet I seek.

Today, I seek profusely after self actualisation. I seek after God; not as a person but as a principle; a way. I seek a way of absolute love, self-expression, mercy, truth, acceptance, peace. When I have found that way, then I can say, I have found God.

I am Damien Marcus Williams and I am Under Oath.

Comments

  1. Uncle Marcus...love this peice...i totally understand where u r comin from....Sometimes I have ambivalent feelings....so confused...because inside I want to know Jesus to live right but at the same time don't want to lose the person I am ....and religion makes it seem like we have to die in order to know Christ...but my question is...Why should we Die inside to know Jesus when he was the one who created us and knows our everything

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  2. Very Very Profound, I think I will have to sleep on this one and dig deep. However in our society today we bewilder ourselves with religion versus Christianity. We know what God requires of us and that should be ultimate. When it is said that we deviate from the norm in a church or a particular religion we are reprimanded but what is true is that if it is not in the bible then it is not of God. Haralambos states that once there is deviance from culturally-inherited values, rebellion against the established system may result, resulting in a change in the social order. As long as what you consider as being normal combat with what God requires of you then the inner rebellion takes place. Stand firm on who Marcus is and embrace it while being a part of the cast who are "Living for Christ"

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  3. This is a very thought bugging article. my few words are: "For it is by God's grace that you have been saved, through faith. It is not the result of your own efforts, but God's GIFT, so that no one can boast about it." (Ephesians 2: 8-9). God accept a person as they are; however we have to be mindful of the fact that something we have to eradicate your self of "CERTAIN ME FACTOR" that the devil impose upon us. The beauty about Life is being comfortable with who you are, understanding God's intend for your life "Your Purpose" and apply it/them appropriately. So BELIEVE IN YOU "DAMIEN" and allow God to continue to navigate your life to modified or make an impression/impact upon the life of others and you did to mine.

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  4. OK Anonymous... Thank you for your words of advice and encouragement. I do hope that my self-disclosures have impacted you in some way. The purpose of under oath is not to self pity but to allow persons who have been through or going through those things that I have experienced to feel free to love themselves and to rest in the confidence that who they are at any point in life is part of the journey that gives their life form and texture and meaning. Shalom...
    @ Avril... I am glad that you have created that dichotomy between religion and Mere Christianity (C.S. Lewis). Thanks, too, for your kind words and profound comments.

    @ Nooxy... Hey Niecey... Thanks for stopping by your uncle's page. Hopefully, you took away some good lessons from this..love you loads

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