The theme for September is ‘Faith, Religion & Spirituality’

For the month of September, the theme for the stories to be shared is ‘Faith, Religion & Spirituality’.

I have always had a curiosity about God and the Divine mystery of Life. I remember lying awake every night when I was around 8 wondering where God came from and what existed before God. During that phase, I remember being fascinated with my grandfather, who was muslim, respond to the ‘call to prayer’, watch him wash, get the prayer-mat out and do his prostrations to Allah. I remember at age 10, attending a Baptist church with our neighbours and my parents being very accommodating of my curiosity about the divine mystery. In my early teens, I remember my mother allowing the weekly visits of a local Jehovah’s Witness, as we sat on the balcony and talked about God and ‘The Kingdom’.

Up until my early 20s’, I explored different threads of Christianity. During my late 20s’ and early 30s’ I went through a period of being disillusioned with God and embarked on an exploration of different traditions and faiths; I had attended a series of Churches where I had always walked away feeling very flawed for being different, with pastors preaching from the pulpit that I was an abomination and a sinner. It took the reading of the wonderful book ‘How to Know God‘ by Deepak Chopra, for me to start a detox from the pain I carried around religion and embark on the healing of my relationship with the source of all, God. I got to understand, that ‘the finger pointing at the moon, is not the moon’. And that whatever path I followed or name that I used for God, it was simply a path or name – the finger, and not the moon.

During the course of our lives, a number of us embark on a journey towards and away from the faith or religion of our birth. Along the way, some of us discover our own path, which in some cases might be different from what we knew in our youth. Some remain on the path of their birth, making peace with the aspects of the traditions that do not embrace their sexuality. There are also some who decide not to follow any path, having been bruised and wounded along the way, by organized religion and its gatekeepers.

This month, we would love to hear your stories on Faith, Religion and/or Spirituality. All stories on this subject are welcome. Tell us about your journey. What does God mean to you? What is your path? – Do you have a path? Is there a distinction for you between Religion and Spirituality? How do you reconcile your faith or religion with your sexuality? What impact has your sexuality had on your faith, religion or spirituality (and vice versa)? Where are you at this point in your life, when it comes to faith, religion or spirituality?

So, what’s your story? To share it, send your email to outtales@yahoo.com.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Alex Haiken
    Sep 01, 2011 @ 00:50:55

    Did you become disillusioned with God? Or did you become disillusioned with some of the people who claim to represent Him? There’s a huge difference between the two. As a gay Christian man (with a seminary degree), I’ve been around the block a time or time on this one.

    Nearly every person who acknowledges an aversion to homosexuality does so on the basis of what he or she believes the Bible has to say. In their mind, there is no doubt whatsoever about what the Bible says and what the Bible means. Their general argument goes something like this: Homosexuality is an abomination and the homosexual is a sinner. Homosexuality is condemned in both the Old and New Testaments. Therefore, if we are to be faithful to the clear teachings of Scripture we too must condemn homosexuality. Needless to say, this premise is being widely debated among evangelicals today and seriously challenged by biblical scholars, theologians and religious leaders everywhere.

    It rarely occurs to any of us that our reading of Scripture is profoundly colored by our own cultural context and worldview. Throughout church history most Christians who have used the Bible to condemn other Christians were acting in good faith. However, history has revealed that what many were defending was their presumption of what the Bible teaches, not the truth of Scripture.

    Since I speak and write on this very topic, perhaps you might find some of these posts of interest.

    -Alex Haiken
    http://JewishChristianGay.wordpress.com

    Reply

    • OutTales
      Sep 01, 2011 @ 06:27:45

      Thanks for your comments Alex. Just checked out some of your postings and the video; which was rich in information. I love the notion of the ‘common-sense rules of biblical exegesis’. The piece on ‘Exegesis: Not for the Faint in Heart’, is very insightful.

      In terms of the disillusionment that I referred to, it was with my then perceived notion of God and the people that represented God. My subsequent journey took me down the road of ‘connecting the dots’ and applying the rules of ‘biblical exegesis’, more of which I will share during this months’ theme.

      Look forward to delving into your writings.
      – Ade

      Reply

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