Their Word against Mine: Proselytizing in Cuba

By Jorge Milanes

Photo: lahabana.com

HAVANA TIMES – “Good morning my brother, we here are here to bring you God’s word. Do you have time for us?” A man says to me, accompanied by another, who approach me outside my home when I’m on my way to work. They were holding some leaflets in their hands.

“I’m sorry, but I’m in a bit of a hurry, my time is gold as the famous song goes, Time is money…”

“Anyhow, you can enter the Lord’s kingdom,” they continued. “Let us show you what the Lord says in this leaflet about what you just said.”

“I don’t think I have the time you guys need but I can tell you that I am already in the Lord’s kingdom, I believe in being a good person to everyone and to not impose myself,” I explained.

“It also talks about that. Can we have a chat?” they insist, and I found myself forced to take a few steps in order to show them my haste, but they followed behind me, while I tell them about my religious beliefs, that I have an African-Spanish family tradition, members of the diaspora community who found themselves forced to adopt some things from Cuba’s Catholic Church back then, in order to survive. “Can I carry on my way please?” We’ll have a better opportunity to talk about all of this another day.

I thought that they had understood, but they hadn’t.

“My brother, we would still like you to read these verses and when we meet again, you can tell us what you think. God bless you.” “Uffff, they finally left. Now, I’m in even more of a hurry than I was before.”

Persistence is acceptable when you are trying to achieve something in life, but it doesn’t apply in these cases. I was very kind this time, but I have beared witness to heated scenes with people who have different ideologies and end up saying things like: I don’t care about your religion, I’m a santero, don’t even think about coming back, etc…

Some religious groups in my neighborhood regularly take part in invasive procedures but they don’t always bring in good results. I believe they would have greater success if they were to have a bit more prudence and perspective.

Jorge Milanes

Jorge Milanes: My name is Jorge Milanes Despaigne, and I’m a tourism promoter and public relations specialist. Forty-five years ago I was born in Cojimar, a small coastal town to the east of Havana. I very much enjoy trips and adventure; and now that I know a good bit about my own country, I’d like to learn more about other nations. I enjoy reading, singing, dancing, haute cuisine and talking with interesting people who offer wisdom and happiness.


23 thoughts on “Their Word against Mine: Proselytizing in Cuba

  • September 7, 2019 at 4:45 am
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    “Scientific proof” in itself is relative, & known to change with the times. (See middle ages) So i will only offer this to consider…In our mother’s wombs, “scientists” will agree we were alive with a consciousness & our senses intact. That was our world, & as far as we knew it was all that existed. Then we came here to find we were wrong. Logically, once you realize you were wrong about something, you have to leave room for the possibility that you could be wrong again. Perhaps again there is another reality once we leave this one. Then, once you are open to that, you have to also at least recognize this could not be happen chance. Just saying..

  • September 5, 2019 at 1:47 pm
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    Where did you discover that as “Noah and his family were entering into the ark – many laughed.”? Was that in the New York Times or reported by Fox News?
    Proselytizing is a nuisance imposed upon the recipients by those who consider that they are favored by “God”. Why should folks have to tolerate it?

  • September 2, 2019 at 6:24 pm
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    As Noah and his family were entering into tge ark….many laughed. They certainly were not laughing when the rain increased, when it flooded…when they were drowning. I can imagine at that point, most likely they were begging to get into that ark, but it was too late. In fact they were a day late, and a dollar short if you will.

    Proselitizing the good word is helping our neighbors, get out of the muck of the fast sinking ship. Come on folks, any inteligent human being can look around, see, hear and experience that there is an ominous cloud that travels at quick speed towards all of mankind. You don’t need to be phi beta cappeta to know this.

    Maybe next time just take a quick two or three minutes to listen to what a kind soul wants to share with you. You may be surprised at what you can learn, you may even want to understand more.

    Just sayin.

  • September 1, 2019 at 3:57 pm
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    I note the opinion that although written by many men (note no women) over centuries, the Bible is not a work of fiction, so it certainly wasn’t written by “Him”.
    John Dalton trots out that old familiar stuff about non-believers human minds being of “feeble capacity”, in the firm conviction of his own self-righteousness, but without himself thinking deeply enough about the lack of any scientific proof of his own belief.
    As for “perfection”, as different forms of art illustrate, perfection lies in the eye of the beholder – but only those who accept John Holder’s view will be bathed in “an incandescent white light”.
    Are the Buddhists, Muslims, Hindus, Confusions, Jews et al all mislead?
    Be happy in your own belief John Dalton, but don’t proselytize, for as I for example as one of those having a mind of “feeble capacity” prefer to remain informed by logic and reality.

  • September 1, 2019 at 9:56 am
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    Please use this one. I made a couple of very important typing mistakes in the first one.

    True Christianity is a saving faith in Jesus Christ. No one has ever, or can be, argued into saving faith; true faith is a work of the Holy Spirit, an awakening by the revelation of Jesus Christ through the power of the Word, by the grace of God. It is a gift given; not a thing decided, or a thing generated by man. The Bible itself cannot be understood without the Spirit’s enlightenment. Think of it this way: we’ve all seen a flower at night, with its petals closed up; but when the sun rises, and shines upon it, that flower opens up, and you can distinctly see each individual petal, and the whole flower all in its beauty. The Bible is like that. When the Spirit shines His light into a man’s understanding, what it is written there opens up. And suddenly, like the petals, verses show forth their individual beauty and truth; but yet, all in the unity of a single flower, and you begin to see how they are all interconnected. And with absolute certainty, you know that this book, though it was written through the hand of many men over countless centuries, is no work of fiction, or tradition, but exactly what it says of itself: that indeed, it is the Word of God, truly inspired by the Holy Spirit. The proud self-satisfied critics neither know the Bible, nor understand it; nor can they. They limit God to the feeble capacity of their own human minds, and sit in judgment of the Bible; whereas, in truth, the Bible judges them. And they hate that. Because they refuse to see themselves as God sees them. Think of God as absolute perfection, in every attribute. His perfect holiness is like an incandescent white light, far too bright for human eyes to gaze upon. Pass it through a prism, and it breaks up into all the colours of spectrum, which are all His perfect attributes: perfect justice, perfect mercy, perfect grace, perfect wisdom, and so on. But man thinks himself perfect enough; oh, not absolutely perfect, but I’m a “good” person, good enough anyway. But God, in His Book, says no, you’re not, because “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” And man hates that, too. And they hate His Book, and anyone who tells them that, and the Book says that: “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.” Seek God in His Book, and you will find Him. And that book, in the light of the Spirit, will lead you to Jesus Christ. Believe, and you will understand.

  • August 31, 2019 at 5:59 pm
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    Excellent point, I agree

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