In the first half of our conversation, Jamar shared his experience of church communities which treated being gay as a struggle to overcome. It was not until the beginning of the pandemic that he was able to celebrate who he was and embrace the love that was standing in front of him.
When he left church for the last time in 2014, Jamar was appalled by a leadership team in a greed-fuelled pursuit of money. In the rest of our conversation, he invites us into a vision of God beyond the confines of an institution, explains how he overcame a dark period in his life, and leaves us with a vision for a new way of living.
When you express your feelings towards the greed of the church leaders you encountered, I can imagine a lot of Christians would be thinking, ‘Well, that's like Jesus!’ After all, Jesus was attacking the Pharisees and the Sadducees who were after power and money and religious purity. So what’s your post-Christian understanding of Jesus? Especially as you speak now of God as a kind of energy, and the Holy Spirit as our intuition and shared divinity; how does that understanding relate to Jesus and the faith that you once held?
Oh yes, I love Jesus. I think I love Jesus even more because I feel like I understand his purpose a little bit more. I was introduced to this website called The Christ Letters. It's really out there; you have to come to it with an open mind. But as I was reading it I was weeping, because I felt like it was Jesus speaking. It is basically this woman that has channelled Jesus, and the way she's breaking down his message makes so much sense to me. It doesn’t focus on the crucifixion and all that nonsense, that is reliving a trauma that's just weird, we don't even have to go there. He was really talking about Mother-Father-Power, and this is why I talk about the God-Power.
When Jesus was saying, ‘Consider the lilies of the field, they're not worried about anything,’ they aren't worried about anything because Father-Mother-Power takes care of them. This is what I've learnt from Jesus, post-Christianity: I have learned how to live a surrendered life. That actually coincides a lot with Buddhism. This surrendered life is basically saying: I don't have to have the answers all the time, I just need to be present right now. If I will stay present right now in this conversation, my tomorrow is already taken care of, my next week is already taken care of. But if I'm sitting here anxious about the future, I am literally manifesting that anxiety. The more I stay present and rooted in this present understanding, the God in me is recognising the God in you, and we’re having a God moment right now. Every other need is taken care of and we can get there when we get there.
I feel like I've been born again within the last eighteen months; this is the salvation experience that they teach you in church that you don't necessarily get.
I think that's all Jesus was teaching, and this love energy he was teaching, it's an energy! He was basically teaching vibrations. If you're under the vibration of sin and you think that you need to be punished for your sins, guess what you're going to manifest? You’re going to manifest punishment. Or you can walk around in grace and mercy and embrace your failures and your flaws, and you say: that’s just a part of me, that’s just who I am. You can work on changing it, or you could not. You could just accept it, because we are human beings and we're having a human experience. Love yourself where you are and trust in Mother-Father-Power.
You can't love anyone until you love yourself. You can't, it's impossible. What you believe on the inside is what you will manifest on the outside; so if I believe that homosexuality is wrong, of course I can't meet a guy and fall in love, because my core belief is that it’s wrong, and I’m going to fight against it. But once I sat with myself and I said, ‘No, I am a child of God, I am a divine being having a human experience, I deserve unconditional love, I deserve to be understood, I deserve consistency, I deserve understanding,’ once I began to wrap my mind around deserving that, I began to manifest it. I think that's what Jesus was saying: you are the co-creator with God, but you have got to walk in that love vibration if you want to see anything positive happen, or else you're going to keep manifesting bullshit. It's up to you, though. We all have free will.
That’s not the way I’ve heard Jesus preached before!
Oh no, why are we obsessed with his blood and body? That's fucking weird. I'm sorry, it's just odd.
You speak of love a lot, and one of the lines from your song, I Got You, says, ‘Love is more than a feeling, it's a decision I make every day.’ What does that look like for you?
The feeling of love fades, you have to wake up and decide to love. We make decisions every day, even the patterns and ruts that we’re stuck in, we think we're not deciding, but we're making a decision to stay in them. When I consciously decide to love James, even on the days that we're not connecting the way I wish we would, I'm still going to believe the best. Or maybe he answered me in a sharp way, and I know him well enough to know that that's not like him, so if he's answering me sharply then let me get to the root of that. To me, that's a decision to love as opposed to starting a fight, and it took me a long time to learn that. Love is a decision; that feeling will definitely fade from time to time. And then what happens, you go away? No. You stand and you keep loving.
Turning back a number of years, what was your experience of the time after you left home?
It was a blur. I was high every day. Some days I was up for four days straight without any sleep or any food, I looked awful. I couldn't hold a job, I was stealing from my friends, I ended a lot of relationships. I was the problem in a lot of situations. But I also had undiagnosed mental health issues. I was suicidal. When you feel that you are an abomination and that you're going to hell anyway, you don't feel like your life has any purpose, and so that's how I lived my life: it’s purposeless.
I feel like I've been born again within the last eighteen months; this is the salvation experience that they teach you in church that you don't necessarily get. I was seeking for a very long time. It just comes back to my love of the divine. I've experienced the divine too much to think that there’s nothing there, I may not have all the answers, but something is there. So to answer your question, the first few years were really rough. I was homeless, they were terrible, it was awful! But I'm so glad I went through all of that.
So, if you could turn back time and live an easier life, you wouldn't want that?
No, because I think that I have a very unique ability to relate to anyone; it doesn't matter what your socio-economic background is, I can find something to relate to you on. And I love that. I feel like I've lived five different lifetimes. I now know that that's part of the divine plan, that’s so that I can show people – fuck showing people – that’s so that I can show myself what salvation looks like; you don't need anyone to save you, you can save yourself. You can sit with yourself and love on every dark spot inside of you and watch how you turn into this powerful creature. Once you start to believe in you, no one can deter you from anything.
To me, this is my religion: my religion is loving me. And now I think of how ‘In the end days, men will be lovers of themselves,’ but that's where I am right now. I feel like mirror work is what saved my life. I started looking in the mirror every day and saying, ‘Jamar, I love you. Jamar, I forgive you. Jamar, I see you. Jamar, you're not a failure, you're not a fuck up. I have your back.’ And then it changed my self-speak. And once I was able to change my self-speak, I realised I don't need religion; I have my own moral compass that I can follow on the inside. My moral compass doesn't look like yours, but it doesn’t have to look like yours, as long as I'm sticking true to my path. I feel like the true definition of sin is not being true to yourself.
One thing that struck me when I heard your story before is that at several times in that period after you left home, you were in a place where you could have died. What was going through your head in like those moments?
What's funny is that every time I felt like I was going to die, I felt God. Every time. I would feel this warmth that would start at my head and just caress my whole body, and I would hear a little whisper, ‘You're going to be okay.’ Also – and I don't share this too many times, but I feel like I can – in 2013, right before I left the church, I had this experience with the divine, and I heard very clearly, ‘You're going to die, but I'm going to resurrect you.’ Now, that was not how it should have been worded to me, because being the zealot that I was, I went and told everyone, ‘I'm going to die and I'm going to come back to life!’ And people laughed at me. They were like, ‘You're not Jesus, who do you think you are?’
I told people this two months before I went to the hospital, and I was in the hospital for forty days and forty nights exactly; God has a wicked sense of humour. I kept waiting to die, and I did not die. I remember this one girl saying to me, ‘Oh honey, you're not going to die, you're going to have a spiritual death. You're going to have an ego death, but God is going to raise you up.’ And I rebuked her. I said, ‘If you're not standing in faith with me, I don't want to hear what you have to say. I know what God told me.’ She was right, though, I did not physically die, obviously. But once I left the church, I went through a very dark time. I was with that girl and I was depressed every day. I just wanted to die. I kept waiting to die! I kept saying, ‘God, you promised me you were going to kill me and bring me back to life! What happened?’
To me, a miracle is me jumping out of bed and being happy about life. I don't need to see a miraculous healing or walk on water to understand the miracle of life.
But I feel like I'm having my resurrection moment now. Everything I went through was my death process: the death of relationships, I had to leave a whole community, I had to leave whole cities and states. And now I'm in this place of true joy. Even this morning, I woke up and I jumped out of bed. I just couldn't wait to seize my day. It's been like this every day this year, just waking up with this zeal. I didn't know this was possible, but it's because I invite God into my day every single day. I start my day with this prayer: I know that I have free will, but I turn my free will over to divine will, and I know that you're looking out for me, and I want the very best, I want my highest good in every situation. Let's just like start speaking life to people and get off of this whole death and sin bullshit.
And what is life to you now? What’s driving you as you look ahead?
Well, now I have a whole new drive. I just wrote a song called Animal that talks about how sometimes I feel like an animal, as savage as savage can be. But I like it. I like being human, I love making mistakes, and I could never have said that before. So now I have this energy where I want to try and fail. I want to try some things, I want to see what works for me and what doesn't work for me. I used to sit and wait for God, and now I realise God is waiting for me; I have to make the first move and God’s like, ‘I can back you up, but you’ve got to get out there, quit giving your power over. And anything that's not in your highest good is just an easy little course correct; it's not the end of the world.’
New life and invigorated life to me means staying in a constant state of learning, staying in a state of flow, and meeting new, beautiful people. Like, this is beautiful. I love your journey, what you're doing is God's work. I know that seems like an oxymoron in leading people from the church, but I do believe that within the next five years there’s going to be some sort of event where there's going to be a mass exodus of the church. I was meditating, and I had this vision of me saying, ‘Your religion is dead, so now what?’ And we were preaching about this new way of living without an angry God. So you are in the flow, you are on the path that you're supposed to be on, and you are going to bring hope and life and love and joy to so many people.
I keep trying to tell everyone I'm doing God's work (!) But it’s interesting that you say that. When I first stepped back from my faith a year ago, I wasn't aware of the large community that I was a part of. It does feel like a movement. The church is always talking about revival, and that probably means getting church attendance up by 20% and maybe some people falling over in the Spirit. I remember as a Christian there was concern over the drop in national church attendance. But from this perspective, maybe it's not a negative thing where people are ‘falling away’; maybe it’s people moving towards something positive.
I feel like the Church is going to miss out on the second coming of Christ, because it's here now! I think the second coming is all of us waking up to our Christhood selves. They're going to miss a mighty move. Jesus himself said that, ‘You will do greater works than me.’ What is greater than walking on water? When it comes to the miracles, I feel like miracles happen every day, and to me, a miracle is me jumping out of bed and being happy about life. I don't need to see a miraculous healing or walk on water to understand the miracle of life. Coming from church, we've been conditioned to look for these big movements of God, when even Elijah said that God didn't come in all that nonsense, but in the still, small voice inside. That's the miracle: that we can access that still, small voice whenever we want. That's the miracle, that's my story, that’s what I’m sticking to.
For more on Jamar, visit his website at: https://thejamarrogers.com
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