TWO YEARS AGO Dexter Squires questioned what he knew about The Bible. He was not sure if he could subscribe to what he learnt about Christianity from his church and felt spiritually deprived. According to him, what was being preached was not adding up after he studied the word for himself.
This led him down a path of spiritual restoration from which he has never looked back. He befriended someone from a small religious community in Barbados while he was on Facebook and gravitated toward the philosophy his new acquaintance imparted.
Squires, impressed with his online friend’s religious vantage point and ability to reason, joined the faith that was able to quell his biblical doubts and in no time he embodied the ethos of the Israel Unite in Christ.
“Leviticus 19:27 tells us that men should not cut their beard,” he said.
“So for me it is not about style or fashion but a way of life. Since I joined the faith I let it grow out now, and I have been growing it for about four months.
Many men have embraced the big beard trend. As curious onlookers speculate about the fuzz, every style has its own distinct personality indicator.
“When it gets too long I go to the barber for a trim. I enjoy taking care of it. I would usually wash it and rub almond oil, coconut oil, tea tree oil and peppermint oil on my beard to keep it moisturised and healthy. I bought a spray bottle to put the essential oils in so I can easily spray the roots and work it in.
“But you have to be careful about what oils you use. For example, I tried about nine oils at first but my beard grew too fast and I had to see the barber more regularly. A lotof guys would stop and ask me how I got my beard so long and I would say the oils that ork for me may not necessarily work for you. So you have to try them out and come up with your own concoction,” he said.
Since wearing his beard, Dexter has had to deal with many misconceptions, some even involving religion.
“I find that a lot of people see me and ask, “Wait, Dexter, you turn Muslim?” and I say no, if you look at a Muslim their beard is not like this. Their beard is straight but mine is woolly. People have a lot of misconceptions about wearing a beard. They think you only wear a long beard if you are Muslim or if you are of Indian decent.
“But that is not all. My beard is an extension of my faith. The guys who have it for a fashion do not look the same as me. I usually wear a suit with fringes, so if you look closely you can tell when someone does something because of fashion or faith.”
Squires explained to EASY magazine that people are also wary of him because he is controversial.
The 40-year-old security officer takes his seven-year-old son to classes with him whenever he can and when his five-year-old daughter gets older he intends to do the same with her. Squires added that there is no official place of worship for his faith. Classes are held in town or at a friend’s house. However, they use social media to stay in contact with one another and to have online sessions as well.
“Most of what I say may sound strange but these are things that are not taught in church although they are in The Bible. For example, when I tell people I am royalty they look at me a certain way. But I explain to them that I am Hebrew. If Israelites are God’s chosen people then I have to be royalty. We are supposed to be above other nations such as the white man, Indians and Chinese but we sinned against God so we have to go through sufferation and captivity. We are still in captivity mentally . . . .We don’t have on the chains but our brains are in bondage.
“This happens because what we learn is usually passed down to us. You believe in Christianity because your mother taught you and her foreparents taught her mother. But if you trace it back to the origin the slave master is who taught them; since it was illegal for slaves to read the slave master used to preach to them and teach them a bunch of lies. Yet they hold onto it and keep it close to their hearts. They need to read The Bible for themselves and not believe everything they hear,” he said. (SB)