The essential nature of God. This is not an argument about the existence or otherwise of God. God was, is and will be. This piece is about calling to question and shinning the light of truth on why religion is such an aberration to the dignity of every human being; male and female. Many people are quick to want to poke holes in the philosophy of Karl Marx which asserts that “Religion is the opium of the masses”. They ask: why and how should anyone label religion as such? My principal challenge in this piece is to resurrect crucial questions and articulate why religion is not only the opium of the masses but a futile enterprise. If this thought piece achieves anything, I hope it moves somebody to refute the status-quo. I hope this compels someone to turn a new leaf, shun religion and embrace worship. I speak as an unrepentant social evangelist and a diplomat of the Kingdom that is.
Religion is politics. (Majek Fashek)
The politics of religion. Politics is “who gets what, when and how”. Emphasis on getting. Same goes for religion these days. Churches, Mosques and others so-called sacred places have become grounds for political animals to play politics; to get. I once lived on a street with more than four Churches; each within a distance of circa 200 meters from each other. There was a Mosque on this same street. What was particularly worrisome was not the proximity and density of the Churches or the Mosque but the fact that this neighborhood had a constellation of social problems that congregated in one single place. High teenage pregnancies, alarming “Not in Employment, Education or Training” (NEET) rate, angry and wayward youth, absent parenthood and abject poverty just to mention but a few. I lived on this street for two years and witnessed the systematic degradation of values in the neighborhood. I couldn’t reconcile the presence of these religious institutions with the menace in the environment. How could there be so much darkness in the midst of light?
It is an abomination for salt to complain that the soup is not sweet. (Jesus Emmanuel Joseph) – Paraphrased
The relationship alternative. The viable alternative to religion is worship; the worthy adulation of God; the Supreme Being whose essential nature is love. As a believer in God, I have come to conclude that many who profess to be followers of Christ (Christians) hardly understand the person of Jesus. Many Churches have the form of godliness but deny the power thereof. The power of the gospel is the message of love; the good news that God didn’t give up on humanity notwithstanding the stinking dirt that we are. It goes without saying therefore that God is not interested in religion; our futile efforts to appease and reach him. Relationship is what God wants from us. The Lord seeks worshipers not wavering religionists who have seared their conscience, cremated all cares and whose belly is their god. The Church is by no means a perfect institution; even the men of God are first of all men but the Lord holds the Church (those who have been called out of darkness into light) accountable for the world. Jesus’s final instruction (a new commandment) to the Church was: Love one another as I have loved you. Above all, love is a verb. Obedience is better than sacrifice. Wouldn’t you rather love?