Sunday, July 27, 2014

Where religious folks are getting it wrong

Jackie's status update "WEEPING MAY ENDURE FOR A NIGHT BUT JOY COMETH IN THE MORNING! We celebrate our Pastor's New ride! We rebuke all the spirits of religion, poverty Sadducees, hypocrites and the rest! 2 years back he was battling a court case that ashamed his family and now the scriptures are so right. Joy indeed cometh in the morning. It's funny how we believe that because Jesus lived as if poor, he was poor, where did the Gold silver and precious stones that the wise men gave to him, scripture tells us that he became poor that we might b rich. Not that we live in poverty like religion teaches us. Then why did he defeat the devil at Calvary. I can't wait to be RICH. It's ok for Sudir & the rest of u to ride such cars but our spiritual parents the world prefer them to ride in broken premios, we refuse the spirit of poverty and we uproot it in Jesus' name"

My comment “It’s very sad that Christians cannot read between the lines. Like they say, the church in Africa is a mile wide and an inch deep. As a pastor, driving a big car 
does not inspire people, it instead pushes them away which is counter to his purpose in life. You know why he is driving an SUV? Because he is the smartest guy 
in the room. A leader, not a follower." 

Coming across this picture of Pastor Kayanja’s new car with a followers status update, I was deeply disturbed by what religion had come to. It’s not okay to buy a car worth $70,000 while 60% of the congregation lives on less than one dollar a day. But beyond the flamboyance, it highlights the problem of religion; blind obedience. Because, you see, a religious leader will encourage followers to practice  a given a set a values to be practiced in a strict sense and they sound convincing/honest/selfless/inspired because usually they have something to gain from the followers.

In my spiritual journey, I have been wrestling with the question of religion as the answer to spiritual fulfillment and my analysis is that religion as a practice divides people because it encourages followers to obey a strict set of beliefs and hate anything/anyone that goes counter to them. Last Sunday in a Pentecostal Church, the pastor was praying against evil and Catholics made the list!

If Christians are still dividing themselves up in denominations, it’s less likely that peaceful living is possible.
Considering the war in the Gaza that nobody really wants to talk about, it’s not surprising that great deals of people have taken sides. Their choice largely influenced by religious affiliations.
Which is why the end of the war is less likely now, as the rest of the world blindly fuels it with hatred and partisan which blurs our ability to see through the smoke screen, that a child, around nine of age in that part of the world has dreams of becoming a doctor one day. No amount of hatred or political/religious orientations can justify the death of another human being, not matter what.

And like culture or politics, religion can be used in the same way to ignite people towards a cause, which usually can be rightfully justified in Holy books. Can you imagine Muslim extremists are killing tens of thousands of people a year, believing it is justified and necessary to enter paradise?

When asked if the world would be a better place without religion, Wole Soyinka responded in the Al-jazera interview, “My fear is that the devil finds work for ideal hands. If you take away religion, even something nastier will take its place… I am tired historically of the amount of havoc religion has done to the world and is still doing. I believe that religion should be very personal. State should not interfere in it because the amount of money and resources spent on religion is staggering.”

My advise to especially Christians is to follow only the teachings of the Bible, which have been consistent for more than a thousand years and not to find spiritual fulfillment in denominational teachings which can easily blur the intended message of Christs love. After all, they are led by humans, who are not perfect and often have selfish ambitions, ready to prey on followers into submission. 

And everybody should also come down, religion is nothing but a set of personal beliefs and if we are letting it divide us, we are missing our true purpose of existence which is to love one another and make the world a better place. 

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