By George Kimando
“Cataracts are the third largest cause of blindness. The first two are Religion and Politics”.
That’s a quip in response to last Sunday’s missive, ‘PRAYERS IN FUTILITY: REENGINEERING THE CHURCH TO PURPOSE’.
The reader was insistent that religion, just like politics, is largely emotional. More often than not, reason is thrown out of the window without reason (pun intended). The current electioneering in Kenya is a perfect example.
Religion, too, she emphasized, is practised with reckless emotional abandon, often without reason or qualification. Just ‘we are doing it for God’ belief.
Have you ever thought that God, in the representation of Christ, was anti-religion? That much of Jesus’ teaching was actually anti the religious system of the day? And that this persists to date, about two thousand and twenty two years later?
A Faith without commensurate actions is dead, she reminded me, and a religious organization that doesn’t focus on an all round well being of the people is misleading.
The argument was compelling.
This is controversial, largely because of the very tenets of religion: believe without question. As such, most faithfuls miss the truth about The Faith, and the ultimate essence of God.
This leads to a controversial truth that many would be afraid to confront: being religious is not necessarily knowing God.
Much of religion is man-made and founded on control mechanisms. And the control is selfish and meant for biased gain from, and subjugation of, the controlled.
The biggest exemplification in history of this is colonialism.
Religion was used as a tool of subjugation to colonize races (especially blacks), reason why you find that most atheists are African. And you know why? They can’t reconcile the God of love and mercy and justice as preached by the white colonist with the atrocities committed by the same ‘faith peddlers’.
The colonist agenda was clear: divide the African race as Anglicans, Catholics, Presbyterian, etc and break their unified approach to their God. There was nothing Godly about that.
This leads to (hold your breath!) the questioning of some writings in the Bible, which rhymes with the colonist agenda. Remember the Bible was written by men over time. The Roman Empire, the largest contributor to the Bible, was at the time on an expansion spree in Europe, and that was what was later transported to Africa and other colonized states.
Largely, it was meant to pacify the colonized.
And hence the call for discernment in preaching The Gospel to the modern day Africa.
Conversion to Christianity has nothing to do with a slave-master relationship. That’s pure balderdash!
God is neither religious nor denominational. He’s neither colonial nor a slave driver. He’s neither white nor coloured. This idea of painting sin black and holiness white has been a colonial tactic in dehumanizing the black African race.
The call to conversion means questioning the same injustices, atrocities and ills propagated and practiced by the same religious edicts.
This is what Christ Himself did.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the spirit” (Romans 8:1)
Conversion to The Faith means Spiritual and Mental freedom. The gospel of fear and condemnation has no place in Christ, and His call to salvation is clear: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly”. When Christ sets you free, you are free indeed.
This means economic and physical freedom too, where humanity live in decency and humane conditions. There cannot be Godliness in politically engineered poverty, hunger, preventable diseases and debilitating illiteracy.
There is neither abundance nor freedom in slavery, injustice, subjugation…all evil, as has been perpetuated by humanity in the name of religion.
We must differentiate Christianity as preached by Christ Himself, and religion as articulated by man and religious institutions.
Indeed, this is a season of great manipulation and deception. We are called upon to guard our minds and protect our hearts; to operate in Truth and in Spirit where ALL things are made known in CHRIST!
Have a discerning Sunday, and a great week ahead.