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Religion of Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Source: James Seutra Kaba

The Church, The Christian without the Christ

I became a Christian by choice, my parents allowed me to decide my faith without any restriction
and imposition. In 1994 I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and personal saviour. When I went to
secondary school in 2000, I became an active member of the scripture union (SU), and I
continued my Christian life to the tertiary level. During my interaction with people both on and
off campus, the single most important question that has risen is ‘why does God always make
things so difficult to believe in Him’? I have no answer to this question and I would not attempt
to answer it, not even on this medium. But on 6th march, 1927, an English philosopher Bertrand
Russell wrote an essay titled ‘Why I am not a Christian’. He outlined reasons why he did not
believe in God and the Christian faith; among them was the question of evil, pain, good and
morality. Also, in 2001, Philip Yancey asked the question ‘where is God when it hurts? Probably
the most important question many people in Ghana and Africa as a whole have asked and
continue to ask especially during times of pain and disappointment in this transit world. The
argument has always been that if God created this world and created human beings in His own
image why do we still have so much evil and pain in the world? And if human beings show
attributes of evil are we simply manifesting what has been put in us? Since we were created in
the IMAGE of God (Genesis 1: 26 -27).
Our churches are always filled with people, most of who are consumed with challenges and
problems resulting in frustration and despondency when they actually went there to seek life
solutions. In Ghana, there are about 8,000 churches, with new ones springing every day, the
question is have these churches been able to provide the solace that people need? At least I wish
that religion was still the opiate of the people, considering what people go through in Life. For
those who want to use church and religion to solve all their earthly problems, I have bad news
for you: God is not in control of everything that happens in this world. Whatever problem that
you go through in this world is caused either by God, Satan or Yourself. God said ‘It was not His
desire that anybody should perish but all will come to repentance’. If God is in control of
everything that happens in this world, how do you explain evil- murder, fornication, adultery,
stealing, etc? Also, if Satan is in control of everything that happens in this world, there won’t be
good people, because good is not synonymous to Satan/ the Devil. Isaiah 1: 19 read ‘If ye be
willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land’. The solution to most of the problems that we go through in Life is within us and that is influenced by the decisions we make. Every
decision that you make is either drawing you closer to your success or failure. The human SELF
is powerful and influential. Unfortunately we have subdued it and thrown everything to the
‘supernatural’. It is not uncommon to find people who believe they cannot do anything unless
some pray-for-me pastor, prophet or Christian Seer and Sage come to their rescue. Thus, many
‘spiritual’ leaders have taken advantage of the pathetic situation and now ‘milking’ the poor in
society all in attempt to help them solve their life challenges. Some people have made their
wealth from the sweat and blood of church members who do not even know where the next meal
would come from. Those who know better have become hypocritical and mute because they
believe the topic is a forbidden one. Even those who gather the courage to talk about it are seen
as anti God and religion, because in a society where people have become religious fanatics and
bigots and everybody is supposed to accept ideologies dogmatically, such silence ‘evil’ blossom
very well.
Friedrich Nietzsche said ‘the Christian would have to look redeemed before I believe in their
redeemer’. As Christians we cannot fulfill the great commission given by our Lord and Savior
Jesus Christ if we ourselves don’t look ‘redeemed’ or pretend to be ‘redeemed’. The church
cannot be a place where people go only to expect miracles and solutions to their problems. An
empty stomach definitely has no ear to listen to the gospel but people must be told they have an
earthly responsibility to their own life and must exercise their God given talents and wisdom in
that direction. I am not asking people not to wake-up at 2am to meet their Prophets for their life
solutions, neither am I saying people should not go to the mountains/ prayer camps for ‘spiritual’
bathing or beating to exorcise their so-called evil demons/spirits, nor am I suggesting that going
to ‘spiritual’ camps to look for life partners is wrong, all I am saying is that with some diligence
and knowledge coupled with the God given Wisdom which everybody is endowed can help solve
most of the problems we face. Being realistic means facing up to the harsh and ugly truth
unpleasant as it is. This world is certainly not without any problems and challenges, but I pray
that one day many people would take off the scales of ‘religion’ to find the realities of Life.
Thank you, and may our good LORD and Savior JESUS CHRIST touch our minds and heart.
BY: James Seutra Kaba

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