For the past few years, I’ve been negatively blown away by happenings and justified comments surrounding these religions: Christianity and Islam. When I was young, I was taught to emulate those who attended church services regularly and did ‘good’. Although I did not understand much, I understood that the church was supposed to instill or inculcate good morals in human beings. I thought the church was a place of comfort, discipline and love. I did not quite know about the teachings of Islam but I respected them for their loyalty towards their Holy Book; the Quran.
I do not know how I came to be what I am today; a no church goer and a sympathizer of Christianity, because I pray day and night even without intending to. I remember being a very bright Sunday school regular who recited memory verses, participated in Bible quizzes and sang like my life depended on it. At a point, I was so prayerful that, some elders came to be prayed for by me. So I ask myself today; what happened between the church and I? Why do I live my life like a slippery fish that the fishermen (Pastors and preachers) aim to catch?
There are behaviours of leaders of these religions, meaningful arguments and experiences that have contributed into my present state of mind.
Let us start with experiences. My first phase of losing interest in church going was when I spoke to God through Jesus to make me live a problem free life to no avail. Then, the Church preached Sunday after Sunday that once you go on your knees and ask God for anything, no matter how unreasonable it seems it would be given. They had quotations to back their claim and my belief waned year after year with disappointment. I grew impatient because no matter what blessings I received, I felt I needed or deserved more. So I grumbled but still attended church. The baggage that increased the load of the camel was the dressing competition that took place Sunday after Sunday at the church grounds. I was a tom boy and did not know how to dress up in girls’ clothing and even if I could learn, no one had that time and money to shop for me. What broke the camel’s back was when, one day, during an appeal for funds, the one appealing for the funds mentioned some huge amount of money and asked that we thought of our God and sacrificed at the detriment of our tummies as the Lord himself would feed us afterwards. I was sixteen, though a hard worker, I didn’t expect the woman to mention my name in front of the over eighty congregation. I do not know how I got out of the church premise but I sure knew I was not going back to the church.
Now let us turn our attention to the comments and behaviours of Pastors/ Priests/ Preachers/ Malams. I was appalled when a Pastor in an interview insulted a fellow pastor that : “Ne maame twԑ” which translates “His mother’s vagina”. Even typing these words is a bit difficult for me, but a pastor was able to tell another pastor that on live radio. He went on to curse anyone who spoke evil about him. In fact, I said nothing about it for a long time although I am mostly a vocal person, but it stayed deep in the corners of my heart. That is not all. we hear many atrocious deeds by men of God. Those things walk into our houses day and night through our televisions and radio programmes so frequently that you cannot help but wonder if there are really some good churches out there. What don’t they do? From sleeping with married women to killing people for rituals to convincing people to give their entire fortunes to them for their selfish needs etc…
Let us move on to the meaningful arguments by some people. Apparently there is an argument that hell, which is supposed to be the room of fire for sinners is a farce, a make belief, something that is not in existence and can never be in existence. According to that school of thought, hell was made to deter people from committing crimes. When you think about it carefully, Scientists have been able to partially refute the Biblical assertion that Jesus walked on water by saying he may have walked on ice. (You and I were not there, so we just have to entertain all opinions about the issue). They have refuted that the sea paved way for Moses and the Israelites because apparently every once in a long time, the seas can divide that way for some time. But the many little proofs that are springing up show that there could be some truth to what that school of thought is pointing to.
Though all these are staring me in the face, I pray probably because my subconscious wants to have something to lean on to in trials and tribulations. Maybe I need something or an imaginary someone to rely on. A friend of mine told me that she would rather be disappointed worshipping God than regret after death if it happens to be true that there is hell.
I guess humans created religion for comfort and discipline (Jesus came in the form of a human being and Prophet Mohammed was clearly a human being) so they can still break the myths about it and leave the world in chaos for our generations to come.
Amoafowaa Sefa Cecilia © 2014.