Emeka Ezekwesiri Chigozie
There are quite a few things that puzzle the mind like religion. Sometimes its perceived sacredness bars any critical inquiry; and often leads to a situation where supposed intelligent beings accept dogmatic teachings that rattle the mind at the slightest inquiry. Most times, persons who venture to vent religious views in the lights of critical thinking quickly recoil in the fear that they are crossing the imaginary red line; or worst still they succumb to the too tepid claim of the orthodox churches; “it is a mystery”; or the preposterous claim of the Pentecostal churches, “it is inspired by the holy spirit”, or the ambivalence of Muslims, “blasphemy!” So much that, in my country, it becomes an unspoken taboo to vent our beliefs in enlightened discussions.
What really is the credibility of religion? It is quite amazing to see a faithful, peaceful and intelligent Muslim; he is so gentle, so good, so God-fearing, so conscious of evil, that it is indeed difficult to find a basis to belief that he will not make it to heaven or paradise. Yet he does not believe in Jesus Christ! He does not accept that there is any credibility in the belief that His blood is all he needs to wash his sins. The Christian will have him believe that. A true Christian believer is so gentle, so good, so God-fearing, so conscious of evil, that it is indeed difficult to find a basis to believe that he will not make it to heaven or paradise. Yet he does not believe that God sent the Holy Prophet Muhammad, that the Holy Prophet is God’s chosen Prophet to give everlasting guidance to God’s creatures on the path to salvation. If anything, she believes they are mistaken; she sees the need to pray for them to see the light of the salvation of her Christ; and even in the contours of her thoughts, she doubts Christians and Muslims worship the same God. They may only in ideology, but how can we say they truly do in substance?
The most vociferous, are those who are in between the faithful and the atheists. They, often, are the ones who lay claim to a religious superiority. They are the zealots who insist that their own version of Islam, though founded on rather minor differences, is the superior—and even in that conception of God, the ideology has still taken a divergence into Sunni and Shia practices. The Christians are the worst polarized; and this polarization is often birthed by people who appoint themselves the public relations officer of God, and even more sinister, his personal assistant, who has taken it upon themselves to declare what the mind of God is. It is they, who believe that they are the founding church; the only authoritative church established by Christ himself, when he did the grounding breaking foundation laying ceremony. They were there with their cameras to cover the great event. It is their kin who in turn accuse the Glorious Mother Church of idolatory—to them the Holy Spirit has since taken flight of that place, and it was their plane he used, and they were the pilots. These disastrous set of people are those who believe that their members cannot marry from the next church or else their mothers steeped in self glorification, will lose their position in the Church, especially those CWOs and Knights.
What really must be God’s role in this? Do we accept that He exists, even to begin with? Perhaps, with no conclusive evidence that He doesn’t, and overwhelming evidence that He does, it is safer to say He does. How could He not be? The African black magic, and sometimes the tormenting powers of dark powers, make us believe that if there are evil powers and black magic, then there must be good powers and forces, and they must be far superior. If this were not so, the earth would long have been a waste land, and Armageddon would have been just a fun sports for these powers. Indeed, God is, at least this writer accepts that. But is He some almighty power, playing humans in a chess board, watching them in their mental delusions? Is He having fun leading these Muslims on a different path, and leading these Christians on another? Does He enjoy the debasing arguments of daughters and sons of “Queen of Heaven” with their deluded cousins, the offspring of the Holy Ghost? Is He really interested in some doctrinal arguments? Does He call He who sits on His right hand, “Son look, they say they are eating your body in that bread!” “Really! Is that bread or biscuit he is holding?” “Ahh! These other ones say that it is not the flesh they are eating, but a representation of it; a symbol of remembrance”. There must be so much laughter up there, or perhaps, it is sober and painful for the watchers!
God himself must really be feeling humans are pushing him into confusion, but of course He cannot be. It is true, as I think it, that the ideology of all religions especially the monotheist ones, are that they worship the Same Supreme God, but that is how far it goes—Only as an ideological representation. The Muslim man will find it obnoxious and blasphemous to insist that the Holy Prophet Muhammad isn’t a true prophet of God, but so also would a Christian, when it is suggested to him that Jesus, isn’t the Son of God after all, and that God does not beget. Yet if both are true, and this, in itself, is impossible, then it renders God a bored being who is simply catching fun with us. It is impossible because both take irreconcilable and distinguishable views on the matter of God, and how to go to Him, and this in substance is why it cannot be the same God. One God, told His Holy Prophet that He does not beget and is not begotten, He is the Almighty, and orders them to keep Ramadan and pray facing Mecca, aside other practices; another God insists that the only way to Him is through His Son, by believing He came and died, and resurrected. This God insists that only His son saves, and His blood is enough; and the believers in this God accepts that He is One, but at the same time three persons—The Holy Trinity. The latter of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit is held responsible for denominationalism. After all, it is He who called my fire brand pastors and told them to do away with all the old traditions of the founding Church; “C’mon guys modernize! Tush’en up!” It is still He, who told the other church, that there is such a thing as “Queen of Heaven” and that they must keep all those traditions that so often lead others to label their practices “idolatry”. Oh wait, maybe it wasn’t Him in the first place, maybe it was men’s imagination and intelligence and urge for sophistication that was driving them. But alas, no one on the numerous sides will accept that—it is Holy Spirit inspired!
There must be some sense; some justification in taking a second look at religion; Are we all getting it wrong? Is it some well crafted fraud, even if God does exist? If we reject that moralists and those who even contribute more to humanity’s cause, are not heaven worthy because they don’t believe in your God or that He exists, how then can you, who is so selfish to humanity that you don’t see the need to make this earth a better place, because it is not your home, you are a pilgrim, how can you deserve that heaven? You don’t protest oppression, you don’t protest corruption, you don’t support or donate relief materials, you obviously don’t invent anything do help ease man’s life, rather you pray and live quietly and silently because you are eager to make heaven and go and enjoy there, and you say you are not deluded. So the gratitude for the life this your God has given you, is to serve Him only because you want to go to heaven; and isn’t it possible, He wants you not only to do all those things, but also to help humanity? I think some religious groups already know this; while others are busy constructing new runways for bigger private jets. Religion is a piece of puzzle that will continue to delude man, as long as it remains impregnable by critical reasoning. Maybe our forefathers knew this earlier, saved themselves the headache, and accepted that there are “gods” and all of them are useful and should be worshipped. But we have long discredited their views, it is untenable.