In the absence of God

In the absence of God
Published: 29 January 2012 (1197 Views)
"A man calls himself God" reads one of the local tabloid headlines. About time, I thought, I could see it coming, somebody had to have the guts and go that extra mile.

To me this man is just an individual manifestation of what we have become as a society, he resembles the pinnacle of our religious lunacy. Assuming he is clinically mentally stable, even if he is not of sound mind, this should sound alarm bells, as the old adage goes "There is no smoke without fire".

We should stop and examine ourselves as a society; could it be that in our quest for religious identity we have become a religiously uncouth society from a Christian perspective? I mean turn around and the new kid on the block clad in a fancy shiny suit or white robe is a prophet. Who confers, ordains these people?

So it doesn't surprise me a bit that somebody saw it for what it is, and decided to take it upon themselves and crown themselves God, it was just a matter of time, these titles seem to be for the picking.

Two thousand years ago a young Jewish man was viewed in a similar predicament, he was crucified by the then government with the help of the church, and today two thirds of the earth's population worship God in his name.

Or so we think. Jesus of Nazareth was crucified for questioning the church of the day and for bringing to note its transgressions. Although he identified himself as the Messiah, Jesus did not call himself God. He did godly deeds and associated himself with God, just as every man should, but never from his own documented words did he say he was God.

I believe the Christian Church was primarily built on the teachings of Jesus the Christ, and the main thing that differentiates Christianity from Judaism is Jesus Christ; therefore the church itself should be a reflection of Christ's deeds, as he said "only through me shall you enter the Kingdom of heaven". Just from reading the synoptic gospels we can see and understand that Jesus was a simple common man who taught a simple gospel of God's Love; Love God first and Love your neighbour (Mat 22:37-40).

According to Jesus all the teachings revolved around the above two commandments, and because the religious authority of the day practised the opposite he showed little respect for it; "They worship me in vain; their teachings are nothing but rules taught by men." Mark 7:7. His reasoning and words are very relevant today and we should take heed.

Today some men have harnessed the church with laws that keep men in bondage, nullifying the word of God for the sake of their tradition and money, somehow all done in the name of Jesus Christ. "Everything they do is done for men to see . . . they love the place of honour at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues. . ." Mat.23:5-6.

Jesus forewarned his disciples of such things. "Beware the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees" Mat 16:5, this yeast today has created countless "Christian" denominations differentiated by little church laws that range from walking barefoot to not reading the Bible.

There is nothing wrong with creating laws to govern fellowship, but it should not interfere with worship. When the fine line between fellowship and worship is broken, people will confuse the bearer of the law with God, therefore unwittingly creating idols.

That's why some people today identify themselves more with their church denominations and leaders than with God. "How can you believe if you accept praise from one another . . .?" John 5:44.

Jesus in the Beatitudes taught against self-righteousness; he talked about the last being the first in God's Kingdom, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven". Mat 5:3. He talked against showy behaviour "Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth". Mat 5:5. He taught and practised love and kindness.

One of his most famous parables "The Good Samaritan" teaches us that, it wins God's favour to be kind than to be associated with a church or religion. Just by looking at his sermon on the Mount, it brings to question the behaviour of some of our Christian brethren, "Beware of practising your righteousness before men to be noticed by them." Mat 6:1.

Christ's presence in the Christian church has in some instances been trivialised to the use of his name in prayer only.

Have you ever wondered why you don't see beggars at churches; the best place to beg would be by the doors of church, but you don't see them there, I wonder why?

Some churches of today take money from people, they take as if they are putting directly into God's hand. Where the church took Jesus gave, he fed thousands; I mean the man was deeply concerned about the welfare of his congregation, "I have compassion for these people" Mark 8:2. How many people today get fed at church?

Not as if these churches can't afford it. With the new "Prosperity Gospel", it is not surprising that the spirit of compassion that Jesus advocated is being conveniently forgotten.

One cannot begin to quote what Jesus said about obsessing over wealth and how it can waver one from true worship. "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist of the abundance of his possessions" Luke 12:15. "My house will be a house of prayer but you have made it a den of robbers"Luke 19:46. " . . . stop making My Father's house a place of business!" John 2:16. The church of today is increasingly becoming like the church institution that rejected and helped crucify the Jesus of Nazareth. "No servant can serve two masters. . . You cannot serve both God and Money." Luke 16:13.

Where is God? When we close our eyes and pray as Christians; which God or Jesus do we visualise, how many homes do we go to and see portraits of "Jesus", how many gods do we give allegiance to? God made man in his image then some men painted God in their image.

The first evangelists of the gospel did not in the slightest instance try to portray the human physiology of God or Jesus either in writing or pictorially, it was well within their means to do so but they did not, and for good reason, because if they did so man won't be able to distinguish between the Creator and the created.

People will start worshipping and calling themselves prophets, messiahs and gods willy-nilly. That is why it was said from the beginning, "do not worship idols".

The inconspicuous presence of God in some of our Churches has led men to replace themselves with God. What leads a man to proclaim himself God? I think it's during the absence of God, that's when all evil manifests.

When people lack God, the church leaders produced will be uncompassionate and in turn create a society that is characterised by greed, and poverty. A societal womb that bears men who have the audacity to claim deity whether sane or insane is a society that is deficient in religious sanctity, a condition brought about by a superficial understanding of the religion practised.

If such things go unchecked a cancer of social decadence will consume humanity, leaving us wallowing in spiritual and financial poverty at the mercy of demigods.

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Mutokonyi can be contacted at trmutokonyi@yahoo.com


- SM

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