It's so hard to be a Christian these days

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Every vice was once a virtue, and may become respectable again, just as hatred becomes respectable in wartime.
-Will Durant

 

I am so frustrated as a Christian, as a Woman and as a Ghanaian. There is a quiet war brewing on the Church front and it's being lost. When they say religion is opium of the masses, Ghanaians were first in line. 

Before I started writing this piece, I was angry at the self-righteous uppity attitudes of online conversations that keep finding it’s way onto my timeline. But afterward, it was more of sadness, because of how widespread and deeply our blind loyalty to respectability go.  It is tiring to think about.

First there was the condescending response from Pastor Mensah Otabil about an eyebrow-raising offering session at the just ended Greater Works convention. Weeks later, as Board Chair of the now defunct Capital Bank, he had more to say to his critics. A walking insult, he called them. Forgive me, i paraphrase. 

 

Then there were people who were tearing their hair out about a few displays at the Chale Wote Festival last weekend. They called the parades ‘ungodly’ and ‘wrong’'

 A few people online had choice words for non-believers, as well. Calling non-believers AND believers out for having probing questions about our christian beliefs.

 

 It must be uncomfortable, I imagine. After centuries of being autonomous on religion and spirituality, through fear and brainwashing, it must be uncomfortable having to answer questions to religious practices that do not make sense anymore.

For instance, when you ask members of a church convention to pay a humungous sum of money to elevate their financial status to a millionaire status, it sounds to me like blessings being sold. It sounds to me like when The Christ was enraged that people were selling all kinds of things in his father’s temple. This is in the Bible, in case you are wondering :Matthew 21:12. 

 

The essence of a Christian attending fellowship is to attain Godly wisdom.  A Godly wisdom filled with spirit and truth. A truth that SHOULD let a discerning Christian tell from right and wrong.  A discerning Christian must know that sometimes, SOMETIMES, even the leader of the flock [because he is man] gets it wrong too. A blind worship of preacher men is in high potential of turning the quest for knowledge into extremism. How can we not see that? How can we not see this is dangerous? Ever heard of Jim Jones? 

I have heard of stories where, members of well-known churches who have been ex-communicated from their fellowship for asking hard questions about some practices and sermons of the Church. Is this what the Christ really expects of his followers? 

Are we willing to risk dying in silence with the assumption that it was for the right cause? Or that not speaking up is RIGHTEOUS?  If we allow respectability to cloud our thinking, we are in more trouble than we realize. 

As Christians, we are required to strip bare our hearts and lay down shields of pride, stupidity, self-righteousness, and hatred. But here we are, year 2017 and we are the furthest away from the true practices of Christianity than we have ever been. There’s no love, no kindness, no understanding and no hope. Christians are now, more than ever, determined to be distinctive in lifestyle and deed; An elite group, unevenly yoked with the rest of the world; completely ignoring the task ahead to welcome more and more people in to the fold of Christ. 

 

Perhaps, there lies the problem? Perhaps we cannot admit to ourselves that we are imperfect; that we are still struggling with our own desires, insecurities and secrets. Perhaps this is why we breathe a sigh of relief when someone else’s mistakes are publicly on the table: Rashida Black Beauty.

 

 

Condemnation, our favorite word. 

 

And on the issue of cultures and lifestyles? Boy, it is quite a sad story. These colonial masters really did one on us. That we are more attracted to all that is unlike our own. What kind of mental damage is so deep that makes us hate the core of who and what we are? 

What are we?

Drums,

Beads,

Communality,

Music,

Art,

Earth

Colours,

Without patriarchy

Without Oppression,

 Fellowship

Community

Being BLACK

 

How are these things harmful to Christianity? How are these things The Christ came to change?  The irony is telling. We have become a repetition of history. We are the Pharisees and sadly, the present custodian of the legacy of Christ. In other words, we are fucked.

 

 We have preachers with God complexes impregnating church members, we have preachers feeding their members grass, urine and Lord knows what. Who will save these ones?

 

So you see, as a christian, I am conflicted. Because i can sit up in my room and read scripture. But when it comes to fellowship, where do i belong, who do i ask the hard questions, and how do we move forward? 

 

The point is simple, the church is failing its flock at a disturbing rate. As a friend on Facebook rightly said, there needs to be new approach to deal with social challenges. A love approach. A fresh overhaul of the message Christ came to teach. Without condemnation or prejudice. Without favoritism.

 

Right now, This. Is. Not. It.