When I was born my parents baptized me in an Anglican church and as a little boy I went to Sunday School (probably because it was just what you did on Sundays, I thought). I perfected my recitation of the Lords’s Prayer, mastered a couple of hymns and praise worship songs…and I felt smug when a bible study teacher asked the class if ‘Habakkuk‘ was a book in the bible and most of the class said ‘NO’ (lol). It was a school with neither the pressure of getting A’s and B’s, nor the report cards sent to your parents detailing all the demons that had to be exorcised from you.
Up until primary/elementary school I was oblivious to the fact that there was any other religion in existence other than Christianity; we all prayed the Lord’s Prayer and shared the Grace. It wasn’t until one evening when I heard a prayer from the security guard that sounded nothing like what I was used to. In fact, it was melodic and he had a raffia mat laid out in front of him which he knelt on. He bowed his head to the ground every few minutes while I was just staring at him in fascination. On another occasion I saw him washing his face, feet and hands rather ceremoniously and again I was transfixed to say the least.
As time went by I came to understand that all the while, be it at school or in my neighborhood, I was in the midst of Muslims as well as Christians. It was the Islamic names some classmates had that were a giveaway; with the likes of ‘Abdul’, ‘Rahman’ and ‘Saheed’ just to mention a few. This realization gradually set my mind thinking deeper by the time I was in secondary school: Why am I Christian and not a Muslim? What are the implications of being either or friends with either?
In the Anglican church Islam was a relatively silent topic. I say relative because you could get the sense that sometimes there was an indirect message to non-Christians: those who give their lives to Christ will not perish. So of course I started thinking, ‘What about those who give their lives to Mohammed?’ What’s in it for them???
By the time I got to University in the UK, I met a whole host of students with various religious beliefs. I almost felt the urge to ask for an autograph when I struck up a conversation with an atheist (I never heard of or saw one in Nigeria). But there was this particular atheist whom I used to work with in the bank after I graduated. He was a very jovial fella and he happened to be gay. On one occasion a few of us lads went out for a pint or three, after which conversations swayed from football, to politics and then religion (so each guy stated his belief). It was at this point that my gay friend asked me (in my half-drunken state) the following ill-timed question: ‘So do you think all homosexuals will go to hell?‘…
Now, my answer to that question isn’t as important as my question to you: ‘Why is there so much violence and unrest in various parts of the world today even with all the religions of the world in existence? Personally, I don’t know but I’m sure of one thing – Religion is not just for sinners…it’s for everyone else; those who do not think they’re sinners and believe all they’re doing is in accordance with their faith, based on their own interpretation. As for whether or not there is a singular religion which is the ‘right’ religion, I’ll definitely know the answer to that when I’m dead…
I don’t know if that question was directed to me, but either way I have answers, infact I’m full of answers.
First of all, I wanna ask you if you are Christian.I’m not asking bout ur religion, because there’s no such thing as Christianity being a religion. I think that’s what you need to first understand. The moment you do, you’ll be sure to know that dere’s a difference. That’s when you’ll know why there’s soo much violence in the world. And trust me,…there’s soo much peace around me and all those who live in that place called Christ. We enjoy peace in every aspect of our lives. I can only live in peace and those around me too because I’m in Christ, no other way. Have you ever wondered or gotten the answer to the question “WHY DID JESUS COME”? I believe that you are a christian but probably need some more understanding of God’s word. The truth is, any man who doesn’t receive Christ into His Life before Jesus comes, will Perish, no matter how GOOOOOOOOOD they where in life. So there’s no other way to God than through Jesus. If you are convinced about serving God through Jesus Christ and his Word, then you’ll preach to and get those friends that you Love who aren’t in Christ SAVED. That’s the best thing you can ever do to and for them and the reason you are in their lives is for that purpose. The Love you have for Jesus Christ should Compel and Convince you to win them over to God. And I trust you can do that. Don’t just sit there wondering, but GET TO THE WORD, and know for your life what Christ came to do in and through every man that accepts his free gift of salvation.
I don’t Just think so, I KNOW SO.
Thanx for reading this fruitful, yet long post of mine. Have a good and productive time saving those friends of yours through the help of the Holy Spirit. I know you can do that.
I actually just came across your blog and I saw and read this post. This is my comment and I’m not soo sory its long, lol
Hmmm. Wars have been fought in the name of religion. Peace has reigned in the name of religion. Is religion the problem or men who have free wills with which they choose to do good or evil? Food for thought you’ve given us Tonwa.
Religion is not the issue you should be considering, rather look at YOUR relationship with God. It is common knowledge that Jesus is the ONLY ONE who claimed to be the Son of God, who claimed to give up his life and be resurrected for the salvation of the should of men. No other religious leader died and rose again, especially after predicting so. So bros, use your head and let the Spirit of God direct you. Jesus died and rose again to give you a life that is supernatural. It’s beyond your thinking and you need your faith to activate it. I read the comments by the first person. Read it again. It’s not fashion, it’s not a thrill or trend. It’s eternal life we are talking about, and hell is very real, my dear, have no doubt. If you have ever read the Bible as you claim, you should have known that. God is not sending people to hell because he is wicked and wants to punish them as fools erroneously think. People will go to hell because they CHOSE to do so!
How, you may ask. Because God has given man the way out through Jesus, but a lot of them think they are so smart, they can outsmart God. Funny thing is that God is so big, he is not arguing with them. He is just kindly showing them the way.
There are two roads, my friend. It’s your choice. Don’t blame anyone for the choice you make. Choose for yourself. At the end of the day you will have no one to blame for the choice you intelligently made by yourself! Which is it to be? The road to destruction OR the road to eternal life?
You Obviously have a great message on your comment. However, you wanna correct the notion and widespread assumption that Jesus was a religious leader. Emphatically No, He wasn’t and hence Christianity is proven to NOT be a religion. Its not even a way of life, it only has a way of Life. Who ever reads this should hear this: Jesus isn’t one of or a religious leader. He is a saviour, the word of God that was made flesh, our true example of who we are as Christians, our Light, who came primarily for that purpose. He wasn’t just accidentally trained to show us the way, it was the reason He came. God never called him a Leader, The disciples never called him a leader, even though he showed us how to Lead. God bless you.
Thanks, girl. I only used the term, “religious leader” advisedly, based on his usage. I stand corrected, though. I know you are from BLW! Your language testifies. You are blessed.
lol,….u amaze me,…..yes ooh, ur spirit is sure i can see. Ur blessed as well..Check out ma blog, let me get to know you better. Thanx dear. Look forward to seeing you there.
There’s actually quite a few other religious icons who were claimed to resurrect from the dead. The whole thing was done long before Christianity was invented.
Way to go Bro! Start 2014 on a heavy note… All have sinned and fallen short, however there is a Saving Grace.
Your question can sorta also be likened to money. Is money the root of all evil? Or the adamant pursuit of it? The lack of it? Or too much of it? Really each person’s perception of money causes different reactions… That’s how I see the two topics.
Hey everyone, thanks for all the comments. I’ve reviewed them all and to be honest I don’t feel there’s much to say further. I wrote about Religion being meant for sinners. As far as my Christian beliefs are concerned everyone one on earth is a sinner and what they don’t need is a religion; they need Christ *insert period here*
I really enjoyed the part where you completely avoided answering the question in favour of a poorly realised non sequitur.
lol, thanks G. Appreciate the comment 🙂
You’re very welcome. Do you fancy taking another run at it? Here’s the question in question:
‘So do you think all homosexuals will go to hell?’
In your own time 🙂
The simple answer to that question is ‘I don’t think about it – I’m more concerned about MY salvation. Am I going to heaven or hell? That’s a more important question.’ 😉
Which is to say you’re yet again choosing to completely avoid the question and deflect. Why would that be I wonder?
Either you know the answer and are ashamed to say, or you’re so preoccupied with issues pertaining to yourself, you can’t spare a moment to concern yourself with the fate of your fellow creatures.
Which is it?
‘I don’t think about it’. Well, I’m asking you to. That’s the entire point of the ‘question’ format. Can you manage a more thoughtful and honest answer?
I like your persistence. Ok I’ll tell you what I said (and put your mind to rest once and for all). I told him that as far as Christianity was concerned I believed that he was going to hell. It was the response he expected and he wasn’t offended by it and would probably have perceived me to be a hypocrite if I said otherwise. What I think is a product of what I was raised to believe. Now I’m going to sit back and let the world judge me
*puts feet up*
A perfect example of religion causing people to believe and say incredibly wicked things.
How do you feel about a doctrine that promotes the idea of eternal fire torture simply for differing sexual orientation? It seems a child could formulate a less abhorrent ethical framework.
Let’s put it this way; because it is in the Bible (God’s Word that is) I believe it and there’s nothing any man on earth can do to change that. All criticism that follow are just opinions to me I don’t agree with. Am I evil because of that?
Well, I always say a good indicator of thoughtfulness and compassion is not ‘what’ one thinks but ‘how’ one thinks.
You’ve clearly decided ‘what’ to think based on the words in ancient scripture, likely the same religion as your parents, taught to you in the country of your birth as a child.
Let’s be clear, depending on where you were born and at what time you could have been worshipping Zeus or Allah.
So, since ‘God’s word’ is of such importance to you and even sufficient enough to condemn an entire group of people to eternal fire torture, I assume it’s enough for you to agree that slavery is ok? The Bible clearly does. Are you ok with slavery? If not, why do you disagree with ‘God’s word’ on this and not homosexuality?
The fact that you say ‘nothing’ can change your mind is indicative of indoctrination and non-thought. I, on the other hand would change my mind about anything I hold true in an instant were credible evidence provided. There’s that ‘how’ I was talking about.
“So, since ‘God’s word’ is of such importance to you and even sufficient enough to condemn an entire group of people to eternal fire torture, I assume it’s enough for you to agree that slavery is ok?”
That part of your comment was similar to the those of my gay friend afterwards. What I would like is for homosexuals to turn to Christ. Do I want anybody condemned to hell? No. I’m pretty sure there are some things being done in this world which you don’t subscribe to but to those involved seem perfectly okay with them.
Yes, of course there are things in this life I find objectionable.
I’m not sure how you can compare that to a scripture that describes homosexuality as an abomination and not only prescribes death in this life, but eternal torture in the next too.
Surely you see the distinction between this and mere difference of opinion? Surely you are aware of the mass suffering historically & currently due to this way of thinking, including in the country of your very birth?
This isn’t merely ‘not subscribing’ but a concerted effort to oppress & demonize whilst all the way using ‘God’s word’ as justification.
I’ll ask again, do you agree with God’s word that slavery is ok, or not?
You say they you don’t want to condemn anyone to hell, but have you considered that by advocating Christ, that may be precisely what you’re doing?
Christ is but 1 in approximately 3000+ worshipped deities throughout recorded history. What if you have the wrong god? It seems the odds of hellfire, if existent, do not decrease whether or not you follow Christ or have a same sex relationship.
I’d suggest thinking about these issues in conjunction with empathy and objective reasoning, rather than on ‘it’s what I was taught to be true’.
‘I’m not sure how you can compare that to a scripture that describes homosexuality as an abomination and not only prescribes death in this life, but eternal torture in the next too.’ ~ there’s one vital point you’re missing here. I also believe that if I do not depart from sin then I too stand the risk of going to hell. I am not one of those holier-than-thou types aka Pharisee pointing at everyone else.
‘Surely you see the distinction between this and mere difference of opinion? Surely you are aware of the mass suffering historically & currently due to this way of thinking, including in the country of your very birth?’ ~ my being aware or unaware of historical happenings that impacted civilizations in various ways adverse or not have no bearing on what I believe is my purpose on this earth – to serve my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
‘I’ll ask again, do you agree with God’s word that slavery is ok, or not?’ ~ Dear friend, you and I know that your use of the term ‘slavery’ is in the extreme sense. Two things: Slavery was more or less a norm at a point in time worldwide. If a man had enough money to buy the services of another man to do jobs then it was legit at THAT time. The bible warns Masters to treat their slaves fairly (Colossians 4:1) so obviously cruelty to slaves was not God’s intent. Kings in the bible whom God favoured had slaves/servants. If you’re in a 9-5 wouldn’t you say you’re a slave to your job? (minus the whip each time you misbehave but instead you get a caution letter).
‘You say they you don’t want to condemn anyone to hell, but have you considered that by advocating Christ, that may be precisely what you’re doing?’ ~ By advocating to Christ I have learned the most important commandment of all – love thy neighbour as your thyself. This concept of love is what led the father of the prodigal son to welcome him home with open arms. The parable simply explains that Jesus loves sinners before and after they repent. Oh, you probably don’t know there are ex-gay people living happily today. Go read about it 🙂
‘Christ is but 1 in approximately 3000+ worshipped deities throughout recorded history. What if you have the wrong god? It seems the odds of hellfire, if existent, do not decrease whether or not you follow Christ or have a same sex relationship.’ ~ Life is about taking risks and my belief n Christ, son of Jehovah, is a risk I am willing to take. You see, in this life I’ve lived so far I’ve come to realize there’s no such thing as coincidence. I have prayed to God and He answered me. I ask for guidance and He does just that. I prayed for protection and 2 weeks ago he saved me from a Final Destination style freak car accident. When you and I stop breathing then we’ll both know what the truth is…but I’ve already made my choice.
I’d suggest thinking about these issues in conjunction with empathy and objective reasoning, rather than on ‘it’s what I was taught to be true’. ~ there are scientists who can’t explain certain phenomenon but that doesn’t mean they are impossible. Objecting reasoning is good but it doesn’t explain everything all the time. It just makes you question things continuously until all that’s left is what you decide to be your conclusion.
Well, this has certainly taken a dark turn. Let’s just take a moment to consider the position you have now found yourself in. You’re attempting to make excuses for slavery. That’s slavery.
As a non-Christian I have no issues with saying that owning people as property was wrong then and it’s wrong now. Have you considered the worth of a belief system that prevents you from making such simple moral statements without hesitation? Let’s just unpack some of this bizarre and misguided slave apology.
“Slavery was more or less a norm at a point in time worldwide”
Which is to concede that “God’s word” is no more advanced or ethical than the common law of the land? Or exactly what you’d expect were you to realise the bible was cobbled together by semi-literate, Bronze Age goat-herders, and not divinely inspired.
“The bible warns Masters to treat their slaves fairly (Colossians 4:1) so obviously cruelty to slaves was not God’s intent.”
Yes, wasn’t it nice of Jesus to remind us how hard we should beat our slaves (Exodus 21:20-21)? For every “be nice to slaves” sentiment you can find, I can find one advocating mistreatment. This brings me to another point. Why didn’t Christ, God on earth simply say “owning people as property is wrong. Stop that”. A huge moral failing by the son of god, wouldn’t you say?
“If you’re in a 9-5 wouldn’t you say you’re a slave to your job? (Minus the whip each time you misbehave but instead you get a caution letter)”
This is one of the most morally repugnant arguments I’ve ever heard. You’ve just compared paid employment with being owned. Could ancient slaves resign? Bring up their mistreatment with the union? I’m not forced to come to my job every day, and there are laws in place to ensure my *human rights* are respected. I suspect if you give this another thought, you’ll consider this poorly-judged comparison somewhat of a misstep.
“By advocating to Christ I have learned the most important commandment of all – love thy neighbour as your thyself”
That sentiment appears in ancient philosophy and other teaching that predates Christianity by hundreds of years. Jesus was not a particularly original thinker. Couldn’t you have figured out ‘the golden rule’ without adding supernatural claims to it?
“Oh, you probably don’t know there are ex-gay people living happily today. Go read about it”
This is almost too silly to acknowledge. What you are doing here is framing homosexuality as an ailment. Something to be ‘cured’. If sexual orientation is subject to change in this manner, are you confirming that with similar processes in ‘reverse’ you could be ‘turned gay’? It’s clear which of us requires further reading I think.
“I have prayed to God and He answered me. I ask for guidance and He does just that. I prayed for protection and 2 weeks ago he saved me from a Final Destination style freak car accident”
You are failing to reason in a rational way. How many people have prayed to ‘their god’ and will have similar experiences? Do you now accept Allah answers prayers? Zeus? Odin? I’m not sure you’re aware of the staggering arrogance of what you’ve just said. You’re saying that the same god who failed to prevent the holocaust took two minutes out from letting children in Africa starve to prevent you from have a common, trivial accident. You’re saying the idea of a trivial and common ‘near miss’ experience is so miraculous it could only have been the creator of the universe taking special and specific interest in one primate. You. Aren’t you special? Have you ruled out the natural explanations for your ‘near miss’ and if so, how? What of those that pray every day and die in the most painful and horrific ways? Are they not as special as you? Think.
“When you and I stop breathing then we’ll both know what the truth is”
Actually we won’t. You know why? Because we’ll be dead. Unless you have some evidence I’m not aware of, death generally marks the end of ‘knowing’ things. What reasons do you have to believe you will survive your own death? Everything we know about ourselves, our personality our knowledge exists as a product of the brain. We know this. For instance, when the brain is damaged people can lose some of this knowledge; have their personality dramatically altered etc. You are your brain. You’re not in your body, you are your body. And for some reason, you feel that when you die, and thus damaging the whole of the brain, destroying it entirely, you will somehow have the capacity of ‘knowing’ things. What an odd belief. It only makes sense in one context; Being afraid of death. Scary isn’t it? Well, let’s pretend it won’t really happen. That’s religion.
“there are scientists who can’t explain certain phenomenon but that doesn’t mean they are impossible. Objecting reasoning is good but it doesn’t explain everything all the time. It just makes you question things continuously until all that’s left is what you decide to be your conclusion.”
Exactly. If science knew everything, it would ‘stop’. Science doesn’t know everything, nor does it claim to. Science seeks, observes, tests and repeats. What you’re doing here is essentially saying “we don’t know, therefore god”. Google “Occam’s razor” to say why this is logically fallacious. It is not reasonable to fill gaps in our scientific knowledge with a supernatural explanation of your choice, in this instance Yahweh. It says nothing. It explains nothing. I could equally posit ‘The Tooth Fairly’ to explain some natural phenomena. See where this brand of non-thought gets us?
I agree with GSpellchecker
Good for you then
I agree with GSpellchecker too.
Noted. Any more in agreement?
Totally agree with GSpellchecker yes !
Yes me ! I agree with the Gspellcheckmeister …
Reblogged this on @Gspellchecker's Blog and commented:
Nothing like a lengthy disagreement in the comments section.