One day when I was having drinks with a high priest of one of the esteemed churches, (yeah that’s what I do, I have drinks with those types of people), he said to me; “God is a creation of the Theologians. He owes his existence to us.” I told him that I will wait for a time when I am more sober and sane (without implying that the drinks were alcoholic) to get to the depths of his statement. He said; “You should see the effort I put in on the last Sunday of the month. My life depends on it. I get recognised and promoted on the basis of the number of members I convert and convince to tithe. Of the tithes there is a percentage that goes to the church’s trust fund in Europe ( I choose not to mention the name of the country because I may jeopardise the man of the cloth’s opportunities or be sued by the church) and part of it is for the running expenses in this country and for myself. This is a necessary career my sister, perhaps a necessary evil. The trust account takes care of the descendants of the church founder,establishment of the churches in various countries( the more country converts the bigger the fund gets) and to preserve and amplify the current ones. ‘Sometimes we work closely with the State to further our influence and power’, the men of cloth went on. However, it is the politicians who need us the most and not the other way round. The influence we have over people and the counselling that we do for the sick, newlyweds and those who lost their family members cannot be done without.”
Yeah, I got his drift. I think we need churches to take care of whatever it is that churches are doing, good or bad but I stand very far from the church. I don’t blame them, I just don’t need them the way they need me.
Dear reader read more about religion for your own good and understanding. Wanna keep me as a close friend? keep an open mind and never ever attempt to convert me. Ke tlaatla ka nako yame(I will convert at my own time), for reasons that would then be there! Right now there is no reason at all for me to reconsider.
At a relative’s funeral in a village in South Africa
Once more I am in the company of men of cloth, three of them. Four other persons are also in our company, I am the lone female. We are casually drinking whisky and deliberating on the role of the church in the society. I believe the whiskey loosens their tongues and they speak honestly and without fear. The men say that there is need to accept our circumstances and live within our means and also accept that death is inevitable. Despite the other persons being not of the cloth, I find myself on the lone side of the argument. This is usual. My point of departure was that while it is an easy way out for humanity to accept its circumstances we can never grow nor change for the better if we accept things as they are.
The response was shocking! My fellow debaters felt that we should look at the society from an objective perspective. What that meant was, the men of cloth have to choose for and guide the society! We are the ordinary members of society,that is, second class citizens of society. Interesting perspective. I followed this line of thinking and concluded that this is what the politicians do. They do not act like they are part of the masses. When they say they are consulting they actually mean that they are influencing the thinking of the people. Very interesting. In essence, it is our thinking and analytical ability that separates the ‘Thinkers’ from ‘Ordinary societal members’. New found education indeed!
The second discussion was on the inevitability of death. Well, the inevitability of death is a commonly accepted fact. What I did not know was that one of the roles of the church was to make death look appealing once one has subscribed to the idea of having been ‘saved’. I do not fear dying, but there is no way in heaven and in hell I am going to find death appealing! No way! That is, apparently,a sign of fear of death on my part. Well I do not look forward to it but I accept that death is inevitable.
The argument now took on the route of life after death. The men of cloth indicated that they did not fully believe in life after death. For once, we were in agreement. However, they made a distinction between a life form of a spirit and human body’s . That once we die we take on the life form of a spirit and the body leaves us. We become spirits. Whatever that means! What we could not cover, due to unforeseen circumstances, was whether we are not spiritual beings already and whether a spirit can die? I believe we are all energy, we are already spiritual beings.
Thato adds his 2 cents on the matter
A man who fears death spends too much time thinking about how to elude death. Even when they know that they are going to die, they create another theory of life after death so that they may be convinced that death is not the end. By doing this we are still lying to ourselves. A person who truly believes that death is inevitable and accepts that fact learns to accept what they cannot change and therefore focuses on more important things. A man who knows one day life will cease makes the best out of the life they have and makes a change in the world. This is quite the opposite from a person who believes that they have a better life after death, they spend time on earth trying to prepare for the unknown. They invest all their energy and resources to better their afterlife and therefore almost always ignore the real life and justify their grievances by saying that life will be better after death. In my opinion, religion teaches the gullible to “let go of the things of these earth, and work on building their way into heaven”. I think this statement is the reason why we prioritise, firstly our churches, our pastors and our offerings in churches. We forget to help out ailing brothers and sisters. The whole system is based on fear. Churches constitute the original insurance companies, who preached a lot of ‘what if’. This is why there is no richer organisation than a church in the world today. If people stopped fearing death and accepted it, very few would grace the doors of churches. They would act out of love and not fear.
Edna concludes and adds her 2 cents
Let me start by stating that the opinions above do not necessarily reflect my views. I am not in total disagreement, however I have reservations with some things. I recognise that there are worthwhile points to be gotten with some opinions. The following is my humble view on the matter.
Firstly, I am a Christian. I believe in gaining knowledge, goodness, understanding and good values from certain men of cloth from certain churches. I adhere to the rules and teachings of the traditional churches. I vehemently do not believe or trust charismatic churches with charismatic pastors ( they call themselves prophets) who own expensive Italian suits, mansions, private jets and television programmes. I do not believe in believing without questioning. I do not believe in being threatened with hell if I question certain scriptures in the Bible and seek answers only to be told a true believer (Christian) need not question. I do not believe in being declared or perceived as a devil’s advocate if I associate with LGTBs, muslims, wiccans, atheists etc. I believe Christianity is not the only organised religion that suffers abuse from ‘men of cloth’. I believe certain churches have a great influence in the running of politics and in deceiving people. I believe many men of cloth distort the teachings of Jesus Christ and interpretations of the Bible to gain an advantage over the multitudes. I have noted that it is mostly the poor, sick and desperate people they aim for. They win. I believe that everyone has a right to their own opinions but not their own facts. I believe I am a progressive Christian. I believe that only God can judge me. Amen.