If you have been following this blog for sometime now, you will recall that I recounted my experiences in the church on this blog and made certain conclusions. I have also read the entire Bible twice (from Genesis to Revelation) before making those conclusions. My perspectives hasn’t changed. For the sake of my new followers I shall now tell of my conclusions; then and now.
I was born and raised a Catholic. I was in the church for nearly 17 years. My mother wanted me to become a priest or atleast join the knights and ladies of the altar so she insisted I go for catechism every saturday. Catechism did not interest me. On saturdays, I made paintings or some craft instead. However, I was a member of the Catholic Youth Organisation. The things I saw and experienced in the church made me question my beliefs. While I was busy worshipping the Lord Jesus, others were busily “discharging.” I thought Christianity was all about Jesus but I was wrong. Hypocrisy, pride, dishonesty, fraud, enviness, discrimination based on social status, greed, competition, violence etc. I found all these in the church. There is not a single one of these for which I cannot reference a striking incident. So I realised the church doesn’t make the people, the people make the church.
Some of you might argue that not all churches are like that but I can tell you majority of Ghanaian churches habour those characters. Since I left Catholicism, I have been invited by friends to other charismatic churches including Pentecostal, Presbyterian, Apostolic, Assemblies of God, Methodist, Anglican, Mormon, Jehovah Witness and the list goes on and on. Still, I felt I was only being fed half truths. There is no spirituality greater than being true to yourself. I always tell my undergraduate students that you will never be punished for speaking truth no matter how ugly it may sound.
Recently I had a brief but productive conversation with a man who is studying to become a Rabbi. His conclusions were that most people attend church to actually seek the fulfilment of their emotional needs not God. If they are all worshipping the same God, as they claim, why denominationalism? Religion and politics are similar and both have very little to do with morals. I think without religion good people will remain good and evil people will still be evil.
Seven or eight years on, I still occasionally find myself in a church when I’m persistently invited and I don’t want to disappoint my inviter or if I can’t take the numerous invitations anymore. But even then inside the church, everything seem to me like a carefully orchestrated drama/play. In a couple of hours everything is over and we are all back to reality. My church days came to an end and I call that the death of “false spirituality.” I have a new spirituality now which is to learn from nature, to always speak truth as nature has taught me and to never intentionally hurt anyone.