Temple Worship

Temple Worship

The various places of worship come alive on designated days of the week as the faithful flock into them to fulfill their religious obligations to their God. Anyone that is not found in one temple or the other is considered odd in some societies, and evil in some others. This brings to the fore the essence and place of such religious gatherings.

We know for a fact that human beings have a natural urge to worship the maker of heaven and earth. The truth is that no one needs to be persuaded to acknowledge that there is a great being behind this marvelous universe we inhabit. Nature teaches us that.

Before the advent of organized religion and their magnificent temples, we have records of men worshiping God spontaneously, especially when the works of His hands overwhelmed them. People bowed before the glamour of the setting sun and the rising sun. People were moved from their hearts to offer things of value before a great body of water in appreciation of the wonderful works of God. Some people knelt before a mighty tree to express their awe. These were genuine acts of reverence from sincere hearts devoid of any coercion or force. Those were the days when men had not discovered the business angle of worship.

But now they know.

They know that religion is one strong instrument of control which deals with the minds of men rather than just their bodies. This means that those who know how to use it can wield more influence over men than even political gurus of any age. Political influence is usually short-lived and peripheral but having control over the minds of a multitude defines awesome power.

Most people can criticize their political leaders publicly or in private, but cannot say one negative word about their religious leaders even in their innermost chambers. Their minds have been conditioned to revere these men almost as much as God. This explains why many ridiculous ideologies and doctrines that fail the test of common sense woefully are swallowed wholly by even very intelligent people.
Organizers of religion know that a lot is at stake, so they give it their all. They research into new and more effective methods of enslaving the greatest number of people at a time.

This explains why many wars have been fought over religion and tonnes of blood wasted in the course of defending or fighting for one faith or the other.
That is also why the quest for the divine and holy has been in a messy state for centuries and will likely remain so unless men decide to wake up and realize that they do not have to succumb to the blackmail of having to give their souls to one religious group or the other. Men must take back their brains from religious leaders and begin to think for themselves. Is it not odd that right from the cradle, people’s minds and brains are surrendered to these temples to be manipulated, thus making it almost impossible for these people to stand aside and take an unbiased look at these institutions?

In the earlier times, men were free to express their worship however they chose and obviously God acknowledged these sincere expressions of love. Why not? It’s very clear that He never saw it fit to prescribe any particular mode of worship which everyone was supposed to follow. He left it up to us.

All the great religions we know today stem from man’s effort to fill in the gaps that God decided to leave blank. With all our famed intelligence over other creatures, we still miss the point so terribly. In what temple do the birds of the air and the beasts of the field worship? Can anyone sincerely say that these creatures do not worship our God? Of course they do, and most sincerely too, by following their instincts.

Not us.

We fail to see the clues that the good lord left all around us and go for the wares peddled by crafty men who tell us that they have seen God and He told them this or that, culminating in the fact that we must follow them to their own temples if we want to see God.

Our forebears whom we now tag pagans, heathens and other such denigrating terms lived relatively peaceful lives because they respected nature and all her children. By quiet contemplation, they were able to hear God speak to them through the plants, animals, the seasons and natural phenomena. I can say for sure, that in Africa where this kind of spirituality was practiced before the land was desecrated by invading religions, there were no cases of religious conflicts and wars. There was no need for such, since religion was purely a means of expressing our love for God and nothing more.

Even when these great forbears delineated deities, with each one having their priests, it did not lead to acrimony. Nothing stopped someone who consulted Amadioha today from consulting Ogwugwu tomorrow. None of the priests laid any claims of ownership on the people that came to them, rather, they saw it as their divine mandate to render spiritual service to these distraught people. The traditional religion had its flaws, but it definitely did not threaten the peace of the society.

It was only when organized religion came that families were torn apart by their loyalty to this mission or that mission. Friends became enemies because one belonged to this faith while the other belonged to the other.
These groups were taught that everyone outside their fold was doomed. They were coerced and brainwashed into believing this, so naturally dichotomy reigned and the pure essence of spirituality was lost.

I daresay that God does not live in our various temples, no matter how magnificent they are. Common sense tells us that He cannot be confined to any one place. So why is it considered almost a sacrilege for one not to identify with one temple or the other? Is temple worship really in the interest of God or the men who have organized these religions? Is temple worship in the interest of human beings who throng these places in search of God? Do they sincerely find Him there or are they merely brainwashed into saying things to please their masters who painstakingly trained them to become blind believers?

In this age when religion is posing the greatest challenge to peace and security in the world, there is a great need to take another look at the real reason behind congregational or temple worship. Individuals who still have the privilege of using their heads without any religious interference should help the world by staying firm on the path of right and helping others who are stuck in the miry clay of organized religion to regain the use of their normal, God-given senses of reasoning.

2 thoughts on “Temple Worship” by Nnenna-Ihebom (@Nnenna-Ihebom)

  1. When people want to fight, anything is an excuse, including religion. But religion is not the cause of our problems. Even our fore-fathers that worshipped stones, trees, and rivers as deities looked for reasons to fight their neighbours. When people remember the wars fought by bloodthirsty men in the name of religion, they should also remember the many acts of kindness, mercy and love that have been showered on humanity in the name of religion.

  2. Omila (@oriaifo-donald)

    i really like this piece. i like the angle you took, and the boldness. you did not point fingers and allowed your readers the freedom of making their own conclusions…but i think many ancient religions caused problems for society like the belief that twins were a curse from the gods (south-east Nigeria)…
    i really like this piece!

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