I have issues with this brand of religion we practice in this part of the world. They are:
We think anyone who questions any aspect of our belief system is hell-bound. Worse still if they criticize it. Come on, it smacks of insecurity in what or who you believe if questions get under your skin. So you present proof that Jesus Christ did not resurrect from the dead-, I have read such well-researched scientific evidence- and you expect me to give up my faith in the Resurrection? I INTERROGATE SUCH STUFF WITHOUT RANCOR BUT AM UNMOVED BY IT. If you are a Muslim and are confronted with critical approaches to vexing issues like the concept of Jihad, how do you respond? Even believers have the leeway to question their faith. That is why of all of Christ’s apostles, my favorite is Thomas. He was upfront about his doubts and our Lord answered them. Wonder how a modern-day Nigerian priest, pastor or Imam would have reacted.
These men and women of God….hmmm. I refuse to surrender my mind, brains and soul to any of them, including those of my church. I respect their call and pray for their successful ministry. But I will not swallow any stuff they say from the pulpit or anywhere else uncritically. I do not care how many miracles they perform: after all, the magicians of Pharaoh also turned their staffs into snakes. For those who do not learn from history, Christian leaders were actively involved in the Rwandan massacres of 1994, calling on their congregations to kill people of other tribes. The roles of Muslim preachers in the wave of terrorism is well known. Wish all who go to church, mosque, etc. in Nigeria first ask the Almighty for minds of their own before they listen to any sermon. I will not do anything a man of God tells me that my heart disagrees with.
Finally, we live in our private cocoons and know nothing about faiths outside ours. Even the one we call ours; what do we really know apart from what our leaders feed into our brains? As a Catholic, have you independently studied the Pentecostal/ Evangelical movement? You member of Winners or Christ’s Embassy, have you independently studied the antecedents of those churches you refer to as ‘dead’? What of Islam? What do you know about the Quran, the Sunnis and Shias?
Atheists, agnostics and free thinkers are part of our world and they are doing good business, partly due to our shortcomings in our conduct as believers; our intolerance; our narrow-mindedness; and inability to answer life’s big questions with our faiths. We have to go back to the drawing-board and calling down holy ghost fire or being stupidly superior is not the way out.