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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

On Being a Christian

I've been inspired to do a blog on my faith for a while now, but i think i got the much needed push a couple of days back...

It all started with the Bus 25 again! After i solemnly vowed not to go on that bus again, see it was all Scribbles fault o! Anyways i got on the bus again headed home and this time it was a ...for lack of a better word..religious fanatic. He had this huge ghana-must-go bag with all his paraphernalia in it, placards and stuff. Now Oxford Circus to Mile End is roughly 30-45 mins and this man did not shut it for the entire journey. He was going on and on about free masons, dogs and the queen.He said they had killed some guy named Mark Quinsey feel free to google. Mark Quinsey was a soldier shot dead by IRA gunmen outside the army barracks in North Ireland, he was due to return to the Afghan war the next day. His family descibed it as an irony that he was killed on UK soil, I agree. Anyways i didnt know anything about Mark Quinsey till i heard the "prophet" on the bus.

He was quite hilarious frankly, he said the queen was a witch, a serial killer, that she killed 100 people in a year. I nearly fainted when he said people who didnt wear coats in this weather were practicing spiritual wickedness cos they wanted to control the minds of others so that they wouldnt dress warmly. He had a lot against the Free masons ( i no no wetin dem do am o!) called them dogs that would burn in hell. He also talked about Madoff who "made of with people's money" and Adam Levine who was "living with people's money" The pun is entirely his, by the way. My friend's and I had a laugh after we got of the bus, but long after that it still had me thinking.

They say that there is some truth in the ramblings of a mad or drunken man. There was a lot of truth in what that guy had to say but much of it had been buried under a burning hatred, misguided passion and i dare say mild lunacy! He was what some would call a "fire and brimstone preacher" Change, repent or go to hell.

I was born and raised a Christian but my beginnings were not so clearcut. My Dad was a staunch Anglican, we went to church at 8am and stayed till 12noon cos he sat through the English service and one in my native language. He donated generously towards the harvest and building fund, so much so that they used to beat my brother and I in the junior church cos they were so certain Chief had given us more than 5 naira for offering (they were right though!)My Mum was a Catholic who later went pentecostal, actually so did my Dad a couple of years later when he suffered a stroke and often woke up at night to find out that the group of people praying around his bed were from my mother's church and not his.

As a child, in church i was at the forefront, in the choir, choreography, drama and all, but mostly it was because i loved the spotlight. I have been a person of faith for so long now, what i am not so sure about was whether it was myself i believed in or if it was God. I always had this calm confidence that i would get those things that were important to me, especially as far as my education was concerned. I didnt fret about exams or other things that should have made me anxious. I do not know exactly when i made the transition to a person that has so much faith in God on the other hand i think, maybe i have always been that person.

Dont get me wrong, i am far from perfect in my walk with God, i'm not the girl that sits in the front row of church or falls under the spirit every Sunday but my relationship with God is clear. He loves me, completely in this way that amazes me, that makes me wonder if i'm worthy, that breaks my heart every time i fail HIm, because i know that He is the only one that sees all of me, not just the side i want to show and yet He still loves me. I constantly crave a complete connection with God cos thats the only time i feel truly secure. How do i know this? I'm alive, in good health, food on my table, clothes on my back, studying under a scholarship at one of UK's top 15 law schools.

How do i know that its God, not just some coincidence to have been blessed this way? I just do, there's a strong conviction inside of me, something that is so hard to explain, something that i wish i could share with the rest of the world and this brings me back to my point, the man on the bus. He believes in what he was saying with all of his heart, so much that he risks questions to his sanity to shout it out in a bus full of about 200 people (or more!) So then i think maybe he's not crazy, maybe we are all looking at the same thing from different angles and seeing it differently. I think we all just need something to believe in, and for most of us its a struggle to explain the basis for our beliefs. In all this what scares me the most is that there are people out there that dont believe in anything, how do they get by???


ttlolla said...

Your familys christian journey is similar to mine

Parents orthodox church, mum leaves and joins a penticostal church, i follow her as a 9 year old

Popsy, organist of the old churhc joins cos life showed him the business...lol

Just like you i hate to grieve the holyspirit, hes my friend and i mean that...he makes the most sense

I didnt join so many societies cos i hate attention

Neo said...

ironical. i have since grown out of my attention seeking.

jus read the truth don die blog and i was jus speechless. Maybe the same way i blive strongly in smth is the same way some pple blive strongly in nothing.

Enoch said...

I'm commenting because you asked "what scares me the most is that there are people out there that dont believe in anything, how do they get by"

The truth is, some find it difficult while others find it easy. Atheists have different coping mechanisms and some don't even need to have any.

As for me, I just can't hold on to a conviction that is not demonstrably true. I have tried and I am not wired that way.

In as much as I envy a lot of people of faith, because I sometimes think suspension of reason might be a worthy price to pay for the rewards of believing that you're part of something larger than yourself, I cannot grab onto some random unprovable belief just to scratch a psychological itch.

I am just not capable of believing in and living my life by a story in a book written by my fellow men out of the millions of stories written by other men without incontrovertible evidence.

How do I cope? I make my own luck. I also happen to have a scholarship and I don't see why God would suffer herself to give me a scholarship and let kids die in oodles worldwide because they have nothing to eat.

You are lucky to have a mind that is compatible with the God idea.

Neo said...

indeed i am. like u said we all have different coping mechanisms. Mine is my faith.

it was just different to realise that really there are "faithless" people. I guess the kind i want to believe that no matter what the people close to me believe in, they believe in something that transcends this world, cos i look around each day and there are things that i will never be able to explain..
for the Christians/Muslims, who made God/Allah
For the scientologists, how did the first atom/life force get here

There are always certain questions we will never have answers to and i wont kill myself tryin to wonder what they are.

My faith has got me this far in this truly crazy world and i'm sure its goin to see me through...

i hope one day u'll find something strong enough to believe in besides urself, then maybe u'll understand where i'm comin from.

Enoch said...

I know you believe in God and I am not dragging you over hot coals for that but to now assume you are God and make statements like "There are always certain questions we will never have answers to" smacks of ____

A good number of the questions thought unanswerable from just a handful of centuries ago have now been answered.

Unanswered questions would be conquered in time, and perhaps all of them would, such is the power of the scientific method. But more importantly, oversimplifying those apparent mysteries and giving God the credit is somewhat defeatist.

Some say we have pea sized intellects that can't grasp beyond certain limits. But they ignore that we could very well just be biological machines that can be upgraded aggressively via genetic manipulation. It is a radical idea but we are already doing it in other animals.

Btw, if you die today and Jam Allah in the afterlife and end up in a Muslim hell, how would you feel? Does that give you cause for concern?

Oh, I forgot to mention. I like your blog a lot.

Neo said...

I never did assume myself to be God, and i stand by what i said there are certain questions that will never be answered... picture this

I believe in God, You dont, how then can u answer questions about his existence or lack thereof? Even science cannot explain that.

I dont worry abt ending up in a "muslim hell" bcos its existence is outside the contemplation of my faith. So, no it doesnt give me cause for concern.

If as u believe God doesnt exist then technically i have nothing to lose abi? My faith keeps me grounded, and i'm sure for a lot of people it is that way.

Religion has done a lot of +ve good in this world, its helped shape what we as humans have now codified into laws and i guess the fear of a transcendental retribution keeps people in check. the way i see it anything that can achieve that cant be all bad...assuming we're all just deluded.

Thanks. I like my blog too :-)

Enoch said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Neo said...

maybe when u finish ur present degree u shd consider a second one in law (assumin ur not a lawyer)

U do follow a very logical line of reasoning, and normally i do but this is where we diverge cos as far as my faith is concerned there is nothing logical about it..hence the word faith.

I do understand that this is "clean fun" and the lawyer in me always has a rejoinder but i have a feeling this might be endless so lets concede this one.

Its ok, tho u made me mini-blog too, doubt i'll post anything else anytime soon!

Enoch said...

typo: Parkinson's disease.

This engineering major was hoping that the lawyer in you would put up a fight. But it's all good.

"My faith is irrational" may give you solace but consider that you might just be enslaved by an untrue man-made idea. Bound by inescapable shackles forged out of the irrationality it demands.

Good luck with your studies and may your God bless you.

Neo said...

Thanks and amen!

The lawyer would only fight a battle that has no end, if i were billing someone for it...lol.

Funny how i love this shackled slavery! There really is a bit of craziness in all of us, abi u dont agree?

I feel i shd ask that u be blessed too, shd i say "May the force be with you?" I'll just ask my God to bless u, nes pas? So if u feel "blessed" let me know, ok?

Ur comments really provoke mini-blogging!

Enoch said...

It is not endless and you are indeed billing yourself regardless of whether you argue or not. Hard to spot but the currency is moral and intellectual freedom. That cost is mind boggling in dollar terms.

Typically, kids born into a burden don't perceive it as such and often love it courtesy of the plasticity of the human mind. Eg; Kid soldiers. Case in point.

Either phrase would do. Wishing someone well is just a gesture of the heart. "The force is strong in this one"


Neo said...


Nutty J. said...
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Nutty J. said...

I'm seeing this a year later and its fresh...

Like Enoch said...I like your blog