Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Reforming the spirit

I had a moment of insight yesterday while dwelling (yet again) on the Church in Nigeria. It must be painful for those genuinely committed to a Christian path of love and care for the other to see how those who grab the limelight with delusional Creflo Dollar-esque prosperity doctrine soil the message, while quiet good work is done a thousand times a day by Nigerian Christians in a thousand places. The solution to redeem the spoiled image of evangelical christianity is that crooked pastors must be identified and banished via internal mechanisms, checks and balances. Church books must be open to external auditing, questions must be capable of being asked to those in authority. Then a genuine reformation can take place which could only be very powerful and positive for Nigeria.

I guess my moment of insight was more simply that perversions of christianity (such as TB Joshua's alleged cure for Aids, breast cancer etc etc) are symptoms of a collective survival mode - where thousands of people en masse are pushed every day to the limits of their being - with a nourishing meal perhaps once a week, living in dreadful conditions. Rather than continually ranting on about these symptoms, solutions need to be found to the causes. Being led into a community of love and care (such as the Church) after years of hardship and abuse can be a hugely positive framework for transformation. I would not want to deny this.

Whether its Jesus, the Buddha, Mohammed, Guru Nanak or Rilke, there are a myriad of spiritual avatars who have come amongst us in history, offering pathways of spiritual development ahead of us. In each case, institutions can form around these heavenly beings which mess up the message. Mechanisms for reform are always needed within religious organisations, for the founding being's profundity to be kept intact. In this respect, Christianity is no different from any other organised religion: human beings can fall, as do the institutions they create.


Styl Council 12:17 pm  

Dearest J...thanks for this balanced insight into the diseased world of modern religion!
PS..howz my sister??!

Grace,  3:13 pm  

Amen to that.

the flying monkeys 12:39 pm  

I will wait for the major uproar on this but amazingly there are some comments by anonymous in language and satire below

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