Kenya is a Christian society so we say and there is no better proof of this than in the proliferation of churches and gospel related shows that are aired on all major channels on Sunday morning.Since i live quite some distance from a church that i would love to attend i get to listen to a lot of preaching and music that is usually played out in this channels.But i prefer the music to the preaching and this is why.
Listening to most preachers they will either be speaking about prosperity,how tithing will guarantee you riches or they sound like motivational speakers telling you about how to better yourself for your next promotion,how to reach your self realization or exorcising demons.Okay i agree that we all need a little of that but having read the Bible back to back and having gone through school when religious education was a must,i remember something along the lines of Jesus telling his disciples that the greatest commandment was loving the Lord your God with all your heart,soul and mind and loving your neighbor as you love yourself.While it is a good thing to encourage the brethren to work hard for their dream house or car ,i do think instilling values on the congregation is more appropriate.But who knows maybe this kind of preaching is boring and we would soon see empty church halls as people are more focused on the material than being better human beings.
It is a sad day when we place material values before respect for my neighbor,empathy or integrity.It is a shame that Christian leaders aren’t exhorting their followers to be better human beings,to treat each other with dignity and to be honest.There is no better way to learn about this than in Parliament where each session begins with a prayer but we have seen our honorable members lying through their teeth when being questioned by fellow legislators.Our politicians can spin lies until it leaves one light headed yet they are the same ones getting converted or seeing the light every other Sunday.
Church has become big business and every one thinks they are the next miracle worker or exorcist out to drive the demons of poverty,infidelity,alcoholism and immorality.With just the right amount of seed you troubles will fly away thanks to the prayers of the next pastor ,no they are no longer called pastors they are bishops now.Sometimes it seems that people have become more interested in suing religion as a crutch,your marriage fails you turn to God,you don’t get a promotion you seek the next pastor to cast out the demons clouding your bosses judgment,you want a husband run to church for prayers.Whatever has happened to personal responsibility for our actions,you maybe lazy thats why you arent getting the promotion,your marriage maybe on the rocks because you spend all the time at work and on Sunday you are in church the whole day.Your children and husband probably have never spent a Sunday with you because you are in the choir and in all church committees.
One of my favorite quotes has to be this one by Mahatma Gandhi “I like your Christ,I do not like your Christians.Your Christians are so unlike your Christ”.I always wonder why this revered man would have said this words,probably he was so disappointed by the actions and lives of the Christians he encountered?It is true we cannot all be perfect but i do believe that every human being is on a constant journey of improving themselves,thats what life is all about.It is by living the ideals Jesus exemplified in his life that we can become better human beings,in treating our neighbors with respect and kindness,in helping out the needy,in avoiding idle gossip and back stabbing,in staying true to your vows and not telling lies.
Some of us have even abdicated personal responsibility for our actions and given them to our spiritual leaders,you want to buy a car,go and talk to your pastor,you want to move house seek your pastors opinion,you want to change jobs,you pastor knows best.While not belittling the role of these spiritual mentors it is important that we have been gifted with free will .St Augustine points a distinctive difference between animals and human beings.Humans can reason animals cannot.We exercise our free wheel when we choose good over evil,when we resist the temptation to follow the herd when we are called to acts of violence.We also use our free will when we refuse to give bribes to secure employment or to demand sexual favors from our juniors in exchange for promotion or good grades.
In conclusion i will give the story of Kamau who seeing the number of promotions of quick money going round decided to try his luck.So he went to church every day during his lunch hour ,on his knees he would beg God to let him win the 10 million cash prize that was being advertised and this went on for three weeks.During the last week when the competition was just about to end ,he was on his knees in church praying and pleading as usual when he heard a booming voice from heaven say go and buy the damn lottery ticket.