Mahatma Karamchand Gandhi was a pre-eminent political and ideological leader of India who lived between 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948, pioneering satyagraha, which was defined as resistance to tyranny through mass civil disobedience and became a philosophy firmly founded upon ahimsa (meaning total nonviolence). Gandhi was quoted as saying that it is only the Christians that do not know God. And I am beginning to believe Gandhi following a comment a man of disrepute and dishonest who professes Christianity he lags 99% in his manners and character made on me on the social networking site called Facebook. This man reprimanded a friend saying that why must the friend quote the bible to me that I do not believe in it.
How some people are myopic! The question I have been asking myself since the 27th of August 2011 that I read his jaundiced statement was, so, Christians only preach the bible to those who believe in it? But I will disprove this because I believe that there are good Christians out there than the crass Christian this man is that he wants me to measure every other Christian as himself.
The undertone in his reproach to my dear friend on Facebook with his ill-fated comment was to see if my friend could begin to churlish me as he thought that he has done in the political cycle by debasing my name before anybody who could help me for his selfish-enrichment.
While many Christians, like the detractor, take cover under the disguise of being Christians and hoodwink people while still indulging in heinous practices, it is imperative to state here that God does not read the bible and does not even know what a bible is.
However, the words contained in the bible, to a very large extent, are soul up-lighting. I stand to be corrected that the Bible was not known by nature and God is too big to be contained in the bible alone. If God, as the Christians want many of us to believe is contained in the bible, does it mean that His voice disappeared and He stopped talking after the compilation of the bible?
We must know that what we have today as bible was a compound of scrolls brought together for the reason only known to the compilers. We have been told that the Holy Spirit inspired them. That apart! We should not forget that a lot of scrolls are missing in the bible. Again, people are still writing a lot of inspiring scrolls and books till date. To these latter writers, are they speaking the voice of Satan if not yet by divine inspiration? For example, what have happened in Nigeria from Independence till date could make up different bibles if compiled. But if that was to be done, the religionists would call it a history book. And I am yet to know whether the bible is a biology book if not a history book as well. Thus, I have wondered why the Catholic uses 77 books of the bible while the Protestant uses 66 books of the bible. Has anybody wondered and asked question about this?
In my knowledge of God, He is still speaking through the people in different ways and different capacity in the recent time. This is why I am tolerant to read very vast no matter the religion. A mentor would always tell me that the truth is everywhere and can be found anywhere. This is to say that the truth is not only contained in the bible. It is in the search of this truth that you and I can be saved, and not on dogma that has brainwashed the likes of my admonisher.
The Christian fanatics would always not subscribe from the above explicit because in their hinged mindset they have already ascribed Christianity as “a way of life”. And I have wondered how Christianity which barely came into existence two thousand years ago was “a way of life” whereas records show that the world is millions of years old.
It is against that backdrop of “Christianity is a way of life” that it becomes appalling that majority Christians, like my admonisher, see anybody who does not or passively read the bible as evil or who does not know God. To me, there is only one recorded Jesus Christ but that does not mean that there were/are no potential Christs before and after Him.
People like Buddha who preached about morality and love five hundred years before Jesus Christ came, Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Malcom X, Fela Kuti, Bob Marley and a host of others, did they fall from the blues? What were their messages? Do we not still get inspiration and upliftment of the soul from their sermons? Mohammed was a Prophet who even showed leadership without performing any miracle. Today, nearly one quarter of the world population have come to embrace his teachings. Why does the fanatic Christians see the bible as the only source of inspiration and anybody who does not read it automatically becomes a Satan?
I am afraid the Church gurus intentionally barred their followers from reading other religious books so that they will not be exposed to the knowledge inherent in those books for the fear of losing followership. It is dangerous when a particular religious sect claims supremacy over others and is intolerant, thereby swimming in the euphoria of the bridge of pomposity and arrogance, which nature abhors.
It is this intolerance of other people’s faith by the different religious organizations that has brought this world to the irredeemable level it is today which is characterized by corruption, bestiality, nepotism, anarchy, terrorism, extra-judicial killings, sit-tight rule, just name them. These are products of lack of love which was supposed to be the epicenter of every religion of the world. It is annoying today how religionists’ czars have become the preachers of wars, hatred, division, bigotry etcetera in lure of becoming the preachers of love. Lives of people the world has lost in the tussle of religious supremacy, World Wars 1 and 2 did not record them.
On the memory lane, a lecture that Bertrand Russell delivered on March 6, 1927 to the National Secular Society, South London Branch, at Battersea Town Hall, titled “Why I am Not A Christian”, he says that the word Christian has been flagrantly misused in our world by the majority of the people. Hear him: “Some people mean no more by it than a person who attempts to live a good life. In that sense I suppose there would be Christians in all sects and creeds; but I do not think that that is the proper sense of the word, if only because it would imply that all the people who are not Christians — all the Buddhists, Confucians, Mohammedans, and so on — are not trying to live a good life.”
To the jaundiced Christians like my admonisher, any Buddhists, Confucians, Mohammedans and so on that are not Christians are hellhound. It is joyous that the ways of the Almighty is not the ways of man and woman. Russell says that he is confused because a Christian should not mean any person who tries to live decently… (Or carry the bible). “I think that you must have a certain amount of definite belief before you have a right to call yourself a Christian,” he says. “The word does not have quite such a full-blooded meaning now as it had in the times of St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas.”
Today, Russell is worried that in those days in mention a man was unruly and meant it if he said that he was a Christian. Today, hardly is anybody talking about the Almighty because people like my admonisher have divided the world into Christians, Mohammedans, Buddhists, fetish worshipers, and so on, without recourse to LOVE. “…You accepted a whole collection of creeds which were set out with great precision, and every single syllable of those creeds you believed with the whole strength of your convictions…I do not think that Christ was the best and wisest of men, although I grant him a very high degree of moral goodness,” says Russell.
Russell perhaps had my admonisher at heart when he said that natural law is with common argument, and was a favorite argument
all through the eighteenth century, especially under the influence of Sir Isaac Newton and his cosmogony. “…People observed the planets going around the sun according to the law of gravitation, and they thought that God had given a behest to these planets to move in that particular fashion, and that was why they did so…,” he says.
The above simple explanation, he says, saved them the trouble of looking any further for explanations of the law of gravitation. “Nowadays, we explain the law of gravitation in a somewhat complicated fashion that Einstein has introduced,” he says. “Einstein interpreted his own side-view of law of gravitation, and there was no longer sort of natural law that was in the Newtonian system, “where, for some reason that nobody could understand, nature behaved in a uniform fashion.”
“We now find that a great many things we thought were natural laws are really human conventions,” Russell says. He lectures that even in the remotest depths of stellar space there are still three feet to a yard, but that would be hardly called a law of nature. He reiterates that a great number of things that have been regarded as laws of nature are of that kind. “…Quite apart from that, which represents the momentary state of science that may change tomorrow, the whole idea that natural laws imply a lawgiver is due to a confusion between natural and human laws…”
From Russell, we can reason that Human Laws, like that of my admonisher and a lot of religious fanatics, are orders commanding us to behave a certain way, in which we may choose to behave, or we may choose not to behave; but natural laws are a description of how things do in fact behave, and being a mere description of what they in fact do. He says that one cannot argue that there must be somebody who told them to do that, because even supposing that there were, one is then faced with the question: “Why did God issue just those natural laws and no others?”
“If you say that he did it simply from His own good pleasure, and without any reason, you then find that there is something which is not subject to law, and so your train of natural law is interrupted,” he says. “If you say, as more orthodox theologians do, that in all the laws which God issues he had a reason for giving those laws rather than others — the reason, of course, being to create the best universe, although you would never think it to look at it — if there were a reason for the laws which God gave, then God himself was subject to law…”
Like I said earlier that TRUTH can be found anywhere, Russell reminds us this about Christ: He said, “Resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” Russell does not see this as a new precept or a new principle. He says that it was used by Lao-tse and Buddha some 500 or 600 years before Christ, but it is not a principle which as a matter of fact Christians accept. “I have no doubt that the present prime minister [Stanley Baldwin], for instance, is a most sincere Christian, but I should not advise any of you to go and smite him on one cheek. I think you might find that he thought this text was intended in a figurative sense,” he warns.
There is another point which Russell says that he considers excellent. And he says: You will remember that Christ said, “Judge not lest ye be judged.” Russell explains: That principle I do not think you would find was popular in the law courts of Christian countries. I have known in my time quite a number of judges who were very earnest Christians, and none of them felt that they were acting contrary to Christian principles in what they did. Then Christ says, “Give to him that asketh of thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away.” That is a very good principle, says Russell, we have been reminded that we are not here to talk politics, but I cannot help observing that the last general election was fought on the question of how desirable it was to turn away from him that would borrow of thee, so that one must assume that the Liberals and Conservatives of this country are composed of people who do not agree with the teaching of Christ, because they certainly did very emphatically turn away on that occasion.
Hear Russell again: Then there is one other maxim of Christ which I think has a great deal in it, but I do not find that it is very popular among some of our Christian friends. He says, “If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that which thou hast, and give to the poor.” Russell says: That is a very excellent maxim, but, as I say, it is not much practiced. All these, I think, are good maxims, although they are a little difficult to live up to. I do not profess to live up to them myself; but then, after all, it is not quite the same thing as for a Christian.
Even I, Russell, believes that the real reason why people accept religion has anything to do with argumentation; they accept religion on emotional grounds. “…You find as you look around the world that every single bit of progress in humane feeling, every improvement in the criminal law, every step toward the diminution of war, every step toward better treatment of the colored races, or every mitigation of slavery, every moral progress that there has been in the world, has been consistently opposed by the organized churches of the world. I say quite deliberately that the Christian religion, as organized in its churches, has been and still is the principal enemy of moral progress in the world.”
He says that he thinks religion is based primarily and mainly upon fear. To him, it is partly the terror of the unknown and partly, the wish to feel that one has a kind of elder brother who will stand by him or her in all the troubles and disputes. Hear him: Fear is the basis of the whole thing — fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand. It is because fear is at the basis of those two things.
Russell makes us to understand that in this world we can now begin a little to understand things, and a little to master them by help of science, which has forced its way step by step against the Christian religion, against the churches, and against the opposition of all the old precepts. (Except in Nigeria. Emphasis mine).
He further says that science can help us to get over this craven fear in which mankind has lived for so many generations. Science can teach us, and he thinks our own hearts can teach us, no longer to look around for imaginary supports, no longer to invent allies in the sky, but rather to look to our own efforts here below to make this world a better place to live in, instead of the sort of place that the churches in all these centuries have made it.
A good world needs knowledge, kindliness, and courage, says Bertrand Russell; it does not need a regretful hankering after the past or a fettering of the free intelligence by the words uttered long ago by ignorant men. when you hear people in church debasing themselves and saying that they are miserable sinners, and all the rest of it, it seems contemptible and not worthy of self-respecting human beings. We ought to stand up and look the world frankly in the face. We ought to make the best we can of the world, and if it is not as good as we wish, after all it will still be better than what these others have made of it in all these ages. It needs a fearless outlook and a free intelligence. It needs hope for the future, not looking back all the time toward a past that is dead, which we trust will be far surpassed by the future that our intelligence can create.
With the above explanations, we can find out that most laws we operate in the world are laws of men and not laws of God (for those who believe in His existence). Russell advises that we must conquer the world by intelligence a
nd not merely by being slavishly subdued by the terror that comes from it; religion is a conception quite unworthy of free men like the man who says that I do not believe in the bible.