Christianity can be the worst religion, as long as practised by non-Christians, incapacitating its workability. Christianity was designed to solve problems. When committed where there would be Christians applying principles of Christianity; that area cannot be found confounded with problems.
Christianity implies problem-solving, where the application of logic would be done with precision. Currently prevailing are religiously committed people who make everything said by Jesus sacred; but inapplicable by humanity. This describes selfish people who hide their selfishness by being pretentious, as to be likened to clouds without rain.
“Like clouds and wind without rain is one who boasts of gifts never given” (Proverbs 25:15 NIV).
“Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion. These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm—shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead. They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever” (Jude 1:11-13 NIV).
This world holds what is described as common sense, serving as the only workable method of solving problems, in this world. The ability to determine matters of common sense requires discarding falsehood. This world is driven by propaganda. People believe things that appear reasonable when totally unreasonable. For instance, in African democracy, what’s wrong with electing a white President?
Under colonialism, racism was more of an issue than managing material resources. Why are some former British colonies thriving economies, while the black-managed ones are languishing in poverty? The easy-to-sell propaganda is that the former colonialists are more cunning than black leaders. None of those selling that propaganda care about the marginalized populace.
In Zimbabwe, supplementary budgets are common, from the Minister of Finance. The reasons for supplementary budgets are not addressed. That behaviour is commonly adopted as a standard, in running a country. However, logic dictates that such behaviour is abnormal. This is the same as sending a child to school without any clue of how school fees would be paid. Such behaviour describes the highest order of insanity. Insane people are not always only limited to those in institutions.
The Kingdom of God is more to do with order, than chaos. This entails doing the right thing, rather than the wrong thing. The Ten Commandments and other statutes, given to the Children of Israel, were meant to instil order. Failures were a result of the inability to understand the principle of order.
Insanity can be found among people who pass for normal, in an insane environment. This is what Jesus contended with, during His teaching expeditions. To illustrate this point, let us take a few excerpts from His famous Sermon on the Mount. Everything said by Jesus, represents what is logical, rather than what is illogical.
Without understanding, the irrational audience could have assumed that what Jesus said was irrational. But Jesus represented the most logical and workable ideas, leading to life, rather than death. For instance, what does He mean; “Bless are the poor in Spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of God” (Matthew 5:3)?
This is a figure of speech; an idiomatic expression, referring to humility. This refers to people opposed to those with the full of “I know” attitude. Generally, people love the idea of being respected but are selective about whom to respect. Yet the poor in spirit respect, even those known to be lowly in intellectual understanding. To be poor in spirit is commonly considered a weakness, by most people. However, logically, the poor in spirit point to those described as blessed, according to Jesus.
What Jesus said should not be taken as a religious statement. It is an axiomatic statement about the workability of principles of survival. Respect is commonly given to the pompous, rather than the humble. A proud person can attract admiration from other people who also carry similar feelings in their behaviour, although not successful in life.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied”(Matthew 5:6). Evil people may not understand how a person can hunger and thirst for righteousness. However, those thirsting and hungering for righteousness make a difference in our embattled world. They are different from those looking for greener pastures, in order to obtain comfortable lifestyles.
Most of our black people leave their economically troubled countries to be in the Diaspora. They look for comfort in other parts of the world. Such people hunger and thirst for comfort, rather than hunger and thirst for righteousness. Let us stop and think about those who participate in fighting for democracy, but not campaigning for political positions.
It could also be those sacrificing their own lives to be with those under siege, for whatever reason. They commit themselves to campaign against the violation of human rights. Those people become satisfied, only when justice prevails. This world carries names like Martin Luther King Jr. Mahatma Gandhi of India and many others, who have courageously stood up for human dignity.
These are individuals who would have demonstrated hunger and thirst for righteousness. They are a nuisance to those demonstrating appetites for the opposite. Some of them may have died without achieving the intended righteousness in their territories. But, they die comfortably; with the promise to eventually be satisfied as they get resurrected to find their dreams fulfilled.
“Let what you say be simply ‘yes’ or ‘no’; anything more than this comes from evil “(Matthew 5:37). This particular Scripture describes a principle of assertiveness in what one says. Even in this world, who can be comfortable, dealing with wishy-washy individuals? Imagine proposing love to a woman whose answer is not definite, whether to accept your proposal or not. It could be one pretending to love you, but only because of your money, rather than for who you are.
Conversely, it could be a man pretending to love a woman for her wealth, or beauty, rather than for her character. Such people are wishy-washy individuals, never to be acceptable. Jesus says such behaviour comes from the evil one. Jesus was portraying an axiomatic principle that cannot be found in problematic engagements. In this world, it is fashionable to say what one doesn’t mean.
That behaviour serves to describe the evil world we live in. Honesty is good, and what is evil can be described as dishonesty. The teachings of Jesus describe the best form of professionalism, applicable in all sectors of human behaviour. The only reason for dishonest people to exist is that dishonesty appeals to profitability in shortcuts. Any form of corruption is considered acceptable to most people, as giving comfort but confirming evil in those practising it.
Another way of examining oneself whether good or evil is whether willing to accept bribes or not. The rightfulness of people in business or other activities can be measured by the accuracy of the application of spoken words. It might not be possible to find such people in this world. However, any person can choose to make a difference in this dark world of sin.
“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money”(Matthew 6:24).
Making a profit in business transactions requires shrewdness. Most people said to be successful in business are good at making bargains. This requires taking advantage of the other person. For anyone to be in the game of making money; shrewdness is virtuous. This portrays the violation of the principle of yes or no, as covered earlier.
One may consider selling a product at a set price. Quite often prices change, depending on demand. The higher the demand, the more expensive the product becomes. This is how businesses are conducted, by those looking for opportunities to accumulate money, rather than make sufficient money for personal survival.
The idea of making more money than would be necessary is tantamount to worshipping money, according to Jesus’ teaching. It is impossible for one attracted to making money, to serve God, at the same time. Serving God implies the consideration of other people’s welfare, ahead of self.
The love of money causes some people to be very unreasonable in their conduct, as forgetting that they would die at some point. Hence, Jesus gave a parable of the rich fool (Luke 12:13-21). Money causes a person to change from oneself, due to being idolized by others.
In short, Jesus’ words are not religious statements, to be applied by religious people at Church services. Those are words of wisdom, applicable to any person without, necessarily, declaring being Christian.
Nothing religious can be found, even in the so-called “Lord’s Prayer”. That prayer grants the petitioner a means to reflect on degrading the physical nature, to uplift Godly nature. That prayer can be used as an instrument of meditation, deeply reflecting on one’s identity.
Jesus should be accepted as a great man of wisdom, rather than one viewed as a religious leader. Just by going through the entire Sermon on the Mount, one can be effectively informed on matters of wisdom. The idea of annexing Christianity into religion is the greatest deception, meant to mislead the followers of Jesus Christ.
The apostle Paul contended with the stupidity of people who, after listening to Paul’s inspired preaching sought to confer religiosity on him. Amazingly, those people preferred to continue with that stupidity, even after Paul had shown them that there was no wisdom in so doing.
When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!” Barnabas, they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker. The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them. But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting:
“Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them. In the past, he let all nations go their own way. Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them(Acts 14:11-18 NIV).
In short, there is no logic in religion, which encourages people to annul their reasoning capacity. Jesus provided us with the axioms to do with matters of survival. Those who opposed Jesus were people obsessed with religion, rather than appreciating matters of common sense.
Jesus said He was the way, the truth and the life. By those words, Jesus meant providing the way through which humanity could move out of the maze. “There is a way that seems right to a man, but the end thereof is death”(Proverbs 14:12). A person lost in a gully, gets confronted by many possible routes, attracting him further off the escape route.
Rather than rely on guesswork, a wise person would pose and look for those with information before proceeding. That behaviour is commonly described as wisdom. There could be many people purporting to know the route, but without being truthful. However, there would always be one person, more familiar with the area, to provide safe guidance.
The route to life can only be provided by a person who knows the technicalities of accessing life. Following any other informant, without ever checking the aspect of credentials, can lead anyone astray. There is nothing wrong with using common sense to solve problems in this world.
There are many good people who shun the Christian religion, due to observing unreasonableness among those calling themselves “Christians”. Common sense can help humanity to produce positive results in the environment. By default; China displays the ability to pursue common sense, without factoring in the aspect of religion. The life of the Chinese people can be viewed as better than what prevails in Christianity.
Jesus laid down standards by which humanity can attain life. All education ought to be tailored according to Jesus’ teachings. This provides for accessing workable information rather than pursuing deceitful information. Logic needs application, more than religion ought to be applied.
Andrew Masuku is the author of Dimensions of a New Civilization, laying down standards for uplifting Zimbabwe from the current state of economic depression into a model for other nations worldwide. A decaying tree provides an opportunity for a blossoming sprout. Written from a Christian perspective, the book is a product of inspiration, bringing relief to those having witnessed the strings of unworkable solutions––leading to the current economic and social decay. Most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope, in a simple conversational tone.
The Print copy is now available at Amazon.com for $13.99