Confusion between physical and spiritual beings

Surprisingly, humans appear as if fully appreciating that the physical body cannot represent humanity. A dead person’s body does not represent the being. The corpse is always pointed at as the body of so and so, and not the person. If the body would be of so and so, where would be the owner of the body?

The confusion is when humans identify each other according to physical appearances. People are accorded due respect or disrespect according to physical appearances. Others even go as far as granting respect or disrespect according to racial appearance. But the being of a physical person is not physical.

When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”   “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”  Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you lose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah (Matthew 16:13-20 NIV).

The most important datum is to know and appreciate the meaning of the term “Messiah.”  What is a Messiah and what is His role on humanity? Without fully understanding this term, people come up with weird ideas of various kinds. In their attempt, theologians have adopted the idea of a Triune God, thereby invalidating Christ’s role. Without checking out the authenticity of the information, ordinary humans fall into falsehood, adopting what Jesus never taught.

The reason for the inability to evaluate data is three-fold. The first is idolatry, where other humans are assigned with authority, but without specific approval by Christ. Such authorities are granted the responsibility to check on behalf of everyone else. This is a result of not knowing one’s identity.

The second reason is sheer laziness, in the aspect of evaluating information. An evaluative mind is necessary for checking the authenticity. A lazy person does not entertain anything that requires hard work, as demanded by scientific research.

The third and most crucial is the inability to differentiate between the spiritual and the physical person. As long as stuck in the assumption of being physical, the person cannot entertain anything considered mindboggling. The physical person finds himself limited on all fronts and assumes being incapacitated.

The subject of science has made gigantic strides in studying the physical world and its manifestations. Science has made it possible to understand the physical universe through systematic observation and experiments. An average person views Galileo’s discoveries as magnanimous. But any careful observer could have achieved Galileo’s discoveries.

Those having achieved landmark scientific discoveries in this world are as human as anyone. There is nothing religious about such discoveries, except being a systematic observer. The aims of scientists are to produce workable results, rather than fallacious results. The most commendable thing about science is that it produces undisputable evidence.

In the world of information, such people are relied on, more than hearsays. Without scientific research, the current modern civilization would be nonexistent. Ordinary people accept anything, as long as interesting to the ear. In Zimbabwe, some young people are seized with the term “ideology” in political philosophy. They could commit murder, under the pretext that Africans need to defend some political ideology.

However, none of them appreciates the origin, let alone the meaning of the term “ideology.”  The term carries communistic undertones, whose philosophy they would not be educated about. They just believe what comes out of those said to have fought in the revolutionary struggle.

The Western whites, espousing democracy, are regarded as evil. Nevertheless, there is no scientific evaluation to prove that those from the West are worse than other humans. A careful observer knows that it is not necessarily the colour, or the texture of the skin, that makes a person good or evil.

An independent observer can easily see peddled falsehoods. A human being walking on the streets is not represented in the physical structure, including gender, either male or female. That person is spiritual, as not identified by physical structure. Any prejudicial evaluation of humanity is, actually, an aberration.

The whites, portrayed as more evil, may not be as wicked as those killing their own, for not voting for them. A non-observer can kill, assuming to defend the unchecked ideology on behalf of those benefitting from such falsehoods. Such evil conducts are the effect of ignorance.

The only difference between scientific observers and non-observers is that scientific observers engage in studies for which they are tenacious and committed. They do not allow anything to stop them, as long as desired to obtain truth, in their endeavours. It takes a person of strong character to remain committed to workable data.

Feeble characters are known to succumb. As unwilling to engage in what requires hard work, lazy people assume that scientific discoveries are reserved for the higher class. They would, actually, discourage those, in their communities, from attempting to engage in what is considered unachievable.

As clearly observable among Africans, valuable information has to come from Europe. This type of apathy is unbelievable but very true. The consideration is that as long as there are some people viewed as entrusted with valuable information, there is no reason to evaluate data. By espousing the faith, as little as a mustard seed, Jesus was encouraging scientific reasoning, rather than spiritual reasoning.

The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” He replied, “If you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it will obey you. “Suppose one of you has a servant ploughing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat?’ Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that, you may eat and drink’? Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’” (Luke 17:5-10 NIV).

As typical of Jesus’ preaching in parables, the above Scripture cannot be understood by ordinary people. The unworthy servant is the one whose mindset is committed to doing only what is commanded. Typical of a lazy person, a non-observer is unwilling to do anything else, except as commanded.

Nothing is impossible to those with scientific minds. In Africa, we have people who believe that everything should be done through some protocol. Thinking outside the commonly accepted customs is regarded as criminal. Fast jets have all along been viewed as not achievable by most Africans. These discoveries are assumed as preserved by those from Europe.

What kind of apathy is that? Diagnosing the cause of this apathetic reasoning, before eliminating the malady, could be most important. No data is more important than the statement of being created in God’s image. Hence, Jesus said with faith as little as a mustard seed nothing becomes impossible.

Does God entertain failure? If the answer is no, where is the problem of humanity coming from? The problem lies in the failure to check the authenticity of data, but believing falsehoods. For any data to be truthful, it has to come from the source, to be scientifically workable. In their human limitations, the scientific discoverers have provided us with the current technological advancements.

Their faith, as little as a mustard seed, has made great scientific achievements. The full conceptual understanding of having been created in God’s image puts one above those scientific discoverers. Hence, God’s children are not fascinated by miracles. There is no miracle that surpasses the miracle associated with becoming aware of being God’s child.

This was the reason for Jesus coming into this world. Jesus is the Messiah, only for the reason of redeeming humanity from their condition of mental slavery. This world requires hard work, to achieve things. The scientific discoverers are hard workers and have to be commended for such hard-working. Those scientists should be credited for the technological advancements.

However, God’s children are above the aspect of hard work, as not accommodated in this world. As Jesus was not of this world, those having aligned themselves as God’s children are also not accommodated in this world.

Jesus came to remove the confusion that had gripped humanity since the time of Adam. Created in God’s image, human beings had not been designed for degradation. The aspect of hard work was pronounced on Adam, after having succumbed to sin, against the specific instruction from God.

To Adam, he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil, you will eat food from it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow, you will eat your food until you return to the ground since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust, you will return” (Genesis 3:17-19 NIV).

Hard work was a sentence, pronounced after Adam had sinned. As long as living in this world, but shunning hard work, one would be violating God’s pronouncement of hard work. There cannot be anything achievable without hard work, in this world. Limited as the physical body is, hard work is demanded, for survival.

Food comes from the soil, needing tilling, in order to produce food. But there are other facets of hard work, equally requiring commitment and tenacity. A careful analysis shows that toiling in hard labour can be reduced by engaging the mind, which attends to the spirit.

It can be observed, that while there is also hard work in using the mind, more is achieved than is realized in physical labour. The mind is closer to the spirit, so those using the mind are closer to being spiritual. The aspect of using the mind for reasoning is associated with being spiritual, alleviating hard labour.

The mind is associated with the ability to analyze and produce workable results. For instance, an analytical farmer engages in farm mechanization to produce bountifully, without sweating. The usage of the mind, producing farming equipment, serves to eliminate hard labour.

This, then, shows that an educated person makes income, without having to sweat. One observes that there is an easy lifestyle when educated. This reveals that the mind is closer to the spirit, which is more intelligent than the physical body. Therefore, hard work is associated with the physical body rather than the spiritual body.

A scientific person uses the mind, in analyzing data, to be able to produce mindboggling achievements. Therefore, scientists ought to be credited for their evaluative analysis of information, to achieve, what is considered mindboggling, by those without scientific education. But, all this amounts to what is described as achievable, by those having faith as little as a mustard seed. God’s children are capable of achieving more.

Having achieved the point of becoming God’s child, one would be way ahead of any mindboggling scientific achievement. That person would be on the same level as Jesus, who cannot be equated with those great scientific achievers. Paul says such people are in God’s Household.

“Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him, the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord” (Ephesians 2:19-21 NIV).

Anyone can harass God’s people, or treat them badly, the way anyone likes. Such people can be killed or degraded in whatever way, but nothing takes away the fact that they would be God’s children. They can be dehumanized, just as Jesus was dehumanized. But their value is greater than that of the great scientists of this world.

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. In a simple conversational tone, most Zimbabweans should find the book as a long-awaited providential oasis of hope.

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