Christianity is a lonesome journey

Physical humanity carries the DNA of grouping mentality, as a form of security. Possibly, having originated from animal kingdoms, the group instinct has affected humanity, up to this day. The European Union, the AU, the SADC and countless other group formations, are designed to provide security.

NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) provides envisaged security to some European countries. But the same countries struggle with the spectre of World War III, appearing as inevitable. There cannot be one hundred per cent guarantee of safety in this world, regardless of safety measures adopted.

Humanly speaking, the idea of grouping is most reasonable. The more united, the people are; the more secure they become assured. This started off at the Tower of Babel, recorded as having been an attempt to attain maximum security.

In humanoid form, protection is essential. This comes from a condition of animals’ behaviour. The Tower of Babel idea sought to eliminate the envisaged enmity. This promised to be workable for unity and security.

Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As people moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens so that we may make a name for ourselves; otherwise we will be scattered over the face of the whole earth” (Genesis 11:1-4 NIV).

The Babylonian Kingdom could, probably, have been the first human civilization, ever to entertain this idea. Unity grants the sophisticated ability to cooperate for producing sufficient protection. God did not support the grouping idea, even with apparent better survival possibilities.

God, holding the most important data on matters of security, never supported the grouping idea. He maintains his patience with humanity, gone astray.  Even what is considered as punishment, inflicted by God, carries the ultimate purpose for the good of humanity.

But the Lord came down to see the city and the tower the people were building. The Lord said, “If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other.” So the Lord scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel—because there the Lord confused the language of the whole world. From there the Lord scattered them over the face of the whole earth (Genesis 11:5-9 NIV).

This portrayed the confusion said to have been caused by God, and not by Satan, the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33). As the creator, God knew the power inherent in humanity. But, due to the acquired sinful attribute, anything viewed as leading to success, could be calamitous. Satan was used, where his idea of confusion became a blessing in disguise.

Satan, as the author of confusion, inflicted disunity among those people. But God remained in control. The dispersal was timely and necessary. There is nothing that Satan does unless God allows it. In the case of Babylonian confusion, the ultimate reason was to keep humanity focused on redemption. Since Adam, humanity had not had any contact with God.

Humanity died after Adam had sinned at the Garden of Eden. The pronounced death was a spiritual, rather than physical death. The plan of redemption was devised immediately after that incident. The redemption would not involve the human effort as devised by God Himself.

So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done,” Cursed you above all livestock and all wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” (Genesis 3:14-15 NIV).

The serpent, representing the devil, is the archenemy of humanity. The offspring of the woman, Jesus, would crush the head of the serpent. This signifies the silencing of the common enmity, forever. The offspring would be using a weapon, not envisaged by the vanquished humanity.

The offspring would crush the serpent’s head. The challenge of humanity lies in their inability to know Satan’s tactics by which humans are conquered. Satanic tactics include the grouping mentality, used for consideration of security measures. From a grouping mentality, comes failure. Zimbabwe is probably a classic example of this reality.

Satan was defeated at that landmark battle with Jesus, who won and reclaimed the Kingdom. That battle was superior to known weapons of mass destruction. The world remained ignorant of what was emerging from a fasting program, which Jesus had embarked on in the wilderness.

The tempter came to him and said, “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread.” Jesus answered, “it is written: ‘Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’” Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written: ‘” He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike you foot against a stone.’”

Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendour. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord you God, and serve him only.’” Then the devil left him, and angels came and attended him (Matthew 4:3-11 NIV).

The landmark epic battle had been won. Satan had previously infiltrated and besieged humanity through the woman, at the Garden of Eden. But her offspring came with a different game plan.  Satan was defeated. From then on, there would be no reason to fear, where each believer would be expected to carry his own cross (Matt. 16:24)

The archenemy of humanity was defeated so that the rest of humanity would only require faith to conquer, rather than confront the devil. This excludes the artillery, allies and compatriots. The first antitypical deliverance, by faith before Jesus, was by a man called Abram.

The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse, and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

So Abram left, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Haran. He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Haran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there. Abram travelled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the Land (Genesis 12:1-6 NIV).

This highlights the preamble of Abraham’s story, directly used by God, during those formative years of deliverance. This should never be regarded as having been an easy road for Abram whose name was later changed to Abraham, meaning the Father of many nations. He demonstrated the kind of faith, used as a standard for Christianity. See [Seven attributes of Abraham describe Christian faith].

“You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:26-29 NIV).

Jesus, by whose redemption all, including Abraham, are christened, was a loner. He individually faced the cross, at a time when His disciples, including Peter, who had previously declared loyalty, deserted Him. Jesus faced the cross on His own, although equipped with the knowledge of the goings-on. Jesus confirmed the lonesomeness of the Christian journey:

“Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him. Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”

Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me” (John 14:21-24 NIV).

It is not a coincidence that Jesus used a singular pronoun, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching,” Jesus revealed the aspect of singularly accessing God’s Kingdom. His communication was individually directed, rather than incorporating the eleven disciples.

One does not need a grouping, with which to attain God’s Kingdom. There is no need, even to desire one’s family to be incorporated. Jesus excluded his own family from His programs. They could not understand Him.

It is, actually, impossible for those unwilling to forsake their groupings to access God’s Kingdom. This is why Jesus did not proselytize during His ministry. There is more to surrender, before accessing God’s Kingdom.

Large crowds were travelling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple” (Luke 14:25-27 NIV).

Grouping is unnecessary for capacitating oneself to face Christian challenges. This battle has got nothing to do with other people. There is no need, even to consider those one could identify as brethren.

Blaming others for not behaving circumspectly is unchristian. Hence, Jesus said, “many are called, but few are chosen,” (Matthew 22:14). He gave another parable showing the imprudence of condemning fellow Christians.

Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’

“’ An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’” ‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may root up the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First, collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’” (Matthew 13:24-30 NIV).

The tendency is to assume that those comprising a group, with whom one would be fellowshipping, are included. That is untrue and neither does the parable suggest the possibility of God removing the weeds. Those weeds serve a special purpose of developing God’s children.

Similarly, Abraham contended with idolaters, in foreign lands. This could have been designed to increase Abraham’s faith. It is unnecessary to condemn those not abiding by the Biblical requirements of the Christian faith. Having become God’s child, the believer is by Himself.

The only person to consult, in the event of facing challenges is God, through Jesus. Pastors could serve, but those cease to be necessary, as soon as the person receives the Holy Spirit.

Pastors are necessary only at the stage of milk-feeding, as indicated by Paul (1 Cor. 3:1-4). There is no reason to compare who is greater, among Christians. After having received the Holy Spirit, Christ would have taken over.

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.

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