Posts Tagged ‘pursuit of happiness’

In these last days..

On the recommendation of my friend Faisal, I downloaded a new book by Rashid Alamir titled the Art of Deception. Many of us realize at some point, religion really messes with one’s ego. We read articles and books on “how to get rich” or “how to rejuvenate your Christian life” or “ways to listen to the voice of God” etc… all in pursuit of happiness. Faisal may be Asian, and may not be born again, but he’s my best friend so we talk about our lives pretty much, and he’s studied Psychology so he can juggle with your mind as much as he wishes and better yet he can tell if you are playing mind games with him. Anyway, during our trip out to Naivasha he said a friend had recommended the book to him and he thought it might help me.

So I just finished reading the book yesterday. The central theme is what is referred to as Barnum statements. Basically the author is coming at this from a religious point of view, that excitement and desire springs from the unknown and uncertainty, but intimacy comes from knowledge and certainty. Barnum statements are statements that people find personally unique and meaningful, but the statements could be applied to just about anybody. I’m afraid this has been mastered by religious folks nowadays. The author goes into detail about love and desire; security and passion as possibly the most sought after needs by humanity. This is a technique that is both good and bad. Good in the sense that it helps speakers, preachers, teachers…relate with the audience and thus create common ground. Even Jesus, on the encounter with the Samaritan woman had to use water as the common factor in order to win over that soul. This technique however, has been manipulated and misused and this is how and why.

God is a Spirit and to relate with a spirit, reasoning is not required. Why do you think Asians use Yoga? Today, the most successful evangelist is that one who manages to impose a mindset on the followers. A mindset of “not reasoning in regard to the word of God”. This is suicidal my friends. So how do they do it? It all depends on how much they have perfected their Barnum statements. These people have studied the needs of humanity and they know how to make us believe they can lead us to solutions. That’s just what I have come to understand. This is what the book cautions. Religious bigotry is misleading. We all need security: love, reliability, stability and continuity – these rooting on our beliefs and instincts which ground us in our human experience. I strongly believe the solution lies in salvation. God is our ultimate provider. Our everything. In Him lies solace. The man in the podium should in no way be a mediator; he should just make me understand the word of God. That’s all.

So please Mr. Preacher don’t make me believe I don’t have to work to eat bread. Yes the grace is there for me not to miss bread upon working hard – but grace doesn’t apply without your input. Here’s an illustration: A non-believer may work hard and still not eat from that sweat – isn’t it?; but a believer has God’s grace so if they work hard there is no chance of missing that bread. Aint no more manna from heaven if you don’t ‘reason’, go to school, work hard, get a good job and earn a worthy living! Human beings are escapists and will look for the easiest way to succeed in life without effort. That’s why preachers today make their sermons so mellow to reflect only what the congregation wants to hear. This is perversion of the gospel. Tell us the bitter truth. This is why to them it is so important to pervert reasoning of their followers. You may hear them say ‘God loves you soooooo.. much, He wont let you suffer; but chill, if you don’t work hard and thus suffer – will you then say God doesn’t love you? Of course NO. Whereas you cannot reason with some Biblical principles like FAITH, I believe it is important for us to use our minds. We do not want to be drawn into the notion that everything comes without effort.

I am not a critic. And I strongly believe in the gospel Joseph Prince preaches. It’s not condemnation but Grace. However, don’t let the underlying meaning of Grace make you lazy and stop playing your part. Faith without action is DEAD. I am just cautioning against fanaticism. Let us read the Bible and seek the Holy Spirit’s revelation in order to comprehend it. There is a sense of freedom in understanding the word of God. Then; and then only will you be safe. There are more than a thousand denominations based on the Bible today; and each seems quite logical. So if put off reasoning, you may find yourself in the wrong end of the tunnel. Church in the 21st Century has become business – God forbid.

This article was prompted by what I read from Rashid Alamir’s book. Sorry; may be a deviation from the general theme of Grace that most of my posts center on, but I just hope this will benefit someone!

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