Christianized To Be Un-Christian
This Sunday, I might not go to Church. On a normal day, I would feel guilty about something as simple as not having quiet time and hate myself for even considering not going to church. Today, however, is different. I have absolutely no remorse towards God but simply love for him or her. I neither despise any religious movement nor think that any of their beliefs are in vain. However, I have been Christianized to be Un-Christian.
Just a month ago, I attended a resident hall meeting in which one of my fellow residents was complaining about the noise levels in the hostels. He recounted an incident where a non-resident of another hall was waiting and chanting an imminent repentance sermon at 5am in the morning. Forget the 5am strange wake-up call and the fact that this person left his hostel to go to my friend’s hostel. Rather, imagine all of us wailing about our god in the midst of lectures and what chaos that would bring. Of course, this individual did it in the hostels at 5am, whilst most people were obviously asleep. But does that make it more tolerable?
A comment made by one of the meeting attendees on the issue was quite memorable to me. “Sometimes people make us hate God for wrong reasons.” Though this sounds atheistic in a way, it was actually spoken by a full-fledged Christian. Pardon any sense of judgment on my part, for I hold none. It, however, got me thinking of all the times my heart would be (so) not in the spirit for Church and my friends would convince me that this was un-Christian or -worse yet- the devil’s work. Or that time I failed to speak in tongues when someone was praying for me to do so. In the end, I mumbled some meaningless gibberish. Another time, a Christian congregant kept banging on my locked door despite my having informed him that I wouldn’t be going to church. Other times I go and look so un-possessed by the spirit as my fellow congregants jump up and down, and bang walls in prayer while I (sigh) lean on wall, balancing myself from exhaustion due to the length of the meeting.
These are just some of the instances when I have been made to feel less faithful, less spiritual and less Christian, failing the requirements of being Christian according to my peers, forcing myself to fake it till they are convinced I am Christian enough. These are some of my feelings as a Christian. Sadly, I’m not alone.
There are others like me who thought they were Christians until they were proven otherwise, not because they lacked inner spiritual-wise, not because they wouldn’t practice certain religious observances expected of them. Some weren’t loud enough in prayer, some couldn’t dedicate every day of the week to some Christian meeting, and others — well — they just left the movement at least. This is what [Christianity] has become, too much to keep up with. Slowly, we have moved from inner spirituality to being concerned with observances. I use “we” because I still consider myself a Christian but [ I’m so done]. In trying to Christianize people the way they think it should be, the [Christian] movement has instead un-Christianized them. It has provided an illusion of being the moral compass here, but it lacks reason. Increasingly, it has become so politicized, hypocritical and judgmental, to the extent of forgetting that there are atheists, Muslim brothers and sisters, Buddhists, Agnostics, Traditionalists, Hill worshippers, Non-worshippers and so on.
“This Sunday (and henceforth), I choose to be rationally Christian. I choose to be doubtful and questioning. I choose to equally embrace modernity, reason and faith. And I will no longer look at these things as being mutually exclusive with faith.” — Sabelo Dube