This week, we shall set out to answer a few questions just like we did the last time.
Not so many people like to talk or defend their beliefs. Mostly people say there’s no need to argue God or religion or denominations. Some even quote scripture to support it. Some others say they can’t proof God but have experienced him in one way or the other. Some even go as far as saying God has spoken to them personally, they heard him speak. I’m sure such people would not be so quick to say they saw God personally with their own eyes mainly because there’s a scripture that doesn’t support any human seeing him. However the case, you as a religious person must be able to explain your beliefs.
Why must we explain and proof God?
If you say there is God and he cannot be proofed but we should just believe he’s there as put in Bible and other religious books. If you quote John 20:29 ‘blessed are those who haven’t seen yet they believe’ or Hebrews 11:1 ‘faith is the evidence of things not see, the assurance of things hoped for’ you refer to blind absolute faith. This concept has become popular in new generation churches and, has formed a basis of servitude and follower ship by several congregations. These and many more beliefs make say a Christ embassy member do a jerry coil, or a Deeper life member mimic their lead Pastor, peasant dress code of The lord’s chosen church, overzealous attitude of winners’ chapel.
Before I go on let me acknowledge that the current preaching of power in positive thinking or words is encouraging. However, as a scientist, I know too well that for instance saying ‘I’m rich’ when you are broke or saying ‘I’m strong’ when you are sick may be helpful to your psyche but changes nothing. No matter how many times you say you’re strong when you are ill you still need medication to get well. The question now is ‘if you say you are ill or you are poor when you actually are, and you take the right medication or work hard would you remain ill or poor?
I once met someone living with HIV during my days in the Laboratory in Medical centre, UNN. She had tested positive to HIV about a year then, she kept coming for tests after attending several crusades and church revivals and consultations hoping her status would change. Funny enough, on one occasion she tested negative. And started rejoicing and praising God. I and my colleagues knew it was only because her viral load was low from the antiretroviral she’s been taking. Well, the doctor later explained it to her. I’m not saying here that it’s totally impossible for a miracle to happen but I’m saying it’s better to face the reality and be happy with it instead of living a lie.
If God appeared to only you in your bathroom or living room or wherever, and you are sure he did. Take a second to think about it. There’s mad man in Bariga who says he’s seen Adolf Hitler. He rants about how they both has dinner, cigarettes and discussed politics. Judging from his looks he’s not up to 40 years of age and he couldn’t have met Hitler. If I believe you that you saw God and only you did in secret, then I should believe the mad man. We all obviously know, that insane people think they are normal, just like we think we are too. So we draw the line on sanity with the conformance with the general behavior of the collective society and count the odd one as insane. Then I can say to you if you saw God alone you are insane or deluded.
Many religious people are deluded. Some say my spirit told me to do this or that, or God told me to do this or that. This may just be mere instincts or even a mild form of dementia. All this dependence on the supernatural comes up for two basic reasons which I have identified; FEAR and LACK. I shall dwell more on them in my subsequent posts.
Back to my proof, If someone commits a crime there is need to investigate and get proof before he’s termed guilty. If we say, He’s been a drunkard so he did it, or a liar so he did it without proofing it then we’d be wrong. If anyone says he’s experienced God he’ll have to proof it to us for us to accept it. Because when you say repent, come to my church and worship with me, you imply I should bring out my time on Sundays or weekdays to attend your gatherings, pay a regular sum which you call offering, make seasonal donations, give a tenth of my income, listen to your ideology and so on. I don’t think it’s too much to ask if you explain what you’re using my offering money to do and how God gets the money eventually among other questions. Bisi Alimi did point this out a few weeks ago when he condemned wealthy Nigerian Pastors and their ostentatious acquisitions.
If you say God doesn’t need to be proofed then like I put it in my to my friends, I say there is a giant tea pot in space or heaven or if you like a giant plate of rice and beans who cares for us and wants us to come to his kingdom so that when we die we can have all there is to eat and drink. Sounds funny right? Since I don’t need to proof it then it exists just like God does. The problem would come when I write a book and say things like give offerings to have more tea or rice in heaven or to fight and antagonize other religious sects.
If you’re a religious leader and you are reading this, I will like you to try to understand what you believe and proof its existence to your congregation.
NEXT UP IS ‘when I sleep I dream and see animals, witches, beasts chasing me and I try to move my body to wake up but I can’t or even shout Jesus but it seems like my tongue was tied but I finally managed to call upon Jesus and woke up and was saved. Is it not God that saved me?’
NEXT NEXT ‘if there is devil or ‘Juju’ then there must be a God?’
NEXT NEXT NEXT ‘Since I said there is no God then I should proof it myself’
Next….’ ‘So what is the purpose of being alive then, if there’s no God or Heaven’
Kelvin Ohiri is an atheist activist and scientist. He believes that religion has deterred rational and creative thinking in Nigerian youths and advocates for a better approach to life, centered on self-development, creativity, and self-actualization. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and a master’s degree in protein chemistry and enzymology from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He has contributed to antimalarial development and sickle cell disease research. His interest for teaching and preserving the truth has led him into deep religious studies.
He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org