For Christians and Muslims alone!
Sir: The casual rise of atheism, or most emphatically, the non-committal, cold and distant ‘been there, done that’ ex-fanatic Christian and Muslim folks, who don’t believe much in anything anymore remains on the constant increase! In their thoughts, “Why praise or exalt the name and doctrines of a self-glorifying Pastor, or tread the heavily devout principles of an Islamic Sheik(human beings and religious joint-heirs like you and one) when I can find God for myself and evolve my personal depth of understanding of the Bible or the Quran?”.
These are frequently asked questions, and with the never-ending continuous trend of slavish devotion to Orthodox and Pentecostal doctrines/practices, as well as the steady influx of Islamic extremism, I decided to weigh in my opinion to lend little pieces of advice to my Christian and Muslim brethren.
Christians: Doesn’t it bother you that your local assembly shares a totally different theological belief and opposing doctrine(s) with the other churches across the hall? Sure it does in your heart, and although you share silent reservations, you tag along with your preacher’s point of view anyway. After all, you always haven’t got time to flip through the scriptures for personal research, so your “Man of God’s” interpretation becomes superior in all issues to yours.
If for every problem you have, you always crave the need to run to a Pastor or Prophet, or you strongly believe that continuous prayers, sowing seeds and prophesy without putting to work or developing yourself will amass riches for you, then you’ve failed overwhelmingly as a Christian! Discover God for yourself through study of the scriptures and develop your skill set!
Muslims: Through current study, I’ve discovered that the inconsistency between certain Islamic philosophies doesn’t quite have much to do with the sacredness of the Quran, but rather the ‘appropriate’ and ‘inappropriate’ interpretation of its verses. Could it be that some narrations of the Quran may not be accurately conveyed by the narrator, hence misinterpretation and conflict of instructions? Digging further, I realised disagreement in Islam is not only acceptable, but in fact, “rewarded by Allah” and those who ‘qualify’ for this reward are only the Islamic Scholars who have the working knowledge of the Quran(in other words, the average Muslims are not permitted to review or uphold personal insight for themselves).
Therefore, could this be the reason for Islamic extremism and other rigid philosophies created by these Scholars? I strongly urge the Muslim brethren to not solely depend on the Imams or Sheiks for interpretation of the Quran. The only difference between you and the Sheik, is the depth of understanding! You can evolve your understanding as well! Muslims, ask yourselves. What’s the Quran’s precise view on polygamy? Was it stated as a universal concept, or a particular instance of the Arab culture? We all know Seventh century Arabs were the first audience of the Islamic practice. So can we be entirely wrong to say the Koran may have been written in a language and way that was relevant to the lives of the Arabs? The same Quran that “permits” a man to marry four wives, also stated that marriage should not be for Lust. In that case, what then drives men into accumulating more wives for themselves? Or can a man love four women at the same time?
Nimi Princewill, Lagos