In January of 2018, I committed to sharing my faith through blogging as well. This meant increasing my blogging frequency. All through the year, I made two posts every month; one as usual of my musings which are generally social commentary, and another post chronicling my Christian journey under my ‘About my Faith’ page.
I just want to say thank you to those who have been reading and encouraging me. I pray the year 2019 ahead is a better one for us all.
As we start yet another year, I have been considering what message I’d like to pass with the last/first post. This end of year period is known for being the period of pledges, resolutions, and decrees of ‘good riddance to all things bad’. So, I think in the spirit of the season, I could raise some resolutions I’m hoping other Christians would take on.
Don’t worry, I won’t make a long list self-righteous of things for other people to do in the new year, we all know the longer the list of resolutions the less likely we are to achieve them. I just have three points going forward.
1- Please Be a More Conscious Christian A.K.A WOKE
A week ago we celebrated 25th of December as the birthdate of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Except that date is not likely his date of birth. It’s a known fact that Christ was likely not born in December and that the date we are actually celebrating has origins in certain pagan feast which the early crusaders tried to white-wash with faith. I say all this not to deride us as Christians for celebrating Christmas, but rather to illustrate that KNOWING this did not stop me from celebrating Christ’s birth. Because of the knowledge, I do not celebrate the day but the event. which is not being heralded on that day.
Yet it was necessary that I know the truth. It is necessary that we all know the origins of what we celebrate, the history of our religious days and norms. That we- especially African Christians, acknowledge that those who brought us God’s word likewise played a role in our subjugation. It is necessary to know this, to acknowledge it to have your faith questioned, tested and proven as a conscious choice rather than a passive inheritance of history, place of birth and socialization.
Ours is a faith that calls us to be in a relationship with the one described as the ‘Way, the Truth and the Light’ how then can you ignore the truths of our religious history, religious institutions, and our society today? To be willingly ignorant is to have a fake relationship with the Truth. So resolve to ‘be woke’, research the answers to the hard questions, call out the church’s failure to address social issues which matter, delve into philosophy and hear arguments from those of other faiths – or no faith at all. Trust God enough to know He, being God, can handle your questioning.
2- Resolve to Read More than Just that Verse!
Brethren, I beseech you, stop this cherry-picking of bible scripture. Let it end.
Do you not see the hypocrisy of using a single verse from Deuteronomy or Leviticus to justify condemning some people all the while overlooking other scripture in the same chapter which ask us to not eat shrimp (crayfish)? Also, can we stop claiming the promise of blessings in a single verse at the end of the book when we failed to read the chapter full of pain and sacrifice which led to that promise?
Just the other day I noticed how I was guilty of this; I have been capitalizing on the promise of Philippians 4:19 “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus”. However, this verse was a prayer for the Philippians who had been helping Paul generously. It was directed at specific people in response to something and before I can claim it, I would need to have been just as generous or be generous by trusting in that scriptural promise.
This is the case with many of the verses we often claim, they are often tiny excerpts of a bigger story. So resolve to read more than a single verse, to claim the promise with awareness of context and ensure you read all of Abraham’s trials before claiming Abrahamic blessings.
3- Resolve to Know What and Why You Believe
I had dragged my feet about sharing my faith for a long time, but after deciding to share my conversion story in later 2018 and having to outline just why I believe and what, I now think it’s something all adult Christians should be required to do.
Too many of us are Christians by indoctrination; believing because we’ve been told, not because we’ve experienced or found out for ourselves. Too many of us can’t delineate where our socialization ends and our faith starts. For this reason, we find it difficult to defend our belief (our belief- not God- God doesn’t need lawyers) without insulting a non-believer, condemning them or worse.
I pray that if you’re a Christian reading this, you get to the point in your journey where you can declare your faith confidently, knowing for certain what you believe in and why.
May God grow and guide you for the better in 2019.