By Alawode Idowu.
I am a Christian, I am a Muslim is what comes out from the mouth of any man or woman whenever he or she is confronted with the question about faith.
Often time during election period, we’ve heard people express the sentiment: “let’s vote in a Christian as our president or Muslim as our governor”.
This statement is borne out of the fact that we all hold the belief that If a Christian heads an organization, he or she will do according to the teachings of the religion he or she profess.
In fact, I grew up to appreciate being born into Christianity for I see it as the correct route to righteousness and an assurance for salvation and the only way to heaven.
But as I grew into teenage age and started mixing with fellow students, I began to realize that being known by name or other titles as a christian does not make one a christian.
Many of the people I met also claimed to be Christians and I saw the way they lived (after all, they also bear Christian names); many of the becoming members of prayer warrior group and having seen many church workers like ushers, deacons or deaconesses and many who are referred to as Pastors, Apostles, Reverends as the case may be, I have to re-consider my stand.
Without wasting time on the preliminaries, let’s itemize the things that one needs to know and do to become Christian in truth and be eligible to be referred to as one.
There are several things to keep in mind as a Christian these include: Loving one another with the love of God (John 13:34);
Dealing with people in accordance with the teachings of Jesus Christ (that is) doing to others as you would want them do unto you (Matthew 7:12);
Caring for the needy as a duty without waiting for them to beg or plead for your generosity before you show them kindness. In deed, a true Christian sees charity as necessary obligation from Christ (Matthew 25: 35-40);
Care for the widow (1Timothy 5: 3-16); care for the strangers (Exodus 12: 43-49);
Honour thy father and thy mother ( Ephesians 6:2; Exodus 20: 12). This should have been seen as one of the greatest commands of God to humanity. I think that the commitment of parents to children’s well being should be appreciated even without being told.
So I wonder why some people will claim to be Christians and do not take care of their parents but regards paying tithe to their pastors as a more important duty than caring for their old parents.
This always keep me wondering who must have indoctrinated them that way. I stand to be corrected if anybody can fault my view here. I would appreciate if anybody can give me scriptures where Jesus instructed us to pay tithe and not care for our parents).
Please read Mark 7: 11. Another aspect of God’s command which many of us fall short of is praying for the nation. A good citizen who honours God’s law is expected to be praying for his or her country and by extension the world at large.
God admonished the Israelite to pray for Jerusalem, and that those that love their country will do good (or prosper). Methinks this admonition is not only to Jerusalem, it is a charge to all Christians to pray for their country of nativity.
It is followed with the blessing of God: “they that love her shall do well”. So if a citizen wants to enjoy the goodness of his country and where ever he resides, he should pray for the country, the area they reside and the entire world.
No wonder, Americans have imbibed the slogan ‘God bless America’. The indication of God’s blessing is for all to behold via their technology, their economic and political developments in diverse ways, which became the envy of other nations that never put God first in their affairs.
Leaders or rulers are ordained by God says the Holy Bible but many that are placed in leadership positions have made a lie of this statement by governing people with iron fist.
In fact many are stinging people with scorpion in the name of governance. No wonder, they become promoters of curses to the nation. But God says to rulers of nations, govern my people in the fear of God. (Ex. 18: 21 ).
However, one of the greatest of God’s commandments is to walk in the fear of God (Deuteronomy 6: 1-7). God instructs all to live in His fear which means if we all fear God and stop wearing the façarde of religiosity, everything will go smoothly according to the original plan of God.
By this I mean, if everyone fears God, one will honour our parents; never cheat others, care for the needy especially widows, fatherless, destitute and care for the homeless, pay wages of your workers promptly, never cheat or dupe fellow human beings, care for the nation you are elected to govern, and lastly, put it in mind that we are accountable to the Supreme Being who will judge all mortals according to our deeds, utterances and thoughts (Revelations 22:12).
The Supreme and incorruptible Judge, however, places emphasis on what awaits all that decide to go astray (Red. 22: 15-20). Please, do and reappraise yourself for the time is ticking away.