Religion, Humanity And Hypocrisy - The Perspectives

This is a write up that was to look into the issue of humanity, religion, and hypocrisy and how these phenomena interact with each other

I stepped out of church after a wonderful worship session on a slightly wet Sunday morning sometime in June last year. It had been showering little drops of blessings all through the night before and I almost missed service. I was however determined as it was a thanksgiving service, for having divided the year in two and it was to be a special Sunday. I woke up late, so I couldn't catch up to follow my neighbor, daddy Jason or daddy deacon(as popularly called in church). But I had hoped and waited that he may offer me a ride back home because of the weather; Walking or taking public transport may just be a huge mess and discomfort. I waited and waited but his long itinerary of persons to greet list was unending and I was already getting famished. I decided to just go find a taxi and go home.

Alas, even the taxis were not forthcoming so I kept taking gentle strides while hoping a ride would come by. I hadn't walked too far away when I turned to look for any available oncoming taxi when I saw daddy deacon's Highlander pulling out of the church gate. My spirit got lifted a bit and I excitedly stretched out a hand to pull him over for a ride. I was however amazed at how he drove past me with a straight face and focused attention as a banker running late for over three hours for a very important meeting and rushing to meet up or a market woman suffering from acute dysentery and rushing off to the loo. Aaah!... He even splashed some of the rainwater by the roadside on my finely ironed Thanksgiving dress. I was so mad, that I almost cursed him. My mind made up to confront him soon as I got home but an inner voice whispered, "what if it wasn't intentional and his mind was truly absent? “. I wiped off the splash and continued home.

The next day as I was coming back from work, I saw his little girl playing around with some kids and as 'uncle with the guitar' (as they fondly called me) that I am, I held up to play with them a little as usual and that was when I got the shocker. "onku, yesterday I and my mummy see you as we are coming home, I was calling you but daddy say I shu shut up and look front". She said in all innocence. I felt cold. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines RELIGION, as a personal set or institutionalized system of religious attitudes, beliefs, and practices. Also, it's defined as "the service and worship of God or the supernatural" Or, "commitment or devotion to religious faith or observance". Also, Wikipedia has this to say about religion; "Religion is a sociocultural system of designated behaviors and practices, morals, beliefs, worldviews, texts, sanctified places, prophecies, ethics, or organizations, that relates humanity to supernatural, transcendental, and spiritual elements, however, there is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitutes a religion".

HUMANITY, on another hand and as defined by the same dictionary, says it is a "compassionate, sympathetic, or generous behavior or disposition: the quality or state of being humane".

HYPOCRISY is then defined as "a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not: behavior that contradicts what one claims to believe or feel especially: the false assumption of an appearance of virtue or religion". I had to bring up the story so I'd opine what I feel with regards to these three intertwined concepts. I am not a very religious person, even though I believe in God almighty. I however have understood from Christian injunctions that the word, states that love is the greatest. The word requires us to also love our neighbors as we'd love ourselves, and to do to others, as we'd have them do unto us. My logical thoughts often come to collusion with reality whenever I think about or observe the great disparity between what the word says and what the 'followers' of the word do. It is very common to see people in church praising and dancing and lifting 'holy hands'. Yet, the same set of people come out of the church and exhibit characters and traits that you wonder if they actually were the ones in church or just some clone of theirs.

Sometimes some people go to the extent of giving huge donations in church for one reason or the other yet they can't assist a neighbor or friend or colleague in need of help. At times like these, I wonder if such persons are actually obeying biblical injunctions, if they are forgetful of humanity, or if they are outrightly being hypocritical. Don't get me wrong, it is not a crime to raise holy hands in church, and neither is it a crime to donate generously towards the work of God. However, if you must do so, it is only fair that you also obey the injunction that God gives about loving your neighbor as yourself. People should understand that the closest person to you is your neighbor and if you claim to love God and will do such things for him why can't you extend the same to your neighbor outside holy sanctuaries?

Most times it appears that people are only being pretentious or hypocritical wanting to be noticed or seen as being top participators in the house and work of God. I am not forgetting or leaving out our beloved brothers and sisters that go about daily leaving from Mondays to Saturdays forgetting anything about worship and living the trendy life. some even go to clubs on Saturday night and come to church early on Sunday morning and behave as if there's none as saintly as they are. Don't get me wrong it is okay to accept you are a sinner genuinely seeking Redemption than to come appearing as a saint without sin; only to go back to the same routine immediately after service. All these, I believe, are actions of hypocrisy and are far from religious injunctions. The bible will not tell you to sin all you can, deliberately all through the week, and then come to church on Sunday and pretend you are a Saint, but the Bible will encourage you not to sin but to constantly seek Redemption. Also, I believe the Bible would not ask you to give generously towards some church project while your immediate neighbors are starving and living in penury. We'll come to church to sing, dance, and flash wide smiles, but the instant we step out, our minds are overcome by hatred, envy, wickedness, bitterness, and evil. 

My point is, forget religion, humanity requires that you show love and compassion to the person next to you irrespective of their faith, belief, or religion. Can't we learn this from animals? even though we consider them to be less intelligent or nonhuman, they know well how to show love and compassion to their kind in need and even to us their masters in certain instances. Humanity would also encourage us to accept that we are only humans and constantly work towards being better versions of ourselves rather than fronting and feeling like perfect humans without blemishes. This is just a write-up to remind us of the fact that humanity is intricately entwined with religion and if we are a religious and Godfearing populace we will truly exhibit the humanity in us first of all and in all instances at all places not just in the church. I sincerely do hope that the next time you would wish to give that generous donation in church, you would pause to consider if your next-door neighbor has had something to eat or the next time you are out of the church and wish to curse at someone or fight someone, you would remember that even that ground you stand on is holy ground as your bodies are the Temple of the highest not just when you are in a brick building so named a church. I hope you would remember that a Little Kindness here and there, a little sympathy now and then one show of love a step at a time is all that religion is all about because that's what God wants the most. That's the true act of worship. That is religion!

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