Thursday, 6 December 2012

Stephan C. Hmar  1/12/2012
We need not look twice to see it­ --- our immediate need is economic prosperity which robs us of money and power. Poverty is our forefront enemy which strips us bare and making us slaves. It had turned us into a ridiculously less significant tribe. It was solely because of this that we were labeled with a flag of ‘ST’ or minorities-----a flag catering inferiorities, downtrodden and deprivations. Under its weight, we are none better than a lame duck. Any preaching or songs that try to promote this ‘poverty’ as a privilege from God should be strongly condemned.  It is neither a privilege nor a blessing in disguise. The firm truth is we don’t need poverty in any form, for spreading Gospel or for survival.  We cannot afford to be its friend.

  What we need (in real time as the clock tick) is a healthy bank balance (that may not be in crores) at least to buy us out from blatant dissatisfactions and “giving in” nature. We need hard cash to bail us out from our creditors. More importantly we need to see our confident “face of the uncorrupt being” when we looked into our glass mirror, for a healthy deep slumber. It is only that we are trying to justify this ‘real need’ diverting it in religious or worldly terms. Our immediate need will not change and will not change us, no matter how.

“Wine makes merry, but money answer all things”, King Solomon said in Ecclesiastics 10:19. It is true. Poverty is taking us too far in the dark that instead of knowing any answer, we end up in the amphitheater of scuffles. But, yes! It is not only us. You turn the pages of history books; you can read the ripple of destructions caused by wants of money and power. It has brought wars, slavery, kingships, democracy, radicalism, capitalism, militarism and all other -sm.  Everything of these revolves under the heft of money and power.

 Any nature that variously comes out of a deprived economy is a shattered nature, cunningly or foolishly one sided and terribly clinging towards the ‘need’ side. Under this economy, you try to indulge in one thing or the other; you will always end up trying to get your tangible needs. Trying to get aboard on an ideology that evokes the abundance of spirituality and disregarding the tangible world will only make you sick and look ridiculous. Long term practice of this ideology can result in one form of extremism, very destructive for our society.  

This extremism can foolishly bring a false immunity to this pesky disease of poverty that handicapped us, and wrongly orient us towards interpreting them in terms of the divine interventions. I am not sure if our God will be happy with it---we madly put blames on our spiritual life. Our blame for utter poverty goes as “You don’t pray much. Pray. Pray with faith” or “You attend less in church services” or “You participate less in the spiritual arena.” Then, we painstakingly learn to try to maintain our equilibrium with doses of spirituality and teach strongly how to be happy and showy in the midst of pitiful scarcity. The more we can convince our self and society that we are weak and poor till heaven comes, we ardently fulfilled the parameters of our society. We’re the ordained good guy reserved by Heaven. If you don’t have this spirit, you are the bad guy, destined for Hell.

Meanwhile, indeed, quite contrary to the “trying to” displaying these characteristic of renunciations, rejections and fuming spiritualities on our veils, sad tales of greed, self-interest, and prides swirls us like whirlwinds in the inside. The lack-luster acts of how we celebrate the Gospel Centenary, 2010 was just a tip of the ice-berg of our dishonors. We try to sound like fighting for heaven, but ridiculously end up fighting for the worldly stage. Everywhere we are divided by small and limited edition of gospels characterized by greed and hatred. Examine the antagonism between our churches and mission fields, all in the name of belief.  It is not coinciding with the peace, solace or the unity we are preaching. It is severely the opposite. What is this? Are we dressing up with the glittering ornaments of spirituality just to hide the fleeces of “self” that infect us within? Can we have a deep slumber with it? Do we have the needed economy to preach about the real Faith? Is it because of imposters in our society that we cannot break the ice?

It is not a new thing, conflict of interests which chiefly results from economic oppressions can leads to extremism. Reading world history tells us all. The extremity of the jihadis was the product of conflict of interests. Voodooism was, no doubt, the product of poverty and countless desires, all clubbed together. Hippies are the product of extreme spiritualism that disregards the hideous nature of men. In our judgments, they are all crazy vagabonds who will occupy the front rows of hell when they die. But do we scrutinize at ourselves when we passed these judgments? Unlike us, they practice what they preached and believe, transparently. They are in the world of realism. We hate them for their unmistakable rejection of every hideous, ungodly compromise that we had made and will be making in our proclaimed spiritual life.  Are we any better then them when we are also making a deal with our Gospel, fragmenting into bits just to serve our greed and desires? We are in the extreme spirituality of real imposters covered in the cloaks of the upright. Don’t interpret “extremism” as something foreign or ungodly, it is already here with us.     

Lately, many rich Christians converted to Hinduism, Buddhism because they don’t find solace in our religion anymore. Hinduism believed in money, power and success and openly teaches about it. Buddhism doesn’t believe in too much of materiality and teaches the middle path. Larger percentage turns agnostic---doubting the existence of God.  And then, surprisingly in England, more than 40% of the Christians didn’t go to church any longer. The percentage of “English Christians converted agnostic” amongst youngsters is around 60%. They found they cannot take the life of an imposter any more by trying to believe what they cannot practice or practice what their needs contradict.

Where are we then? Are we different? Are we teaching the vanity of the materiality of life, the supremacy of the spirit, but always weeping in poverty and worries? Paying more and more respect to the “inappropriately” rich people openly even in our congregation, the platform for God? Swimming in the world of materiality while publicly denouncing it?
All these acts of ours are just deceiving acts unto ourselves, to our society and to our ultimate religion. More importantly, these corrupt acts will not make us successful in any way. Society (and its belief) is an abstract institution (especially for outsiders) and we are its agent. The only reality society and its belief can have is the reality of the fulfillment of self-interest of the agents comprising it, be material or spiritual. And to preserve our society and spread its beliefs, our main concern should be to protect our own interests religiously and materially.  

The only solution to our problem of “overdosed with spirituality” is to speak of material prosperity in the light of the Gospel. Let us speak of the importance of sound economy, money, power, honesty, professionalism, hard work, transparency and unity alongside our endorsement for Heaven. Let us preach the solution for the problems we face here and not trying to rely on the far away blissfulness and abundances of Heaven as Heaven is not just here yet. Let us preach that poverty is the deadliest of sins for believers. Let us encourage honest lump sum earnings than just preaching against our supposedly unspiritual earning. Let us try to exercise our interests and prides and display the entity of our society with zenith craftsmanship of richness, in power and money, effectual enough to create our own air of importance. This will demand taking the Gospel to the next higher level. This Gospel will rightfully disdain our superficial prayers, non-stop dancing with the tune of the projected Heaven and the many sliced pieces of limited gospels.

I believe this will be the correct medicine for our ailing society. Taking this real dose will eliminate imposters. All of us will then seek what we preach and preach what we seek. For us the preaching of denouncing the world altogether is a little high to reach practically. It is just making us drab and unfruitful. It is for the extra-rich guys only, not necessarily the ordained good guys of our society. More accurately, this type of preaching is not what we can afford now as a preacher or as a society, looking at our handicapped economy. I cannot deny the fact that God would look at us and felt pity on us as we always try to explain Him in the most complex way when He can be easily reached through our simple needs. The mind of God is always on what human can reads and digests. Humans are governed by necessities and He always appears to us through this instinctive nature of ours.  Sometimes, instead of finding the solutions and trying to workout for them, we embark on the other bank “the spirituality”. This act is leaving a big vacuum in our life. It is making us ridiculous.  

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