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    Walt Shakes

    Walter Ude (@Walt_Shakes) is an award-winning Nigerian writer, poet and veteran blogger. He is a lover of the written word. the faint whiff of nature, the flashing vista of movies, the warmth of companionship and the happy sound of laughter. He blogs at mymindsnaps.wordpress.com.

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It is evident that in life, there are certain circumstances we never had a hand in, choosing the path we followed or wound up in. For example, we have no power in determining the family, the tribe, the country, the gender or the religious faith we were born into. Life made this decision for us without our consent. However, life is kind enough to give us the freewill of determining if we are to remain under whatever label we were given at birth. But before one will comfortably change this equation, the person first has to arm himself with certain prerequisite knowledge of who he is. Maybe this is what the age long Greek axiom meant when it admonished: Man Know Thyself.

For all intents and purposes, one must undergo a self imposed journey of self realization, if he ever wants to change any card that life has dealt him, or if he ever wants to understand why he is behaving the way he does, where he is and what makes him what. Failure to undertake this journey, and one ends up making himself a liability to the human race and becomes, at best, a breathing tragedy.  Now, you can understand why the society is filled with so much rancor, blame games, fights and wars, betrayals, selfishness and morbid wickedness: man has failed to know himself, his purpose, his reason for existence and how to exist comfortably in his pursuit of happiness without abusing the next fellow.

Man is made up of a spirit, soul and a body. Or as some theologians will say; man is a spirit being with a mind and a body. The spirit is the engine of a man, the soul or the mind is the five senses – the home of reason – while the body is just a covering for the spirit and the soul. Ignorance of this fact does not and will never invalidate its authenticity. Therefore, for one to make any reasonable headway in self realization, one must understand this simple basis of human component and strive to create harmony among these levels of component. Unfortunately, many of us only exist at only one component, some at two while a countable number strive to exist and maintain a balance around the three components.

In the light of the foregoing, it will not be a sweeping statement if I submit that a great percentage of the society is revolving only around the body (flesh) realm of existence. Most Academic demagogues, philosophers, intellectuals, scientists and inventors exist mainly around the soul realm, but shuttle minimally around the spirit and body realm. This explains why those within this realm discard any incidence that does not fall within their cause and effect theory. Incidences that confound the five senses, incidences like a virgin giving birth to a child, a man walking on water and a certain man feeding five thousand men with five loaves of bread and two fishes. Ridiculous to the five senses, I guess.

Furthermore, it is sad that most Christians, not excusing people of other religious faith, exist wholly on the spirit realm. With the lame excuse that their mind has been renewed, that though in this world, they are not of this world. Sincerely speaking, these are the most dangerous set among the level of components. Because their life or their brand of repentance – or better put, their definition of repentance – scares those in the body realm to ever try to conceive the idea of living in the spirit and makes those that exist solely in the soul realm to scorn the idea of spiritual life. Those that exist wholly in the spirit realm have boxed themselves into a tight corner. Some have become what my younger brother will call ‘heavenly assets but earthly liabilities.’ I believe it was these religious zealots that Oral Robert advised, “It is wisdom to understand that we are not in heaven yet. We should not be so heavenly minded that we are of no earthly good.”

One might ask, is it possible for one to be a heavenly asset but be of no earthly good? Well, it is hard to hazard an answer beyond all reasonable doubt. However, we might have a significant lead if you think through these lines: what is in the mind of those bombing churches in the North all in the name of GOD if their aim is not to become a heavenly asset? You might also ask those students who prefer to read only their bibles and frown on the idea of reading other secular literature that can develop their mind. More so, you might also think of those wives who do not take proper care of their bodies because a certain Saint Paul once told his son in the faith, Timothy, that physical exercise profiteth little but spiritual exercise profit more. You might also think of those religious men who do not read the newspaper, shun the social media, and neither watch television nor listen to good secular music, and see anybody who does such as a sinner. You might also ask those who see only their church members as true Christians, or only those that belong to a certain religious faith as the true worshippers, and others as hell bound creatures.

To this end, if being a Christian or a believer is to exist only in the realm of the spirit without striking a balance in other level of human components, then my type will find it hard being one. Because, I for one cannot read bible as the sole literature, watch Jesus of Nazareth as the only film, neither can I afford to limit myself to listening to Frank Edward and shun my dear Tuface and Osita Osadebe, nor can I bury the idea of going to the cinema to watch some good films, with pop corn and chilled Fanta by my side, at the altar of being a spirit-filled Christian.

Finally, methinks this world will be a better place if the disparate people that exists mainly in one realm at the expense of developing or feeding the other components of our make-up strive daily to create a harmony around the triune level of our existence.  GOD is a spirit and can only relate to us at the level of the spirit but we need to develop the soul and the body to have a better relationship with our fellow humans. Till we find this balance, the most important commandment will always elude us; You shall love the Lord thy GOD will all thy might and you shall love thy neighbor as you love thyself. Till we find this balance, the complaints and fights against inequality, marginalization and hate-free world will be like the futile fate of the two characters in Samuel Becket’s play: Waiting For Godot. Till we find this balance peaceful co-existence will remain a Himalayan for the world. I for one believe that achieving this balance is everyone’s CALL, everyone’s destiny.

Thank you and GOD bless our understanding of this.

Written by Tobe Osigwe, @ikolondigboothers 42

Leave a comment


  1. Chinweike

     /  November 29, 2013

    “We should not be so heavenly
    minded that we are of no earthly good.” Is in my opinion, the best line in this post! It summarizes everything this is about.

    It’s almost(?) hypocritical what our various religious leaders do. We have pastors flying around in private jets, preaching against vanity, Popes donning gold outfits, cruising in expensive bulletproof automobiles, still preaching against vanity.

    The excuse is that theirs facilitate their missionary endeavors, while ours is of selfish interest. Well, I wouldn’t know about that.

    Personally I agree with you on the issue of finding balance, we aren’t put in this world for no reason, and I don’t think the reason is to suffer, because that would make senseless, Christ’s supposed suffering and death for us (he allegedly suffered so we could suffer no more). We shouldn’t constitute a nuisance to our fellow humans because of our alleged quest for heaven. It’s not just the bombers that are guilty of this, they are ones that shove their religion in your face, ones who knock at your door when you’re maybe trying to have a good nap, or watch good tv, the most annoying -the ones are the ones that preach in public places, buses and all.

    On the issue of segregation amongst the “christians” towards the “sinners” so to speak, even the most rational people — the ones who claim not to have a religion — are just as chauvinistic about their irreligion, sneering at and ostracizing the “believers” just the way the believers treated nonmembers of their own groups. It’s a human universal

    The people I feel that ought to read this sadly won’t, or will blindly criticize you and categorize you as one who has lost the faith.

    Surely the topic of religion is one that always amasses controversy.

    • Well said, bro. Well said. That last part is dead-on. Instead of appreciating tнє message here, most self righteous Christians will see the writer as one who has lost his way aηd faith.

  2. This post speaks my mind

  3. Lawson Omotayo

     /  November 29, 2013

    This is a very intresting writeup and very enlightening. We need to seriously rethink religion especialy in this country, there are so many line created in the minds of those who practice this religions that only God himself can explain. Already taking census on behalf of god based on his own mindset. Some will not agree with you but that’s just their own cup of tea. Nice one

  4. This is really insightful! “We should not be so heavenly minded that we are of no earthly good”. I also love this: “Ignorance of this fact can not and will never invalidate its authenticity.” Great delivery and content. Well-balanced, well-written. I learnt a lot.
    However I’ll say this: the body will die, the soul and spirit are immortal, hence the body shouldn’t be given AS MUCH attention as the others. The body, soul and spirit are not as equal as the members of the Trinity! The supernatural/spiritual also guides and controls the natural. There are commandments, there are acts that we do in the ‘body’ all in the name of being balanced that the ‘Ultimate Spirit’ (God) disapproves. These are the things that could take one to hell. “Love God and love your neighbour” looks easy but it’s not, especially the part about loving God.
    So many Christians misinterpret the Bible and reduce it to their own standards and that’s foolishness. That’s dead religion.
    It’s possible to be an earthly asset and a heavenly liability but I don’t think it’s possible to be a heavenly asset and then an earthly liability. Such a person is a total liability. Read Matthew 25:31-46.
    God bless you for this piece. 🙂

  5. Yemie

     /  November 29, 2013

    What can I say….., the letter killeth but the Spirit giveth understanding. May the Good Lord give us all the knowledge, wisdom and understanding we need to run the Christian race, because we do need it. At the end of the day, its every Man for himself and God for us all. Great thinking and great write-up, very enlightening and thought provoking too. Keep up the good work.

  6. Emmanuel Dan

     /  November 29, 2013

    While everyone commends this write-up (and I do too, to some extent), methink its entire arguments don’t reflect what its title – WHY I DO NOT WANT TO BE A CHRISTIAN – portrays. And such mismatch could, at best be called sensational! Read through, again, the main reason why the author doesn’t want to be a Christian: “To this end, if being a Christian or believer is to exist only on the realm of the spirit without striking a balance in other level of human components, then my type will find it hard being one”. He had earlier listed those human components. The bible doesn’t define being a Christian along the same contextual path as the author. Therefore, saying that he wouldn’t be a Christian based on his own imaginary, or perceived, or adopted, or even indoctrinated meaning of who a Christian is, or ought to be, with no scriptural backing or references, is another way of maligning true chistianity, or put differently, giving a dog a bad name to hang it. The author made some salient points; some of which are debatable though. But he should have done a better job “marrying” his title to his reason(s).

    • Chinweike

       /  November 29, 2013

      Emmanuel Don, I had actually wanted to point that out, about the title, it’s a bit misleading and not totally fitting when the context is put into consideration. You did well pointing it out….albeit strongly so lol.

      Tobe, you’ll do well to “marry” subsequent
      posts to your “reason”. We all crave for befitting weddings (I kid).

    • Chisom12

       /  November 29, 2013

      Thank you for your comment, you’ve made sense more than most today.
      A lot in this writeup plus the deception of the title, I do not like.
      I get what Tobe tried to say but he used wrong arguments and did not do good justice to deep spiritual truths that beg to be looked at. I do know one thing, the commitment of the 21st century christian sometimes leaves me wondering at whether we have the same salvation spoken of by the apostle Paul and the others in scripture.
      While we ensure to be ‘earthly useful’, please, take heed for the things that entangle.

    • Yeah. You’re right about the title. The reason I kept quiet was because I recognize that writers tend to employ guile to attract readers. It could also be a quote. I once read a post titled ‘Abstinence is unrealistic’ but the post actually quoted that title and opposed it.

  7. Chalya

     /  November 29, 2013

    Damn… Haven’t read something about christianity that is this good in a long while.

  8. manny

     /  November 30, 2013

    I think this write-up is a good one, mainly because it takes a lot of courage to differ from the mainstream of religious thought, knowing that it could prompt and precipitate attack on one’s person; the fruit of the “holy anger” of the religious zealots. Having said that, I think I expected just a little more from this article. It started out by pointing out what I have called the geographical accident of birth and the need to undertake a journey of self-realization. But in the next paragraph, it asserts that “man is made up of spirit, soul and body…ignorance of this fact cannot and will never validate its authenticity”. Quick question, is it a FACT that man has a spirit? Or a soul? This statement immediately reveals that the writer is very well equipped to be a christian because he has the one thing that every christian needs to BE one, and that is “blind belief”. I do not have any issues with this. We are all free to conceive, cling to or espouse whatever ideology that we are comfortable with. But I expected that the writer, based on his realization that in most cases, one’s religion is a thing of chance, should have also realized that many religious beliefs are “accidental beliefs”, beliefs that are held mostly because the lucky or unlucky dip of birth locates you in a place where the religion in question is already deeply rooted. The journey of self-realization therefore consists first of this understanding, a realization that things are not facts simply because we are told they are or because they are widely believed. On this journey, the attitude is one of doubt and curiousity and the individual usually has more questions than answers. This path may take you all the way back to christianity or to hinduism. But until you have undertaken this journey, your religious belief remains an indicator of what I called the geographical accident of birth.

  9. tobe osigwe

     /  November 30, 2013

    Firstly, I commend all that has contributed to this piece via their comment, correction and affirmation. While writing this piece, I knew I have limited space to deal with such a knotty and weighty issue. No doubt, a lot in this write up beggars clarification and I sincerely hope to do that in a more accommodating medium.

    For the title, I wish to state that it was purely intentional. And, in a deeper sense; the dichotomy between the title and the content, to me, reflects the dichotomy between most Christians and what is written in the scripture(Christian manual). This is debatable though. Furthermore, I understand that Nigerians like catchy hook, so, if the title sucked the passerby reader into the nectar of the piece then I believe I have partly achieved a pre conceived intention.

    Having said this, manny, Chisom and Emmanuel Dan, I have fully taken in your gentle observation. I believe I have learnt more from it. Chinweike, Yemmie, Oluwadunni, Sally, Omotayo, Chayla and the almighty Shakespeare, thanks for your beautiful comments as well. Most times, as simple as it might sound, such beautiful comments are the chief medication that inspires us to keep it coming. GOD bless us all.

  10. chibueze

     /  November 30, 2013

    Tobe as i rightly call you when we where in college(F.G.C.OKIGWE), Honestly am the happiest person in life for reading this column,because you have spoken my mind all true,i always tell people to balance the equation of human race and christanity but instead of them to hear me out,they will call me all sort of name,including an unbeliver,earthly human being etc, keep it up my brother from one school. Thank for this write up.


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