By Joel Muhumuza:
'I must decrease so that he may increase' is often quoted by many a humble believer. I once used to say it myself. It was originally said by the man whom Jesus referred to as being “the man whom no one greater has ever been born”. Well he was his cousin too, so maybe it was also a bit of family love. But the sentiment spells out clearly what salvation is about. It’s the denial of self and the adoption of a new master – A new lord and a saviour. To be born again as his child and live your life not according to your will, but in line with the painful cry that came out of the blood soaked face of Jesus of Nazareth in his darkest hour – “Not my will, but yours be done”. It’s a choice to end your will; a choice to submerge your ability, to decide in the warm water of obedience, to another. It’s to resign yourself to the wishes of your new master. It’s suicide.
Now it may sound crazy but this is actually what is so exciting and attractive about Christianity. Life is full of tough decisions and many mistakes and seemingly endless heart aches. We are poor and wretched beings and are told so repeatedly not only by the clerics but by the ever so loud results of our mishaps. Our failures to resist eating too much, stealing or whatever weakness or perceived weakness one may have; life is hard. Responsibility is hard. So when you hear that God will take on all your cares and troubles and you can just rest in the assurance that he’s got it all sorted, you’d be a fool or a sadomasochist not to take that offer, right? To have your life planned out for you by the person that controls the universe that sees all, that knows exactly what you need… Priceless!
Oh wait, not exactly; it does come with a price. The price is your very mind. Yes, the very thing that separates you and makes you an individual. Your will; your very being! Rather a steep price for eternal life NOT being you, wouldn’t you say? Unlike the devil at the cross roads that just wants your soul in exchange of god-like guitar playing skills, Yahweh demands your heart, soul, mind and strength. Everything! He will take your worries and your cares and then mold your personality into his. Till at the very end, we’re all Jesus.2.0, and being that Jesus is God 2.0. In the end we’ll all disappear into a being, we already admit, is mysterious and do not understand. To give up our humanity, our uncertainty to a being we can’t even perceive.
Being saved is in effect – suicide. You die to self, you die to your thoughts and nuanced personality, and you carry your cross and crucify yourself. Jesus can only fully love you and be with you when you are exactly like him and not the sniveling, complex, wanting-to-have-sex (you evil being) individual that you are and were created as… Wow what a prize!! Where do I sign up? They say God doesn’t want mindless slaves to worship him, so he gives free will. But you must give up that will to him and so become a creature of no will out of his. Kind of like setting free the slaves and giving them the choice of starving out in the deserts on their own or coming back to your “protection”. All this doesn’t sound like love to me, but control. I thank God there is no evidence that this is how petty God is, should he even exist. Because that God would be a monster of epic proportions!
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