Before I go further, let's get some basic definitions right. I am one who's been taught to never quote Wikipedia in any academic write up... I have since then always found myself unconsciously looking down on any article in which Wikipedia is referenced, although that's always my first point of call on any subject matter! Ironic isn't it? Anyways, as a Christian, I decided to put up my own definition of Christianity.
What is Christianity?
Christianity is the belief that there is one God who came down to earth many many thousands of years ago in the form of man. This same God we Christians believe is a three in one God (The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit)....a concept that is difficult to understand if you want to use your human understanding to....So, God The Son came down to earth in the form of man, lived for some 33 years, and when the people of his time who had been awaiting the Messiah had had enough of him claiming to be the Messiah, they put him to death. Unknown to them, they were only playing a role in getting the prophecy around God The Son, "Jesus Christ" to come to pass....The prophecy was that He would be put to death, but would rise on the third day....Now, I wasn't there, and I can't say which side I would have belonged to... would I have believed that Christ was the long awaited Messiah? Or would I have been part of the crowd that was screaming "Crucify Him!"?
I don't have an answer to that....all I know now is, I believe this story....and that makes me a Christian. And I try my best to live by what the Bible says.
Ok, so now, what is Fanaticism? According to Wikipedia, "Fanaticism is a belief or behavior involving uncritical zeal, particularly for religious or political cause or in some cases, sports, or with an obsessive enthusiasm for a pastime or hobby."
The same Wikipedia quotes one philosopher George Santayana as defining fanaticism to be "Redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim"
Disclaimer: Although I love this definition, I'd never heard of this philosopher until today :)
So where am I going with this my long talk on Christianity and Fanaticism?
I'll go straight to the point here. Every Ghanaian who is on any social media, has a radio or a TV knows what's been going on in recent times regarding people flocking to the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) which is headed by Prophet T.B. Joshua. As I said earlier, I am a baby Christian, so I'm in no position to say if this Prophet is true or false. The Bible I read says by their fruits you shall know them...the same Bible says in my name they shall cast out demons.....and he does cast out demons from what I see...The same Bible further says in Matthew 24:24-25 "For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. See, I have told you beforehand." These are Christ's own words!....
I just want to say I'm not out to say someone is real or not real. I just want to say that Christians are missing the whole point of what Christianity is about. We are missing the point so much so that our belief seems to be now rooted in things such as holy water, holy oil, anointed handkerchiefs.
I'm yet to come across a story in the Bible where Jesus bottled and sold his miracle making potions....take for instance when he spat and mixed it with clay (or was it sand?) and used it to make that blind man see....Why didn't any of his disciples take up the initiative to bottle and sell it? Is it that they just didn't have the marketing orientation?
I was once dragged to a church service in London by my aunt...I don't remember the name of the church, but the pastor was called "Jesus Abrantie" I was disheartened when I saw people buying t-shirts anointed by the man of God for as much as 300pounds sterling! yea, you read me right! Give me that money and I'll get myself some Chanel purse ( I mean, a whole lady like me has not got one designer purse in her wardrobe!)...this shirt was supposed to be worn anytime the owner was in a difficult situation....one specific example i remembered was headache....
You can blame it on my Deeper Life upbringing, but I've never believed in such stuff...I believe in miracles, but I don't believe in " I've prayed over this so do this and you'll be healed, and you'll get visa, naaaa" we've got to be real!
I believe that If I have a problem, and I get down on my knees, and call on Jesus, He will come to my rescue. Let me also make it clear that I don't believe in living a reckless life and running to Jesus only in times of trouble. Being a Christian is an everyday walk. One day at a time. So when you live your life just any how, and you hear of a man of God who is distributing holy water somewhere,...even if it is God himself who asked him to do this, your going for that holy water is not what will save you....and this is where I like the definition of Fanaticism as "redoubling your effort when you have forgotten your aim"
Is Christianity about living like Jesus and believing that your own belief in Him is enough to save you, or is it about believing that water prayed over by a man of God is what you need to solve all your problems? Is the aim about being more like Jesus, or is it about miracles? When you redouble your efforts to get holy water by getting to the church venue at 8pm saturday when the service starts at 9am sunday, then surely, your aim is to get holy water....but should your aim be to get holy water, or to get to know Christ better? If it is to know Christ better, then trust me, you could have done that in the comfort of your bed!.
All you have to do is pick your Bible, ask God to through His Holy Spirit speak to you, and read it! It's as simple as that.
Anyways, I think this is enough for now....I hope I did not miss my aim of trying to get we Christians to take a step back from being fanatics who double our efforts in search of miracles, while missing the point of what Christianity really is about....i.e living like Christ.