By Goke Omolade.
From their origin, content, methods and target-audience, they were purposed to be God’s own exclusivities both in ecclesiastics and manifestations without any dilution or interference. But, over the expansive ages, gospels in specific and generic trends have extensively had more of divine than man’s markings. In the course of universalising the assigned gospel(s), different types of ‘gospellers’ have emerged ranging from genuine, not-so-genuine to barefaced fraudsters.
The first indicator of this typical gospeller is its appearance, utterance and motivational atmosphere. For some, the way one dresses is often the manner of being addressed (though this faultfinding may sometimes be deceptive).
Before every other thing in human affairs came to a crashing disorder as it is, it was the word from on high that was set to order the course of human nature as orderly and correctly as laid-out while the world was to be answerable to this sequence of orderliness. For such awhile, the world operated on this peaceful coexistence among the plant and lower animal species, but the moment this higher animal called man, through its first parentage of Adam and Eve, came to the scene, ever since has the word and its gospel-fervency been put on cue!
Among man’s raw materials and initial inputs to synthesize its own kind of galvanised gospels was disobedience and rebellion against its Creator. Having lost that rare opportunity of direct fellowship and with a yawning gulf yearning to be filled; any wonder then why just all hypes of junk (spiritual and otherwise) have been contending with the resultant emptiness
If only man in entirety can appreciate this minimal fact of life that irrespective of one’s estate of achievements, the same fate (of death) awaits all; be you a certificated professor, unlearned pauper, white- or blue-collared flyer/downtrodden, royal blood or mere mortals; African, European, American, Asian; Caucasian or Occidental.
By and by, man has continued to devise several gospels for each of its age and generation, many of which have suffered similar extinction(s) along with their pitiably myopic founders and finishers as well as docile followers. In one or another form, mankind came from one common source; the Father of all creatures but regretfully, not all of these beings would return to the ultimate wholesomeness of God’s Kingdom.
Out of sheer obstinacy, lustful inclinations, willful wickedness, destructive sins…all these, among endless vices result to collateral damage(s) of humanity. It is like a wave of killing infections, which spaces no creed, nation, race, region and status of whatsoever classification.
In its innocence and indisputability, true gospel(s) proactively connect so directly with the ingenuity of sought-miracles like this instructive one: the dumb is said to have told the deaf that the blind sees the lame running across the highway to assist the barren one carrying its baby! If anything, typical aforementioned miracles are expectedly the divinely-driven instances of showing forth that, the Creator is still in full charge of this tiny but humanly overblown planetary system. By inference, gospels believed to be worthy of acceptability cannot do without miracles of signs and wonders mainly because of the abounding thickness of unbelief, unquantifiable suffering, massive miseries, unending godlessness vis-à-vis shocking man-on-man wickedness.
Not surprising, is it then for nothing that people of weakening understanding have resorted to hurling their less than godly gospelling on an acquiescing world of anything-would-just-suffice-faithlessness? For instance, while the current weakening Western world’s spirituality has erroneously been abridged by its high material riches, the rest of mankind in other regions has latched on to fateful eventualities, hateful doctrines and make-believe religiosity.
Around and about, it is as if a self-deceiving hunter is in hot pursuit of the shadow of a slippery game while the real animal seems elusive and rather than tackle, head-on, issues of life squarely and dispassionately, man often prefers to seek a ‘supposed godliness in man’ contrary to its Creator’s saving grace.
In our contemporary age, there is the utmost need to identify the ‘gospels’ that man has defiantly chosen at the jettisoning expense of the real gospel of life. Among these are…ceaseless craving of the flesh, inordinate ambition, power-at-all-costs through domination by other means and elimination by substitution. All these light-weights can be subsumed under the listing of ‘gospel according to power by alternative measures’. Even on the man-made altar, later ‘dedicated for higher service’ of God; accounts bordering on absolute absurdities have continually assailed human sensibility.
Another formidable gospel of this stifling age is that of money mindedness/its making by any means and which on its own raving is so temptingly fallacious. Pushed to a ridiculous depth, the lust (not love) for money is said to be the basic root of so many evils. Even at that, can a man hued on ascetic rigidity be a permanent resident in the habitats of besetting sins or anyone so resolutely determined not to fall be buried in prevailing transgressions?
Indeed, the power, inherent values and influence of money can hardly ever be downgraded…but in some said divinely inspired seven-levels of measuring prosperity (as mentioned in J.P. Timmons’ Mysterious Secrets Of The Dark Kingdom-The Battle For Planet Earth Book); money is said to be at the least base while being in His very-presence is the highest! Yet, it is this somewhat siege-mentality of money that has captured and, in fact, exposed the complete avarice and base instincts (or otherwise) of each and every self-appointed gospeller of this age according to individual cravings.
Or, was this not what prompted “Rev” Jim Jones to lure hundreds of his sheepish followers from the confines of their American homes to die cheaply in far-away Guyana through cyanide-poisoning and sort in 1978 or other end-time workers of gospelling by instantaneous miracles?
Looming so large is that disguised-gospel according to ‘treasury-boosting tap’ in tithing and multiple-offerings! Covertly bent on making money, even where it is seemingly impossible; these ‘modern-day toll collectors’ have raised their antics to the height of some neighbourhood robbers, who on being caught in their very act turned defensive that it was all for the sake of the have-nots in their midst. Quite theatric enough, wit-for-wit, even the average financial guru would need to really buckle up to beat these ones on their sheer wizardry in talking people off their money!
No less conspicuous is the position and authority placement sort of gospel. Characteristically, at the top pitch of reckoning is the founder and (subsequently, finisher) of the spiritual fold and so long as there is still air of breath in this so-called holy one, none can even whisper any likelihood of succession. In the midst of this miserable lot, their ‘living legend’ is sometimes equated with the Giver of life and any tendency towards independent thinking or deep scriptural translation may be tantamount to incurring the haunting type of curse on Cain (sequel to his being the first murderer in human history).
Owing to the obvious pervasiveness of spiritual degeneracy and vices-ridden civilization afflicting humanity, the duo of militancy by terror attacks and advanced ungodliness by the raving confraternity of the lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transcendental and intersexual are beginning to partition the world’s existing moral fibre between godly values and hell-bound ungodlinesses. Should this trend continue without stopping its menacing consequences…mankind may as well prepare to be finally consumed by the long-feared evil days.
Here comes the fundamental issue of the Creator’s standards and methods as per His own-freely given and those man-induced gospels. Since Adam, the Lord’s set-standards have steadfastly remained same and constant while his methods have had built into them redeeming grace for human frailties to be overcome. If not for these mercy-laden grace, typically, King David of old Israel would not to have received mercy and forgiveness. Ditto is our present age, which on a comparative note with ages past still breathes air of existence solely by divine mercy and Grace.
As for the gospels according to human craving, they are not so farfetched in places where vices reign over virtues, evil over good, brawn over brain, utter uselessness over ingenuity, insanity over sanity. Even in the abyss of avoidable miseries, there is still light at the end of the tunnel, because no matter how thick the darkness is, what is needed is just a ray of light which with its inherent power of illumination would attract other lightning elements to do what is needful…by lighting and re-igniting the dying candle of this obviously prostrate age.
• Omolade, email@example.com