Saturday, 14 April 2012

Forgiveness, Religion...

I grew up in a 'Christian home', which means that like many Nigerians, I went to church every Sunday to listen to the Pastor preach and pray.  Like school, no one asked me if I wanted to go, we simply went to church becauseIt was another socially acceptable indoctrination: at school, Mungo Park ‘discovered’ the Niger River, and Planet Pluto was ninth from the sun; in church, the earth was created in six days. Faith, the ‘relationship and knowing God’ bit would come much later.
Going to church, as school, has proved somewhat helpful for my adult life. In addition to extensive research on links between happiness and religion (quick tip, Google); I think that despite a belief in a higher being, some transcendence, is healthy. Even with the doubts and conflict in religion. Transcendence explains the idea of forgiveness – a cleansing of one’s past slates, a making anew, etc.  Christianity for example, means that repentance wipes away one’s past, which is very useful since being human means we are capable of a large amount of stupidity. The ability to pray and receive forgiveness eases guilt, and makes us able to move on - think Donald Trump and those bankruptcies.  It's similar to the legal defence of  diminished responsibility. It may also explain why depression is rarely diagnosed in many religious societies - no one expects it.

I enjoyed listening to Pastor Sam Adeyemi on the topic. He also said that our minds are often unable to grasp the idea of forgiveness. You can watch the video on the Daystar website. 

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