By Tafi Mhaka
Some of the best people I know do not believe in a higher being. Sam is just one of them. An accountant by profession, Sam runs a small business he set up a couple of years ago. And he has a wife and two kids. Although he was raised as an Anglican, Sam lost his faith in God a long time ago after listening to an album from American rapper Ice Cube. Sam has lent me a hand in the past without being preachy about things or hesitant to help. And I must add: he is not shackled by his lack of faith in God. He does not believe in waiting for God to help him like many Christians do. The Christians I know believe God will shower them with blessings if they pray and worship like all true believers should.
So God is good to them when they lavish themselves with the finer things in life, like upmarket properties, state-of-the-art gadgets, swanky-looking sofas or the latest German-made automobiles. God is great to them when they go overseas on holiday for a month and return with bags full of bought-for-Instagram Gucci outfits and accessories. God is excellent to them when they get a job for the first time. God is supreme when they get a promotion or a pay rise at work. God is amazing when they find the love of their lives.
But when the going gets tough for them because they are making bad decisions in life, they will blame the devil for their self-inflicted failings. When they lose their job, they will blame the devil for their ineptitude or vilify colleagues who are not at fault for their laziness. When they run into financial difficulties after spending their hard-earned savings on frivolous wants, they will blame the devil for their recklessness and expect friends and relatives to support their profligate spending. When they file for divorce or break up with their sweetheart because they have been unfaithful or unlovable, they will say God works in mysterious ways; and swear God has found somebody better than the partner they have broken up with.
The Christians I know can do ungodly-like things all-week long fully conscious of the fact that they are being sinful and proceed to pray for forgiveness from God on Sundays in a hugely distrustful and well-rehearsed arrangement which can plague them for life. Heaven can wait until Sunday morning as they flout the Ten Commandments on a regular basis free from real-time accountability for their wrongful actions.
They rarely help strangers or colleagues for nothing in return, but pray for food, money, comfort and redemption for themselves. Why should God help Christians ahead of honourable and kind-hearted nonbelievers like Sam who do good deeds on earth? Sam has a big car, a beautiful house, a healthy bank balance and a loving family. And he is happy. He is not perfect. But he is no moralist for that matter.
Christians quote long scriptures from the Bible and condemn other people for sinning against God or being unrepentant heathens as if they are God themselves. Not only God has the authority to judge people in Heaven, but Christians on earth also believe they have a God-given right to pass moral judgment on people they deem unholy. But God is no fool. Between the sinners who do bad deeds all the time and pray for forgiveness on Sundays in highly religious fashion and the nonbelievers who do good by others for the entirety of their lives: who deserves to get into Heaven?