My dearest Tomi,
How have you been? It’s felt like aeons since we last communicated. I’ve missed you so dearly and especially our conversations. You can’t possibly imagine the mighty smile that splattered across my face when I received your mail. It seems your school is trying to wedge a wall between our love, but tell them, whether they sail seven seas and seven mountains, our love would prevail, like Ijebu garri, it would keep rising.
Please pay little attention to the title of this letter, I named it after what someone said. I have written to show you a recent response I gave to someone who commented on a picture – well, a meme actually – I put up on facebook. The meme reads ‘if being hurt by church causes you to lose faith in God, then your faith was in people, not in God’. Naturally, I got a few likes and then a comment and I loved this comment because there was so much honesty in it. I could be wrong, but it seemed to me like this person was seeking the Truth, however, if perceived wrongly, you probably might have assumed he was being hostile. His comment reads ‘So then why do we have to go to church? This just tells me church is as useful as it is useless; and it’s more useless than it’s useful’. After pausing when I first saw the comment, and then wondering, I prayed for a few seconds and asked the Holy Spirit to give me wisdom in answering him. Here’s how I ended up responding:
‘Thanks for your comment, I don’t get that often. Let’s say you have a father, which I believe all men do. He was rich and loving, but alas, he died. However, he left a will. Now all your siblings are fighting over the inheritance. Some are saying that the will should not have been opened, others are refuting the validity of some statements… etc. Their behaviour doesn’t change the personality of your dad does it? Nor would it deny his love for his ‘misfit’ kids I dare say.
‘Alternatively, I have not the slightest clue your beliefs and values, buy I would like to presume that you believe a person should have integrity. Again, I don’t know your story, if you’ve ever made a promise (or gave your word) and ever broke that promise, I know, I have. Quite a bit. My failure to deliver does not make the word “promise” a sham. It only highlights my weakness.
‘To attempt to respond to your question/statement, man is a lot of things, but perfect isn’t one of them. We congregate in fellowship so as to commune with the Spirit/Person that teaches us perfection. For imperfection is a consequence of our fall. And church isn’t a building, it’s the person who believes in Jesus.
‘I’ve said far more than your comment demanded. If you’re seeking the Truth, keep on till you find Him. If not well, thanks for commenting all the same.’
This was his final comment after reading my reply, ‘No, you haven’t said more… you’ve represented my question in a contradiction. But I’d concede defeat on this one.’
As to him being ‘defeated’, that wasn’t my aim, for I tried in what little way I could to answer him compassionately, the goal wasn’t to win the argument – because I could have done that and still lost the person – my goal was to share what light I had – however little – hoping that it would help him find answers to whatever he was seeking. I hope you found something useful from our conversation.
On a final note, always try to respond to people as the humans they are; with dignity and respect. Remember, you’re responsible for your words and manners, not theirs, for you would find those who are outrightly hostile to your faith and not being honourable like my friend here. Rock on as always, until the next time, I remain,
Yours with a quill,
This article was first published on Yada Magazine: yadamag.com/culture/letters-to-tomi–church-is-useless/
Photo credits: corbiniansbear.blogspot.com