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Home > News > Choosing from the Market Place of Faith

Choosing from the Market Place of Faith

Posted on: 21 February 2014

Beloved Colleagues,Except for the man who sells his salvation for the material things of this life, every true believer in God cannot gloss over, but give serious thought to the admonishings of the various faiths in order to make a choice. Truth can only be one and not many more than one. The great predicament that faces the human being today is the proliferation of faiths and how to sift out the single true faith from the multiplicity of falsehoods that get bandied around. Yet whilst this is true, the reality also is that we stand to be judged by our Creator in the choices we have made out of the lot.  Some persons believe, based on logic that, it is not which faith or religion you profess that matter as much as how you have lived with your neighbors. 

God’s judgment shall reward the righteous and punish the vicious irrespective of the faith that each professes. If this reasoning is to hold, then there was no need whatsoever for God to send messengers to tell us how to live since each individual goes through a socialization process from childhood and grows up with a natural consciousness of what is good and what is bad.  Trouble is, the diversity in the cultures of people across the world spells an equal amount of diversity in perception of what is good and bad, because what is considered good in one cultural setting is most monstrous in another. Strangers in the West for instance, might embrace or even kiss persons of the opposite sex as an expression of goodwill. The same will be considered an act condemnable to hellfire in parts of the Orient. And the absence of a Universal Human Law and the impossibility of humanity crafting out one law book which shall prescribe standard norms and behavior for all people across the world seem to lend credence to the divinity of at least one of the scriptures, only if we could determine which it is. And why not? Must God not come in where men prove unable? We are thus faced with the necessity of making choices from the gallery of faiths and scriptures sold in the market place. Which of the faiths u buy away from this market place determines ur Home in the next life. H or H? Heaven or Hell, which Home do u buy? In this market place where buyers are like hunters for the one true scripture or faith, an initial confusion greets every new entrant because of the multiplicity of varied faiths that abound. But within the limited time allowed for each man to live, he must make a choice of faith on which to hang his hopes. Except for the one person unfortunate enough to think it all ends here, everybody in this market knows which Home in the next life every other person loves and cherishes to buy. And yet in this market place of faiths are all manner of buyers and sellers; sellers adopting all manner of packaging and advertising techniques to attract buyers to their merchandise.  It is possible in this market for buyers
 to grope pass  a seller of a Heaven-bound faith especially if its seller is not too shrewd in the techniques of advertising, marketing and attractive propaganda but is restricted to telling the raw truth of his faith distasteful as it may be, and as all truths are. The reverse is also true about this market place where multitudes may be attracted to a Hell-bound faith because of the eloquence and wits of its merchant or the earthly power, pump and pageantry associated with it. How poor are we the buyers? But the sellers are no richer. False and hell-bound their merchandise may be though, they are themselves convinced it is the way to salvation and thus selflessly want to share. How pitiable our lot. There is a lot of truth in the saying that, it is not for nothing that God gave humans the capacity for intelligence and reasoning by which we can distinguish between good and evil and truth and falsehood. That gift of intelligence and reasoning will be the justification for God’s Judgment of the choices we make out of the competing claims to divinity.
 It goes without saying then that whatever faith we choose or profess, from the huge array of churches, mosques and synagogues and their corresponding scriptures must be based on justifiable and possibly, evidence-based truths.  But it is only too true also that, such justifiable truths can only be reached when we get all the information there is about these religions and subject them to sound logical analysis, each according to his capacity. Then and only then can we hope that even when we are wrong or guilty, our guilt shall be explicable in terms of the limitations of the analytical tools God has equipped us with. That at least will be a better explanation for any errors in our choices than willful blindness driven by sheer thoughtlessness and our baser whims and caprices.  Up until the revolutionary upheavals of the 18th century that overthrew both the
papal and aristocratic status quo in Europe and brought in its wake the clarion demand for free expression and freedom of thought, this free market place of faith was not to be. 
The history before is replete with unbelievable levels of atrocities committed by organized religious institutions against humans for choices they have made based on what they have assessed to be true from among the competing claims to guidance. Equally true was the vilifying propaganda and wholesale mudslinging of sacred religious personalities and scripture for espousing doctrines that appear contrary to the established dogma. The fortunes of the modern man is that all the information is now out there at our finger tips and the freedom is ours to decide today which Home in eternity we want to buy.  But like in all market places, there is a price to pay for the Home u buy in the next life. In this confusing market place of faiths, the price u pay are your prejudices and cherished values which constitute the stumbling blocks in your path to a safe choice and which must be sacrificed on the altar of sound and logical truth. Faced with the critical necessity of making these hard and consequential choices, our intelligence rather than our emotions is our only guide and we come out of this awful market place either smiling toward Heaven or grieving woefully towards Hell. Patience and sympathy is what we need one brother or sister for the other. Humans vary in the amount and type of information we have; we also vary in our capacity to analyze the information we have and in our emotions and capacities to reason. That is why the informed should share with the uninformed, and the wise must lend a shoulder to the mentally feeble in this critical quest for our spiritual salvation.  I assume I met a fellow seeker in the market place of faith who, enchanted with the buoyance and miracles of the preacher man, bought the holy bible as his book of guide and into Christianity as his anchor to salvation in the next life.  This fellow is 100% sure of his eternal security in the choice he had made because, given the wonders of healing and miracles that the apostle worked, it could not be that his way would not lead to salvation. But seeing a copy of the Qur’an in my hand, he knew I had bought into Islam in my hope for a home in Heaven during my next life. ‘Just what could make this brother settle for this choice’ is the question that would naturally radiate through our respective minds. What else outside these many miracles and wonders could have informed this brother’s choice of Islam for his salvation? He would wonder.  Only a few of us will express it with the mutual love and care that persons sailing in the same boat and rowing against a hail storm would do for one another and an even fewer will settle down to reason together to unravel the myth.  
As co-seekers for the true faith that will guide us to a Home in Heaven we decide to settle down to reason together which of us has made the right choice. Any one of us could be the first to tell the other the reason for his choice; why he thinks we should settle for his chosen scripture as a guide to salvation. Now whether I am first or last to speak, my reasons for the choice of the Qur’an as the true scripture from God Almighty, and the reason I have bought Islam from the gallery of faiths in the market runs as follows:
To be Continued
Abdul Rahman KADRI of volta river