In a Sunday Monitor opinion published on July 14, I pointed out to columnist Alan Tacca that salvation is an experience. Of course, I did not have the space to demystify all the absurdities he has been spewing out against the Church at whim. I only tried to help him get the bottom line; some insight into the life of a believer.
However, at his core, Mr Tacca is riled by believers in Jesus Christ and their practices. While he comes off as an intellectual in many of his articles, his agitation, hatred and animosity towards believers is far removed from intellectualism.
True intellectuals when faced with confusing phenomena will take time to investigate a matter without bias. They will examine the motives and intentions with an open mind before making a judgement.
Mr Tacca would have investigated the motives behind the street preachers whom he condescendingly refers to with several derogatory terms.
For better perspective, Tacca would also examine the reasons behind the surging numbers of believers and churches. He would have found out that actually, those street preachers, drenched in sweat and with voices hoarse from all the shouting, believe they have the best interest of passers-by at heart.
They are so convinced about the existence of a hell and a heaven and would want for hearers to choose wisely. Obviously, no one is suggesting that Tacca, or anyone else for that matter, should consider such theories. However, understanding the motivation behind an action gives better perspective.
But you see, some people will instead pour scorn on issues even when an agreeable answer is right before them. You might actually find that Tacca investigated this matter and has all this information. However, he has chosen to overlook the true love that is in demonstration and has decided to launch attack after attack.
If someone, out of love, tries to warn you about an impending disaster which is non-existent according to you, the best you can do is appreciate their concern and ignore them.
These are people who could be out there doing other things yet their concern for humanity, real or imagined, cannot allow them to do anything else. Faced with this reason, those who are distressed by street preachers usually aver that they do not want to be disturbed by the ensuing noise.
They would prefer that street preachers leave them alone to mind their business. But the action at hand has nothing to do with irritated passers-by. This is about the street preachers and their personal convictions that cannot allow them some rest even if they tried.
Of course, Mr Tacca made some claims in his response to my opinion on July 21. In all his such articles, you can be certain he will throw in the invective of “believers in combat with imaginary demons”.
I will not go into the details of different churches having different mandates in the body of Christ, I will just encourage Tacca to visit more churches and talk to more believers before making sweeping statements.
There was another response to my letter by a one Simon Nuwagaba. He said, in part: “…at every street corner, every square mile you will find a ‘pious’ Christian preacher making it his/her only business to tell everybody else that you are doomed to perish in hell unless you accept his/her view of the world.”
My response: If you know there is no hell and you cannot even perish, appreciate their concern for your life, ignore them and mind your business. They will not arrest you for refusing to heed their call.
I also got more feedback suggesting that the allegory I used of intimacy vis-à-vis the salvation experience was horrible and culturally repulsive. Also, that not everyone has the same experience of fulfilling intimate experiences.
I truly appreciate this feedback. I perfectly understand that believers are in two categories. There is the religious believer whose relationship with the Maker is a set of rules and regulations. But God has called us to have a very close personal intimate relationship with Him. So, there is that believer whose relationship with his/her Maker is an ongoing beautiful journey.
That repulsion many felt is similar to what people who are in deep, fulfilling and meaningful relationships with their Lord Jesus feel when the likes of Tacca constantly dispute issues of their spiritual bedrooms in public. In that light, the subject of spirituality should be off-limits for intellectuals like Tacca.
The writer is a believer in Christ Jesus and aspiring politician firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr Acemah returns next week