About three weeks ago, I was reading an article where a popular pastor narrated how God saved him from an air crash some decades ago. The divine guidance of the most high, whom he worships, ministered the words of wisdom that altered any thought of moving with that plane at the time. Their were praises. He was applauded because he defeated the flaming fangs of death. Comments by Christian faithfuls tapped into his blessing, prayed and rebuked the spirit of death in their lives. In all these, one thing was evident – the fear of death. Death was portrayed as something diminishing, something too scary and distant, something that paves the way for a true Christian to migrate into oblivion or nothingness.
On a second look, I was deeply worried. Anyone can be scared of death but not when we see death, or better put, ought to see death, as that passageway to a better place. To the Christian, I mean, the man who sticks to the teachings of Jesus Christ, death is not the end of the road. It is not something that should be feared or shown that much respect. The fangs of death should be, to this believer, a change of body and elevation of the soul into the destination that offers it peace. Death shouldn’t be feared or treated with the reference we see today. The idea that a Christian who misses a flight to heaven needs celebrate is worrisome. This sounds weird right? But just think about it.
If heaven is so lovely and good and the Christian is a true believer, and any cessation of his life takes him there, what sense then exists when he celebrates missing it? If this world is full of evil and owned by Satan or the devil, why should we rejoice when we miss an opportunity to leave this place? Is it that we do not really believe what we practise or that we don’t understand it well enough? Is it because we want to gain all that is on this earth before going to heaven? If that is so, wouldn’t that amount to the materialism this faith we profess is calling against? What exactly can be derived from our fear of death? Is it that natural aspect of the being that cannot be overshadowed even by the most powerful knowledge and entity in our world?
This is my verdict. We have left that lane that espouses on what it really means to be christian. We have focused more on the material aspect of human existence instead of the immaterial portion where we can kiss the finger of God and immortality. Actions come from understanding and this is not any different. The fear of death in us have gone as far as inhibiting us, giving us a false sense of christian reality that is antichristian. Where you are going to is better than where you are. You shouldn’t be given testimonies to celebrate your loss. That sounds crazy right? But let’s think about it. If you are looking at rising to a higher paying job with all the benefits of a king, would you call for celebration when an appointment that ought to take you there is called off? Would you be considered sane if you do?
Some persons may want to argue that the fear of death is not a fear of death itself but the fear of leaving their friends and families behind. While this could be argued well for a nonbeliever in Christ, it shouldn’t leave the mouth of a Christian. Once anyone becomes a Christian, he is expected to leave his ‘family, his friends’, etc., like Jesus Christ commanded. This defence falls flat in the face of that. Don’t confuse this with the call for Suicidal thoughts. No, it is not. Don’t confuse this with the idea of a selfish human existence. No, it is not. Simply understand this as a call for Christians to destroy that fear of death. Today’s Christians are too scared to be Christlike. They are too afraid of death that they live their lives in fear. They believe in a sweet afterlife but consider the idea of going their worrisome.
Obviously this won’t go down well with a lot of people. Maybe I stretched the message too much but I think it would be easy to see the fear of death, the central core of the message, for what it truly is to the Christian–irrational. The crux of my point so far is that the fear of death shouldn’t be in company of a Christian. From the perspective of Christianity, death shouldn’t be feared. It is not something that must be dreaded as though it alone can destroy the man or mind. It is not something that should be given any attention before truth leaves the lips of the Christian. It is given too much attention in today’s Christianity and it has contributed to the materialization and ruination of the believer. Like the English John Donne wrote in Death Be Not Proud, at the end, death too shall die.
Disclaimer: This is what I got from studying the Bible and the christian faith. You are hereby advised against making any other assumption.