The Love of Life Is the Root of All Evil, by Femi Aribisala

Man’s love of life is the root of all evil and the basis of every sin.

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Is it good to go to school; get a good job; build your own house and have lots of money? Not according to Jesus. These things are highly valued by men. But Jesus teaches that: “What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.” (Luke 16:15).

Therefore, it is not surprising that Jesus had none of these accomplishments as a man. In his doctrine, they are the preoccupation of Satan and men. Therefore, they are offensive to God. Jesus told Peter that the things of men are the things of Satan and not of God. He said to him: “Get behind me, Satan! You are an offense to me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” (Matthew 16:23).

What then is good? Jesus says: “No one is good but One, that is, God.” (Matthew 19:17). Therefore, anything that is of God is good. Jesus considers only the things pertaining to the kingdom of God to be good. Everything pertaining to this world is evil. Schooling, jobs, housing and money pertain to this world and, as such, are evil and not of God.

Everything earthly is a human alternative to the will of God in heaven. Continued devotion to the things of this world militates against our desire to be with the Father in heaven and is therefore absolutely evil.

Jesus says to his disciples: “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:13). This indicates he sees men as evil. In order to be good, men, who Jesus also categorises as “the sons of this world,” have to become “the sons of light;” another word for sons of God. Jesus says: “The sons of this world are more shrewd in their generation than the sons of light.” (Luke 16:8).

This means all our affinities to men and to this world must be relinquished in favour of God and the kingdom of heaven. These include allegiances to fatherland, to family and relatives; and to race, sex and creed. Jesus says: “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:26). He says furthermore: “Whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:33).

Relative and absolute evil

Men are consumed by the love of life, leading us to regard anything that threatens our life as evil. This makes us define evil erroneously in relative terms. If the enemy kills us, he is evil; but if we kill him, we are good. However, God sees evil in absolute terms.

Jesus regards as absolutely evil anything that undermines God’s will. This makes man’s life the greatest evil of all. The love of life, expressed in our determination to enhance, promote and safeguard our temporal condition, commands our allegiance even above the first and greatest commandment; which is to love God with all our heart. Therefore, Jesus regards man’s love of life as the root of all evil and the basis of every sin.

Indeed, we steal, cheat, fight, kill and commit adultery in order to save our lives. We only overcome sin by hating our lives.

Jesus’ re-definition of evil

Jesus reveals that the love of life makes men enemies of God. He tells us that God has made the hatred of life in this world the primary prerequisite for the attainment of eternal life. Jesus says: “He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12:25).

Thereby, Jesus redefines evil using the kingdom dynamic whereby what is highly esteemed among men is abominable in the sight of God. (Luke 16:15). Since men esteem their life highest of all, Jesus defines everything that diminishes our love of life in this world as good. Therefore, in his doctrine, poverty becomes a blessing. He says: “Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God.” (Luke 6:20).

He also categorises facing adversities in life as a blessing: “Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh.” (Luke 6:21). Indeed, Jesus says: “Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man.” (Luke 6:22).

Correspondingly, Jesus tells us not to bother to resist evil anymore: “I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.” (Matthew 5:39). He insists we must love our enemies: “I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. (Matthew 5:44).

Moreover, Jesus says we should not fear death: “I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more.” (Luke 12:4). Death becomes something good because it leads to our reunification with the Father in heaven: “If you loved me, you would rejoice because I said, ‘I am going to the Father.’” (John 14:28). But life is evil because it keeps us away from God.

Evil misnomer

The problem with the love of life is that men are totally unaware of its sinfulness. The love of life blinds men to the truth about good and evil. Indeed, we define our righteousness by the extent to which we love and promote life; the very thing that God hates. Therefore, to understand good and evil from God’s perspective, we must first break free from the bondage of the love of life.

The love of life prompts us to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and to make “evil things” like the atom bomb and the machine-gun; as well as “good things” like the aeroplane and the aspirin. But both our “good” and “bad” products are evil in God’s sight because they are of the world and not of God.

Accordingly, John counsels: “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world- the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does- comes not from the Father but from the world.” (1 John 2:15-16).

Therefore, it is wrong for Paul to say: “God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself.” (2 Corinthians 5:19). God will never reconcile himself to anything, least of all this absolutely evil world. It is also erroneous to say we become righteous by being washed in the blood of Jesus. We can only become righteous by following Jesus’ example of laying down our lives for others.

Jesus says: “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” (John 15:12-13).

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6 Comments

  1. Good day. Is this not the ardent supporter of President GEJ? If he’s, then wonders shall never end.

    I know wind of change has started blowing in Nigeria and no one can stop it. It’ll surely blow goodness & mercy towaed us alla

  2. thank God aribisala has left Buhari alone….. sure he is licking his wounds now. clueless gang

  3. Is Aribisala a pastor or he is looking sheep’s dat will be is followers because all this epistles of Rome can not change is ultrances to God chosen man he should just go and hide himself in a cooler and start telling God to forget and forgive him is clueless way

  4. For many who do not know, Dr. Femi Aribisala have and indeed runs two special columns in the Vanguard Newspaper. One is the Article of Faith which addresses his religious beliefs and covers his understanding (in his own right) of the Scriptures, the God(head), the Christ and the Church. This column features every Sunday and it is the medium through which Femi Aribisala evinces his disposition to human and/or godly religosity. The other column bothers more on issues of governance and politics. It is the platform upon which Femi Aribisala shares his thoughts and opinions on the goings-on in the local and immediate body polity, the government vis-a-vis how such relates to the society and the people at large. This column is published every Tuesday in the Vanguard. This explanation becomes necessary because most commentators tend to confuse Aribisala’s discussions on faith (religion) and politics (governance). This is more reflective in many of the comments that usually follow Aribisala’s thesis particularly, his Article of Faith as many commentators are swifts to question the pedestal on which Dr. Femi writes and/or speaks on the issue of faith (religion) seeing that they (the commentators) seem to be more acquainted with and/or read more of, if not ONLY, his discourse on politics (governance) and thus got taken aback at the content and the context of Aribisala’s exposition on faith and theological (Biblical) premises. The barrage of unsavory comments (and I have been once guilty of this) which usually disparage the writer (Dr. Femi) is both sad, unwholesome, unholy and ‘unacceptable’. In a clime where people exhibit perfunctory dispositions to intellectual discourse and ‘follow-follow’ attitude to spiritual (godly) matters, Dr. Femi and his like that take time, energy and even money to engage in critical thinking and thorough examinations of the issues and concerns that catch their fancies and attention often suffer verbal assaults. That Dr. Femi and many of his like are bold enough to openly evince and publicly stand by many of their somewhat strange but ‘seemingly’ well researched and thoroughly investigated findings and views on some critical issues bothering on faith (religion) and governance (politics) are usually assaulted for caring and indeed daring to share their thoughts and viewpoints. In this clime, holding divergent views on the mainstream beliefs and popular practices is a crime which comes with both physical tortures for and mental (practical) molestation of those ‘intellectual criminals’ and ‘spiritual chalathans’ for swimming against the tide of traditions (of men) and scriptural exegesis (of the spiritual). So sad that by the collective inactions (in words and in deeds) of the people, the society is somewhat adverse, practically oppose to and somewhat seek to shut down things that make for divergence and those that promote diversity in whatever professions and practices that are needful for the wholesome balancing of the ecosystem both in the natural planes and supernatural realms. Running and being in OPPOSITION to whatever cause (no matter how noble and novel) in this land comes with a great cost. Too bad! So sad!! Suffice to note that I am not holding briefs for Dr. Femi Aribisala nor running a PR for him, but my take is that people should endeavour to sometimes take the message and leave the messenger alone and in peace. The messages communicated by the messengers should spur many that share different views on the subject under review to further investigation. Rather that bully the messenger, it is more wholesome to resort to personal reflections on the contents and the contexts of the message. It is when such investigative disposition is imbibe that one can truly ascertain the veracity and/or the crassness of the message being expounded by the messenger. Suffice to note that many of the issues raised by Dr. Femi Aribisala are somewhat thought provoking and go to rattle some of the biblical views many a religious zealot hold dear. The foundation upon which many of the professing and practicing ‘christians’, sorry, believers build their faith and beliefs are constantly and candidly being challenged and unsettled by Dr. Femi’s thesis and exposition. The church dogmas and doctrines that are being questioned by Aribisala is making few to re-examine their basic tenets of faith. In a wa, Dr. Femi is ‘helping’ few of his readers and followers to reshape and retool their stances on what is good and godly; for better or for worse. Personally, I don’t align my theology and ideology with many of Aribisala’s biblical exegesis and political persuasion, but his writings do provok me into further investigation and research on what I consider and hold to be the Way of the TRUTH in the Life I lead and live. Aribisala’s somewhat aversion to Pauline (Saul of Tarsus) epistles – which in reality shape what most orthodox and pentecostal christians believe to be the ‘perfect’ model of christianity – is helping many to reevaluate the true position of Christ and his Apostles (especially, the chosen elevens) on what Jesus of Nazareth actually came to preach and would want his follower to believe. If anyone is in doubt, such should read Paul’s comment on this in Colossians 3:16. It is indeed about Christ and not the clairvoyant claims or charismatic astuteness of the clergy or those elected/appointed into clerical positions within the household of faith -the very Church of God. Suffice to note that much as Dr. Femi seeks to positively contribute his quota, by his writings, on the robustness of the Nigerian politics and its development – which he deserves some commendations -, the position he pitched his tent and the camp he canvassed for during this electioneering process were somewhat fraught in many ramifications and one may say the outcome of the last general election proved Aribisala wrong in many respect. However, Dr. Femi fought a good fight on political front – campaigning for the outgoing ruling government, especially, the now roundly defeated President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan – but lost the battle to those who passionately craved for and indeed ushered in the much needed CHANGE the Nigerian political landscape has been begging and striving for for almost two decades now. Unlike the likes of Femi Fani Kayode, Gov. Ayo Fasoye and other who went all out with all sort of divisive and mudslinging campaigns that almost set the country on fire, Dr. Femi was more intellectual and civil in dealing with and dwelling on the ISSUES while he would want Nigerians to see -the need for the reelection of GEJ- from his well articulated views. I thus salute Dr. Femi Aribisala and encourage him to continually stand by and for what he knows to be good both for himself and others even when such is not wholly embraced by all. Such is life and such is the character of forthright men. The society need more of Dr. Femi Aribisala to evolve into a wholesome whole as individuals contribute their unit parts for the betterment of all. I rest my case for now…lolz 😀 (y) <)

  5. My pain is that some people always feel that they can post some rhetorical epistles to play down what is generally perceived as ill feeling and hate write-up deliberately served by one of their own against someone who out of selfless ambition chose to enter into a race like every other citizen. Seeing the tide and indeed the glorious wind of change,rather than shut up they decide to cajole the same readers with rhetorical nonsense. The fifth responder said he is not holding brief for the Article writer but then what did he do. He praised him for his resourcefulness,steadfastness and commitment while making the critics of the writer feel that they are thoughtless fellows. It is quite a pity to know that those who feel that they occupy certain literary space in our national life impliedly tell their readers that they are brainless. I have been reading some of the articles written by Dr. Aribisala but he never got into my consciousness until lately when he truly revealed that he is nothing but an unrepentant tribalist and by some extent a religious bigot. If Femi knew that he was a pastor as he tried to make us understand in some of his write-ups, he should have toned down his writing pattern to reflect who he claims he is. What did he not write about Buhari. He stopped short of physically barring GMB from contesting. Just like some of his fellow religious bigots/leaders who did not only take side but used monetary inducement as their means of placarding GMB; what is GMB’s sin? He is a military dictator and a Muslim. But their own civilian was busy looting and corrupting the system while they turn blind eye to it and also scramble for oil well;where is Alison Madueke today? While all these men were busy scheming to stop Buhari, I went into my room and said something to the Almighty God;that if GMB’s ambition is not of Him may it not come to pass but if otherwise let Him put all these hypocrites to shame for the world to see. It is instructive to note that I said the same prayer over GEJ in 2011. One thing I think I noticed about Dr. Aribisala is that he is a man who does not know how to hide his shame and probably unforgiving too, the number of his praise singers notwithstanding.

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