Written by Evi Idoghor
I'm not sure why I find documentaries so appealing. But I remember it all starting when I was a little girl. I came across a documentary on the Discovery Channel about conjoined twins and how they navigated their lives. "It must be something they have in their food over there (America) that caused them to be like that," my aunt said in response to the documentary. She came to that conclusion because we were seeing conjoined twins for the first time.
Documentaries have piqued my interest ever since and have followed me around all these years. I recently saw one titled Wild Wild Country. It was recommended to me by a friend's friend, and to put it mildly, it was strange.
The story began in the early 1980s, when western elites travelled to India in search of the then-famous guru Bwagwan (or Osho). He walked around with his long beard and kaftan . Turbans, also perched elegantly on his head and his palms were most times raised to his eye level as if he was in a constant state of prayer. Humility was his cloak, and he despised traditional religion. He wished to give people a more fulfilling way of life; one full of laughter and sexual liberation.
Among those who flocked to him were lawyers and Hollywood producers. All of whom were awestruck by his intellect which they believed would deliver them from the rigors of daily life. They desired a life without boundaries, worries, fear, or destruction. They desired constant celebrations, such as singing kumbaya around an open fire and, of course, sex.
A quest for God
In my previous article (Why is Culture Obsessed with the Universe?) I explored how humans would seek a savior through every possible channel except going to the savior himself. "I am looking for inner peace," they'd say, and the prince of peace would be standing right there with open arms, but they'd walk right past him searching for peace in the most unlikely places. In a country like Nigeria (though extremely religious), you will find those who turn to idol worship because they hold this belief that Christianity is a “white man’s” religion.
Everyone is looking for a savior, a god, or something to help them make sense of their lives. Many of them bury their heads in their jobs, social lives, and relationships in the hope that these will satisfy that insatiable hunger. So I'm thinking again: if people are in search of a "god," why do they keep avoiding the true God? They'd rather try anything but him. Why is this the case? What is it about him that has hardened their hearts? Or have they simply not heard the message?
After I finished watching the documentary, my curiosity got the best of me. I wanted to learn more about the members of the now-defunct cult. I then stumbled on an article published in the Guardian a man now in his 40s was a child member of the cult depicted in the Wild Wild Country documentary. "If you have no boundaries in your life," he says, "the world is quite scary."
He went on to describe how, at the age of six, he became intoxicated by accident and began smoking at the age of ten. He and his family were members of the cult and lived on the same property as the majority of the members, but they did not live as a family unit. Even married couples exchanged sexual partners. Some enjoyed it, while others, even if they didn't believe in Jesus knew there was something terrible about this unholy arrangement.
Right desire, wrong satisfaction
Assume you were physically hungry and needed to eat something to satisfy your hunger. So you opened your fridge and selected a meal that had been sitting there for days. And if your fridge is anything like mine, which literally turns into a hot pantry when the power goes out, that meal would have gone sour. You ate it anyway because you were hungry. You satisfied your hunger but it wasn't long before your stomach violently reminded you that you'd made the wrong decision.
Was it wrong to have a craving for food because you were hungry? No! However, even if it provided temporary relief, what was being used to satisfy that hunger was inappropriate. In our search for a "savior," alternative lifestyles, different religions, and a distorted worldview can provide temporary relief for that inner longing. But these things have no lasting impact; they all eventually fail because they are not of God.
In John 14:6, Jesus told (doubting) Thomas, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." We may run helter-skelter in search of a savior or a new way of thinking (Acts 17:21); but if our search does not lead us to Christ, it is futile. Jesus is the only one through whom we can access the father, and who holds the keys to eternal life.
That life we all desire: a life free of evil, sickness, death, racism, inequality; a life full of love and no hatred - where the wolf will dwell with the lamb without conflict (Isaiah 11:6), God wants us to have it as well. Thus, the happily ever after which Walt Disney has sold us all these years (free of all the world's divisions, sorrows, pains, and heartaches) can only happen on God's terms - that is, through Jesus.
It all came crumbling
When someone preaches a religion based on sex, especially sex in the presence of children, that should always be cause for concern. Some of these "religious figures" are so revered that people abandon all rational thought even when they smell a rat. The Dalai Lama was recently caught on camera asking a child to suck his tongue. No, it wasn't a hidden camera: the incident occurred in public, with adults laughing at the "religious figure's" perverted request to a child. Psalm 146:3 says, “Put not your trust in princes, in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.”
You may be wondering what happened to the followers of this Indian guru. The life he once took pride in building came crashing down when the US government cracked down on them, accusing some of heinous crimes such as murder conspiracy, marriage fraud, chemical warfare, and terrorism.
The guru was then returned to India on the next thing smoking (with his tail between his legs) where he died a few years later. When he was deported, his followers fled Oregon where they had lived for four years. The most intriguing aspect of this story is how quickly this man's message spread throughout the Western world and Asia. People continue to buy his books and attend his anti-religious and sexual liberation conferences in such places.
But, praise God, no matter how hard people try to suppress it, the gospel message endures. Jesus is still the only one who saves, and sex (according to the bible) is still between a man and a woman who are married to each other. So, I pray that God will open the eyes of the blind and satisfy those who truly seek him with his truth.
What do you think about this post? Leave your comments below and remember to like, share, and click the subscribe button at the top of this page, never to miss an update on Let’s Talk Nation Blog.
Don’t stop here; click this link to explore more on our Culture page.
All images are courtesy of Unsplash