“Fig Leaves of Counterfeit Faith”

By Akin Ojumu

At the heart of the concept of repressed memory is the idea that human beings, when confronted with a traumatic experience, have the tendency to bury it deep in their subconscious mind. Because the experience is too excruciating for the individual’s conscious mind to retain, it is tucked away, buried deep in some subconscious, dark, and forgotten recesses of the memory.

While painful memories may be buried deep in our subconscious mind, they are not lost all together. Modern psychiatry understands that no matter how much we suppress the traumatic experience, the memory is not annihilated. Very often, situations or circumstances would arise that may trigger the buried memory to come roaring back to the surface.

Because the repressed memories are painful and traumatic, what happens when they resurface is that they are never in their original form. As the memories reemerge, they are camouflaged in a form that’s a lot less traumatic to the individual. The original traumatic memory is substituted for a more pleasant counterfeit.

Apostle Paul spoke of the human tendency to suppress and disguise traumatic memories in his letter to the Romans when he called out the godless and wicked men who suppress the truth of God and exchange it for a lie.

“The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness… For although they knew God, they neither glorified Him as God nor gave thanks to Him, but they became futile in their thinking and darkened in their foolish hearts… They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is forever worthy of praise! Amen.” (Romans 1:18-32).

In a sermon he gave many years ago, the late R.C. Sproul described this fundamental psychology of the human race with respect to God. According to him;

“The scariest thing to a sinful person in all of the world is the holiness of God. When God reveals His Holiness to us, it is so scary to us that what we do is that we bury it as deeply as we possibly can in the depths of our psyche. But it cannot be destroyed.”

Ever since sin entered the soul of man, the human race has been traumatized by the righteousness of God. Because of the seed of sin within our soul, man has tried to hide from the blazing purity of the holiness of God. 

Till this day, man continue to run from the presence of God by clothing ourselves in the fig leaves of false religion. We suppress the true worship of God and exchange it for the worship of the gods we create for ourselves.

These fig leaves of counterfeit religion and imitation of the true faith have come to define modern-day Christianity. The Church is full of Christians who exchange the majesty of God for idols of their own making. There are many places of worship where human wisdom and philosophy are substitutes for the Law of God.

Esoteric, phenomenal, and experiential manifestations, typical of the Mystery Babylon religion, have replaced acceptable worship. True manifestations of the Holy Spirit are jettisoned for irrational, ecstatic, orgiastic, trance-like spectacles. The syncretic mixture of aberrant pagan religious practices with traditional Christian liturgy has made it virtually impossible for many Christians to discern the difference between true worship and idolatry.

Sound theology is oxygen to the Believer. Our theology anchors us in times of trouble. Life imitates theology. You live your beliefs. If your beliefs are weak, confused and shallow, that’s exactly how you are going to live and worship; in a weak and shallow way. And that’s how you are going to respond to the issues of life over which you have no control. If you have weak theology, you are going to be weak when confronted with the vicissitudes of life (John MacArthur).

We’ll continue next time.


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