By Devon Dick
A recent story by Jack Rivlin in the London Evening Standard related that Arquimedes Nganga, a retired semi-professional footballer who claims his Christian faith ruined his chances of playing football for Manchester United and is, therefore, suing the Baptist Church of Great Britain for £10 million.
In a case reminiscent of the 2001 Billy Connolly film The Man Who Sued God, where lawyer Steve Myers went fishing in a boat which was struck by lightning and destroyed, his insurance company declines his claim on the grounds that it is not liable as his fishing boat was destroyed due to an 'act of God'.
Nganga accused religious leaders of deceiving him "into following false beliefs". Forty-six-year-old Nganga said he could have earned £20,000 a week when he quit the sport at age 25 when he converted to the Baptist faith. He said: "I see many players playing today who I am not inferior to - and perhaps even better than."
Destroyed social life
After converting in 1989, Mr Nganga spent 19 years as an evangelist, devoting his life to the Bible and abstaining from sex.
Is it possible that Nganga was not told the full gospel and that following Jesus the Christ could lead to hardships? Unfortunately, it appears that some preachers are cheapening Christianity - what could be called 'cheap grace' - in order to increase membership.
Wrong view of the religion
Perhaps, too, with the popularity of prosperity gospel, many have the wrong view of Christianity.
Prosperity gospel claims that faith, positive speech, and donations to Christian ministries will always increase one's material wealth.
There is a need for balance and to highlight the sufferings of Job, Paul and Jesus.
We need to read The Cost of Discipleship by the German Theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer, that spells out what he believes it means to follow Christ.
Christians should heed Matthew 16: 24 where Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me."
Devon Dick is pastor of the Boulevard Baptist Church in St Andrew. Send comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org