In writing this article, I know I am at risk of evoking the ire of religious bigots, however before they castigate me and put my head on a guillotine, please permit me to state that I am an ardent Christian, a stern believer of Jesus Christ. And I sincerely hope that I do not offend God with this piece even though my conscience has granted me the express permission to unburden my mind.
In writing this article, I know I am at risk of evoking the ire of religious bigots and fanatics, however before they castigate me and put my head on a guillotine, please permit me to state that I am an ardent Christian, a stern believer of Jesus Christ. And I sincerely hope that I do not offend God with this piece even though my conscience has granted me the express permission to unburden my mind.
A theologian once remarked that Nigeria’s “religiosity” (even Christianity) is ocean wide but an inch deep. Given our corrupt, malevolent, unjust, selfish and dishonest attitude, I cannot but assert that the theologian was right. If we truly practice what the holy book says, we wouldn’t find ourselves in such ignominious quagmire. I can imagine God with millions of prayer requests in front of his throne -amongst them, a quarter (25%) from Nigeria alone and most of which he had answered even before we asked.
I wonder if some people feel it is sin to demand for justice, fairness, development or anything good at all from a government which they have elected. Instead of confronting the menace before them, they dash to the nearest church or mosque to pray, seeking for what someone called ‘intangible emotional solace’. I still can’t fathom if a difference would have been made had both Martin Luther and Martin Luther King Jr. prayed alone without any action. How dare we not call them martyrs of the faith and of humanity. Your deeds should vindicate, justify and portray you as a true Christian more than your words. God has given us mouths, hands, feet and strength not just for prayers alone but to also antagonise and move against injustice, oppression, corruption and wickedness of any form.
In Nigeria (or even in Plateau State), the name of God has been grossly misused to canvass votes during elections, by terrorists to unleash mayhem, by Governments to deny workers their benefits, by people to enrich themselves, make false prophecies, acquit corrupt people in the name of mercy or even claim that one is victimised because he is a Christian or Muslim. Haba! is God really that multi-faced and facetious?
Yes! prayer is the key, and that is why it is the first thing we do every morning and the last thing we do every night. Any diligent believer wouldn’t forget to add ‘our leaders’ as the main ingredients of his/her prayer requests in each routine. So after prayers what else do we do? fold our arms and watch? surely, a flock of supine sheep would breed horribly erect wolves. What if Jesus “hi-fived” those gamblers in the temple as he went in to pray? ( Matt. 21:12 &13, Luke 19: 45 & 46) would he have driven home his point as much as he reacted? What if he had not openly rebuked the teachers of the law in Luke 11:37-53?
Now I am speaking to those who would always veneer themselves in sheets of prayer when some action could be added to the prayer.
– to those who call for prayer only when tragedy befalls us and never pray on their own.
– to those you use the name of God in order to deprive people of what belongs to them.
– to those who use the name of God (or gods) in order to kill and destroy.
– to those who have up to ten different names on the payrolls of Government and are tagged elders, knights or mallams in worship centres.
– to those who bless, ordain and revere corrupt public servants in the house of God instead of rebuking them.
– to those who embezzle money to pay tithes, offerings and build worship centres.
– and to many others who use the name of God to defraud others, perpetrate evil and commit heinous crimes.
Please, please, please give God a break!
By Bizum Yadok
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