Perversion

The perversion of religion in Nigeria.

Nigeria to me must be the most prayerful, most religious country I have ever encountered. Religion is embedded into the very fabric that makes us who we are. We are even very absentmindedly religious. Armed robbers will literally pray to God to bless their operation right before they break the law. The government looting all the nation’s funds and resources will build religious universities that focus more on physical appearance and religious traditions as a measure of one’s godliness.  Awon yahoo 419 boys will post a photo of them laced down in Gucci and be wearing my tuition on their neck and will have the audacity to caption the photo #nababaGod. Bros, for where? If I hear…

I have come to recognize that religion in Nigeria, Christianity in particular, has been perverted.

It has been twisted up and turned into something that it was never intended to be.

The very essence and foundation of Christianity have been brutally abused and distorted, mandated to succumb to the needs of the ones that most profit from the fabricated version. It has become a front; a cover-up used to perpetrate evil.

The ones that it benefits are not only those looking to make a quick buck, but also those who relish in having some form of power or hold over others, or those who like to see others in bondage. You see, it’s not exclusively about the money. It is also about power and control, much like any other inhumane atrocities concocted against humanity.

But you see, it was never intended to put us in bondage, at least not by God, but rather to free us.

It was never supposed to be a hindrance to us but rather a sort of boost.

Alas, religion has become an obstacle that has put figurative- at some point in history, literal- shackles on our wrist while putting gold chains on their wrists. Both forms of bondage, nonetheless.

Maybe the problem is we have focused too much on religion while completely paying no heed to the relationship.

We leave it up to them to create that relationship for us. We want them to talk to God for us and then tell us what he said.

These ones that have perceived the vulnerability, eagerness, and desperation and decided we were easy prey.

These ones with their own agenda, not always well hidden, that it’s only supposed to elude the blind.

These ones that don’t even have a relationship with God themselves.

21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Matthew 7:21-23

These are the ones that we have given charge to over our lives.

At some point in history, I don’t know, maybe we needed them to?  After all, we weren’t always knowledgeable on the art of reading or writing.

What’s the reason now?

Maybe the need led to dependency and learned helplessness?

Anyway, now, to them, our freedom is just another money-making strategy; another thing that can be bought with deception. They target victims using tactics such as guilt and fear to manipulate them into doing their will, not God’s will. They’ll twist the words of God to meet their own selfish needs.

And honestly, we enable them.

When Jesus died on the cross, the veil was torn to give us direct access to God and direct relationship with him.

That was the point; to not have to go through anybody to get in contact with God.

“And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split”.

Mathew 27:51

Some people idolize them to the extent that if Jesus was standing by their side, they would not move an inch or run to him unless they said so.

“Run to ME (Jesus) all who weary, and I (Jesus) will give you rest.”

Not run to them so they can run to me for you…

Another perversion of religion is the idea of faith without works.

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also, faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works… 24 You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.

James 2:14-18

Faith does work but faith is not work.

Praying without putting in the work is quite the opposite of faith. If I have faith that something will work, I put that faith to test by putting it into action.

Pray for things to change, then actively pursue that change.

I know that it’s easier said than done.

It’s easy to say change the nation, change the world etc.

It’s harder to put this into action when the root of the calamities that have befallen this country runs deeper than the challenger deep.

One thing I’ve learned is that one person by themselves cannot change the world. However, we can all change the world by changing one person’s world through seemingly mundane tasks.

You want the world to be kinder, be kind to someone else.

You want the world to be easy, give someone else ease.

You want the world to be peaceful, bring someone else peace.

You want to see a change, don’t wait for the change.

Be the change.

This cliché might sound like fairy tales and pixie dust but don’t knock it until you try it.

We can be each other’s answered prayers if we all get on the same page.

He who has ears, let him hear.

 

Vocabulary

Yahoo /419= scammers, popularly known as the African prince in your email.

Them= wolves in sheep clothing that call themselves men of God. The ones that we have given the task of forming and maintaining a relationship with God on our behalf.

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