On Religion and Mental Slavery (Part 1): Politics and The Church
Religion is the opium of the masses. ~Karl Max
Guys, before you serve me that look, I know I said what I said about my next post but mehn, I can’t help this one – so, I’m moving the episode to next week whether y’all believe it or not but I’ll advise you do.
So, a happy weekend to y’all! How’s the weekend going? Here, it’s going well and I’ve got deadlines caving in on me! Massive deadlines but I know I’m gonna come through.
Shall we get to today’s post already?
First, the moment I decided to write this post, I knew that some very religious people will be coming for me and I don’t give two shits (I mean that) and some other very pious people are bound to put a question mark in front of my Christianity and if they do follow me on certain social media platforms, they may take the discontent top-notch by pulling a plug on my social media counts but hey, I love people who follow me online, show me love, like my posts, leave comments , genuinely following and supporting my journey, when I’m both high and low but notwithstanding all of these things that matters, I’m also very aware that it’s not the most important validation of all. . . 100 followers, 1000 followers, two different people doesn’t make one better or lesser and moreover, I guess life is somehow ridiculously teaching us to pay attention to seeing them numbers grow more rather than genuinely making and enjoying relationships out of them (this is another topic entirely for another day).
Two days ago, I saw this video of a Prophet talking about how he’s seen an S sitting on a shair and how God has abandoned the elders and moved to the angle of the youths – therefore, the next President of Nigeria is gonna be a youth whose name starts with an S! Oh God! I found it very ridiculously funny and I was like what kind of propaganda is this on a pulpit? So, God has always abandoned the youths for the elders in times past? So, God is now a politician defecting from Nigerian Adult Party to Nigerian Youth Party? See, I get it! I understand that there are no longer visible boundaries between the Church and Politics anymore but the ridiculousness of these things is totally unbecoming. Believe me; I had to hold myself back by the Spirit of God not to leave my church mind on instablog9ja when I saw it. But what saddens me more is the congregation totally looking sold out to what the man was saying and screaming oooohhhahhhhhahhhh – whistles and Amen! And you know what came to my mind? A lot of things! First, the certainty that by the time 2019 Elections come to an end, this prophecy won’t come to pass!
Well, you’re thinking who am I to say that?
I can say this because this is not the first time we’ve had Pastors on pulpit prophesying who’s gonna win what and how the stubborn refusal of those prophecies in coming pass had led to a kind of exchange between supposed men of God and the Nigerian body of Christ.
In 2015, Pastor Chris Okotie who had many times ran for President in 2003, 2007 and 2011 respectively and also currently declaring his interest to run for 2019 Presidency after a comeback from his supposed political hiatus accused the then President of Christian Association of Nigeria, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor of encouraging ex-President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan to contest during the election that sworn-in President Muhammad Buhari by false-prophesying and guaranteeing him of winning after which Okotie confidently said that President Muhammad Buhari’s victory was an act of God and a sign of good things soon to happen to Nigeria.
Now, I’m gonna have to quote his words;
I told CAN and PFN that Jonathan was not of God; that whosoever would win would be one that had built a tabernacle in the presence of God. I told CAN and PFN that Jonathan did not belong to the House of David and that since he did not belong to the household, his winning would bring more sorrow to Nigeria. – Okotie, 2015.
Let me categorically say that he’s just one out of a whole number of ridiculous interference that we’ve had, heard and witnessed in the political and religious submergence. You know what bothers me is the fact that the congregation just move along like nothing happened after these ridiculous prophecies refuse to come to pass. Like how did we get to this place where we no longer ask questions? How did we get to this place in Nigeria where these supposed men of God carelessly bring God into their ‘personal directives’ and we act like God fail sometimes when their prophecies don’t come to pass. We don’t question their integrity, their source – whether it’s God or a very obvious self in action.
In the Old Testament days of the Bible, it’s very true that the Church was actively involved in the affairs of government but not even a single situation of flop on God’s side. Is it when he had Samuel anoint Saul, David – even when Samuel spoke of God abandoning Saul, it wasn’t just a figment of his imagination, and it was direct and true! The prophecy of tearing the kingdom into two was fulfilled through Rehoboam and Jeroboam. Should we talk about when God had the Judges rule? When Elijah spoke of drought and it was so? Why is there a constant rise in making a lampoon of God in the Church/Religion all in the name of politics? Even Daniel knew not to spoil himself with the sweet things of the King. Maybe that’s the problem – the sweet things of the king is the national cake that doesn’t exclude our men of God.
See ehn, when I look at and read again the words of Okotie written above, I begin to wonder, does Buhari belong to the house of David? Just wondering? And did we have this much sorrow under the Jonathan government? Sorry, I’m not trying to compare, just picking the convictions of a political man of God one after the other – can’t help it, I’m a literature student.Religion is not merely the opium of the people, it's the cyanide. Click To Tweet
Secondly, I considered the probability of having an S become the President by 2016 – I mean isn’t it so obvious how many Presidential candidates (with declared and glaring intentions) have their names beginning with S? I mean, if it’s not Saraki, it’s probably Sowore right? So, please, is this an advert placement on the pulpit or the ‘man of God’ was making his intentions known stylishly that he’s supporting an S leaving the congregation to wonder who the S is after carefully wrapping it in the name of God? Did he for a second consider the fact that those nonsensical spewing could motivate the decisions of his church members in casting their votes and helping God to put Mr. S on the shair?politics is one of the factors that determine comfort for the common man, how can the Church not be genuinely concerned? Click To Tweet
When Karl Max said what he said above, many of us never bothered to be reasonable in the understanding of those words. Instead, we were dogged about faulting it. I mean it’s sad; the Nigerian Christianity (Religion) saddens me most times. I mean, last week, we had a picture of Tinubu flying around – apparently he was at Redeemed Church to attend his wife’s ordination as a Pastor and I’m like – okay! I’m not judging ‘cause who am I to speak up when the average social media community won’t say anything when their words are expected and mattered but becomes very quick to open when there are issues like Linda Ikeji getting belle. Apparently, issues like what to sing and not to sing, what to listen to and not to listen to becomes more important Christian issues than issues like this one. I’m not even gonna talk about a lot of ridiculous things and holier than thou attitudes I’ve seen in the social media Christian community but I told myself, mehn, I’m tired of the hypocrisy, selected interventions and charade. See, I just want to be my own Christian. Love me or hate me, I’ve seen too much to pretend I don’t see these things. What about financial exploitation and manipulation? Every day to me, it looks like congregations are just like pawns in the hand of these men of God.
See, I understand that these men of God are not feeling it – the economy, it doesn’t affect them but these people who come to your Churches are directly affected. I mean, politics is one of the factors that determine comfort for the common man, how can the Church not be genuinely concerned? The common man has no faith in the system and when he comes to Church for hope, he has to pay for it – sow virginity seeds, etc. or end up losing it totally. So, I’m forced to wonder, when these two systems have failed you, who or what do you believe in again? Where do you turn to for hope?Sometimes, if the physical is not right, the spiritual may not be. It’s common sense. Click To Tweet
Sometimes, we hide exploitation under the disguise of building faith. We tell the common man who has little to nothing, to hope and trust with the little he has and we tell him we are helping him build his faith while we are just being plain insensitive and exploitative. Go to some Churches, I see these women, the way they suffer and struggle to present themselves financially acceptable to their Pastors. I mean, it’s not only at grassroots, even your well dressed Pastor does it to your slaying congregations. I mean, Moses was very sensitive to the plight of the Israelites – he saw their hunger, their tiredness, their thirst. I mean, even when they erred and God was busy smiting them, he pleaded on their behalf. What are our Pastors trying to do to us today? Milk us dry or make sure we stay filled? Sometimes, if the physical is not right, the spiritual may not be. It’s common sense. Sometimes, it just feels like the Church wants to take from the people and give nothing back – so, we say spiritual meals are the only thing that should be enough? At a point in the Bible when Moses asked that the people bring for the building of the house of the Lord, he told them it was enough. I mean, does the Church ever have enough these days? I mean, just enough to give back to the people who keep going lengths just to bring? What burden does the Church want to help relieve? I understand that these Pastors did had their own walks with God, make covenants, went miles but does it override the fact that they make money from these church members, build schools that these members cannot afford and their children can’t even go? You talk and they tell you touch not my anointed. We just use the Bible to enslave and mentally colonize these days. We use it to as a backup for the different cloaks we have. That’s not what it’s meant for.
See, I believe Christ didn’t feed the 5000 because He needed to prove that He could feed plenty with 5 loaves and two fishes but because He cared about these people – very sensitive to know they were tired and hungry and should be relieved.
I feel we just use the Bible to enslave and mentally colonize these days. We use it to as a backup for the different cloaks we have. Click To Tweet
Sometimes, it’s sad that I’ve come to realize that the only difference between some men of God and 419 is that white collar (for those who still wear one). In all, I believe even Christ spoke against the Pharisees in the Bible and normal level, the Pharisees have always been on the pulpit more than they existed in the pew sadly.
This is where I stop for today! Do I feel like saying more? Definitely but till another time. Do I wish you were open minded and not being religious about this piece? Definitely. Do I care if you weren’t? Not one bit! I just hope one day, everyone will be emancipated from this kind of mental slavery. True faith is not religious.
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Work out your own salvation. Do not depend on others. ~ Buddha.