Tuesday, September 09, 2008

For the Love of God ( Resonance by Olu Alake)

Now this is an email i got this morning and has the provocative capacity to open further thoughts and reflection from Olu.

With absolutely no sense of irony whatsoever - God bless you for that piece! I spent a good part of yesterday debunking notions that otherwise intelligent people insist on regurgitating ad nauseum because some under-informed, self-styled 'man of God' (emi nko o? - man of Satan?) said so. Some of them made the mistake of trying to engage me in a debate about tithing as a Christian obligation...oh boy, did that get me started! I am perpetually amazed by how in this day of a wealth of information readily available at literally a push of a button, some people wilfully refuse to engage in any intellectual discourse or research of their own about something that is of such vital importance as their own spiritual welfare. I wouldn't trust my car to a mechanic of dubious expertise, so why would I my soul to a pastor who refuses to make the reasoned arguments?

I find so much of contemporary 'Christian' teachings so un-Christ-like that it fills me with such an inner rage. And you are right - by all measures of real Christian teaching, Nigeria is actually one of the most unGodly places on earth! (No charitable collective soul, no brothers being each other's keepers, unheavenly worship and appreciation of money and instant gratification especially in church (pastors measuring their success not by how many souls they save but by whether and how quickly their church can buy them a BMW, no sense of public service or sacrifice, lack of humility,... I could go on.).

There is a reason why churches have been Nigeria's biggest internal economic growth industry for the past 20 years - because the owners/leaders have cynically exploited the morass of political and economic misfeasance that successive corrupt hegemonies have left behind to peddle that most essential of commodities - hope. It is no wonder as well that the prosperity gospel, that despicable emphasis on material riches being an earthly manifestation of heavenly treasures and divine reward, found such fertile ground in Nigeria especially and across Africa in general. It appeals to the base nature of self-aggrandisement and individualism that has been festering away in our collective psyche as a result of our mass sodomisation by evil military-civilian and civilian-military regimes. It is obviously not in anyone's interests to observe that by the measures of this dodgy doctrine, Jesus Christ Himself would have been held as not an example of what is right but a manifestation of all that is wrong in the world. Or that it is unbiblical, ungodly and counterintuitive to believe in a beneficent God that especially provides a spectacularly return on material investment with a direct linear relationship between material input and output rather than the elevation of our higher purpose and selves, and then 'all other things coming unto us' as the good book itself promised.

What is really sad is that rather than engage in any critical thinking on these issues, the very considered opinions of the likes of you and I are now going to be dismissed as the devil-inspired rantings of the unGodly heathen. I love my country, I no go lie...

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