Troubles for Trouble Seekers

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Church of God.
Church of God.
jumped into the cab for the fear of being beaten up by the heavy down pour as the sky had furiously gathered its momentum of heavy dark cloud, while he was busy trying to figure out what was written on the billboard situated on the main bridge of a popular market called “Oja Oba”. Immediately, he beamed with a heavy sigh, though not of a relief; before you knew it he out-poured his grievances. “A prophet and an evangelist just for one person, as if that was not enough, the prophet added “Alfa” to his name; and amazingly declared his popularity by adding another strange title-“Omo Emi”. He was not only astounded by the ‘assorted’ titles of this strange creature but also with his striking posture, standing like the saviour who declared to the women “here I am, the risen lord!” This very act of his raised so many questions from the passengers, “ oga kilode?” “Se kosi te fi mi kan le beyen?” “Se oro Nigeria yi ni?” “Ema ma je ko sun yin?” “Igbadie lo ku”, interrupted by the driver, “anyway suru ni oro orilede yi gba oo”. He just laughed hysterically. I was also amazed, by now we were beginning to share similar thought after he purged out the cause of his stern face which was later accompanied by a loud laughter.
How can someone be an “Alfa” in “Christendom”, and at the same time a prophet, an evangelist and Omo Emi?” All in one! Do people now want to take God’s position by mutating into “Trinity”? These titles are not even their real names. I can’t imagine what the world is turning into! People now patronize this strange ‘religious opportunists’ for miracles as if they were searching for water or air, which are necessities for their existence? What a world! ‘MEN OF GOD’ now ask their members to eat and swallow snakes? Unbelievable! People, not animals, now ‘graze’ on green grass even when they are not cows or goats-even goats don’t eat green grasses alone now, they also eat assorted delicious meals. Haba! All in the name of salvation, they must bark like dogs, bleat like sheep, and ‘graze’ like cows on green grasses! What a psychological deficiency! Churches now have various names either connected to the real world or the nearer substitute. My dear you can’t imagine all these names for places of worship, “Guided Missiles Church of God”, “Satan in trouble Ministry”- who should have been in trouble? “Fist of Fury”-when it’s not a burning furnace where Abednego , Meshach and shadrach were dumped, “Power Foundation Ministries”, with a crusade tag “ Your Money is Looking for You-I tell you many Nigerians want ready made money”; “High Tension Ministry”, which I am very sure is affiliated to NEPA and seems preferable to PHCN; “Accredited Church God”, I am very sure other living churches are not accredited when they are not secondary schools and universities; “Laboratory Church of God”, “Run for your Life International Chapel”; and “Healing Tsunami Ministry”, so certain Tsunami would never visit Nigeria even if European countries were being affected
Some now take some so-called “waters”, whose source they know nothing about. They now buy “blood” specially bottled and labeled- “owo l’owo, Eyin nile” (money for hand, back for ground). They must buy crucifixes, emblem, as if they were taxi and okada riders, just for easy access to the ‘man of God’-I call them “man O”. I remember vividly all the scriptural passages I have read concerning miracles by Jesus Christ, non was based on the purchase of anything. Is it the miracle of the born-blind man with mud, which symbolizes ‘from dust you were made and to dust you shall return’, and received healing because of his faith? The woman with issue of blood for twelve years touching the hem of Jesus’ cloth and got her healing because of her faith? Is it the man at the Bethsaida pool, who had been crippled for thirty-eight years and was asked to take up his pallet and walk because his faith had healed him? Or is it the popularly known Lazarus, who was raised from the dead after four days of his death? I ask , must you be flogged like a goat or a cow before you receive your healing? Must you ‘graze’ on green grasses? Must your “man O” step, march and jump on you as if you were locust beans and palm fruits in the making? I tell you heaven will fall someday! My people where is your faith? Have you all given it away to the swine?
Even the bible has made it clear that “my people perish because they lack knowledge”. Christ has made it clear and emphatic in the book of Mark 11: 22-24-“…and Jesus answered them, have faith in God, truly; I say to you whoever says to the mountain; be taken up….” Matthew 1:22-“whatever you ask in prayer you will receive, if you have faith.” I tell you “if” is conditional , which simply means you must have “faith”, without it nothing is possible. Remember when peter was walking on the sea as his lord did, the moment his faith started slipping away he began to drown. Have you ever wondered why you have been attending a particular church for many years, yet your conditions fail to improve? Maybe you have not channeled yourself to the right path. Work on yourself and stop mounting more problems for yourself , because your are not a dumping ground for troubles and sorrows.
However , I would not blame government if they started demanding taxes from churches, because they are now commercial centres-even people now convert their mini-flats ( room and parlour ) to ‘Houses of the Most High’. Hahahahha! What a world of troubles for those who seek troubles. Everyone wants to be the master of his own world, “I want to have my church even if it’s only a branch here”. We must all be pastors, rebellious people who now preach against rebellious acts, a seer-“a man O”-, who sleeps in a widow’s one-room apartment when he comes around for prophecy in this modern world where there are hotels. Yet say words of prayers for these people, do not forget that the labourers deserve their wages. Even when Christ sent his disciples in twos, he instructed them, “take nothing with you for the labourers deserve his wages, eat whatever you are offered” (Luke 10: 7).
Another thing you must remember, these churches would also say to you, do not lay up your treasures on earth , rather lay it up in heaven, quoting the bible ( Matthew 6: 20). Have you ever pondered on this? Who owns the various highly magnificent exorbitant private secondary schools and universities in Nigeria? I am sure you know the answer; yet you could not afford to attend such schools. Whose treasure is it? Yours or theirs? Who is fooling who? Why can’t you just believe in the real Christ and stop living your life for a ‘parasitic being’ who only tells you to do this and get the little you have from you, and you are left to languish in poverty. I am sure Dangote knows about God, Wale Adenuga, Folusho Alakija, just to make us familiar with “awon tile tile.” You won’t look for job yet you can not create one for yourself; but you can sit all day inside the church waiting for miracle and be mentally clouded that your mother or your father’s mother has bewitched you, isn’t that ridiculous and “whaoing”? Please don’t forget what St. James says, “…but some man will say: thou has faith, and I have works: show me thy faith without works; and I will show thee, my works, my faith.” (James 2:18) “Remember faith without work is useless.”
Anyway, start thinking of how to get out of that bondage, either you create more for yourself or walk out of this great “igbe okuku” (bondage). Remember, these people are men like you, nothing more, no less. Be proactive, be relevant and be reproductive. The society needs you.
Mary Ijeoma Ihejirika, a Social Affairs Analyst.

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