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November 05, 2012

RELIGION


I noticed in the past few weeks that there have been a lot of buzz about religion- mostly on God, Nigerian Pastors and Christianity as practised in Nigeria.  Questions and comments bothered on reasons why Nigerian Pastors are wealthier than members of their congregation, why the schools established by the churches are way off the limit for the devout members of the church, why churches are building mega structures e.t.c.  I deduced that there is a gradual shift in the religious setting in Nigeria. People are now asking questions and hopefully will start to demand answers as well.
I was telling a friend yesterday that I believe “oyinbos” will make heaven too, even though they don’t shout when they are praying. I also believe that any tribe or nation will make heaven, even if they don’t scream “Holy Ghost Fire”, “fall down and die” or any other random “ish” before, during or after their prayers.
The divisor for everyone is “That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved (Romans 10:9)”

1.       Do you believe in the existence of a sovereign being?
2.       When / what was the incident that made you realise that there is a God somewhere?
3.       How do you know when you are crossing the line from Faith to Stupidity? Relate this to 1Corinthians 1:27 “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;”

My greatest desire is to make heaven and win souls for God so my heavenly crown can have stars *yes oh, sister sykik reporting for evangelism*.    

37 comments:

  1. First, i like your new look :)

    R-E-L-I-G-I-O-N!...humph! my sister, i will plead the 5th here ooo, because i am getting weary of talking, talking and talking about whats and whats not...the bible teaches us to avoid controversial since it does not edify the body...so pardon me for not adding my 2 cent , but will answer your questions, since you are reporting for evangelism...ehehhe..i like.

    1) YES! i strongly do.
    2)I never had an incident to know there was a GOD since it was part of my upbringing..but i became born-again when i was in the polytechnic.

    3)sincerely, i can't really pin-point an incident or say....but i just know when am being stupid with my thoughts or actions!

    hope i pass..ahaha.

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    1. I love your sincerity. It's best to avoid controversial issues jare. Salvation is an individual thing. Everyone will face God individually.

      Thank you.

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  2. This is the exact same conversation myself and hubby had very recently. We couldn't understand how many pastors could flaunt and live such lavish lives whilst many in their congregation were hungry. Why their schools were so expensive that most of their congragation cannot even afford to attend them, why they aspire so much on building mega-structures here on earth when we should be focusing on our mansions in Heaven? Too many things we dwelt on that day jare. Truth is something has gone amiss with our present day Christianity and it is not just in Nigeria. It all started in America and copy-cat syndrome took over and has spread everywhere. Pastors are after material things rather than souls. Too much prosperity preaching and too little on the gospel of salvation. To answer your questions:

    1) I 100% believe in God.

    11) Well, was brought up Christian and so always knew about God but as I grew older different experiences have made me believe undoubtedly in Him.

    111) When one begins to believe all the crap some *pastors* say and not check that it conforms with the Word of God.

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    1. My sister, the bible is the manual, we should read it and know what God says in it.

      Pastors are just like teachers in school, they teach. it is left for us as individuals to go back and study to get more understanding.

      This faith vs stupidity question has been on my mind for a while now. May God grant us all wisdom to discern the truth

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  3. When I was a young christian, I had these unrealistic notion that once anyone was a man/woman of God, they were perfect automatically, but I have grown in my faith and I realize that they are, 'men' before the 'of God' phrase is added to it, and they are susceptible to error. However, there are injunctions in the scripture about our relationship with authority-be it in the church, or secular, so I am always very careful because you could say something and incur God's anger, like Mariam and Aaron did when they complained about Moses marrying a foreign woman. God is their judge ultimately-He called them, and is able to deal with them. It is not our place to do so. This does not mean that we should swallow everything they say, hook, line, or sinker. The Berean Christians of the Bible went back to search their scriptures and know the truth for themselves. Agreed that some go overboard in the prosperity message, but let's face it, it is only through prosperity that the gospel can spread abroad. God gives prosperity, but the intent is that it should be used for the advancement of the Kingdom. He also designed us to live well 'cos His word says that He has given us everything that pertains to life (the physical), and godliness(spiritual). So, the important thing is to find a healthy/godly balance in all of these. Above all, we must not neglect the leadership of the Holy Spirit, who will ALWAYS LEAD us into the knowledge of all truth-He can help us discern right from wrong, and choose what option to go for. If we are not comfortable with a particular church leadership, it is always better to quietly leave that church, and let God take control, than to attack. That said,

    1. I believe that God exists and He created me.
    2. I grew up in a home where we were taught the Bible, went to church regularly, taught to pray, and taught to trust God for provision in our lives; but all I had at the time, was mere moral uprightness. It was in Secondary school that I realized that all my righteousness was filthy rags without the Lord, and I first of all gave my life to Christ out of the fear that He would come and I would not make Heaven. But with time, I have grown in faith, and I am still growing.
    3. For me, the Bible is a litmus test for all my actions. It is difficult to know sometimes, because some faith actions look like foolishness e.g a barren women buying baby clothes and preparing for her babies with no sign of pregnancy. This may seem foolish to others, but for her, it is faith. The wisdom of God will always alert us when we are being stupid, and let us know that we are not acting in faith. It all boils down to how we allow His Spirit to lead us 'cos the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of wisdom.

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    1. I love the fact that you pointed out the injunction in the Bible. It’s better to be careful and not fall victim to the type of punishment that came upon Miriam and Aaron in the bible days. The underlying principle as you have said is “it is not in our place to do so” and “is to find a healthy/godly balance in all of these”. The Bible should be our guide at all times, lest we fall into the “crowd mentality”.
      ……. Uhmmm so what seems like foolishness to one person may be faith to the other.
      Thank you.

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  4. Hi Sykik, I love this post. I am worried about the trend of Christianity in Nigeria. I wish churches will go all out to do charity work, care for the poor, build Schools, health care centres and give Scholarships to Nigerian children in remote villages who do not have access to Education.

    So much is realized via Thites and offerings. If one big church can just take out a percentage and put into charity yearly, many will get to smile. I pray that things will change in the future and instead of running more and more businesses, do charity work like it is meant to be.

    These days some people call it "church business" May Nigerians continue to ask questions.

    When I was a kid, children Sunday School Classes were full of Snacks and drinks to keep kids entertained, these days, even kids offerings are taken away for business. The parent has to buy snacks outside the church for kids before putting an offering in their hands. Thanks. I just followed you.

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    1. Thanks for following moi.

      It's disheartening to know that in some churches parents have to buy snacks for their kids.

      I think some parishes have to send their offerings, tihtes and any other collections to the church headquarters.

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  5. Well said
    http://trendysturvs.blogspot.com/

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  6. I will rather not worry my head about the whys and focus on myself and walk with God while I pray for our Christian leaders.
    I beleive ther is GOD
    I got to know there is God when I encountered Him in one dark stage of my life.
    And I know by His Word Spirit within me.
    Thanks for sharing these thoughts, I found you on a friends blog and now follow.
    Have a super blessed day!
    Love

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    1. Thank you for the honour. I will stop by your blog as well.

      If only we all can focus on our relationship with God . Unyime already pointed out in her comment above that there's "men" before the 'of God' phrase in "men of God" . Pastors are susceptible just as we are. We should take our cue from the infallible word of God.


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  7. Hannah and Eya spoke my mind. I also do not like controversies on religion, faith or belief, but sometimes the brand of Pentecostal Christianity in Nigeria breaks my heart. I hope the questions lead to answers too.

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    1. How do we avoid controversies when there are questions begging for answers? I appreciate the fact that we would rather not anger God by questioning the acts of our Pastors but there are instances where the Pastor is super wealthy and the congregation is groaning under the weight of welfare offering, building offering, pledges and all other forms of levy. This aside the levies on church workers oh.

      It is well. I ask for the grace to focus on God and "mind my business"

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    2. Thanks Myne, this discussion inspired a post on my blog on 25 Good Things Your Nigerian Church Can Do For You. Thanks Sykik too. I love comments section!

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    3. @Sykik, I don't mean we shouldn't blog or talk about it, just that we shouldn't quarrel with each other which I see some doing. Of course if one has the ears of one of these pastors, that would be excellent so the discussion can be directed.

      @Eya, I loved that post!

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    4. I understand what you mean. Religion is a very delicate matter in Nigeria. I don't blame anyone who doesn't want to discuss the topic to avoid the "crossfire" between fanatics.

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  8. @Myne, it is not exclusive to Nigeria alone. All over the world, we see, and we hear reports. It's a human problem, and it can be detected all over the place.:)

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    1. I know Unyime. Why it is worse for me in Nigeria is that we have such a long way to go. In a typical American pentecostal church with 100,000 members, 90k of them are well to do or at least have social security and government health care. This is not the case in Nigeria where majority are still suffering in poverty.

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  9. Its expected and has already been prophesied in the scriptures. So i just ignore all the controversial arguments on these issues and the questioning of the wealth of men of God.

    That's not the koko of the matter...we should focus more on what God says than focus on what others are doing.

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    1. I get your point. If we can question where our corrupt politicians get their wealth from...how about "pastors".

      Anyways, what i garner from majority of the comments is that it is best to steer clear the controversies.

      Thank you.

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  10. Great post

    Re your questions:
    1. Yes
    2. No single event. Just a conviction
    3. When I stop asking questions. When I stop aimimg to do my best, thinking God will do everything. When I start thinking an ordinary person can pray to God on my behalf. When I start thinking a preacher has all the answers.

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    1. True talk. No preacher has all the answers. Salvation is an individual thing.

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  11. I agree with NIL, this is a good and timely post. I am so thankful for technology and education. It has empowered us enough to ask these questions and have meaningful dialogues like this.

    Sykik, i think one of our major problems in "Naija" is that people are too lazy to immerse themselves in the study of the Bible.

    I don't have a problem with Pastors (MOG) who live lavishly while thier "children/congregants" pay thites and wallow in poverty. Are these "children" incapable of thinking for themselves? Don't they have access to the same bible we read? don't they have mouths to speak and ask thier church/pastor to help out? If a church is not meeting your "needs" why are you still attending? IMO, we the "children of the MOG" and congregrants are enabling and perpertrating this trend.

    I am not a catholic, but i have a lot of respect for the catholic church. Here in the U.S., i have heard many personal stories of how the catholic church came to the aid of people with health issues, people who couldn't afford college, immigrants who needed help.... catholic or not!

    Shebi it is the same pentecostals that pay good money to have someone "pray" for them. Don't they have access to God? God has blessed us with free will and liberty. If you decide to follow the MOG blindly without going back to the very foundation of your faith (God + the Bible) then you are on your own. Especially in a corrupt "dog-eat-dog" society like Nigeria.

    I think it is pure genius to have intelligent well functioning adults follow you blindly, no questions asked, while you keep getting wealthier and they.... not so much!

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    1. It still amazes me that any right thinking Christian will pay anyone to pray for them. What do we all have mouth for?

      The act of giving should not be limited to giving to our local assembly alone, we should provide Christianly social services to the communities where the church is situated. It will definitely be nice if Pentecostal churches provide schools, vocational classes, health centres, orphanages e.t.c within their localities (maybe at subsidized rates or render such services for free).

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  12. Lovely post Sykik.
    1. Yes! Yes!! I believe so much in God
    2. was raised up knowing him, my mum always gave instances of how God has always come through for us, some of which I saw myself
    3. hmm... when I feel I have prayed enough and that prayer should be able to carry me through so, I either dont pray much or anymore for sometime.
    when I feel God knows and see's what I'm going through and should help me.

    My greatest desire is to see myself and all my loved one's in heaven at last.
    LOL @ "*yes oh, sister sykik reporting for evangelism*". thanks for giving us a good report. Best wishes!

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    1. We will all make heaven in Jesus name.

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  13. Stop already
    Being focused on making heaven
    Live eternal life on earth
    start walking in love already
    It is rewarding!

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    1. Walking in love is sure rewarding...we shouldn't loose focus of life hereafter. Being focused on making heaven is key.

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  14. Sykik, for me sha, I question @ the fact that some pastors dont bat an eyelid on the poor, needy and helpless people. Like seriously, JESUS did not preach prosperity nah, he preached deaths. Like death as in die for your neighbour, die for HIM the King. Lose your life and own it through him, save souls and get encouraged to feed the poor, widowed and sick.

    JESUS was selfless, we are even encouraged to have the Mind of Christ. So therefore, how can we not compare and say WRONG IS WRONG. Am sorry even the people of the world do a better job of forsaking all and going GREEN for the environment ooo and the next generation. While some of us believers are busy going on seeking our own selfish desires and not wondering how that would impact negatively on others. It lack of kindness, self control and goodness (which are fruits of the spirit)... kmt. I am vexed sha... lol.

    Jesus cared for the needy, fed them with loaves and fishes. He went all out, for the rich and the poor..

    He lived a life of love, humility, generosity.. He was GREAT to mankind.

    How can some of our pastors do things that unbelievers will not even do. Am sorry, If I was in the place of position to speak, I will say it is UNFAIR certainly for the living below average to give all and YET used and gullible. JESUS didnt preach that.

    Like you said, it about saving souls and making heaven. Money, cars, houses, riches etc are all VANITY and grasping for the WIND.

    Re: questions, it confirmed oo about G.O.D I cant leave without him even if I chose not too. His footprints are on my heartsbeats, traces of his hands are all over me. So there you go. I couldn't be more clearer, living and breathing in his space.. lol..

    xxx

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    1. If only we can all be selfless like Christ was. I was talking to Hubby this morning and I said I wish my church would allow me ask questions. I sure have a lot of questions to ask. I need to understand the mindset of church leaders.

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  15. A verry thought provoking post I tell u sykik and I like d way u spelt ur name.
    Religion is a very broaaaad topic I tell u and like some commenters hv mentioned,one has to b kiaful and face his/her God cos we'll all account fr God seperately.the bible shd be ur manuaal....always.tanx fr visiting my blog.I appreciate.will visit u often. I believe in God and I believe something is stupidity when u can't point to how ur bible backs up ur actions..aint that why we have it from Genesis to revelations aand the Holyspirit our guiding light

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    1. Am glad you visited.

      The day Christains realise that we all have equal access to God the Father, maybe then our reliance on "Pastors" will reduce.

      The bible is free for all to read.

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  16. Oh and anoda thing,it saddens me that d church are fighting against each oda instd of facing d enemy togeder and waging war against him through the authority Christ has given us.and that's wat d devil wants.once there's division and diversion in d midst off God's children,then we are unable to opperate.may God gv us d grace and strenght to do what pleases him IJN.amen

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    1. Yeah, I need that grace and strenght more.

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  17. 1. Yes
    2. So many times... my first experience was after my WAEC, I prayed about somethign despite the result of what I could see being negative and it turned around miraculously in my favour. even my mum and those involved were gobsmacked, but I knew it was God. I believe in prayer and God answers prayers and he has so many times in my life.
    3.as for the line, i believe everyone should have their own relationships with GOd. I hate shouting when I pray but there have been times when i felt like i was filed with the spirit and was forced to pray out loud.. like recently during praise and worship i was singing and praying in tongues gently and next thing i knew my head was hot.. like very very hot and i started screaming in church.. and praying in tongues loud. I didnt do that on purpose cos i find it embarassing but I also know what I want God to have his way in me and if that is the way the spirit has led me to pray i will pray like that.

    I don't believe there is only one way to pray or talk to God or whatever... if there was then we would all have the same fruits of the spirit and not some have this some have that.

    We all can speak to God. in the bible, i was reading yesterday 1 Peter 1-10. it gives us a recipe not to fall. The bible tells us what we need to do to succeed... we didnt need a pastor or anyone to tell us that. Don't get me wrong, pastors still have their place, but we need to realise our relationship is with GOd.

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    1. Faith transcends human reasoning. I love the testimony you shared about praying despite the negativity you could see. God did the miraculous for you. There are times I find myself battling between reality and hanging on to my faith.

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