2000 years ago, a new way of life was born. A way of agape love: simplicity, righteousness and truth. A way of imitating Jesus Christ who suffered to redeem mankind from the power of death. A way of life introduced to us by unselfish missionaries from Europe. This way of life which is called Christianity today is under treat in Nigeria. It is gradually losing it’s value and taste as a result of some negative attitudes of the believers. Let me quickly identify 10 ways Nigerian Christians have perverted Christianity but, many don’t know.
1. False Prophesy: Simply put, any prophesy that does not eventually come to pass is a false prophesy. Many Christian leaders in the country are fond of making predictions out of their own imaginations or dreams claiming they were revelations from God. Failure of such prophesies makes caricature of Christianity.
2. Hypocrisy: This is the worst deception. Majority of Nigerian Christians are hypocrites. Some pastors, reverend fathers, bishops and so on give sound preaching but don’t live by their words. They do the opposite of what they preach. Also, our Christian politicians are not Christ-like in their leadership. How can a Christian governor owe workers and pensioners for over six months even after the federal government has released bailout funds. They still go to church on Sundays to raise their hands up in praise and worship. Church ceiling fan will cut off such hands one day.
3. Mixing Christianity with paganism: Reading Zodiac signs, osu caste system, animal and human sacrifices and other superstitious practices are still rampant despite the numerous churches in the nooks and crannies of the country. Some Christians would even go to any length to defend such practices in the name of preserving their culture and tradition. What about Christians including pastors who patronize native doctors? Some use charms to perform signs and wonders and to win souls for their churches. Some belong to occult societies and still go to church. It is very common in Nigeria to see someone who is both a member of a Christian denomination and Ogboni confraternity or any other evil cult. This is destroying the Christian faith.
4. 'Men of God' milking their shepherds while living ostentatiously: Our pastors are cruising expensive cars, acquiring private jets and living in multimillion naira mansions while majority of their followers live in poverty. No wonder they lay too much emphasis on paying of tithes and seed sowing. They lick the asses of corrupt politicians instead of telling them the truth point-blank. This lifestyle is gradually killing the credibility of the Christian faith.
5. Fornication receiving little or no condemnation compared to other sexual sins: Sometimes I wonder if gays and lesbians will go to a hotter part of hell fire than fornicators and adulterers. Boyfriend and girlfriend relationship is on the increase among the Christian youths. Baby mamas are now celebrated. Pre-marital sex is no longer viewed as a taboo. It is very common to hear of a Christian thanking God for delivering him from the spirit of masturbation while the person is still a fornicator. This is self-deception and a distortion of Christianity which strictly condemns all sexual immoralities.
6. Praying and wishing evil for their enemies: Christ, who Christians claim to follow, taught them to love and pray for their enemies. On the contrary, Nigerian Christians hate and pray for the death of their enemies. “Die by fire”, “holy ghost fire them” and so on are common prayers in many churches today. Judging our enemies and wishing them dead is fake Christianity.
7. Lack of charity: When last as a Christian did you help the poor or someone in need without looking for something in return? Many Christians show less concern for the less privileged. They show more interest in tithing and seed sowing for their progress forgetting that agape love is the most important thing in the Christian faith.
8. Associating God with prosperity: Nowadays, if you are rich, it means that God is with you. Poverty is seen as a curse. Most churches now preach prosperity more than salvation. The rich are being celebrated as those favoured by God. This silly mentality promotes corruption and is gradually killing Christianity in our country.
9 Weird church adverts and programs: Just in the name of attracting members, many churches have devised somewhat weird means of seducing people to their church services. Some use popular celebrities to draw crowds to their churches. For instance, of what spiritual value is it to feature Terry G, Mama G, Wizkid, I Go Dye and so on in a Christian program? Some churches also use funny posters and attractive themes to lure people to their church. I have seen church posters with themes like ‘miracle extravaganza’, ‘prison break’, ‘auntie wetin I do you’, ‘who tie the goat’ and so on. This makes Christianity look like a joke.
10. Denominations fighting one another: Some Christian denominations believe that they are the genuine Christians and members of other Christian denominations would all go to hell. They fight one another with hate words and sometimes the fight goes physical. Instead of thinking of ways to dialogue and unite, more Christian denominations are being created. Sometimes, I begin to wonder if there are more than one Jesus Christ.