I have finally accepted that I am on a spiritual journey that started from questioning everything to getting out of Church for a minute so I could just breathe. I found that in the past year, I have worried more about what I will wear to Church than any message from the pulpit. Something else happened that I found quite instructive. Most messages even though they had different titles, meant the same thing. In summary this is what I heard;
“He died so that you may be rich”, now “pay your tithes oh Malachi obsessed people, so that God will not punish you”. Obviously I am paraphrasing but you get the point. Malachi is a big deal in Christendom not 1 Corinthians 13 but Malachi. I am not one in need of coercing to give, so I got progressively pissed off by what seemed like subtle weekly manipulations.
Another cause for concern was ‘the Nigerian Church’ definition of God’s love. The reason I believed in the concept of God as a 6 year old child, was because I had a father who went over and beyond the call of duty. In my father’s eyes, I am the epitome of beauty and perfection. When the Priest explained God’s love as a father’s love, my young mind found it believable. Now my parents who I want to give everything to, do not care about receiving any money from me or tithe if you like. My father wont even collect money from me but if I don’t call him in a week, goodness me he will freak out! The money that fuels our family is unconditional love and affection. I have done the unthinkable but I have always found hope in the arms of my father. My parents would rather I sponsor a disadvantaged kid through school, than feed them fat on my 10%. So growing up especially in 2010, I stopped seeing God as my father. He had evolved from being loving to needy. Cash was king for Him now and everyone needed to be rich to feel blessed by him. If you don’t have money and you are in Church you are not applying the principles.
When I returned from England in December 2009, the God I met in Church was very angry and desperate for cash. You would think there was a recession in Heaven and He needed a bail out! We had to praise Him to oblivion even when you just wanted to sit in peace and enjoy some quiet communion with Him. He would send the devourer to finish you if you do not send 10% to His representative. this representative of His can do no wrong so we have no idea how the funds are spent, we just trust the pastor and his elected board of trustees. They keep the finances secret and report what they choose to us amidst loud alleluia, then they demand for more. I even attended a ponzi scheme like service called kingdom finance. The idea is that heaven is broke and my 2 kobo can help fund it. When I give my little cash, I will get more. The entrepreneurs could barely keep the spit from falling out of their mouths as we came out one after the other to give all we had to God. A lady gave her children’s fees in the excitement. There was always a convenient person who had done it and received more who shared their testimony to encourage our obedience. The promise of wealth, private jets and helicopters in the wake of great poverty in our beloved Nigeria was too hard to resist. I once attended 4 different services in one day in 2011 and all the messages could be summarized as “give to God and watch Him change your story”. When you further expatiate this line of reasoning it becomes give to the Church of God. I was desperately in need of a hug from God and all I got was the cold offering basket. I wept all the way home. The love just didn’t feel right.
Sometime in 2015, my husband and I started to really ask questions. It started with questioning our history. The colonial masters who changed everything and why we are here in the first place. Why were we born? We have always had a strong sense of purpose. Even though I had grown weary of the Nigerian Church, I knew deep down that God lived within me. I have had so many private encounters that cannot be defined by logic or my intellect. Miracles such as the birth of our children and meeting my life partner. We knew there was a Creator but where was He or She? How did Nigeria get so religious overnight and managed to increase crime and poverty in the same breathe?
We wanted answers and started reading books like our whole existence depended on them. We attended a few training, online seminars, lectures, had plenty thought provoking discussions all in our search for God until we found Him. I have not felt the need to attend a Church service since February this year. Whilst this journey started with anger for what I perceived to be mass religious sedation of our populace, it ended in peace. I am no longer angry with the Church or what I call spiritual entrepreneurs who make a quick buck off the Bible.
As I learn more about the human mind, I find that not all actions are deliberate. Some people genuinely do not know better. Heck! We were given a Bible in English language and many can’t speak English. The colonial master is just brilliant!!! Arrive at a location and give them a Bible that promises a better life after they die, then take their resources and enjoy your paradise whilst they bleed to death? We have so many variants of the Church due to different interpretations. Each person claiming superiority in understanding of the concept of God.
Who is God and why is God important if at all?
I believe that there is a supreme being who created the entire universe and all that is seen and unseen. I do believe that we were created in the likeness of the Divine. I believe that there is God inside everyone of us. I believe that the Holy Spirit or your intuition, in my case I call it my Assistant can speak directly to us. Do not take my word for it. Try this;
Go to a quiet place in your house or go hang by the beach, same thing. As a beginner you may choose to play some jazz or any relaxing music in the background. Sit down, cross your legs and close your eyes. Notice that you are thinking different things. Ask why you are thinking those thoughts. Now take your focus away from thinking. Be still. Feel the peace in your own breathing. Feel the sensations in your body. feel the life force inside of you. If you want answers you will find them within not without. Practice this as often as you can and watch what happens.
I do not know if I will ever return to an organised religious gathering but at the moment I am one with God and He is with me. He or She here means the same thing to me. Do you know that we are Gods? Do you know that you can call those things that be not and they will manifest? Are you ready to step into your destiny? What if there were no limitations, what will you create?
May we live the lives of our imaginations amen.
Wishing you love and light on this amazing journey.