As we all know, the world is at a standstill due to the Coronavirus outbreak. It’s not been easy having to stay indoors, as a matter of fact, it’s been monotonous. So what best to do to quench the boredom? Movies!!!!
Scrolling through social media, a lot of people kept talking about the movie ‘Miracle In Cell No. 7’. One thing everyone had in common was that it made them cry. Hmmm, will it make me cry too? Well, I wouldn’t know except I watched it.
Miracle In Cell No. 7 is a heart-wrenching and amazing movie that opens our eyes to reality. Five elements play a significant role in its narrative, they include the following:
Misuse of Power
The 2019 Turkish movie which in a little space secured a spot among the top 10 trending movies had most of its scenes in prison. It kicked off on a witty note until it met it’s a turning point with the death of a Major General’s daughter, Seda. A carefree lass who missed her footing, hit her head and fell into a river. However unfortunate, Mehmet, a poor man with a cognitive disorder, without hesitation dived into the river to save her. As fate would have it, it was too late, the General and his clan clamped down on him and held him responsible for killing his child.
Tortured without mercy yet Mehmet holds on to his optimistic views about the world, just like his darling daughter Ova. His innocent spirit warms the heart of other inmates in the cell.
Like the saying grieve brings out the best in people, the General got blinded by grief and will go at any length to see innocent Mehmet pay for his child’s carelessness.
Miracle In Cell No. 7 mirrors the reality of the world. It navigates the oppression meted from the rich to the poor. It got me reflecting on our prisons and how many are like Mehmet, serving a jail term they are not guilty of.
Thank God for Mehmet who got vindicated via a sacrificial act done by a guilty stricken cell mate Aga who decides to die in his place. Just when I think all hope is lost, the writer toys with my emotions and gives me that joyous moment I’ve been longing for; Mehmet’s freedom and his reunion with his daughter.
Another sweet touch of Miracle In Cell No. 7 is the relationship between Mehmet and Ova, the duo deserve tons of accolades. I fell in love with the father-daughter relationship. Lingo Lingo! hehehehe
And about the movie cutting onions, well it sure made my eyes watery and I couldn’t hold back. Like I said earlier, Miracle In Cell No. 7 is heart-wrenching and not for feeble minds. You’re gonna cry like a baby I promise. And if you don’t cry hmm… you definitely got a problem.
Why is it that whenever we ask God for a favour we never assume that he can fulfil it through us? We always think that God ought to use another man to bless us.
Most Christians brag about their faith level blindly. ‘As far as your eyes can see’, they say, but it’s strange how ‘far’ breeds myopia in this context.
In my opinion, a man’s eyes ought to see from within before moving so far. After asking God in prayer for something, some christains conclude the prayer by calling forth helpers. Not saying it is wrong but why not ask God to equip you enough to help yourself instead?
Have you ever thought that you can be your own helper instead of asking him for a strategic place where your helper can find you…whew! Let’s take, for example, a believer who has been praying to God to bless them with a new phone. Suddenly God blesses them with money enough to buy themselves a new phone but they forbid it. They keep feeling it’s a Good Samaritan or so-called helper’s job to get them one.
I have heard some Christians say “As a tither, it’s forbidden that I use my money to buy some things… Never!” Like really? Whose money should be used?
After getting favour due to continuous begging, bugging or cunningness, some Christians walk up to the pulpit to give a testimony on what the Lord did for them, how they acquired so and so without stress. Really? Why not tell the church how you forced your way through it or does ‘the violent take it by force’ apply in this context?
As a Christian, you are not forbidden to use your own money to do your bidding. Stop the stylish begging, if a miracle will come, I’m sure you don’t need to sweat it. That money in your account might as well serve as your own miracle.
Before you kick off reading my story, I’ll need you to bear in mind that I don’t buy into this crap of a statement that “the church is for perfecting, not for perfect people”, for these nine worded bullocks only excels at being the leverage to commit sins with impunity. And for the ones who are quick to clench to the sermon of grace being in abundance, hence committing recurrent evils, I hope your waterloo is not far-fetched.
I love God and I know He loves me so much that there is no external judgment that can limit his love for me. I was born into a spiritual family. My Dad was our role model, he loved the things of God and also gave to the church. But as I grew, I began to witness the envy rooted in the church, members competing against each other and all these made my brain itch as I couldn’t reconcile the words of the bible compared to the actions of the people.
The Triggers Started To Play Dirty…
Then the rug was pulled off my feet when my pastor, a man who I held as a mentor and somewhat the people’s savior, handed my father over to the police for a case that just needed a few elders sitting to be resolved. My pastor’s son had a rift with my aunty and my dad had only returned from work to meet the mess but before he could say jack, the police were already in our house and bundled my dad and others to the station. Tell you what, after the police read the statement, they dismissed it immediately on grounds that it was an issue best settled at home. Why wasn’t the so-called man of God able to settle it? Why didn’t he let love lead as he usually preached?
For months, my family stopped attending church services and took to worshipping at home to avoid further triggers. But you know how our mothers can be, always feeling the need to draw the home to God, so we moved to another church. The new church appeared quite stable because you know the thing about rolling with unfamiliar faces, you just do your shit and leave, this was our case.
Not long before I embarked on a personal study on the word of God and began to ask questions especially on these so-called miracles and revivals that seemed to be the most projected church attribute at the time. I got no answers because here in this part of the world “you don’t question the Holy Spirit”. With time, I realized that all the displays were maybe a little backed by God but for certain, had more psychological backing or should I say manipulation. Like people use quotes to justify bad behaviors, church leaders are guilty of this too, but their weapon is biblical quotes.
For example, the bible says, “ye are the light of the world”, which means that you are the ones to lead the people in the knowledge of things in the world. But in churches, this bible verse is restricted to the church. Just a few churches appreciate it when one uses their gift/talent in the secular world, the rest expect you to use it for “only Jesus”, which is funny because even the same bible says “that the gift of a man will make way for him”. How do you limit one’s gift and not support them in their endeavor? For instance, in every service you see the talented pianist giving his best, not even a token to show appreciation despite the numerous offerings huh? And then it becomes a grave sin when he goes circular and starts getting paid what he’s worth? I’ve never seen a unit that turns a blind eye to empowerment as much as the church does, at this point, even the government has a better profile. And when someone dies in cases like depression and all, nobody tries to look back at what made it happen…the next day church continues. The event of suicide will even be used as either sermon or testimony.
Covid! A Revealer Of Secrets And A Blessing In Disguise
Early 2019, I became exhausted from church activities with news of rape, online fraud, and other unexplainable events no one will ever believe happened within the four walls of a church or were carried out by staunch members of it. Not to go into vivid details enough to warrant name callings, but it was that bad, victims were silenced and blackmailed by top church leaders to save face and uphold church name.
Then, the rebel in me began to ask questions, “why?” and “how?”. I felt so much anger and pain mostly because God became a silent watcher and the ones he assigned to do so on his behalf ended up betraying us. The crazy part is that the prey is revered by all and sundry. No one dares talk ill of him, because there is one stupid member ready to give his life for him. Holiness became a facade, the church was a disguised cult ground.
Then came COVID-19, The revealer of secrets. For some reason, victims started to find their voice all thanks to social media. Could you imagine the pastor picking ladies in the choir one after the other, seducing them, and raping those who wouldn’t yield? And his wife has no remorse but chose to blackmail these ladies? It even led to a Facebook fracas, all I could say was “Alas! Jesus!”
The lockdown gave me the understanding that there is no need for us to put any man before God. We were at home, because of the virus. No church, no seeing the pastor (even tho, some still did in their neighborhood). We called on God’s help and he answered. The lockdown removed the dust from my eyes as I found a closer relationship with my creator, I was able to separate the reality of life from religion. How God even expects us to think like humans and not like morons. Pastors are like us, mere mortals, so no need making them feel like God, instead we should spread love and light among people.
The War Against Humanity…
I am against the war against humanity which is evident in churches. Christianity is supposed to help humans become better but the church only cares about milking members with numerous offerings and whatnot. They care less about members’ quality of life, but more interested in manipulating members into slavery whilst backing up with biblical bullocks. Is it too hard to see that the biblical days are far more different from this era? Why expect discipleship like that of the old? Can’t tell me anything, religion in this part of the world is strictly business.
I’ve had my share of bad dealings with the church and I don’t want any more of it. If I look past the happenings around me and don’t move, I might be crushed by the moving train. Slow for you to ever think that these so-called pastors are non-partisan. They have friends everywhere; in the police, army, politics, and all. In a lawless country like Nigeria, you cannot fight them. They can take the life of man without thinking of God. And Someone advises waiting on Karma?! Till you die, Karma may never show up, then you begin to feel that God is partial. I put it to you that church war is worse than family war, a person will be on the side forming ‘Jesus baby’, unbeknownst to them the other person has gone diabolical.
I have not gone to church for a while, but I have never missed out on God’s unimaginable love. When church folks come at me with the “Do not forsake the gathering of the brethren” lines, I ask, what if I don’t want to gather with the brethren? Also, the spiritual growth usually emphasized is a continuous journey based on building one’s faith and faith they say comes by hearing, and hearing the word of God. So if I listen to sermons that help build my faith without going to church, I am okay I believe. Spiritual growth is not about being in one department or the other in church. If your pastor’s sermon is not enough to make you study the word of God and understand it for yourself, is it joining the ushering department or choir that helps you grow spiritually? I think not. Church departments are no different from social gatherings, they help you relate better with other members and if care is not taken, see finish ruins it.
The journey of life is personal to every man. Man made these rules to control others. As humans, we are all gifted with the gifts of the Holy Spirit, just that we are too anxious and out of place to know.
If our hearts are filled with fewer worries, and as we ask, we wait, listen and meditate on God’s words and know how to apply them to our daily lives, we are good. Sometimes, the gathering of the brethren causes envy, strife, lies, even killings…unnecessary beef.
Hey reader, like me, did you also stop attending church? I’d love to know your trigger. Why did you forsake the gathering of the brethren? And how have you felt since then? Much better or worse? If at some point you neglected the church and came back much later, I’d appreciate it if you could take us through that journey of discovery, perhaps it could help. Also to those who eventually turned atheist in the process, it’ll be pleasing to learn of your triggers too. To the church folks reading this, why is it always a cause for drags when someone says they no longer attend church?
Not in a bid to cause any strife, let’s just have this sincere conversation in the comment section😄👇.
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Do you often sit and reflect on the many religious practices we have in the world? When I do sometimes, I get a headache. My mind finds itself second-guessing the essence of Christendom, You know why? It is because some bigots who share this same religion with me act in a lethal manner and it makes me sick🤢.
One time, I came across a post on social media where a guy was lamenting that his mum was given Sallah meat by their neighbor, she accepted the meat and went into the kitchen to re-fry it with ‘anointing oil’🤨. I was aghast by such a narrative. I dug deeper into the comment section and the majority of the feedback got me worried about we so-called Christians.
Some actually applauded his mum for being kind enough to re-fry, unlike them, they would throw away theirs or feed it to the dogs. Why would you accept the meat when you know you wouldn’t eat it? Or wait a minute, let me cut loose some slack. I know it can be hard to say NO when someone offers you something on the spot, especially given the occasion but rather than throw it away why not give it to someone who has nothing to eat? Most so-called Christians claim they love giving but find it hard to make an effort to give.🤦♂️
Then I stumbled on an interesting comment where a lady narrated that her mum gave her Sallah meat to throw away but she didn’t, instead she hid the meat inside the freezer, a few days later, she prepared a delicious soup with it and served it to her mum. After her mum finished eating, she then told her where the meat came from. Her mum was devastated😂😂 but there was nothing she could have done, she already ate the meat, neither did she die as a result of it. How hilarious!😂😂
THE SUPERIORITY OF LOVE
If you are familiar with the bible stories, you can recall that in Matthew 22:37-40, When the disciples asked Jesus of the greatest commandment in the law, he replied to them saying that the first is to love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. The second is to love your neighbor as you love yourself. Now here’s the interesting part, in verse 40, Jesus said “And the law and prophets hang on these two commandments”.
This means that whatever law was given to Moses hovers around these two. And in my opinion, is greater than whatever your pastor or reverend says also. My reference to the church heads is deliberate because the majority of them stir the foundation for these religious wars. 1 Corinthians 13, 4-5, puts that “love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.”
How many church leaders can boast of exercising these qualities of love fully? 🤷♂️Among fellow Christians and even towards the ones we tag as ‘non-believers’ (Muslims).
THE SUPERIORITY OF CHURCH DENOMINATIONS
While I reflected on why we fail to love and condone Muslims or other non-Christians in ways that are right as the bible preaches, it dawned on me that the possibility of achieving it is a far cry away. You ask why? It is because we have failed to love ourselves well enough to extend it. Rather than love, we prefer to butt-heads over the superiority of church denominations. As evidently seen, It is a case of “my church is better than yours”. Here’s a subtle peek of what goes on.
GIRL A- Hey😃, my church is having a retreat, I’ll love you to attend.
GIRL B- Nah, I’ll pass, my pastor says it’s not right to worship somewhere else😑. Besides, I don’t understand why the ladies in your church do not cover their hair.🤧
There’s so much conflict surrounding Christianity that unity has become lost in space. While some denominations believe that it is okay for females not to cover their hair while praying, some preach to cover every strand of hair even the ones elapsing the forehead region. Some emphasize the importance of attending church service barefoot while wearing a white garment, some welcome the fancy attires. And it brings one pertinent question to mind; Are Christians reading the same holy book at all?🤷♂️
THE ROOT OF DISUNITY IN CHRISTIANITY
If we want to address the conflict surrounding Christianity, we should start with the numerous translations in the Bible. As much as these translations were made for a better understanding of Christians, the omitted words and new words being added has watered down the genuine message of the Bible. For instance, the discrepancy between King James Version (KJV) and the New international version (NIV). Here’s an example;
Luke 4:4(KJV) says; “man shall not live by bread alone but by every word of God“
Luke 4:4 (NIV) says; “man shall not live by bread alone”
The other part of the sentence which should be the most important was omitted.
Another example is from the book of Acts;
Act 8:37 (KJV) says “And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
Act 8:37 (NIV) was totally omitted from the Bible.
Is there a reason for these omissions? Is it intentional? Or an honest mistake?🤦♂️ These omissions have totally changed the message these individual chapters are trying to pass across and this will create a different perception amongst Christians. One would begin to wonder, which version do we adhere to? 🙅♂️
Another root cause of conflict in Christianity is the founding fathers or so-called General Overseers. “My pastor said”…” My reverend said”. If we claim we serve the same God, why does a so-called GO refuse to bless the marriage of a sister in church who’s set to wed a brother from another denomination? Why must the marriage be crowned on the basis of conversion?💁♂️There are tons of distasteful rules and church shocks pertaining to church denominations that make an average Christian feel lost.☹
You might wanna argue that people ought to know God for themselves, while I will agree to an extent, it is also important to note that there is a tendency for the mind to be gullible or better put yielding to those we hold in high esteem. No matter how learned you are, you fall sometimes and it’s the same with Christians. We trust our Pastors enough to walk behind them with our eyes closed. Just like the school system where we trust our lecturers completely to instill knowledge.
Humanity is by far the greatest religion but I am afraid Christians will never be able to enjoy the benefits so long as there is the barrier of denominations and conflicting tutelage. The Muslims we castigate have unison in their worship, this should tell us something. Until we ditch denominations, until a Christian is able to walk into any church to worship, until we adopt a single bible version…until these can be fixed at least, then we might be able to love ourselves genuinely🤒. It will ignite a chain reaction of love all over the world. That will lead to peace and tolerance amongst everyone irrespective of religion or tribe or race. There would be nothing like, I can’t marry a Muslim or a Sabbath worshipper, or Jehovah’s witnesses, All these rubbish will seize to exist.🤧
Not in a bid to spite any church denomination but this should be fun (maybe😉)…There are doctrines of some churches that are so astonishing to me; I’ll mention just one, there’s a church denomination that the members are not to eat crayfish🤭. I wonder what the poor fish did to them or how their food would taste😔. How about you? What are the doctrines some churches practice that get you shocked?
Tell me about your church too. In my Church the ladies are allowed to pray with their hair uncovered, can you guess what church I attend😆? Also about today’s post, I’ll like to get your opinions in the comment section. What do you suggest is the way forward to achieve unity in Christianity? Leave me a comment, please.👇👇
I’ve seen atheists effortlessly defend the notion that there is no God. I’ve seen the zeal in their eyes when they say “I know there is a supreme being but it’s definitely not someone sitting in the sky”. How about you dear Christians? To what extent can you brag that God exists?
A lot of ‘Christians’ become speechless especially on social media when it is necessary to defend what they believe in, they stay under the guise that “you cannot defend God”. I know you cannot defend God but you can defend what you believe. It is important to note that most atheists were once ‘strong’ Christians or would I say believers who after much trying stumbled upon several reasons to stop believing in the existence of what they often call an ‘abstract’ being. Their belief system changed.
I remember a movie I saw in 2014 titled ‘God’s not dead’ by Micheal Scott. Josh Wheaton, a Christian, enrolled in a philosophy class taught by Professor Joffrey Radisson, a staunch atheist. The professor required everyone to write on a plain sheet that “God is dead”, that was the only way to pass that class. Josh refuses and the Professor challenged him to a debate to prove the existence of God.
It would have been easy as a believer to walk away from that class and say “lead us not into temptation” or “I cannot defend God” but Josh saw that over 200 students were going to deny the existence of God so they can pass the course. It is also easy to confess that God is dead then go home to ask God for forgiveness, at least he’s a merciful father. But Josh knew what he believed in and was ready to defend it even when failure was staring at him in his face.
It would have also been easy to leave the class after Josh’s girlfriend, Kara had to break up with him over his madness but there was a bigger picture. Josh went back home to soak himself into an intense study of the word, searching and asking questions. Although the professor was able to counter all of Josh’s points in the first two rounds of debates, in the final debate, Josh was able to prove not just to the professor but also to the whole class that there is a God.
A lot of so called ‘believers’ find it difficult to speak about their beliefs because they only know the God of the Bible, they don’t know God for themselves. When there is a little counter opinion to what they know, they are easily swayed by it and then they resolve to make statements like “he’s God, he can defend himself” or “I wont be caught arguing for God” or worse still they shut you up and warn you not to question what you can’t understand. Was it not the same God that gave us brains to think?
As believers, it is important to soak yourself in intense study of the word. It is important to also search far and wide so as to encounter him because a day will come when your faith will be tested just like Jesus in the wilderness and God help you not to fall flat on your face. You don’t defend God but you defend what you believe. Imagine how many souls would have been lost if Josh behaved as you do and didn’t stand up for God. The professor would have polluted the mind of the other students and there would have been no revival.
Your voice as a believer can bring revival to the soul of many, quit being a Sunday Christian alone because a time will come when your gold will be put into the fire. In this lockdown, begin to seek the Lord for yourself so that he can reveal dimensions of his glory to you. Stop being a quiet Christain! Feed yourself with his words! Be defensive for Christ if you have to.
Goodbyes are hard to say, I couldn’t help but agree the moment I got the news of little Alvin’s death. I’ve lost close relatives and friends but I can literally say his death was the most painful loss I’ve ever experienced.
Little Alvin was a sweet loving kid, I enjoyed watching him blossom into an intelligent young man. His love for Disney Junior was typical of every active kid, once he fixes his gaze on the TV, no one dares to change the channel otherwise tantrums would become our lullaby the rest of the day. He was very loving regardless.
“Aunty Queen, thank you”… I can still hear the sound of his serene voice thanking me for buying him eggs and grapes on my way back for the holidays.
My Sunday was going well, I had attended an ushers get together from church only to receive a call in the midst of the happy moments that my little Alvin was dead. “Dead how?”, I questioned in the midst of the confusion that accompanied the news. How can Alvin be dead? I kept asking until the call ended.
No way, it was a bitter pill to swallow, If any of my relatives wanted to prank me, would it be with the news of death? I soliloquized. I ran home in tears from the party to my friend and also a sister in Christ who stayed in the same hostel with me to pray with me, perhaps God will perform a miracle.
After speaking in tongues through our tears for some minutes, Little Alvin didn’t wake up. Several calls still confirmed his death.
Ohh!! How I cried. Prior to his death, I usually have premonitions anytime something bad was about to happen but in this case there was no gut feeling.
I always knew death was inevitable, but my idea about death was that a person has to be very sick before they die or maybe through accidents. I never envisaged that a little kid so full of life could just die without any of the factors involved.
The death of little Alvin changed my ideology on life and death. No one ever knows when he/she will die; so live every day as though it’s your last because tomorrow isn’t promised.
If I could turn back the hands of time I would love to spend more time with him. Each time I see kids of his age, I begin to imagine how grown and smart little Alvin who I often call ‘uncle Alvin’ would have become. He died at the age of 5.
People often say they get over grief by removing everything that reminds them of their lost loved one but I still hold on to I and Alvin’s memories. The pictures, his reading chair, wardrobe and the rough markings he made in some corners of the house are still here. I always wear a smile each time I see them.
I can only thank God because who knows, Alvin could have grown into a fine man but so toxic to the family and society, or he would have died at a more advanced age after much investment in him. It would have been a bigger blow and shock to us.
His death taught me something very striking which is, “the most painful goodbyes are those ones we didn’t have the opportunity to say”.
If Juju (charm) is real and what people claim they are Nigeria will be exporting to the rest of the world and making billions of dollars from the following juju products:
Òlùgbòhùn (Voice jammer)
Òyèètà (unseen bullet deflector/bulletproof juju)
Àta mòtàsè (precision munition that can hit targets kilometres away)
Ìfùnpà (Treated armband that can protect you from knife cuts)
Ìgbàdi (treated waistband that can make you disappear when under attack)
Àfòsè (robotic command signals that will make your enemies do whatever you tell them to do)
Àgàdàgòdò (spiritual padlock, that will immobilize your enemies)
Ègbè (teletransporter that will make you teleport when under attack)
Kànàkò (spiritual Google maps)
Òfà (Treated poisoned arrow)
Àtà ( spiritual hand grenade that can be thrown at enemy camps)
Ìbòn Sàkàbùlà ( locally sourced Rifle with accuracy that can hit your enemies that are kilometres away)
It’s 2020, unfortunately, some self-acclaimed educated people still believe in this bullshit called “juju”. If these things are real and not a hoax we will use them to destroy Boko Haram. Herdsmen will not be disturbing people in the South West and other parts of the country. We would have used it to tackle and solve our security problems.
Juju is useless and fictional. They don’t work in reality. If they actually work, why couldn’t our ancestors make do to protect themselves from the European/Arab invaders that came and enslaved and colonized them? Think about it.
Juju is a HOAX. It’s all superstitious bullshit. Even in cases that try to prove its workability, it didn’t last, there’s always a loophole. For instance, all these people caught by the police and paraded on TV with their so-called juju.
If it really works, why do they get caught? Why are they paraded with their charms? If there is truly a deity in it, wouldn’t it protect its users? Maybe like miracles, they only work when you believe. I don’t believe in it.
“Hey, Uju! please could you help close the meeting by leading us in prayer”
“AH! please I can’t pray! Oops! I mean my voice is not loud enough…Sorry! I don’t share prayer… I really don’t know how to pray…”😥😫😳
And there goes sprouting on and on a list of flimsy excuses.
Prayer phobia is the irrational fear of prayer and prayer related topics, majority of us suffer from prayer phobia.
So today I sat down to think about why most people suddenly become afraid when it’s time to pray in public, especially when they are assigned to lead. Funny enough the majority in this category are people who are bold enough to have any sort of conversation in public, so why is prayer an exemption?
There is no special manual to become an exceptional prayer person. The act of Praying is not a skill to be mastered although it can be improved over time. Just like we have different traits (idiosyncrasies) that are unique to us, so is our prayer style.
Prayer and individuality go hand in hand. A lot of us are scared to pray simply because we know we cannot sound ( or act) like that preacher or brethren who we rate best at it. We have been subliminally made to believe that we ought to pitch our voices in certain ways when we pray and this is wrong. Who are you impressing? God? Man? 😒
You never know whose soul you’ll touch with that prayer style of yours. There is really no better way to pray than to pray with entire sincerity. Taking up the identity of another man in prayer is a harmful shoe to put on. Just as God created us uniquely, I strongly believe he wants our service with him to be unique also. Imagine everyone behaves the same way when they relate with you, wouldn’t you be bored of life?