BN Hot Topic: Are You the New-Age Traditional Nigerian?

My favorite/most memorable times in Unilag were my Jurisprudence classes taught by the best professor of Law in Nigeria, Akin Oyebode. In one of those classes we talked about why witnesses on the stand sometimes commit perjury. He asked us to consider the fact that lying on the stand might be caused by the fact that people had to swear on the Bible or the Qur’an and then he asked us if we thought people would lie at all if they were made to swear with a metal object, calling upon Ogun, the god of iron to bear witness to the testimony. It was a unified response… NO! There would be NO perjury. “Our people are more afraid of traditional gods than the God of the white man.”

Somehow, a large class of over 200 lawyers-in-training agreed that the “fear of Ogun” was more effective than we could have imagined. It made me wonder about this generation and our views about these things. I mean we’re all very retro/glam and upwardly mobile that the idea of ‘traditional beliefs’ will surely NOT be entertained openly. However, it’s interesting to note that we find some of these cultural beliefs sipping into little facets of our lives. Now, before the theologians take me apart I’d like to give some examples.

A friend of mine had been dating this guy for about five years. They’d quarrel, then get back together, then quarrel again. It was exhausting and so she went home one weekend and came back with a solution. Her aunty had taken her somewhere to go and “check” if her boyfriend’s “star” was in sync with hers to know if waiting around and enduring all the stress was actually worth it.  Apparently their destinies were not in sync so it was easier to make the decision to break up with him. I was shocked; were we in a Yollywood movie scene? Check what? What is a “star”? Young city-based babes checking for their destiny?

I’ve heard someone say that if a health problem was bigger than modern medicine, it was always best to go back HOME.  In 2010, we lost a friend to necrotizing fasciitis. It wasn’t detected early and by the time the doctors figured it out, her left thigh was gone. Family members advised her husband to take her to the village for further consultation. He was initially resistant because he said he would never succumb to such backward practices. But, her mother waded in convinced that there was more that could be done for her and she was taken to the village.  She died and we’d never know if the village healers would have been successful if she had been taken there earlier.

We’ve heard stories of women who have consulted the divinities in search of the fruit of the womb; of babes who have been given ‘powder’ to make them more comely to the menfolk and  little stickers advertising penile enlargement brought by traditional priests.

Is it therefore correct to say that deeply rooted in us, as Africans/Nigerians is a core belief of our cultural heritage? Do you believe that there’s absolutely NO place for “consultation” in this day and age? or do you believe that people who don’t “consult” are not doing it because they’ve not been faced with particularly challenging moments? Do you believe that the advent of foreign dogmas has left absolutely no room for old-age norms, beliefs, and practices?

 Photo credit: nok-benin.co.uk

41 Comments on BN Hot Topic: Are You the New-Age Traditional Nigerian?
  • Nne Somebody September 6, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Atoke, surely you remember Professor Sophie B. Oluwole and her assertion that “there are witches and wizards amongst us”. Whilst I personally do not subscribe to any kind of divination, I believe strongly that there are forces that we do not fully understand, whether they be demons or merely the power of suggestion on the applicant’s mind. Once you’ve been to Africa and seen the masquerades holding water in baskets, you stop to question the validity of traditional beliefs. Does it make us backward? I think not. People will believe in what they believe in and if it works for them, you can’t stop them until you show a better way.

  • Kelly September 6, 2012 at 11:53 am

    I agree totally. People have different levels of belief and no matter what may be said and done if they’ve seen or experienced certain things their belief in such or the ability for it to be a soluton/route will be strengthened.

    For example as a believer: I believe that miracles happen on a daily basis when ones faith is exercised. I believe in giving and being blessed. I believe in the power of prayer and fasting. I believe that Christ is alive and works in the affairs of men. All these beliefs are strengthened because I have experienced them at one point or the other in my life and still experience it.

    So just as nne somebody said I do not subscribe to any divination However people will believe in what has worked for them whether it be judged as the right route or not by another individual.

  • Amber September 6, 2012 at 12:19 pm

    There are so many things we have thrown away in our culture all in the name of religion.if you go to places like Brazil,Cuba et al,they appreciate our culture more than us.i can remember I decorated my house with some of those artistic carved woods and someone told me it is did not portray a good image of a true Christian.i was planning on getting all these local pots( Ikoko)..I love seeing it in my grandmas house when she uses it to cook,someone told me people will think am doing juju if I cook with it,I have all this flat ladle like the one white people use in turning food and someone told me people will think I am cooking with it to charm my fiancé.meanwhile one white woman listened to me play one of this Yoruba musics and she fell in love with it and can even sing the whole album more than some Yoruba sef,but see naija people today,they cherish the western things more…I Know there are a lot of things in the traditional culture that sound strange(like when they tell u one pill made from a leaf will cure all ailment) but most of what they do is based on experience that has been passed on from our great grandfathers.Sometimes I used to ask people why God did not first appear to the blacks,why to the whites,or why not to the black at the same time He appeared to the white cos it sounds like we blacks were all living in darkness before religion was made known.Everyone is got a role to play in restoring our culture!

  • pretty September 6, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    am a believer of we are our own mini gods,so therefore we can talk to God for direction and hear from him if we walk more in his light and ways, just that this divination thingy is now the order of the day especially for single peeps(male and female) who desperately are searching or intend to say ‘i do’ soon.they never think to ask what if the divination is wrong………

  • adelegirl September 6, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    For me, apart from the fact that I consider myself a born again bible-believing Christian, Yollywood (Yoruba movies) have scared me from even entertaining the thought of going the traditional route. Things always go really awry. As a Christian I know that there are definitely forces, spirits beyond this world that we may never comprehend but I have to admit that I pray fervently that I never have to encounter such forces as I am easily spooked. I feel safer in the knowledge of my powerful yet benevolent Christian God, whose thoughts towards me are thoughts of good and not evil than in an “African traditional god” who, by all accounts seems unpredictable, deciding to “bless” one day yet destroy one the next. As Yorubas say “eni to wa irikiruri a’ri irikuri”, meaning whoever seeks evil will find evil.

  • Tiki September 6, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    I believe that herbs and powders work. However any healing based on incantations and mystical elements is of the Devil. While these may work, the Devil does not give anything for free. Is momentary satisfaction better than plunging your destiny and the destiny of your descendants into spiritual turmoil?

  • huh? September 6, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    The bible have account of those things,why are we surprise?

  • Sarah September 6, 2012 at 12:51 pm

    I am a Christian and believe in the Almighty God, but I still think we are throwing away the beauty in culture. I agree with @Amber about Brazilian and Cubans cherishing their African heritage more than Africans. The first time I visited to Rome, I was so surprised the way the old structures have been kept till today, or the way the Chinese celebrate their language, food, etc. I am not suggesting that Yorubas, for example, should start worshipping ‘Esu’, but culture extends beyond religion to language, food, medicinal practices, architecture, arts etc. On a final note, I believe our herbs do work, the problem with Africans is that we have not studied the what, why and how of these herbs (a challenge for African pharmacists). Maybe we are still waiting for the westerners to do the scientifical studies for us, like they have done for products like shea butter. There was a time my grandmother developed stroke and much couldn’t be done in the hospital, so a family member suggested a herbal doctor. She was there for a month and came back with all her motor functions restored. She could walk, talk, etc. like before. I don’t know what the man did but I am sure if this happened in the western world, studies would have been carried out to understand how the man achieved it.

  • adenike September 6, 2012 at 1:24 pm

    I actually agree with the first comment. I’m actually a born-again Christian who tries as much as possible to stay away from fetish talks. That being said, I’m also a Yoruba girl who schooled in Ijebu and trust me when I say I’ve seen things. I firmly believe in “give unto Caesar what’s Caesar’s”.

    To answer your question, I honestly do not have a problem with people who ‘consult’. But as for me, I just can’t. I have my ways or methods of getting things from God and it’s been working for me since Adam was in diapers. But that doesn’t mean I have to turn my nose up at people who consult.

  • Phantom September 6, 2012 at 1:33 pm

    Thank you. Your article is well written article. I totally enjoyed reading it and everyone’s polite and well written responses.
    My little contribution to the debate stems from being a pseudo-atheist. I pretty much reject most traditional religions in their current form although I respect them all.
    While in grad school, I once gave a nollywood movie (an early RMD & Genevieve film whose name I can’t recall) to an African American friend of mind and in true Naija movie fashion the jazz elements were in it. So I run into my boy and his wife at a cook out some wks later and they ask me if I believed in all that stuff (they had silly smirks on their faces). I told them “U can’t have grown up where I grew up and not at least respect that it exists. I’ve heard too many stories even if I haven’t had 1st had experience”. I still believe that. Why should we respect Jewish offshoot religions (Christainity and Islam) that are 2000 and 1200 yrs old respectively, who stole a lot of stories from even older religions and put their Jewish or Arab twist to it. Then disregard our own traditional beliefs as backward – at least it’s somewhat original.
    I’m not advocating that we all become Fadeyis or Abijas (lol), I’m promoting respec for each others beliefs. Osama would’ve looked down on Adeboye and probably vice-versa.
    Have a good day everyone. Sorry abt any typos. I need to get ready for work and can’t proofread.
    P.S.: please politely pick holes at my point of view. I don’t need the insults or abuse from Christain and Muslim zealots that know nothing abt the history of their religion. Cheers

  • brandigest September 6, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    @Phantom is really pissed. please let us be careful on the words we use on each other. You can make your point without eroding on some one else personality.
    well, I am a cultural guy with an urban feel.
    http://www.brandigest.wordpress.com

  • Aibee September 6, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    I guess in a way, we all ‘consult’ one thing or the other. I am a Christian and I believe that God hears and answers prayers and that he gives the spirit of discernment to those who ask. I belioeve that God heals and provides and blesses etc. I believe in Jesus and that I can get all things that I need from God in accordance with his will.

    A moslem will (I guess) believe that Allah is the only God and Mohammed is the seal of all prophets. A moslem will believe that Allah heals, provides, blesses etc. They say BisMillahi Rahmani Reaheem etc – Allah is the most merciful, the most beneficient.
    Traditionalists believe in Ifa, Ogun, Amadioha etc and worship and pray to these gods.
    My point is we all believe in, consult and pray to one God or the other. Its just that when adversity comes, we are likely to move/shift focus from our ‘known God/s’ and try another God to see if it solves the immediate problem. If it does, then the person becomes a convert. Is one God better than another? Is one God ‘realer’ than another? Each person should answer these questions according to his faith and how he has experienced his/her own God.

  • tk September 6, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Our culture is in many ways entwined with the occult world. I will speak from the yoruba view as i am one. It was a common practice then that the generation then worshiped the deities they were accustomed to. This doesn’t make those deities god, but in their ignorance, no one could blame them. Anybody could come up with an item and make it a god(trust the devil to act on that) and then it’d become a practice. The case of killing twin babies was started by some1 and became a culture as well!! All these started from some1!! and d devil picked on their ignorance as a people. We have had instances of the men of old dedicating their newly born to their so called gods and even naming them after the gods. names like, ogun-, esu-, ifa- osun- etc. and their gods would later demand for those babies. The reason why most people have decided to ignore our culture is the link to those deities/gods. You cannot be a core cultural person and not believe in all these gods. I am a christian, and i believe in herbs, cos God created them for our use. But when extra terrestrial deities are been consulted, then it’s a no no. Our culture is vast and we can pick that which we are comfortable with as a person..

  • OmogeNaija September 6, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    uhm, I believe there are spirits, ‘for we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness of this world…’ there are indeed witches and wizards and they have powers seconded to them by the devil, I have a God also who has given me authority over principalities and powers. I derive my authority from God himself, so, they can’t match me!
    Our culture has the spiritual and the physical part, some Africans have become more western than the westerners, they have thrown everything away. Whilst I don’t support the worship of Ogun, carved by a blacksmith, I believe the physical part of it is beautiful. Those leaves and herbs work! Agbo works! I use ori(Shea butter) as my body cream, I have used it for 9 months consistently and it works wonders. I use adi-agbon(Coconut oil) as one of my hair oils and it brings lustre to my hair. Right now, I’m wearing an Ankara jacket, and it’s really nice.
    Talking about culture, I hope our languages and dialect would still be in existence in 100 years time, I shake my head when I see yoruba children that can’t speak yoruba. Even if I raise my children on an island in the middle of Pacific Ocean, I will teach them our culture

  • Oma September 6, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    Whatever works for anyone, let them practise.
    As a Christian, i wouldn’t condemn anyone who consults spirits of deities for help.
    I believe that as long as you do not bring harm to your fellow human, its your conviction.
    http://hushitsonlysmalltalk.blogspot.com/

  • S! September 6, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Hmm…. I believe that tradition plays a role in our heritage. I also am of the belief that whatever you believe in works for you. If you believe in the God of thunder/metal, he will rise up and work on your behalf, to the level of your faith. I do however have a problem with the Christian who need to attain mountain tops or chase after men of God to help answer their questions. I mean if we have a one on one relationship with God, he will reveal himself to us. He tells us that when we call upon him, he will answer, so why do we need to go seeking answers about our own problems, from a third party who has his/her own issues?
    This for me is the baffling part. If you say you believe in God o, see him by yourself, don’t go chasing after a revelation from one prophet, because that in itself is implying God cannot approach you himself and he needs an intermediary to act. How’s this different from seeking a mini-god to ask what the gods are saying?
    There are forces out there, but I have been told that the God that is within me is greater than he that is in the world. To each is own at the end of the day.

  • debdara September 6, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    this is a very nice piece. im a christain but i enjoy the ifa divination because of the strong yoruba words used. there is more to life than the physical, so consulting is no big deal, even the bible says watch and pray, and the secret things belong to GOD and its only the ones revealed to us we know, so we should still cherish our culture but not to be fetish.

  • Gorgeous September 6, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    I am a staunch Christian and was never raised around the ifa beliefs. Even my grand parents were Christians. However, that never stopped them from inquiring on the future of all grandkids before their naming. I guess this was done to give us the right and appropriate names. From what i know culturally, i know even in the traditional world there is GOOD and EVIL. The IFA divination is mostly good. There are good Awo’s and Bad awo’s. There are Awo’s in between who can do any work you want. That being said, we know the evil that men do live with them. Whatever we sow, we reap. Anyone that takes the wicked route will always invite calamity on they and their generations to come. I also believe all these things work on those who believe. This is why our Jazz cannot work on Oyinbo, they dont believe or have any idea what our belief system is. So if you run around trying to jazz oyinbo, it is like hitting your head on the wall.

  • Love September 6, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    Anything not of God is of satan; there is no middle ground. Rev 22:11 says “he that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he who is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” We will all stand before God to give an account of how we live. So to those who consult witches, diviners, necromancers, e.t.c., just know that in eternity, you would be on your own, as these strange powers will be unable to save you from God’s wrath.

    • Gorgeous September 6, 2012 at 5:44 pm

      How are you so sure that their GOD is different from yout GOD? Is it not the same GOD we all believe in? If you ask your pastor to pray for you, or pray for you on an issue, are you not DIVINING? Some people have never and will never know of CHRIST. so your DAMN them and believe that you are better than them because they dont follow your style of worship even if they do believe in GOD? When we close our eyes and do repeated prayers, are we not indulging in RITUALS? You see? At then end of the day, i do believe in GOD ESPECIALLY! And i believe other religions do too. Our style of worship is different.

      • tk September 6, 2012 at 7:45 pm

        Hi gorgeous
        I am very sure my God is different from their gods. I respect everybody’s religion but the fallacy that we all serve the same God is not true!! Even Muslims wont agree to this! So you can speak for urself and not generalize pls..

      • gf September 7, 2012 at 6:47 am

        @ gorgeous, i agree with you a 100%. Christianity is a form of religion and like most religions; it is based on the culture of a people. The same way the white man brought western education is the same way they made us get rid of our deities and worship their own god. The reason the bible focuses on certain empires is because it is cultural and it was founded by a people based on their beliefs and lifestyle. In the bible we hear of stories like talking donkeys and a sea turning into blood, I bet if we read this in another religious book, we would deem it bizarre and occultic. If Christianity is suppose to be the overall, absolute and all embracing creed, why are many races and nations ignored in the bible?
        Just like other religions, Christianity has it ills. First off, is the subjugation of women; since rules and norms were established by the male gender, most cultures are patriarchal and christianity is no different. There are bible verses that clearly repress women e.g Deuteronomy 22:28-29 ( a bible verse that states that a rape victim must marry her rapist). Asides patriarchy, we see cases of genocide as allowed by God and the endorsement of slavery too. That been said, Christianity has some great components that serve as good codes of conduct , but before we begin to condemn traditional religion, please put sentiments aside and take an objective look at the Christianity.

  • tk September 6, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    Please check urself very well!! I’m not been judgmental but what has darkness got to do with light? there’s no meeting point!

  • Motunrayo September 6, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    As a pastor’s daughter I have been a Christian all my life. However, I did not just follow blindly, there was a period in my life when I completely stopped all religious activities and decided to question all the things that I had been taught. It was after a lot of research and personally experiencing God that I decided to go back to the church (took me 2 yrs).

    One major thing I came away with was that, we are spiritual beings, and the fact that you worship differently from me doesn’t mean that God will not work in your life if you have faith.

    I live in the US and as Christian as I may be, I am still typically Nigerian. I cook mostly Nigerian food, decorate my house with African art and restrict speaking English to when I’m at work or with those who do not understand my language. I also don’t joke with my “agbo” and local remedies because they have worked for me and I do not see why I should discard them. I have had other church members come to my home and ask why I have carvings (then they break into speaking in tongues). I just laugh at their ignorance, because it is what you believe in that will affect you. Besides I’m an artist and no race has the monopoly of artistic talent. A painting of a chicken in Scotland is not holier than a sculpture of a Oyo warrior.

    That being said, we as Africans have to come to a place of self discovery before we can fully appreciate what we have and the blessings that surround us. A typical American does not have the diverse choices that we have, but as a Nigerian living in their country, I can confidently say that I embrace my diversity.

  • Person pikin September 6, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Beats my imagination how people say they are christians and still consult with the so called ifa priest? I guess what mummy says about people from this particular ”territory” is true….smh!!

  • kiki September 6, 2012 at 9:49 pm

    hmmn a self professed self confessed xtian no i wont consult ever.as my bible clearly says have no relationship with unfruitful works of darkness.its funny when people say certain things and claim to not believe but its funny when they are faced with a life threatening illness they would go everywere and anywere just to be healed.there are certain aspects of our culture we should i.e respect for elders, and those older than you then again the bible clearly states that you respect elders and authority.once in my life i used to be a free thinker went through alot at that time and truly JESUS saved me.i always tell people denying or saying GOD dosent exist dosent change the fact that he does hasnt changed the fact that today right now right here hes watching you and i and sees our hearts and it wont change the fact that JESUS is comming sooner than we think.

  • gimmer September 7, 2012 at 3:48 am

    Quite a thought provoking piece…nonetheless well written. You have to love the way brilliant debates ensue on BellaNaija.
    So here is my twist on this topic – There is no searching of God’s understanding. Any superpower you believe in (i believe in God almighty who died for my sins) has not given any lower being (less superpower) the wisdom or capacity to see all and know all. There will always be mysteries surrounding the earth and its fullness thereof. I guess in human beings’ endless search for answers to the mysteries of the world, we tend to seek counsel with God, pastors, gods, dieties , imams etc. BUT i tell you as a grand-daughter of a late ifa priest, they are all but lies. See my grandfather supposedly solved everyone’s problems however, i wonder why all his kids’ problems and his own problems were never fully solved. Nkan ti olorun ma se, ko fi han enikan. What the superpower (God in my case) will do, he has not bestowed that knowledge upon a soul. Adelegirl perfectly summarizes it by saying “eni to wa irikiruri a’ri irikuri”, meaning whoever seeks evil will find evil.
    People’s quest to gain answers and understanding about the mysteries of the world is why there are sooooooo many shapes and forms of “gods, religion, fake pastors, aworawo, talisman, etc. Ka gba fun olorun ni isimi. Accepting fate sometimes brings the utmost peace of mind…which is why i will never seek another counsel besides the counsel of God. Not a soul on earth can reveal where God dwells.

  • Manny September 7, 2012 at 5:14 am

    Ifa divination is actually based on the Urim and Thummim

  • Phantom September 7, 2012 at 2:46 pm

    @ brandigest, It wasn’t my intention to come across as upset. I’m the furthest thing from that.
    And I just want to commend everyone for keeping this debate polite and respectful. I check out a real popular blog from time to time and the people who make comments there are disrespectful and half the time the comments are hard to read cos of constant shelling and that Naija “cool” shorthand thing that’s rampant with youngings :-)

  • molarah September 7, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Wow, BN, this is one HOT topic! Its so amazing, I had to deal with a situation like this just this very week.

    I believe a lot of people are mixing issues here. Why on earth are we trying to defend our local food, artwork, music here? The issue that is at hand is the spiritual one. If you like build your house with mud and use palm frond as roofing in Canada just because you want to be true to your roots. Its really your own business – and none of ours. Not every one has to be “culture-centric” to prove their African-ness, so try not to look down on people that are not like you.

    And finally to the spiritual issue. According to the bible, a true acceptance of Christianity requires a rejection/turning away from the mindset of the culture you were brought up in. “And be ye not conformed to the world, but be transformed…” So everyone tosses away their “culture” to accept Christ, even the Jews from which Jesus Christ came from. Its not a missionaries-came-and-told-us-to-throw-OUR-idols thing, maybe the missionaries didn’t even fully understand the concept themselves, but now we know better, because we are educated and can read the bible for ourselves.

    That being said, its not right by any standard, to claim Christianity – which requires a full surrender and total trust in Yahweh – and then turn to other sources when things get uncomfortable. This is something we are given clear instructions about in the Bible – its an abomination to God. So pick which one you are following. Its not one and the same God – the only way to Yahweh (I just use this title for distinction purposes – I’m not part of any sect) is through Jesus. Ifa will not lead you to him, neither will Ogun. Nobody is denying that these other sources have power they manifest. The real question is, does their power now make them the real deal? Can their power redeem you in the Day of Judgement? Is it a good enough replacement for Jesus? Because that’s the message you pass across when you dabble in such while professing to be a christian. No judging intended but this is just the plain truth. If you are going to trust in Yahweh then trust in Him alone, because He hates mixes of the sort. “Come out of them and be separate. Touch not the unclean thing and I will receive you”.

  • Ready September 7, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    Ooohh…hopefully we can keep this polite open-minded trend. So, @ Adelegirl, I’m thinking…you really think the Western Christian God is always benevolent and much more predictable than our traditional deities? I mean, Sodom & Gomorrah, pillar of salt, wiping out the earth, what happened to Job, shortening our years, ensuring diversity of languages to prevent people from reaching the sky to see God. I mean, even Jesus cursed that fig tree cause it hadn’t borne fruit, rather than bless it to get fruit from it. I wonder about stuff like that…how’s it worse than our cutural deities as explained to us?

  • Ready September 7, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    My spiritual belief: Someone/an entity created all this cool stuff that our universe consists of. I’m not a christian, muslim, or agnostic..what I’m opposed to is dogma and overzealotry. My parents are christians: my mom is a mountain top, ask like 4 pastors to pray on 1 topic type person but my dad is an I spoke to my God type christian. I stepped away from it because I don’t understand…God knows I’ve tried to be the daily Bible reader, wake up @ midnight to pray person, but christianity doesn’t make sense to me. Neither does any religion really, so I’ve decided to be the best me possible and treat others as I’d want to be treated with the understanding that there’s so much that’s beyond my scope of knowledge.
    Daily occurrences, Yorrywood as I like to call it, and oral history/history books have also provided some insight into the occultic world. I think it’d be naïve and quite frankly foolish to dismiss our history and culture; also, I don’t think every traditional practitioner is a bad person. It’s nice to have choices…if yours is an Imam, great. If it’s a pastor, terrific.

  • molarah September 7, 2012 at 11:55 pm

    @Ready I think you allowed the experiences with your parents blur your view a bit on Christianity. The christian walk is not about formulas or following cut-out patterns but a real, active growing relationship with God. Unfortunately, too often we are taught that we have to follow a moral code of rights and wrongs or keep to a prayer/bible study ritual to be considered as Christians, but that’s putting the cart before the horse. No one can do those things without the help of the Holy Spirit – they will just be burdensome and a struggle. Christianity is not based on your level of ‘spirituality’ (ability to see/hear spiritual things) because the spiritual atmosphere is charged with both positive and negative elements – and you could be hearing from one and think you are hearing from the other. Rather it is about your ability to discern the true will of God – and walk in it. Just step away from it all (ALL of it, including the pseudoscience and philosophy the world’s systems considers to be ‘wisdom’) and set your mind to search out and find who the real God is – He is out there waiting for those that seek Him with their whole heart.

  • molarah September 8, 2012 at 12:12 am

    Last comment for now (sorry oh Bella)

    I just went through the comments again and it seems some people were overtly influenced by certain Hollywood ‘faboo’ stories – Da Vinci Code, Zeitgeist, etc. People please those movies were based largely on fiction oh! (the Da Vinci author came out himself to give that disclaimer on his book). Please, you cannot build your worldview and belief system on fiction, its too dangerous. You are a spirit being and you will be around wwaayyy long after those things have passed away, to deal with the consequences of your choices. Do your own research and find out the real truth concerning these things. Thank you.

  • Jamce September 8, 2012 at 2:46 am

    Very interesting and hot topic indeed. Kudos to all for the polite agreements and disagreements.
    Firstly, am a Christian by birth of the Anglican stock and now of present day “Pentecostal” stock. I grew in my village in Niger Delta region and well aware of my traditional roots (deities and culture). It is true that we all “consult” one deity or the other. But the central question is whether there is one God who created the universe and all beings and elements (spiritual and physical). As a youth, I was fascinated by mysticism (though not practiced) of the African and western varieties such as those of the Ogboni, Rosicrucians (AMORC), Eckists (ECKANKAR), Krishna, etc. I had senior friends who tried in various ways to get me to join. In the process I had the opportunity of knowing a bit of their beliefs, teachings, principles and practices from our discussions and the books I was given to read. A common thread I found was the secrecy of their teachings above and beyond a particular level of “initiation”. I recall particularly Paul Twitchel’s book, “YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW” where he stated in one of the chapters tomthe effect that after the second initiation, you cannot question the teachings and masters of Eckankar. This sounded alarm in my head. I also realized this pattern in so many other religions or spiritual organizations or sects. I can say without any doubt that Christianity is the most open spiritual way of life becaus it is based on TRUTH, devoid of secret rituals and sacrifices. The principles and practices are all contained in the CONSTITUTION (the Bible). If any Christian, no matter the rank or title (Pope, Archbishop, Bishop, Archdeacon, Prophet, Pastor etc) teaches or professes any teaching gives a revelation or prophecy recommends any practice or form of ritual outside what the Bible says, know that it is pure falsehood of satanic origin. Rev.19:10 says “… For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy”.

    God and other deities, work through covenants and there are so many ways people have entered covenants with demons that are affecting nations, communities, families, individual through “consultations” and divinations in a bid to find solutions to different problems. For Christians who still believe in any other god or deity, I will advise that they go back and carefully and prayerfully study the Bible again. Also, if we care to dig very well we will find that those other gods or deities have their definite origins. At least I know the origin of the deity of my village as well as the origin of Sango which we learnt in history. Sango was a mere human who was given a charm by his mother to be able to conjure fire and who is now worshipped as god of fire. The same process of conjuring and spitting fire is practiced by people from the Niger Delta who never heard of Sango. The Almighty God WHO is worhipped by true Christians is ETERNAL, nothing in heaven can be used to represent HIM. HE is OMNIPOTENT, OMNIPRESENT, OMNISCIENT. So HE sees, hears and manifests HIMSELF everywhere. Infact, HE says in Exodus 20 that no image should me to represent HIM and be worshipped. All other deities or gods have a form of physical “representation” and most of not all others have geographical limitations.

    @gf, your interpretation of Deutoronomy 22:28-29 appears to be erroneous. It does not impose a duty on the rape victim to marry the rapist, but imposes a duty on the rapist to marry the rape victim. The rape victim has a right to reject the rapist as husband. But the law was put to protect the victim because ofnthe cultural practice of that era where it was difficult for a lady who already disvirgined to get a suitable husband. So to ensure that the lady is not “wasted” or “shamed” the “rapist” had to marry her and not be permitted to divorce her. It is like situations when a man is forced to marry a lady impregnated by him by the lady’s parents. Of course, the lady is permitted to refuse marriage to the baby’s father. Let’s try and think through what we read from the Bible before we jump to conclusions of oppression. Shalom

  • Turayo Tijani September 8, 2012 at 10:02 pm

    I agree with Ready

  • atm November 22, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    Atoke don’t know if you will see this but reading your previous articles had always made me feel the law/unilag connection. Sorry but what year did you graduate? The impact of Baba Oye shows.

  • Oyen'ke June 16, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    Atoke, you write well.

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