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Temi A: Between Science, Faith & Balancing Reality

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Foto.com.ng - Downloads-1I am a Christian. I pray daily. I am slightly distrustful of the Bible, for the main reason that as the word of God it has been tampered with too many times by too many people with less than godly intent. I find myself questioning things. My scepticism does not make me the best Christian around, but I believe in God nonetheless.

I believe that the universe is a huge network of energy – negative energy, positive energy. Focusing your thought on what you want, and achieving it, are a part of these.
A few years ago during summer break from university, I was contemplating the long summer ahead and the fact that I had no job or vacation scheduled. I was focusing intently on this problem when my phone rang. It was a solicitor I had worked with the previous year but hadn’t kept in touch with.  She asked if I was busy and when I answered in the negative, she informed me that she urgently needed help that day if I had the time. I said yes, dressed up and reported for duty. From helping out that day, I stayed at the firm until the end of summer and that solved my employment problem. When I relate this story, I use it as an example to show how your thoughts when it is geared and focused on what you want will actualise if it is the right thing for you. It might not be immediate, but it will happen if it is the right thing for you and you focus your energy on it.

As a realist, I don’t understand the things that I cannot account for rationally and this includes matters of the heart. I fell in love. It was the good kind of love. The type where the feelings are entirely one sided on your part and it is unrequited. I tried to be reasonable and to make rational decisions regardless of what the heart was saying. I eventually decided to move on because it was in my best interest to do so. I expected change within two weeks of making this decision, but nothing changed for the longest time. The fact that I could not forget this person made no sense to me so I decided to do a bit of research into the science of love. Ms. Helen Fisher in her very informative Ted Talk revealed that when you fall in love, the parts of your brain that produces Dopamine and Norepinephrine lights up (gods, I hope I spelt that right). These are chemicals usually associated with pleasurable feelings and you get used to the feeling they evoke. Like an addict you want to feel that way all the time and that is a probable reason why falling in love is one of the easiest thing to do and moving on the hardest. Moving on can be every bit as painful as recovering from a drug addiction. Dopamine is also released with use of cocaine, so physically that is where the brain is whilst our emotions are going about the business of falling in love.

After reading that, I felt better for a while but this did not stop me from going on my knees to pray the feelings away. I was worried that I might have ingested a love potion at some point or there was a family generational curse somewhere (I couldn’t be sure what spiritual problem I was facing) but whatever it was; I wanted God to send Holy Ghost fire to roast the enemies trying to tie me down to the web of unrequited love. I was not taking chances as it concerned moving on.

My ears just popped. That means someone is talking about me .This is a superstition whose origin I don’t know, but I have taken its meaning to heart. Whenever my palm itches I believe I am about to become rich: I don’t walk under arches as that is bad luck and when I find a feather (I don’t rear poultry so you have to admit that is suspect) I believe that is my guardian angel sending a bit of love my way.

I have been told that my belief system seems contradictory and it probably is because despite all of the above, I believe that I have a free will and my actions are not predestined or fated. I am a product of my upbringing, society and reality. It only makes sense to have a varied belief system that helps me cope. I do not imagine I am the only one. If you are every bit as superstitious as I am, love logical explanations, but also enjoy and think that the horoscope and zodiac signs might have a 50% chance of truth to them etc comment below and share your side of the story.

Photo Credit: Foto.com.ng |Nsoedo Frank

I like to believe that I am entirely focused on building a career as a Solicitor, but my love for Food and Yoruba movies poses a serious threat to this dream.

28 Comments

  1. Moral Police

    April 6, 2016 at 2:45 pm

    Lmao
    Nigerian woman1: My husband beats me and cheats on me. His mother makes me bathe her everyday. His sister’s insult me. His brother is abusing my little girl
    Nigerian woman 2: Don’t leave that house for anybody o. Just fast and pray and keep being a good wife. Have you watched the Movie “War Room?” The Lord hates divorcees they don’t make heaven

    Doctor: We have to perform a Caesarean….
    Patient: Ahh Godforbid o! I must give birth naturally like the Hebrew women. I am a complete woman

    Doctor: Your son has….
    Parent: Godforbid! No child of mine will take medication! Oya, Caleb, pack your things! We are going to Redeem Camp right now!

    Man: I’m gay
    Christian: You foolish demonic devilish idiotic bastard of a HIV Patient go and die! God forbids it!

    Woman: Hey
    Christian: Shutup you imbecilic half-person lower submissive prostitute devil Jezebel. God said you’re under men

    Nigerian politician : Steals 1 billion dollars
    Nigerian politician: God has done it for me! Pastor! Take this Rolls Royce as a token of my tithe. Use it to drive home your robust response.

    Person: I’m looking for a mentor in this business
    Person 2: Shutup! The Lord is your mentor

    Woman: Enters church
    Usher: please leave. Your hair is not covered and your armpits are showing. Go away you imbecilic Jezebel. God does not like loose women and tempters

    See eh, many Nigerians don’t practice Christianity. They worship culture and social norms, then use religion to back it up. Some of the most wicked and judgemental people I’ve ever met are Christians, we need to do better and leave needless laws and focus on LOVE! It’s a shame

    • Nonso

      April 7, 2016 at 11:23 am

      I love you for this comment. Thanks, and you made my day with laughter….

  2. Tosin

    April 6, 2016 at 3:58 pm

    you’re ok.
    i believe all and every. i’m kukuma a Yoruba woman.

    • Tee

      April 7, 2016 at 9:32 am

      please enlighten me , what is kukuma ?

  3. whocares

    April 6, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    looool. my aunt is a Muslim, but every first of the year she will be found in a church and every sunday she goes to asalatu. lol. She is also as superstitious as they come as well. lol. Having multiple belief system makes absolute sense to me, although one of my friend says you have to stand for something or you fall for everything. According to her, if you are going to be a Christian, go in all the way and leave the doubts that don’t accord with common sense behind- faith and all that. I get it to some extent, but to the extent that it leads to lack of tolerance for other people etc I don’t. Now the bit about the science of love. lol. I have always wondered about what my brain is up when these talks of romunce comes in. Oooh I love horoscopes as well and not even in a jocular way. Every time I meet someone I am running through their horoscope in my head and what facts I know from that.. Although you have to leave a LOT of room of error with these zodiac etc business. Still its fun to read Some people actually do fit into it.

  4. aus

    April 6, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    I am a Christian. I pray daily. I am slightly distrustful of the Bible
    How can you be a christian and be distrustful of the bible? What is your christianity based on? Or are you just trying to be #toocoolforchurch?

    • Temi. A

      April 6, 2016 at 4:39 pm

      @Aus- At the risk of being that person that quotes myself, here is the concluding part of that sentence: “I am slightly distrustful of the Bible, for the main reason that as the word of God it has been tampered with too many times by too many people with less than godly intent. I find myself questioning things. My scepticism does not make me the best Christian around, but I believe in God nonetheless”.. I ask questions because I seek to understand things. My Christianity is not based on “my church” or my love for the bible although both are tools that ideally make it easier and better. The initial reason for a church is to find a place to worship with like minds.. Therefore, faith comes before church and dare I say the bible? My Christianity is based on my believe in God. I wrote this to share my ideas and see if other people have something to contribute in the same vain. I have not claimed to know everything, merely to write about various beliefs system and to know if that resonates with other people besides myself. If it does by all means please say how. If not, well..

    • miini

      April 7, 2016 at 3:07 pm

      Christianity is not based on a belief in God, it is based on a belief in CHRIST; so believing in God really doesn’t make one a christian. U can be distrustful of men of God and of their interpretation of scriptures but u can’t be distrustful of d bible and in d same breath say u are a christian

    • Ch

      April 7, 2016 at 11:38 am

      @aus, I agree with you. @Temi, you have written a long sentence on why you are distrustful of the bible but it still doesn’t make sense (to you it does, but to me @lst, it doesn’t). The bible is the word of God and was inspired by the Holy Spirit, not any of those people who have less than godly intent, as you say. Hence, read it for yourself and not depend on some other people for the interpretation of what it means. The same bible says that if any lacks wisdom, he should ask God who freely gives (James 1:5). I lost interest in the article after I read that singular introductory bit, though I read till the end.

  5. boon

    April 6, 2016 at 4:50 pm

    Its human nature..even our religious beliefs are part of evolution. look up ‘pigeon superstition’ or ‘confirmation bias’

  6. dee

    April 6, 2016 at 5:26 pm

    Same “vein” Temi, not vain.

  7. Me

    April 6, 2016 at 6:24 pm

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. My friends aunt writes horoscopes for a a newspaper in the UK, and she actually just makes stuff up lool. It’s not real guys

  8. Majestic

    April 6, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    Well, Temi…it’s clear you’ve been meeting the wrong set of Christians..

  9. Adaisy

    April 6, 2016 at 7:11 pm

    Bella naija…. this is very biased of you guys. You allow this girl bring up the topic of religion by even questioning the validity of our holy book which is offensive to me and many other christians. But you reject other articles that talk positively about Christianity because you deem it offensive and inappropriate. I sent an article some time which had nothing to do with religion and you guys rejected it because at the last line of the article I compared a true leader to being like Jesus who washed the feet of his disciples. And that single statement alone was deemed unfit because According to your editors it gave a hint of religion . This is preposterous, and evil. If you don’t want articles that mention religion or faith or even the name Jesus then please be fair and don’t entertain articles that insult and offend religious christians who take their faith seriously. Since you are so protective of the feelings of those who don’t fancy [email protected]

    • Italian Princess

      April 6, 2016 at 9:03 pm

      Will Jesus be pleased with this comment?

      Go and print a tract if you absolutely have to evangelise.

      In the interim, go forth and live at peace with all men. If a publication doesn’t want your article, send it to another one. No do or die inside.

  10. Ajala & foodie

    April 6, 2016 at 8:06 pm

    There comes a time that every Christian that actually studied the sciences has questioned his/her belief system, I will speak to Christianity because that’s all the knowledge/experience I have.

    Seeking answers to questions or contradictory belief systems has brought about great advancement in science and in my personal experience and speaking to other Christians in my field it has also brought us personal experiences and journeys that has made our faith a more personal relationship. I mean God gave us our brains for a reason and it is when you find your answer, Christianity goes from being what your parents brought you up to believe to becoming YOUR belief. It goes from being about OTHER people, I.e parents, pastors, other Christians to becoming something PERSONAL.

    As for superstition, maybe it is my Christian upbringing or the part of my brain that tries to find logic in most things. I don’t subscribe to any of that. For example, when people say a house has character. Bricks and stones do not have character, we, humans give the mortar and stones character. The same way I don’t believe in the earth having vibes (good or bad). Our attitude, reaction to others around us and those around us evokes emotions in us weather good or bad, which I believe we in turn interpret as vibes. That’s my personal take on superstition.

    Lastly, I believe in the power of science and that God has given us the brains to not only appreciate the power of science but to come up with ideas to enhance our world, I believe in the power of faith as well as positive confessions. Most importantly, I believe in God and His gift of free will.

    • Temi.A

      April 6, 2016 at 8:43 pm

      @Ajala & Foodie – please where can I submit my application to be a prospective mentee? You said everything I wished to say but somehow did not manage to: especially the bit about your faith becoming a personal journey.
      @Me- you lie! She makes it up? Loooool. Ain’t that a you know who!

    • Mi

      April 6, 2016 at 11:39 pm

      There comes a time when every mature Christian will be forced to question their beliefs. Why do you really believe the things you do? Why do you believe the Bible? If God were to do something you don’t approve of, will you still be a christian?
      A lot of people claim/become christians for a lot of superficial reasons: I was raised in a christian house, I was looking for something and God came through etc, and with time God wants you to mature beyond those superficial beliefs.
      So that the OP is “slightly mistrustful” of the Bible can be a good thing.

  11. iamezinne

    April 6, 2016 at 10:51 pm

    I am responding because you said, ‘ I ask questions because i seek to understand things’. It confirmed what i felt when i read your write up. You seem to have many questions..
    That’s okay. Curiosity leads us down new paths.
    You may need to ask yourself these questions-
    1. Why am i a christain?
    Answer this plainly to yourself. Family upbringing? It appeals to you? Atheism seems extreme?
    what was the first sin? Adam and Eve eating the fruit. It made them to loose out of the creation plan, God had made man in his image and by image i do not think just physical. We have the power of choice. We can create, but that walk out of Eden made us lose out of a beautiful rlsp with God. All men because of sin are separated from God who is holy and righteous(isaiah 59:1-4), so in the old testament, you see laws for atonement of sins. John 3:16 says ‘he so loved the world That he sent his only son so that those who believe in him will not perish but have everlasting life’. It is through Jesus’ death on the cross, by the shedding of his blood that you have been redeemed from your sins (Mt 26:28, eph 1:7,1john 1:7). it’s a once and for all sacrifice…so you do not need to slaughter chicken and ram anymore. His blood actually gave you power over sin. This is the grace dispensation. So you do every socially unacceptable thing, the power is available to overcome it. However, this salvation is not automatic to any man.John 1:12 says ‘As many as received and believed him Jesus Christ,he gave the power to become the children of God.Key words are believe and receive. Believe that Jesus is truly the son of God and your saviour and is based on your confession (rom 10:9-10); Receive- a willingness to follow Jesus (John 14:21).This is the part that i have come to understand…How does God send his beloved son to die and he is not forcing everyone to believe in him? Why does he want you to love him on your own,asking believers to carry on the great commission and spread the good news and not make you love him because you had a knife on your neck
    Salvation is received when one is born again. It is a gift and it is received thru faith(eph 2:8,9). one who is born again is saved from the guilt of sin, power of sin, consequences of sin (col 1:13). when you are saved, you have justification(rom 5:8-9), eternal life(jn 3:15-16), adoption by God the father(jn 1:12,rom 8:15),identification with Christ(rom 8:1,gal 2:20), indwelling of the holy spirit (rom 8:9-14)

    2.How are you sure you are saved?
    a. Have you done your part? Believing. Receiving. Confessing? (rom 10:9-10)
    b.have you taken God for his words by faith? (john 3:36, 1john 5:12-13)
    c.Do you show evidence of the new birth in your daily living? (2Cor 5:17, john 14:21)

    3. Who is a christain?
    The disciples were first called Christains in Antioch. Christain means Christlike. How can you be like Christ?The disciples became like Christ because they spent time with him. The answer is there. Spend time with Christ. Discipleship is saying, I want to become like the master. it does not take place in a loose relationship. Discipleship Discipleship brings you to a level of intimacy with the God that others cannot experience. In mark 4, esp 11, 34; you can see an example. Discipleship is saying ‘I am willing to give up my bad habits, anything to follow Christ'( Luke 5:6-11(Here, after a mighty providence, they left it to follow Christ. it is just saying that God’s gifts and providence are nothing compared to the gift of his presence) ;Mark 10:28-30(KJV said they followed straightway, no excuses, no next year i will be more serious with God). Christainity is a daily decision.
    You are truly the first person i have heard to say that she is a christain but does not trust the bible and i understand you a bit..but please remember, We are called to be like Christ not to be like other christains.if other Christains fall short of the image Christ, you can be a difference, a sharp reminder to them. I will encourage you to read the bible,the bible is inspired by God. Infact, ever wondered why christains pray ‘In the name of Jesus?’, it is in the bible. Even if it is to read only the words of Christ, start from there and build your faith… but if this did not convince you, you mentioned you pray too..Prayer is a form of communication with God(altho there are other forms too, where a believer can speak God’s word to a situation; by virtue of the level of power/spiritual knowledge in him) Please pray in your own words to God, express yourself thoroughly.. Tell him how you feel. You want to know him more? You want a personal revelation of him? is it okay by you that you tick ‘Christain’ in the religion box but are not manifesting, do not understand it all? He is a rewarder of those that earnestly seek him. The bible says in ‘Matt. 5:6, That blessed are those that hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled’. If it is your hunger, desire to understand God more, just ask in faith without doubt for him to reveal himself. You need to grow beyond being a child to being a son and that can happen..just ask for it. (1peter 2:2)
    your answer may not come with something as symbolic as God meeting Saul(later Paul) but small nudges as going through the foundation class of a church or opening the bible or buying a devotional or buying a book. When your answer comes, i pray you will recognise it.

  12. Adaisy

    April 6, 2016 at 10:52 pm

    Aunty I’m not evangelizing this is just common sense. This article is offensive to some people. In protecting the feelings of people who aren’t religious shouldn’t same be done for people who are offended by things that offend their faith? By all means nothing religious whether expressions for or against shouldn’t be expressed at all and all things should be neutral.

    • Tee

      April 7, 2016 at 10:06 am

      please stop this nonsense; this article is not offensive, why can people have different views to yours, are you trying to maintain the status quo? every one has right to their beliefs and that includes the writer, if everything were base on your belief will you be using the phones and internet now? i don’t know where you are posting from but if you live in Nigeria can you honestly hand on heart say it is a ‘God fearing’ country ? please look around what do you see? i see wickedness selfishness and evil also manipulation on grand scale coupled unpatriotic people everywhere. i believe this platform is not set up for any religion. please be rational in your posting, we need to move forward from all the religious dogmas it is dragging the nation down, all other nations are advancing in technology and and space and medicine we are looking for mana from heaven, this mindset is not helping the nation.

  13. Tee

    April 7, 2016 at 10:24 am

    typo- …. why can’t

    • Adaisy

      April 7, 2016 at 12:30 pm

      @Tee it’s like you don’t understand what I’m saying. It’s hypocritical. You guys are so quick to bash religion and support every anti religious statement .Bella naija puts so much effort to protect the feelings of anti religious people while giving people free hand to offend religious people. All I’m saying is that to be fair no article mentioning anything religion whether for or against should be condoned so both parties are not offended. If someone wrote an article talking of how they believe the bible and expresses their religious beliefs the way the writer of this article expressed her questionings of the bible I bet you bella naija won’t post it. So all forms of opinions of religion whether for it against in any way shouldn’t be allowed is all I’m saying.

  14. Tee

    April 7, 2016 at 2:24 pm

    @Adaisy , thanks for replying, however my observation is that this site promotes tolerance and openness, the writer is right in questioning some aspect of the bible she is making use of the God given ability to reason and deduce on the face of conflicting issues,if on follows blindly then it is the road to fanaticism which make it more easy to fall victim of these false prophets in Nigeria today . it is a fact that some aspect of bible has been altered to suit certain agenda, you only need to search and you shall find, i believe that religion is a personal relationship with ones God, it is not to be forced on, Nigeria is so blessed that if managed properly we should be heaven on earth, here we are in 2016 not able to have steady electricity while other countries with less resources are enjoying their wealth. we need to be pragmatic now that the whole world is in turmoil so as to ensure we can survive.

    • "changing moniker"

      April 7, 2016 at 10:09 pm

      don’t type the first thing that comes to your mind, think deeply first.
      now ask yourself how your reply relates to @Adaisy’s point. Nigeria not having electricity? really? after she tried to explain her point in the simplest of terms…

    • molarah

      April 8, 2016 at 10:30 pm

      So the article, and some of the ensuing comments, have their own shades of ludicrous, but I had to respond to yours because it seems yours takes the cake (for me at least). “it is a fact that some aspect of bible has been altered to suit certain agenda”…huh?!? Where on earth did you get this “fact” of yours from? See, I get you are trying to make a point, but you can’t be posting false information like that, like no, that’s just wrong. Kindly doublecheck before you throw out “facts” like that next time.

  15. "changing moniker"

    April 7, 2016 at 10:00 pm

    warris this?
    let me comment first, then read comments.

  16. laila

    April 8, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    @ Adaisy, you are so on point. @ Tee, all she is saying is that bellanaija be fair. She is asking that all opinions be given the same level of respect. Is that so hard to understand? I bet you that bellanaija will never publish an article that says “i am distrustful of the quran”. Christianity seems to be the whipping boy. Oh well….

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