Monday, 21 September 2015

Aniefiok on Pulpit- Invertebrate righteousness

I want to preach to the wise and the prudent. You have the right to hiss and say “See who is preaching!” I want to preach on the theme: INVERTEBRATE RIGHTEOUSNESS.
Let me start by acknowledging and appreciating the  primordial power, captain of hosts and personal father who is everything and owns everything, including me. I am what I am because of who He is. My Gee-O-Dee stands for Generator, Operator, Director – GOD.

When I was a child, I used to believe that God is one big personage clothed in ineffable glory who resides somewhere in a beautiful region in the sky called heaven. I used to view Him as a certain stern, angry judge only awaiting opportunity somewhere to punish bad people who have failed to live a perfect life on earth. Even broader minds are always cramped by the thought of God as a person, for personality limits to place and time. No! God is not as we might have been taught to believe.

Physical optics are not the instruments to perceive God. God is spirit, and an “unusual” one at that. He baffles grammar and syntax. God is the creative energy that is the cause of all visible things. In other words, He is the source of all existence. Unchangeable, inexorable. This Uncreated Creator with His undisputable qualities of all-seeing, all-sufficient, all-powerful, all-benevolent isn’t that Father who wound up the world with a key and went away to let it run by itself. He is the God who stays at the centre of everywhere sleeplessly and cares for all that He created, including you and I. Without Him, life is a monotonous repetition of weeks, months, seasons and generations. On our own, we can do nothing except He gives us the grace. And to us who have nothing, He gives the best. So, I am trusting not in my family or friends but in Him, the owner of all the worlds.
It is very difficult to prove God’s existence, not even in the Bible had He Himself attempted to do that. But have you ever considered how much more difficult it is to disprove his existence? Scientists have tried, but no dice. Human nature is the most recondite of mysteries. Because of this, I name my sons Mankind and Mystery. I have discovered why it is often said that men are the most difficult things to manage. But, without God, what do these so-called men (and women) think they are?! It is lamentably crude, sad, mad and utter disappointing that we, God’s people, do not realize who God is. Aren’t daily blessings daily reminders of who or what God is? Oh! God and the weirdos called people!

Because God made man in His own image and likeness doesn’t mean that God is any foolish as man. The God in whom I believe is that God to whom everything belongs, although we use it as if it belonged to us, the stewards. This omnipotent God has no limit, boundary or edge to His ability and power, and he is not affected by changes. Where God had put a full-stop, none of us can change it to a question mark. Good news is that He is the Being that specializes in the cure of impossibilities. So, cast yours on Him and His son – that son who lost His life in order to save ours; that spiritual phenomenon, that mediator, advocate and redeemer who towers over even the best of Counselors, Psychologists and therapists; that son of God who is the lifeline of our deadline.

This God sometimes puts us into deep sea with the purpose not to drown us but to develop us. He often uses a setback to move us ahead. He allows us get into trouble because that’s the only time we ever think of Him. Yet He is the fountainhead of every good thing. He makes our despairing situations governable and opportunities unlockable. It is God alone and only He who has the divine tablets to our worldly ills. With such a wonderful father, we could tread even where Angels fear. A general and generous father. He could make us rich without making others poor. 

I’m not preaching as a born-again, after all you cannot get holy in a hurry. Our problem today is that we have so engaged ourselves sideswardly, forwardly and backwardly that we forget that there is an Above and a Below. If men’s hearts could be distracted by the charm of this diamond-clothed gambler and trickster called “this world”, I think men wouldn’t forget the essence of living. Although we are living in a sinful world, we do not have to make it more sinful than we met it, must we? Greed and blind imitations have brought us to doom and left even our hearts desertly barren. In spite of this, the owner of the Universe is always a kind and forgiving God unto those that believe in Him, even “churchlessly”. His love is unchanging, not arbitrary or conditional. May that man alone who changes hearts – that guy who can change the foulest sinner into the finest saint – come into all our hearts so that we could make this world a better place to live in. In that man, Jesus, the greatest warrior of righteousness, is our victory and rest. He, the Supreme Commander of the forces of light, is the answer for this our wicked world.

Nobody can get away from God, although we can ignore him. Where are you going to run to? Unfortunately, we all have laughed God out of our schools, books, even our lives, but none of us can laugh Him out of our deaths. He holds the key. If we leave God out of our reckoning, all that we hate – difficulties, sins, even death come to us. But if we recognize him as the Limitless One who undertakes for us, he will be big enough for our lives, problems, needs and heartaches. God’s grace to us, His weird and derailed people, is a certainty even amidst the turmoil of today’s world. He wants us to be victors not vanquished, to overcome not to be overwhelmed by any powers and principalities. He likes to see us show the way instead of going with the crowd. I am one of God’s made people who have forgotten the lasting and unalterable key to happiness which is righteousness. It’s my earnest prayer that God directs and considers His sinful Aniefiok on the knees first before the self-acclaimed righteous brethren or sistren on tiptoes. Please, please, guide and protect all of us Lord. With you, we rest assured we can dwell secured. Thank you father, thank you son, thank you Holy Spirit – the Trinity in perfect unity.

In tune with the mission statement of this tabloid, I want to tell you that there are some unhappy, semi religious people who have enough religion to make them miserable, but not enough to do them good. Let me tell them most solemnly that sour godliness is the devil’s religion, and claiming to be religious does not make one any saintly. All religions are good, I’m not judging. They are simply different roads leading to the same place.

A lot of us do evil so completely and cheerfully just because we are doing it from religious conviction. I know there are many religions, but there is only one gospel, the gospel through which God searches for men and not religion which men search for God and money. May I reserve comments on other religions and write a little on the trend now by some self-deceiving people of Christian religion. How I wish we all write, teach or preach practically.

While the see-saw religion man or woman, with trumpet, is seen un-practicably preaching on the streets, in buses and everywhere, other religious organization don’t do that, I observe. Because God is patient, some of us feel licensed to live as we like. In some churches, they are more commotion and emotion than devotion. This buttresses the truth that, indeed, judgment will start from the church.

As part of my observation, some churches are N50 and N100-operated while some welcome all denominations, and most prefer N200 and more (if higher placed or blessed), with several rounds of collection. The economy of religion, you may say. When this goes on, one is poised to ask: shouldn’t the monetarily have-nots go to church, any denomination?

I once attended, by invitation, a Full Gospel Business Men’s Fellowship. There, I was the only odd one out, because while I was clad in a T-shirt, casual pairs of trousers and sandals, the rest were, in all their finery, wearing what must have cost them fortunes. Eminent businessmen indeed. I got myself embarrassed when I, among other new comers, introduced myself as the only applicant there. However, consolation came when I remembered that joblessness itself is an occupation. That is what many used to fill in their forms – “OCCUPATION: Applicant”. Apart from being an applicant, I got more embarrassed when they satirically intimated us of the Oyibo-origin of the Fellowship and their International Members’ prestigious way of dressing, as businessman. Corporate, you know. Most embarrassed was when I hadn’t a peanut to put as offering. My tag-ragging showed it all. If you have a poor wardrobe, better arrange with your boutique man before going to FGBMF. Truly, their membership is not made of “yeye” people. They have class and taste. Little wonder they fix their chapters in exotic hotels and Governor’s Office Annex. Real businessmen and churchmen. Their mode of dressing and general organization style make me feel there is a financial apartheid or the gap between the rich and the poor in the church, if that is the parameter for what God soly wants. “After all, God is a rich, clean and handsome God”, they will tell you.

God indeed is more than rich, clean and handsome. My deep-seated point is: like some other churches that chooses white garments or other colors for themselves, where does the poor member get his clothes or tailor’s workmanship from? Well, maybe other rich members could help by contributing for him or her. They really should – o, with the FGBMF’S motto being “His banner over us is love”, and they preach full gospel not fractional. I really wish they help others in addition to preaching kind words. Kind words can never die but without kind deeds, they can sound mighty sick. Above all, how many people are you showing the way or converting to heaven?

While the FGBMF members dress to kill, some leaders in other churches say it is sin to dress cute or leave your hair permed and unscalfed (i.e to the women), while some members themselves get licensed to do their beauty pageant there. While some Pastors want women to wear trousers and caps in their churches, other pastors want their women to wear “Mma, nnyam nkong”. The church that accepts any kind of person into its fold, has higher membership and bigger stacks of money. I have been to a church where the Pastor ordered a lady to remove her ear-rings and wipe out her lipstick. 

I have seen a girl in church admiring herself through a mirror. Doesn’t that tell why she went to the church in the first place? What about those posters on the church walls? What about all those stickers advertising God as if He were goods for sale? Fanciful stickers in houses, on cars and bags that reads “Year 2013, my year of this; 2014, year of that; year 2015, year of the other”. Action speaks louder than bumper stickers, my dear.

Dancing time. Do you dance so discotequely and lustfully in the name of “dancing for God”? If so, then the aim you went to the church is defeated. Back home, after Sunday service, listen to how wattfully your “Christian neighbor” would blast his or her spiritual musicals. You must know then that you are nothing but an unborn-again or a born-against.

In most churches while the drunks, the harlots, the liars, the thieves in their folds are gathered at the rear, it is only the “rich saints” who can buy the Pastors but not God that are allowed to decorate the front seats or made Elders and deacons. These money-men, however late they come, most times in flowing gowns, their arrival must be announced and celebrated. 

To recognize them (and their wives) the poor congregation must stand up and clap thunderously until they are pleaded to sit down. The money-man, you know, is a busy man. He will not stay till the close of service. He will announce his donation and want it to be aired on radio and telecasted. Then he leaves. And the laity do what they know how to do best: clap and dance and shout. The question is: is it the money madness that made the man come to church late and went back early? What was his main aim of going to the church?

In some churches, while illustrating some points from the scriptures, see how the Pastors will dramatize. A Pastor will run down from the pulpit through the aisle into the congregation and proceed to the choir, falling on the floor with cries and laughter. He would remove his coat and tie; he would shout “Hallelujah!” ten times, shout “Amen” ten times while the thrilled congregation go out “spraying” him with money and wiping his sweat. To breathe in, he will change the tempo, then you hear the members stamping their feet, hitting the walls, clapping their hands, looking up, waving into the ceiling and waling as if they were seeing Christ hung there and sympathizing over his crucifixion. But out from the church, even while there, they are the same obnoxious pretenders the used to be.

Why should a Pastor be “sprayed” with money while demonstrating his hypocritical preachings? Is it a stage show? Of all the miracles that Jesus performed on this earth, I wonder if anyone ever gave him a dime, talkless of “spraying”. I wonder if any of the dutiful Christians ever sent a smart girl to go and cook for him, fetch him water, firewood, eggs etc. Poor Jesus Christ, suffering all that for a thankless humanity!

Pastors dey enjoy-o! I dunno if you had ever met with one of them who tells you “You must sow some seeds-o. Bring even your widow’s might. Don’t go back with anything in your pocket, otherwise God will be offended with you. Bring it and expect a miracle. That’s what God is going to prosper you with”. Those without money means they are un-blessed? No! Instead of giving my kobo to such a “lie-lie” pastor, I give it to charity. 

These wayo pastors, they read the Bible by rote and, while preaching or praying, they recite it in a well rehearsed tone that depicts the salesmanship expertise of the missionaries who came with incomplete Bible and the incentives of brandy and mirror to trade for our gold. Some of them hear the gospel, some heed it, some hoard it, while some deliver it as an announcement – word for word. They shout “Father, I bless you; father, I bless your holy name”. That’s profanity. Can the lesser bless the greater?The Christian of today, preacher or follower, as I see, is a harmless church person who hides his Christianity quite successfully and follows the fashion of the world quite religiously, shouting “Lord, Lord”. He is too heavenly minded to be of any earthly use.  

As if Jesus were a fool when He turned water into wine and started the first church picnic when He fed the five thousand with loaves and fishes, the modern churchman or woman goes lean by starving himself/herself of meat or food and drinks (Matt. 11:18-19). While fasting, some of them, like mourners, do not take their baths nor even brush their teeth, but can tell you “I am on fasting 6a.m to 6p.m, 3 days dry, 7 days wet” etc. Others fast without throwing away corporal pleasures. What do they achieve?

Some of these Christians who preach but cannot abbreviate their messages get weary and frustrated easily because they were not called to do the job, as such were not given the courage. Even in their preaching, they will start antagonizing other church denominations while theirs are kept sacred. Examples are the Watch Tower/Awake vendors who share the good news in bad taste, the tract-distributors and every hide-and-seek player whose cupboard contents, maybe, are very rich skeletally (the prophesy-speaking churches highlighted). 

Some years ago, I witnessed the Jehovah’s Witnesses along Nwaniba Road taking policemen to arrest the Pastor of the church opposite them for singing and drumming loudly to their distaste. How God saved them from the wrath of some Ewet boys and irate commercial motor-cyclists that Sunday! They were around to pass final judgment if they weren’t prevented. 

The Jehovah’s Witnesses say they are “an international organization unaffiliated with other religious groups”. They say they are “no part of the world”. They build no schools or hospitals. Then why are they “associating” and enjoying social amenities? Well, I don’t blame them for their religious belief, most people have theirs. I like them for one thing: “YOU RECEIVED FREE, GIVE FREE”. Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t tithe, they don’t take up collections or charge any fee for services, rather they use donated funds for disaster relief or victims of adversity. They assist the afflicted and, mainly, they teach to save lives and glorify God.

Some church people! Like my blood sisters and their Brotherhood church. With their freedom of worship, they had this picture of a mortal being (their leader) hung in the livingroom of our house. In their going out and coming in, they would go and bow thrice before this photograph or ordinary paper, saying “Good morning, Papa/Thank you, Papa”. Prior to this, I had announced my intension to destroy the almanac if they didn’t stop such practice. And I destroyed the damn thing because it wasn’t in any of their individual houses. Hear my eldest sister: “Whoever unhanged that Papa’s photograph is not going to live long. He or she is going to die from a motor accident”. Ha-ha-ha, I laughed. Whether she was using that as a threat to get back the almanac or she meant her words, those were phantom, powerless words. And their leader later died leaving me to live. Can someone remind my idol-worshiping sister that it is the invisible but living God who takes charge of my life. Tell her to read too the book of Habakkuk 2:18-19.

There is a man I know. I was reliably informed by a friend who was his tenant that this man was stinkingly rich through money he got from the devil. One day, it dawned on him that the devil needed his due. The man did not want to shed blood for the price, and so the devil had to retrieve every property he gave him. His cars and some of his houses were auctioned. He had abysmally fallen with little or no ray of hope. He sold out everything and almost himself. Left a pauper, the wife packed-out. Now, this man became a fake born-again. Anytime he wanted to pray, he would call the starved children to pray and curse their mother for having abandoned them. The kids would pray as instructed, but praying and wailing. What a born-again father. Tomorrow, he will be there with pretentious testimonies. Friends, how do you think and act? I feel it is better to be Angels in Angels’ clothings not hypocrites or wolves in sheep’s clothings or, preferably, you remain humanists (not because I am one).

Yours Aniefiokly is so concerned about the future because it is there that I will spend the rest of my life, if I live. When I had malignant problems I couldn’t solve as human, I was forced to seek the advice of some more spiritually powerful humans or prophets (Men of God, if you like). The prophet of my thought was to do the counseling, reveal people’s afflictions and offer solutions to them through divine grace. Some whom I saw, by some means, narrated the problems and their causes, after so much monetary charge, but couldn’t solve them. Some rather inquired from people their problems or psyched them to give needed answers. Those are the kind of prophets who predict that there could be Christianity without Christ and hell without heaven. Dear God! Without problems and a little gospel-hearing, I wouldn’t know there are false prophets! (Jeremiah 23:16,14;14).

The word Prophet means inspired teacher or revealer of the Divine Will. It means “Forthteller” not “Foreteller”. I am referring to God’s true prophets not demonic ones with mystical oil whose magical “Casting of demons” make thrilling drama scenes. A divine Prophet was known not primarily for his hindsight or foresight but for his insight. Check out the famous Biblical prophets – Moses, the prototype of them all.

A prophet was meant to be the one who saw God’s plans, not a native doctor in cassock or an occultist with crystal ball who professes he is God’s younger brother, father, uncle, cousin, son, next of kin or the heir to god’s throne (see eccl. 8:8, Matt. 23:9-10). No human being on earth is the promised comforter or the king of kings or the king of spirits, as some brand themselves. The promised spirit of comfort descended on Christ’s disciples on Pentecost (Act 2:1-4; John 15:26). There’s no second king of kings or Lord of Lords.

Any prophet should be a seer who penetrated by insight into the mysteries of God, not a refined con-man with spiritual gymnastics. A prophet should be that man who knew the gab between God’s call and his people’s response, he should be able to maintain his chastity till death, not a theological gem who prays for goodluck or a businessman who says “Lord, bring them”.

The self-ordained prophet, from his impure heart and art, tells you any fears-instilling story to get you were he wants you and possibly announces his “competence” on the media to convince and confuse you. He is a theologian with “Doctor of Divinity Emeritus”. He wears a long, shinny cross (a plus or an addition sign) that tells you that he is in need of additional money from you to buy more cars into his fleet and marry more wives. Because he is the Pastor, his new wife automatically becomes a “Pastor Mrs” and they babylonishly rule over all of you. In most cases, these unclean wives are the channels through which “God” speaks. Hardly before “God” speaks through a new comer to the church or other members. How I wish they realized that God doesn’t enter filthy souls nor speak through them. I told you that “churching and pasturing” is a lucrative family business to many homes these days. Their income and value-added taxes should be great.

Just like a typical 419-operator, a “Man of God” has heavy-shouldered thugs as ushers and “bouncers”. They push you away if you want to see “Daddy”. He has PAs as catchers who catch “preys” for him; he has spies who mingle with other church members to gather information for him; he has Aids-de-camp which means that his “God” is not protective enough, therefore any weapon fashioned against him can proper.

At offering time, a desperate pastor goes into the congregation and jocularly opens ladies’ wallets if they fail to put more offertory, as if those were the ladies’ tickets to heaven. He will shout “Ekpat, yak okuk (bag, leave the money)”, and laugh, shamelessly. Oh! “My father’s house of worship has become a den of thieves. Stealing in the name of the Lord”. I thank God for this tabloid, for we will start unearthing and mentioning them by names.

This prophet frightens you that you are going to die the next day if you don’t give thousands of Naira for assignment and all that shit. He publicly declares that he knows God, but disowns him by his works. A present-day Prophet says you won’t ever have a husband talkless of a child if he fails to administer a “Spiritual bath” to you at midnight. He bathes even married women. His church is so so and so International Ministry, so so and so Incorporated, with proprietary name (the headline and their riders or a.k.a). His sermon is always on the A-mount. To get enough membership, he fakes prophecies and brings “Hollywood actors” who play the roles of “lame walks”, “the deaf hears” “the sick healed” etc.

Our rich and happy prophet who doesn’t care about the impoverished people tells a lot of lies. He would shout “take life there, collect wealth there, receive health there”, tells you to open your palms, throw them spiritually to you, yet you’re still afflicted with your problems. See how the congregation would joyously take, collect or receive these “Spiritual gifts”, rubbing them all over their bodies and putting some in their pockets. Ette, life sweet-o! The prophet shouts of physical prosperity at the expense of soul prosperity. He shouts of breakthroughs everywhere but can’t pierce through your mildest headache. When he can’t solve your problems, he says you’re faithless, as if faith were an article you could buy in Urua Akpan Andem, any Super store or you steal it. Like a hip-hop singer with sugar raps, he tells you “in tongues” every nonsense that makes you think of “unforeseen circumstances”

What is the meaning of counseling? What does the Bible say about fornication and adultery? Who are Ndito Idiong, Ndito Ikaan, Ndito Ekpurikpu, Ndito Mkpo-nsop in Ministry? I have chronicled so much for you but you can’t have it all today owing to limitation in my space allowance.

The modern church, it seems, is ecclesiastically over-organized and spiritually undernourished. Something needs be done to save it, and that is the work of Christians by Christians for Christians. Beware of men who speak so much of end-time but are shrouded in ignorance of God’s impending doomsday. May God help you and you help yourself to be problem-free and hatred-free so that you don’t get into the false nets of some hungry pseudo seers or prophesying artists. They are blind visioners. They see less because their “inward” eyes are not bright, and their acclaimed righteousness is but without backbone. Yes, when one practices self-righteousness, grace disappears.

Let me conclude my preaching by telling you this tale: I heard that a few bombers which had been used for missions of destruction, after the second world war, were taken over for commercial service. These aircrafts were “converted” from destructive missions to useful ones. A “converted aircraft” now had a new owner, carried a new cargo, had a new pilot. Then I ask: Why can’t you, the Christian convert or born-again, be as that converted aircraft with God as your new owner, with good words and actions as your new cargo, and with Jesus Christ as your new Pilot? If you’re a born-again, without any hidden agenda, let Jesus enter the cockpit of your heart, take over the controls and operate the old life on a new course for you. Practice what you preach. Stop double-dealing or zig-zagging, it is self punishment and it would becloud or negate your much sought-for salvation.

It is more dangerous to trifle with God than bare your chest to a blizzard or play with a rattle snake … A word to a witty head is superfluous. Owo eke enyenede utong ndikop, yak okop. (For Reactions - 

1 comment:

    Do you need Loan to pay off your debt and start a new life? You have come to the right place were you can get FUNDED at a very low interest rate. Interested people/company should please contact us via email for more details.

    Full name:
    Date of birth (yyyy-mm-dd):
    Marital status:
    Amount Needed:
    Zip/postal code:
    Phone number:
    Monthly Income: