It's a Sunday so maybe we can do a little preaching; Maybe it's not really the type you want to read but my best friend still looks at me funnily when I try to shy away from saying the truth, 'cause she is so conversant with that part of me. This post is probably the *realest you'd get around here. Some very real ish!
As you all know, I am a Christian.
When I believe in something, I love to forget all sentiments. I believe in God and his precepts. This post is a year late. One day I drafted this post after being so angry but I didn't want to publish it in anger. I went to my twitter and ranted instead, 'cause I know this one is rather permanent (I do not like to delete my posts). When I read through this post again, I knew I needed to publish this. I just might be helping someone out there.
You know how it is in most churches, when you are committed you find yourself slowly walking your way to the leadership arm. It is one thing I have always avoided, but will you continue to run away from service to God 'cause you're afraid you might have bigger responsibilities? I happened to walk that road and some of the things I noticed weren't quite pleasing. I don't want anyone to take this post as I'm trying to betray Christians as I'm still very much one. I love God and I do not think anyone can ever make me change my mind about that. However, this post is to bring something that has become a major concern to me to light.
My quest to get very close to God also got me getting closer and closer to church and some of the experiences I had with supposed God's people were disheartening. I guess I forgot to make a clear distinction between church people and Christians. Being a Christian is far from being a religious fanatic. I understood exactly why people readily tell you they do not want to have anything to do with the church. When I decided to join a Nigerian church in the diaspora, I had to deal with Christianity as interpreted by most Nigerians. Many apologies for generalising, but I feel this is more of a Nigerian syndrome. Not that I witnessed it back in my home church, but I like to believe I was young so I cannot be too sure, plus, like I mentioned, I always try not to be too involved. I don't know if this happens to other people but I do know I didn't have the sort of experience I had in the 4 years I attended an international church (Pastored by Americans) like I had in the few months I spent in the Nigerian church. Please, I would like to know if people from other countries have such questioning encounters.
When I had some of the encounters I had, sometimes I wondered how I found myself in that church. If I were a new convert, I probably would not have been able to narrow my regrets to having to deal with just some of the people I happened to meet in the church which is the reason I believe some people need to read this.
They are the first to tell you what to do and how God is angry with you. They hate, envy, judge, backbite, humiliate and make you feel like lesser beings, just because you happen to not dress like them, walk like them and most especially, fake it like them. Though the ladies are always the deadliest gossips, the men have learnt how to sharpen their poisonous arrows these days too.
The 'holier than thous' are usually the first to condemn. When they are met with challenging situations, they call everyone to help them pray, "that they are faced with temptations", when it happens to those they believe are not as worthy of God's love like them, they laugh and tell everyone that God has passed his judgements already. "It's God's punishments" they say. And if it feels like "God is hesitant in punishing" they plan their own punishment 'cause "sinners deserve to be punished by God". Pretentious to the very bones, they have the best ways to justify their every act.
Some pastors believe they are mini Gods, where they can walk up and say whatever they feel like, however they feel like and whenever they deem it fit. I do not subscribe to anyone using God's name to humiliate anyone 'cause that is not why we are here on earth. Jesus did not die for all of that, so please!
Not to question God, I know anything that happens in our lives is but for a reason.
I decided to make this post just so you know that God is not the problem, the church is not the problem, you will always find these sort of people in the church and you should never allow them to become a distraction. Do not marvel if they happen to hold the key positions in the church, scheming their way there is their specialty; act all holier than thou, prophesy like there is no tomorrow.
"And God said ..." and you wonder which God asked them to tell you that you are too proud, so you should crawl before them. (That was my own experience by the way)
My sincere advice is, when you find yourself in a church, have a focus. Let your focus revolve around God and what he wants. Try to dismiss every unrewarding thoughts and do not be ignorant of the bad eggs when you see them. If you let them, they will do what they know how to do best, make you believe that the church is all bad. Always concentrate on pleasing God and not people.
And having said that, I will continue to stick to a non Nigerian church whenever I find myself out of the shores of Nigeria.