I have yet to watch the documentary on TB Joshua. It’s going to take me a while to do so, because while I know that there are bound to be insights into the inner workings of the fraud called man of God, most of the revelations are already open to those of us who read, watch and listen to news.
One social commentator says that any Christian that is led astray by fake prophets and prophecies does so at his or her own will because the Bible is there as standard bearer and open to all. Unfortunately its not that simple. The Bible itself is a book that has gone through a lot of transformation. It was not written in the original languages of the many translations it has gone through and its literal translations are sometimes far from the intendment of the original text.
Paul asked people to test the spirits and that anyone that does not come in Jesus’ name is fake. But all of them are using the name of Jesus now.
I am of the opinion that Nigeria/Africa is in the state where it is today because religion is truly the opium of the masses. Because, stupid is it for people to believe for instance that God makes political leaders when you are required to get your voters’ card, queue up in the heat, rain or sun to elect them and sometimes watch helplessly as your ballot boxes are being snatched or, in Nigeria of late, the servers being manipulated?
Truth is if we have a government that caters for the needs of the people, there would be less reliance on destiny helpers and fake prophets that can go to heaven and wrestle jobs that do not exist; give the healing that doctors and hospitals are established to give and generally stop the nonsense going on in the name of religion.
Many of us that have had the privilege of watching the progress of secular societies run smoothly without the encumbrance of religious inclinations have come to understand that while (wo)man’s heart abhors the absence of divinity, (wo)man is imbued with enough reasoning to make the difference between good and evil without the fear that the only punishment for violating that rule is in some hell fire on/over/under or above the earth. I hate to say this, but once Muzungu signs off on something, they stick by it. We all feel the urge to ‘sin’, but except you are mentally challenged, the surety of penance keeps you on the straight and narrow (path).
Years ago, I told my children that I love the lure of littering that I sometimes look left, right and left again in my side mirrors and gleefully throw a banana peel out the window. You could have seen the eyes of Dolapo my daughter before she asks in shock – but Daddy, why do that? For throwing that peel, I could get a $175 fine in Ottawa. For drunk driving, I could get banned from driving, demerit points on my license and impounding of my vehicle. As a civil servant (I may need to confirm this), I may risk getting fired, depending on where I work. Certainly, my insurance premiums would go up. Needless to say that anyone wanting to have me prosecuted can screengrab this post and send to Ottawa Police, as I doubt if there is a status of limitation on social misdemeanour. The certainty of punishment is enough deterrence; not the fear of hell!
We have examples everywhere of systems working outside ‘God’. How is Europe functioning with less than 20% of the people having any religious inclination? How is China the tech hub of the world when it is neither adhering to any official religion? How is Japan this developed without religious inclination and how is Russia stable without adherence to any official religion.
Religion spoils most good things. Our culture is bastardised as a result of religion. Names are dying because everybody wants to name their children after disciples, friends and wives of prophets…we have abandoned the names that have meanings and point to where we originate. No other race on earth accepts that deracination.
What about our culture? Everything about culture is bad. I mean, a state governor ordered people to stop dressing traditionally. He believes it inhibits production!!? I could have been wearing the same dress for two weeks without anyone noticing – in Nigeria, you are addressed the way you are dressed. In other words, even if you are an empty shell, if you could buy, rent, borrow or steal to look dainty, you will be respected. Some types of dressings already attract curses from some religious texts that wants you adopt their own cultural outfits as the only entry qualification to heaven.
The level of damage that these exoglossic religions have done to the psyche of our people is deep and seemingly irredeemable.
While there is revelation of TB after death, there are religious orders in Nigeria today that are nothing but cultic. We may be Christians and Muslims, but we are far from weaned from the old system that still pushes us to go to babalawo, boka and dibia for what our government is supposed to provide – food, shelter, clothing and the pursuit of happiness. Because we have accepted the dibia as evil, there are those dressed in turbans and cassocks that have the characteristics of the local diviner that naturally magnetizes us.
We need to start putting blames where they belong, put the feet of our governments to the fire or forget about getting the necessities that the divine have blessed us with and enjoying its benefits. That is what counts – not Christ, not the Prophet of Islam or anything else. You were not born to die in poverty and go to heaven – you were born to have fun here and when you die, whatever happens to those before you will happen to you.
I’ve only spoken my mind!
*Tunde Asaju, journalist and public affairs analyst writes from Ottawa,