A pagan worships idols and does not believe in God. Nigeria is full of millions of protestant and pentecostal christians, who intersperse any one of their statements with Biblical quotes and (apparent) references to God, yet they are mainly at heart pagan and do not really believe in God.
This morning, I interviewed with a media colleague who had to leave his former employ, because he refused to collude with his bosses to continually add an extra zero in contract quotes to make thousands become millions. He was told to ‘adjust’ because it was the ‘normal’ thing and that everyone was doing it. He insisted that his conscience would not allow him do that.
Whenever I look around the streets of Lagos and see so many big jeeps, I cannot help thinking that behind much of this wealth are inflated (mostly government) contracts. Yet, most of these beneficiaries are ‘christians’ – children of the Oyedepos, Adeboye’s and all the jet-owning pastors within our environment. After stealing money all week, they go to church on Sundays to placate their consciences with falling downs, speaking in tongues and devil casting.
They lie! They lie because seeking to deceive God, they deceive themselves. What should be ‘cast’ out, is not an imaginary devil but their own evil behaviors. I remember a Bible quote that says, “God is not mocked”, and yet this is what these christians brazenly do.
For many, God is just another “Witch doctor”, to whom they go only for solutions to their problems, because they refuse to stand up for the demands God makes on them to be genuine, consistent and coherent Christians.
A Christian ought to be Christ-like (see the etymology?) and that means not being afraid to be a Sign of Contradiction. The ‘normal’ way cannot be for a Christian, for he/she ought to swim against the current. Christianity is uncomfortable, and well it should be, for after all, the true Christian knows as Jim Reeves says that “This world is not my home”.
Not being my home however, it remains the ‘Theater’ that God has put me (and you) to ‘act’ out our lives, consistent with our beliefs and so hope to merit Heaven.
Until Nigerian Christians begin to be truly so and stop lying to God – that is, keeping his commandments, we shall forever remain a corrupt people.