I used to be a Catholic. I went to Mass and Confessions regularly. I knew all the stuff in the Bible, traditions and magisterium… Yet, I got bored in church. Mass got too long. Church politics nko? The CWO president used Juju to get a position in the church. Some Catholic priests are paedophiles. If a Catholic woman marries a non-Catholic, her parents, who are Grand Knights of Saint Mulumba, could be sanctioned. They even worship Mary.
So, I left.
I went off to join the Anglican Church.
‘How can they be singing Psalms from morning till night? There’s a type of offertory for those who will receive communion. Kai, this church is ekpejuo can go! You don’t have to stay until the end of their service- it does not end. Just leave when you like. The deacon used juju to kill the canon.’
So, I left their church.
I went to Living Faith Church.
‘Ahn ahn! They use holy water there too? I thought they said they only believe in the Word? That they don’t do old testament something? The picture of their general overseer hangs everywhere in my boyfriend’s room. My own picture nor dey im house o! Na war o!’
I went to the Methodist Church.
‘Chineke God of Inyishi Ikeduru! They have a notice board for those who don’t pay tithes? They never cared that I could not pay rent or survive on my small pay. They would just publish the list and shame you till you pay your tithes.’
I went to Deeper Life Bible Church.
‘They don’t wear earrings. Na war o! They don’t play good music too. Judas Iscariot! How do people survive here? Their churches in Eastern Nigeria have Igbo pastors, but their accountants and money-managing committee are made of Yoruba men.’
I joined Redeemed Christian Church of God.
‘I cannot pray for one hour. I cannot cook too. My boyfriend’s hustle doesn’t pay like MMM. I cannot survive here.’
I joined Christ Embassy.
‘Those people nearly finished me with food. See, they cook here o! They will make you feel at home. Every believer here must speak in tongues. I even got a scholarship to their School of speaking in tongues in Aba. One day I started to doubt them. The Tongue-teacher told me that Australopithecus africanus is a Hebrew word that meant: dry bones will rise again. Their girls overdressed. Their men permed their hair…’
I went to assemblies of God.
‘Somebody cannot have boyfriend here in peace! They will give you back seat. Beht the pastor’s daughter is dating the owner of that night club at Ebute-Metta. Nonsense and Impediments!’
I joined The Lord’s Chosen Reveival Ministries
‘You wee nor believe it! You have to wear florescent green neon signs on your body all your life? Nope, I better go get a tatoo! Heaven at last ke? I will meet them there. They even said I shouldn’t fix hair extensions of anykind. They said the devil has been deceiving people with Brazilian hair and attachments for braiding. Mbok, wool and thread, dem nor be attachment? The devil inside Brazilian hair, what stops it form entering wool and thread?’
I left o, my dear!
I joined Mountain of Fire Ministries.
‘Who will die by fire? Me or Mama Nkechi? Mama Nkechi who sold groundnuts to me with the bombom of cigar cup? She’s here shouting die by fire? God punish satan! This place is not for me.’
I joined Dominion City.
‘I did not go to church there today o. I nor get cloth. I have worn all the ones in my wardrobe. What will I be doing in church? Plus, I am in the choir. How do you want brother Handsome to look at me when I am not looking presentable? I cannot wear flat cover-shoe to church o, Chineke makwa!‘
So, I left.
I joined Jehovah’s Witnesses.
‘Ke ntak Obong Abasi! What am i doing here sef? Hian! These people wee just confuse me here. No wonder, my friend’s mother sent her dogs after them the other day. They insisted on preaching the word to her and she reluctantly agreed. When she could not listen to the Holy Trinity Heresy anymore, she opened Rockie’s cage to them.’
I went to Faith Tabernacle.
‘Hei! You can’t go to hospital here. Behti you can use herbs. Common open the gates lemme leave! People will be deceiving themselves. Is it not Aunty Onyinye who flew her son abroad secretly to go receive medical treatment? Mtchewww!‘
I carried my whole self home.
I have been home for just two weeks. I can’t even tolerate my self. I have my own secret sins. I could even die, if someone else heard about them.
‘Na wa o! Being alone nor good o! Behti all these people and churches are bad! They will just be using You to cover up!’
‘You sef you bad, my son. You too bad! In fact, nobody good!’
‘Baba, I know sey nobody good. Behti…‘
‘Behti e better make sick person dey hospital. Self-medication dey kill person, my son!’
‘Hospital? I nor get?’
‘My bride is the church that caters to the sick.’
‘So, your church na hospital?’
‘Hospital na for those wen know sey dem need help and fit take the help wen I go give them.’
‘So, why Christians dey do like this. Dem nor dey dey straight forward.’
‘Son, if all routes were straight in life, people would have died of head-on-collison.
See, the problem you have is that you go to the hospital seeking approval from other patients, whilst the doctor’s been waiting for you in the observation room.’
‘Hmmm, Bros J. Na wa you o! How I go sick, come dey watch people for hospital?’
‘Na so una dey do o. Na im make I tell you so. Focus! Christians dem dey more concerned about how e dey happen and who E dey happen for. Dem nor know sey e fit happen for them if dem dey focused. Spiritual communion is key. Love for neighbour too. If you come to my house expecting men to be God, you sef fit turn to animal.’
‘Egbon, Jesu Kristi. I don hear you.’
‘Oya! Report to the mercy seat before I change your parade to the judgement seat…Lol!’
*Even Jesus, laughs out loud.*
Christianity ain’t showbiz. It is deep! Philosophy cannot explain what this faith (wrapped in spirituality) offers.
And if you belong to a Christian sect ‘because of someone’, that ‘someone’ had better be Christ.