A sister just left our parish and RCCG completely. She is a spiritual mother of sort. Her sudden absence at programmes and the pre-teen church where she taught worried me, since I know she is a civil servant who could not stay away from work for the long I hadn›t seen her in church and no clue she moved house. Fortuitously, I ran into her and urgently demanded her spiritual whereabouts. Her answer shocked me; she left because in the good women fellowship, the married were discriminating against mature singles. I was about putting up a defence for our mummies, when she referenced a particular women convention (of our local assembly) where mature singles who bought the aso-ebi (already outlawed by Mummy G.O) were barred from the convention dinner. She called names known to me as co-victims and witnesses and assured that if I checked with them, they would confirm they were all bounced.
Agitatedly, I sought reason(s). She said the reason given on the married women› Whatsapp platform is that the singles should not be listening in, on their shared experiences. Haba! Would there have been a better schooling arena for those coming behind? If any experience, not matter how ugly, did not consume you, has it not become a testimony? Is it not a blessing for others to be blessed through your testimony? Jesus is a story teller. Thousands were blessed when he was here. Millions are still being blessed today. Since the main assignment given to us is to spread the Good News, such a gathering should have become an arena for using the experiences of the married as a light unto the path of the about-to, since in the estimation of nearly all married women, all men are same. I disagree, but I digress.
With the benefits of personal encounters and credible stories, I consider culture as the greatest threat to our faith; religions regardless. Some of those things that began as someone’s mistake, indulgence or excesses, centuries back, have now been forced into our collective existence, especially in Africa where inquiries are usually dubbed an affront, and those reaping from the so-called cultural dictates, being allowed to tether lives to their greed. Mature young men, even in the church, who should have the kind of sister in mention, under their roofs, always want to go back to bed for a new sleep, if they dreamt seeing themselves as grooms at weddings.
And sisters, no matter how mature, will not marry themselves (at least LGBTQ madness hasn’t crept into the Church here unlike the western world). But they can help men showing interest in them, but not buoyant enough for the endless dowry list and unending wedding spending, by becoming spiritual rebels, to their own, using cultural demands to edge their joy. It is children, obey your parents in the Lord, not in Igbo, Hausa or Yoruba culture. Thankfully, Abraham (Ibrahim in Islam) is a central figure to the two dominant religions. When he sent his eldest servant in Genesis 24 to go find wife for Isaac amongst his own, he gave gifts as he deemed fit, for the lucky bride. There was no list from Bethuel, Rebekah’s Dad.
Read Vs 53: And the servant brought forth jewels of silver and jewels of gold and raiment and gave them to Rebekah: he gave also to her brother and to her mother precious things”. It is time to return to the Word, not the world. The groom’s family, should start giving according to capacity, since whatever is given, would eventually finish anyways and there is a way you load someone’s conscience, leaving decisions to them.
I groan endlessly in my spirit when I see those I know and even meeting by chance, scampering around for fund to finance socials. I used to be like them. But by God’s grace, not anymore. Reason, I suspend birthday celebrations, forever. While weddings are gradually evading the choking grip of culture, by modernizing everything including forcing parents down to cities from towns and villages, and persuading them to allow such weddings the city’s ways, burial rites are still practically mired in distressing and draining cultural practices of bidding the dead bye. In this wise, the Islamic way is faring much better. Was there any owambe when Jesus was buried? There was even no cooking in Lazarus’ household, until Jesus arrived and raised him. What was celebrated was a rebirth, not death. Ethnic profiling regarding owambe would be needless. Profligacy is a universal language in the mouth of the undiscerning. It is time to move against any culture moving against right moves by generations. The dog-fight competition created by practices whose origins we can’t pin-point beyond “this is how our fathers have been doing it”, can only be erased when whatever is argued as cultural is strictly placed side-by-side, the Word of God. That is the only way to banish hypocrisy everywhere.
Omooba Debo Abdulai’s birthday
There is this beautiful but not rave-of-the-moment song of Precious Sam Ayodele, with this chorus-line; “e ma bami wi, omo Oba ni o, ni mo sen jo” (don’t bellyache, I’m rocking, cos I’m child of God). I dance endlessly anytime I hear it, and I have taken control of listening sessions, by recording it on my phone. It is a beautiful praise-worship composition, attesting to the greatness of the Almighty and why grateful mortals, should emulate David’s any-how dance-appreciation. I know our leader, brother, friend and editorial generalissimo of Nigerian Tribune, Alhaji Tajudeen Adebowale Abdulai, has reasons to dance in this season of his birth anniversary. I recommend the song above. He would be blessed, listening to it. Here is a toast to the one who gets things done, quietly.
Dear beloved Pastor Lanre Adewole, kindly please take into consideration we that love your column but not grammatically powerful as you are, when writing your Sunday tonic for us. After each Sunday service, your message is always the next. Thank for your understanding sir. Pastor S. O. Taiwo.