SUPPRESSING TOXISM IN CHRISTIANITY
Die by fire.
No, no one has to die by anything, not especially when death is invoked through a religion that promotes peace.
Save for a few times when I've had to attend other churches either out of compulsion or eventful engagements, I've been a Catholic all my life and owe my religious views to the teachings I've imbibed from Catholicism.
This belief, is one which triggers boredom when I come across people who pray for an unhealthily long period of time. As our faces are different, so are our needs. But on closer inspection, it's quite easy to tell that these prolonged prayers are often a repetition of litanies, with only the wordings changing. If I had my way, the Nigerian version of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal will be reformed to a point where members begin to pray more peacefully.
This belief, is one which triggers discomfort when I hear people pray death and destruction over people they consider "enemies". But then, have you ever bothered to ask why you alone might have so many enemies to start with? Could it be because you're one heck of a troublemaker yourself who can't help but offend "them" or do these "enemies" just pick on easygoing people because they can? The former, possibly.
As a Nigerian, I do believe in the existence of supernatural (or extraterrestrial) powers and would never try to denounce it at any point. But sometimes, I feel the little attention we pay to the most peaceful teachings of the Bible is what prompts heightened paranoia and religious exasperation. Add that to the lunacy that is Nollywood and you'd find a people prone to demonizing the most minute things simply because of what they saw in a poorly-directed home video.
You know, a new opinion forms the moment you bring a black cat into a typical Nigerian woman's home. And God help you if strange things begin to happen in that house, you'll automatically be fingered for being the harbinger of doom.
We demonize every damn thing -- colours, costumes and cobwebs. In Black Africa, everything must have a spiritual connotation.
On a normal day, the average spiritual Nigerian would discountenance the more peaceful story of Job and instead seek the raging force of Elijah. Just because Nigeria. And just because someone has to die by fire.
On the flip side, consider a situation where you're just the easy-going type, no fallouts, no grudges, just one who wishes everyone else happiness and progress. Then tell me, what sort of "evil person" would consider making you an enemy deserving of "demonic manipulations"?
And if in fact "enemies" shortlist you for misfortune on account of your pacifism, do you think such people need to die just because you're a "child" of God who has power and authority over all things evil and bad?
Why does anybody even have to die at all?
See, I'm already tired of typing. I won't allow anyone stress me with fire and thunder.
Juju is real.
You need not scream at the top of your lungs while praying, God is not deaf.
No one has kidnapped your destiny, and God hasn't refused to answer your prayers. Maybe it's just not your turn to blow. The parable of time and season.
Peace, be still.
Ultimately, religion is the cure to the disease that religion is.