Who is ALLAH, GOD, JEHOVA ETC?
Is anyone of these Supreme/Central Beings more supreme than the other? If so, how and why? Did the African God in Igbo Chi survive or die with colonisation?
WARNING! THIS IS A VERY LONG ARGUMENT/CONVERSATION WITH MYSLEF. SO IGNORE THE REST AND RESPOND TO THE TOPIC IF YOU HATE LONG DOCUMENTS.
A few weeks ago I read a very mind twisting and faith altering post on a friend’s wall. It questioned the supremacy of Western religion/Christianity/God over African God, the God or gods of our forefathers and our traditional systems of worship. Although I made a quick off the cuff comment and moved on, I have since then been deep in thought about the supremacy of any individual deity over another wondering whether many believers and worshipers realise what I know and always believed.
It is my ultimate belief that although every religion, race and tribe has a name for whatever they believe in or worship, there is just one central Supreme Being. The only difference is in the name people call theirs because of their language, tribe and race. Therefore Allah, Chi and God are the same and one Supreme Being. The question of superiority of one deity over the other is therefore an age long myth which was conveniently crafted by early preachers in order to draw attention to themselves, attract more followers and take dominion over the souls, conscience and consciousness of men. Many of them powerfully or not so powerfully painted and sold their faith to their followers as better and superior than or to others. Such powerful but non-existent ideas of superiority have been passed down to generations. Depending on the resources, strength of beliefs or weaknesses of the converts leaders of religion have continued to sell and embellish their own system of beliefs and worship as more powerful than others. The quest for followers have since changed from “followership” to control for commercial reasons thus the war between pastors of the same faith with some even rewriting the bible to suit their type of preaching. The recent order to eat grass to a congregation in South Africa is typical of the embellishment by men with resources which with time will become part of systems of worship by some people and those who refuse to eat grasses may be seen as worshiping a lest superior God.
Many people across the world with Nigeria alone as my case study have bought into this idea of one religion, faith or deity being superior to another. This has its benefits and disadvantages and has continued to affect and control the lives of many followers in manners which their leaders consider most suitable and powerful as tools of coercion and brainwashing. The modern day practices of Pentecostal churches in Nigeria significant among which are the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Winners Chapel, Christ Embassy and many others are most instructive and insightful. Traditional Christian churches like the Catholic Church which is my religion of birth and choice are not left behind. Many are gradually realising the continuous depletion of their congregation and adopting Pentecostal style practices to keep their flocks. These days when I go to service at some Churches especially Nigerian ones I feel the air of competition for people’s pockets and no more souls (the priests and pastors are no longer fishers of men. They are fishers of wealth and preachers of prosperity). Although we are always reminded that you are only required to give if you can and the poor remains the responsibility of the church, the number of times we dance to the alter in different groups with our envelopes makes you wonder if we are fund raising and being indirectly conned into giving more than we can afford and more than some of those who are tithing.
The melodious rendition of worship songs similar to those ruling the minds of Pentecostal worshipers always jerk many people like me into spontaneous singing, dancing and sometimes borrowing in church to fund our ephemeral unconscious addiction to melodious praise and worship songs. I hope that very soon they will start singing and beating Igba eze songs and drums in churches. For a typical Igbo woman who can be forgiven for my often convenient igbotickness when the mood suits me, it will be a dream come true. I love to dance my traditional tunes and watch brothers and sons take the warriors dance steps (igbadike or ogene).
I must say that the exodus from Catholic churches into these new age Pentecostal churches is not as bad as can be seen from other churches because we are usually the most difficult people to convert to or into anything other than our traditional ways of worship and beliefs. Although I am one such difficult person to convert and take serious offence whenever people start preaching religion instead of true God and humanity to me, it is fair to say that I have worshiped in Anglican and some Pentecostal churches but never a Mosque or Temple. I long to have the privilege to do so in order to develop a much better balanced view of how people preach their faiths and belief which sometimes affect followers in such a way that they become totally brainwashed, ignorant, aggressive and violent under the guise of protecting their faiths.
I can tell how they do it in Pentecostal (Christian) churches. They have tried hypnotising me in order to twist my mind but that has never worked because I am a very alert person and hate to believe that someone as ignorant or smart as me can score one over me with such trivial manipulation of the senses. I do not mind modern day technologically more advanced kids tricking me but I will be mad at myself if another old school IT illiterate or totally illiterate but audaciously arrogant adult like me con me into losing my pennies. I can forgive myself if my young nephews fool me over how to use any of their gadgets. I would rather give to the woman with hungry kids on the road side than a smart con man that at his pleasure and leisure will poke a big victory fun at me with the purchase of a jet or Rolls Royce. That will hurt really badly!
Amen brigades of our jet flying pastors are always quick to remind you never to judge so that you may not be judged when you criticise their human god pastors, some invoke holy-ghost fire to engulf and pulverise you like you never passed through here. Yet they are children of the same God that we both worship as Christians who says as part of the Ten Commandments that you must never use his name in vain and must not kill. They forget that some words are stronger and sharper than knives and can kill faster than bullets. The recent grass eating game in South African was a significant shift from common sense into a very dangerous life threatening zone all in the name of religion. I won’t be surprised if some Nigerian pastor is planning something more bizarre or similar. Please be watchful people because I can afford to spare small changes here and there to help with food, education and medical treatments whenever I can but paying for such foolishness or self -inflicted injury is a no no and I can live with that sort of wickedness. As my gran used to say, you cannot go to work at OLOKO and expect payment from John Holt. Anyone facing that type of dilemma must go to their pastors and recoup some of their tithes. Who knows their evil ways may leave them for a moment and usher in a sense of compassion so that you will be allowed that flight of your life in one of their fancy jets which you paid for but may never get the chance to step onto. How nice if they can use them as private air ambulances for people that paid for them.
There was a story about one of our powerful pastors who told his followers that he had been ministered to the effect that there was power and prosperity in his under pant during one of his significant birthday celebrations. His under pant was therefore deposited in a sacred room where people went to pray, smell and kiss it. I hope that this is not true because I felt like puking then and feel the same now as I write. I even hear that some pastors pray for drug dealers, kidnappers and armed robbers before every operation and if they return successful they share the loot. Some even keep their weapon of mass intimidation and terror for them and still want me to believe them.