Today, as tempting as that discourse is, we will say nothing referencing Goodluck Jonathan’s “media chat” yesterday. No, we will not go down that road. We will say nothing about the “subsidy” removal, or the Boko Haram “dialogue”, or the inter-state expressway contracts. We will, however, briefly mention our agreement with Mr. Jonathan when he said: “It is dangerous for this country if PDP should win all the states.” That aside, I am sure the saner readers of this blog have brutally murdered all the fucks they had for Mr Jonathan and his media chats. In any case, we all have more important things to do this morning.
That’s why, instead, we will take time of to commiserate with our ill-used Christian brothers and sisters who manage to endure crazy Sundays in Lagos—and certainly in other parts of Nigeria too. And by “crazy”, I mean the sight of tired, almost bedraggled, Christians, lining the bus-stops from Epe to Sango to Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, slowly baking under the sun, while their so-called shepherds, the “pastors”, drive past in nice air-conditioned cars. And sometimes, in a convoy of nice air-conditioned cars.
You would think by now, over 30 years after Fela sang about religious leaders boolsheeting their way to a life of luxury on earth, Christians, especially the Pentecostal ones, would have cottoned on to the mind-fuck of a religious scam. But noo! They had to go ahead and donate money for a private jet while most families paraded in motorised rickshaws and motorcycles. Fela would gladly stick the pointy end of his sax up their collective butts if that would let them get his point. Almost all Pentecostal churches in the country follow this pattern of neglecting the poor and donating to already wealthy pastors. If that’s not a confusing mind-fuck, then nothing else is.
Well, again, these materialistic pastors are not only to blame, their materialistic, divine intervention prone, miracle seeking, prophecy motivated congregation can be faulted too. Only greedy people are victims of a scam. And when you believe that your faith in God should be measured in Naira and Kobo, then you will only end up making your pastor incredibly wealthy.
Fela may be a moral scumbag, but he understands the Sermon on the Mount more than most Christians. It is the duty of the shepherd to feed the flock—and not just with spiritual boolsheet. Jesus fed the Five Thousand with some hardcore bread and fish. A modern pastor would have carried the original basket home to feed himself instead. On the fair side, though, Jesus was an ass-kicking Son of God, or maybe even the first incarnation of Superman; while these pastor folks are hungry humans also looking for a life of ease and a sizable pension. In fact, pastors and bankers have come a long way from the days when Jesus whipped the money-changers out of the temple.
Let’s cut to the chase here. If you were idle enough to check out the links above, you’d have seen from good ol’ Wikipedia that the word “pastor” is derived from the Latin for “shepherd”. And that’s the lesson for today: there is no moral justification for any pastor to be well fed while any single member of his congregation is hungry. There is no moral position for a pastor to transport in comfort while any single member of the congregation treks. As long as any single member of the congregation is unclothed, no pastor has a right to wear the best clothes—and the same goes for shelter, and other basics. Any single member. Its a high standard, but that’s why pastoring is not meant for just any imaginative Tom, Dick and Harry with a good command of English and a scrappy knowledge of the gospels. Pastoring is for people willing to suffer, and suffer hard, for the sake of others.
Well, as Mr. Jonathan could have told you in his media chat yesterday, if you’d bothered to watch: it is easier for a pastor to purchase a private jet than for a common man to travel on the Benin-Ore Road.
P.S. Sorry, I told you it was tempting.
Few things depress like a Monday morning. You wake up at 6am or earlier, and before the day has even scored a minute you are ready to call it quits with the daily shit shoveling that you call your job. But whether you like it or not, you gotta get up and get going. No one’s gonna shovel that shit for you. Sometimes you enter a wishful state and think there has to be something that could inspire you to jump out of bed and go to work. Something that could make Monday morning a great day for you.
Well, that’s where a Sunday prophecy comes in. If you attend any of the churches that sprang up after the 80s especally in the jackboot grind of the military era, you would be very familiar with the concept of blessings and prophecies for the weak–or the week–whatever cheers you up. I came across a recent version from a Sunday newsletter and it looked something like this.
Starting with Day 1—Sunday. I can’t really explain the harvest part for you. On the figurative side of things, I have no idea what you’re supposed to be harvesting—it is quite unlikely that your boss would pay you a double salary—no matter how much you fast, pray, exercise faith or wish otherwise; and since you have no outstanding debts to collect—well, the only way you could harvest any money would be by stealing it. On the literal side, if you’re like me, you haven’t done much agricultural work since those secondary school farm days, and there’s therefore no corn picking to be done. Personally, the only “planting” I’d done since then had been of a “wild oats” agricultural nature and I was not eager for an harvest. Hell, no!
Day 2–Monday morning. Check out that lovely prophecy again. What more could you want (and need!) than for God to destroy all your enemies? You may feel a twinge of guilt because of all that “love your enemies” business in the gospels, but since this is a church document, it must be OK to destroy your enemies–just this once. In fact, whole denominations are built on that premise of destroying your enemies. By fire. So, just relax and destroy this one enemy. And on Monday morning, you have only one enemy.
Your “fire” prayers are answered and someone makes an ice cream pile out of your boss’s car on his way to work. Your boss himself has to take a diversion to the hospital instead to fix a broken leg. Just the leg, you know—its not as if you’re keen to have blood on your hands. But all the same, excellent way to begin the week.
Having sort of destroyed your boss on Monday, Tuesday sees you still at work, still bossless, and then you begin to understand the meaning of the words: “Your time for labour is over, its your season of favour.” Hello brother, its holiday at work! So you roll up your sleeves and spend all of Tuesday checking out the posts you missed on this blog and clearing your much ignored Facebook notifications. Twice. Just in case you missed a poke or something. Also, as a good citizen, you now have time to catch up on the latest news and current affairs.
Having slacked throughout Tuesday, your boss still in hospital and your work much ignored. You discover that you’re way behind your deadlines on a lot of projects. You’re just about ready to enter panic mode, as you ponder what would happen if your boss comes in suddenly, when you remember Wednesday’s prophecy: “The favour of God will cover all your weaknesses and inadequacies.” Word. As if to confirm this, a colleague steps in and asks if there’s anything she can help you with. You smile and say, “just one small work like that”.
By Thursday, you are so relaxed that you don’t even bother to close your internet browsers anymore. You just lean back on your chair, legs on the table, earphones plugged in as you doze off in the AC and, as your Thursday prophecy assures, you wait for your little efforts to bring great returns.
Well, by the end of Friday, you an congratulate yourself on a good week. The favour of God has definitely been locating you, and seeing as you are an expert on how to take care of your Saturdays, anyway, we can skip the whole turning your name to ‘Favour” part. I mean, Favour sounds like the name of that girl that used to sit in a corner in your primary school. You don’t need that now.
Besides, your friends and folks won’t be cool with such a radical change of name–unless you’re from certain areas in the South-South of Nigeria. Otherwise, scratch that last prophecy. Your current name is good enough.
And so friends, you’ve managed to survive one week by the power of prophecy. You’ve prayed against your boss, and destroyed your enemies, done no labour, covered up your weaknesses and inadequacies, exerted little effort in your work, relied solely on favour! What more could you ask for? The anointing is really strong in you. Now that you’ve got your Monday morning motivation, and you are ready to begin a second week working on those same principles. Except that—
Today’s topic in Prophecy 101: How To Prophesy and Not Get Caught. But first, a little introduction on the Nigerian mentality–our favourite topic on this blog.
Ordinarily, there’s something enjoyable about watching someone stake his credibility on the uncertainty of the future. If he effs up, God willing, we’ll be waiting to stone him with rotten eggs. But, the Nigerian style prophecies are a different matter. We treat prophecies as serious business, whether they ever get fulfilled or not. Every January, the media is flooded with prophecies ostensibly faxed straight from heaven. Either in the form of a long list of possibilities or short snappy catchphrases to put on car bumpers: 2012-the year of great expectations; 2012, the year of supernatural wonders; 2012, the year of anything goes.
One would think the copywriters in heaven would have made up their mind about what exactly will happen in 2012. One would also think Nigeria would have transcended the bounds of human knowledge, as we escape violence, survive disasters, make money on foreign exchange trading while the rest of the world stands helplessly, begging us for spare change.
Well, seeing as I’m not driving a Porsche, and since neither are you, something must be screwy about our prophetic system. (If you are driving a Porsche, wow, man! Get out of here and go catch some fun!) For the rest of us mortals, let’s get to the main lesson. We’ll take a look at some of the top Google result prophecies and figure out what the hell is not right with our prophets.
Our first call is at this site, where Prophet Michael of the Celestial Church of Christ gives not just the general summary for the year 2012, but also detailed monthly prophecies.
This has got to be a July set in an alternate universe. Meanwhile, take a look at some of the prophetic entries for the year: “Foreign investors will come to negotiate unscrupulous deal.” Wow, how original! “Riots, unrest and bombings at various places.” Wow, who could have seen that coming? “Notorious leader of a gang will face the law“.
Here’s one you’ll like: “Danger looms at the President’s home.” Hell, yeah! “Mr. President’s home could shake. The Lord says it has already started brewing.” Wow, the Lord is really on Jonathan’s case this year! And to cap it off: “Change of government seen.” The Lord must be gunning hard for GEJ’s ass.
Meanwhile, a commenter also posted “I hope you and your group are praying because I saw the same thing last week…” Now, feel free to shiver. As a bonus to Prophet Mike, God revealed the future of RCCG to our prophet here , without informing the RCCG Overseer himself, obviously because God wanted to give Pastor Adeboye a surprise New Year gift.
The prophet at the Seed of God, on the other hand, is more global in outlook, and less grammatically inclined. For instance, he warns against “universal plain crash” which has to mean either an international earthquake or an unprecedented rise in ocean levels.
Still on the global concerns, he prophesies that “David Cemeron, should be prayerful, else, he will not be back for second term in office.” On the assumption that this prophecy is for David Cameron and not David Cemeron (whoever that may be), I doubt the British PM would be worried about a second term when the British islands would definitely have disappeared with the eco-system distorting plain crash. As for our local politicians, it is prophesied that the crisis in Oyo state PDP is far from “been over“. I can imagine the dismay and agony this news mist have brought Oyo voters. “Oh Lord, no! Not another year of political party crisis! Help us, Lord!”
Of course, since God has taken a keen interest in partisan politics, you have a treasure like : “As revealed by the almighty God, the Igbo race should stop dreaming about ruling Nigeria come 2015.” That’s it, my Igbo friends, you read it. God “almighty God” has spoken. No Aso Rock for the Igbo in 2015. Then there are some almost annoying prophecies: “Flood will ravage Lagos.” “More rainfall in 2012.” “People of Ibadan should pray against fire outbreak.” At this point I just want to crawl to a corner and cry for shame.
My favourite prophetic site is by Rev Wildfire D-Favour. That name is so kickass you can win a fight simply by telling your opponent the name. I thought the prophecies were going to be equally badass. But despite my careful analysis, I couldn’t quite make out a definite prophecy–or lack of it. Clever idea, I tell you.
The rest of the prophecy is a painful merger between the book of Isaiah and primary school poetry. There are lines such as “Swords clash in battle, and blood flow” and other gems capable of inducing brain death. If Boko Haram bombs could be called “swords clashing in battle”, maybe he has a point. As for the gentleman, he states: “I am not at liberty to show those details as I am still interceding before the Lord, asking Him for mercy, considering that a lot of the things I saw are already beginning to happen.” The problem is, I still can’t finger what exactly are these “lots of things” and I’m sure the Lord is beginning to get bored with Nigeria’s issues one way or another. He has more pressing matters in Somalia.