The worldview of most Nigerians is shaped by cultural myths, superstition, prophecy, or sectarian doctrine. It is the case in most poorly developed countries that are under the influence of voodoo philosophy, where people live by certain weird values and moral ethics that invariably determine their lifestyle and low level of development.
Our country is in dire straits today because of our values and retrogressive belief systems, apparent poor ethical standards, and lack of leadership at all levels of governance. Like I have been canvassing on this page in various articles, if Nigeria must move forward and join the comity of civilised, affluent, industrial states, its youth must change their mindset, attitudes, thinking, character, and moral ethics. We can’t continue to live a lie.
If we choose to live by the current standard of immoral public behaviour and irresponsible leadership, we should not expect development.
Young people are now trapped in out-moded religious practices that keep able-bodied folks hooked on church programmes all seven days of the week. They are at the mercy of hirelings posing as pastors, prophets or men and women of God. Some churches spend half of the year doing vigils, prayer and fasting sessions. With such precious time given to casting out demons or praying for prosperity, how will progress come?
This theology of witches and wizards, largely a thing of the unproductive mind, is a function of a poverty mentality. And it is a hangover of the Pentecostal revival of a past age. Unfortunately, what dominates the doctrine of latter-day Pentecostal churches is spiritual attacks or prosperity. There’s hardly any serious teaching of the Word of God in our churches today.
Lately, fortune-telling, a reality of our cultural, traditional religious experience, is now being practiced in churches as prophecy.
Many of our youth are always looking for prophecy about their immediate future. They want to know who is behind their misfortune, which witch came to them in the dream in the form of a snake, who killed their parents, or the source of their economic stagnation, marital woes, sickness, etc.
When young people come down with malaria or typhoid, they prefer to go to a deliverance church instead of a hospital. Beloved, that’s not the way to go. As educated folks, you are supposed to know better than your illiterate parents who lived under such primitive dispensations. This is the age of enlightenment, Internet, and advanced technology. You have to free yourself from the bondage of prophets, native doctors, and other agents of superstition.
Let me help you with this tip: anywhere you go for spiritual help, and they tell you to pay for prayer, “spiritual work” or any such service, know that you are dealing with a spiritualist, not a genuine servant of God. These are fraudsters who are out to deceive and take advantage of you. Yet, nobody can fool you without your permission. “ You may not be able to stop a bird from flying over your head,” said Keneth Hagin, “but you can stop it from perching.”
If you want to progress rapidly, you have to do away with self-limiting doctrines, ideas or philosophies that promote fear, fables, and superstitions that won’t allow you to take bold strides. Sometimes, you have to abandon certain friends, relatives and affiliations in order for you to reinvent yourself. You cannot move forward with excess baggage. Even aircraft shed excess weight to be able to fly normally.
Ignorant people live in fear because they are often under the sway of superstition, prophecies and myths. Such people need the permission of their imams or prophets before they do anything. How can you live like this and expect to make progress? Stop sleeping in prayer houses; get out of that place and take charge of your life. You don’t need anyone’s permission to live your life and pursue your goals.
If you don’t take control of your life, others will take over. You were not created to be anybody’s appendage or parasite. Every man or woman is a free moral agent. That’s not saying you can’t have mentors or spiritual leaders. But I insist you should be very careful who mentors or leads you. Don’t worship in just any church. Make sure it is a true, Bible-believing, full gospel church, where the undiluted world of God is taught by well-trained, genuine ministers of God who are called.
For those who are traumatised by demons, or other strange manifestations called attacks, mainline churches, not prayer houses, are the places to go for spiritual solutions. Established churches know how to handle disembodied entities they call python spirit, spiritual wife or husband, mammy water spirit, where such aberrations manifest. These phenomena can be handled by authentic ministers of God who operate in certain areas of deliverance gifting.
I feel a burden to speak out on behalf of our youth who go about seeking spiritual solutions to physical problems. That’s not the way to go. If you live like your parents, you’d end up like them. Feed your mind with progressive thoughts, read faith-inspiring books, worship God aright and your life will be prosperous.
WEEKEND SPICE: Success seems largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go. (William Feather)
Let’s do it again folks. Stay motivated till we meet next Friday.
Ladi Ayodeji is an author, rights activist, pastor and life coach. He can be reached on 09059243004 (SMS & Whatsapp only)