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Right Vs Wrong Christianity? - Religion - Nairaland

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Right Vs Wrong Christianity? by oyinda3(f): 7:56am On Dec 27, 2010
I will start by saying that there are so many things I don't understand yet. So many questions left unanswered for me. My problem (and it took a long time of soul searching and confusion for me to realize this) is that I can't reconcile my christian faith with that of my parents' and the nigerian christian environment i'm in with them. The reason for this dilemma is because I moved abroad and made friends with Christians who seem to be sometimes totally contrary to the ideals of christianity I had with nigerians. It kind of took away my innocence and I became confused as to what Christianity really is. I've grown more since then (in fact I'm still growing) and have figured out that the best way is to take my faith and Christianity personally. It should be strictly between me and my God. Rather than how yoruba culture or whatever culture you're in expects you to define your christianity.

for example, after living in the US for many yrs, I don't believe anymore in nigerian witches. Yes I say nigerian witches because our idea of witchcraft is non-existent and considered mere superstition among many western christians *gasp.* So are they any less christian than we are? Who are the better christians?
sometimes I feel like Nigerian christianity is still a mixture of traditional/pagan beliefs and western christianity. The way we nigerians worship, one would have thought that obanjes and witches populate the verses of the bible. But in reality, there are few if any references to witchcraft accusations and  in the bible. Nigerian christianity is still set in the context of pagan worship. We are always trying to diminish the "powers" of these traditional religions and village demons. If they were indeed powerless, as we often times say, then why are we concentrating all our christian lives to fighting them?
If we can nigerianize our christianity to that extent, why can't i individualize mine? to me, religion is personal and I want to get your opinion on this issue.
Is there is a right or wrong way to be a christian?
For parents living abroad, how do you teach your children in the right path? Have you considered these cultural influences? The fact that they probably don't understand witchcraft or "satanic forces" or some other concepts used in Nigerian christianity.
To me, the reason sunday morning is the most segregated time in America is because of these cultural differences and the way they play into our religious beliefs. The american presbytarian has different ideas from the brazilian roman catholic who in turn is different from the Nigerian CAC or RCCG or cele worshiper.
What is your opinion on the right way of christian life?
Re: Right Vs Wrong Christianity? by Nobody: 8:03am On Dec 27, 2010
Oyinda, I so feel you.

I believe Christianity differs between regions, tradition, and cultures.

What is Christianity? Is there really a God? Or are we as humans just need to look up to an omni-person?

Answers from one pastors differs from each other. The bible even contradicts itself.

Could the bible have been fables written by men of that time, FOR that time? Could the bible be a book of mythology, most spread fable around the continents? Who is to say the Greek mythologies [zeus, hera, Anthea etc] aren't the real deal?

Could the idea of God be a way for men to tackle the Bad of this word? With each bad, there must be a good to keep things in balance.
Re: Right Vs Wrong Christianity? by oyinda3(f): 8:20am On Dec 27, 2010
^ and it's so funny because I had those questions at some point in my life too.

I feel sometimes like i'm starting my christian life all over again. It is rewarding to be honest to see Christianity in a different light. It makes going to church on sundays way more meaningful for me esp now that I've changed church. That is not to say that I am a very religious person because i'm far from that. I'm still a baby in terms of my progress.

I think that some people are christians because they were raised in christian homes and there are those who have chosen to be Christians on their own. there comes a point in life where you have to make the decision to follow christ on your own.
Re: Right Vs Wrong Christianity? by PastorAIO: 12:28pm On Dec 27, 2010
There is no single monolithic christianity. There probably never has been. The simply fact is that (panta rhei) Everything flows, constantly changing form. This dynamic process may take up one name, or it may take up another but it remains the same process.

Africa is enshrouded by a paranoid darkness. This has been the case for a few hundred years. Previously it operated under the mask of Juju and traditional beliefs. Today it operates under the mask of Christianity and Islam. However it is the same process. The adopted foreign mask will be distorted until it can become a vehicle for our dynamics to express itself.

I wrote about this once upon a time . . .

Now, there is something called Pseudomorphosis.  This is an idea and term coined by a guy called Oswald Spengler who wrote a famous book called the Decline of The West at the start of the 20th century.  The Idea is actually borrowed from geology.  it's as follows . . .
Pseudomorphosis The concept of pseudomorphosis is one that Spengler borrows from minerology and a concept that he introduces as a way of explaining what are in his eyes half-developed or only partially manifested Cultures. Specifically pseudomorphosis entails an older Culture so deeply ingrained in a land that a young Culture can not find its own form and full expression of itself. This leads to the young soul being cast in the old moulds, in Spengler's words. Young feelings then stiffen in senile practices, and instead of expanding creatively, it fosters hate toward the other older Culture.
Spengler believes that pseudomorphosis began with the Battle of Actium. Here the gestating Arabian Culture lost to the Classical Civilization. He asserts that it should have been Antony who won. The battle was not the struggle of Rome and Greece that came there to an issue—that struggle had been fought out at Cannae and Zama, where it was Hannibal who stood as champion for Hellenism. Antony’s victory would have freed the Magian Culture, but his defeat imposed Roman Civilization on the young Culture.
from here:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Decline_of_the_West

Basically, a people need to express themselves.  When, by the accident of history, they find a new form (of culture/expression such as language or culture) imposed on them they will contort that form until it is capable of expressing their experience.  This can happen during colonialism or conquest.  Ultimately, they will twist the forms of the conquering culture until the conquering culture will itself no longer understand the meanings to which the forms and terms are applied.  Christianity in Nigeria is not the same thing that Europeans practice/practiced.

I get this problem when explaining nigerian english to my oyinbo friends.  When Fela sings, "Pahlava, in dey find, palava in go geti o", my oyinbo friend says, "oh, he's looking for Gossip".  I have to explain that palava doesn't mean gossip anymore, it means trouble. 
The contortion occurs even at the most basic phonetic levels.  The words we chose to use in the english language are words that contain the appropriate phonetic sound to convey the very african sentiment that we are trying to express.  If the word originally didn't have the phonetic we will force it to have.  The grammar is distorted so that the phrases are the right length because rhythm and number of syllables in a sentence are important to the conveying of sentiment.  ('we will force it to have' being a case in point.  It is a truncated sentence that sounds more african grammatically).
Pidgen English might originally have come from England but right now today it is a very very AFRican Language.  The sentiments it is used to express are very very african and an oyinbo could never really 'get' what is being said unless he has had an experience of living as an african in africa.  Even if he understood the words. 

So the issue at stake now is:  Does a religion or any other culture artifact (such as the bible) stay intact when it crosses cultural boundaries? 

Is Esu of yoruba mythology really the satan of the bible?  How did this affect the understand of those yorubas that first converted to christianity. 

How do you translate Logos into Yoruba?  Is there a similar thing in the yoruba thought complex and if not how do you use a yoruba word that already means something else in that thought complex to convey what the Logos is?  When I read my yoruba bible and I see this:
Li atetekose li oro wa, Oro si wa pelu olorun
am I to understand that in the beginning there was Talk and Talk was with God.  Or in the beginning there was a Subject of conversation, and the subject of conversation was with God. 


The bible has already crossed many cultural boundaries before it arrived in Africa, and I'm sure that at each stage of it's journey it was used, not as originally intended, but as those into whose hands it fell desired to use it.   Just as today it has various uses for various religious groups, some with their own translations.  Even Thieves and conmen can use it if they so desire.  Ultimately it is an ARTIFACT used to convey something deeper. 


From here:
https://www.nairaland.com/nigeria/topic-143181.0.html
Re: Right Vs Wrong Christianity? by Joagbaje(m): 5:27pm On Dec 27, 2010
Witchcraft is active and alive in America and other nations of the world. Try read the book. "HE CAME TO SET THE CAPTIVES FREE" by Dr Rebbecca brown . You will have some insights.

Many Americans are ignorant of the spiritual realm because they've given demonic activities fine fine names. From prolonged delusion to traumatic  phycological jargons. Many of the cases in the psychiatric hospital are demonic cases. Though we can't deny the fact that many are medical . But the demonic cases can not be arrested medically. Many American minister come to africa to learn about this thing so that they. An help people over there.

Demons are everywhere and we must learn to cast them out. I was told about a lady that was mad , two years ago. I went to their house , I prayed , prayed  but no result. So I felt it was a medical case. I said they should take her to hospital , but they told me this thing comes up every year during raining season , it had cyst her her marriage. I sense it was demonic but since I couldn't get through to her  mind I said they should still take to hospital let her be put to sleep till her brain relax . So 2 days after, I sent for her , she was a bit ok Now she could talk. I asked her few questions . And my suspicion was confirmed. The demons spoke to me, "I AM FROM THE DEEP BLUE SEA" " I will DESTROY YOU" " I am queen of the sea" " I am serpent" and so on. I was confident now that this is not medical and I know my authority. I calmed her down, and led her to christ . Then I commanded those spirits out of her body.she began to move like snake on the ground and sticking out her tongues. Finallly after an hour or so , we were done , she became free. I sent her quickly to join our foundation school , she did all the classes.  She became a soul winner for christ. 2 years have passed and no more yearly reoccurrence.
 
 But in the western nations , they will label them with a name and lock them in an asylum .You get into such hospital ward and shout the name of Jesus and see what happens.

It is modernism that make them deny such things over there . It was not always like this. British had their stories of witches historically . They even have cartoons for children. American had theirs . Where do you think horror films came from . American governme t don't want to accept that anything is beyond their control , they try to act as if they are in full control to win confidence. Many of those horror films are from real experience. "hunted" "devils advocate" "exorcists" etc.

  Our system over here has not been overrun by modernism yet. But it may one day, if we allow legalism to over shadow 
Truth and reality. Satan is working gradually in the background by attacking church institution and denying miracles and the supernatural which are all part of the package of the gospel of christ. Christianity without supernatural is nothing but just another dead religion. 

There is no different types of Christianity . Only one which Jesus predicted 

Mark 16:17-18
17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
 

The problem is the level of revelations of God and ignorance in the heart of people. We are coming gradually to the unity of the faith , where walls of divisions will be broken down. And we understand our union and  onesss with christ.

Ephesians 4:13
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 
   
Re: Right Vs Wrong Christianity? by e36991: 6:46pm On Dec 27, 2010
Joagbaje:


Witchcraft is active and alive in America and other nations of the world. Try read the book. "HE CAME TO SET THE CAPTIVES FREE" by Dr Rebbecca brown . You will have some insights.

Many Americans are ignorant of the spiritual realm because they've given demonic activities fine fine names. From prolonged delusion to traumatic phycological jargons. Many of the cases in the psychiatric hospital are demonic cases. Though we can't deny the fact that many are medical . But the demonic cases can not be arrested medically. Many American minister come to africa to learn about this thing so that they. An help people over there.

Demons are everywhere and we must learn to cast them out. I was told about a lady that was mad , two years ago. I went to their house , I prayed , prayed  but no result. So I felt it was a medical case. I said they should take her to hospital , but they told me this thing comes up every year during raining season , it had cyst her her marriage. I sense it was demonic but since I couldn't get through to her  mind I said they should still take to hospital let her be put to sleep till her brain relax . So 2 days after, I sent for her , she was a bit ok Now she could talk. I asked her few questions . And my suspicion was confirmed. The demons spoke to me, "I AM FROM THE DEEP BLUE SEA" " I will DESTROY YOU" " I am queen of the sea" " I am serpent" and so on. I was confident now that this is not medical and I know my authority. I calmed her down, and led her to christ . Then I commanded those spirits out of her body, she began to move like snake on the ground and sticking out her tongues. Finallly after an hour or so , we were done , she became free. I sent her quickly to join our foundation school , she did all the classes.  She became a soul winner for christ. 2 years have passed and no more yearly reoccurrence.
 
But in the western nations , they will label them with a name and lock them in an asylum .You get into such hospital ward and shout the name of Jesus and see what happens.

It is modernism that make them deny such things over there . It was not always like this. British had their stories of witches historically . They even have cartoons for children. American had theirs . Where do you think horror films came from . American governme t don't want to accept that anything is beyond their control , they try to act as if they are in full control to win confidence. Many of those horror films are from real experience. "hunted" "devils advocate" "exorcists" etc.

Our system over here has not been overrun by modernism yet. But it may one day, if we allow legalism to over shadow 
Truth and reality. Satan is working gradually in the background by attacking church institution and denying miracles and the supernatural which are all part of the package of the gospel of christ. Christianity without supernatural is nothing but just another dead religion. 

There is no different types of Christianity . Only one which Jesus predicted 

Mark 16:17-18
17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
 

The problem is the level of revelations of God and ignorance in the heart of people. We are coming gradually to the unity of the faith , where walls of divisions will be broken down. And we understand our union and  onesss with christ.

Ephesians 4:13
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 


@^^^

https://www.nairaland.com/nigeria/topic-575104.0.html#msg7416129

#5) Have you ever feel the presence of a dead person?

No, I haven’t ever felt and will never ever feel the presence of a dead person

Dead people have departed from the world.
So why should I feel the presence of the non-living in the land of the living?

Dead people are like comic book cartoons or characters. They are inanimate

Dead people’s bodies disintegrates after death

Prior to the disintegration, dead bodies become spiritless
(i.e. the spirits are transferred from this world to a lounge area waiting as in #2 above)

Spirits need a body to legally and lawfully operate on Earth

Spirits operating on earth without a body
(e.g. animal or human bodies) are illegal immigrant and operating unlawfully

Do you recall the spirit that asked for permission to be cast out from a man specifically into a herd of swine?

The Holy Spirit is not exempted.
It too needs a body (e.g. the church) (i.e. the body of Christ) to operate lawfully on earth

Dead people appearing to others are actually evil & dishonest spirits (e.g. demons) familiar with the departed (i.e. deceased) and the family

For ulterior and sinister moves, these dishonest spirits appear as ghosts or apparitions to deceive the unsuspecting and gullible family or relations of the deceased.


True to nature such spirits are the embodiment of unimaginable evil, shamelessness and filth

which is why they prefer rather to be cast out into a herd of swine as opposed to be disembodied and be in limbo
Re: Right Vs Wrong Christianity? by e36991: 8:06pm On Dec 27, 2010
@^^^

The Healing of a Demon-possessed Man

Mark 5:1-13


1They went across the lake to the region of the Gerasenes

2When Jesus got out of the boat, a man with an evil spirit came from the tombs to meet him.

3This man lived in the tombs, and no one could bind him any more, not even with a chain.

4For he had often been chained hand and foot, but he tore the chains apart and broke the irons on his feet.

No one was strong enough to subdue him.


5Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones.

6When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him.

7He shouted at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?

Swear to God that you won’t torture me!”


8For Jesus had said to him, “Come out of this man, you evil spirit!”

9Then Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

“My name is Legion,” he replied, “for we are many.”


10And he begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of the area.

11A large herd of pigs was feeding on the nearby hillside.

12The demons begged Jesus, “Send us among the pigs; allow us to go into them.”

13He gave them permission, and the evil spirits came out and went into the pigs.

The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned.





The human body is a masterpiece; a great work; the work of a Genius . . .

It is amazing, very robust, durable, hard-wearing, tough, resilient etc

The man continued to exist inspite of being possessed and tormented by the legion

Legion is an equivalent of a major unit of the Roman army consisting of 3,000 to 6,000 infantry troops and 100 to 200 cavalry troops

It is astonishing that this man singularly handled the legion (i.e. up to at least 3000 spirits) but 2000 pigs couldn’t come to grips with them

The man survived and with a testimony lived to tell the tale

but the 2000 pigs couldn’t cope or deal with the legion making home in them
,

as a result they plunged down the cliff destroying themselves
Re: Right Vs Wrong Christianity? by Kay17: 9:07pm On Dec 27, 2010
@pastor, educating post! I also feel culture plays a great role in understanding religion. I regard early christianity as dead, because the circumstances and cultural setting in which it operated is extinct. The concepts of jesus and god's relationship, heaven and hell, charity, communality were determined by the contexts of foreign religions and cultures. I believe the issues of trinity was adapted from pagan egyptian myths and the supposed polytheism of christianity to peoples who can not cope with overloading their god with all the work. Hell to familiar hades.while in africa, the situation is similar to persian adoption of Zoroasterianism, where the old gods were demonized. The same ancestors we formerly worshipped are seen as witches today. The dire situation of africa; poverty, diseases, hunger and conflict pave way for prosperity gospel with its stark contrast with early christianity.
Re: Right Vs Wrong Christianity? by Joagbaje(m): 9:22pm On Dec 27, 2010
Kay 17:

I regard early christianity as dead, because the circumstances and cultural setting in which it operated is extinct. The concepts of jesus and god's relationship, heaven and hell, charity, communality were determined by the contexts of foreign religions and cultures.

Do you believe in the bible that it contains The word of God.

hunger and conflict pave way for prosperity gospel with its stark contrast with early christianity.

The Gospel is about prosperity . This goes beyond money. It is an alround prosperity. A life of dominion.
Re: Right Vs Wrong Christianity? by Ymodulus: 10:37pm On Dec 27, 2010
@poster am happy for you and Ikedi. Because you girls are begining to wipe that veil off your eyes which has been put by those People who call themselves christian. Sister There is no devil, there is no God. The existence of God is a false theory, if you want me to prove i have got questions to ask those who call themselves christians
Re: Right Vs Wrong Christianity? by Nobody: 12:42am On Dec 28, 2010
@Oyinda

You're right. Most people are christians because they were brought up in a Christian home.

@Post
I'm not sure what is wrong or right about the next person's Christianity.
In my opinion, most people were guided [or forced] into that religion.
Christianity is true when each person goes on his/her own Journey and explore.
I recently told my mother that I do not believe in a "God", woman almost fainted. I'm on my own journey, away from what I've been forced to learn under the roof of my guardians. If my entire life, I still cannot find MY meaning of Christianity, then I'll die knowing I try looking for that God.
As of now, everything happens in coincidence, everything happens because of me. My determination and faith in myself to make it happen.
Every good and bad thing that happens in this world was directly or indirectly caused by each one of us, our parents,a nd our ancestors. Everything is a domino effect. No Godly action behind it.
Re: Right Vs Wrong Christianity? by Ymodulus: 12:46am On Dec 28, 2010
^^^You be good girl.
Re: Right Vs Wrong Christianity? by cogicero: 1:09am On Dec 28, 2010
imhotep:

Master: "Does God exist"?

Disciple: "Yes"

Master: "Wrong"

Disciple: "No"

Master: "Wrong again"

Disciple: "What's the answer?"

Master: "There is no answer".

Disciple:"Why ever not"?

Master: "Because[b] there is no question[/b]. If you[b] cannot say anything[/b] about Him who is beyond [/b]thoughts and words, [b]how can you ask anything about Him"?
Re: Right Vs Wrong Christianity? by cogicero: 1:11am On Dec 28, 2010
imhotep:

Master: "What is it you seek"?

Philosopher: "Life"

Master: "If you are to live, words must die". You are lost and forlorn because you dwell in a world of words. You feed on words, you are satisfied with words when what you need is substance. A menu will not satisfy your hunger. A formula will not slake your thirst".
Re: Right Vs Wrong Christianity? by cogicero: 1:12am On Dec 28, 2010
imhotep:

Philosopher: "I wish to see God".

Master: "You are looking at him right now"

Philosopher: "Then why do I not see him"?

Master: "Why does the eye not see itself. As well ask a knife to cut itself or a tooth to bite itself as ask that God to reveal himself".
Re: Right Vs Wrong Christianity? by cogicero: 1:15am On Dec 28, 2010
imhotep:

WORDS >>

 The disciples were absorbed in a discussion of Lao Tzu’s dictum:   “Those who know do not say. Those who say do not know.

 When the Master entered they asked him exactly what the words meant.

 Said the Master, “Which of you knows the fragrance of a rose?

 All of them knew.

 Then he said. “Put it into words.”

Re: Right Vs Wrong Christianity? by cogicero: 1:19am On Dec 28, 2010
A VERY RICH SORT OF SILENCE >>

MASTER [re-phrasing Aristotle]:  "In the quest of God, it would seem better and indeed necessary to give up what is dearest to us".

DISCIPLE:  "I am ready, in the quest for God, to give up anything: wealth, friends, family, country, life itself. What else can a person give up"?


MASTER: "One's beliefs about God".

---------------------------------
The disciple went away sad, for he clung to his convictions about God.




God is like the Pool of Existence out of which everything draws its being . . .

an elephant will sooner fit into the shoes of a rat, than God into our  NOTIONS of Him . . .




so you think you know enough about God? try this much simpler exercise.

please put down the fragrance of your perfume in WORDS on this forum so that we may perceive it. . .
Re: Right Vs Wrong Christianity? by cogicero: 1:23am On Dec 28, 2010
oyinda and ileke-idi, christianity is an individual race
Re: Right Vs Wrong Christianity? by oyinda3(f): 4:26am On Dec 28, 2010
Kay 17:

I also feel culture plays a great role in understanding religion. I regard early christianity as dead, because the circumstances and cultural setting in which it operated is extinct. The concepts of jesus and god's relationship, heaven and hell, charity, communality were determined by the contexts of foreign religions and cultures. I believe the issues of trinity was adapted from pagan egyptian myths and the supposed polytheism of christianity to peoples who can not cope with overloading their god with all the work. Hell to familiar hades.while in africa, the situation is similar to persian adoption of Zoroasterianism, where the old gods were demonized. The same ancestors we formerly worshipped are seen as witches today. The dire situation of africa; poverty, diseases, hunger and conflict  pave way for prosperity gospel with its stark contrast  with early christianity.

i agree. Imagine a pastor telling the females in his church not to wear pants or makeup. that's not part of our culture anymore. women have freedom and rights nowadays. There are female pastors and the like. I think there is a line between culture and religion but it's blurry. How do we separate this? what is the limit?

take a look at this video:
it's a video of a kenyan pastor praying for sarah palin -people from two very distinct cultures. he prays that she will get money to fund her campaign and protection against witchcraft. this prayer is very typical for African cultural context (prayer for financial breakthrough and protection against witchcraft). In an american society where there is very limited poverty and witches, that sort of prayer is not as meaningful. so the situation seems very awkward

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jl4HIc-yfgM&feature=related
Re: Right Vs Wrong Christianity? by Nobody: 4:39am On Dec 28, 2010
oyinda.:

i agree. Imagine a pastor telling the females in his church not to wear pants or makeup. that's not part of our culture anymore. women have rights nowadays. I think there is a line between culture and religion but it's blurry. How do we separate this? what is the limit?

That is why I said most of the rules and regulations in the Bible were made only for that period of  time and a few more periods after it.
Today's cultures cannot be maintained by  those commandments. If one has morals, ethics and intentions to do good, one wont [b]need [/b]to be a Christian to "behave".

You cannot expect a working woman of today to not look presentable [i.e make ups,  lab pants if she works in the labs etc etc].

I believe the MAIN goal of a Christian, as advised by the Bible, is to have one and only one God.
Re: Right Vs Wrong Christianity? by Kay17: 6:58am On Dec 28, 2010
@jo. why would i need to believe the bible if it is true? Its because of its falsehood, a belief is required to digest the trash! Is life all about money? Such a life would be too shallow.
Re: Right Vs Wrong Christianity? by Enigma(m): 11:45am On Dec 28, 2010
oyinda.:

I will start by saying that there are so many things I don't understand yet. So many questions left unanswered for me. My problem (and it took a long time of soul searching and confusion for me to realize this) is that I can't reconcile my christian faith with that of my parents' and the nigerian christian environment i'm in with them. The reason for this dilemma is because I moved abroad and made friends with Christians who seem to be sometimes totally contrary to the ideals of christianity I had with nigerians. It kind of took away my innocence and I became confused as to what Christianity really is. I've grown more since then (in fact I'm still growing) and have figured out that the best way is to take my faith and Christianity personally. It should be strictly between me and my God. Rather than how yoruba culture or whatever culture you're in expects you to define your christianity.

for example, after living in the US for many yrs, I don't believe anymore in nigerian witches. Yes I say nigerian witches because our idea of witchcraft is non-existent and considered mere superstition among many western christians *gasp.* So are they any less christian than we are? Who are the better christians?
sometimes I feel like Nigerian christianity is still a mixture of traditional/pagan beliefs and western christianity. The way we nigerians worship, one would have thought that obanjes and witches populate the verses of the bible. But in reality, there are few if any references to witchcraft accusations and  in the bible. Nigerian christianity is still set in the context of pagan worship. We are always trying to diminish the "powers" of these traditional religions and village demons. If they were indeed powerless, as we often times say, then why are we concentrating all our christian lives to fighting them?
If we can nigerianize our christianity to that extent, why can't i individualize mine? to me, religion is personal and I want to get your opinion on this issue.
Is there is a right or wrong way to be a christian?
For parents living abroad, how do you teach your children in the right path? Have you considered these cultural influences? The fact that they  probably don't understand witchcraft or "satanic forces" or some other concepts used in Nigerian christianity.
To me, the reason sunday morning is the most segregated time in America is because of these cultural differences and the way they play into our religious beliefs. The american presbytarian has different ideas from the brazilian roman catholic who in turn is different from the Nigerian CAC or RCCG or cele worshiper.
What is your opinion on the right way of christian life?

Christianity is and has always been adaptable. It is useful to consider that Christianity comprises both doctrine (teachings and beliefs) and practice (expressions of different aspects of the faith). In respect of both, the universal church if truly it is guided and led by the Holy Spirit, as it should be, should provide a lead. This is true to a notable extent of some of the doctrines handed down by Jesus, the apostles and articulated by the church Fathers. Essentially, doctrine (in particular the most essential/foundational/important doctrines) really should be uniform; conceivably, regional variations in less or non-essential doctrines are acceptable and are perhaps in any event inevitable.

When it comes to practice/praxis, there are some things which flow from important doctrine and are to be followed e.g. action of loving one's neighbour, some 'ritual' practices like baptism and remembrance of the Lord's Supper (aka Holy Communion). Here again, there may yet be issues as to how to 'properly' carry out the action e.g sprinkling or immersion baptism or infant versus adult; also consider this, is 'Holy Communion' only to be with wafer or broken pieces of bread or is it conceivable that Holy Communion can be done with pounded yam or 'garium sulphate' (processed in water of 100 degrees centigrade)?

There is one major danger with the adaptable nature of Christianity ---- syncretism. This has always occured historically and continues to occur where Christianity is planted among pre-existent culture. Influences from that culture are introduced into the practice of Christianity by the locals (you can argue it was even the case with Judaism out of which Christianity came in any event). Even oyinbo man i.e. Europeans/North Americans introduced various forms of syncretism and today we see some of these things as more than normal e.g. who says a "church wedding" (or even registry) is really a necessity?

More blatant forms of syncretism include the Nigerian examples you've given and this daft idea of finding witches and demons every place when the Bible say to resist the devil and he will flee from you. In South and Latin America, you also find serious syncretism with for example Candomble etc etc

So how do we get over this morass? In a way, my view is that of a going back to basics: get a Bible that has Jesus' words written in red; study those words carefully and extensively and in time you will soon start to see what is important and what is not; what is necessary and what is not.
Re: Right Vs Wrong Christianity? by tpia1: 12:35pm On Dec 28, 2010
1. Religion = culture. Cant escape that.

2. Churches overseas (especially in america), tend to follow cultural/racial lines, with a few being interracial or intercultural.

You have polish, ukrainian, greek, ethiopian coptic, armenian orthodox, roman catholic, etc etc churches. Even AAs congregate in their own black themed churches most times (the AAs who are religious that is).

I used to wonder why nigerians had their own churches but not anymore. It's nothing new, imo. Or unusual.


3.
The reason for this dilemma is because I moved abroad and made friends with Christians who seem to be sometimes totally contrary to the ideals of christianity I had with nigerians.


true for most.

Different people thrown together by emigration.

A lot of people do abandon their cultural norms after leaving the country. Not much can be done about that, imo. It's all in God's hands.


4.
for example, after living in the US for many yrs, I don't believe anymore in nigerian witches. Yes I say nigerian witches because our idea of witchcraft is non-existent and considered mere superstition among many western christians


there are witches abroad. They just keep a low profile and as a matter of fact, the practice of witchcraft and other dark arts is on the rise in the USA.


5.

We are always trying to diminish the "powers" of these traditional religions and village demons. If they were indeed powerless, as we often times say, then why are we concentrating all our christian lives to fighting them?


your not believing in such powers doesnt mean there arent others who do believe in them and what they entail. As such, they may fight you even if you arent fighting them.




No need to be paranoid about it however, and I do get your point.

We all learn and experience new things everyday.

I know I have, and some things are almost too weird to be believed. But people have extremely long memories, I've found. These all factor in the aspects of nigerian culture you mentioned.
Re: Right Vs Wrong Christianity? by oyinda3(f): 12:36pm On Dec 28, 2010
Enigma:

Christianity is and has always been adaptable. It is useful to consider that Christianity comprises both doctrine (teachings and beliefs) and practice (expressions of different aspects of the faith). In respect of both, the universal church if truly it is guided and led by the Holy Spirit, as it should be, should provide a lead. This is true to a notable extent of some of the doctrines handed down by Jesus, the apostles and articulated by the church Fathers. Essentially, doctrine (in particular the most essential/foundational/important doctrines) really should be uniform; conceivably, regional variations in less or non-essential doctrines are acceptable and are perhaps in any event inevitable.

When it comes to practice/praxis, there are some things which flow from important doctrine and are to be followed e.g. action of loving one's neighbour, some 'ritual' practices like baptism and remembrance of the Lord's Supper (aka Holy Communion). Here again, there may yet be issues as to how to 'properly' carry out the action e.g sprinkling or immersion baptism or infant versus adult; also consider this, is 'Holy Communion' only to be with wafer or broken pieces of bread or is it conceivable that Holy Communion can be done with pounded yam or 'garium sulphate' (processed in water of 100 degrees centigrade)?

There is one major danger with the adaptable nature of Christianity ---- syncretism. This has always occured historically and continues to occur where Christianity is planted among pre-existent culture. Influences from that culture are introduced into the practice of Christianity by the locals (you can argue it was even the case with Judaism out of which Christianity came in any event). Even oyinbo man i.e. Europeans/North Americans introduced various forms of syncretism and today we see some of these things as more than normal e.g. who says a "church wedding" (or even registry) is really a necessity?

More blatant forms of syncretism include the Nigerian examples you've given and this daft idea of finding witches and demons every place when the Bible say to resist the devil and he will flee from you. In South and Latin America, you also find serious syncretism with for example Candomble etc etc

So how do we get over this morass? In a way, my view is that of a going back to basics: get a Bible that has Jesus' words written in red; study those words carefully and extensively and in time you will soon start to see what is important and what is not; what is necessary and what is not.


Thank you so much for your post!!!! It answered my question perfectly and your advice is duly noted!!!! merci mille fois.
My new year resolution is to start reading a chapter of the bible each day or at least to start a daily devotional on my own and get closer to God. It was very rewarding to me when I found a church and I think that's a good step. But i still feel that I don't have enough support. I don't want it from my parents because like i said, I can't reconcile my beliefs with theirs.

thanks for your help.
Re: Right Vs Wrong Christianity? by oyinda3(f): 12:43pm On Dec 28, 2010
tpia1:


here are witches abroad. They just keep a low profile and as a matter of fact, the practice of witchcraft and other dark arts is on the rise in the USA.


the witches abroad are actually powerless in every sense of the word. it is regarded more in a way that atheism is regarded. or how hindus or Buddhists are regarded. they are not out to hunt you and tear your brains apart or bring you woe.
unlike the nigerian ones where it seems that you need to fast 40 days just to keep them away for a day. lol maybe they bother the nigerian christians. but they do not bother me. So i guess I needed to reconfigure my christianity to what matters most to me and that is a right relationship with God for my own personal life because my life seem to be so much more satisfying when I pray and hand around Christians and talk about the word of God.

praying with my parents for deliverance from principalities and powers and satanic forces of darkness and witches and wizards etc however is a different case. When I make those prayers, I just never could connect with them and it shaked my faith for a long time and I found myself not believing in my prayers. What I found out is that I should pray and practice christianity in a way that matters for my life. That's the only way i can be confident in my faith. whereas my parents can practice it in a way that's relevant to theirs (their witches and wizard filled spiritual world lol).



tpia1:

1. Religion = culture. Cant escape that.
2. Churches overseas (especially in america), tend to follow cultural/racial lines, with a few being interracial or intercultural.
You have polish, ukrainian, greek, ethiopian coptic, armenian orthodox, roman catholic, etc etc churches. Even AAs congregate in their own black themed churches most times (the AAs who are religious that is).
I used to wonder why nigerians had their own churches but not anymore. It's nothing new, imo. Or unusual.

Yup. very true. sunday mornings are the most segregated time of the day in America!
Re: Right Vs Wrong Christianity? by Enigma(m): 12:47pm On Dec 28, 2010
oyinda.:

merci mille fois.

De rien, ma soeur.
Re: Right Vs Wrong Christianity? by oyinda3(f): 1:03pm On Dec 28, 2010
^ haha tu parles francais?

I was watching bill moyers interview with Obama's previous church pastor. the one who was accused of having anti-american sentiments and something in his interview struck me and sort of helped articulate what i've been thinking for a long time. He said that people sometimes ask him why he's a christian. why is he professing this "white man religion" and he gave a really good answer about how christianity itself, when it is bare, is not a white man religion. It is when you add the culture to it that it becomes a white man religion. I'm just paraphrasing and adding my own jara but i'm really grateful to have watched that video.
one minute christianity is said to be a western import. the next minute, it seem to have taken an indigenous form among nigerians and even african americans. I guess the core, the faith is the most important. Sometimes it can be also hard when you are surrounded by people who do not believe and they ask you these actually really smart questions that make you wonder why you are christian. Understanding christianity and what you believe in is so helpful. there is a difference between believing for the sake of it and believing because you know the truth.
Re: Right Vs Wrong Christianity? by InesQor(m): 1:59pm On Dec 28, 2010
Enigma:

Christianity is and has always been adaptable. It is useful to consider that Christianity comprises both doctrine (teachings and beliefs) and practice (expressions of different aspects of the faith). In respect of both, the universal church if truly it is guided and led by the Holy Spirit, as it should be, should provide a lead. This is true to a notable extent of some of the doctrines handed down by Jesus, the apostles and articulated by the church Fathers. Essentially, doctrine (in particular the most essential/foundational/important doctrines) really should be uniform; conceivably, regional variations in less or non-essential doctrines are acceptable and are perhaps in any event inevitable.

When it comes to practice/praxis, there are some things which flow from important doctrine and are to be followed e.g. action of loving one's neighbour, some 'ritual' practices like baptism and remembrance of the Lord's Supper (aka Holy Communion). Here again, there may yet be issues as to how to 'properly' carry out the action e.g sprinkling or immersion baptism or infant versus adult; also consider this, is 'Holy Communion' only to be with wafer or broken pieces of bread or is it conceivable that Holy Communion can be done with pounded yam or 'garium sulphate' (processed in water of 100 degrees centigrade)?

There is one major danger with the adaptable nature of Christianity ---- syncretism. This has always occured historically and continues to occur where Christianity is planted among pre-existent culture. Influences from that culture are introduced into the practice of Christianity by the locals (you can argue it was even the case with Judaism out of which Christianity came in any event). Even oyinbo man i.e. Europeans/North Americans introduced various forms of syncretism and today we see some of these things as more than normal e.g. who says a "church wedding" (or even registry) is really a necessity?

More blatant forms of syncretism include the Nigerian examples you've given and this daft idea of finding witches and demons every place when the Bible say to resist the devil and he will flee from you. In South and Latin America, you also find serious syncretism with for example Candomble etc etc

So how do we get over this morass? In a way, my view is that of a going back to basics: get a Bible that has Jesus' words written in red; study those words carefully and extensively and in time you will soon start to see what is important and what is not; what is necessary and what is not.

God bless you for this post, Enigma smiley

Thanks.

@OP: The portion outlined in blue is what I did around this time last year when I suddenly found out I had believed many lies in the name of Christianity. I went right back and started ONLY from Jesus' Words in the Gospels; I took time to study the Parables and other Teachings of Christ. And afterwards I studied Christ's words and instructions in Revelations. I believe this is very good advice. smiley
Re: Right Vs Wrong Christianity? by UyiIredia(m): 2:28pm On Dec 28, 2010
*Uyi sits down and quietly observes post* i hope Mudley wouldn't come and bastardize this post
Re: Right Vs Wrong Christianity? by e36991: 2:52pm On Dec 28, 2010
oyinda.:


^ haha tu parles francais?

I was watching bill moyers interview with Obama's previous church pastor.

the one who was accused of having anti-american sentiments and something in his interview struck me

and sort of helped articulate what i've been thinking for a long time.

He said that people sometimes ask him why he's a christian. why is he professing this "white man religion"

and he gave a really good answer about how christianity itself, when it is bare, is not a white man religion.

It is when you add the culture to it that it becomes a white man religion.

I'm just paraphrasing and adding my own jara but i'm really grateful to have watched that video.

one minute christianity is said to be a western import.

the next minute, it seem to have taken an indigenous form among nigerians and even african americans.

I guess the core, the faith is the most important. Sometimes it can be also hard when you are surrounded by people who do not believe

and they ask you these actually really smart questions that make you wonder why you are christian.

Understanding christianity and what you believe in is so helpful.

there is a difference between believing for the sake of it and believing because you know the truth.


@oyinda.

White man's religion?  grin grin

I laugh in English grin grin

Incidentally, when it comes to relationship GOD is color averse

but the LORD GOD in His infinite wisdom allowed color to be inserted in the bible for such a time like this:

Verse like this for times such as now to debunk and deflate statement(s) like
"christianity is a western import  - White man's religion"

Acts 13:1 is your proof of the pudding  wink

Acts 13:1

KJV
Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger,

and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.


NLT
Among the prophets and teachers of the church at Antioch of Syria were Barnabas, Simeon (called "the black man"wink, Lucius (from Cyrene), Manaen (the childhood companion of King Herod Antipas), and Saul.

BBE
Now there were at Antioch, in the church there, prophets and teachers, Barnabas, and Symeon who was named Niger,

and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, a relation of Herod the king, and Saul


WNT
Now there were in Antioch, in the Church there--as Prophets and teachers--barnabas, Symeon surnamed 'the black,' Lucius the Cyrenaean, Manaen (who was Herod the Tetrarch's foster-brother)

Dare I say - Simeon; The first Nigerian in the Bible? wink
Re: Right Vs Wrong Christianity? by manmustwac(m): 6:13pm On Dec 30, 2010
@post
well to me its just sad that that you have to travel over 9'000 miles across the atlantic to the U.S.A. and spend a loooong time interacting with people froma different culture before you come to realize that what you used to believe in before which demons and witches etc is all superstition. sad sad Imagine all the people who left behind who have not been fortuneate like you to open eye due to the fact that they have not been exposed so are still here fighting imaginary demons witches wizards etc. Nigeria still has a long ay to go. cry cry
Re: Right Vs Wrong Christianity? by welovegod(m): 7:46pm On Dec 30, 2010
See here for free ebook downloads for your spiritual growth - http://www.ilovegodsite.com/p/free-downloads_24.html

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