Religion, in its equivocal context, has been defined by a good number of scholars and philosophers alike; some definitions of which amount to blasphemy and heresy to religious bigots and hypocrites equally. Perhaps the most paraphrased definition is that of Karl Marx ”Religion is the opium of the people”.
Nonetheless, while some believe that religion is geared towards hoodwinking the entire ‘hoi polloi’, some, on the other hand, believe that religion aids in terms of checks and balances.
In the Nigerian context, however, religion has failed holistically in the purpose for which it was created. Religious heads have been find submerged in avarice; religion has equally been used as a tool to subjugate the downtrodden into subservience. They assert their whims and caprices on the flotsams and jetsams of the society, helping them to kowtow in order to express their servitudes to the latter. It is an abysmal situation.
I shall thus, for the limits of this piece of mine, focus on the two most recognized religion in Nigeria–Christianity and Islam. Can we ever have a church or mosque with greater number of moneyed members, not because they were wealthy ab initio, but was “church-made or mosque-made” wealthy? Look around your churches and your mosques, tell me what you see.
Speaking from the premise of Christianity, in as much as the bible stipulates that tithes (specific ally) are for ecclesiastics, the outrageous pastor-member partnership enterprise in terms of pecuniary interests amounts to expansion of ecclesiastical purview, and extortion of both God and man, Leviticus 27:30-32. Apparently, Pastors are indifferent about the glorious city–the heavenly Jerusalem, as described by Saint Augustine of Hippo in his”civitas dei” (City of God). There is a paradigm shift in the Christendom. People are deceived by sham miracles, politicians loot national funds, angry youths are calmed by pastors who in turn pray for the politicians in the guise of ”repentance” prayers; Politicians, in the same vein, return to church to pay pastors for making the aggrieved members of the society phlegmatic, thereby creating a vicious circle within the societal milieu.
There are smoldering effects going on in the hearts of many reasonable Nigerian youths, their embers of which are hard to quell. I dare to say, if my pastor gets a Jet and 75% of the members are living below poverty level, I shall humbly take my leave. This is my sentiment. After all, as an entity, I also makeup a church, church is synergy, without synergy there is no church. How could you preside over a house of iniquity, ensconcing yourself under religious abode, tearing the fleece of the lambskin in search for leather. You manipulate the pockets of every church member to fatten yours. I know some people will say ”judge not”, but they can say that to the marines. Monumental mental slavery has swallowed the brains of the poor masses, nobody is interested in drastic change, everybody resorts to Pastor (not even God) for miracles. Why call God for mere headache, when he has already provided for men the formula for paracetamol (acetaminophen- C8H9NO2)? There are certain prayers God will not answer. The masses have made their pastors celebrated ‘Jasons’ who trade with the fleece of the lamb they shepherd. No wonder the Bible says judgment must begin from the church. It is indeed crystal clear that there is a sane religion in an insane society called Nigeria.