The death of a child in church
By Odimegwu Onwumere
Some tears dripped down my jaws. This was after reading a story in the Saturday edition of The Sun newspapers of January 28, 2012. The story was entitled, “Death in Church”.
It is a gory story of a woman who had gone to a church in Lagos State for her own problems but was later told by the pastor of the church to go home and bring her children for deliverance. What makes the story complicating is why the pastor asked for the children? It is obvious that this church is not where this woman worships. You may suffice to say that she is one of the faint-hearted Christians who run from one church to another at the little or big trial of their faith in God.
The journey this woman embarked on gulped one of her children – a girl of about six years old. According to the woman, the innocent girl was given a ‘black liquid’ to drink. The concussion was rejected by her other children when the pastor gave it to them to drink. She did not tell her husband before going for her own spiritual healing hence her children were demanded for. The husband was supposed to be acknowledged (if there is still decorum in the homes again in the modern times). As the head of the home the husband was supposed to be taken permission from but the woman rather preferred to sneak into the church and was hoodwinked to bring her children.
Should this case be taken that the woman who called herself a Christian was hypnotized by the pastor, as she described it, having seen one of her children she went to the church alive with died? What of if she had not encountered this bad omen would she have told the husband where she went to? How could somebody who called herself Christian pay money for whatever deliverance by any clergy having been warned in the bible that healing of any sort should be free?
It is an ordinance in Mathew 10:8 that the disciples should heal the sick and raise the dead; cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give. In the Acts 8:20, Peter answered: "May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! See Luke 10:7 and 1 Corinthians 9:8-14 and 1 Timothy 5:18; the ordinance is that Freely ye have received, freely give - That is, they were not to sell their favors of healing, preaching, etc. They were not to make a money-making business of it, to bargain specifically to heal for so much, and to cast out devils for so much. This, however, neither then nor afterward precluded them from receiving a competent support. However, our ‘Christian woman’ went contrary to the bible commands. “She said she booked an appointment to him (the pastor) on a Tuesday, after paying N25, 000, regarded as ‘deliverance fee’. What a Christian!
Like many Christians who do not know their stand in their faith, she confirmed her cowardly knowledge of the bible when she said: “I am a Christian and I know that children’s fast does not exceed 12 noon” but she allowed her saintly children to fast from 6am to 6pm. What a woman! If it were in a civilized society, is this woman not be charged for child’s molestation for giving much evidence why she should be cooling her heels in the gulag by now? She “forced” her innocent children, even without the consent of her husband, to fast for that long period of time, perhaps against their will.
This woman is not left alone among the many people who in totality would believe whatever any pastor would say (because he is a man of God) than believing what the bible said. Some people are just “insane” Christians. Is this woman’s negligence of her husband’s consent before embarking on the bad-premonition journey not an aberration of a Woman Believer? Hear her: “I was afraid, so I rushed to the house to bring all my children, but I made the greatest mistake of my life by not informing my husband…”
If this woman had told the husband, there was no how he would have allowed his wife to go for the now regretful journey in the hand of the pastor from hell. When the husband saw the corpse of his daughter and was told what had happened, his reaction was that he knew the pastor as a mechanic, “when did he become a pastor?”
This “Christian” woman who was in a hurry for ‘deliverance’ and did not tell her husband perhaps had joined the legion of Christian women who see ‘humility’ to their husbands as old fashion. They no longer subscribe to the book of Ephesians 5:22-33 ESV / 25 (and (1 Peter 3:1-6 ESV / 21) that said, Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands…
Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct. Do not let your adorning be external—the braiding of hair and the putting on of gold jewelry, or the clothing you wear— but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God's sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands.
"Of a truth, God will not do wickedly, and the Almighty will not pervert justice." - (Job 34:12). Instead most of these Christian women would incline to the sound doctrine as God prescribed they rather bring logic into the issue of their faith, insinuating human rights and democratic laws which are different form the stipulated untainted rules and laws of God in the bible pertaining to women. Some would tell you that the husband should be like Christ before they will SUBMIT to him. You are bound to hear that “Christ did not demand anything without showing it by example. He was a Servant Leader who washed His disciples’ feet.” They want their husbands to wash their ‘feet’ as Christ did to his disciples before they will reciprocate. What a modern world!
Some would even say that when women were submissive to their husbands were in the days of Homer. They would put their point this way: "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things." (1 Corinthians 13:11 NKJV). They take 'leaving the past for the future' to mean that wives should challenge their husbands. FUTURE may vary, but the laws in the bible are meant to be static.
There are things one does not leave for the PAST to follow the FUTURE. It's not expedient to leave good virtues, morality, love, discipline, sound spirituality, humility, reverence etc., because the world's people are moving FORWARD with everything and anything. What must be left for the past are anger, bickering, tinkering, sorcery, envy, hatred, disobedience, nagging, dogmatism etc. for the embrace of happiness, peace, love, respect etc.
In the landscape of the FUTURE many people are leaving the PAST for, there are few things that are less comfortable than that of one in the PAST. The FUTURE is not determined by the abandonment of the PAST. Many people are yet to grasp the meaning of time. The FUTURE will still disappoint a lot of people who do merely read bitter lessons from the PAST. Even though that the PAST is gone, it is not yet over, because the FUTURE many progressives are spoiling conservativism for is not guaranteed.
One thing many people have forgotten or are yet to take cognizance of is that the dreams of the PAST are the reality of the FUTURE. If we did not see yesterday, we cannot love today. We can only enable the FUTURE, not to foresee it. A lot of people are hopping into the FUTURE because others crusade it, forgetting that the FUTURE is not what it used to be, because it comes soon enough.
What I pray for and would see as my FUTURE when it manifests, could not be what the other is praying for or would see as FUTURE. The inventions of this world do not make the FUTURE. If they do, a lot people will not be crying. An adherent to the Christian principles can not say that what the God told him or her when he or she was a child should be changed because he or she is now an adult and is reasoning like one. Anyone who sees the rules of this God from the eye of AN ADULT merely believes that HE IS THE SAME YESTERDAY, TODAY AND FOREVER, AND AN UNCHANGEABLE GOD.
The FUTURE, I think, does not have an end, it can never make a Blackman become a Whiteman, but both have to live together in one world. The FUTURE can't make us change the day we saw as kids to night as adults we have become. There is FUTURE we can't meet no matter the ADULT eye we look at it with. No matter how we reason, we can't change God with our ADULT THOUGHTS, and since we can't do that, we can't also do to His laws. Anything contrary to this is not the FUTURE of a Christian.
Some of the Christian women, to justify their head-judgment why they should not submit to their husbands would say, “We cannot be adults while wanting to remain as children because we enjoyed the childhood days. Being an adult means that we take our childhood memories (meaning the past) and embrace adulthood (meaning the future) with it. Even nature shows that it is impossible to remain a child for life. We are supposed to learn from the past and move on and not to pitch tent, if not we will always be in the past which is stagnation.” Is the word of God in the bible stagnation’?
You will hear from such Christian women again why they should not submit to their husbands thus: “There was no electricity or aeroplane in the primitive days. We've moved on now to the point of being in a global village like Facebook. In the past we used to wait months to receive letters abroad but today its instant. The past helps us to learn, the future helps us to discover possibilities. Such is life.”
One thing any woman who feels that respect for her husband is in the past should know is that the disciples saw Christ as their master, and didn't request a 50/50 measurement in their ministry with him, unlike in the House of today where EQUALITY is misinterpreted to mean, WIFE IS EQUAL WITH the husband. Yes, Christ washed His disciples’ feet. Christ only washed the disciples’ feet once but they are submissive in carrying out his message even to date. How many wives can carry out the instructions of their husbands, as these disciples of Christ? As the disciples are to Christ, so wives are supposed to be to their husbands, but disappointedly many are singing a new song of watching this order with an ADULT EYE. On a serious note, the disciples venerated Christ, whether he washed their legs or not. Washing their legs was not a pointer for their submissiveness, but Him that came.
No one is wrong in his or her opinion. But regarding the bible which the Christians preach, the Christian women should please read well the ordinances to women, not wives, on how they should behave in the church. And if we take the church as a society, it could be a juxtaposition that women, not only wives, are under the authority of men. This is why every reasonable woman behaves well in order to get a suitor. So, if a woman sees the man who is not her hubby as EQUAL, there will never be a suitor. Though you say that MARRIAGE is not worth the woman having character for men who are not her hubby, please I am not the person who asked women, not wives, to be SILENT IN THE CHURCH, WHAT THEY DO NOT KNOW THEY SHOULD ASK THE MEN. This is in the New Testament. I didn't write it, and don't think any Christian woman can win THE WAR, if this law is strictly followed and adhered. No Christian woman should go pari per su with the laws in the bible and THE LAWS OF DEMOCRACY AND HUMAN RIGHTS.
Hardly does any other religionists women violet this COSMIC order of ‘woman be submissive’ to your husband as MOST Christian women who combine CANAL EDUCATION with bible injunctions do. Instead most women will be submissive they will tell you, that MARRIAGE IS NOT BY FORCE. There is no sound man that will take his wife for a ride. No one calls anybody a fool, but the foolishness of people have made them rewrote the bible to sooth their judgment. Humility can never mean zombie.
If this woman who said that she is a Christian adheres to the bible laws to women she would not have thrown the Holy Spirit away by not seeking the husband’s consent first before going for the exorcism. Her character has shown that most women are following their man in his character. Women would always say that they double what a man (husband) gives to them. But they forgot that HOLLY women are not supposed to quarrel their husbands even if they (husbands) do. The SAINTLY woman can change her husband even without a word. But like the ‘modern day woman’s’ head knowledge suggests, a wife should throwaway her manners and give back to her husband anything he gives her. This has made many women divvies where they are expecting much from their husbands. They forgot that a man has to expect a woman to sooth his sense of appreciation before he goes for her in marriage. Men are blessings to women, as heads, if they still believe that God is a blessing to man, as Head.
These bible laws are one of the COSMIC LAWS, not HUMAN RIGHTS. Even in Islam, “
No wonder some women are wives, not mothers. It is because God knows the MAKING of a woman that it was instructed that IT IS BETTER FOR A MAN TO LIVE UNDER A SHEET OF ROOF THAN TO LIVE WITH A TROUBLESOME WOMAN IN THE WHOLE HOUSE. Wise men have to SEARCH to differentiate between these TROUBLESOME women who will not rewrite the bible to rank shoulders with their husbands in name of ‘living the PAST for the FUTURE’.
The mentality of Christian men to their wives is different yet the women are fighting to oppose the law of submissiveness. This could be why in Islam, it is written: "In hell I saw women hanging by their breasts. They had fathered bastards." - (Ishaq:185). "Say to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty except what (must) appear; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display them except to their husbands..." - (Qur'an 24:31). "Believers, approach not prayers... with a mind befogged or intoxicated until you understand what you utter. Nor when you are polluted, until after you have bathed. If you are ill, or on a journey, or come from answering the call of nature, or you have touched a woman, and you find no water, then take for yourselves clean dirt, and rub your faces and hands. Lo! Allah is Benign, Forgiving." -(Qur'an 4:43).
If Christian women should understand what the holly spirit means, no Holly Spirit tells a wife to give double trouble to her husband because he first gave to her. It is human analogy that has thought most women that. This Holly Spirit, as I know, is humble, upright, respectful etc. So, a wife with CHARACTER will never be looking for excuses to justify her renegade. These injunctions as the bible prescribes about marriage are also applicable to the TRADITIONAL mindset of marriage. This was why our parents’ marriages lasted. Hardly were there divorces, because the women were saintly submissive. So, the Holly Spirit is everything and everywhere where there is TRUTH, irrespective of religion or creed.
All the women in the bible that assisted in one form or the other never ABUSED the men of Israel. They performed the acts with humility, and never ranked shoulders with their men, because they were in the position to help. AS A WOMAN OF GOD SHE SAID SHE IS, SHE SHOULD KNOW THAT SHE CAN NEVER WORKOUT HER PERSONAL SALVATION
WITHOUT FOLLOWING THE UNTAINTED RULES SHE READS FROM THE BIBLE. According to the bible, you can't workout a section of the bible to favour you and see others as prejudices. Christ will be laughing at some people who proclaim to be WOMEN OF GOD but allow societal philosophies to elude them. I wish these women parading themselves as Christians can read from Mathew to Revelation with an open mind, if they have not done, to correct their hypnotized psych ingrained in manmade laws. Even in the Western world where people think that WHAT A MAN CAN DO A WOMAN WILL ALSO DO..., holly women still know that their husbands are the HEAD.
In the African traditions and as well in the Christendom, except by false interpretations of the two traditions, I don’t think that any of the traditions allow women headship, except by permission and in the kind of government called Democracy, which effect we have seen in a part of Europe where woman is the ‘king’.
The human head allowed the word, democracy to run in their senses more than it’s boldly written on the Dictionary. Democracy now runs in our blood and in our veins than we could possibly explain. It is this government that brought about the axiom: “What a man can do, a woman can do better”, by the feminists. There is no right thinking mother or woman who can subscribe to that axiom, because unveiling literarily, what men do, women can’t try them, let alone, doing it better.
This axiom has brought divvy into many married homes today. Imagine a home where the man gives order and the woman thwarts it because of ‘equality’! The issue of headship is no more found in our homes, because the African woman is fighting for equality with her man. Any right thinking woman has to give the men respect, likewise any right thinking man has love the woman – the agape love. The measure of success of any (man) husband is not by mental or physical ability to make money, but by the loving and kind way he treats his wife and children. The advent of “what a man can do, a woman can do better”, by the feminists, has created the spirit of disrespect in wives for their husbands and in girls for the boys resulting to the men now treating the women with poorly rated love and shelve the issue of “weaker vessel” by the side, which women even no longer believe today they are.
Christian women no longer subscribe to Genesis 2:21-24: “God proceeded to build the rib that he had taken from the man into the woman and bring her to the man”. And even, the Moral Man in the bible told his critics in His days: “Did you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and the female?” With this, can we not see that there is supremacy built in the man over the woman? Christianity is the most saleable religion in the world today, and many cultures or traditions are dropping for it, because the knowledge of the subject is profound(?) When the Creator of the world told the Man of Morality, as recorded in Genesis 1: 26, “Let Us make man in our image, according to our likeness”, He did not say, let Us make a man and a woman at the same time. So, there is supremacy! Even before man was created, the Man of Morality whom He, the Creator created “Came to be beside Him as a master”, according to Proverbs 8:22-30, “the Firstborn of all creation”. He’s not a woman!
The bible figuratively called this Man, “Lamb of God”, and it showed he’s a husband. Remember? An Angel once said; as recorded in John 1: 29; Revelation 21: 9, “Come here, I will
show you the bride, the Lamb’s wife”. We could be imagining who the Lamb’s wife is but “they are the Man’s faithful-anointed followers. (Revelation 14:1, 3). While He was a Model to the Christians, 1 Peter 2: 21 did not terse the truth as it chronicled: “The head of every man is the Christ; as the head of every woman is man; and the head of Christ is God”. But today, most women do not remember this or are ignorance of it, but rather do remember and use the feminists’ slogan: “What a man can do, a woman can do better”. Who told you!
This slogan has corrupted the minds of these women that respects for their husbands and the role a mother is supposed to play in the house are now thrown into the bins for the much touted “gender equality”. This is why many homes today are comatosed because the headship principle was not applied. And the family could not find success, love, peace and happiness, which are factors that shouldn’t lag in marriage. As men have been assigned the headship, if the feminists like it or not, I don’t subscribe to a man dominating his wife, as many men commonly do, without blinking an eyelid. Man should assign the wife honour, treat her as a prized possession, and consider her feelings, always treating her as a human being who also deserves respect and dignity. And, also, in all these, the woman should not forget that the proverbial goat that wanted to be fat as the cow had its anus burst.
Elaborations are much in my head, but I will close this article with the knowledge in 1 Peter 3: 3:7, “rather a man to harshly dominate the wife, he should assign her honour as to a ‘weaker vessel’, the feminine one”. This is a note the African woman should understand and use. It was not only written in Africa or by Africans, but on the marble of history. It is a pity for this ‘Christian woman’ who went for exorcism without the husband’s consent and lost one of their children. May their daughter’s soul Rest In Peace. And to the pastor, till the police the report said is holding him tell us their findings, then we can talk about whether the child was used for rituals or not as the ‘Christian woman’ alleged.
Odimegwu Onwumere, Poet/Author, Media/Writing Consultant and Motivator, is the Coordinator, Concerned Non-Indigenes In Rivers State (CONIRIV); and Founder, Poet Against Child Abuse (PACA), Rivers State.