Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Child, the Youth and the Country, Nigeria

 By Carllister Ejinkeonye
 When I saluted Nigeria on the occasion of her 53rd Independence celebrations last October, I was not too sure that my greeting rang out with joy and optimism. I, however, feel that an occasion like that, largely received with mixed feelings across the country, presents a wonderful opportunity to deeply reflect on Nigeria and share my very frank feelings about it. 

*Mrs. Ejinkeonye 

I have been around for close to half a century now. From the experiences that came with those years, my environment and the many occurrences we have witnessed in my beloved country, I find it difficult to agree with the dictionary definition of the word INDEPENDENCE as freedom from political control by other countries or as the freedom to organize one’s life, make one’s own decisions and plans without the interference of other people. Truly speaking, it would appear I even became more confused about the word when a couple of months ago when I was reminded that Nigeria had attained 53years as an independent country. As I tried to make calls, I heard a recorded voice scream melodiously into my ears: ‘God Bless Nigeria!’ Now, I am forced to wonder: how would a man feel, if after 53 solid years,  he sits down to take a stock of his life, and all he discovers are that his woes far exceed his joys, his disappointments overwhelm his achievements and his failures swallow his modest  success? Certainly, he would immediately become miserable; in fact, his misery would be worse than that of a captive. Now, at 53, how free is Nigeria?  Think about it.

I am not here to merely enumerate and analyze the woes, disappointments, failures, or even seeming joys, assumed peace and what have you, which our ‘FREE’ nation boasts itself of. (Well, so much of that flood our newspapers daily.) I only wish to call our attention to a particular group of people which this self-styled giant of Africa, NIGERIA, has been most unfair to.

I discovered that on Saturday, 12 October 2013, at about 3:30am, I was just rolling on my bed. Soon, these words were dropped on my heart: ‘The Child, The Youth and the Country, Nigeria.’  As I struggled with this, every bit of sleep departed from my eyes, forcing me to stand up to write down this burden of my heart, which I am quite sure, is also the burden of many well meaning Nigerians.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Pastor Kumuyi Is Right: Christmas Is Idolatrous

By Ugochukwu Ejinkeonye
The recent statement by the General Superintendent of the Deeper Christian Life Ministry, Pastor W.F. Kumuyi, that Christmas is idolatrous has attracted widespread reactions.  Pastor Kumuyi was quoted in the Punch newspaper of December 13, 2013, as saying: 
*Pastor Kumuyi
We don’t celebrate Christmas. It actually came from idolatrous background. That is why you don’t hear us sing what they call Christmas carol. Never! ... When you find anybody coming in, or any leader, trying to introduce the idolatry of mystery Babylon that they call Christmas, and you want to bring all the Christmas carol saying that is the day that Jesus was born, and you don’t find that in the Acts of the Apostles or in the early church, then you don’t find that in the church either.  If you don’t know that before, now you know.”

 These are indeed weighty, unsettling words on a widely cherished festival. The reactions they immediately stirred were, therefore, to be expected. However, it was a very courageous assertion by Pastor Kumuyi and I would love to pitch my tent with those who insist that he is right, and that those attacking him are either doing so out of sheer lack of adequate information on the matter or, worse, unwittingly betraying their reluctance to let go of a cherished idol.

Now, despite the din, pomp and fanfare that usually mark this annual December 25 ceremony called Christmas, I have for many years now excused myself from everything that has to do with it. In my household it is just like any other day. And the reason is quite simple: I do not believe that December 25 is the birthday of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. In fact, what my research has shown is that, just like Easter before it, Christmas is rooted in hideous idolatrous observances and, in fact, predates the coming of Christ to this world in human form.

One of the vehement opposers of Pastor Kumuyi’s statement (as contained in the same Punch report) is the Director of Social Communications, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Monsignor Gabriel Osu.

Hear him: “I don’t know what he means by saying the practice of celebrating Christmas is wrong. Is he saying that Christ wasn’t born? That he didn’t come to die for us? Does he not celebrate his own birthday …The celebration of Christmas didn’t just start today; it is too public an event for anyone to say that they don’t know what it is about… Christ came to redeem us from our lost state; this was actualised through his coming, his birth; that is why we celebrate Christmas… Kumuyi is just saying what he feels; he is not making any doctrinal statement.”

Quite a passionate reply, one would say. However, as a Roman Catholic cleric, Monsignor Osu may wish to look at the 1911 edition of the Catholic Encyclopaedia which states that “Christmas was not among the earliest festivals of the church … the first evidence of the feast is from Egypt.” 

Also, even before the New Testament Church was fully formed, Easter was mentioned in the Bible as feast already in existence, showing that it was not ordained by the Apostles of Jesus Christ to mark His death and resurrection (Acts 12: 4).

No doubt, what we today know as Christmas is one of the prominent, irremediably polluted children that emerged from the very ungodly marriage between a distorted and depreciated form of Christianity and (Roman) paganism which crept into the Church many years after the death of the Apostles of Christ and the genuine Christians that took over from them. 

Although the pagan worship of the SUN god had gained prominence in several parts of the world long before the birth of Christ, and had permeated and gained wide acceptance in imperial Rome, it was Emperor Constantine’s Edict in 321 AD which ordered the unification of the mostly apostate Christians and the pagans of that period in the clearly abominable observance of the “the venerable day of the Sun” that increased the influence of Christmas celebration in the Roman church. What has, however, become clear, judging from historical accounts, is that Emperor Constantine may not have truly become a Christian.

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