The views of some Nigerian Christians on issues are a problem, to say the least.
One thing I promised myself, before July 31st when Beyonce released the visual movie Black is King on Disney+; was that I would not engage in any online discussion berating it. Why did I make this resolve? I had already seen shallow comments from fellow Nigerian suggesting that the multi-talented queen; Beyoncé, is a fraud and is only profiting from Africa by launching the #BlackisKing project.
For all I know, I have kept to my resolve.
Unfortunately, however, there is a sort of spin-off argument now regarding how her representation of the African culture was rather demonic and a glorification of idol worship. Christians, mostly, have made loads of posts quoting scriptures and asking people to refrain from watching the movies. I have a few questions: Why did you watch the movie in the first place? Who are you to tell others what to do or not to do? What does your Bible say about judging others? What does humanity say about respecting other religions and beliefs, especially when they differ from you?
Now, DISCLAIMER: I am a Christian. I legit love Jesus. I am also against anything occultic or remotely diabolic. Stay away from me, please. However, where I have a problem is how Christians feel the need to condemn everything they believe does not conform to their own specific interpretation of God’s word and Christianity as a practice.
I mean, I get it. From birth, our minds unconsciously make immediate judgements of people we meet; things we come across and situations we find ourselves in; that way we efficiently use our time here on earth efficiently. That said, people tend to take a few immediately apparent; but not necessarily relevant factors or pieces of information in order to screen a situation to see if you’d be worth believing in or having a deeper interaction with. Everybody has their own screening process or specific factors they initially look for. This is shitty for a lot of reasons and is an unfortunate reality of life. Religion just happens to be one of these factors for some people
People assess and then judge other people’s politics, lifestyles, appearance, etc., all the time. Animals in the wild (maybe plants, too) assess and judge, as well. This is how they and we make decisions. It is innate. And based on this fact, judging religions is actually fine (I certainly have done that and still do).
A couple of years ago, I was going through an existential crisis and did a lot of research and “judging”; because I wanted to make an informed decision (that decision being a result of my judgments). However, the “condemning” (a harsh/ignorant judgement) part is where I have a problem. Ignorant judgement is an instinctive mechanism when you fear something you don’t know enough about; and for most Nigerians, it easily creeps into the judging process.
Condemning is a form of pretentious hatred. I have no doubt that many people have left “religion” due to the cruel (hypocritical) attitudes and in-fighting in and between religions. But the fighting is almost never the fault of the religion. It’s the fault of people who feel insecure and rather than work on themselves; they go outward and pretend to be a “supreme court” and make condemning thoughts and words about those they judge guilty. Guilty of what? Guilty of “not being like me”, guilty of not “conforming to the religion I have certified as the right one.
The sad part is that these Christians who condemn other practices; no matter how much sense you try to give them, they insist on their version of how it should be. And why is this? They are hypocrites. The seeds for that “insecure-based hatred” are rooted too deep. Some will justify and say that speaking their mind is a form of evangelism.
But I REALLY doubt that. Judgment is a terrible evangelism strategy. People run from people who judge them. They run to people who love them. Think about it; that’s what you do: you run from people who judge you.
As a Christian reading this, you probably already have bile up your throat. In fact, you are ready to quote John 7:24 or ask “so, who’s going to stand up for truth?” Understood. Yet in Jesus, grace and truth are perfectly fused. Remove grace from the truth and you don’t actually have truth at all, but a cold, steely imitation. (This is the shadow side of conservatism).
Judgmentalism is incompatible with at least five wonderful things: Love, help, humility, prayer and evangelism. Let that sink in!
I guess the point I am trying to make is simple.
Dear Nigerian Christian voltrons, we see you, we acknowledge you…But please also know this…The world needs your love and kindness more than it needs your opinion.