The curious case of two preachers recently seen fighting over a preaching spot in Lagos throws some major contradictions into sharp relief.
My friend and I were in a London bus a few years ago and were watching a video on his phone. A clearly irritated elderly woman tapped us to mute the audio and use our headphones…
By the way, we were even straining to hear what was being said. We didn’t ‘loud’ the video. We quickly realised this was a society with little tolerance for nuisance of every sort and we apologised and ‘off-ed our mic.’
As a Lagosian, I have no alarm.
Every morning, I am awoken first by the muezzin’s call to prayers at a few minutes before 5am. On the days I have difficulty sleeping, I often follow the imam’s recital of the hadith…On days I really want to sleep, I drift off for a few more minutes and at 6am-ish; I am woken again, by the megaphone of a regular preacher.
My guess is he must be from ‘Chosen’ because of the reflective jacket he always wears. This particular preacher is a more persistent alarm. I am awake at the crack of his megaphone directly pointed at my sinful heart and many times; I don’t even hear what he is saying because he always moves up and down the street! He fades out on a verse; only to amplify a warning by the time he gets close to where I live.
I know I have had many nasty thoughts of chasing him down the street with slippers; or a stick or something frightening. This preacher gets to me like that and I also realise we are used to this kind of nuisance around here.
Now, on one or two occasions, there had been more than one preacher preaching at the same time. Maybe Chosen and another denomination. Each was stationed at the end of the street. I could hear both and I wondered, why didn’t one give way for the other. They had come for the same, mission, right? To save our sinning souls…but no, they kept preaching; each aware the other was also talking to the same “congregation” of sleepers.
There’s no consideration to their congregation. Some of us work late, sleep late so a few hours of sleep matter to us. While we can’t stop them from preaching, can we at least hope they will be civil at least?
So, I wasn’t much surprised when I was sent a video of two preachers at Ikeja bus stop fighting for a preaching spot. Instead, I was just again reminded of how much of our hypocrisy is exposed; how much nuisance we tolerate and why we don’t even see it as anything anymore.
These are preachers of the same faith. A man and woman who had the same mission. But because one had got to the same spot before another; they took up the Bible against one another, calling on the same God to strike the other!
We see and hear preachers every blessed day. Yet, because we don’t even practice what we preach, incidences like this will always happen. We are a country with the biggest churches and mosques in Africa. However, we remain untruthful and intolerant in simple dealings with one another.
You hire a so-called Christian brother and all he wants to do is fleece you.
You send your child to a so-called imam and he defiles the child.
Churches proclaiming lies in the name of God and Muslims terrorizing and killing people in the name of Allah!
When preachers don’t even follow their own preaching; I am surprised they expect followers to listen to what they have to say to the point of fighting to continue to ‘preach’ very loudly too, to a people who’ve become deaf to their words.
What this also means is that the motives behind all of these preaching are wrong. They’re not to spread love but division; not to preach forgiveness of sins but to bring hate and discord to the listeners. To cheat and extort, to lie and deny.
I wish the people walking by had simply asked the two fighting preachers to evacuate the place immediately. I wish someone had taken it upon themselves to insist the fighting crusaders stopped preaching there, forever; if one preacher from a different denomination cannot support his fellow preacher. Then both of you, buzz off!
We must all begin to out these pretenders!