THE DAY RELIGION DIED


Religion used to be nice, it’s not been so bad after all. At least, religion has always offered hope, a hope for God but the very unhelpful way of reaching God. Religion tries all the possibilities of human effort to reach God but it is usually coated with human error. Defining religion, James wrote that religion shouldn’t be the search for God, it shouldn’t be about fasting and prayer or about going to Church every Sunday. Good religion should be about reaching out to others with love, about helping the poor and speaking up for the voiceless… No more, no less. Let’s read the exact words of James 1:26-27

“Do any of you think you are religious? If you do not control your tongue, your religion is worthless and you deceive yourselves. What God the Father considers to be pure and genuine religion is this: to take care of orphans and widows in their suffering and to keep oneself from being corrupted by the world.”

What God considers pure religion isn’t the search for him but taking care of the helpless and not conforming to the patterns of this world. We will be discussing religion from the human perspective and not God’s perspective. Unfortunately, what we know as religion today is a kind of conformity to the things of the world. Thinking we can win God’s favour by praying and fasting is worldly, thinking we can win God’s favour just because of Church attendance is worldly. Religion today is usually about self, we baptize it with what looks like spirituality but it still ends up being about self.

God never asked us to search for him, throughout history, God has always been the one coming down to look for the man. We didn’t create God, he created us. Religion today is like focusing on a container but not the content, it is like adoring a nice cup when thirsty. Nice cup don’t quench thirst, it is the content of the cup that would quench thirst. No matter how much you lick a cup full of water, it will never quench your thirst. You would rather lose more fluid licking the cup. It is like a hungry man who got an apple and continued to admire and lick the apple! He will stay hungry as long as he isn’t eating the apple. There is little or no satisfaction in the form in which something is contained but in the content itself.

This is what religion does to a lot of people, they are very thirsty and hungry, they are looking at what will quench their thirst and hunger but they are carried away by the form in which it came and sometimes what they have may seem to quench their thirst but only momentarily. As a kid, I always loved to prepare Garri. I would mould it into a baby and we would admire the artistry. As much as it appeared lovely, we would remain hungry if we decided to keep the mould in a glass, preserve it and watch it every day! We were meant to eat it if we truly wanted to satisfy our hunger and not to admire the form it came in. It’s like adorning a cake because it came in the form of a car, cakes are meant to be eaten and the fulfilment is in the eating and not in the decoration.

We see a clear example of this in the transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-8). Peter suggested that a shrine be made for Abraham, Moses and Elijah but that wasn’t why the transfiguration happened! It would have become another religion, it would have become another ritual but Jesus came to destroy the very forms that have been limiting us from enjoying fellowship with God, the forms that we had esteemed above the main stuff. Jesus wanted us to enjoy a direct relationship with God rather than watch him from a veil, he wanted us to enjoy God’s presence rather than assume what his presence feels like. If we have to seek him on the mountain, it is religion, if we have to seek him for days, it is religion and it is a limitation! Jesus is our direct access to all of God, he is the scandal of religion, the new thing written in the book of prophets that would happen. When old things were said to pass away, religion, as we know it today, was one of it.

While men have always lived as though they were made for Sabbath (Matthew 12:1-8), Jesus came with a very different notion, making it clear that Sabbath was made for the man. Jesus is the rest that the Sabbath represented, when that rest came walking among them, they couldn’t recognise him because they were busy adoring the form and not the content. They were adoring an icon but couldn’t recognise the real thing it represented.

When you break a glass full of water, what gets destroyed is the glass and not the water! The water will spill from the glass, it may get evaporated and come back again as rain. Jesus said to the Samaritan woman (John 4:4-42) “whatever you guys have been searching for, you are looking at him!” Jesus used the metaphoric water of life to communicate with her. He was saying to her “you guys have always adored the vessels and forms but the time has come when people will access the content without any kind of restriction”. The Church Christ envisioned was the Church without walls, not another organised religion. Jesus was saying “with the cup, you can only take as much as it can carry… But you’ve got more than enough to fill you from the inside out, more than enough that you can swim in it!”

Religion limits us from how much of God we can access, it limits us with rules and regulations, with tithes, first fruits, circumcision and all manner of things. Imagine being told that God’s blessings to you are dependent on how much you were able to give, imagine being told that God’s acceptance of you depends on how good you are. As beautiful as religion was, it was never meant to last, it served its purpose and then the water couldn’t be contained in the cup, it ran over and even swept the cup off its feet! We need no man to grant us access to God, we have him inside of us and he has us inside of him. John wrote in 1 John 4:13

“This is how we know that we live in him and he in us: He has given us of his Spirit.”

This is bigger than what religion can offer! God has given us his Spirit as a seal of his presence in us and our presence in him… It is a relationship! Since we now have more than the content of the cup inside of us, we don’t need the cup again. If the water Jesus offers is that which quenches thirst forever, then there isn’t need for the cup! He said to the woman in John 4:13-14

“Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

All the years of religion, people have remained hungry and thirsty! Here comes Jesus,  offering permanent satisfaction!

In those days, Jews and the Samaritans argued where God’s presence was; whether it was the temple or the mountain but Jesus said to the woman of Samaria, “no need for that argument again, the worship of God has left the forms and God can only be worshipped in the Spirit and in the truth!” God’s presence had left those limitations to establish a relationship with people on a very personal level, in a way that all of God can dwell inside of us! When you drink of the living water, the cup becomes useless. This is how religion becomes useless to anyone who receives Jesus. Religion was a means people used to know if they could find God or please him but God came to us himself… Why still searching?

Jesus said, “I am the bread of life, anyone who eats me will hunger no more.” Jesus was simply saying “that bread label you’ve always admired, I am the bread! That cup you’ve always celebrated, I am the content! No need for the cup anymore since the content has been poured out to you!”

Religion celebrates the fancy cup, the material of the cup and it’s uniqueness but this cup cannot quench anyone’s thirst.

What Jesus offered us was way beyond mere water, the analogy of water and cup will not make so much sense if we forget to put the words of Jesus into consideration. He said “drink of me and you will never thirst again.” The cup becomes useful as long as we get thirsty but Jesus said he is the satisfaction we seek, when we drink of him we will never thirst again and there isn’t any need for the cup! We don’t need to preserve the cup, we don’t need to maintain the cup, all we have to do is stay grateful for the supply! The living water isn’t bound in cups, it’s a fountain that doesn’t run dry, you no longer need cup anytime you want more, you just let yourself be a bath in the fountain. God said in Jeremiah 2:13 NIV

“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water.”

Do you see that? Men are digging their own cistern in search for satisfaction and the quenching of thirst but God has always been available! Religion is like ignoring the spring waters beside you to dig the dry grounds for water!

God describes himself as the spring of living water, there is more to what the cup can hold. Jesus is the manifestation of this living water! Jesus is God’s way of saying “whatever the cup introduced to you,  there is more to where it came from, come and quench your thirst forever!” Fishes don’t get thirsty because they live in the water! When we are found in Christ, we don’t get thirsty anymore! Concerning the overflow of this living water which marks the end of religion, the Bible says in Zechariah 14:8-9

“On that day living water will flow out from Jerusalem, half of it east to the Dead Sea and half of it west to the Mediterranean Sea, in summer and in winter.  The Lord will be king over the whole earth. On that day there will be one Lord, and his name the only name.”

That day isn’t yet to come, it is here already! There is one Lord, the only way, truth and life. Jesus said, “no man comes to the Father except by me”. There isn’t any religion that can lead to God, Jesus is the way to God and aside from him, we will miss it!

It is the end of religion, a science beyond the science of men, a truth that cannot be contained in a container, truth that cannot be bound within the four walls of our denominations. The living water has flown out from Jerusalem, no more to be found in the temple but throughout the ends of the earth. The Bible tells us somewhere else of what this living water will do when it starts overflowing. Ezekiel wrote in Ezekiel 47:8,12

“This water flows toward the eastern region and goes down into the Arabah, where it enters the Dead Sea. When it empties into the sea, the salty water there becomes fresh. Fruit trees of all kinds will grow on both banks of the river. Their leaves will not wither, nor will their fruit fail. Every month they will bear a fruit because the water from the sanctuary flows to them. Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.”

This water is flowing today, we aren’t heading to the temple in Jerusalem, the water rather flowed from the temple to all parts of the world! Jesus is still calling us out of religion, he is saying “come unto me all who have been burdened with the stress of religion, the stress of wanting to find God; this is what you have been searching for, this is the rest you have always hoped for in religion. Come to me and you will have rest. It is no longer between you, Moses and the Prophets, it is only between you and God! Come and rest from fruitless works.”

The day Jesus died on the cross, religion died!

Blessings.

GOD CAN USE ANYONE – Don’t doubt it


Previously, I had written about Rahab the Canaanite prostitute whom God used for the purpose of handing the city of Jericho over to the Israelites in my aricle “The Unlikely Ally”.

Remember, the initial time Moses had sent spies to investigate the city, many came back afraid! These people were called God’s people but they didn’t trust that God would hand this city over to them. Yes, they witnessed a lot of miracles but this time, they allowed the present reality to override the memories of the mighty acts of God. (Numbers 13:1-14:4)

They were looking at the size of the giants, they were considering physical attributes, they were judging God’s word which already promised them victory based on their own efforts and they belittled God’s power and indirectly considered the mighty men of that city superior to God. But on another tour into the city, the two men sent by Joshua encountered a prostitute whose name is Rahab. (Joshua 2:1-24)

Rahab would be considered morally bankrupt but this same woman had the simple faith some Israelites didn’t have. She knew her city had mighty men but somehow, she believed that the God of the Israelites has handed the city of Jericho over to the Israelites. Prior to the day the two men encountered her, God had already chosen her to play a role!

Somehow, we are seeing a similar scenario happen in every age! We see how Jesus approached Paul on his way to Damascus (Act 9:1-9) and we see how Jesus had chosen “an enemy” for a great project. It so sad that it is Christians who seem to look down on God’s mercy, Christianity has never been based on works, it has never considered merit, it has never considered efforts. There isn’t any kind of works in Christianity that is not powered by faith (Ephesians 2:8-9). In Christianity, we work because we have been empowered and separated to do so, we don’t work to be empowered or to be chosen. Many people still find it hard to believe this.

Rahab was a prostitute but Rahab was a woman chosen by God for a specific purpose! I am not over flogging the subject of God using anyone, we should see even the worst people around us as potential vessels unto honour. In this age, Saul who became Paul would be considered a terrorist and in other words, God chose a terrorist for His purpose. No person encounters God and remains the same. Let me bring it home a bit.

Selena Gomez, Justin Beiber, Nicki Minaj, Kanye West, Demi Lovato and many more celebrities, atheists all people of diverse religion are all professing Jesus as their Lord and saviour and you think God isn’t raising armies in the most unusual way? Some of these people weren’t convinced by preachers, some of them had personal experiences with God which prompted them into accepting something they had never believed in before or stopped believing in.

Kanye West just declared he is going to focus on “Gospel Music”, Demi Lovato just got baptized, I also learnt Nicki Minaj is leaving the secular music industry. Oh yeah, some things may not be doctrinally correct based on your own analysis but this is what the Bible says “if you shall believe with your heart and confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, you shall be saved.” The change you are expecting may take time to become a reality before your very eyes but God works in ways you may not even understand and He sees you very differently.

Unfortunately, some Christians are yet to understand what is happening, just like the Israelites who were scared of the Canaanites, they aren’t convinced that God can use the people they regard “worst sinners” and they want to question a lot of things! They would say “but Nicki is still getting naked, but Justin is still doing this and Selena is still doing that… Kanye may not be mentally stable…” This shows that some of us are yet to understand what Christianity is and some of us don’t trust the change that Jesus brings yet! This is why we would regard what God is doing as a publicity stunt!

How God works may be unpopular, unexpected and uncommon but Jesus is changing lives and drawing men to Himself. Like I will always say, there are people God will reach through these people we consider sinners that He may not reach through you. Their lives are testimonies that nothing is impossible with God, this will always leave atheists confused because they can’t understand why people who seem to have all they want suddenly say “they still felt a vacuum which only Jesus could fill!”

What you owe these people are your prayers and not your logic and criticism! God chose them the way they are and you should be praying for them. You should be celebrating what God is doing at this age and when possible, you should be encouraging them. You may not even be better than these people when your profile is opened. Some of us are just very good outside because we keep all our worse behaviours behind closed doors.

The Bible says in Romans 5:8 “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. We weren’t better, we aren’t worth more than the worst person on earth and we have no justifiable reason to think of ourselves better than anyone. It is to this regard that: Jesus said in Luke 6:37 “you shouldn’t judge!” Next time you meet people who seem to be “bad” or morally bankrupt, just know that you just met a potential vessel unto honour. Treat them with respect, treat them with love but be sincere with them about what God wants of them.

Our duty is not to calculate who God can use and how He should use them. We weren’t called to judge people and condemn them, it is anti-christian! We are rather called to love men like Christ would, to show them the love of God in the most sincere way and to reconcile men with God who loves them and have made every possible arrangement to bring them into union with Himself. (2 Corinthians 5:11-21)

Blessings!

IS LANGUAGE, RELIGION AND CULTURAL CHANGE OUR PROBLEM?


A lot of times, people argue that Nigerians foolishly abandoned their cultural heritage and their languages to adopt English, Christianity and Islam but I think there is no need for that assertion especially with the fact that we look at it from a negative perspective.

As much as many of us aren’t satisfied with the present situation in the country, it doesn’t mean we should frown at everything that has to do with Nigeria. We are subject to evolving and almost every country had something they developed from, a language they spoke that became influenced by another language whether through being run over by war, trade, intermarriage, migration or colonialism.

As long as there are interactions with other people of diverse cultures and languages, cultures and languages must mix, change and may even give way for what seems to be more influential. Britain used to be a pagan country, there was a time Christianity was the minority religion of that region and same can be said of Rome and just any other place where we often assume had Christianity as an indigenous religion. No nation in this world had Christianity or even Islam as indigenous religion.

What we know today as England was highly influenced by Anglo-Saxon migration from Germany in the mid 5th century and Anglo-Saxon paganism was dominant in England till Christianity was introduced and started gaining ground. So, criticizing Nigeria for becoming too Christian or Islamic other than their indigenous religion or practices is out of place. As a person, such arguments don’t make me feel bad for bearing an English name alongside my Igbo name, it doesn’t make me feel bad for being born into a Christian family and I am an advocate of same faith today.

I have seen a comparison between India and Nigeria in terms of language and religion and I think it won’t be fair to compare India and Nigeria as regards to religion and language in modern times. While I wouldn’t delve into what India used to be in ancient times, I would do a little justice to it only with regards to modern history. Maybe, we should look at the United States of America for that comparison on Nigeria in terms of religion and language but not India which doesn’t have the specifics that Nigeria had.

India isn’t extremely multi-cultural, multi-lingual and multi-religion like Nigeria, to some extent it is and to a very great extent, it is not. Almost all Indians practice the same religion, Pakistan separated majorly on a religious basis. Urdu spoken by the majority of Pakistanis is just like a dialect of Hindi just like Dakhini and Rekhta. Hindi is taught in Pakistani schools too just as Urdu may likely be taught in some Indian schools. However, Hindi isn’t the national language of India and many South Indians have been protesting that Hindi is being imposed on them even while they aren’t Hindi regions. Many Indians still speak English when they want to communicate with their non-Hindi speaking fellows.

Nigeria is very different in this regard. In the Igbo language alone, there are approximately more than 30 dialects that aren’t even mutually intelligible. Till date, a standardized Igbo language is still very difficult because of the challenge as a result of the dialects not being mutually intelligible.

In most part of Nigeria that wasn’t conquered by Islam, they didn’t have an organized religion as each family had their own personal idols. African Traditional Religion is not an organized religion and doesn’t reconcile with each other. Each family communes with their own ancestors while there is a chief priest for the community to serve the community god. The same thing that made Christianity prevail in Britain, Rome and some other places is what is making it prevail in Nigeria (so can be said of Islam).

Hinduism is an organized religion practised by nearly 80% of Indians. It is a different case for Nigeria just like every country that shares the same features as ours. Nigeria has 520 languages and only 9 out of this 520 has gone extinct while India lists only 22 languages in their constitution with a majority of almost 70% speaking Hindi. Out of these 520 languages in Nigeria, which of the languages should serve as the official language? If we say the majority being “Hausa”, then we would have the same problem India is having in South India.

To be able to flow well in communication locally as we are very diversified, the English language wasn’t such a bad thing to have been adopted, we can’t even do away with it as it were. Same can be said of religion where Nigerians originally didn’t have any organized religion. This is why Islam was able to conquer the North and Christianity was able to penetrate easily to places where Islam hadn’t conquered. There was no organized religion in Nigeria like Indians had. When the English people came, they couldn’t penetrate some core Muslim areas of Northern Nigeria with Christianity because organized religion has already been established there.

Look at the USA which is very multi-lingual with respect to the history of that country. Today, English is the only official language on the federal level and we now have American variant of the English language that is being studied as a different dialect with its own dictionary. Same can be said of Australia which also had more than 400 aboriginal languages. The USA has 420+ indigenous languages before colonialism and some of these languages are still been spoken till today.

When it comes to language and religion, I don’t think it is a Nigerian issue. It is a general issue and we can only try to revive cultures and languages but when it is done with, it is done with. Who still speaks Latin today? During the time of Jesus, the Jews weren’t speaking ancient Hebrew anymore, they were speaking Greek and Aramaic, Greek was what served as the official language of those days especially in academics.

like American English and Australian English, there is presently what is known as Nigerian English or Nigeria Standard English. England itself which happens to be the English land didn’t use to speak English. English developed from a German language, it used to be a dialect until it evolved into what it was today.

We are subject to change and nothing can stop it, every language today were results of change, interactions, developments and migrations. If you are looking for the ancient Greek, Britain or Roman heritage, you should be looking at the Museum. Humanity is progressive, directly or indirectly, we are open to changes and we are open to adopting different lifestyles and culture when it is necessary. Some Igbo cultural wears today isn’t indigenous to the Igbo nations the same as some foods and even names of foods.

The Igbo name for Lady’s finger, Okwuru, was borrowed by the English people to name it Okro. In the same way, every culture, every language and even every skin colour will always produce something new when they interact. This is why nothing is more important than focusing on human problems and solving them rather trying to maintain Ancient cultures, languages and so on when it seemed their time is winding up.

So, of all the problems facing Nigerians as a country with regards to the poor leadership systems of the political class, the elites and even the academic institutions, I don’t think cultural change, conversion from traditional religion, change of dressings and lingual influences is one of it. The best we can do as a people is to put our fading cultural heritages in the museum, improve in our literary representation of them but forge ahead to develop along with every other human on earth. We have a bigger problem facing us and it is the problem of hatred, racism, nationalism, tribalism, corruption, greed and so on… Let’s channel; our energy on those things.

HOW WOMEN SHOULD NOT SUBMIT IN MARRIAGE


What exactly are we talking about when we talk about submission in marriage? Should the issue of submission be wrestled about? Do men have to out-rightly demand this submission? In what sense should women submit to their husbands? If you are an ardent reader of George’s Diary, you will have seen various teachings we had done as regards to women and we keep updating them every day to ensure accuracy. If women were asked to submit to their husbands, does it mean they are not equal with their husbands? Does it suggest they are to live by their husband’s rule without question? I will answer a few of these questions by actually telling us what submission isn’t or what God never defined as submission in marriage.

Marriage is like a plane where there are two pilots. Both contribute to a successful flight! For order, there is usually a captain and then the co-pilot. Sometimes the captain will need a rest and the senior officer (co-pilot) plays the role of the captain. In a family of two siblings, one would have come first and he is branded the “senior” but it doesn’t suggest he is superior or even more important. Being the senior is in age and ranking but in the real sense of it, they are equal as children, sons or daughters and they both have equal access to their parents and the resources made available to them as members of the family. However, certain tasks and responsibilities will be given to them with respect to their strength. Sometimes, the junior may even be stronger than the senior and it doesn’t make anyone more important or superior to one and another.

A captain and a co-pilot require the same skill and qualifications. There are no flight tasks exempted from the co-pilot as he or she needs an equal qualification to play the commanding role when the captain takes a break. In some cases too, the co-pilot plays a complementary role in difficult tasks where his or her own contributions and intelligence is also valued! It doesn’t rob the captain of his leadership position.

I believe that married couples are one and each contributes to raising a healthy family according to their areas of strength. Being a wife doesn’t make her inferior neither does being a husband makes him superior to the wife. In a simple line, to live in submission as a wife simply means responding to God’s call into the office of a helpmeet, recognizing and honouring the husband’s God-given position as the leader of the family with whom you stir the affairs of the family. It is in the identification of his role as the leader that you are even able to offer him necessary help and to also stand in his capacity when he is weak. In response to the issue of submission, husbands are also called to “highly respect” and hold their wives in high esteem! (1 Peter 3:7) To highly respect means to have a great sense and feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.

So, a husband, in turn, should be in awe of the amazing qualities his wife possess in solving problems! Leadership is meant to bring out the great potentials of others and this is what a husband should do, he gives room for the “helping” potentials of his wife to manifest! You don’t get that by imposing authority, you get that by allowing them to manifest freely and it is in their willingness to manifest their gifts as a wife freely that they also submit. The logic is, submission becomes very easy when you love and greatly respect your wife and the “answers” they carry. Another way men express leadership in marriage is by loving their wives the same way Christ loves the Church and gave Himself for the Church (Ephesians 5:25). This is a sacrifice, a man must sacrifice everything including his ego as an expression of leadership in the home!

Now, let’s look at certain things we must never define as submission.

1. SUBMISSION IS NOT UNCONDITIONAL AGREEMENT

We often hear people say things like “you have to agree with him without question because he is your husband. You can only suggest but he decides.” Oh well, that sounds so cool but that is a whole bunch of lies. In 1 Peter 3, if there were wives whose husbands were not Christians; in this sense, they heavily disagree, then it is possible to disagree with things that aren’t healthy to your purpose, your convictions in life and your ultimate loyalty to Christ. If the husband decides to have a threesome sexual experience, you wouldn’t suggest “no” to him, you would scream “no!” and in the same way, you can be bold with your convictions. After all, we have established the fact that leadership in marriage means giving room for the good opinions of another. There are places in a marriage where a woman is left with no option than to disagree respectfully and there is also no room for a man to impose his opinion disrespectfully.

2. SUBMISSION IS NOT “WITHOUT YOUR MIND”

Marriage doesn’t make a woman a robot, it doesn’t even make a woman a sex machine in the sense that she can’t say “please can we do this later, I really overworked myself today.” Submission doesn’t mean that the woman’s opinion is inferior and it doesn’t mean the mind of the woman has been sold out to the man. A good leader in marriage will always want to know and respect the opinions and strength of the other person. Many people would misinterpret 1 Corinthians 7:4 by suggesting a wife will always be available for sex but the same chapter clearly says the body of the husband also belongs to the wife and in the next verse it talks about mutual consent. A respectful husband serving as a leader should always be able to respect the body of his wife and understand when she is weak. On the other hand, being a submissive wife doesn’t mean putting your mind away and accepting things that are anti-Christ and destructive to you. You can speak your mind in the marriage too, don’t let anyone deceive you into thinking that God wants you to say “oh! yes” to everything. Remember your ultimate submission is to God and your submission to your husband should be guided by your submission to God.

The Bible view on authority should not be likened to that of the world, loyalty and submission in the family isn’t like what we see in political parties where people agree to ideologies they aren’t convinced about just because they are members of that party. You can disagree with your husband when he wants to overspend, it is both of you that pilots the ship and your own opinion also matter. In leadership, we must admit a better opinion when we see it. A good leader in marriage should be able to accept a better view and leave his own views aside. Leadership is all about doing something together and not about rolling out a personal plan.

You don’t say “we must do this!”, sometimes you say it this way “should we do this? Is it a good idea?” This is what husbands should do as they stand in the place of captains.

3. SUBMISSION IS NOT BEING LESS IMPACTFUL

Never ever be discouraged by trying to also have a great impact or strong influence over your husband’s decisions and character. Many people think that you must allow him to live the way he wants but that is not true. You were called to help him as a wife and therefore you should be the biggest influence in his life. It is not a lack of submission when you want your husband to act in certain ways. My mother got my father born again, my mother influenced him into quitting alcohol and smoking! She also had a superior influence on us and ensured we didn’t follow that path. Does that make her less submissive? No, because she was submitted not just to the man but to the purpose of the marriage and the office she occupies as a helpmeet and a mother. Today, we don’t even remember we had a Dad who would smoke and drink alcohol.

4. SUBMISSION IS NOT DOING THE WORK ALONE

People also usually think that submission in marriage means doing all the domestic chores, doing the dishes, taking care of the Children and the laundry while still keeping up with your daily job in the office. This is very wrong! You can have a submissive wife without having her enter the kitchen once! Trying to take up all the work doesn’t make you a submissive wife anyway. It is not even wrong to suggest to your husband that he should take up some domestic responsibilities and as a husband you are not being a coward by not trying to blackmail your wife into making her feel she isn’t a good woman if she isn’t able to do all the work. There should be a division of labour in the home especially when she isn’t a housewife and no man is supposed to force a woman to sit in the house all day. In our family, Dad can’t cook and therefore he doesn’t enter the kitchen for anything. The first times he tried, it was an eye sour! Mum does the cooking when we are not available to cook! On the other hand, Dad loves to do the laundry for himself and mum while we wash ours ourselves. When we are not available to clean the house and fill the water cans, Dad would do them himself. Now you see that? They both respect their places of strength without imposing extra duties on the other person.

5. SUBMISSION IS NOT “HUSBAND” ABOVE EVERYTHING

A wife has a life to live, she is a staff, a student, a member of an organization, a leader in the social world, a doctor, a mother, a friend and so on! Therefore she should balance her life to meet up with all the demands. Submission doesn’t mean going to see your husband when it is time to be at work, it is not going out with your husband when you need to stay with the kids, it doesn’t mean staying with your husband when you have an emergency in the hospital as a medical doctor. Husbands should understand this! Above all, our ultimate submission is to Christ and therefore when it comes to choosing between the husband and Jesus, it is Jesus without negotiation but with deep respect from both sides. While we love and respect our spouse, our ultimate reverence is to God.

The list would go on but now we can understand that our definition of submission should not be defined with the idea of cult-like followership, a hopeless dependence and careless disregard of our own personal convictions, goals and God’s calling in an attempt to stick to order. Both submission and leadership in marriage can only be best understood in the light of the scriptures. In other words, submission truly doesn’t mean living for the man and in his own terms, it means living for God and shaping your marriage to truly reflect God’s will and purpose for that marriage. In turn, the man expresses true leadership by identifying the duty of the woman and allowing her to carry it out effectively.

To be submissive in marriage is to be loyal to the purpose of that marriage and to affirm the role of the man as a leader making the woman also understand her own role as a helpmeet. You can’t help solve an issue you haven’t identified with.

God bless you.

~ George O.N

YOU MAY WANT TO READ:

Get this amazing story for free!

GOD EXPOSED | Bible & Quran


Even before we came to this earth and identified with our earthly parents, we already had a father. Many people never realized this on time, we were told about God, we were told about His sovereignty, we were told that God created the entire world and is the Lord of all. Whether you found it in the Quran or in the Torah, one thing was common; God is the King of Kings, the Lord over all and for some people, His name is too holy to be mentioned by mere mortals who couldn’t attain God’s standard of Holiness.

However, there is something remarkable that we always disregard whether you are seeing it from the Quran perspective or from the Torah. In Quran 38:71-72, we see a report that says this “I am going to create a human (Adam) from sounding clay of altered black smooth mud.  So when I have fashioned him and breathed into him (his) soul created by Me, then you fall down prostrate to him.” and we also see an even more profound perspective in Genesis 1:27 “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” God created man with an amazing intention, He wasn’t going to start bossing man around and He had always wanted the man to be honoured. If God made man in His image, He wanted much more than worshippers.

God didn’t say “let us create man to worship me” He already had worshippers who were created to worship Him but if the man should worship God, God wanted willingness to worship and therefore, in the beginning, there was no command from God to man, to worship Him. Making man in His image alone was a glory to be reckoned with that the fallen angel (satan) became aggrieved!

“If God made man in His image, He wanted much more than worshippers.”

After Satan had deceived man to seek an extra knowledge which actually doesn’t exist, the man left the ways of God and sojourned into the path of Satan; leaving Satan in control (Luke 4:6) and venturing into a futile search for God and what pleases Him. This was how religion was birthed, the man continued to try to please God by their own efforts but the more they try the more they failed because God needed no effort of man to make him perfect just as in the beginning. God already made man and bestowed on him all authority, honour and goodness but Satan made the man believe that there was more hidden from them. The only thing the perfect man never knew was rebellion against God in the search for more knowledge above what God has given.

As men kept searching for God and seeking for ways to get back to fellowship with God, religion kept thriving and the dimensions of religion kept expanding. Laws upon laws kept coming and even when God reveals himself to selected people, they couldn’t really explain what they see in the way that it explains the person of God and therefore they were very limited in their explanation of God because they were spiritually blind men.

Concerning this, the Bible reports in the new testament “…the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people.” Various people all over the world sought for diverse means to reach God but God can’t be reached with human effort as it undermines the person of God! In seeking for certain covering and spiritual fulfilment, men began to make their own gods and this was one of Satan’s goals. While everyone wanted to deal with Satan and negative energy, the devil was inspiring them to stick to him in hidden ways.

“God needed no effort of man to make him perfect”

God decided to narrow down on just one people through whom He will spread the knowledge of Himself to the entire world. It wasn’t a strategy that would make sense in an instant, He was preparing a way to make Himself known by Himself. No Angel, or Prophets would explain God in a better light and so God was committed to making Himself known all by Himself. Because of spiritual blindness, the God who desired fellowship was seen as a God who was power-drunk. That was the distorted view of God that religion has. Both the Torah and the Quran presented God as a Master in a sense it presents us as His slaves to some degree. Describing the helplessness of man, Bildad said to Job in Job 25:6 “how much less a mortal, who is but a maggot– a human being, who is only a worm!” but seeing from the point of revelation, David cried out to God saying in Psalms 8:4-6 “What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? Yet you made them only a little lower than God (Adonai) and crowned them with glory and honour. You gave them charge of everything you made, putting all things under their authority— ”

While we wallowed in ignorance, spiritual loneliness and quest to have that vacuum filled up which only God would fill, God kept revealing Himself to the people He had chosen but they only saw it in types and shadows because they were spiritually blind as the corruption of this world still covered their sight like veils. Concerning this, the Bible says in Colossians 2:17 “These are a shadow of the things that were to come…” When God told the Israelites in Exodus 29:45 “Then I will dwell among the Israelites and be their God.” He was making reference to a spiritual Israel which the nation of Israel only represented as a type and shadows of what was to come.

Through the Prophets of old, God announced His plans for the Salvation of man and healing from the spiritual blindness that has ravaged the earth. Micah wrote in 5:2 of his prophecy “The Lord says, “Bethlehem Ephrathah, you are one of the smallest towns in Judah, but out of you I will bring a ruler for Israel, whose family line goes back to ancient times.” Isaiah also saw in a revelation as he wrote in Isaiah 7:14, 9:6 “But the LORD will still give you proofs. A virgin is pregnant; she will have a son and will name him Immanuel… A child is born to us! A son is given to us! And he will be our ruler. He will be called, “Wonderful Counselor,” “Mighty God,” “Eternal Father,” “Prince of Peace.””

“God kept revealing Himself to the people He had chosen but they only saw it in types and shadows because they were spiritually blind”

Many years later, in a very lowly manger in  Bethlehem just like Micah prophesied, a child was born and as Isaiah had written, He was born of a virgin. Some wise men of the East who understood the timing saw the star of God appear in the sky as it was written in Numbers 24:17 and they went to behold this child and bow in worship, acknowledging that indeed God, God is among men at this time. When Herod learnt of this and sought to kill the Child who was named Jesus, Hosea 11:1 was fulfilled as Jesus was taken to Egypt from where He came back to Israel. This also clarified why Jacob had to go to Egypt.

Even the Quran couldn’t hide certain truths about Jesus no matter how it is tried. The Quran said concerning Jesus in Surah 3:45 “O Mary! Allah giveth thee glad tidings of a Word from Him: his name will be Christ Jesus, the son of Mary, held in honour in this world and the Hereafter and of (the company of) those nearest to Allah.” In Quran 3:39,45,4:171, it couldn’t be scraped off the Quran that Jesus is the word of God. In Quran 40:56, it is also agreed that God creates with His word! Quran agrees too that Jesus is the Spirit from God Quran 21:19. Although efforts have been made to deny the divinity of Jesus, it can’t be completely hidden as no other prophet in the Quran was given such attribute.

Concerning this Child, the Bible in John 1:1 records that He is the word of God, the same word with which the entire world was created. Although called the “son of God”, He was God in the flesh showing us the clear picture of who He is and who we should be. We were made to be like God in the flesh and Jesus being God in flesh was the clear example of who we were made to be. Jesus grew up possessing the very qualities of God, clarifying all the rumours that had been broadcasted about God. He was out to correct all the information given to us about God. The teachers of the law never understood Him but it was also His intention that they don’t understand Him because it will set the stage for the salvation of mankind.

“Even the Quran couldn’t hide certain truths about Jesus no matter how it is tried.”

In all the confusions arising from the teachings of all the Prophets, Jesus said in Matthew 5:17 (CEV) “Don’t suppose I came to do away with the Law and the Prophets. I did not come to do away with them, but to give them their full meaning.” We never knew the meanings of what these Prophets had written because they were codes and not reality, we had documented their teachings and made laws out of them not knowing it was only but a pointer to Jesus. Although Jesus knew that some things would be heavy for the people to grasp in their state of blindness, He said: “I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30) Wait a minute! This is the Master He was talking about, the God of all flesh, the one who uses the earth as His footstool and He didn’t call Him master but “father!” He didn’t just call Him Father, He also said they are one.

Jesus went around doing good, healing the sick, supporting people with compassion in His heart and treating women so right that in Him, they saw the picture of the perfect man. Jesus was both the vivid picture of the perfect man and God all at the same time. In Jesus, humanity and divinity were pictured together. He went about forgiving sins and setting the captives free!

As that was never enough, Jesus took upon Himself the old judgment upon man which says in Genesis 2:17 “If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die”. The judgment had kept resonating as all men were labelled sinners because of the disobedience of one man from whom all men proceeded from. The devil thought he had won, he thought he had separated man from God and made men see God as a wicked boss but Jesus took up the sins of men upon Himself so that the judgment would be met on Him. This was the biggest and shameful defeat of the devil. No wonder He was called in John 1:29 “…the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” Using the blindness of the world who never recognized Him, He walked up to the cross in pains. The pain was too much on His humanity that He cried out in Matthew 26:39 “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” In the face of this pain, he still opted for what He came to do which was to liberate man who couldn’t liberate Himself.

“Jesus took up the sins of men upon Himself so that the judgment would be met on Him. This was the biggest and shameful defeat of the devil.”

He got crucified, He died, He was buried and on the third day, after preaching Himself to the spirits of the dead and solving the problem of sin from the foundations of this world, He resurrected in glory as a new man! But wait a minute! This time, He didn’t just tell us about His father in heaven. Although He had made us know in “the Lord’s prayer” that God is our father, He made it so much more obvious after His resurrection when He said to Mary Magdalene in John 20:17 “Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” By the reason of His sacrifice, we had become just like Him. We had become His brothers in the flesh and His children in the Spirit. We can now know God beyond “Master” and we can now call Him “Daddy!”

Jesus became us that we might become Him. And the Bible had reported in John 1:12 saying “But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God.” He didn’t want us to just be His subjects, He didn’t just want us to bow and worship Him just like the Angels, He wanted our friendship, He wanted a union and He wanted us to recognize Him as our father. In John 3:16, we also saw that if we accept Him, He gifts us His own life!

The New Testament gospel presents us with an answer, a liberating answer of who God is and who we are in Him. The Quran called Him master, the Torah and the Prophets did same, some even made idols and referred the idols as Him but He came as Jesus, presenting to us a very clear picture of who He is! God is not just our God, He is also our friend and He is our father. Therefore, we are no longer afraid to mention His name and His name is Jesus.

“Jesus became us that we might become Him.”

Jesus brought an end to religion and brought alive the first intent of making the man. All God ever wanted was relationship and here we have it in Christ! The Bible says concerning them that have believed, Romans 8:16 “For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.” What wasn’t clear has become clear.

Nowhere else have we been presented with this truth, not in the Quran, not in any religion and even with the shadows of truth in the Torah and writings of the Prophets, there was limited information. It is only in the New Testament, in the manifestation of Jesus that humanity is clearly defined and the works of darkness greatly humiliated! The Bible says concerning us in Romans 8:14-17 “For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him, we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.””

What an exciting truth! We aren’t trying to find God anymore, God has found us and we are united with Him in Christ. You too can experience this truth for yourself. It takes you just one thing; to believe it! God is no longer a myth, He is exposed and what a blessing it is to be called “His children.”

“Jesus brought an end to religion and brought alive the first intent of making the man.”

God bless you.God has a family and it is a great privilege that we are members of God’s family. Religion cannot offer this, this is only possible in Christ. Imagine Jesus saying to us individually “I am your brother and we are seated together on the right hand of my father and your father.” Just as the Bible reports in Ephesians 2:6 “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.” Hallelujah!

God bless you.

~ George O.N

UNMASKING DEPRESSION | By George available in kindle & paper back