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Love & Religion





At the wedding yesterday I got talking to one of my former classmates who I spotted at The Palms some months ago. Before I mentioned this we'd been talking about our 'single situation' and relationship goals. Then I told I'd spotted her with a particularly handsome young man  and asked her who he was. Turns out he's her Ex and in a perfect world they'd either be married or engaged by now. The hitch? She's orthodox Christian and he's of the Grail Message.



Just to pick her brain I asked her why that was so terrible. After all (she said) he had everything she wanted. He was a looker, perfect oyel job chopping oyel money, great chemistry, an amazing guy, fantastic boyfriend, kind and caring. So why should his religion be a problem? I listened to her try to hash out reasons why it wouldn't have been right or wise to marry him; they're not Christians, they're stigmatized... they're... You know we Christians we know right and wrong, we are... moral. We know good from evil... we, we have good morals, there are certain things we can and cannot do.. At this point I asked, a question I already have the answer to but I asked her anyway to put things in perspective for her; Is morality a function of religion?

For a second she was taken aback and didn't reply immediately. So I asked, is there anything that you've said a Christian would do that your Ex wouldn't do? Are you saying he is a immoral person? Are you saying he is evil and doesn't know right from wrong? I watched her battle internally; No, he isn't any of those things, he's a good man, he's just not a Christian. 

Its at times like these that I can relate with people who say organized religion is crap. I know all the arguments, for and against, at least most of them. I'm not even saying in her shoes I would have acted differently, hell we probably wouldn't have even dated in the first place, how much more consider marriage. But for a moment let's take some time to consider things. 

If there's nothing inherently wrong or evil with the Grail Message or other similar religions (seeing as they do believe in the existence of a supreme being), why does it become imperative to dissociate oneself from them? Easily the Bible says be ye not unequally yoked, but if like majority of Christians, you're one of those who are Sunday-Sunday Christians, who know in their heart of hearts that the reason they're Christians is because they were born into a Christian family, one of those who don't live every second with heaven as their end goal, then I honestly don't think that Bible verse applies to you. 

I remember a post on Bella Naija with a similar topic and I couldn't help but notice two comments. What those two comments had in common was that both commenters are Christian women who claimed to be married to great husbands, kind, compassionate, successful, considerate, generous and generally good men. The men, one is freethinker the other is a Grail messenger. Now this got me thinking; can all women married to Christian/religious husbands can speak of their men this way?

Is morality a function of religion? Hell! After all a sixty year old reverend father once called my phone and said he saw two oranges underneath my blouse and couldn't stop thinking about sucking them. Lest I derail we all know those Christian brothers, some whom were met in the church, who turned out to be wife beaters, serial cheaters and deadbeat fathers. With this in mind I wonder; what does it profit a woman to marry a Christian husband with zero morals or compassion?

When I began to notice that our conversation was getting in the way of our enjoyment I quickly drew it to an end with a conclusion I was certain we would both agree on; "It's just that one would like for their children to grow up in a Christian home.", she nodded enthusiastic in agreement and we moved on to other topics. 

But hey, these were random thoughts that sprang up during a lively conversation at a wedding and not one given much thought to. Yet I beg for more clarification; bear in mind that I'm not advocating marrying outside or into a particular religion, I just like to think further and learn from other's thoughts, experiences and opinions;
Does one's religion affect or influence the quality of their relationships/marriage? 
Is religion a vital ingredient for a good marriage? 
Does religion a good person make?

And while we're on the topic can anyone enlighten me succinctly on the tenets of the Grail Message? I know there's google but I'd love if someone could just tell me the general message behind them, I'm also trying to figure out of there's something sinister about the religion. 



Ps; this post is hinged so much on morality because morality was the main reason my friend gave. It's also the reason I hear so many people mention when this topic is mentioned. 


Ok guys! I need to start getting ready for Adaobi's wedding. 

Comments

  1. I was reading this post and gently assimilating everything, till what you said about the sixty year old priest threw me off balance. I am a Catholic priest too. For your own sake, I hope that allegation is true.

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    Replies
    1. For my own sake I even left out the more scandalous details. And speaking of catholic priests he's not the most salacious I know. Btw I'm catholic.

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    2. But the truth is that priest are the worst because unlike other ministers they are not allowed to have sex at all. Or do we talk about the child molestation and homosexuality?

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  2. well, I am glad you are catholic, At least you are fully aware of what you are doing.

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    Replies
    1. Not sure if you're the priest that commented above but in case you are; I don't even think the issue is being catholic or not or being aware of what I'm doing or not. I'm saying what is, just as it happened. I think more people in the clergy are the ones that should be "fully aware of what they are doing". Had I been one to want to cause trouble (notice I said I left out details) there are chats that I could munch and post. But why do that? What am I trying to prove? Oh, and catholic priest, this chat I make reference to was between a close relative and a PARISH PRIEST. I made reference to it in a post months ago but as usual I left out the nitty gritty and made no reference to the chat. That said, all these are besides the point. I deliberately avoid delving into that because they say we should "touch not my anointed" right? So I leave that for them and God, thus I made a minor reference to my own personal experience and moved right on.

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    2. Hian! It's going down! This post is gonna be interesting!

      *lies down on my sofa waiting for more action*


      Ruthylicious bia, come and give us d GW side of things..

      Delete
    3. Lol. Easah. Ruthylicious will not talk in this topic I believe. Men of God be it catholic or Protestant are known to be very randy. Remember that they are human. As they say they are first, men, before they're men of God. So why is the priest sounding so surprised?

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  3. My former collegue/friend is a grail messenger and this is wht I've learnt abt them. The grail message is not a cult but a sect like Jehova Witness is. They are called cross bearers when you have read their books to an extent. They do not believe that Christ died for our sins,but rather that man will chart his / her course in life. Don't try reading their books if you are not grounded in the word of God as you just might get confused about your spirituality. They actually have answers to a lot of life's questions which I however consider as human wisdom,which the bible describes as foolishness. They claim 2 be worshipping God thru some ancient books'(written by who?i no know), light,sound,and some oda elemental forces. They believe in reincarnation,astral projection,visitations from d dead and a lot more creepy doctrines!
    I also know for a fact that cross bearers do not force anyone to join them, so you can be married to one and remain where you are. This post is abt so many things o, but this is d little I know abt GM



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    Replies
    1. You see, they have the answer to most things. Who told Christians that Christianity is the only true religion or even Gods chosen religion. I believe that most of us are there because we were born there, likewise if we were born in India we will be Buddhists and to us that is the only true religion.

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  4. I'm not gonna lie, I've been a lil hit enlightened on this post...

    Easah, Biko I don stop to dey comment on most religious post. Others I do with my discernment.
    That Anon is very funny sha!

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  5. Well am catholic but i ve taken time to learn about a few other beliefs, i really admire Jehova witness and muslims. Back to the topic, i think because of a lot of other issues that come with marriage, its safer to marry smone that shares same religious values as you, it already settles a lot of unforeseen arguements and hitches that ll definitely come up in the future e.g with the children, families, inlaws etc.

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  6. Honestly, I'm not in a spiritual denomination becos of the spiritual leader. I'm there to serve my God d best way I..., I repeat, I... can. That said, whether Catholic Priest or pentecostal pastors...they all in one way or the other have their own failings. But wat I'm surprised at, Thelma, is making it known specifically 'reverend Father', like dat shud mean something more dan any other church leader doing same thing. Weird! But I guess u don't really mean it dat way. Anyways, Today was My Mummy's Birthday(nov. 15th) and my Best Friend decided to get married Same today....I'm wishing them Ladies Prosperity and Long Life! Happy Birthday The Greatest Mum(Mrs Angela) in the World and HML to the Sweetest Lady(Mrs Patience Olaoye nee Iyere) in the world I'm proud to have you Both in my Life. You guys give me reason to Live Happily...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're reading meaning into things. I said reverend father because it was a reverend father, should I have lied or been less specific?

      Delete
    2. And happy birthday in arrears to your mama. I hope you spent time with her and btw Uyi this time it's you who defaulted on our meeting.

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    3. I'm not oh! Read my message again. I'm just particular abt the response u got frm the anon priest. Probably he wudnt hv commented d way he did if u had said a 'spiritual leader' and honestly nobody wud hv read much into dat if u had been less specific. So it doesn't look as if u r castigating The Church. Of wch I know for sure dats not really where you r pointing at. I'm absolutely Indifferent whether a Father, Pastor, Imam or Ifa.

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    4. Happy belated birthday to your mum Uyi, it was my dad's birthday on the 15th too

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  7. I know a grey messenger who is so nice, thoughtful and genuinely concerned about people. And I also know a Pastor, who begged me to just touch his pee pee small so that he could release some of the passion he's being storing in his system for my enemy (not me, it can never ever be me). I almost vomited on his face that day.
    I am a christian, but some of the things we as Christians do, some deity worshippers will cringe in fear.

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    Replies
    1. Excuse my mistake o. Grail messenger and not grey (na malaria drugs cause am)

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  8. Mennnn on this topic. I don't believe religion is that big a deal in terms of morality. A good person is a good person irrespective. However there has to be an agreement on how to raise kids etc. My husband is catholic i am anglican- for the sake of peace, i am converting- they arent that far apart anyway.

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  9. I'm catholic o and I stand with Thelma. We like to pick a verse in the bible and interpret it the way it suits us.A Rev father is a man and therefore sins and I don't see why we should not call them out when they do. In short we have the obligation to. After all when David sinned he was called out by Nathan (on God's instruction)who told him his sin in his face. J

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  10. I have learned something today. And I thought I knew it all. First time i'm hearing of "grail messenger", i even thought Thelma was being silly when she wrote it ,lol. Only time I ever heard of the word "Grail" was "Holy Grail" as in Davinci Code....hmmm...interesting.

    And T, I dont think religion is the main thing for a successful marriage, there's other important stuff but as for me personally, I can only marry a bible-believing Christian. There's a big difference between a Christian and a bible-believing Christian.

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    Replies
    1. I was hoping someone would point this out.

      Attending a Church regularly; holding an important position in Church; following Church doctrines (e.g. on jeweleries, women should cover their hair, females shouldn't wear trousers etc) DO NOT MAKE ANYONE A CHRISTIAN. Being a Christian is much deeper; more demanding.

      I was borne into Christianity and attended Church for most part of my life but I can tell in all sincerity that I am still in the process of becoming a Christian. I do hope I get there sooner than I think. I am just realizing the meaning of Jacob's wrestle with God. Gradually, without being forced by man or situation, I am dropping old negative habits because I see reasons to and acting differently comes naturally.

      We should stop taking people for their 'face values'.

      -F

      Delete
  11. I have 3 things to say concerning this. I'm a born again Christian who tries to live her life based on God's standard and not that of the World so my points are based on my values and principles which ofcourse are in line with God's word. Here it goes
    1. Amos 3:3 says can two work together except they agree? We know the answer. Marriage is a walk together so there must be agreement in Spirit.
    2. Marriage is not an end but a means to an end. When we get married, we always want that man that's gonna help us get better. Push us when we're weak. This is also applicable in spiritual matters. If she goes ahead, when that time comes n she sees herself derailing from Christ with no one to push, she won't be happy n hence can't make her partner happy.
    3. Salvation is a personal thing. Using a clergy man as a yardstick to living a Godly life is soooo wrong. The word of God is our standard. Take the good u see in them(if they are ur mentor n leave the rest.)
    In conclusion, I'll say its profitable to obey God's word in totality. Christianity is more than a religion, it's a way of life. Don't compromise God's standard for man's standard.

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  12. Just seeing this and I would like to clear few things up:

    -The grail message is not a religion or a cult.

    -If you read the message like we encourage people to do,not because we are looking for new members or something like that but because the author of the message wants people to draw their personal conviction from it,you would see it explains lots of things contained in the bible/quran(believe it or not names/prophets etc contained in the bible can be found in the quran).

    -Members of the grail message are not called 'grail messagers' but 'cross-bearers'(would have explain further but its best I leave it here). The book is the grail message.

    -i would like Eesah to explain what she means by visitation from the dead so I know how to tackle this. And also please explain what you mean by get confused about your spirituality?Thank you.

    -Yes we believe man is responsible for charting his own course even most men of God preach this every time,so I don't see how this is a problem. You cause harm it comes back with force,so also if you do good.
    One can't plant maize and reap rice.


    -If there is one thing we are known for,it is that we do not encourage blind faith.

    -We believe in God's law and Commandments.


    Being a cross-bearer has helped me in being understanding and tolerant although I still have my short-coming which with help I would overcome. And about your friend saying they are not christians, I actually LOLed,she might be right to an extent because a muslim can read the message and still retain his/her religion,so also a Buddhist and so many others. One thing I have learned is to stop seeing a person as their religion once you have good qualities worth emulating and people(feelings)conscious then we don't have a problem.
    If that's the only reason for her not to continue with the guy then it her loss,I hope she finds what she is looking for.

    NO there is nothing sinister about the Grail message and another BIG NO to morality being a function of religion. We have pagans who are the most wonderful,upright,caring individuals who would hate to see their neighbours come to harm.

    P.S: please ignore any typos.
    -HerRoyalSweetness

    ReplyDelete
  13. I don't think it should be reduced to it being a matter of what religion to raise the children with.
    Inherently, I think it comes down to how important one's spiritual life is to them. If it is important enough to you, you would only thrive with someone on the same page with you. Someone who is able to encourage you when you are down with uplifting scriptures. Someone who in the heat of trouble is able to tell you "darling, let us kneel down and pray about it". Someone with whom you feel you can fully live out God's purpose for you. Someone who sees life through the same lens as you do.
    That's what it's about.
    I suspect your friend may have been struggling with articulating her concerns, because in matters like this, morality is hardly the issue.

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  14. Thelma want to say first that your blog is interesting, your write ups are really good and captivating and have told you this in person. but on this issue I must say it is a very sensitive issue. I am Christian regardless of the fact born into an Anglican family , my personally faith in God should rule my every decision in life. If the man in question is a Christian but still lives his life like a heathen then him being a Christian would not matter. But I understand the girls issue. I would not want to purposely venture into a relationship that will drive me further away from God. If I do I know pretty well I will be on my own knowing fully of the circumstance of his faith before I decided to marry him.
    I believe that as a Christian especially a born-again one. Living for God should come first. Doesn't mean that shit doesn't happen , but you to make the effort to stand for God and am sure he will definitely reward you.
    It's a hard world tempting and all but make the effort. And it is not all about being moral or good. It also involves the intended having a relationship with God. Grail message I don't believe in and therefore will not justify my marrying one who belongs in that religion. Bottom line think , "what will Jesus do". Signing out. Lol

    ReplyDelete

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