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I am a Christian, Just as you are. - The Lady.




Him: “I know Nigerians like spirit-filled Churches.”
The Lady: *blank stare*
If you read my post on Lent, you would know by now that I am Anglican. If you didn’t, now you know. Though born Anglican, I haven’t always been Anglican – between switching Churches and schooling. Today, I can say this confidently though – “Christian by Faith, Anglican by Choice”. That’s the title of a book by Ven Funso Awe, which for the life of me I do not understand why I have yet to read it.
Yes, back to the above conversation. I had bumped into the Pastor of a popular Nigerian Church in England. I don’t think I knew he was the Pastor at the time though and that was his attempt at inviting me to his Church. Safe to say I never attended. Not so much for his approach, but because I do not care for the Church. Mind you, that was my Church for several years. 

At the time, I was looking for a local Anglican Communion to attend. I find that the congregation of Orthodox Churches in England are largely white and this was my experience (feel free to correct me if I am wrong). Not only that, most Orthodox Nigerians who travel often switch to Pentecostal Churches or ones with a higher black percentage of members. For me, I wasn’t going to attend any Church based on the skin colour of members. In any case, I was curious about the Church of England and wanted to compare it with the Nigerian Communion. Thanks to http://www.achurchnearyou.com/ , I had my fill of attending different parishes and I can say it is a different ball of game out there. I absolutely love their style of worship.

Ah! The conversation! Apologies. New black (Nigerian) student so I guess I was the prime target for invitation to a black Church. His statement came after I had informed him I was Anglican and had found a parish. He told me in an off-handed tone that I could come to theirs in the morning and attend mine in the evening (at the time, I was attending the evening service). Needless to say, I found his approach offensive for the following reasons:

1. I was clearly attending another Church and he still thought it fit to invite me to his because Nigerians like spirit-filled Churches. I find it in bad taste when Christians try to draw others away from their original Churches especially when such a person has not indicated dissatisfaction with his/her present Church. How about you preach to unbelievers?
2. His misinformed judgement about Nigerians and their choice of Churches. He is African, but not Nigerian.
3. His assumption that in my old age, I do not know the kind of Church I want to attend. As a confirmed Anglican who has attended catechism, I know and understand the doctrines of the Church and would leave if I ever became uncomfortable or dissatisfiedI reserve the liberty to change Churches for whatever reason, but do not attempt to undermine my Church in your attempt to draw me into yours.
4. His assumption that the Anglican Communion is not a spirit-filled Church, whatever that means. While we may not pray in tongues and our services may be solemn, it does not take away from our communion with the Holy Spirit.
5. That he turned out to be the Pastor. I cringe when men of God disparage other Churches. Is it not the same God we worship? Some Anglican Priests are guilty of this too. I understand that doctrines differ, but even then. 

I have also had similar conversations with Nigerians and it makes me wonder if being Christian is not enough. Do Christians think others who attend Churches other than theirs might as well be unbelievers? That’s the only justification for why a Christian would try to convert another Christian in my opinion. Sharing the Word is understandable and I have no problem with that, but trying to convince me to leave my Church …

I find that some Christians in Nigeria tend to be intolerant of other Churches (again, correct my assertions if you feel otherwise). Speaking of which - the idea of changing Churches simply because of marriage is one that will never sit well with me. You’ll say, but madam what’s the big deal after all it is Christ that is being preached, and I will agree with you on that count. However, doctrines differ and so does spiritual satisfaction. A couple that prays together stays together abi? Is that saying Biblical? What is your definition of praying? Better a couple that attend the same Church with one half being deeply dissatisfied spiritually than a couple that is spiritually satisfied attending different Churches?

PS: Thank you all for the good wishes in respect of my new-found job. May all our prayers be answered.



Comments

  1. Seems it's Orthodox members who go through this more, and I think the Protestants are mostly diplomatic with the reasons they give for inviting you to their churches. Some aren't though. An elderly lady from MFM tried in vain to drag me to their Sunday service. One day (probably out of frustration) she blurted "You people think you know how to pray? You don't! It's not by incense and counting beads. Give your life to JESUS CHRIST!" Yawa.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes Memphis. Anyone care to tell us why orthodox churches are not considered to be "spirit filled"?

      Delete
    2. Real yawa! I'm curious about your response to her Memphis.

      When I wasn't Anglican, I thought reading/reciting prayers from the book of common prayer was repetitive and restrictive, but after a careful study of those prayers, I find that they express my desires in a short and concise manner. Otherwise, I'd just be rambling. That said, I find that I tend to get repetitive with my personal prayers anyway.

      Delete
  2. Who is this write up by?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. By a blog reader who contributes to the blog once or twice a month. She chooses to remain anonymous and be addressed as The Lady, for now.

      Delete
  3. I reckon that denomination in the Christendom has brought more harm to Christianity than good. That said, I am proudly non-denominational, though, I still have my preferences as I am sync that spiritual satisfaction differs with respect to churches/denominations.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chrisyinks just out of curiosity what are your preferences, and why?

      Delete
    2. Oddly enough, I don't draw my fealty to any church along denomination lines - I might possess a mild dislike for a certain denomination but still be drawn to one of its churches due to maybe the Pastor's style of preaching, the 'CSR' activities of the church etc. I jive better with churches that make it a point of duty to actively relate to the challenges in their immediate society and not take a seemingly 'parochial' perspective to Christianity. I strongly feel that the Christian community in Nigeria commands a large number of adherents and a mammoth balance sheet - resources that should be effectively deployed to relate the 'spiritual' doctrines of Christ to the physical person. I am strongly of the opinion that the spiritual aspect of Christianity and its physical aspect should show a high degree of correlation. These said, most new generation churches tend to appeal to my desires of what a church should be.

      apologies for the tardy response. I hope this meets your inquiries satisfactorily?

      Delete
  4. Ok, while I agree that Christians should spend more time preaching to unbelievers rather than trying to draw fellow Christians to their own churches, I think I get what the whole 'spirit filled' thing is about. I was brought up as an Anglican from birth and till now I still attend the Anglican Church every now and then. I also attend a Pentecostal church too. I found that they both have their strengths and weaknesses. The Anglican Church has one of the straightest and soundest biblical Christian doctrine you will ever find in the body of Christ. The hymns are deep, meaningful and Christ centered unlike what we have in the Pentecostal churches where songs are written from emotions and so many other reasons. Anglicans sing scripture. But the problem is that God still seems so far away and distant to our hearts even though we seem to be saying all the right things. This is because the Holy Spirit is the One who makes God's Presence real to us and I'm afraid that the place of the Holy Spirit and his gifts which by the way are clearly outlined in the scriptures

    ReplyDelete
  5. The place of the Holy Spirit is not given enough emphasis in the Anglican Church. We have to expect Him to move among us like we were told to do in the bible. The order is great though and honestly the Pentecostal church could learn a lot from them in this department. But there's need for so much more, and I pray that with time the Anglican Church will experience that much needed revival and move of the Holy Spirit
    (Didn't mean to sermonize

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Olamide Okulate yippee! (BTW Olamide used to be me BFF in JSS and a great friend all through. She's an all round great person. #okbye. LOL).

      Delete
    2. I beg to disagree about the Holy Spirit not being given enough emphasis in the Anglican Church. The Church lays so much emphasis on the Godhead/Trinity. If you're referring to speaking in tongues though, it is against the doctrine of the Church. The Church does not believe in speaking in languages that cannot be understood by others. You can find that in the 39 articles of religion of the Church.

      The Lady

      Delete
    3. A 100 likes for your comment Olamide, it mirrors my sentiments about the Anglican Church as well #Anglicanandproud

      Delete
    4. Lol! Don't mind me Nwando, I'm an ardent follower of the blog, I'm just not very technologically forward!lol! Your posts are fun and enlightening, all at the same time!#girlcrush#okbye

      Delete
  6. Somehow I feel most times some of us get guilty of this we tend to have this believe that another’s persons church isn't spiritual enough, but what we have to understand is that it’s not about the church but the person . The holy spirit dwells in us so it’s all about the time we give to him and not how many hours we spend in church. but sometimes I wished Anglican church wasn’t much predicated like we all know how it’s going to be every Sunday.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Men have turned to worshipers of fellow men. Preaching pastors instead of Christ. Can you remember the last time you see people on evangelism with tracks, instead, they now walk around with complimentary cards of their pastors. You need to see the kind of posters and captions around my area. I was going to church one beautiful Sunday. One young lady was running and following me behind, Aunty, Aunty, I stopped thinking what might be the problem, I had to reexamined myself to check if my cloth was torn, Only for him to get close and held my hands.... Aunty please follow me to my church, Our pastor said we should not come to church today without a new member Omg, Are you for real?.. I just removed her hands from mine, and walked away. Father please have mercy on your children. #teamcatholic4life#

    ReplyDelete
  8. I feel the whole Christian family missed it when we started the division. Pentecostal, Catholic, Anglican blah blah. We have missed it. Why are there different doctrines sef? The Bible is passing one message in every book/story/passage so why do we have different interpretations? I look at some Churches and just wonder where they get their things from especially white garment Churches. Oh my! Dont get me started. I dont get why you gotta walk around bare feet and wear only white. I really dont. I dont get the hail Mary thing. I dont get the kill your enemy with prayer thing. I dont get many things. Where did these things come from? They might have been mentioned in the Bible but we are Christians which means to act like Christ. Not to follow some old tradition of a group of people.

    The Bible has one message in every passage. Dont be confused.

    Peace.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I understand you Kon.

      Since we all are followers of the bible, how many of us have actually took out time to know about the history of the Holy Bible, how it became the foundation for The Universal Church and other churches. What lead to the compilation? Why do we have just that much amount of books in The Bible, what about the other epistle written by other accounts?

      Have we all been able to answer this question, looking at it from the Pentecostal Christians DAT have chosen to follow 'The Bible' without really knowing what they are going into and trying to evangelize for?

      Delete
  9. its about how christian you are in your heart to me jare. doesn't matter what church you attend.

    ReplyDelete

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