My Faith Hassle

Can Only Me Be a Church? Part 3. (otherwise titled as: Nigeria Can Be Fixed Without Holification)

Holification?

Yes.

First, happy Independence celebration to my Nigerian readers! If you deeply loathe this country and entertain thoughts about Nigeria’s unfixability, then welcome onboard. There’s beer in the corner. This space isn’t perfect but it’s easier than getting your heart broken again and again.

Now, what is holification?

It was coined from the word “holy” and simply means “the act of making holy”. The verb is “holify” and the adjective is “holific”. And people who identify with this belief are called “holifants”.

Precisely put, it’s a belief that Nigeria cannot be fixed till everyone is holified. That is, if we want to fix this country, we need to get everyone to accept Jesus as their personal Lord and Saviour. This, and only this, will work.

Individuals who identify as holifants are usually found discouraging others who think the supremacy of the rule of law, the creation of strong institutions, the certainty of punishment and justice, constitution amendments, restructurings, poverty alleviation, a freer market and the maximization of individual liberties can never be the answers. The answers lie in our ability to pray and do massive evangelism. In other words: If men are drawn to God, will they steal? Will they kill? Will they embezzle public funds? Will they owe salaries? Will they go around looking for human parts to make money? Nope. So, we need to abandon all efforts and focus on prayer and evangelism because once God captures a man, he is captured once and for all.

Hallelujah.

As with any movement, things will never be united. Some persons will break away and some persons will attempt to smear the vision. So, a brief history. The holifants had a beef and some of them broke off to start their own thing. These outliers are called “Hellifants”. The belief is the same through and through, but there’s a slight difference.

Allow me explain with an illustration.

Illustration A

Nigerians: We want to know why our leaders will be hoarding COVID-19 palliatives.

Holifants: It’s quite pathetic. Such wickedness. The heart of man is inherently wicked. If someone had preached to them, this would not have happened. We have to pray. Leave all these activist gragra and “get your PVC” and “hold your leaders accountable”. We need to spread this gospel message. Christ came to save and till righteousness reigns, Nigeria is going nowhere. Till Christians stand in the gap, we will never move forward.

Illustration B

Nigerians: We want to know why our leaders will be hoarding COVID-19 palliatives.

Hellifants: It’s quite pathetic. Such wickedness. The heart of man is inherently wicked. Leave all these activist gragra and “get your PVC” and “hold your leaders accountable”. Don’t entangle yourself with the cares of this world. The earth is but a market place. Your own is to worship your God and when he calls you to heaven, you go. Leave everything for him. God is still God and trust me, he knows what he’s doing. All this is according to the divine script. On the last day, everyone will receive their due.

There you have it, illustrations adapted from real conversations I have had with real people.

After each of those conversations, I spent hours trying to understand these POVs but it did not work. It refused to make sense. And this is not because I think they’re wrong. Upon closer examination, you’ll find some validity in their arguments. But I just find it absurd that these thoughts are supposed to shape how nation building is done. You’re basically saying Nigeria won’t get better till everyone is born again. How is this even sensible? How do you pray and evangelize away systemic failure? How then do we make sense of Thailand, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and those European countries y’all are running to? I mean, are you saying everybody in Finland is a Christian? Are all Singaporeans going to hell? Is that why their leaders didn’t “leave it for God”? So, what are we supposed to do with those who refuse to convert? How long is this going to take? How do we measure progress? How do we measure their holiness and “pull to God”? When everyone is holy, will we then build strong institutions or resort to reading from a haloed scroll?

Another problem is the fact that holification is premised on the assumption that Christians don’t steal and kill, that a man pulled to God can’t and won’t do bad things. This is untrue1000. You already live in a deeply religious yet deeply wicked country, what other proof do you need?

During the EndSARS protest, a Christian I used to respect told me we were wasting our time. In fact, after the massacre at the Lekki Toll Gate, he came to my DM to gloat. What changed? He asked me. Have you now ended SARS? Instead of us to pray and ask God to touch people’s heart…

From EndSARS, we moved straight to EndRape and he came back to tell me that public sensitization and protesting and asking for laws that actually work was not the way forward. The way forward was asking “What would Jesus do? Would Jesus forgive a rapist or not? Would Jesus be thinking of ways to make sinners suffer? Would he be reaching out, stretching forth his hand of love and forgiveness? Would he be leading them to God?”

Normal normal, I swear, this would not have bothered me but this person leads a Christian community. He’s not some riffraff with no audience. He has the wherewithal to spread his agenda. And sadly, he’s not the only one. I’ve heard this from people I once believed knew better.

I have also tried to shake off the alarm I feel when I hear people tell their fellow man to get their justice and enjoyment in heaven. As per we are simply here to worship and drift and die. I really don’t get the idea of “disentangling” because “there’s a script” and “nothing you can do” and “God is taking care of everything.” Not because God can’t take care of things but because there’s something cold, callous, insensitive and decidedly distant about statements like these. The fact that you’re “going to heaven” doesn’t rob you of justice or the ability to make demands of your government. You deserve to be happy here! Yes, it’ll never be perfect but you deserve to live a little saner here. And no, you don’t have to finish your rapist with love. + People who make statements like “this is a script” and “focus on God” and “this world does not matter” are clearly not in touch with Nigerian suffering. They have food and shelter and some semblance of privilege. It’s why they can open mouth waaah for flies to enter.

Nation building is not rocket science or some deep mystic thing that only those who have put their ears to the chest of the Almighty can do. It’s a formula and evidence abounds in history and the many nations we now share the planet with.

Our problems are not “new” or “peculiar”. We are not the first country to be in deep shit and we won’t be the last. So the fact that our proposed solution – holification – is unique means there’s a cause for a ruckus.

If you want to pray, pray; if you want to evangelize, evangelize; if you want to suffer and go to heaven, by all means suffer but to insist on silencing actual thinkers and doers is ungodly. It is a sin. You hear me? Sin. Capital letters SIN.

3 thoughts on “Can Only Me Be a Church? Part 3. (otherwise titled as: Nigeria Can Be Fixed Without Holification)”

  1. I think you just mistakenly made the argument that Christianity is what’s holding the country back. Leaving it for God is why people dodge the responsibility of asking for better. Nigeria will be better if everyone was atheist. At least, we’ll know there’s no heaven waiting and we’ll try to improve the life we have.

  2. How do I say “God bless you” for this piece. I’ll probably kickstart a protest on #ReadMyFaithHassle. Lol.
    I’ve really got issues with the two sects, but the hellifants turns me off each and every time. The idea that everything we’re doing is planned, the idea that what I’m typing right now was orchestrated from a divine mandate, the idea that tge the killings of the protestants were all planned in God’s script, and one one day he’ll tell the cinematographer “cut”. The thing dey throw me off balance, because it’s actually blasphemy against God Himself.
    A simple analysis I’ve given these ones which they’ve always failed to respond to, is this: If everything was planned by God, and we’re his robots, then he knows those that would be saved and those that would be condemned even in hell. So what’s the point of dying for man? Since everyone can just be acting and it’s according to God’s plan.
    As I no wan too reason all these things again, I think I’ll just sip my alcohol.

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