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His terrible experience at the church today

christian nwodo - Sunday, April 19, 2015

My friend who's a worker in a new generation pentecostal church (I won't mention names) invited me to his church. Although I don't normally go to church VERY EARLY, he succeeded in persuading me to go early with him because as a worker, he should be in church very early and he knew fully well that if we didn't go together, I wouldn't go; so he succeeded in dragging me along.

When we got to church, they started their normal Sunday School like chit-chat and later praises, worship songs and the service started proper. Born into an Apostolic-inclined orthodox and later crossed over to RCCG, I wasn't at home with the mode and method of their service. I was getting bored and feeling out of place while silently praying for the service to end. Then it came to things like "run to five people and tell them greater things are coming your way this week, you must run o", "grab the person beside you and shake him happy sunday". I was getting tired and shaking my head in despair.

The worms in my stomach were not helping matters, they launched a massive #BringBackOurFood protest because I couldn't take breakfast before leaving for church. The only thing that kept on pushing me on was the hope that the pastor would soon say "run to 5 people and hug them happy sunday". I would gladly and patiently look for 5 beautiful sisters with their killing mini/pencil skirts and tight-fitting shirts to hug but unfortunately, that command never came. All those times, I was feeling frustrated already and whenever my eyes meet those of my friend where he was standing with the engines and mixers, he gives me that "padi no vex we go soon finish" smile.

Just as I was resigning to fate and hoping that the service would soon end and I would bolt home the worst of it happened. The pastor had been preaching for close to 45mins harping on the need to give and sow as good Christians. He gave several examples in the bible of people who gave and later reaped God's blessings. He urged us to give and test God. After that, it was time to give offering. The offering was going to be in two parts; normal Sunday offering and the commitment towards the church building because their auditorium is under construction. We gave offering and afterwards the pastor came back on the pulpit and started complaining why people refused to give generously despite taking us on a journey through the word of God about the essence of giving in a Christian life. He preached for another 10mins. I wasn't even listening to him again because I was gradually dozing off.

What actually jolted me back into reality were these words "now it's time for operation search your neighbour". I sat up immediately to listen well and that was when I heard the pastor saying

"this is time for operation search your neighbour, search your neighbour's bag, wallet, purse or pockets as need be and bring out the contents, if there is no money there return the bag but if there is money bring it out, we must learn to give to God. He gave us the money and we must return it to him".

After all those words, people took the bag of the person sitting beside them while the pockets or wallets of brothers were being searched.

The brother beside me was taking his hands towards my pockets about to begin his own search when I said with venom in my eyes and in a Russian mafian voice

"What do you think you want to do??"

He replied me

"You heard what the pastor said brother".

I told him not to even contemplate trying it. He was then trying to pacify me and cajole me telling me there is no harm in giving towards God's work. I told him I'm not against giving but I'm against collecting by force. This is no more giving, this is collecting. He smiled at my words and said

"My brother it's the same thing, God's blessing awaits the two"

and he made for my pockets again, I felt that my phonetics were not having any effect and I replied with

"Bros abeg no try that thing o, I swear I go change am for you".

He was shocked.

One usher noticed us and came to us and he was trying to calm me down because my voiced had changed as my face too.

My friend remained where he was to avoid being seen as the person that brought Orubebe to church. I don dey para for them like mad and the people sitting around us were trying to pacify me. I said "Okay, no problem," carried my bible and.............................with one last Dracula look I told the usher

"Please don't even try to follow me".

He remained rooted to the spot and I made my way out of the church and straight home.

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