Once upon a time in the land of Oduduwa a pastor went out into a village to extend the gospel of Christ. He was of the Apostolic Church. On approaching this town with his youths after preaching the gospel they saw a choice land, a large expanse of land which they thought good for the gospel. Soon the pastor came again and made enquiries about this land, a good land.
Upon investigation he was told that the only herbalist in the town owned the land. Since he too was formerly from a herbalist and masquerade family before his conversion he took courage and inquire for the house of the man.
” I bring thee greetings in the Name of Our God, the Most High, the God of Apostolic Church… ”
“Welcome, comest thou peaceably? I welcome you in the name of my ancestors, IFA, the oracular deity whom I serve”.
After the greetings, the pastor went into the issue.
“The land which thou seest belong to the gods and to my ancestors. However, I see a light around your church which is indescribable since thou camest to this town. I will not deprive thee the land to worship such a Being who dwelleth in such indescribable light. We too know Him as the Supreme One and His Son as the Righteous One. When you begin I donate all my children to your church to go and serve that God”.
The pastor was happy hearing this and greatly encouraged. They concluded the bargain thereof and he paid a part to seal the transaction. In the following weeks news spread all over the town that the herbalist had given the choice land, the ancestral land to the church. In the same week other pastors came asking about this same land. The following weeks more pastors came from other churches asking for the land. Each time their gaze is on this land that has been bought.
Upon enquiry they were told of the herbalist. It was here the shame of modern Christianity was to be revealed to all. Some approached the herbalist asking to buy the land. He told them point blank the land had been sold to another church who had made part payment. When the pastors heard the ridiculous amount the herbalist gave away the land some were sad. They offered the herbalist much more if he would cancel the earlier transaction and give them the land.
To this the herbalist refused seeing it as wrong. Other pastors came again and he told them the same thing. Still they wanted a deal with him. At this the herbalist was troubled and he gave these pastors a piece of his mind. “Why do you Christians and pastors betray each other? I told you the land has been sold yet you still wanted to buy it offering larger money.
” That is treachery. Why is there so much treachery among you Christians? In IFA tradition we don’t betray each other. For instance, if I am involved in a case no other herbalist would intervene anywhere you go. Because we don’t betray each other.
“You go about shouting on microphone and speakers that Jesus is the Way, yet you have lost the way. You said Jesus is the Truth, yet there is no truth in you. I cannot discern truth in you, only treachery, betrayal and falsehood. How can you be followers of the Truth and yet be devoid of truth? How can you be preaching Him who is the Way yet you have lost the way?
“My children preached to me everyday to abandon IFA tradition and come to church. But I cannot do it because there is no truth in you. You have the Truth but you are not true. “For example, if I should collect money again from you and give you the land after having sold it, the gods would punish me and afflict my family for that betrayal. This is why I cannot go to church. ”
Thus ends the sermon of the herbalist.
Several years later after the church had been established in the town the herbalist called his sons and told them, when I am dead the pastors of that church should bury me. His children became members of the church but the man died in his traditional religion.
“I cannot be a Christian because of the doings of Christians.” – Bertrand Russell
This is food for thought for Christians. May God help us to fulfill His assignment preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ and in Christ-like characters in Jesus name.
Have a blessed weekend!
Written by Moses Oludele Idowu