Fr Pat Amobi ChukwumaTuesday, May 16, 2017



ppearance is deceptive. It is different from reality. Look at these two sentences: It is Panadol tablet. It is like Panadol tablet. Are the two expressions the same? Of course, no! Many times we are deceived by appearance while the reality eludes us. A wolf is a carnivorous wild animal while a sheep is a tamed and peaceful animal. Each of the two animals has its own peculiarity. A wolf is harmful while a sheep is friendly. In my school days, some goalkeepers complained of seeing palm oil head with thorns coming before them. Out of fear they avoided catching it because of possible harm. But when it enters the net it becomes a football. Then the referee blows the whistle and the spectators shout, "Goal!!!" Such a deception was termed in those days as "otighere anya ahughi uzo" (confused vision). I do not know the veracity of the story. It has not been proved till date. A bad goalkeeper tells such frightening stories to avoid being blamed for his failure.

When Isaac was about to join his ancestors he summoned his eldest son Esau to get ready to receive his paternal blessing as his successor. Esau was the elder brother of Jacob. He was a hunter. His body was overgrown with hairs. Their mother loved Jacob more than Esau. She connived with Jacob to appear like Esau by wearing animal skin that was hairy, so that their blind father Isaac would touch him and feel the hairy body of Esau. By so doing, their father Isaac would impart his fatherly blessing on him as the eldest to take the place of the dying old man. When Jacob knelt before his blind father, he asked for his blessing as the next of kin. His father touched his body and commented, "The body is that of Esau but the voice is that of Jacob" (Genesis 27:22). Among civil servants in Nigeria today, you can observe many bodies of Esau and numerous voices of Jacob. In other words, they falsify their ages to remain in service. By age they are young, but by appearance they look old. Indeed many graduates are wandering about aimlessly in the labour market searching for non-existent jobs. On the other hand, those who should have retired are occupying the seats of the young graduates. In the political sphere, the old politicians still occupy the seats of leadership in the Presidency, Executive and Judiciary. It is really amusing that currently a retired soldier is at the helm of affairs in the Nigeria Custom service. The military men transform themselves into civilians and occupy political posts. Many former state governors dump themselves in the Senate. After serving in the Senate, they go back to contest governorship seats again. The cycle continues. The young generation stays aloof in idleness.

During the earthly time of Jesus, he warned his followers to be weary of wolves in sheep's clothing. By that he meant 'the false prophets'. Even he warned them about the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees in these words: "The Pharisees and Sadducees occupy the seat of Moses. Observe what they tell you but do not imitate their deeds, because they do not practice what they teach" (Mtt. 23:2- 4). Jesus compared the appearance of the Pharisees with white sepulcher which appears attractive externally, but it is full of smelling internally. The Pharisees outward appearance is praise-worthy but they are filled with iniquities inside. Likewise, one cannot swear that this man or that woman is virtuous. God asked Prophet Samuel to anoint one of the sons of Jesse as King of Israel to replace Saul whom God had rejected. Jesse presented his physically good looking and strong sons to be chosen and anointed. As they filed out one after the other, Samuel looked at Eliab bubbling with vitality and thought himself that he was the one to be anointed king. Surprisingly God shunned Samuel, "Do not judge by his appearance or his stature for I have rejected him. God does not judge as man judges; man looks at appearance but God looks at the heart" (1 Samuel 16:7).

People may be referring to me as a good priest. They may be looking at you as a good Christian, a good man or a good woman. The judgment is based on the externals. It may be true or false. Appearance deceives. In reality only God can emphatically say that I am a good priest or that you are a good Christian, a good man or a good woman. However, individually we know whether what people think about us is true or false. Indeed we are our own judges. No one can vouch for the other. The mother monkey says that 'she' cannot swear for the baby she was carrying at the back, if it plucked the sweet fruit while she was walking through the forest. She said categorically that she can only swear for the baby in her womb. In the same way, I cannot swear for any other person except for myself. I can only recommend. Rarely do I surety someone. In rare occasions I gave a surety of someone, I was fully aware that I am responsible for any offence he or she commits. What of you? Can you swear for anybody? Please, do not; otherwise you incur the wrath of God. You cannot swear that this person or that person is a thief unless you caught him or her red handed.

Few years ago, in a certain town in Aguata Local Government Area of Anambra State in Nigeria, there was a 'devout' man who occupied the first seat in the church. He attended morning Mass everyday and received Holy Communion. He belonged to various pious societies in the church. He walked in a saintly way always. In short, people called him "Living Saint." Little did anyone suspect him of any foul play. He was trusted but not tested. He operated a popular supermarket in that town. Customers were trooping in and out from the shop daily. His greeting to everyone was always "Praise the Lord!" As time went on, the hidden treasure was revealed. The police encountered a notorious 6-gang of armed robbers in one of their operations. Four of them were gunned down by the gallant policemen. The two others were seriously injured and were arrested. During interrogation, the two wounded armed robbers confessed that the pious man described above was their gang leader. He kept their weapons in that supermarket and acted as their point man. He sat in that popular supermarket everyday and observed the rich as they pass. He summoned his men always to go after such a juicy victim from time to time. In fact, the foundation of the church, where the pious and notorious gang leader worshipped, trembled when the news of his atrocities was broken. Later, he was sentenced to death by firing squad with the two others. On the day he was publicly executed, all churches and shops closed to watch his final sad end. Everyone who knew him was shocked at his final fate. The Bible says that whatever is hidden shall be revealed. What of you and I?

Not all who claim to be Men of God are genuine. Some of them are wolves in sheep's clothing. They dupe unsuspecting Christians in one way or the other. Often they fake miracles. They are specialized in the ministry of sowing of seeds and tithes. They manufacture many 'akpucative' healing oils, which they claim cure many infirmities and dispel satanic attacks. They do not use those oils themselves. Such 'akpucative' oils are detrimental to our health. I have stated this fact many times in my previous articles. How long shall we remain in darkness?

Today, there are many wolves in sheep's clothing in our society. Some of them appear as beggars externally while they are thieves internally. They formulate touching false stories that would move you to empty your pocket. One of the wolves came to me some time ago crying hopelessly. He told me that he was jobless and his pregnant wife was about to give birth by cesarean section and needed three pints of blood. Since life is a primary value, I did not hastate to come to his aid. As I was giving him the money for the pints of blood, he was smiling to such an extent that I was put in doubt about his sincerity. He expressed his gratitude and walked away like a criminal. He went around other churches telling the same story, when I have given him money for the three pints of blood. Eventually he was caught. He made a revealing confession of his atrocities over the years. He was beaten to stupor and would have been set ablaze but thanks to the timely intervention of the police.

As time progresses, the wolf takes a different shape. Please be very careful when employing the services of a maid, a house keeper or apprentice. Today a man can appear as a woman; vice versa. Recently a woman employed a maid to take care of her children when she goes to work. Three of the children are females while two are males. Unknown to the woman, the maid dresses himself as a girl in all aspects. He puts on Brazilian hair on his head. Then his false breasts are pointed and attractive. He has a shrill voice of a woman. At night 'she' sleeps always in the same room with the female children. When she feels the Anti has fallen into a deep sleep by snoring, the maid automatically displays her manly nature and harasses the female children sexually. He does this on daily basis until he was caught in the very act. Out of anger, the Anti cut off his penis with a sharp knife. He was rushed to hospital where doctors battled for hours to save his life. Unfortunately he died on the second day. Should we pray that his or 'her' soul may rests in peace or pieces?

In another place, an advert was made in written form: SALES GIRLS WANTED. PLEASE APPLY IMMEDIATELY IN PERSON. Opportunity comes but once. A man of 20 years who had been looking for any menial job accidentally came across the advert. He seized the opportunity and went to market where he bought all necessary external female outfits. He went home and transformed himself instantly into a woman. Also he shaped his voice womanly. Then he proceeded to the venue of the advert to try his luck. It was a petrol filling station. The manager welcomed her (him) for interview. He performed well. Work began. On a certain fateful day, the employed 'girl' went into the urinal at the back of their office to urinate. He entered the urinal with the inscription above "For female." As 'she' was urinating, she was doing it like a man standing. One of the sales girls rushed into the urinal without knowledge that someone was there. The impersonated sales girl hurried to put back his manhood into its abode. It was too late. The other sales girl had seen everything. The culprit knelt down in the urinal and asked the sales girl not to reveal what she saw to their manager. The two of them had been in logger head since their employment. It was a unique chance for her to chastise him. She did not waste time to narrative to the manager the vision she saw in the urinal. To make sure of making a just judgment, the manager stripped the impersonated sales girl of her clothes. On her chest were false breasts made of soft material. Below was his penis seeking for mercy! The manager exclaimed, "What a strange woman!" He was beaten blue and black and then expelled immediately with his bank account confiscated.

To be forewarned is to be forearmed. Therefore, beware when you are looking for a maid or a sales girl. But why do people advertise always for sales girls? I have never seen any such advert with the inscription: SALES BOYS WANTED. A woman can also dress up like a man to achieve her selfish aim. Nothing should be taken for granted in this computer age. The boys and men in our junior and senior seminaries respectively should be examined practically to ascertain their actual sex. The same should be done in convents, monasteries, boys' schools, girls' schools and in August meetings. Such measures should also be taken in the gathering of men or women. Anything is possible nowadays. If care is not taken, a woman disguised as man may be ordained a priest one day. Likewise an impersonated man can profess one day as Reverend Sister. Let us shine our eyes! Goats are barking like dogs these days. Few days ago, I entered a compound somewhere. Immediately I opened the gate, three goats eating some grasses within the compound jumped up fiercely and started barking at me. I shouted, "My God! What an eye-saw! Goats are barking?" I did not take chances. I jumped over the wall and ran for my dear life. Hence, beware of not only dogs but also goats!

(My dear reader, in my last article titled "God is able" I misquoted the Bible. "There is time for everything" is found in Ecclesiastes 3: 1). God bless!