Tonye David-West, Jr., Ph.DFriday, September 5, 2003
Political Scientist



"Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit,
after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not
after Christ". Colossians Chapter 2:8

've been following the debate with unalloyed interest on the validity of Christianity and the attacks that have been leveled against it on this medium by Remi Oyeyemi. Reading the cogent essays of writers like Samuel Bayo Arowolaju and Dr. Steve Nwabuzor, to mention but two, on this very subject, I will like to append my humble opinion on this matter that seems to have gained momentum resultant of Oyeyemi’s willing participation in the macabre dance of solecism and vulgarity. Indeed, it is not a surprise to see the likes of Oyeyemi getting involved in such profane, abrasive confabulation and gibberish-ism anent the Christian faith. It’s amply predicted and written in the Bible, the Holy book, that the likes of Oyeyemi in the last days would come forth and spew their blasphemous garbage in a vile attempt to mock our living God. But our living God is ! more than capable of fighting his own battles and Oyeyemi is but an extraneous persona in His sights.

This notwithstanding, in his unmitigatedly sorrowful attempt to discredit Christianity, Oyeyemi, displayed his innate benightedness and farcical knowledge of the Christian faith. But this is understandable, as it seems rather obvious that he is a man addled and higgledy-piggled in his cogitative disposition owing to his very jumbled and muddled lenses. Evidence of this litters his essays on this subject. Even those dwarfed in intelligentsia should have the acumen to know that the atrocities of those who claim to be Christians must be divorced from the faith itself. In this regard, it would be dimwitted, obtuse and sheerly doltish, as averred by Oyeyemi, to inculpate, in the very sense of the word, the Christian faith for the uninformed actions of its followers. Timothy McVeigh, the man held responsible for the Oklahoma City bombings in April of 1995, confessed to t! he world that he was a Christian. I'm sure the likes of Oyeyemi will like to argue that he was egged on by the Bible and our “bloodthirsty God”, if I might be so bold to quote him. Anyone can claim to be doing whatever in the name of Buddha, Allah, and whoever - the question Oyeyemi refused to address is that - does Christianity lend support, overt or covert, to these acts?

To make references to the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, the supposed lack of knowledge [according to the 'gospel' of Oyeyemi] on the part of Jesus about the intentions of Judas and the further lack of knowledge of the fact that Thomas would be dubbed a 'doubter', bear further evidence of Oyeyemi’s state of discomposure and "spiritual" vacuity. He ought to be told that in the case of Sodom and Gomorrah, God, in His infinite wisdom, yes, Oyeyemi, God has infinite wisdom, gave them the free will to believe in Him and live according to His word or deviate from His ways, if they so pleased. This same choice is available to us today, that is why the world is in such disarray, because God, in spite of His ability, will not coerce us to do His will. It’s utterly voluntary and out of a sheer willingness on our part. To the likes of Oyeyemi, and his fellow irreligious and in! credulous lot, they want to put God in a box in what Americans will call a “catch 22” situation [if you do you are doomed, if you don’t you are still doomed]. If God had forced all those citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah to follow His ways to avert their impending doom, the Oyeyemis of this world would have branded Him, "The Dictator". When He gave them the free will, Oyeyemi, still went ahead to brand Him ‘incapable’. Isn’t this laughable – that God Almighty, the creator of the universe, the one who created Oyeyemi in his own image and gave him life, is pronounced incapable by Oyeyemi himself. Isn't that something?

Regarding the points of Judas and Thomas, if Oyeyemi will take some time from his seemingly new favorite pastime of diminishing other's people's religion and casting wanton, antipathetic and odious aspersions on their God and actually educate himself by reading the Bible and understanding it, he would soon discover that Jesus came to this earth in the form of a man to die for the remission of sins. That was the whole idea, Mr. Oyeyemi. Was he not born by the Virgin Mary? Was the Virgin Mary not a mere mortal like the rest of us? Did He, Jesus, the butt of Oyeyemi's new found aversive and repellent banter and chaff, not shed blood like mere humans? If our Lord Jesus Christ assumed the form of a man in His thirty-three years on this earth, why wouldn't Oyeyemi understand that as a man, He had His limitations, but as God, He had and still has none? This ! ;is a no brainer, but we should be reminded that we are dealing with the scabrous, lurid, mendacious and un-quintessence skeptics with nefarious and reprobate intentions. They are the masters of contumacy and the harbingers of the 'gospel' of smirch, daub and vilification. They have assumed their cloak of squalid and ignoble wont, they are on a sure mission to besmirch, bespatter and befoul the Christian faith. But be assured that they will fall, without an iota of doubt, like flies who have suddenly found themselves in a vitriolic and truculent environment.

In all of this, let us not forget Oyeyemi's religion or shall I say his African traditional gods. Let us not forget the gods to which he professes. Will it be fair to say that he serves an inanimate object? Will it be fair to say that he serves a tree or a stone? Will it be fair to say his allegiance is to Sango, Ogun, Ifa, those worthless gods who do not hear their subjects because they are lifeless? Are those his gods? Perhaps, he can tell us what Ogun has done for him lately? Perhaps, he can tell us how Ogun, Sango or Ifa [he can tell us which one of them] delivered him from Abacha dragnet and ferried him across the Ocean [Ogun must have created the Ocean] to a Christian dominated country called the United States of America. Mind you, Ogun did not see it fit to ferry him to another part of his much talked about Yorubaland, but to a country built on Judeo-Ch! ristian values and precepts, a country whose presidents, each one of them and leadership have been Christians. Perhaps, he can tell us why Ogun allowed him to use a currency, the US dollar, which has the inscription "In God We Trust." Doesn't his Ogun have its [mind you, I said “its” not “his” – “his” is a reference to humans and humans only] own currency with its inscription "In Babalawo We Trust?" Why didn't Ogun save him from the rampaging Abacha? Was Ogun scared, was it asleep, was it taking a much needed nap when he, Oyeyemi, was fleeing Abacha's persecution or was it in a conference with other gods, most notably, Sango and Ifa, deliberating on how to save him from the claws of Abacha?

In the grand scheme of the human experience, these gods are irrelevant neither have they added to the spiritual renaissance that is sweeping across the land. Africans in the height of their naivety hold onto these gods who have done nothing to improve their lot. One has to question the impact of these gods on their followers. One has to question the versatility of these gods in relieving their followers of the absurdities of life's intricacies. Are these gods responsive to the prayers of their followers? They are false gods, deities that have become Satan's instrument of spiritual oppression, bondage and vileness. The continued adherence of the likes of Oyeyemi to these gods is a testament to the frailty of the human spirit and an affirmation of the urgent need to advert to a higher being.

It’s a truism that Christianity is a "foreign" religion brought to us by the Christian missionaries as is Islam which originated in the Middle East. If we must go by the logic of the critics of Christianity, then, we must reject all that is "foreign", all that did not originate in Africa. We must reject all foreign notions and concepts. How dare we enjoy the auto technology? I’m sure Oyeyemi drives a car made in Japan, Germany, England, America, France, Italy, Sweden, or South Korea. None of these countries, the last time I checked, was in the African continent, which will mean that this technology did not originate in Africa - so the question now is - when will Oyeyemi trade in his car for a camel? Or a better question will be - why is he not driving the “Ogun-mousine” or the “San! go-Benz”? Would it not be better for him to drive a vehicle made by his god[s] and not one made by the white man who brought Christianity to his Yorubaland to upstage his African traditional religion and change his identity?

Similarly, the technology to generate electricity was brought to Africa, but I’m sure Oyeyemi enjoys electricity without a second thought. The question now is - when will he ask the electric company to turn off his lights and when will he revert to candles and lanterns? Wouldn’t it be un-hypocritical to eschew all that is of the white man and live as his African gods-worshipping forefathers did centuries ago? Except he is willing to state here and now that he swam across the Ocean to the US as he fled Abacha's persecution, he should be utterly ashamed of himself for using the white man's technology, the plane, to deliver himself to the US. He should have waited for Ogun to invent something that would deliver him to the US, a country as Samuel Bayo Arowolaju rightly noted, has more than 75% Christian population. And that fine and reputable American university he attended in Delawa! re – who built it? Was it Ogun, Sango, Ifa or the Americans [remember, according to Oyeyemi, they were the ones who came to Yorubaland to try to change his identity with Christianity] most of whom worship the “bloodthirsty God” he so abhors and sneers? How convenient. Wouldn't it have been better if he attended Ogun State University - "Ogun" as in the name of his god, where he would have been under the tutelage of Professors Sango and Ifa? If we categorically reject Christianity as a viable and authentic religion because of its origin without regards to its merits, then of course, we must be consistent in rejecting other "foreign" phenomenon that have invaded our land.

The height of duplicity and hypocrisy is amply manifest in the cursory argument postulated by Oyeyemi and those who claim that the tenets of Christianity are spacious and crumbling at the least unexpected storm because of the contentious issue of gay bishops in the Anglican Church. Rather than advancing their points in a rational manner to foster civilized and informed discussions on the subject, they have resorted to unsavory tactics, electing to indulge aplenty in the polemic shenanigan of the moment. But isn't it ironic that those who adhere to the inanimate gods, while denigrating Christianity, cannot articulate for us the potency of their gods. Ogun, Sango and Ifa have been in Yorubaland for centuries and yet crime abound in that land as in every other land, yet, misery and death are a commonplace in Yorubaland as it is in other land, yet poverty is the people! s' lot as it is in other land. Oyeyemi is yet to tell us what Ogun/Sango/Ifa [isn't he lucky, he has three gods all to himself] have done for him. Yet, he is steadfast in the art of twitting and derision. Yet, he has become the dean of gargantuan blatherskite and spiteful prattle. Yet, he has become the harbinger of the 'gospel' of prevarication and canard, accentuating his perceived inadequacies of our God. Christianity has stood the test of time - it has come to stay irrespective of the desperate efforts of the charlatans and their sordid propensities to smear and deter it. It must be rueful, utterly so, for the likes of Oyeyemi to live in a world of vacuous existence soaked in malignant and horrendous verbosity without any intimate reconciliation of sorts.

Perhaps, Oyeyemi’s juvenescence can be well captured in his invariably unimpressive sarcasm in his last article on the subject. We should note that while basking generously in his peril of ignorance, he asked, why Christians have not ascended to heaven and leave this sinful world. This is coming from a man who should know that one does not have a choice [as if he did] as to their existence in this world and one cannot thrust one’s self to heaven except through death or rapture. The Bible strictly prohibits suicide, so how does Oyeyemi expect Christians to go to heaven without the benefit of the rapture, when they are still very much alive here on earth doing their very best to help their families, communities and doing God’s work to the best of their abilities? Imagine such tomfoolery, such gibberish, such wholesome garbage, unadulterated filth, such nonsensical cogitation that a! mounts to nothing but puerile value. It only goes to further underscore the existence, in Oyeyemi's snarled mind, of a wrenched and vexatious reality, not to mention a very pitiful, nauseating and loathsome attempt at sarcasm.

With such topsy-turvy, rabid, confounded and chaotic disposition, I’m not surprised that his contraptions have been laden with motley of contradictions. If Christianity is a house built on quicksand, as he alleges, that quicksand has survived the attacks of the distractors, of whom he is chief, for more than two thousands years and counting. Has anyone seen a house built on quicksand that is still standing after two thousand years? It must be a solid quicksand. It is evident that the truth cannot be denied, it cannot be waved aside neither can it be subdued. History is replete with stories of men far more powerful than Oyeyemi who have attempted to dissipate the truth, the Christian faith, without success. He should know that Jesus came to this earth to nullify the ways some things were done in the Old Testament. That is why most of the events that occurred in the ! Old Testament like the killing of animals for the remission of sins, for example, are no longer applicable in the AD [after the death of Christ] era.

But this does not mean that we, as Christians, should discard the Old Testament as it is of value, plenty of value, if I might add, and has many inspirational portions, most notably, the Psalms. [Oyeyemi should go and read the Psalms, he might just be inspired]. The reason for Christianity's continued existence and strength is the fact that it is built on the truth, on the SOLID ROCK called Jesus. Jesus is the head of the church and the sure foundation of our faith. Whether he likes it or not, whether he agrees with it or not, Christianity has come to stay. I must aver, in all equity, Oyeyemi has the right to question Christianity and its tenets. Everyone has a right to do so, if so inclined. But to insult Christians, their religion and their God in the process is zany and harebrained at best. No Christian who loves his God and is committed to his faith in a personal wa! y should accept these "Satanic Verses" authored by Oyeyemi.

He should know that there is an aspectual difference between questioning the tenets of other peoples' faith and outright subjecting them to his unmeasured, unprovoked and venomous fulmination. Invariably, Oyeyemi has a choice - he can either disabuse himself of his cloak of irreligious contumely and bask in the truth or he can continue to enslave himself to that African tree or stone he calls his god. Whatever it is, he is better advised to desist from his blasphemous harangue - for in the sight of God he is nothing but a speck.