Sin should be condemned not encouraged irrespective of its origin.

There are two kinds of people on Earth: Save and Lost. We are either one or the other. We can’t be lukewarm Christian like the church in Laodicea. Jesus Christ came to save the lost and not the save. If you think you do not fall into this category then you are deceiving yourself. The only difference we have is that our sins are no longer counted against us because He shed His Blood to redeem us. As followers of Christ, our words are supposed to reflect our actions, because example is better than precept, not preaching the gospel and doing the contrary. As kids, we were told to shut-up when our elders were speaking, not to talk with food in our mouth, be the first to greet an elderly person, and not to speak badly or rudely to our parents. All the above are good doctrines to keep, preserve and hand over to our future generations. What I refuse to be a part of, is the diabolic, idols worship and ancient practices of our ancestors which are consuming and conflicting with our Biblical beliefs. The Bible specifically commanded us to “Honor your father and mother”–which is the first commandment with a promise–that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth”. Ephesians 6:2-3.

Let’s go deeper and define honor – to regard with great respect, esteem, keep, fulfill. Is a whole lot of responsibility on us, and it makes it difficult to question the decisions of our parents or elders, to rebuke their ways and to stand against them even when we know we are right. As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear”. 1 Timothy 5:20. As we become aware and make the conscious decision to be part of the body of Christ; our identity begins to change. It becomes our responsibility to choose our destiny, sense of belonging and make our own traditions rather than holding on to the beliefs and  customs handed to us by our forefathers. What I am saying is, keep the good aspects of your customs, beliefs and eliminate what you find unworthy. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. 1 Corinthians 13:11. As I come to know God, I understand that there is a higher authority than that in my parents: The one we should venerate, tremble, respect and honor His presence above all.

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I was baptized at age 11 and received confirmation at 12 years of age. Though I was receptive of the idea, but I did it more because it was my mother’s wish and a religious thing to do.  I was more into the all white attire and the party that followed immediately after the procession. I took liberty upon myself to read the entire Bible, not so much to know what was in it, but out of curiosity and substituting it in the place of a novel. I grew-up with the notion that some evil people were after my family, and in order to be protected, some rituals had to be performed as per custom of our people. My mother was just practicing what the generation before her did, and wasn’t bold enough to question such practices – so she carried it along to her family. “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money”. Luke 16:13.

During my teenage years, I won the U.S. Diversity Lottery Program (DV) and was looking forward to travelling to America, but in order for this journey to be successful, I was told I had to undergo certain rituals by three different native doctors, If not I was gonna die after a year of staying abroad. I couldn’t believe my eyes! As a teenager, I became self-conscious of my body and the scars from all those ritualistic practices. Then I knew something gotta give, but I didn’t know where to start and how to go about it, and I was afraid to disappoint my parents especially my mother. Whether by nature or design, God made away! God always makes a way!!! There was a crusade in my area and I decided to attend to seek answers, the face of God and in search of the Holy Spirit. At this crusade, I received Christ and from then on my life has never been the same. “Draw near to God and He will draw near to you”. James 4:8. We are the ones that determine the level of our relationship with God.

After the said encounter, I went home and informed my mother I wasn’t going to abide to any native doctors demand, instead I was willing to die if that was God’s will in my life. My mom began to cry, I know she loves me and would do whatever to protect me. If you don’t have my convictions you can’t have my perceptions – she was living in the dark, she had not seen the light to know that protection only comes from God Almighty. “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God”. James 4:4. I told my mother I was done with all those ritualistic practices.  I told her I wanted to live for God and God alone with or without her. A gospel that does not confront sin is not the gospel of Jesus Christ. John MacArthur

In summary, I safely travelled to the States, and after years of living abroad, I am a living testimony that Jesus is at the center of it all. I have been told I have a big mouth, not in actuality though, is because I refuse to keep my mouth shut and succumb to lies or false beliefs. A true friend would tell you when spinach is stuck in your teeth, but a bad friend would not say a word, but laugh. Which do you prefer? We should be bold enough to condemn, rebuke and denounce the sin of our love ones and not the person in question. “Better is open rebuke than hidden love”. Proverbs 27:5. Thankfully I was brave enough to save my mother and sister, but not many of us can stand up to our parents and their sinful, evil and deceitful ways. Some of us aren’t even aware of our parents dealings/involvement or may be we are just in denial. Anything you refuse to feed will eventually die, feed what you want to live and starve what you want to die. By T.D. Jakes.

It is time to call a spade a spade! Pampering, sugar-coating, or renaming sin would not cut it, but taking the bull by the horns might either save a life or lives – sin is sin. “Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere; I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of the wicked”. Psalms 84:10. The story of Jesus Christ will never change, but no one else out there have your exact story. Who are you going to save today by sharing your story? Our kids will never know what it means to worship another other than He who is seated at the Father’s right hand. This is because we decided to write our own story instead of allowing another do the writing for us. If I tell you my story is to tell of Him. This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior, all the day long. What is your story?

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